AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – It was something all the commissioners could finally agree on when it comes to a new arena: let Augusta voters weigh in.
“I think we do a non-binding referendum, and let the community decide whether they want it there or not you’ve got some nay-sayers but the people would speak out,” says Commissioner Marion Williams.
Commissioners voting to basically ask the both parties to put on their May primary ballots two questions,
Do you want an arena downtown at the current location yes or no, or at Regency Mall yes or no
“I think the best solution on that is to do a straw vote let’s find out if we even got a foundation to work off by the people’s vote,” said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.
“I think the commissioners are becoming comfortable with letting the voters make a decision and a very contentious decision some of us believe it’s dividing the community more than it should be,” says Commissioner Ben Hasan.
“We need a new arena, that’s a bottom line and it needs to stay downtown, I’m find with letting people decide we’ll see what happens,” says Commissioner Sean Frantom.
“At some point you got to find a way forward, so we’re not pushing anything on the public we may give the public an opportunity which is only fair,” said Commissioner Sammie Sias.
Again the two political parties will have to go along and can only put non-binding questions on the ballot, so whatever location came out on top city leaders would not be obligated to put the new arena there, so the vote would basically be a poll of where the voters stand.
Now before any new arena would be built, voters would get another chance to decide whether they want to see their tax bills go up to finance the bonds to pay for a new arena.