City could spend more to correct discrimination

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News12 at six o'clock/ Dec. 2, 2013

Augusta, Ga (WRDW)----Augusta Commissioners have spent all year talking about how to correct a 2009 Disparity Study. Some say the study found discrimination against women and minorities when it comes to city contracts.

Now the city has a plan of action which could mean spending more money on another study.

"You look at the haves and the have not-s. You will be disappointed. I have no doubt the study will come back worse than the first one," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

After nearly five years, commissioners are finally taking a half million dollar disparity study off the shelf. "Why don't we pull that one off and blow the dust off of it. We need to see what's what," said Commissioner Grady Smith.

Commissioners say the 2009 study found minorities and women were getting fewer city contracting jobs than their white male counterparts.

The city started a program to fix it then a judge barred the city from using race or gender programs. "We don't have to go back before the judge. Somebody is wasting time, by spinning their wheels standing in the same spot," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

An affirmative action consultant says the city should track construction participation electronically, and modify existing small business programs.

"The budgeted money is not in there at the moment. It could be used through capital dollars that are available," said City Administrator Fred Russell.

"The first study was good. We should have moved on it awhile back. If we had of moved on it we still would've had to have a new study every five years," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

It still could be weeks or months before the new measures are put into place.

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