AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – With expert help from Georgia School of Government, Augusta city leaders are looking at giving away some of their authority.
“Are we talking about having this change for a personal, political reason? If this conversation is about political power, I want nothing to do with it,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
City leaders are looking at the pros and cons of going from a city administrator form of government to one led by a city manager.
“What we’ve been doing so far obviously isn’t working. You see a lot of citizens who are not pleased with the way Augusta Richmond County is being run,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.
With a county manager form of government, the manager would have the power to hire and fire department heads.
Since consolidation, the commission with six votes, has had that authority.
“Right now, the county administrator does the bidding of the county commission every day. I kind of like to see that stay for a while,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.
UGA experts say, with more duties, hiring a county manager would likely be more costly, but some say having one boss would be worth it.
“It’s easy to work for one person versus 11, at any given time, based on the political climate, the director or administrator doesn’t know which way they’re going if they’re going to lose their job,” said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.
“This is a big decision that we will have to live with for decades to come. We have to make this decision absent of politics,” said Commissioner Johnson.
City leaders are finding change can be difficult.