Mayor faces questions over “ban the box”

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) This is a city of Augusta job application; and you don’t have to far before you’re asked about your criminal history.

But Mayor Hardie Davis believes it’s time to do away with the questions about being convicted of a crime.

“We have hundreds of individuals who are coming back to this community it’s time for us to provide them with that fair chance provide them with that fresh start opportunity that’s why I took those steps to do that,” said Mayor Davis.

Tuesday the mayor took the unusual step of stepping down from the mayor’s chair to push approval for “banning the box,” even though some commissioners aren’t sure what that means.

“I sent an e-mail today to the H-R manager asking who is background screened is everybody background screened who’s drugged screened,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

“Am I completely in support of this right now no I have some concerns there still needs to be a lot of discussion about that we don’t want to create any problems,” said Commissioner Mary Davis.

One problem for some commissioner is the mayor’s timing; a consultant is working on the city personnel manual and has been directed to look at including banning   the box,

“My problem was is the mayor wanted to task staff with doing what we are already paying the consultant to do and the mayor I did not like it because he tried to put the governing body on the spot and pressure us to do something,” says Commissioner Bill Lockett.

“This is not a consultants decision to make it is our decision to make from a government stand point,” said Davis.

A commission subcommittee is expected to hear from the consultant June 29th that’s the day before commissioners are scheduled for the final vote on ban the box.

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