By Kimberely Scott, WJBF Anchor/News at 10 on the CW Anchor - email
Photo of Augusta Commissioner and Mayoral candidate Alvin Mason
Augusta, GA -
Alvin Mason was very open, and we talked about everything from his time on the Augusta Commission to the domestic dispute he had with his wife. He says this is the first time anyone has asked him about it. For these interviews, we wanted to see the Augusta Mayoral candidates through a very different lens.
Mason invited us to join him in his home, while he spent the afternoon with his grandchildren.
Mason says, as District 4 Commissioner, he and his colleagues worked together to bring growth to Augusta, despite facing obstacles...and as Mayor, he wants to do more. "I have to now go to the next level and say I've got to bring everybody together, understanding those things that divide us, and understanding those things that bring us together," he said.
He's well aware that businesses need to come to the downtown Augusta area and bus service needs to expand, but he isn't willing to pass the cost onto tax payers.
Mason said, "the deal for Project Jackson was totally different than the deal that they proposed here in Augusta, and Project Jackson, or the folks in North Augusta, got a lot better deal in terms of the taxpayers not being on the hook for the bulk of the money."
In December of 2011, Mason and his wife got into some type of argument, and that argument apparently turned physical. He was arrested and charged with battery. "I cannot get into specifics, nor would it be appropriate to get into specifics about what happened between families, be it a wife, husband, children. I think that's the place for the household, I don't think it's the place for anywhere else, but here's the result of all of that...that case has been totally dismissed and my record has been totally expunged."
Mason invited us to his home as he spent time with his grandchildren...pushing the twins on the swing set he put together himself, and helping his oldest granddaughter develop her athletic skills.
It's that kind of attention to detail that this retired soldier and business owner plans to bring to the top spot. For the past 7 years, Mason has worked at Fort Gordon as an analyst for procurement and contracts. "The Mayor is the only one who signs the contract, along with the Clerk of Commission, and I think that's critically important because I would be able to discern whether this contract was appropriate or not," he said.
One thing that Mason says is critically important is the current SPLOST package. "So, here's my issue...there's $21.7 million that's going to be available on May 21st that can be bonded. Not a single penny is going for roads, bridges, sewers, drains, or public safety," he said.
Mason says Commissioners need to rework the project list before voters approve it, and the retired soldier says he successfully fought for his country and now he wants use many of those same skills to help move Augusta forward.