Former Augusta Mayor Offers up Advice to Commissioners

Former Augusta Mayor Offers up Advice to Commissioners (Image 1)

Tuesday, August 19th, city leaders met to discuss the property tax hike. The increase was shot down by 6 of the 4 commissioners. The one-point-seven-five mill property tax increase would have added an extra 60 dollars on a one hundred-thousand dollar home.

Former Mayor, Bob Young, wrote commissioners who voted against the increase a letter with advice. In the letter he states, “On Monday you will revisit the tax question. Don’t be squishy. Taxpayers are looking for leadership from folks with a backbone.”

He then gives a 5 step process about how he thinks commissioners should conduct things. He says the tax increase is a “band aid” and not a cure to the problem. He also says the commissioners should be prepared to cut the budget, if other city leaders refuse to do so. 

Young also writes, “You will need someone to take ownership of the process. Clearly, your interim administrator is not up to the challenge, or she would have given you some ways over the past 8 months to stop digging this hole deeper.”

Commissioner Mary Davis and Commissioner Donnie Smith say they welcome the advice, but it’s easier said then done.

“It’ easy to sit on the sideline and make an assessment and say this is  what you should do but in reality there are more moving parts than the general public knows about,” Smith said.

“It’s never really just an easy fix there’s so many different factors and sometimes we know all of those factors more so then some one who hasn’t been in meetings for year and a half but sure I appreciate any input,” Davis explained.

Davis says she hopes everyone can come to an agreement on Monday. Donnie Smith says, the decision needs to happen quickly.

“There is a timeline and part of the problem is how it affects the school board and their finances if we don’t get this done relatively quickly by the end of the month it’s going to put the tax bills late going out and it’s going to affect how much money the school board has to operate with,” Smith said.

 

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