Does the Department of Housing and Community Development need oversight?

Department oversight
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Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Right now there are only three people who oversee the Housing and Community Development, and three Augusta commissioners want to change that. Next week the full commission will vote on whether to reinstate the advisory committee for that department.

"I don't think we need oversight," said Chairman of HCD Chester Wheeler.

Wheeler told News 12 this months ago when asked about oversight for his department.

Former Advisory Committee Chairman James Rouse disagrees.

"I think it would be helpful now to have that committee reestablished," he said.

Rouse was the former chairman of the advisory committee back in the 90's. Rouse, along with 10 others, was appointed and served for free. Their job was to make sure federal guidelines were followed.

"In that range of time I thought we were giving a good service to the community and that department," Rouse said.

Three other commissioners agree. They voted to bring it back before the full commission.

"This is eyes for the community. This is for people to sit in on meetings and go back and disseminate the information to residents of Augusta Richmond County," said Commissioner Bill Lockett.

"We're dealing with federal dollars that are coming in. We are stewards of that money. We have to make sure," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

"But even if it doesn't pass, I think we'll see some progress that would move us forward," Rouse said.

Before going forward, they'll have to take this issue back before the full commission.

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