Commissioners debate rec center agreements

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Augusta,Ga (WJBF) Commissioner John Clarke is not playing around when it comes to what he wants to see at all Augusta’s recreational centers

“The Parks and Recreation to re-take them over and staff them and run them that way it’s on the government,” said Commissioner Clarke.

“So all of them you want the city to take them back?”

“I’d say yes,” Clarke answered.

“How come?”

“You see what we’ve got going on now don’t you,” Clarke said.

What Commissioners see going on now are allegations made by the former the Jamestown manager that Commissioner Sammie Sias took thousands of dollars in sales tax money, that was suppose to pay for center improvements,

The Sandridge Community Association has operated Jamestown for the past twenty years.

“Do you get rid of the Jamestown agreement specifically?”

“Yes, I think they’ve proven just through the accusations and the track record of the reports the time has come to end that agreement,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.

Recreation officials admit there has not been enough oversight when it comes to to the agreements

“They all have kind of lapsed and it’s something are department needs to do a better job in future so,” said Interim Recreation and Parks Director Ron Houck.

Recreation officials say having the outside agencies operate the centers is a savings to tax payers so some commissioners say don’t end all the agreements.

“No, no that’s why I think we need to tale a close look at them on a case by case basis,” said Commissioner Garrett.

The committee did not recommend ending any of the agreements instead Recreation will bring back revised ones next month that will include provisions for greater financial accountability.

As for Jamestown Ron Houck says locks have been changed and city recreation employees are in charge but he’s not sure how long that will last.

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