Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Outsourcing Augusta Government to the DDA?

"The Mission of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) of Augusta is to improve the economy of Augusta-Richmond County by coordinating an aggressive public/private program to promote the re-development and growth of downtown Augusta". According to Margaret Woodard, the Executive Director, the DDA is the "ears and eyes" of Augusta-Richmond County, almost a mega government inside the government, including law enforcement. Some merchants in downtown start firing back against this monster.

"To further accomplish its mission, the DDA will:
Serve as a redevelopment agency on behalf of the City of Augusta
Act as a public-interest developer for key downtown projects
Actively encourage re-development through adaptive reuse and new project construction
Offer financial incentives and assistance to encourage development
Develop RFP’s and initiate plans to develop strategies for revitalization
Advise government officials on downtown issues
Lead in coordinating sound strategies and actions for continued growth
Recommend and coordinate needed SPLOST public improvements
Serve as an information clearinghouse for downtown issues and needs
Inform the media and general public of downtown issues and activities
Produce marketing and promotional materials
Act as start-up agency for the Saturday Market on the River and Christmas Light-Up Spectacular special events
Operate the Business Improvement District on behalf of the Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative (CADI) Board of Directors"

"Downtown Development Authority of Augusta
2009 Priorities

Short Term Projects:
Develop a public informational brochure about the DDA.
Work with and assist the proposed hotel development at the Commons.
Work with and assist the city with the bond issuance and other issues with the TEE Center and related parking deck.
Develop a project list for SPLOST VI.
Establish public/private partnerships to revitalize the Augusta Riverwalk.
Continue to monitor remaining SPLOST V Projects:
Museum Green Space
Pilot Lighting Project
Ellis Streetscape Project

Long Term Projects:
Continue to assist the Medical College of Georgia’s expansion efforts.
Publish Periodic newsletters.
Evaluate the feasibility of a trolley system in conjunction with the city’s overall public transportation plan.
Create business opportunities in East Boundary, Harrisburg West –End and Laney Walker neighborhoods.
Create business opportunities for the third level canal revitalization.
Lead and assist with developing a parking management strategy."

Today at the Augusta-Richmond County Commission Michael J. Walraven (video) told the government officials he is tired, frustrated and questioning the effectiveness of the DDA and the taxes imposed he can't keep paying. He protested against the new Business Improvement District Management Plan (BIDMP).

Commissioner Matt Aitken, representing District 1 where DDA has the almighty power was not present. He is running off December 4 against William Fennoy to keep his seat.

It is going to be interesting to watch the dynamic between Fennoy if elected and the new Sheriff in town, Richard Roundtree, since the DDA has taken certain duties of law enforcement, too, and Aitken has being absent in leadership. How the DDA became so powerful?


(HOW Authorities, Boards and Commissions (The ABC of USA capitalism) are dramatically taken over government entities and elected officials functions and privatizing government in general. Very soon the election process and Electoral College will be managed by a company in India or China, who knows, and Congress will session in Dubai)

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