Augusta commissioners at odds over name

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, June 20, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Augusta commissioners are at odds over a name. Two city employees thought they were hired as directors only to find out differently.

Leaders are confused because different paperwork lists their titles as different things. Are Jacqueline Humphrey and Yvonne Gentry coordinators or directors?

"I'm just trying to clear the air is all I'm doing," said Commissioner Joe Jackson.

Humphrey oversees the Equal Employment Office and investigates workers complaints. Gentry's role is to make sure local small businesses get an opportunity to compete for city bids.

"It's really about whether an apple is an apple at this point and time," said City Administrator Fred Russell.

"What's in a name?" asked Commissioner Marion Williams.

Both Humphrey and Gentry have run their departments for years. Commissioners are split on whether the women are directors or coordinators. A director is someone who oversees a department. A coordinator makes sure the office runs well.

"All the information I've seen is dated June, July and August. The hiring wasn't done until November, and it was done on this floor," said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.

Commissioner Jackson has minutes from 2009 where leaders made motions to hire the women as coordinators.

"We need a ruling on any information that conflicts with each other," Jackson said.

"We are now talking about coordinator and director. It doesn't make good sense to me," Williams said.

Documents show the EEO position was advertised as director. Humphrey's application says director and even an email with director in it was sent to Russell.

"I'm not sure how you want to say it, I am sure of what we're supposed to do on this commission. We hire directors," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

Augusta's charter also conflicts. It calls for one person to head both departments. Augusta commissioners will revisit this issue at the next committee meeting.

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