Why do commissioners keep secrets, vote with no explanations?

You get a funny feeling after reviewing some of the recent decisions by the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, and maybe a few questions.

There is a great deal of curiosity (suspicion?) regarding what Commissioner Lee Hearn, Commissioner Robert Horgan and Chairman Herb Frady are really up to lately.

Disbelief creeps in when you see the three commissioners spending $89,000 in tax dollars on paving a dead-end gravel road with two houses on it at the same time they claim there is no funding to do far more important projects.

When a proposal was introduced to create a better process for selecting people for boards, commissions, and authorities (including a look at qualifications and conflicts of interest), Hearn, Horgan and Frady shot it down. They still prefer handling the selection process much more informally between themselves.

Chairman Frady and Commissioner Hearn said they liked the way the nominations and appointments are being currently handled; they “... knew the nominee’s qualifications better than anyone else and they were the best judges of who should be nominated and appointed to the various positions.”

In light of the recently botched County Elections Board selection, their assumed candidate knowledge was pitiful: Chairman Frady and Commissioner Horgan were caught completely unaware that Hearn had nominated (and they went on to elect) Hearn’s cousin.

Their lack of candidate knowledge becomes much more obvious when they further learned that Hearn’s cousin owns land close to the controversial West Fayetteville Bypass that Frady, Hearn and Horgan support. Yet, the three of them opposed a process that would more fully examine nominees for sensitive offices. ALL of our commissioners should be avoiding even the appearance of the gross improprieties from these revelations.

It’s also prudent to be wary of three commissioners who give an unbudgeted, across-the-board pay raise that never appeared on a meeting agenda.

To this day, not one of the three commissioners has been able to give an independently supportable explanation of why we need to build the West Fayetteville Bypass. None of them can defend their votes in favor of keeping Fayette County in the regional mass transit plan either.

Why do officials keep secrets and vote in ways they can’t explain? Why would we want to keep such officials?

Dennis Benson

Peachtree City, Ga.

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