News 12 at 11 o'clock / Monday, Feb. 18, 2013
WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW) -- It was a busy night for the Waynesboro City Council on Monday.
On the agenda, talks of refinancing existing debt, making some beautifications and the possibility of hiring a new chief of police. When talks came to the replacement of the top cop, the council got an earful.
Many of the folks say Chief Alfonzo Williams is irreplaceable. One man even got into a shouting match with the mayor.
The discussion started hot.
"And we are going to let Richmond County steal him away from us," said Todd Flakes.
And then the discussion was raised to a another level.
"You've tabled the issue for one reason only, because you know he's got a deadline to meet and y'all won't meet before then. I knew that before I come, but that's fine. To hell with this meeting," yelled Flakes to the Mayor.
The room was filled to capacity. Some people even sat and listened outside the doorway. The majority were all in favor of keeping Williams right where he is.
"You can find money when you want to," said Flakes to the mayor.
But it will take a lot of money to keep the chief. He'll be making $30,000 more in his new position.
"Once you start making offers to one employee, then you have to offer something to someone else," said Mayor Pauline Jenkins.
While some want to find money to keep the chief, others say the priority should be other issues the city faces, instead of salaries.
"If you take a look at the infrastructure on our city, if you look at the roads in our city, they are dilapidated. And these are things in the infrastructure that we are going to deal with," said one concerned citizen to the council.
Some people came to find out about the hiring process for the top cop position. Well, no answers about that, but Councilwoman Brenda Lewis offered an idea on keeping Williams.
"I would like to see him in that assistant administrative job, and I would like to bring that back to table," Lewis said.
All this talk may be a little premature. The vote to officially name Williams the head of security for student and teachers' safety in Richmond County won't happen until Thursday night.