Augusta commissioners' tempers flare

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

Tonight's Augusta Commission meeting was short and their tempers were even shorter. Emotions ran high when commissioners started talking about discrimination.

Then things really got heated when the city attorney came up. "You don't put somebody's personnel on the public stage. It humiliates them and their family," said Augusta Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.

Commissioners Williams, Mason and Lockett voted yes, those commissioners say that file needs to be public because they believe City Attorney Andrew Mackenzie is not doing his job. Commissioner Williams called him a liar, Mackenzie denied it. Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle walked out refusing to vote. The motion failed 3 to 5 and ended with commissioner Donnie smith apologizing.

" We're not going to get into a pissing match. There's an appropriate protocol. I requested specific information and didn't receive it. I put him in check about that today," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

The city will continue writing checks to Gold cross EMS. Leaders approved the new ambulance contract with a 6 to 3 vote.

"We claim to have a good deal with Gold cross, but we'll never know because we don't know what the other vendors had to offer," said Commissioner Bill Lockett.

"We're kind of at a stale mate over some issues," said Commissioner Grady Smith.

A 2009 disparity study showed discrimination of minority-owned companies looking to do business with the city.
Votes to join forces with a non-profit to fix that both failed. All votes fell on racial lines and that's pretty much when the meeting fell apart. Commissioner Joe Jackson even tried to end the meeting early.

"There's not a word to sum it up. There's not a word," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

"It's like having a baseball team. If the braves started fighting each other on the field, don't you think it's time to go back to the dug out," said Commission Grady Smith.

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