Time to support district voting

As you know, Judge Batten, a federal judge, issued a decision on district voting for Fayette County. This was a historic decision that ended 191 years of the system of at-large voting in the county.

You have been a staunch supporter of at-large voting in the past. It is now time for you and other advocates of at-large voting to get behind Judge Batten’s decision and bring Fayette County into today’s world.

The Fayette County Board of Commissioners has spent over $300,000 of taxpayer money fighting the effort to get district voting for the county. This at a time when the county is laying off marshals, closing schools and vowing to lay off teachers.

It is time for them to stop wasting taxpayer dollars that are sorely needed to run the county and not spend more money to appeal the decision.

It is time for you, as editor and publisher of The Citizen newspaper, to do the right thing and support district voting for Fayette County. This would show that you believe in the democratic principles you purport to believe in.

Daniel Lowry
Fayetteville, Ga.

ninetogo
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Strongly Disagree with Mr.Lowery

Mr. Lowry;

You are entitled to your opinion, but it one with which I strongly disagree. You are correct that at-large voting has been in Fayette County for 191 years; I am of the opinion that it has worked well and afforded every registered county voter the right to influence every countywide election. Presently, each representative on the County Commission and on the Board of Education is my personal employee. Their collective decisions are accountable to all of the register county voters. Three County Commissioners were replaced in the last election cycle and our Sheriff was replaced. All voters in the county should have the ability to measure their performance. I personally should have the right to measure the performance of each County Commissioner, and each member of the Board of Education to verify their stewardship of my tax dollars and evaluate their suitability to remain in office. Their decisions directly affect the community that I call home and affect me financially. District Voting dilutes and diminishes the choices of every registered voter within the county and nullifies the 1 person, 1 vote philosophy.

District voting has several unintended consequences: 1) each of the five proposed districts will compete for the financial spoils generated by the countywide tax digest. The District Commissioner will be answerable to only those constitutes within their district and will be measured by the pork brought into their district. The decisions based on what is best for the general good of the county will be subordinated to what is in the best interest of each District. Competition will arise as to where we locate new parks, new county facilities, and I can see zoning altered due to political pressure 2) If a countywide financial decision is reached by the Board of Education (such as to purchase a large tract of the Harp Farm, at an over the market price, to build Inman Elementary School, the total board cannot be held accountable. 3) It will create a very partisan relationship between the Commissioners representing various Districts and build voting blocs within the Board of Education and on the County Commission. These voting blocs will struggle to reach a general consensus that is acceptable to the majority voters within the county. 4) Division of SPLOSH funds or other mass taxation dollars will be doled out, not based on what is in the best interest of the county, but on a partisan basis that measures “what can we get for our District”. Tell me that I am wrong.

Understand that every family living within this county made a very conscious decision to relocate to or remain in Fayette County. The reasons vary, but include good schools, safe communities, plentiful housing, good neighbors, and convenient shopping. I can see the attraction that our county has for many people. Our communities are politically conservative, as evidenced by the election results spanning the past 20 years. If the NAACP wants a viable candidate, political wisdom suggest that qualified candidates should be offered to the countywide voters with platforms and priorities that appeal to a broad political spectrum. From the actions of the NAACP and the tenor of the statements issued by its leadership, they either refuse or cannot find candidates that appeal to the broad political spectrum. Their candidates to this point mimic the views of the Georgia Democratic Party which are views that are the polar opposite of the views held and evidenced by most Fayette County voters. Hiding behind the Voter’s Right Act is a means to steamroll a judicial decision is just plain wrong. This decision disenfranchises every current voter in our county.

I would suggest to the powers that be that the stake holders, all of the current registered voters within the county, have a voice in this matter. Add a referendum to the ballot in the next county wide election allowing all registered voters in this county to vote on approving or disapproving district wide voting. You can bet your bottom dollar that Judge Batten does not live in Fayette County and truly has no skin the game. He is making a determination that vastly impacts each and every one of us that call Fayette County home. I strongly resent this activist judicial intrusion and will contribute personal funds towards a legal defense fund to challenge Judge Batten’s ruling. I am not one bit intimidated at the prospect of being called names or being labeled racists. I am not attempting to parse words and make this a racial issue. It is not about race; it is about a group attempting to limit the influence of my personal vote on a countywide basis so that their vote has more influence. If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, you can be reasonably assured it is a duck.

