It appears that Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams is taking his role as Vito Corleone a little too seriously these days.
Just last year, The Insider joked that Williams was trying to become “The Godfather” of Augusta.
This nickname came about after Williams allegedly struck a deal with fellow commissioner Grady Smith to hire City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson in exchange for making Smith the mayor pro tem.
Smith’s vote last year to approve Jackson immediately raised suspicions that there was some backroom trading going on.
All right, so what did Williams allegedly offer Smith for his vote?
Apparently, Smith asked Williams to support appointing Hap Harris to the District 7 seat vacated last year by disgraced former Augusta Commissioner Donnie Smith.
That deal didn’t turn out too well for Harris or Smith, eh?
In the end, Harris lost the District 7 election and, sure, Smith became the mayor pro tem, but these days he has very little influence and power on the commission.
So, who’s running the show these days?
“The Godfather” Marion Williams.
But that may soon change.
This week, Williams took on fellow commissioner Sammie Sias without fully thinking about the consequences.
Sias is not your typical commissioner.
He is financially secure, he seems like a genuinely happy individual and he has spent almost 30 years in the U.S. Army.
Sias is tough.
He doesn’t roll over when things get personal. Instead, he confront them. Not physically, but head on.
He doesn’t mince words. In fact, he is pretty blunt when he feels like someone is doing him wrong.
When Williams decided to play politics this week by attacking Sias for his role as manager of the Jamestown Community Center, the truth of the matter is “The Godfather” hit below the belt.
The Jamestown Community Center and the Sandridge neighborhood are not simply “pet projects” for Sias. That entire community is his life. It’s his family. It’s his legacy.
Williams took on a battle he can’t win and it was a major political misstep.
If other commissioners see Williams harshly attacking Sias, they won’t even bother listening to him. Instead, they’ll start banding together to fight against him.
Once they band together, Williams’ power is nonexistent. He will no longer be “The Godfather” of Augusta. He will become “crazy ol’ Marion Williams” again.
Needless to say, Williams underestimated Sias.
For those of you familiar with the HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Puzo” Mario Puzo novel, “ HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Godfather_(novel)” The Godfather” and the HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Godfather” 1972 film adaptation, it appears Williams thought Sias was more like the character Jack Woltz.
In the book, Woltz is a film producer who refuses to cast famous singer and actor HYPERLINK “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Fontane” Johnny Fontane in a war film that could revive Fontane’s career. Fontane asks Vito Corleone to pressure Woltz into giving him the part.
Despite the request, Woltz still refuses to cast Fontane.
Those of you who have seen the film version of “The Godfather” will remember the shocking scene when Woltz wakes up the next morning to find the severed head of his prized thoroughbred in his bed.
It’s a bloody and gruesome scene in the movie.
Well, Williams learned a difficult lesson this week.
Sias is no Frank Woltz and the Jamestown Community Center is not his prized thoroughbred horse.
If Williams tries to sever Sias from the Jamestown Community Center, he will likely find himself without any power or respect from any of the commissioners.
You don’t attack the community a commissioners loves.
If you do, you’ll find yourself in no man’s land.