Richmond County budget passed, workers getting raise

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 at six o'clock, December 06, 2007

Augusta, GA---"I'm happy that the commission come together and voted for some good." The Richmond County commission has passed the budget for the coming year, and firefighter Dustin Colson is excited. It calls for a three-percent cost of living pay increase for all county employees, effective February 1st.

Richmond County public safety employees, including deputies, firefighters, marshals, and the RCCI, will also get an additional $2,000 raise, effective August 1st. "This just means that my wife and I are better able to provide for our daughter and any other children that we may decide to have," says Colson.

"They've gotten them a Christmas present, and it's great," Fire Chief Howard Willis. The vote didn't come without debate, though.

"My real concern is we have some needs. We cannot meet this Christmas list," said Commissioner Jerry Brigham.

"The question becomes where do we want to go? Are we afraid of our shadows or are we looking for the future," said city administrator Fred Russell.

"This may be given but understand sometime in the future there may be a cutback," said Mayor Pro-Tem, Betty Beard.
This will cost property owners about $55 dollars a year on a $100,000 dollar home or about $5 dollars a month.

"You can't go to McDonald's and get a hamburger for that on a 100,000 dollar home, you can't buy a loaf of bread, or a gallon of milk," said Administrator Russell.

Sarah Lamb has lived in Augusta most of her life, and she is not complaining, "I don't mind paying a higher tax to help our policemen and our firemen and to give others raises so that they would want to keep their jobs."

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  • by michael caruthers Location: cleveland tn on Dec 17, 2007 at 06:01 AM
    hello; the above people are my brother in law and my neice. i don't state that for any other reason than i'm happy for them. people who get passed over time after time usually say something like "i do the work they pay me for; if they pay more i'll do more" would you like the firefighter, police, hospital employees to state the same when they come to help you? i agree that the money should have come across the board for everyone and that home owners feel picked on, however have you checked on where the taxes on every dollar are going? the city, county and municipal bonds come out of every dollar, how many time frames have expired? with 500,000 people in augusta/richmond county it adds up quickly. if only 1 or 2 have expired and noone is fixing the problem of stopping the tax collection where is the money going? if city, county bldg., have been sold to private companys where are the taxes that are susposed to be paying the orignal debt going? this is something that needs to be checked on
  • by Brian Location: Augusta on Dec 8, 2007 at 07:07 PM
    When will the citizens of this county wake up and take a look around you? You pay up to 12 times MORE for trash service, than you do for fire protection!! This county operates on a tax plan that was put into effect in 1978!!!!! You have had it so easy! You get what you pay for! Not happy with the commission? VOTE!! This city deserves the incompetent people in office, after all, you put them there!!!
  • by Terry Location: home on Dec 8, 2007 at 06:35 PM
    The police officers need the raises, I know that for a fact. That is an acceptable expense. Is there a better way to pay for it, I don't know. I do know that I resent hearing about thousands of dollars being spent on accountability studies and consultations. Please let me know when they improve anything except the contents of their own pockets.
  • by David Location: Augusta on Dec 7, 2007 at 09:25 AM
    Disgusted Augustan is right. I find it disturbing that in this day when people are losing their homes right and left that the politicians will talk about "affordable" housing while making it as difficult as possible for homeowners to hang on to their homes. Growing the tax base does not mean running off the homeowners who pay the taxes. I might support a sales tax which affects all equally. Right now I feel that our government is biting the hands that feeds them.
  • by Disgusted Augustan on Dec 7, 2007 at 08:55 AM
    Reference David, once that they have the tas rate at the CAP, then the thieves in the Tax Assessors Office will merely trump us in "assessment increases.
  • by David Location: Augusta on Dec 7, 2007 at 07:37 AM
    Well I think it's time for Fred Russell to go. He has only one budgetary solution to all problems and that's to raise property taxes. His talk of being afraid of our shadows and looking to the future is nonsense. Also, I want him to buy me a gallon of milk, hamburger or loaf of bread since he feels justified in taking money from the taxpayers. How many property tax increases must we endure? I wish we would just go to the maximum tax limit for property as allowed by law to support our city and school system and then see what solutions they come up with. Oh yeah I know what would happen...there would be a push to raise the taxible limit allowed by law. Why must everything fall on the backs of the homeowners? If we must tax at least make it across the board for everyone.
  • by County Property Owner on Dec 7, 2007 at 04:13 AM
    Deke can kiss his political future "GOODBYE" Next election will be "DUMP THE INCUMBENT"
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