Supporters propose better, more representative Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative

By Susan McCord Staff Writer Sunday, March 17, 2013 5:17 PM Last updated Tuesday, March 19, 2013 2:…

Georgia (Mar 19, 2013)

Link To Article
Sunday, March 17, 2013 5:17 PM
Last updated Tuesday, March 19, 2013 2:06 AM
In almost three months without the Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative, supporters say the city center has returned to a trashy, leaf-strewn area incompatible with a vibrant downtown.

Alex Wier, whose design studio bought and remodeled a building in the 900 block of Broad Street, said the sidewalks seem dirtier than those he saw recently in New York City.

“Leaves everywhere,” Wier said. “A billion cigarette butts and broken glass, where tourists come and families walk.”

His partner at Wier-Stewart, Daniel Stewart, provided one of the 116 signatures presented in support of Clean Augusta at an Augusta Commission meeting in December at which the group rejected renewing a special purpose tax district.

Under Georgia laws allowing the creation of business (or community) improvement districts, more than half of property-owning entities – or the owners of more than half the district's assessed value – must consent to the tax. …

The Clean Augusta board, which met rarely during its first term, wants to address the commission's concerns about its management in an effort to have the district renewed, said board member Natalie McLeod, who has bought and renovated historic buildings in the district. …

New bylaws will permit any property owner to be nominated and elected to the board, instead of requiring the presence of the largest property owners, McLeod said.

Lack of citizen participation and involvement is the major management problem faced by improvement districts, according to Kennesaw State University professor Andrew Ewoh, who studied 13 of the districts in metro Atlanta with graduate student Kristin Rome.

“The expectation here is that the inclusion of citizen participation will serve as an added level of legitimacy, which will provide the buy-in commitment from residents for long-term sustainability of public-private partnerships,” Ewoh and Rome wrote.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit