Tuesday, September 11, 2012

West Augusta Candidates Forum Provides More Questions than Answers

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Augusta, GA
By The Westsider

These are our Commission and School Board Candidates?  Really?

In a candidates forum held last evening by the West Augusta Alliance, we were privileged to hear from the best and the brightest running for positions in commission Districts 1,3, and 7, and school board district 1. In an election that is quite possibly one of the most important  we will see in the past twenty years, we would like to start off by giving you some of the most quotable quotes of the evening.  Laughing and crying are both permissible.

By the way, candidates Matt Aitken; Disrtict 1, and Candidate Donnie Smith: District 7 both declined our invitation. Aitken said something about needing more unity in his district and Donnie said something about having another event to attend (another labor union) that his handlers had just alerted him to. Might be news to Mr Aitken that his neighborhood Association is a member of the West Augusta Alliance, and might be news to Mr. Smith that this alliance is one that a candidate does not need to overlook, especially since many of the member neighborhoods fall within the commission district he is running for. Now on with the good stuff.

Most Quotable Quotes of the evening: (I'll let you guess who said them.. or you can skip down to the videos after the article and see for yourself)

"I have seen our government transition from a bad state to a good state"
-Where has this guy been in the past twenty years?

" I know I can work on the issues.I have the background to work on the issues.  Elect me and I will work on those issues."
-What are the issues? 

"We needed a new elementary school in Harrisburg because is is so crime ridden."
-Great neighborhood to walk to school.

" Forget the seniors. If we haven't taught what needs to be taught by second grade, we can forget it."
-That's quite a jump.

"With all due respect, Mr. Moderator, you are wrong with your facts again."
-Never pick a fight with the moderator if you are running as a candidate in his district.

"I promise to do the best I can."
-I guess anyone could have said this.

" We need to be bringing in businesses like Urban Outfitter and other nationally recognized companies."
-What about all of the local small businesses? I'm sure downtown independent retailers will love this approach

"Got to be able to spend time reading documents. Reading is the most important thing."
-How about understanding them

"I've spent a lot of time going downtown in my life.  It takes going downtown to get things done."
-What is he going downtown for? And will Petula Clark be singing his campaign theme song?

"Because of my upbringing, I can reach across the aisle,  I know I have what it takes to reach across the aisle."
-Candidates don't declare parties, so what is he getting at? I never knew commissioners sat on aisle seats anyway

"The District One seat is a seat for a black person, not a white person."
-Oops….That was at another forum, however, voters need to know that there is a candidate who has said this in a different setting. I think you can probably guess who said this.

"We don't lag behind in education in Richmond County, they just keep raising the bar"
-Really? Sounds like he's played too much limbo... which is exactly where the state of our public schools are.

Now I would like to give our readers a few lucid comments from our 10 candidates.  Keep in mind, only two or three candidates seemed to fit this description……..

" I believe I can be a good steward of other people's money." 
  --- Mary Davis (Dist 3)

"We need oversight on million dollar projects." 
 ---Denice Traina (Dist 1)

"Dilapidated houses are a cancer in this city" 
 --- Willam Fennoy (Dist 1)

"I will never vote to raise taxes," 
--- Kenneth Echols (Dist 7)

"Being A Commissioner is a natural extension of what I do now. I read contracts everyday"
--- Ed Enoch (Dist 3)

So there you have it folks.  Our candidates for Commission and School Board. who participated in this lively discussion last evening.  If you would like to try to pair the name with the comment, see the list of candidates below:

Distrct 1 Commission: Denice Traina, Stanley Hawes. Bill Fennoy, Theloniuos Jones(Dropped out of the race as of last night).

Distrct 3 Commission: Ed Enoch, Mary Davis, Clevelend Osteen

District 7 Commission: Kenny Echols

District 1 School Board: Marion Barnes, Lucien Williams


*Below are videos from last night's forum (turn volume up)*

Lori Davis, president of the West Augusta Alliance, opens the forum

Kenneth Echols, candidate for District 7 commission speaks

Ed Enoch, candidate for Dist 3 commission speaks

Mary Fair Davis, candidate for Dist 3 commission speaks

Cleveland O'steen, candidate for Dist 3 commission speaks

Stanley Hawes, candidate for Dist 1 commission speaks

William Fennoy, candidate for Dist 1 commission speaks

Denice Traina, candidate for dist 1 commission speaks

Lucien Williams, candidate for dist 1 school board speaks

Marion Barnes, incumbent for Dist 1 school board speaks

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