Checking up on Cheek: Due to personal issues, Andy Cheek missing most Commission meetings

By: Jonathan Martin
By: Jonathan Martin

No gold star for Commissioner Andy Cheek; he's missed the majority of Augusta Commission events this year.

Now, some are questioning whether he's representing his district.

It's not a record to be proud of. Where the Augusta Commission is, he usually isn't.

The city has seen very little of the District 6 commissioner this year.

News 12 city government reporter Jonathan Martin is checking up on Andy Cheek.

Andy Cheek is typically very vocal and visible...but lately he says it's been a challenge making it to commission meetings.

Today, we find out where he's been and if and when he's coming back.

He's one of the more outspoken Augusta commissioners.

But more often than not this year, his seat has been empty at city meetings...leaving many asking, "Where's Andy Cheek?"

"I know that Andy has some personal issues, he had an accident earlier this year and I would take him at his word that he's had some personal issues that have not allowed him to make the meetings," says Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

In early January, Cheek was burned while working at the Savannah River Site; but now, months after his recovery, his poor attendance is raising questions.

According to minutes from the clerk's office, so far in 2005, Cheek has been absent from five commission meetings, seven committee meetings, all three bus tours, the commission retreat, and meetings of the Downtown Development Authority.

Cheek, who was not available for an on-camera interview told news 12, "For personal reasons beyond my control, I cannot attend the meetings, but I have not stopped representing my people. I have one of the best records in the history of this government of bringing about changes."

But folks like Ray Davis who live in District 6 have their own opinion.

"I think he should resign and let somebody take the job who could be there, what good are you if you are not there?" says Ray Davis.

"To me, he's doing a good job, don't rush into nothing, give him time, it will work out," says O.D. Colvin.

"I understand, I've been hurt at work myself, but it all goes back, if you can't do the job you're elected to do, then you need to step aside," says Dean Boyd.

In response, Cheek says, "There will always be people taking pot shots, but I do stay in contact with the community and the mayor. In the next few weeks, I will know my final schedule and if I l can't be there, I will give up my seat, as much as I would hate to do this."

Cheek also told News 12 he'd like the meetings to be moved to another time, possibly later in the evening, because of the uncertainty with his schedule. He has decided he will no longer seek the mayor pro-tem position.

According to the mayor's office, there is not a policy stating how many meetings a commissioner can miss, and we're told Cheek is still receiving his regular commission salary, which is $12,000 a year.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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