Augusta Mayor Candidates Debate Issues

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September 27, 2005
There was a packed house as all four candidates for Augusta mayor met for a debate. News 12 is back with views from the candidates. There were lots of questions from the audience. But perhaps the biggest question of all…where are you going to sit?

It’s a good problem to have, a room for eighty at the Mayoral Candidate Debate overflowing with many more, standing room only to hear from the four at the front. One early question, how to make the sometimes long-winded Augusta Commission meetings more efficient.

“I think we need to continue to work in smaller groups and not make every committee down there a committee of the whole. I think that’s some of the changes we can make as a whole,” said Tommy Boyles, mayor candidate.

“During the commission meetings, we put a time limit on the responses not to put a muzzle on them, but perhaps three to five minutes to respond so we can move a lot more efficiently,” said Helen Blocker-Adams, mayor candidate.

“How efficient can you be when you’re sitting in eight hour meetings? Most people, if you’re in a meeting that long, you’re looking at your watch and you’re wanting to go home to your wife and family. I think it’s out of respect we should enforce those rules to allow people to have a life as well,” said Deke Copenhaver, mayor candidate.

“No surprises from me, I bring you none. Do your thing on Monday, the chair’s in charge on Tuesday. We’ve been out between 5-5:30 and that’s with some commissioners coming to me 40 minutes late,” said Willie Mays, Interim Mayor/candidate.

More than an hour’s worth of audience questions about unfinished SPLOST projects, taxes, and retaining city employees. Some in the audience already know who they’ll pick in the election. But others are making a final decision on this night.

“It was very enlightening on what they had to say and it made me make a straight decision on who I was gonna vote for in the election,” said Emma Brown, voter.

But one other, ducking out early…

“Some answers you get all the time. Ain’t gonna do nothing, none of them,” a voter said.

The mayor’s election is just six weeks away on November 8 and this is a special election. The winner is mayor for only a year. The election will fill the vacated spot left by former mayor Bob Young. The term for this election lasts through the end of 2006.