A war of words, called out commissioners react

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It is an Augusta commission call out, the suggestion that some members are too quick to take their complaints to the media.

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It was a remark meant to send a message.

“Well, I took that remark was targeted to two or three of us and that’s fine,” said Commissioner John Clarke.

Tuesday commissioner Ben Hasan was critical of the way some commissioners are dealing with controversial city issues, by speaking to the press, and not other remembers.

“We can’t legislate by way of the media we seem to make it a habit now that we want to fight all our differences out in the media as opposed to sitting down and talking with one another,” said Commissioner Hasan.

Commissioners Clarke and McKnight have been outspoken opposing recent commission actions.

They were highly critical of the fire chief selection process, and the mayor’s credit card spending, they tried getting a forensic audit of all city departments.

Commissioner Dennis Williams understands where Commissioner Hasan is coming from.

“There have been some issues that has developed public opinion due to a commissioner bringing it out public and that is something we need to keep within our own circle,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

“I have a right to speak to the media it’s the way to get the message out to constituents what’s there to keep from the media,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.

“A lot of things kind of doesn’t get discussed and I think the public needs to know about it,” said Commissioner Clarke.

On NewsChannel 6, Mcknight called the raid at Southbound restaurant  “harsh”.

Hasan noted the remark because McKnight did not speak to the Sheriff before making the comment.

“I think that we put ourselves in bad shape when we don’t go sit down and talk to the sheriff to see what happened through this process,” he said.

“I didn’t know I had to talk to the Sheriff,” McKnight said.

Commission bickering and infighting has been quite common in the now 25-year history of the consolidated commission and the commissioners being called out now are showing no signs that they’re going to cool it.


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