Dear editor: We can no longer afford to keep Jimmy Hires and Marilyn Hodges on the Richmond Hill City Council. They are the only two remaining councilpersons who were involved in the out-of-control spending surrounding the City Center and amphitheater. The facts in this letter are taken from City Council meeting minutes posted on the Richmond Hill website, www.richmondhill-ga.gov. Additional information is available in these minutes.
• Jan. 8, 2008: A resident requested a public hearing on the City Center relocation and funding. This public hearing was denied by a motion which was seconded by Hires and supported by Hodges.
• Jan. 8, 2008: The City Council approved a list of six contractors to build the City Center. The motion made by Hodges and supported by Hires.
• March 18, 2008: The contractor was selected. The motion was seconded by Hodges and supported by Hires.
• Nov. 18, 2008: The maximum price contract for the City Center ($4,793,068) was approved by a motion seconded by Hires and supported Hodges.
• Sept. 15, 2009: Negotiations with the Wilderman Group for management of the City Center was begun by a motion seconded by Hires and supported by Hodges.
• Dec. 1, 2009: Hires moved to approve the Wilderman Group. Hodges seconded that motion.
• June 16, 2009: The amphitheater cost is projected to be $597,336. Hires moved to approve the amphitheater project, as presented. Hodges seconded the motion. Then-council members Hilliard and Bickley opposed the motion, but then-mayor Richard Davis voted with Hires and Hodges and the project was approved.
In a previous article, it was noted that Hires and Hodges voted for the expenditure of funds, about $6.2 million, for the City Center with no aquatic center, even though a pool was a feature desired by the voters. Hires and Hodges then spent another half-million dollars for an inadequate amphitheater. This does not count the loss to taxpayers of more than $900,000 in 2010 through the City Center management agreement.
We’re closing on $8 million in poorly spent tax dollars – your tax dollars. The council meeting minutes clearly show who was behind this debacle.
Darryl F. Petermann