Changes at the Augusta Coliseum Authority

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, February 26, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---A plan is in the works to hire a new facilities manager, the attorney was re-hired, and audits are planned, but is it enough to keep state leaders from stepping in?

The circus has come and gone at the James Brown Arena, but that is hard to tell from Tuesday's coliseum authority meeting. First he was fired, now he's hired again. The group's attorney is back on board.

"I'm happy to be back," Ed Enoch told News 12.

This comes as the financial shape of the arena is now coming into question. "I am concerned about it. I think all of us are concerned, and we certainly need to be," said board member Keith Brown.

The authority is looking to conduct two audits: one of their former vendor, the other of the finance department. The cost could be at least $20,000. And that's not all. The Authority is looking to reorganize things of their own by bringing in a new facilities manager.

"Basically what it does is gives us an opportunity to let Mr. Gordon concentrate on his strengths which are to bring shows to the arena," said Brown.

Current General Manager Flash Gordon is finding it difficult to lock down sellout attractions. Coliseum Authority members call the days work necessary to get things back in order.

"This is in the best interest of the city, the facility, and the board. I think it's in the best interest of everyone concerned," said Brown.

Even still, Representative Quincy Murphy, chair of the legislative delegation, issued this statement: "I am excited by the measures taken by the Authority to restore public confidence in the Authority's operation, but the Legislative Delegation is moving forward with plans to restructure the Authority."

There are currently twelve members on the board. There is talk of making it smaller, and giving the board a new name.

As News 12 first told you, Julie Huggins is the top candidate for the facilities manager position at the James Brown Arena. The position pays $50,000 dollars a year. Huggins has ten years of experience in the convention and hospitality industry. She recently served as director of operations at the Morocco Shrine Auditorium in Jacksonville, Florida.

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