What in the hell is wrong with the political leadership in Augusta?
Our leaders seem to be able to tackle serious, complicated issues with a decent record of success, but when it comes to equally important, yet simple things, they often turn into blithering idiots.
The mayor can ask for and receive public support to build major public facilities, no small task in this day and age, yet completely disengage from the process of oversight, construction management and fiscal forensics involving god-awful cost overruns that make headlines for months. Why?
The sheriff can maintain a great staff of street cops and investigators and remain politically popular in a racially polarized community, yet he can’t bring himself to publicly endorse his obviously best qualified successor, putting the department at serious risk to be taken over by a chronically flawed candidate. Ostensibly because he is afraid he is going to “hurt someone’s feelings.” Seriously?
And then we have the new head of the area’s most important and prestigious institution of higher learning.
Dr. Ricardo Azziz has been in place during the most interesting and potentially explosive 10 months of the last 100 years of GHSU (MCG). While other state-funded colleges are under orders to contract, he launches a consolidation that will keep his school, and Augusta State University, growing and vital in the new millennia. A merged entity that will likely expand into a moribund downtown district, and perhaps be the spark plug needed for permanent revitalization in the urban district.
The self-professed arbiter of what is and isn’t “cool” then promptly takes what could be a Cadillac of economic development, and smears the pristine body with a dingy brown paint, made of little more than his own vinegar and bulls**t. All over what should be an easy and pleasant process to name the new school.
Azziz is right when he says the new institution is going to be all that and a bag of chips, but he is as wrong as a man can be for foisting the name Georgia Regents University on a community of supporters and taxpayers who clearly wanted no part of it.
If the popularity of that name was to be ranked in local context, it would poll somewhere just below Regency Mall and somewhere just above Renaldo Rivera. It’s a bad name.
It is like Azziz has taken a beautiful new baby and stuck it with the name Poop Stain. More troubling than that, he was lying to you when he did it. For the good doctor to suggest even for a moment that he was interested in public input into the process is disingenuous at best, and an actionable case of fraud at the worst. If you have not heard, lawyers are looking to get involved in this thing next, and I, for one, hope it happens. There would be nothing more entertaining to see Azziz have to testify under oath about this process under the threat of perjury.
If he thought he was going to get through this act of sheer arrogance easily, I would suggest he is a candidate for a bed at Georgia Regional, or whatever it is they call that place these days.You Might Also Like: