Frady, Brown clash over bypass, agenda
Brown claims censorship; Frady says Brown’s ‘rebuttal’ on project is not county business
Things took a turn for the worse early on at Thursday night’s meeting of the Fayette County Commission.
It devolved to the point where commissioner Steve Brown raised his voice in a bid to overpower the gavel-banging from Chairman Herb Frady.
Brown quieted down after Frady suggested that if he did not compose himself, Brown could be removed from the meeting.
The scenario started innocently, with Frady asking Brown about an item Brown wanted added to the agenda regarding the West Fayetteville Bypass.
Brown expressed frustration that it was not already on the agenda, arguing that he had gone through proper channels to do so in time for the meeting.
Frady suggested that Brown merely wanted to offer “rebuttal” about the bypass, which he did not consider official business for the commission to take up during a meeting.
Soon after, Brown authored a motion to add the bypass to the agenda, which failed on a 2-2 tie.
Following the vote, Frady banged the gavel over Brown’s raised voice multiple times to cut off the discussion. But Brown wasn’t finished yet: he exclaimed that he wanted it on the record that he was being “censored.”
Within seconds, Frady ended the matter, banging his gavel several more times and lashing out at Brown for the spectacle.
“Steve, you’re out of order. If you want to remain in this room, you’ll stay in order,” Frady warned.
At the end of the meeting, an exasperated Brown voted against the motion to adjourn, though he lost that vote too on a 3-1 count.
Brown, who took office weeks ago, has pledged to stop the West Fayetteville Bypass.
Following the meeting, Brown told reporters that he wanted to tell the audience — which consisted largely of bypass opponents — that the previous commission had never voted to shift money from the East Fayetteville Bypass to the West Fayetteville Bypass, which is why county staff is not to blame for what some have perceived as a “mishandling” of open records requests on the matter.
Brown added that he wanted to ask county staff to investigate reports he has received of an agent for the county using “intimidating and rude language” with some of the property owners along the West Fayetteville Bypass. Brown also said he wanted to address critics who have accused him of supporting the West Fayetteville Bypass years ago with evidence that he has never supported the project.