The public vs. ‘immovable’ Frady, Horgan, Hearn, Krakeel
At our Jan. 27 County Board of Commissioners meeting, the general public got to see my wanting to move on an issue versus the immovable Chairman Herb Frady.
I ran for a county commission post to make things happen; and if those things do not happen through public pressure, I try to make them happen.
There is a core group made up of Chairman Frady, Commissioners Lee Hearn and Robert Horgan and County Administrator Jack Krakeel who are desperately trying to become an immovable force, especially when the issue happens to be the West Fayetteville Bypass.
Truly, the “Core Four” are aware of the ever-increasing public anger over their willingness to continue to pursue the unwarranted and expensive bypass project. Their fervent desire to disregard the will of the people is what caused Chairman Frady to behave irrationally at the Jan. 27 meeting.
As another immovable, Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele, admitted, the West Fayetteville Bypass has nothing to do with relieving current traffic from Fayetteville, but is intended for future development from North Fayette all the way down to Starr’s Mill, a developer welfare project of sorts.
Dear people, it was no accident that the empty Rivers Elementary School (another waste of your tax dollars) was built along the path of the West Fayetteville Bypass.
So I properly declared my desire to speak on some issues concerning the West Fayetteville Bypass within the Commissioner Reports section of the Jan. 27 meeting agenda. Every commissioner has the right to add an item to the agenda. In fact, every agenda item I have placed on an agenda has been properly filed.
Previously, Chairman Frady had the Commissioner Reports section removed from the Jan. 5 and Jan. 13 agendas to prevent Commissioner Allen McCarty and me from being able to speak on issues of concern. This was the chairman’s first attempt at censoring elected officials.
At our first meeting on Jan. 5, the county administrator handed me a copy of Fayette County Policy and Procedures, Section 100.03, regarding the uniform process for the placement of requests on the agenda. And on several occasions, the county administrator firmly insisted that I had to follow the policy and I happily agreed to do so.
A day or so following, I approached the county administrator and asked him why the county has a double-standard with my having to file a request for an agenda item by the policy while Chairman Frady and Commissioners Hearn and Horgan were not. I cited several examples from my research.
Later, on Jan. 13, I received a memorandum from the county administrator stating, in an about face, it was not within his authority to place commissioner-requested items on the formal meeting agenda as the Section 100.03 required.
Attached to this memorandum was a copy of a legal opinion from the county attorney which contained several errors. However, the main thrust of the legal opinion was to say that Policy and Procedures, Section 100.03 was merely “guidance” and the Board of Commissioners did not have to comply.
I sent an email to Chairman Frady admonishing him for his attempt at censorship and the lack of free speech with the removal of the Commissioner Reports. Under pressure, the chairman placed the reports back on the agenda and I promptly filed my desire to speak on issues regarding the West Fayetteville Bypass on the Jan. 27 agenda.
Everything was fine until 15 minutes prior to the meeting when Chairman Frady expressed he did not like what I was going to say. Mind you, he had to admit he had not even read the slides I was going to present as part of my report.
He told me that I would not be allowed to speak to which I replied that he did not have the authority to make that call, not to mention it was civilly and professionally inappropriate.
At the start of the meeting, the chairman raised a plain piece of paper with his handwriting on it and claimed I was not on the agenda. My reply was that I had properly filed well in advance with the county clerk and I would not stand for Chairman Frady censoring the speech of a Board of Commissioners member.
From that time forward, whenever I tried to speak, the chairman rabidly pounded the gavel on the dais and yelled that I was out of order. He stated the reason I was out of order was that my topic, the West Fayetteville Bypass, was not legitimate county business.
Everyone in the audience was baffled at how the West Fayetteville Bypass, a project discussed in earnest by the Board of Commissioners since 2003, was not county business.
Three in the audience left in disgust. Others in the full room went to the podium during a public comment section and lectured the chairman and Commissioner Horgan on their poor performance for around an hour.
The audio of the meeting will soon be available (www.fayettecountyga.gov) and I strongly suggest you listen for yourself.
The citizens of Fayette County should not have to put up with the Core Four making up the rules as they go to promote their interests.
Likewise, it is time for you to get involved, attend meetings and sign petitions against the West Fayetteville Bypass and government censorship, taking back Fayette County from the special interests.
Fayette Commissioner, Post 4