AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Two top Augusta-Richmond County city leaders have resigned from their positions. City Administrator Janice Jackson and City Attorney Andrew MacKenzie both turned in their resignations during the commission meeting on April 16.
This is not the first time MacKenzie leaving has come up in commission. On April 2, Commissioner Ben Hasan moved to vote on removing MacKenzie, and that motion never went to a vote. Commissioner Hasan said he would not put it back on the agenda, but Commissioner Marion Williams did.
The future of the city attorney and city administrator’s jobs were decided in an hour long executive session. Marion Williams, District 9 Commissioner, said, “We had a unanimous vote to terminate both people, and you don’t like to do that, but it’s something that had to be done.” District 7 Commissioner, Sean Frantom, said, "This is two individuals who have done great things for the city of Augusta, but sometimes change needs to happen.”
In the end, Jackson and MacKenzie handed in their resignations, and commissioners accepted them. Commissioners said there were many issues over time. The most recent issue was dealing with the Mayors Car. Commissioner Williams said, “We had not gotten information we always get, and I questioned that.” He brought it to the floor several times, but said he never got the answers he was looking for. The discussion in executive session, however, led to a clear decision.
Commissioner Frantom said, "It was contentious, but when you started talked about everything that happened it was the consensus to move forward, and you saw in the vote what happened.” Williams added, "The commissioners decided. Not just me, not just one, but the commissioners decided to go in a different direction.”
Although it happening swiftly, city leaders say things will still run smoothly. Mayor Pro Tem Frantom said, "It has impact, but we’ve got great department heads and employees and we’ve got to right this ship with almost a billion dollar budget we have in the city of Augusta.”
Both are getting 12 months severance pay with benefits, and were asked to be on stand-by to be consulted. Jarvis Sims and Wayne Brown are acting as the city manager and attorney in the interim.