Commission reacts to call for full time EMA Director

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) Mayor Davis praised the way Augusta responded to the sheltering Chatham County evacuees, so he’s not sure why some want to talk about changing   the EMA Office.

“If folks what to have a discussion about it I’m willing to entertain that I just think it’s not prudent to be having a conversation at this point,” said Mayor Davis.

Sheltering the evacuees kept Fire Chief Chris James busy, because he also serves as the city’s Emergency Management Director

Commissioner Sean Frantom says commissioners should talk about whether that’s in the city’s best interest.

“In my mind hire an EMA Director I think we’re a municipality this size I don’t understand why we don’t look at that I mean it’s checks and balances,” said Frantom.

But other commissioners see James doing both as a situation that’s not broke.

“I think he’s done a great job in this moment here so we’re excited about that they’ve done so far,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan.

Chief James the Fire Chief if he’s willing to wear both hats and he’s doing an outstanding job well so be it let it be,” said Commissioner Bill Lockett.

But other city leaders say both jobs maybe too much for one person.

“I think we need an EMA director I think the fire chief has got as much as he can shake a stick at already,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.

The Mayor is the one who would make that call right now he’s in full support of James.

“Chris James has done a fantastic Job of representing the city of Augusta and that’s the message I want to send today,” said Davis.

This is not a new issue in fact James was asked about the EMA job when he interviewed for the Fire Chief’s job in 2012, that was two years before Mayor Davis was elected Mayor Davis said he found it interesting that people want  to talk about the EMA job now instead of in prior years.

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