Should Augusta leaders cut services or raise taxes?

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News12 at 6o'clock/ Oct. 17, 2013

Augusta,Ga (WRDW)--Augusta commissioners are still crunching the numbers on the city's budget. Some are considering whether to raise taxes or cut services for next year. By law they have until late November to pass a balanced budget.

"What level of service do you want? Do you want the Cadillac level of service? You will have to pay for it. Do you want the Volkswagen level of service which is what we have now," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.

We hit the streets to find out what level of service do taxpayers want. "I love a Volkswagen. It's dependable and It works. I don't think most people believe the city is dependable or that it works," said Property Owner Bett Mcbride.

"Downtown has to be maintained at Cadillac service or maybe even Lexus service. It's all because, it makes a big impression on people," said Property Owner Nancy Lindroth.

Fred Russell has money on his mind. He wants to give all city employees a $15 hundred dollar raise including the select group that got more than $350,000 in raises back in 2011.

"Those persons who got raises in 2011 should not get raises in 2013. We want to be fair and I don't think it was done fair in 2013," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

"All the raises that I gave were based on increased duties and responsibilities. It's the way you do business," said City Administrator Fred Russell.

Russell is also requesting $500,000 for the patch to hire three managers and take care of the course. More than $300,000 extra could be headed for the Augusta Regional Airport to hire 10 part-time security officers among other things.

"These are things we will have to look at. If we can find ways to get by with 6 instead of 10 we will. I think if we can find ways to cut back we will," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.

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