Augusta commissioners continue to spar over disparity study

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Augusta Commissioners want to make sure everybody gets a fair share of city contracts. A disparity study showed women and minorities are awarded fewer contracts with the city.

Commission seal

News 12 has learned recommendations are out there to end what some consider discrimination. "We just keep going round and round in a circle. It's like a dog chasing his tail,he'll never catch it, because it's tied to him," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

Augusta leaders continue to circle the issue of discrimination against women and minorities on city contracts. The city spent $500,000 on a disparity study that showed those groups getting the least amount of work.

Now some commissioners want to lift a federal judge's order stopping the city from using race or gender programs."One of the key things is we are going to have to get on the same mission as commission. We have to give directives to those and make sure they follow through," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.

News12 obtained an email with recommendations from Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Director Yvonne Gentry to Commissioner Corey Johnson. In July, she recommended that the City Attorney ask to the judge to reverse his decision.

"No the attorney has not been asked to go back and have the judge lift his order. We need to get together and look at the options, if we do it now versus waiting to collect more data," said Commissioner Johnson.

"What gets me is that we didn't do what 's right from the beginning. This thing is almost five years old," said Commissioner Williams.

If commissioners don't do something soon, the study itself will expire.

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