Monday, August 20, 2012
By Lori Davis
Heads Up Augustans!! The Commissioners are up to their old dirty tricks, or at least a few of them are. CityStink.net has received word that a special called meeting requested by Legal Counsel will be held tomorrow August 21,2012 at 4:30 in Commission Chambers (see document at end of article). The one and only item slated for the agenda is ----You guessed it----The Reynolds St. Parking Deck Management Agreement.. Mr. Paul Simon, partner in Augusta Riverfront LLC., will be presenting to the Commissioners.
Our question is, how can they do this when this item has been on the floor of the Commission several times already and has even been through a committee workshop. Also, in the last Commission meeting, another public workshop was called for on the very same item making the public quite aware of the problems associated with it? Commissioner Joe Bowles even railed against the lease agreement drawn up for the city as being one-sided; leaning toward the best Interests of Augusta Riverfront LLC, and not the tax payers. Why haven't the citizen's been properly notified of this called meeting? Why is the normal process for placing items on the commission's agenda being circumvented to benefit Paul Simon and Augusta Riverfront LLC? Why did Mayor Copenhaver sign off on this?
A closed door legal session has been requested after Mr. Simon gives his presentation in commission chambers. Commissioner will have to vote on whether to approve going into legal session. What will be discussed that should be off-limits to the public and the media? Is this an effort to ram this lop-sided management contract through behind closed doors and keep it away from public scrutiny?
Word has it that Commissioner Brigham is the one who got this little meeting put together. It seems that Mr. Simon was to present before the full Commission as a delegation at the regularly scheduled 5:00 Commission meeting concerning the parking deck agreement, however, for some reason, his item did not make it on the agenda in time. Hmmm.. Wonder how that happened?
The broader question is, Why the rush? What is in this for Commissioner Brigham and the others who are agreeing to this called meeting? Those of us who follow the actions of government in this city know that all things are done for a reason. We also know that something stinks here. We are counting on our Commissioners who are tired of the way business is done in this city to take a stand. Tomorrow is the day. Who will break ranks and go the right way??? Anyone, anyone at all? Or shall we say,"Business as usual?"***