Augusta's bus service changes ownership

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, July 17, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- McDonald Transit is making plans to take over the city's bus service in less than two weeks.

Some Augusta commissioners still don't think it was a good idea.

"For the record, I did not break a tie. I was the second person to vote, and I did not break a tie," said Commissioner Bill Fennoy.

A 6-to-4 win on outsourcing transit.

"Commissioner Fennoy made the deciding vote on outsourcing our public transit," said Commissioner Bill Lockett.

What some call the tiebreaker is Fennoy voting with the five white commissioners to outsource transit, while four black commissioners were against it. He's being compared to his opponent former District 1 Commissioner Matt Aitken.

"When Matt Aitken was here, we knew how he was going to vote, and we didn't expect much," Lockett said.

"They brought us back the best possible plan, and I didn't see any problems with it," Fennoy said.

McDonald Transit will run the city's bus service for three years and possibly save the city $1.3 million. Plus, some of the old employees could keep their jobs.

"They've done this before, and we're pretty optimistic that this will go just fine," said City Administrator Fred Russell.

Others think differently. There have been several issues and problems with the trash, The Patch and insurance contracts in the past. The one thing they all have in common is the city attorney, administrator and the procurement director.

"I don't think anyone is doing their job. Most of the contracts are initiated at the department level," Lockett said.

"Everything that has taken place the commission has approved. If you don't like what they've presented, don't approve it," Fennoy said.

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