Barlow: ‘Drug test us, too’

County to consider deal moving Main Street program to courthouse

New Fayette County Commissioner David Barlow wants he and his fellow commissioners to be subject to the same random drug testing program that is used on county employees.

Barlow will make his pitch Thursday night at the commission’s regular meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at the county government complex in downtown Fayetteville.

The county’s substance abuse policy requires testing for alcohol and controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, PCP and prescription medication in excess of normal amounts.

Under the county policy, employees will be suspended at least temporarily on the spot if a failed drug test is confirmed or upon failing an alcohol test. The employees can face dismissal even on that first offense, but a second offense also would result in automatic termination.

The county also requires any employee suspended under the policy to submit to a “return to duty test” no sooner than five days after and no later than 10 days from the date of the notification of the positive alcohol or drug test.

It is not clear how the policy might be adapted to create appropriate sanctions for commissioners who are elected to office and not eligible to be suspended or fired by the county manager.

When former Fayette County Commissioner Robert Horgan was arrested in May 2009 for allegedly smoking marijuana while driving, a number of residents questioned why commissioners were not subject to random drug tests the same as county employees.

In other business, the commission is slated to consider a proposal to allow Fayetteville’s Main Street program to occupy the first floor of the historic downtown courthouse that was recently vacated by the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce.

The city program will pay $6,000 a year in rent to the county and also will be required to operate a visitor’s welcome center “along with historical information, photos and/or gallery displays of the historical nature of the Fayette County Courthouse.”

Main Street would be subleasing the space from the Fayette County Development Authority, which some see as a good fit since Main Street’s program includes the city’s Downtown Development Authority as well, allowing the two groups an opportunity to interact with each other on a regular basis.

americanpatriots
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Nuk_1

You never cease to amaze me. You are a total imbecile who never has anything postive to say about anything.

NUK_1
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americanpatriots is MAD! Boo-hoo!

Big-thinkers like americanpatriots get confused over any issue that might not fit on a bumper sticker and are obviously VERY impressed with grandstanding and demagoguery.

Dude, I think the vast majority assumed already that the 5 commissioners were not going to show up for meetings or stop by their offices under the influence of drugs or booze. I also bet that none of them are terrorists either, but maybe we need to "test" them with enhanced interrogation techniques just to be sure! Make it happen!

Husband and Fat...
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Nuk

Don't pay attention to AP. He can rival the best with his pompous attitude.

The tea party couldn't find anyone intelligent to run so they got they asked the AV guy and he was dieing for the spotlight. He ran like a demagogue preacher and won. So we are stuck with him.

His first foray into policy didn't go so well with the drug testing. He's not the brightest crayon in the box. He should have sat there any quietly listened (like the intelligent Mr. Oddo), but he had to grandstand because he wanted to embarrass the former commissioner. (nice pious thing to do), instead of tackling important issues. (Grand-standing))

The man must have similar character flaws as the PTC man convicted of swindling good folks out of their life savings by convincing them that the money he was going to earn for them could go to the church. The only difference here is that he commissioner got away with it through bankruptcy (twice).

I predict in 2 yrs, AP will tire of this and move to find another candidate to represent the tea party.

On a side note, if our elected officials were required to take drug and alcohol tests, the PTC mayor could have had an avenue if he thought another member was part drunk at meetings.

PTC Observer
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NUK_1 - Let's

check their genetic make up too! They may have a biological propensity to illogically babble out loud, make outlandish claims about other's beliefs, act judgmentally and have financial weaknesses that lead them into bankruptcy. If they have a genetic marker for these traits then perhaps they should not be allowed to sit on the commission.

However, I am sure no one like this could ever win a seat on the commission.

I mean the voters would have to be pretty dumb to vote for someone that had character flaws like that. Right?

americanpatriots
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Reply to Rolling Stone

At last night's meeting, Commissioner Barlow and the other four commissioners volunteered to have themselves drug tested, at their own expense, and publish the results of their tests.

AtHomeGym
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AP & Commissioner Drug Testing

Find your comment interesting about them volunteering to get tested and pay for it---none of that shows up in the formal 'Agenda Actions' for that meeting on the FC Official Web Site!

Spyglass
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BFD

Grandstanding at its greatest.

rolling stone
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Thank you americanpatriots

I appreciate the update, and of course I agree with their decision.

NUK_1
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Let them drug test themselves if they want to

Knock yourselves out, guys, if it makes you happy.

All that will tell anyone is at the moment in time when you volunteered to be tested you were alcohol and drug-tested you were either clean or not at that moment. Sort of defeats the "random" or "probable cause" aspects of most drug-testing policies. It says nothing about future behavior or even past behavior beyond a certain time frame.

How about IQ testing and publish the results?

ptctaxpayer
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Drug Testing's last word

Drug Testing's last word will come next week when Lance Armstrong will tell Oprah he's sorry. Ha, what a crock. He claims to passed all of his tests. You are right Nuk--- a succesful test result doesn't mean a lot.

