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Representation on commission is too concentrated

Posted: May 6, 2014 - 11:07pm

Dear editor,

The Columbia County Commission consists of five members: the chairman, and four commissioners, one from each district. It is reasonable for voters to expect that each member of the commission should remain independent and free of any influence when deciding on the business of the people.

While researching the candidates, I learned that District 1 commissioner candidate Doug Duncan works as vice president of MAU Inc., a staffing company in Augusta. I also learned that one of our sitting commissioners, Trey Allen, who is not up for election this year, also works for the same company.

If Doug Duncan gets elected, we would have two commissioners working for the same for-profit company. This would certainly put the independence of the commission in question and may skew what should otherwise be an autonomous decision-making process.

On a final note, the county commission has had two seats out of five filled by citizens who have lived in the same subdivision for the past twelve or more years. Commission Chairman, Ron Cross, and the candidate for commissioner District 1, Doug Duncan, who would replace sitting Commissioner Ron Thigpen; are all residents of the same subdivision.

Given the growth of Columbia County, I am concerned that other neighborhoods are going unrepresented.

We need diversity and independent points of view to govern better, and in electing our next commissioners it is important that we achieve that greatest range of representation for all the people.

Steven Weiss,

Martinez

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Comments (2)

LBenedict

I see, but

I discussed this with Doug Duncan a month ago, and he pledged that MAU will not to business with Columbia County. If it does, he said that he would quit. I know Doug well enough to know that he's good people. I met his opponent who appears knowledgeable and well-intentioned. But to claim that because Duncan lives in the same subdivision as Thigpen that he will ignore the rest of the District is something I cannot buy.

LBenedict

Point taken

on Trey Allen. IMHO, he cannot be trusted or believed, and, he is not the least bit honest. Trey Allen and Scott Dean were on some Commission fact-finding research committee regarding bids for consolidated banking services for the County. Georgia Bank & Trust bid .75% interest, and another bid 1.00%. A bond writing/underwriting agency recommended that the County accept the 1.00% offer, i.e., more interest. However, in 2010 Trey Allen somehow supported the GB&T offer. And oh by the way, Ron Cross and Charles Allen own stock in GB&T AND RON THIGPEN IS A GB&T EXECUTIVE. And oh by the way, Ron Thigpen received a $22,000+ bonus. Last I knew, Columbia County had 32 bank accounts with GB&T. And oh by the way, between 2010 and today, that .25% difference cost the County hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. Get a video and/or watch the Saturday morning broadcast of the May 06th Commission meeting and pay attention to Al Gray's presentation...he exposed those guys for the crooks, IMHO, that they are. I recorded Al's presentation, too.

Trey Allen runs a toy store and works hard and invests long hours towards his business and no one can refute this. His current location is not his first. His first was in the Academy Sports plaza. By the way, the Superior Court of Columbia County, Civil Action File No. 2009CV0940, filed May 28, 2009 claims that Trey Allen received a $28,500 CASH abatement because the building was not ready on time (wink wink), and, that his rent of $4,500 per month was not paid for well over a year to the tune of $80,000+.
A) in Georgia, how long until eviction begins for one who allegedly does not pay rent? 30 days? 60 days? 90? But 500+ days and then suit is filed? Come on.
B) on May 28, 2009, Trey Allen was a sitting Columbia County Commissioner. A sitting commissioner is sued and the media totally ignores it and still does to this very day. Why? Look at what local print and radio media outlets discuss, and look at what is censored.
C) look at who owns the space he "rented" and then look at Allen's Marshall Square, Magnolia Trace...support. By the way, Magnolia Trace's bid was rejected because, among other things, it was not just too expensive, but the most by far; $141+ per square foot. I have copies of the letters. Somehow, the project was awarded, and, the date on one of the letters was two months AFTER it was stamped received.
D) the suit was allegedly settled for $10,000-$15,000. So let's see here: a guy, or, "his business" receives $28,500 US tender cash money AND $80,000 in unpaid rent. What's that, $108,000+? What did he pay back, 10-15%? Who WOULDN'T take that deal?
E) Allen refuses to address this matter, which, leads a thinking person to deduce that he's shady and crooked and will not discuss this with his constituents. For those who claim that it was not him, but his business, to that I will say, OK, his business that HE RUNS. If Ron Cross' and Jim Bartley's businesses are discussed, why not Trey Allen's?

I'll stop there, but there's more...I will refrain from further comment unless and until someone refutes these facts and/or these reasonable inferences, or, spins it for the above-it-all crowd.

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