December 13, 2004
Tuesday was a busy day for the Augusta commission. But after months of discussion including a couple of hours on Tuesday, the 2006 city budget is finally approved. In addition to raises for city workers, the budget calls for a tax increase of 1.09 mills. The city administrator says that’s equivalent to about $50 extra per year property owners will pay on a $100,000 home.
It was not a unanimous decision however with Commissioners Sims and Rearden voting no to the proposed budget. However, it got the seven votes needed to pass.
But perhaps a more heated discussion took place before and after the meeting after commissioner Andy Cheek sent a letter to the clerk of commission asking for four items to be placed on next week’s agenda for discussion. Those items include the appointment of Howard Willis as permanent fire chief and a vote to give the mayor veto power.
Commissioner Marion Williams, not happy with the idea, has called on people to rally on Wednesday against what he says is an attempt to restructure to consolidated government.
“Commissioner Cheek just gave me a letter and says there are no surprises, how can you wait until the last meeting of the year and say it’s not a surprise. It’s a surprise, not to me, because the word got out, there are no courthouse secrets,” Williams said.
“I think that would be a bad idea for anybody to call on a rally at this time. I’ve experienced one riot in this city and I sure don’t want anybody inciting riots,” said Commissioner Hankerson.
That rally is scheduled at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Municipal Building. The next and final commission meeting of the year is next Tuesday.