December 7, 2005
They are the 11 men and women elected to represent the voice of thousands in Augusta but starting in weeks, the face of the Augusta commission will change. These five including the mayor will not be back next year, being replaced with five new faces.
One of those new faces, but perhaps no stranger to some, is District 7 commissioner-elect Jerry Brigham. He served on the commission from 1995-2001. He says he doesn’t think a new group necessarily means change.
“I don’t think you’ll have a real major change of opinions of people on the commission. I’m hoping that we can have a better ability to work together as a group,” Brigham said.
But despite Brigham’s opinion, there has been talk that new commissioners will vote differently than those before them, possibly changing decisions on key issues like bringing a dragstrip to Augusta and appointing Interim Fire Chief Howard Willis to permanent status. But Brigham says there are much bigger concerns.
“I think that we need to cut down on the length of time spent in the commission meeting and take personalities out of the debate and get down to discussing the issues and the art and not keep discussing the same issues over and over and over,” Brigham said.
Marion Williams is still serving his term on the commission and says Mayor-Elect Deke Copenhaver is an integral part of the commission’s progress, but thinks it’s the commissioners who have the real task at hand.
“There’s no power in the mayor’s seat anyway. The power relies on the commission, so I think if he works with the commission, the commission will work for him,” Williams said.