AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Their shirts are telling the story: commissioners want to loudly get behind a new arena.
“We need to show the community that we’re a united force for this arena. It’s important. It’s a big economic driver for our community,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.
Commissioners want to take official action in backing the new arena.
On the agenda, there is a motion to approve a resolution of support for the arena’s C-SPLOST.
“The James Brown Arena project is the biggest project in the city’s history if the voters go and support it. So, we want to show a sign of solidarity as a body showing that we support this project,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
“It’s a good thing that ten of us are all coming together for once to support it,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.
But when it came to voting on the official resolution, the city attorney advised no.
State law prohibits local governments from financially supporting or campaigning for sales tax issues, and that did not sit well with some.
“It is what it is. It seems like every time we turn around, there is something else we can’t do around here. We’re not using any money for it. We’re all trying to influence the vote where we’re not here,” said Commissioner Frantom.
So, there will be no official resolution from the city in support of the referendum, and commissioners say this is not a plus.
“I think this would have helped the cause because you let the people know we’re behind it,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.
City leaders say they support a new arena, but that’s not official.