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Augusta Commissioners discuss higher taxes, better transportation for 2013

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It's a new year and new commissioners faced old problems during the Augusta Commission Planning Retreat on Thursday.

"Transportation issues, budget issues," named District Three Commissioner Mary Davis.

The biggest budget issue that is facing Commissioners is overcoming the deficit in 2013. 

"The job is huge; we're facing a four million dollar deficit," said Alvin Mason, Commissioner for District Four.

Mason says they will have to consider raising tax rates; but he added that Augusta has one of the lowest millage rates in the state.

With 10 different commissioners, it's possible to have 10 different ways to solve a problem. So, one main point of discussion during the retreat was how commissioners could work together to bring positive change to Augusta as a whole, not just their respective districts.

District Seven Commissioner Donnie Smith says in order to do that there may need to be some give and take.

"It's about negotiation and about what's good for our community and it's about having trust," Smith, said.

He urged his fellow commissioners to trust each other to make the right decisions about the future of Augusta.

"If you win a lot of little fights than you win the big battle and you make our city better," said Smith.

"This crew seems really motivated, I'm hoping that we can work together and really be able to do some great things for the city," Mason, said.  

District Five Commissioner Bill Lockett said, "We're going to have a good year coming up."

The Commissioners have a two year term.

All Commissioners were at the retreat except for District 10 Commissioner, Grady Smith.

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