Sparks Keep Flying Between Augusta Commissioners - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Sparks Keep Flying Between Augusta Commissioners

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Sparks keep flying even as Augusta city leaders discuss efforts to get along better.

As we first told you last week, Commissioner Bill Lockett wants to improve the decorum on the commission.

He says city leaders need to put the past behind and behave better, but is the commissioner sending mixed messages?

Senior reporter George Eskola joins us in the studio. George?

Bill Lockett is trying to reach out to his fellow commissioners with one hand but others feel he's using the other to slap at his colleagues.

Commissioner Lockett feels the decline of decorum on the commission is hurting the city's economic development efforts so he says he's extending an olive branch  that action is not speaking  louder than his words.
Marion Wiliams isn't shy about discussing issues, but he missed all the talk about improving commission decorum AND ending  the bickering.

"Anybody think we're going to all agree, we wouldn't need but one person in the chair we would need Marion and no body else, but by having different needs we're going to have different opinions and were going to have some disagreements."

Commissioner Lockett wants commissioners to disagree without being disagreeable, but he's surprised some of his fellow by bringing up the issue.

A couple of weeks ago in a weekly paper Lockett blasted Commissioner Bill Fennoy for voting with the five white commissioners to hire a private company to run public transit.

"Public criticism in an interview by a fellow commissioner because of the way I voted, it is very difficult, very difficult when you say do as I say not as I do."

"I think he owes Mr. Fennoy and I an apology for what he said in the newspaper."

The same day Lockett was talking commission decorum he was quoted in the most recent edition of the same paper blasting Joe Jackson, saying Jackson is constantly in opposition of anything that supports the black community.

"It's quite ironic the olive branch has been extended the thing is out there the way I was raised you treat others the way you want to be treated to go off and say I don't do anything for the black community I take real offense to it."

And for it commission relations are not any better.

"How are you going to sing kumbaya  when you're making gestures like that?"
We made several calls to Bill Lockett to comment on his statements, they were not returned.

Mayor Pro-Tem Corey Johnson says it's a  lack of communication between members leads to  distrust and it's something the commission cannot allow to happen.

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