Mayor will step in December 31st as City Administrator

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Augusta Commissioners voted 9-1 Tuesday to appoint Mayor Deke Copenhaver temporary city Administrator. It comes a week after the firing of City Administrator Fred Russell.

Some said that dismissal did not come as a shock. Commission voted unanimously 7-0 to let him go. District Five Commissioner Bill Lockett said it came sooner than they planned, though. Both he and the administrator had been working on Russell's exit strategy for next summer, according to Commissioner Lockett.

But it came to a boil when Russell began making comments to the media commissioners said made it sound like they were working for him rather than the people. Commissioner Lockett said he hopes this is a new beginning.

"We anticipate the governing body will be in good hands until we can find a replacement," Commissioner Lockett said. "We're not going to rush. We're going to make sure we're employing an administrator that believes in complying with all the rules and regulations."

Commissioner Lockett also told Fox 54 he doesn't believe anyone should fill a seat forever. He believes new people should come in, with new ideas.