District 1 hopefuls for Richmond Co. Commission face off in debate

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, Oct. 10, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Four candidates are working to earn your vote in the commission race for District 1 in Richmond County.

All four faced off in a debate on everything from the TEE Center to dilapidated homes.

About a hundred people packed the library Wednesday night all to hear what candidates are planning to accomplish, if elected.

Bill Fennoy, a District 1 hopeful, says, "I want to clean up a lot of neighborhoods in this office."

Denice Traina, also vying for the commission seat, says she's, "Trying to build the community, bring people together."

All four candidates have their different reasons for running, but most of them agree on the issues that are most pressing.

Matt Aitken says, "Jobs and economic impact for the merchants, along with flooding" are some of the most important issues, while Fennoy says "dilapidated homes and flooding" plague the area.

Another hot topic during the debate was the TEE Center, right in the heart of the district.

Stanley Hawes, another candidate for commissioner, weighed in, saying, "I think the TEE Center should've been taken care of on the front end with concrete deals going on so we know where the money's going."

Commissioner Aitken says the voters made that decision, and the center is making a return on the investment with 12 events already booked.

"The structure is there so we need to make the best use of it as possible," Traina said.

Candidates say there are a lot of important issues they'd like to tackle, but it will be up to voters to decide the future of District 1.

Hawes says, "Some of the issues I've got going in my community don't seem like they're being met head on."

Traina says, "I think it would be a benefit to the commission to have some new voices on there, shake things up a little bit."

Candidates also talked about cleaning up dilapidated houses in the area and solving some drainage and flooding issues.

They say it's an important race because downtown is included in District 1, and decisions made about downtown really affect the future
of Augusta.

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