Judson Johnson
Fayetteville, Ga.

ninetogo
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Strongly Disagree with Mr.Lowery

Mr. Lowry;

You are entitled to your opinion, but it one with which I strongly disagree. You are correct that at-large voting has been in Fayette County for 191 years; I am of the opinion that it has worked well and afforded every registered county voter the right to influence every countywide election. Presently, each representative on the County Commission and on the Board of Education is my personal employee. Their collective decisions are accountable to all of the register county voters. Three County Commissioners were replaced in the last election cycle and our Sheriff was replaced. All voters in the county should have the ability to measure their performance. I personally should have the right to measure the performance of each County Commissioner, and each member of the Board of Education to verify their stewardship of my tax dollars and evaluate their suitability to remain in office. Their decisions directly affect the community that I call home and affect me financially. District Voting dilutes and diminishes the choices of every registered voter within the county and nullifies the 1 person, 1 vote philosophy.

District voting has several unintended consequences: 1) each of the five proposed districts will compete for the financial spoils generated by the countywide tax digest. The District Commissioner will be answerable to only those constitutes within their district and will be measured by the pork brought into their district. The decisions based on what is best for the general good of the county will be subordinated to what is in the best interest of each District. Competition will arise as to where we locate new parks, new county facilities, and I can see zoning altered due to political pressure 2) If a countywide financial decision is reached by the Board of Education (such as to purchase a large tract of the Harp Farm, at an over the market price, to build Inman Elementary School, the total board cannot be held accountable. 3) It will create a very partisan relationship between the Commissioners representing various Districts and build voting blocs within the Board of Education and on the County Commission. These voting blocs will struggle to reach a general consensus that is acceptable to the majority voters within the county. 4) Division of SPLOSH funds or other mass taxation dollars will be doled out, not based on what is in the best interest of the county, but on a partisan basis that measures “what can we get for our District”. Tell me that I am wrong.

Understand that every family living within this county made a very conscious decision to relocate to or remain in Fayette County. The reasons vary, but include good schools, safe communities, plentiful housing, good neighbors, and convenient shopping. I can see the attraction that our county has for many people. Our communities are politically conservative, as evidenced by the election results spanning the past 20 years. If the NAACP wants a viable candidate, political wisdom suggest that qualified candidates should be offered to the countywide voters with platforms and priorities that appeal to a broad political spectrum. From the actions of the NAACP and the tenor of the statements issued by its leadership, they either refuse or cannot find candidates that appeal to the broad political spectrum. Their candidates to this point mimic the views of the Georgia Democratic Party which are views that are the polar opposite of the views held and evidenced by most Fayette County voters. Hiding behind the Voter’s Right Act is a means to steamroll a judicial decision is just plain wrong. This decision disenfranchises every current voter in our county.

I would suggest to the powers that be that the stake holders, all of the current registered voters within the county, have a voice in this matter. Add a referendum to the ballot in the next county wide election allowing all registered voters in this county to vote on approving or disapproving district wide voting. You can bet your bottom dollar that Judge Batten does not live in Fayette County and truly has no skin the game. He is making a determination that vastly impacts each and every one of us that call Fayette County home. I strongly resent this activist judicial intrusion and will contribute personal funds towards a legal defense fund to challenge Judge Batten’s ruling. I am not one bit intimidated at the prospect of being called names or being labeled racists. I am not attempting to parse words and make this a racial issue. It is not about race; it is about a group attempting to limit the influence of my personal vote on a countywide basis so that their vote has more influence. If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, you can be reasonably assured it is a duck.

Judson Johnson
Fayetteville, Ga.