NUK_1
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The slippery slope of drug testing elected folks

When Steve Brown was the only person on the PTC council in favor of a rezoning for the Lutheran Church at 54/Peachtree Parkway so they could sell the property to a big drug store and was out-voted 4-1, did the other councilmembers think he was on drugs? Drunk? No, they just disagreed with his opinion.

This is a road that FC doesn't need to go down.

Horgan did what he did. He wasn't busted before or after a council meeting or some county activity. Get over it already. I never voted for Horgan because I thought he was kind of dumb to begin with and his votes after being elected cemented that idea in my mind 100%, but this other crap is just ludicrous and all about how Horgan didn't vote the way some very loud and self-righteous people in the county wanted him to.

Do any of you wanna-be Nazi's want to answer this for me? Was that the first time Horgan smoked week in his life? His 100th time? His 1,000,00,000th time? No, you can't because you have no idea but you had no problem deciding because he didn't vote your way that is was Armageddon that he got busted.

Let's put it succinctly, if Horgan was 100% against the WFB and had also voted against the Hearn and Frady a few other times, all we would have heard is "Christian forgiveness" and "everyone makes mistakes and deserves second chances" instead of the mass hysteria over what is actually a misdemeanor charge even in this Bible Belt state.

Horgan was a buffoon that was replaced by Charles Oddo, a candidate that I publically and privately supported despite the hysterics of one "americanpatriots." Let's move on to governance now.

AtHomeGym
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Nuk & Testing

Of course you're right about the testing--if it isn't random,it's no good. The offer to get tested at self-expense really is an insult to the voting citizen's intelligence. If I had thought any of the 3 Commissioners I voted for were drugies or alkies, simply wouldn't have voted for them. I don't need proof, especially if it's to be self-mandated and they get to choose when. There are simply many more issues facing the commissioners of more importance than to be wasting time on testing. After having given it some thought, if I was one of the other Commissioners, I would take such a suggestion as a personal insult. Voters have already demonstrated their full faith and confidence in those elected. Leave it alone and get to work fixing what's wrong!

SPQR
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AHG

How can you possibly insult the intelligence of an electorate that voted for the demagoguery candidate

AtHomeGym
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SPQR & 'insulting the intelligence of the electorate'

That's your interpretation. And it wasn't much of a challenge at all!

Husband and Fat...
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AHG

You're right. There are more important issues to discuss. Mr. All Rightious was trying to embarrass a former commissioner but failed to do his homework. Random drug testing is good and I am all for it. The commissioner can pat himself on the back for proposing this, but some of us realize, he was grand standing and lacked study of the issue.

Husband and Fat...
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Nuk

It appears that Mr. All Rightous didn't do enough homework before discussing this with the press. Would have thought that with 2 months to prepare for the job, he would have done some research first.

You may be right about the IQ test.

Husband and Fat...
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What changed

One would have thought after the big announcement that this would pass 5-0. What changed thier position?

AtHomeGym
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Commissioner Testing

By Golly, I say "Don't stop there!" Let's get theDefense Investigative Service conduct a complete Special Background Investigation (including Neighborhood interviews--you know, just to make sure we've elected some good guys!

rolling stone
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My suggestion

Commissioner Barlow could have himself drug tested, announce the results, and issue an open invitation to others to follow his example, all at their own expense.

SPQR
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Commissioner Barlow

God's loose cannon. This is going to be a hoot.

pips1414
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Mr. Barlow didn't write this article, he just wants good leaders

In the past, we did have at least one commissioner convicted of using controlled substances. It made metro news and thousands saw the story on TV. But even factoring out the image it cast upon Fayette County, most of us wouldn't want our commissioners making important decisions affecting all of us while under the influence of illegal drugs.

I applaud Mr. Barlow for taking the initiative of imposing restrictions on the commissioners that will be beneficial to the people of Fayette County. He is trying to set an example that an organization should go all out to ensure that all county employees must adhere to the restriction from the ground up, and not just the worker bees. I would not support Mr. Barlow or any other commissioner if he were arguing to exempt the commissioners from drug testing, while requiring it of their subordinates.

Let's give Commissioner Barlow our support for doing the right thing.

If any readers are in favor of another commissioner drug bust, please speak up!

Husband and Fat...
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Drug testing

Is it just me, or could this have waited a meeting or two? It seems pretty vindictive for Barlow to go after Mr. Horgan so fast. Couldn't commissioner Barlow just pray for the man? Me thinks he is turning into the chairman.

Guess Mr. Barlow won't be taking any tokes in the Hallelujah van or visting the Grand Cafe Hookah Lounge late at night.

The Wedge
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Husband and Father, huh???

We had an election for County Board of Commissioners and had three new commissioners that started on January 1, 2013. There are Charles Oddo, David Barlow and Randy Ognio. Additionally, Allen McCarty and Steve Brown started their terms in 2010 and 2011 respectively. How would any action that would affect the current Board of Governors affect former commissioner Horgan? I can only assume two courses of thought for you. The better would be that you were remiss and could not remember the results of last year's election and thought that Horgan would be affected, or that you knew that he wasn't going to be affected but wanted to make a cheap shot against someone that you do not like for whatever reason. I await with bated breath to see what course of thought to mentally assign to you.

