Augusta, GA – Augusta Commissioners were scheduled to talk Tuesday about that new SUV for Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr.’s office, except they really didn’t want to discuss it.
“I have no comment to make, at this time,” said Commissioner Bill Fennoy, who put the item on Tuesday’s Commission agenda. “You don’t want to talk about the mayor’s car, right now? How come?” we asked. “I just don’t,” he said.
For many city leaders, the idea of a mayor’s office vehicle is completely stalled.
“I think we have other pressing issues. Let’s give the group some mileage, let’s base it off that and see if there’s even a need before we go giving a car out,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.
“It was a simple and routine fleet request. It should have been coming across as a routine fleet request. This didn’t happen, it’s interesting that we’re having this conversation in October of 2015 and the initial request was sent in June of 2015,” said Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr.
So, the mayor ended the conversation by telling Commissioners the request has been withdrawn.
“It’s a distraction, it’s a distraction to the mayor’s office, it’s a distraction to the citizens of Augusta, and it’s time for us to move on from this conversation and today will be the last time we talked about it,” said Mayor Davis.
The mayor then challenged the Commissioners who were questioning his office getting a new vehicle by saying they should give up their city gas cards.
“If they’re going to be fiscally responsible citizens in this city, maybe it’s high time for all of us to be engaged in that process,” said the Mayor.
So, is Mayor Davis being provocative by picking a battle with Commissioners over taxpayer gas?
“No, not at all. I think I’m being very serious, particularly as it relates to us being fiscally responsible with taxpayer resources,” Mayor Davis said.
Five Commissioners have used gas cards this year: Bill Fennoy, Marion Williams, Ben Hasan, Dennis Williams, and Mayor Pro-Tem Grady Smith.