You Don’t Say.
This past Friday many citizens in Augusta were surprised to learn their very own mayor, Hardie Davis, had been elected president of the African American Mayors Association.
Davis’s popularity in his hometown has taken one hit after another since originally being elected to his first term in 2014, winning a landslide victory over a fairly weak candidate, Alvin Mason, with 75% of the vote.
Although the mayor was re-elected in 2018 with 55% of the vote, he again was matched against a weak opponent, 34 year old political neophyte Gould Hagler II.
Although Hagler ran what many agree was a very poor race, he was still able to garner 44% of the vote.
Davis’s disappointing tenure as mayor makes his election interesting. What qualities are the members of the AAMA looking for in a leader?
The AAMA was formed from the ashes of the National Conference of Black Mayors, a group founded in the early 1970s as the Southern Conference of Black Mayors.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the National Conference of Black Mayor’s bank records showed that from January 2010 through June 2013 the organization spent $623,000 on women’s apparel, cosmetics, personal grooming, toys, sporting tickets, a youth baseball league and direct cash payments to the organization’s executive director Vanessa Williams and her husband.
Purchases came from high-end shops such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co., Cole Hahn and Louis Vuitton, as well as Toys ‘R’ Us and StubHub, a ticket broker.
Records also indicate that NCBM paid for tuition at a private Christian school. On one day in August, 2012, someone made 13 cash withdrawals totaling $3,600 at Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans. These three above paragraphs should be together, but I know you like the separation.
The organization was taken over in what many referred to as a “coup” by then Sacramento mayor and former NBA All Star Kevin Johnson. Shortly after being elected president of the organization, he took the organization into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Johnson then left the group to form the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), and by the end of 2016, the bankruptcy cases were decided and the African American Mayors Association purchased the NCBM’s assets and naming rights.
Presenting himself as a “unifier” during his campaign for mayor, Davis has been anything but. Now that he is leading a group perhaps as dysfunctional as the Augusta Richmond County government, Insiders wonder if he will bring his own brand of ‘unity’ to the fledgling group.