News 12 First at Five / Friday, Jan. 25, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The relationship between the Augusta Ports Authority and the marina operator has been tense the last couple of months.
It hit a new high last week when operator Mike Stacy accused members of the board of stealing documents from him.
"I was completely unaware of what was happening until the argument developed," said Frank Carl, a member of the Port Authority.
Carl is talking about last week's outburst during a meeting.
"I'm disappointed the Port Authority isn't functioning how it should," he said.
Carl says a report of the marina was on the agenda, but it quickly turned ugly.
"Accusations about the chairman and then the argument developed and the report never did get finished," he said.
The current operator of the marina claimed that the chairman broke into his office.
Carl says he isn't picking sides, but one reason the authority isn't working how it should is due to missing information.
"I don't have a copy of the current lease. I don't know what it says," Carl said.
Carl says the lease should be provided to all members and that transparency is the key to fixing this problem.
City Administrator Fred Russell says he's informed about some of the issues but not all of them.
"I haven't really been brought in except for some preliminary conversations about that. Sort of waiting on them to see what direction they are going in," Russell said.
When asked if this is all happening because maybe there is a new vendor interested in the marina, Carl couldn't give an answer.
"I don't know how much interest there is out there by other potential operators. I don't know if there are people interested in bidding in the process of managing the marina," Carl said.
News 12 was able to reach the chairman by phone today, but he said he didn't have time to comment. So, we will have to wait and see what happens next at the next meeting on March 20.