NUK_1
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Lowry: Get a clue

The county commission isn't "laying off teachers and closing schools." There is a separate legal entity known as the Board Of Education that is in charge of that and has its own budget, elected officials and responsibilities, NOT the county commission.

Any money spent/not spent by the county commission fighting district voting doesn't have a damn thing to do with teachers being let go or schools closing.

I think you just made a strong argument against district voting as it appears you don't understand too much about how county governments work, unless you're advocating that the totally ignorant need their very own representation. I'd be highly interested in how you would draw the boundary lines for the "ignorant district" in FC.

suggarfoot
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sad

http://www.naacpldf.org/files/case_issue/Complaint.pdf

for him to be involved in the suit against the county and not know there is a separate legal entity known as the Board of Education is sad indeed. He does belong in the "ignorant district"

ps..the editor has his right to his own view point as much as Lowery. Nice try at public bullying though by Lowery

suggarfoot
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just my thoughts

I've often said on here I doubt DM is one person, or even a legit person. I've stated on more than one occasion that to me, you would most likely have to be insane to harp 24/7 year after year about race.

What does anyone think of the idea that DM is more likely, and quite possibly a combo of several who have brought suit, or possibly members of the NAACP that want to race bate on here to stir things up? In my eyes, it seems more probable with each post and current event.

MYTMITE
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Sugar, had to laugh as the thought has arisen on more than one

occasion that DM is a agglomeration of certain views presented in one form. I have always been amazed at the agility with which any subject can be slanted toward race---i.e., a blogger posted here that it is a beautiful day and DM's reply is "Yes it was a beautiful day also when my great uncle's second cousin on my maternal side marched for civil rights at Bunker Hill". Of course, it has also crossed my mind that DM may also be the latest apparition of Bonkers, et al, who only posts after taking the measured dose of meds. I must say though, that it does give us all something to look forward to or at least it does to me as I go to DM's posts to see how soon the topic can be skewed, regardless of the subject being discussed. I have often wondered also if DM could be a figment of the imagination of the originator of Paladin (the TV program, not the Knight) as they both show a proclivity for managing to be everywhere at any time in history. As the old LaughIn character would say "Verrry interesting".

AtHomeGym
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MYTMITE & DM

History tells us that DM failed to appear at numerous Citizen Blogger coffee meetings that she was invited to for a variety of reasons.

MYTMITE
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Gym, I remember. It just seems a little suspect--I almost would

rather think that she/he is a composite or a ploy for some group than to be someone who is so obsessed with race. I know, I know, she continually says how happy she is to live in diverse Fayetteville where she has friends of every persuasion, but then in the next instance she brings up how racism is alive and well in the same area. I do know that you can find racism in many places and there is as much racism against whites as there is against blacks and the most important thing we can do is to try to live the best life we can and not be biased or bigoted. I must say she is very adept at researching things on the computer and posting them -----as I said--it is very interesting. Maybe someday she will make one of those classes she asks about or one of the coffees she says she will attend and then we will know 'the rest of the story'.....

AtHomeGym
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MYTMITE & DM

Matters not to me--I ceased to recognize DM as an entity months ago and will not respond to any posts fm DM, regardless of topic or content.

SPQR
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AHG re: DM

Ditto that

Davids mom
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suggarfoot - just my facts

There are some people who know who I am, including the editor. . . so again, your investigative ability is a little below average. (Can't stand that one person can see through your arrogance and ignorance?) You do not represent the conservative thought in this country - you represent the last vestiges of racist ignorance in this country - IMHO. It is a shame that racist thought is tied to the Republican/conservative movement - for too many Republicans/conservatives have much to offer in bringing this country together. By the way - I don't spend that much time here - but answer most questions/concerns within a few minutes during an entertainment break! I appreciate the opportunity to participate.

suggarfoot
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"By the way - I don't spend

"By the way - I don't spend that much time here - but answer most questions/concerns within a few minutes during an entertainment break! I appreciate the opportunity to participate"

If you are implying you are on here to answer questions that we INSTIGATE....you are sicker than I ever thought.

