Augusta city leaders agree to meet with Gold Cross on accountability

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:52 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - After two deadly shootings downtown, public safety was on the agenda at Tuesday’s commission meeting, but time ran out before they could talk about it.

However, the city’s contract with Gold Cross did make little progress.

The two sides have battled for years. Gold Cross is asking for more money, and the city is asking for better performance.

The big theme was accountability. A contract with Gold Cross that lays out exactly how they do and should operate in Richmond County.

The commissioners ran into problems trying to hold one another accountable in the meantime.

“If we don’t take care of this, we are being derelict in our duty to our constituents who deserve to have accountability. We need to stop playing around with this thing. Let them do what they do. Bring it back to us. If you don’t like it, don’t vote for it,” said Alvin Mason.

Talking over one another, interrupting, and not allowing one another to answer each other’s questions.

Brandon Garrett said: “I’m really disappointed in the way that we conducted ourselves here in this conversation.”

They said the last time commissioners met with Gold Cross, too many showed up, which made it a public meeting, and Gold Cross doesn’t want to negotiate publicly.

Most of the commissioners understood, but Commissioner Dennis Williams says “no.”

He says he wants to make sure we’re only giving Gold Cross money they work for.

Having monthly invoices to know how many people are taken care of, how they’re cared for, with the insurance of not overpaying.

One local man says you’re paying to save the lives of your citizens.

Kevin De L’aigle said: “I cannot bear to have loved ones who live in this city with lacking EMS and support.”

He waited for over 40 minutes, about a half a mile down the road from Gold Cross dispatch, after being T-boned by a drunk driver on Memorial Day weekend.

“I pray that you hold their feet to the fire. Too many people are faced with the possibility of death as they wait for EMS to arrive,” he said.

After all of the miscommunication, some commissioners are hopeful the next meeting will be able to draft up an official contract.

The vote did pass to have the next meeting with Gold Cross to go over the memorandum of understanding and future accountability.

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