Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Augusta is Not Bankrupt

AUGUSTA, GA - The Augusta City government probably is ethically bankrupt, according to some citizen critics, but financially is "clean" with a surplus of more than a million dollars. The city administrator Fred Russell said that people are entitled to their five minutes of fame, that they are crazy and that they have no clue how the government works.

Thanks to the IT Department for making possible the broadcast.

No Clue

On July 19, 2011, commissioner Alvin Mason mentioned several time the $9 million "in the hole" referring to the Augusta-Richmond County government budget.

Indeed, many taxpayers really have no clue how the city administrator managed that miracle. Probably there is a connection with the "air rights" owned by the city in connection with the Augusta Riverfront, LLC's Parking Deck.

Other taxpayers in Richmond County have some clue how the budget went from a shortage to a surplus, such as the privatization of many public services - Augusta Public Transit - laying off many city employees, not hiring to cover many vacant positions, cutting or dismantling budgets of those in direct service to the community, and the list could go on.

What is really appalling to citizens of Richmond County is that Fred Russell, a former police chief, an unelected bureaucrat can dismiss taxpayers who are worried about how their tax money is being wasted and distributed.

Elected officials and bureaucrats in government are to serve, to hear a lot of "five minutes of fame" from their constituents and to work for everybody, not just for those who know how to navigate the system and for those who hold power in the city.

The current Augusta government is probably not managed by a state bill such as in Michigan, but for some taxpayers in Richmond County the city administrator has being acting as Emergency Financial Manager for quite some time. 

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