During the discussion of the annual plan for the TEE Center at last week’s Finance Committee Meeting, Augusta Riverfront President Paul Simon once again lectured commissioners on the basic details of their convention center.
He’s done it several times before, but this time there was a sense of patient finality about it. After all, the Certificate of Occupancy had been given and the inaugural event was just days away. Signing off on the annual plan was nothing but a formality insisted upon by anxious commissioners desperate to retain at least the appearance of control.
Formality or not, it was yet another hoop for Simon to jump through, and once again he jumped.
He knows how to play the game, Simon does, and it seems now that everyone’s had to say “uncle,” people are starting to acknowledge it.
While consistently viewed as the enemy by commissioners and observers to the process like Al Gray, the benevolent auditor who, unlike Joltin’ Joe, has not left and gone away but is instead very much able to be gazed upon by Augusta’s lonely eyes, Simon nevertheless received a compliment from one of the commission’s most outspoken critics of the project.
“I just wish that we had somebody on the same level as you to negotiate with you on our behalf,” said Commissioner Bill Lockett. “I don’t blame you one bit — you’re a businessman and you’ve got to do the best you can for your business, but I just wish we had somebody on this side who would reciprocate.”
Simon politely praised the city’s negotiating team, and because he’s so good at playing the game, it was impossible to know whether or not he was sincere. You Might Also Like: