Barlow to challenge for Frady’s commission position

Tyrone resident David Barlow has announced he will seek the Post 2 seat on the Fayette County Commission currently held by veteran politician Herb Frady.

Frady for his part said he has not decided whether he will run for re-election.

There’s no arguing that Barlow and Frady are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, as Barlow sides with the vision of current commissioners Steve Brown and Allen McCarty.

Barlow doesn’t mince words about how he sizes up the other three commissioners, Lee Hearn, Robert Horgan and Frady.

“Lee Hearn in my personal opinion is manipulative, Herb Frady is a senile old man and Horgan is just a criminal. That’s how I look at those three guys,” Barlow said.

Hearn, Horgan and Frady are up for re-election this year, and Barlow is critical of their support for the West Fayetteville Bypass. Barlow said that had he been on the board last year, he would have voted with Brown and McCarty to scrap the bypass and reduce county property tax rates commensurately.

Barlow, who is a certified court videographer by trade, became politically active several years ago with the Fayette County Tea Party, which eventually became known as the Take Back Fayette County political action committee, after moving from Louisiana to be near his grandchildren. He credits a video from a candidate forum in 2010 in helping oust commission members Eric Maxwell and Jack Smith, and since then he had taken to videotaping county commission meetings on occasion, airing them on YouTube; they can be found by searching under his YouTube username: DBarlow777.

“The good thing about video is you don’t have to discuss it, it speaks for itself,” Barlow said.

But it wasn’t until June 23 of last year that Barlow decided he would run for a commission seat. That’s when he heard what he called the “final straw” as a citizen told the commission in essence that if they wanted the West Fayetteville Bypass, they should pay for it themselves.

Barlow also speaks with reverence of several residents who emotionally pleaded with the commission to reduce property taxes.

“I thought gosh, I really could help these people,” Barlow said. “... I had held signs on the streets for other candidates, but I have never been the name on the sign, that guy,” Barlow said, recalling his support for then-President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

In addition to his distaste for the West Fayetteville Bypass, Barlow said he would like to see the commission improve its transparency to citizens. Barlow said he wants the commission to take questions from citizens and provide answers at the same meeting.

Currently, when approached with mundane questions about county matters, commissioners will occasionally respond to residents or ask county staff to meet and address their concerns. But when the topic strays to one of controversy, particularly from someone who is critical of the board’s decisions, the board largely remains silent except for a comment from Frady thanking them for their input.

“There needs to be an opportunity for a citizen to ask a question and get an answer in my opinion,” Barlow said, adding that he advocates that change happen as soon as possible.

Barlow does not hide his faith from his actions, either, as a born-again Christian who advertises his faith on his vehicle, which he calls the “hallejulah-van.” He credits God with helping reconcile with his wife Cherie after their divorce and eventual remarriage.

Barlow also has been publicly critical of new Fayette County School Board Chairman Leonard Presberg, asking at a recent school board meeting if Presberg would reveal which religion he ascribes to after it was called into question when details of Presberg’s association with a group called the Fayette Freethought Society became public knowledge.

Presberg didn’t respond, and BoE member Janet Smola said Barlow’s comments violated the board’s policy preventing personal attacks during public comments.

Barlow defended his stance this week, saying he felt Presberg’s religion matters because those who hold seats in authority should be transparent.

Barlow said he was concerned about how Presberg, who was appointed in October to a vacant seat by the other four board members, rose to be the group’s chairman shortly after the BoE voted 3-2 to settle the district voting lawsuit brought forth by the Fayette County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Barlow said he felt there was some maneuvering behind the scenes prior to Presberg being selected chairman.

Frady said he was waiting to see who else will seek his Post 2 seat on the commission before deciding whether or not to run. He noted that with an $80 million budget to manage, the job isn’t for everyone, nothing that he once ran a company in Peachtree City with a $30 million budget.

The budget, in fact, is one area which Barlow acknowledges is a weakness for now, but says he hopes to get up to speed on.

As for the field seeking seats on the commission, Frady suggested that the local Republican Party could help vet the candidates to help provide knowledge on their backgrounds.

pips1414
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What About the Republican Party?

Over the past few years, I've attended several of the local party meetings and breakfasts and noticed that the three amigos never showed up. Last time I asked some of the regular attendees where Hearn, Horgan and Frady were, since they represented themselves to be Republicans. From the answers I got, the three amigos are on a completely different page than the party is. My understanding is that they have not attended recent Republican Party functions. In fact, they were given a letter of reprimand by the party regarding the controversial Lester appointment to the Elections Committee.

Mr. Barlow and Mr. Ognio, on the other hand, do attend party meetings, and I get the distinct impression that they share party values . It was also observed that Fayette Commissioners Steve Brown and Allen McCarty were in attendance. It appears to me that the three amigos are not in agreement with the party leaders, or they would be willing to participate in party functions. Since the Republican Party covers all of Fayette county, I would caution anyone considering voting for the three amigos to first give the party headquarters a visit, or at least talk to some of its members. Most of the folks I've met there are very hard working, and want Fayette County government to be more transparent than it currently is.

I also gleaned that the party and the 3 amigos are not on the best of terms from what I've seen and heard. Why they create the appearance of being aloof probably goes pretty deep, and would be better answered by those who know them better than I do.

After all, we don't want a house divided against itself.

AtHomeGym
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pips1414 & party affiliation

It should be apparent that some politicos will hang whichever letter behind their name that they believe will help them get elected!

PTC Observer
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Qualified Candidates

Mr. Frady, the democratic system will decide who is and isn't qualified to run for this office. The fact that Mr. Barlow hasn't run anything makes him qualified to be the President of United States of America, with a budget considerably larger than the county.

lion
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Barlow and religion

Barlow talks like a religious witch hunter and he is apparently not the only one in Fayette County.

I do not follow local politics closely but Barlow and others clearly cross the line when they demand that a member of the school board publicly explain his personal religious beliefs.

The message seems clear. If you are not a conservative Christian, then you have no business holding public office in our county. How sad and un-American.

suggarfoot
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I don't think Mr Barlow is a religious Witch hunter

It is only natural to ask about this group that Presberg is a member of. Again, I want someone who is honest and says what they think. Mr Barlow does that.

I think what really was the downfall of Presberg was siding with Smith and Smola and then the same night getting made chairman of the BOE. How naive do they think the voters are?

AtHomeGym
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Sweetfeet, Barlow, Presberg, & Horgan

Are you forgetting that both Todd & Key voted to appoint Presberg? Clearly his religious affiliation (if any) had no impact on their decision--so why should Barlow make it such an issue? Finally, does Bonnie Willis live in Horgan's District? If yes, wouldn't it be great if she ran to replace him?

ginga1414
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Bonnie Willis and Angela Hinton Fonda

Bonnie Willis and Angela Hinton Fonda would be great candidates for any office in Fayette County. They could both serve extremely well on the BOE or BOC.

As an attorney, Angela Hinton Fonda could bring some much needed legal expertise to the table for our commissioners. Imagine that, an attorney on the Board of Commissioners!! Maybe we wouldn't be in this reapportionment mess with Angela Hinton Fonda on the board.

The people of Fayette County aren't afforded the opportunity to have a say about who represents our legal interests when it comes to choosing a county attorney. However, if we elected an attorney to the BOC.......

Davids mom
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Angela Hinton Fonda?
Cyclist
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I wonder if "Sniffles"

will run for the BOE.

suggarfoot
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I didn't think they voted for Presberg

but I will ask them. I don't know Bonnie Willis, I think I've heard of her...is she a teacher?

Davids mom
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Bonnie Willis?

Her education:
Teachers College of Columbia University
MA, Organizational Psychology
1995 – 1997

Activities and Societies: SHRH Columbia Univ. Chapter - Vice President, SHRM Foundation Award Winner, Organizational Development Network (ODN), Double Discovery Center Volunteer, Pfizer Pharmaceutical Internship Program
Harvard University
BA, Psychology
1991 – 1995

Activities and Societies: Harvard Foundation - Student Ambassador, Cabot House Intramural Football Captain, Psychology Department Research Assistant, Expressions Dance Company, Kuumba Singers - Soloist

Accomplished & inspirational learning & development leader with 10+ years of experience using talent development, integrated systems & skills training and change management strategies to address organizational opportunities to improve people performance and operational efficiency

Clients: AstraZeneca International, AT&T, Avis Rental Car, Bayer, Deloitte & Touche, i2 Technologies, Kellog, Kodak, NEC Computers, Pfizer, Inc.

Specialties
Organizational Learning & Development
Change Management
Talent Development
Systems Implementation & Soft Skills Training
Performance Measurement & Evaluation
Organizational Effectiveness
Communications Planning
Small & Large Group Facilitation
Team Building
Financial Management
Personality Assessments

Veritas
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Presberg appointment

Vote to appoint Presberg to the Board was unanimous the vote to make Presberg chair of board
Was split Smith, Smola and the megalomaniac Preberg( voting for himself) for .... Todd and Key against

AtHomeGym
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Lion, Barlow & Religion

Hey Lion, you get one vote, just like me! Choose wisely.

pips1414
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Mr. Barlow's Remarks

I can't speak about when a person becomes senile. But it is very hard for me to hear Mr. Frady at the Commissioners meetings. When compared with the other commissioners, he sounds like he is mumbling, and his microphone invariably sounds as though it is being thumped. I'll have to give him credit, though, for not falling asleep at the meetings since he's become Chairman of the Commissioners. Back in the old days of the Jack Smith group, several of us noticed that he would occasionally get in a few snoozes. It's a hard thing to face, but the family doctor told me many years ago that we will all face senility if we live long enough.

Back to Mr. Barlow, I have known him for about two years, and found him to be brutally honest. When he believes that the county is headed in the wrong direction, he has no qualms over making his views known to everyone. While his mode of umpiring the commissioners in local media may not be quite in sync with the methods others would use, I'll have to give him credit for his strong, unwavering stance on transparency.

Based upon what I've seen, if Mr. Barlow thinks any county money is in danger of being misappropriated, all will know his views immediately. To that end, Mr. Barlow lives by strong religious principles that he has applied to his life. He has not been on a witch hunt in any matters regarding the current and past commissioners. What they have said and done is a matter of record. The growing desire for more transparency in county government has precipitated the removal of four key county and city officials.

It certainly doesn't take much thinking to see that the three holdover commissioners are not interested in the reasons their allies were defeated. They just go on doing the same thing. The only real way to get them out is by continuing to specifically point out the consequences of their policies. These comments result in unsupported attacks from those who do not fully understand just how deep-rooted this county is in special interests.What I don't hear is how these three folks are definitely somewhat less than in tune with the majority of voters. How long has it been since Frady, Horgan and Hearn have voted against each other? As Chairman Frady goes, so goes Fayette County. Should he declare his candidacy, it won't be long before we'll have some evidence as to which direction the voters feel it's going.

And to carry this a step further, we are all locked in to vote or not vote on the final nominees for Commissioner. While we may not all agree upon how a candidate might express himself, we will never get transparency from the same crowd that has followed the drum beat of those who got us here in the first place. For that reason, I doubt that we will see any support for Frady's, Hearn's or Horgan's accomplishments that will amount to a drop in the bucket when compared to the negative press they've received.

Sure, candidates can fight with paper swords. But give me a candidate who will stand up for his principles anytime. Frady and company have a block of stock in the Board of Commissioners that won't afford either Commissioner Brown or Commissioner McCarty a chance to represent those who elected them.

yellowjax1212
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Now That's making A Good First Impression

“Lee Hearn in my personal opinion is manipulative, Herb Frady is a senile old man and Horgan is just a criminal. That’s how I look at those three guys,” Barlow said.

Guy sounds like a real statesman.

suggarfoot
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Barlow is simply saying what the rest of us are thinking...

I know it is in every politicians book of rules, to smoozze with the enemy, but a lot of us respect honesty straight up.

Hearn, Horgan, and Frady, are what they are. Brown and McCarthy tried to give them respect and got absolutely NO WHERE. Their kindness was not returned by Frady, Hearn, and Horgan. They have proved it is pointless to give them any respect they haven't earned, or the benifit of any doubt.

Again, Barlow, is saying what we are all thinking and not mincing words. Their actions, and obvious contempt for the taxpayers wishes, has proven they deserve nothing but our scorn.

Mr Barlow is our advocate for the abused and overtaxed citizen. Thank you Mr Barlow.

Robert W. Morgan
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Statesman no, but a real anti-incumbent populist opportunist

He does have a good grasp of the hot button populist issues in the county and if he keeps that up he will be elected and his mentor in the shadows will be elected chairman of the county commission. So be it. Frady would be foolish to run and I doubt he will. The other 2 would also be foolish, but they might actually run. The beauty of Barlow's approach is that he can run against the incumbent who isn't running and therefore won't fight back. And you can count on Mr. Frady to do some critiquable things during his last few months in power.

And since Barlow has first ownership of that populist anti-incumbebt position he won't draw any competition. I mean what are the others going to say "yea, me too!". So the others who want to run will go after one of the other seats - unless of course the district voting thing takes effect soon. Smart move coming out early, Mr. Barlow. I assume you are smart enough to live in Frady's district should that become a factor.

NUK_1
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yellowjax: That is what passes for "leadership" here

a politician or candidate attacking everyone over and over personally is what really turns on people like ginga, pips, and the anti-everything crowd. They worship people like Haddix and Brown and I'm sure they will be spewing all kinds of glorious praise on Barlow at any second. They are single-issue voters without a clue of anything besides their single issue.

If they had any ideas of merit, constant character attacks on people who feel differently from themselves wouldn't be an issue, but these people aren't anything like what you would call "deep thinkers."

I'm no fan of Herb Frady since his time as an elected official in PTC and he needs to go, but replacing him with some huge Bible-thumping chump like Barlow is not an improvement at all.

AtHomeGym
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Hey Nuk, why not

jump in the candidate pool! Welcome back, BTW, you been outta country?

NUK_1
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No and Yes

Been gone from both the US and here, but I've been reading what's been happening from abroad. I didn't like what was going on with the whole Pressberg/FreethinkWhatever at all so I left with kevin and Mainstream for a while. I am not sure if I will contribute much here any more because I still have reservations about what I see The Citizen trying to do right now of basically smearing the hell out of of a group of people(Fayette FReeThink or whatever they are called) and someone who wishes to keep his beliefs a private matter(Pressberg).

The whole idea that someone who gets appointed to a vacant position-which was how the BOE rules were already established-is a total loser even before his vote on the whole district voting controversy and how that is fed to the public by this newspaper disgusts me. Judge the man by his actions and votes, not whether he'll say what you DEMAND he answer about his religious or non-religious beliefs.

AtHomeGym
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Nuk & Posting

Yep, understand your position--seems to me to be much ado about not much. But hey, you can lurk and still stop by & visit when we have a meet!

NUK_1
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AHG: Ready for that

Next coffee confab...I should be able to make it!

ginga1414
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Frady Is Most Certainly

a "veteran politician!"

We have too many veteran politicians. That is what's wrong with our local, State and Federal Governments.

We don't make ourselves aware of the issues until they are so big and ugly we can't ignore them any longer.

Issues get big and ugly because we keep electing the same folks just because we don't know who else to vote for.

mudcat
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Oh goody goody gumdrop, Mr. Barlow

Align with Brown
Calls Horgan a criminal
Frady is senile
Hearn is manipultive

Fine. That's exactly what we need on Fayette County Commission.
Good positive approch to campaigning.

AtHomeGym
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Mudkitty & Barlow campaign

Hey, if you don't like his positions or somments, pay the fee and compete. At least he's offering us an alternative and it seems all you're offering is a whine.

skyspy
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Let's Face it mudkitty

Barlow has a firm grasp of the obvious when it comes to these 3. They need to go.

MYTMITE
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Mudkitty, you complaining about someone else coming down hard

on someone? Come on, don't make me laugh--you are the master or is that mistress? LOL

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