Two passing commissioners shared much

AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) - Last week Commissioner Andrew Jefferson was one of the city leaders offering condolences to the family of Commissioner Grady Smith, now commissioners are mourning his sudden passing. 

"It wasn't expected. We had just talked on Friday and we were down at a budget meeting. To hear the news he had passed away Sunday Morning was really shocking," said Commissioner Andrew Jefferson last week.

"To have two of my friends, two of Augusta's native sons, who have passed away within just weeks of each other...it's certainly a tough time for us on the commission. It's a tough time for the city. More importantly, our hearts and prayers go to the Jefferson family," said Mayor Hardie Davis. 

Last week as he offered thoughts and prayers, Commissioner Jefferson said he and Grady Smith liked to talk about the things they had in common. Both were master tradesmen and they shared the need for the same medical specialist.

"We even talked about our cardiologist would have us to work for them and they would complain when we gave them the bill," said Commissioner Jefferson last week. 

Andrew Jefferson was finishing his second year of his first term. Under city code, the commission shall appoints an interim district five commissioner before a special election is held. 

"Of course, it's all preliminary. We have no idea when they will all happen. I do know the next available special election date would be March the 19th of 2019," says Election Director Lynn Bailey. 

Mayor Davis says now isn't the time for those discussions. 

"I want to encourage anyone who is thinking about it, anyone who is considering, well let me start putting my name in the hat to stop those conversations now," said Mayor Davis. 

Commissioners are taking steps to fill one of the vacancy on the commission, John Clarke is scheduled to be appointed to replace Grady Smith at Tuesday's meeting.

There is no need for a special election Clarke was elected in May  to represent  District 10, starting in January as  Smith was term limited. 

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