Brown: Commission has ‘gone off the deep end’ on spending; stop the bypass
I invite everyone to visit my website at www.sb4faycom.com for information on my campaign and to find out how you can help.
While the incumbents on the county board of commissioners have gone off the deep end on spending, there is a lot I can do to help the county return to common-sense conservatism.
It does not take a rocket scientist to see the West Fayetteville Bypass cannot be justified. Your vote to defeat the incumbents and elect Allen McCarty and me will be the people’s mandate to stop the foolish road.
Think about it. Terminating that one project will produce tens of millions of dollars for other road projects and modifications that can really benefit commuters in our county. We will take those funds and use the common-sense approach of looking at modifying Ga. Highway 85 and Ga. Highway 314 to improve flow conditions as well as other road network modifications, arterial and collector roads, which could improve traffic flow.
Truthfully, the West Fayetteville Bypass is not even a bypass. It’s just the county government machine taking care of the influential developers at our expense. I will work on identifying the critical projects that will do the most good and fund them. The West Fayetteville Bypass is not a critical project; in fact, the best it would rate would be “non-essential.”
There were other transportation SPLOST projects that could not be implemented because the wasteful West Fayetteville Bypass was taking up the remainder of the funds. We need to be penny-wise and penny-pinching by implementing the projects that give us the most efficiency.
The majority of us know the projects in the last SPLOST referendum were just pure pork-barrel politics, full of pet projects. Look, I have a record as a government official. I never tried to pull something like the last SPLOST referendum, an insult to the taxpayers, and I will never attempt anything like it in the future.
It is pretty obvious the incumbents on the county board of commissioners are not practicing fiscal and managerial conservatism. Tax revenues are down and they needed to budget accordingly; instead they tried to gouge us with the ridiculous SPLOST, wanting us to build roads we do not need and pay the county’s entire debt service, giving future residents a free ride on our backs.
The incumbent commissioners increased their contingency funds (unbudgeted tax dollars used at the discretion of the commissioners) by 100 percent over the last two years. The tough budgets that tighten due to the rough economy do not call for more discretionary spending from the commissioners. It’s insulting to cut our level of services at the same time the incumbent commissioners increase their discretionary spending funds.
One of the main problems is the citizens do not get a say in how their government is run. Go through the minutes of the county board of commissioners meetings and it becomes pretty clear they don’t really care what the people think.
If you as a citizen in our community have a problem with an item on the commission’s agenda, you cannot say anything. You get exactly three minutes at the very beginning of the meeting to say something and nothing more. There is no dialogue with the constituents when an agenda item is being discussed amongst the commissioners.
Ask any reporter who ever covered one of my meetings in Peachtree City and they will tell you I conduct the most open meetings in the state. I am a diehard advocate for the First Amendment. You pay the taxes, so you should have a say.
The incumbent commissioners do not fit the public servant model. Public servants don’t block you out and ignore you. Even my political adversaries will tell you I give the citizens complete access to THEIR government (my meeting minutes were chock full of constituent comments and suggestions throughout the meetings).
I will end with this; I have unquestionably proved that I will stand up to the local special interests who would gladly wreck our beautiful county for an extra handful of dollars. My opponent, the incumbent Jack Smith, crosses the line and stands on the other side.
The Bank of Georgia, by their own admission, is a developer-run bank that overwhelmingly funds development projects in Fayette County. The incumbent Jack Smith is on the board of directors of The Bank of Georgia. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has already condemned Smith’s bank for reckless behavior. The painful conflict of trying to represent the citizens on the commission and simultaneously profit from the developer special interests with the bank is something the good people in our county do not deserve.
The people elect THEIR representative to represent THEIR families. Divided interests should not be allowed to stand in local government.
I will never put myself and your best interest in jeopardy from such acts of selfishness.
Please mark your calendars for the dates to vote this summer. Your community’s future depends on it. Early voting at the County Election Office begins June 7. Advanced voting at the PTC and Tyrone Libraries is July 12-16. The election at all regular polling locations is July 20.
I would be most appreciative of your vote this summer.
Candidate, County Commission Post 4
Peachtree City, Ga.