Tarver addresses challenges

AUGUSTA, Ga.---These have been tough times for the Augusta legislative delegation. Governor Sonny Perdue seems to be at odds with local lawmakers, or at least our local projects.

He's pushing the MCG-Athens expansion and he cut the money for the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame from the state budget.

State Senator Ed Tarver sat down recently with News 12's Richard Rogers to talk about these important issues.

(Richard Rogers) Is our stock in Atlanta as high as it used to be?
(Ed Tarver) Certainly not. We no longer have our Charles Walkers and the Tom Allgoods and the Jack Connells. We have a relatively young delegation, so we are going to have to work twice as hard to go in and accomplish the same thing.

(Richard Rogers) Were you disappointed when the governor cut that our of the state budget?
(Ed Tarver) Extremely disappointed for a number of reasons. One being that property was once in the hands of private owners and the state took that property to make the golf and gardens, but never fully funded it and now that its in limbo, it raises the question, will it be returned to the private owners that originally owned that property.

(Richard Rogers): What do you think should happen to the property?
(Ed Tarver): Well, I think we should work as hard as we can to try to make sure that is viable and remains open. And if we can't do that, then we otta let the tax payers decide how best to use the property.

(Richard Rogers): On the medical front, it seems like the momentum is running and the ball is rolling for the MCG expansion in Athens. Is that a done deal?
(Ed Tarver): We hope not. We have gotten some commitments from MCG and from the chancellor to put in place a consultant, who will explore whether or not the medical college of ga should be expanded and if so, the best way to do that with out regard to Athens or Augusta. I hope that will take place.

(Richard Rogers): Well, the governor wants it, the Board of Regents wants it. Is there any way to win that fight?
(Ed Tarver): Well, we are in negotiation. We have had meetings with the board of regents. We continue to meet frequently with the chancellor and with the leadership at the medical college. So, hopefully there's still some leeway
(Richard Rogers): Is there anything the community can do to get behind you and help with all of this?
(Ed Tarver): Certainly. Any response of the community can do. We are contemplating a town hall meeting right now to gain community support for MCG. Any support we can get for the medical college would be helpful.

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