Husband and Fat...
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Cheap shot

and uncalled for right out the gate. Don't you think there are more important issues?

And by the way, I disliked Horgan with a passion and support the drug test.

Just thought it was a cheap shot out the gate from a newcomer.

We didnt see a classy guy like Oddo seeking the spotlight.

The Wedge
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Okay, H&F

You called it as I thought it was. I don't know any of them and certainly agreed with a post of yours further along about disclosure for our elected officials. There was no need to tie it to Horgan as if Barlow was going after him. Regardless, I do hope that we have adult leadership at the county level. Regardless of party, there seems to be corruption whenever one party holds all of the power at the local level (or really any level). Our founders devised a system that had effective checks and balances aginst the accumulation of power into one governmental hand. Too bad we have abandoned that

Citizen Bob
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H & F

It's just you...

stranger than f...
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Hi Citizen Bob

Shouldn't you be recommending a Governor appointed commission to determine these matters since locally elected officials are far too stupid too govern themselves?

Husband and Fat...
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Bob

I would be more impressed if the man presented a motion that all commissioners have to publicize any jobs they or anyone in their family take on, or boards they are appointed to and announce how they are being compensated.

Don't we all hear about jobs/business deals created for commissioners or thier families and how that has affected decisions? (Gwinnett County / Fayette County) Didn't everyone moan about a commissioner having ties to a bank?

Instead of grandstanding about a drug test to dig at a former commissioner, how about presenting something of real substance?

We don't see commissioner Oddo grandstanding like this now do we?

Larry Sussberg
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Husband & Father & Citizen Bob

I think we need to give the commissioners time to settle in. Sort of like a new a basketball team with rookie players...they need time and they sure have their plates full.

Personally, I'm more concerned about Peachtree City and very interested in developing a TAKE BACK PEACHTREE CITY PAC....

mudcat
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TAKE PTC BACK PAC. Good idea, timely too

Reasons and the goals are the same as the last time it was needed to prevent Brown's second term. Need now (as back then) a better voter turnout, a more informed voter group and viable candidates willing to take on the incumbent. Of course this time it is easier because communication is easier (thanks to this forum) and the theft of $12,000 is actually grand larceny. Brown never stole anything from the city except a couple hours of Gloria's time to pick up his kids at school or soccer.

At the same time it might be harder to get a leadership group together. All the old Direct PAC people are gone, so some new folks need to step forward with their time and wallets.

Your slogan is cool, can be changed slightly to be TAKE PEACHTREE CITY BACK PAC (or PACK) and get hundreds of actual backpacks embroidered with that slogan and give them to all the school kids, sell them at World Gym (on board with that Dar?) and hand them out at Food Truck gatherings , Farmers Market and Road Races. The beauty of the Backpack is that the slogan applies to all challengers and all they would have to do is add their own name. The goal should be to get at least one into each of the 11,000 homes we have here. Candidates for the 2 city council seats could us them as well.

Then after that embarrassing little mayor is gone, we can just put a sticker with the word GOT over the word TAKE and the backpack is usable for 4 more years. Maybe that will remind us to vet our candidates more carefully.

SPQR
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stretch

calling this blog a forum is a bit of a stretch since most (not all)comments are anonymous

Husband and Fat...
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Larry

That's one of my points. Instead of settling in at his first meeting, Mr. too big for his britches wants to settle a score out the gate.

I am all for drug tests. But, this was childish and grandstanding. We don't need that BS.

If the guy wants to make points, lets make sure all of our new commissioners stay on the up and up. You never know when someone would hire Mr. Barlow to videotape thier kids Bar Mitzvah and then want to discuss a land deal a few weeks later.

mudcat
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He previewed his holier-than-thou attitude in the election

I thought Shelia Huddleston would have been a better choice and voted for her. Others ignored the warning signs (including his financial foibles) and voted for he preacher.

AtHomeGym
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Mudkitty, Commissioner & Testing

Like you, I didn't vote for him either but on the face of it, isn't it illogical for the Commissioners to be exempt from random testing if all other county employees must participate?

mudcat
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Illogical to be exempt? No, not at all.

County employees are subject to random testing as part of their employment contract and can be suspended or terminated by the county manager for whom they all work. Commissioners do not have an employment contract, their oath of office does not mention drug use and the county manager actually works for them, so all that is a non-starter. Only path that makes sense is to revise the ethical standards to include random drug testing and the appropriate punishment and then at least you have something that is a legal process and not subject to challenge.

You have to set these things up properly ahead of time and you have to assume you will be dealing with personalities like Mr. (do you know who I am?) Horgan or Haddix who fights things just for the heck of it or even Brown who persecutes his perceived enemies with vigor.

In addition, being a Commissioner is a part-time job and you'd have to be as dumb as a box of hammers to show up at one of your 2 meetings required each month stoned or high or even part-drunk. Unless Preacher Barlow wants to do random testing when the Commissioners are outside their workplace and off-duty, then we are really on a slippery slope.