The Inside Story: Balance is restored to Augusta Commission ... or is it?

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- There's a new commissioner in District 1 after incumbent Commissioner Matt Aitken lost the runoff to his opponent Tuesday.

Bill Fennoy's victory will change the landscape of the Augusta Commission.

The commissioner-elect was speechless after the final results came in, saying, "I've never felt like this before, so it's hard for me to put an adjective on my feelings right now."

The upset over Aitken restored what has come to be known as the "balance of power" on the commission.

"That balance is back," said Commissioner-elect Marion Williams. "Five and five, but we have to work together."

Five and five, meaning the commission's makeup is back to five black commissioners and five white, but on the Inside Story on 96.3, Mayor Deke Copenhaver said that isn't actually the case.

"Wayne Guilfoyle is Asian-American, Mary Davis is a female ... so all this five and five, it's really not that anymore," he said, making this the most diverse commission in recent memory.

"I think this is going to get things on the ball. I think that all the commissioners will understand the public is really concerned. The public really wants some fairness brought in," Williams said.

But, as commissioners know all too well, you still need six votes to get anything accomplished, something Fennoy says he is prepared to fight for.

"It's going to be my responsibility as a representative of District 1 to get five other commissioners as concerned about these issues as I am," he said.

Only time will tell if the new commissioners are up for the challenge.

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