AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Back at the end of June, the security process at the Municipal Building changed. Everybody coming in would be screened, including employees. It’s what the commission wanted and directed the Marshal to do. Now some commissioners are questioning how the Marshal wants to get it done.
X marks the spot for the Marshal Office, the X ray machine at the Municipal Building is 18 years old. The Marshal’s Office went through the process of replacing it under an emergency purchase.
“Simply because it was an emergency. The security of the building is something that is critical to the daily operations,” said Chief Deputy Marshal Scott Peebles.
The Marshal worked with the Interim Administrator to purchase the replacement machine but with everybody now getting screened the Marshal also went to the administrator to add another X-ray machine, but commissioners were never informed about the plans.
“What bothers me now, we talked about doing it and approved it. Said okay. Now we’re talking about more equipment. We asked him did he need more equipment, he said no,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
The Administrator has the discretion to approved purchases up to $25 thousand dollars, without the commission. But the machines cost a a little more than $24 thousand dollars each.
“But if you had two machines, that would have been beyond his discretion. Then they had to create an absolutely emergency situation and, myself, I didn’t deem it to be an emergency situation,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan.
The replacement for the existing machine is on its way but the second machine now appears up to air.
“Obviously it’s needed. So could it be held up? I’m sure that it could, that’s the decision the leadership has to make. Obviously we make the recommendation, that’s our request,” said Chief Deputy Peebles.
The Marshal’s Office will get the opportunity to face Commissioners about the need for another X-Ray Machine. Municipal Building Security is on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting.