AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – An old Augusta park now has a new name: the Edward M. McIntyre Riverwalk Park.
“Mister McIntyre was a great man he was a great leader in this Augusta community, and I can’t see anyone saying that we shouldn’t honor a man for his great contributions to this city,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle initially supported honoring McIntyre at Riverwalk, Tom Wiedmeier at the Utilities Building, and former commissioner Andy Cheek’s name on a ball field at Diamond Lakes, attempted to reverse course. But he has since reversed course.
Commissioner Guilfoyle made a motion to table all three renamings based on feedback he recieved about renaming the Riverwalk for the former mayor, who was convicted of extortion in federal court.
“I don’t think people realize the amount of stuff we’re getting from the citizens about this renaming,” said Guilfoyle.
Betty Powell is one person telling commissioners to leave the Riverwalk renaming alone. “It is a divisive issue, it’s a divisive issue for this city and I just don’t think that’s necessary,” said Powell.
In the end, commissioners voted six to three in favor of all three renamings, dismissing notions that the vote was dividing Augusta.
“I don’t know why it’s divisive because I’ve had nothing but positive statements about Ed McIntyre, I’ve had positive statements about Mister Cheeks you know Tom Wiedmeier was a favorite of mine,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.