I'll make you a bet that if you don't spout your depraved gibberish....no one would EVER ask you for an answer to anything.

Davids mom
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suggarfoot
Quote:

depraved gibberish

Commercial is over - back to real entertainment on a Sunday evening. Night!

Citizen_Steve
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Question on District Voting

Apparently the Editor is not responding to this letter. But I have a question - when defining a district, what methodology should be used and by what authority?

I agree we should not throw 300k away, but as a pragmatist I fear the administrative overhead of managing districts and participating in challenges to district lines will cost us more in the long run. As well we'll be creating new powers for government and we will need to institute new safeguards against inevitable expansion of corruption and pay for investigations and prosecutions of the perpetrators.

Steve

Davids mom
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Citizen_Steve

What is the overhead expended now in managing Districts? Gerrymandering is not illegal - and used by both political parties. How can this be 'monitored' within the current legal guidelines? Is the addition of a District - and having all of the Districts participate in representing their constituents prove any different from our Congress (House)? Thanks for promoting thinking out of the box. Perceived negatives should be utilized for improvement of any situation.

Citizen_Steve
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Would NAACP be satisifed with non-racial district lines?

Suppose we could come up with districts that all had the same number of registered voters and all had roughly the same shapes (but not geographical sizes of course). Would the NAACP be satisfied? I doubt their target audience is geographically concentrated enough to make the difference.

If our goal is to get minorities elected perhaps instead we should find a way to handicap the races - what if we did something like upscore the votes for people of color by a percentage?

Steve

Davids mom
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Who to satisfy? Minority candidate?

The NAACP has presented it's case. The Court has ruled. The FC Commission has chosen to appeal. The decision will be in the hands of the Court.

Quote:

If our goal is to get minorities elected

IMO - THIS IS WHAT IS NEEDED

An integrated group of citizens to support a minority who agrees to run for office - and then vote for him/her.

1. Integrated group: That's possible
2. Minority who agrees to run: Who knows?
3. Vote: As everyone here knows - getting people to vote for a candidate requires;
Funds; Strategists; Volunteers; HARD WORK! AN ARTICULATE CANDIDATE WHO KNOWS THE ISSUES AND CAN ADDRESS THEM USING COMMON SENSE.

Joe Kawfi
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An Affirmative Action candidate?

It's the same result, Steve. The candidate will be known as the "affirmative action" candidate and it will be well know that they are there to represent the black supremicists who feel that they are too good to allow the entire county elect people that will serve ALL residents of the county.

Citizen_Steve
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Revised plan

On second thought, instead of directly upscoring the votes for colored candidates, I think it would make more sense for a certain percentage of ballots to be designated to cast colored-only votes. Here's my plan:

1 - in order to qualify a candidate must either be certified by the NAACP or submit to a skin color test

2 - based upon the color of a candidate's skin, a weighting will be assigned. Red bones like Obama would have a lower rating.

3 - Using the combined weighting of the coloredness of the race, a certain percentage of ballots will be designated as colored-only.

4 - Since voters will not know beforehand of the status of their ballots, they will need to pay attention to the campaigns of candidates of color in case their ballot is color-designated. This attention will provide the cross-racial education we so desperately need.

5 - Should a color-designated ballot be abandoned at the poll, it will be automatically cast.

It's only the framework of a plan right now, the details can be worked out in committee.

Steve

Davids mom
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Revised plan
Quote:

I think it would make more sense for a certain percentage of ballots to be designated to cast colored-only votes. Here's my plan:

1 - in order to qualify a candidate must either be certified by the NAACP or submit to a skin color test

Hilarious!!

Too many residents would prefer this to a DNA test!!

This is really ludicrous in 2013 - yet here we are - discussing foolishness. Sad.

suggarfoot
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DM= Lowry

"This is really ludicrous in 2013 - yet here we are - discussing foolishness. Sad
"

Is it really? If they tested white would the NAAC back them? doubt it

Lowry might be hanging on to Daddy's coattails... some people go into dyning business and this might be the dying family trade

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