Fayette Commission has made progress in transparency

Your new 2013 Fayette Board of Commissioners has made some significant improvements to the way your county government conducts business.

First of all, we have delivered a balanced budget, ending years of deficit spending. The Board of Commissioners and our constitutional officers have collaborated to shape our budgets to reflect our current economic environment.

We have also made some significant changes in government transparency since January.

We employed the use of town hall meetings to gather input from our constituents. Previously, there was no real way for the public to interact with the county government. There was no dialog.

The town hall format we use allows the people to say whatever they want and we do not restrict them with short time limits. More importantly, we actually listened and made changes to our government efforts based on comments from the audience.

When it comes to our regularly scheduled commissioners meeting, we now give you fair treatment. The government used to run a stopwatch and cut you off at three minutes if you wanted to speak during the public comment section.

With the last Board of Commissioners, I was twice voted down by the old board majority on being able to present my own agenda items. The philosophy of not permitting people to speak with differing opinions ended on Jan. 1, 2013.

Another first in Fayette County is your Board of Commissioners grants every citizen in the audience an opportunity to be part of the decision-making process. Every citizen can come forward and offer comments before we vote on any agenda item, making every item a public hearing.

We put an end to backroom, closed-door deals. We publicly advertise all openings for appointments to commissions, boards and authorities. Now everyone has an opportunity to participate.

Your new Board of Commissioners enables all residents to have direct access to each board member. I cannot tell you how many citizens have told me they used to only be able to speak to the county administrator. You can call the new board directly on our cell phones. If you come by the office in Fayetteville, we will speak to your personally.

Beginning this year, you do not have to take anyone’s word for what happens at one of our Board of Commissioners meetings. We now bring the meeting right to your home. At no cost to the taxpayer, we televise our meetings on the public government channel, Comcast 23.

Just recently, we began to deliver customized county email newsletters to our constituents. So the moment we know something, we will pass it on to you. This is especially helpful for our rural residents who do not receive the local newspapers in their driveways.

If you want to be on the county email newsletter list, go to www.fayettecountyga.gov and look at the right-hand column where it says, “Subscribe to our Email Newsletters.” Then simply insert your email address.

Even better, your new Board of Commissioners is always open to new ideas on ways to improve our efforts on open and transparent governance. Let us know what you think.

Steve Brown
Chairman, Fayette Board of Commissioners
CommissionerBrown@fayettecountyga.gov
Peachtree City, Ga.

johenry
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Joined: 08/22/2006
Wow how haters come out!

You know the new commissioners are doing a great job when all the haters come out like this!

These commissioners are reaching out to the people and the haters just can't take it. The haters would rather have pot smoking Horgan and the rude name callers.

Was Herb Frady, Jack Smith, Eric Maxwell, idot Horgan and Lee Hearn giving the people a chance to have a voice? Get real!

naturegrl
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Joined: 01/19/2012
balance the budget

Mr. Brown your ego needs boosting again. So glad you write letters to the editor each week to build up your ego. I believe it is state law that the county budget has to be balanced. I am tired of YOU blaming the prior commissioners for every time you did not get your way. You act like a spoiled child. Grow up and run on your own record and quit blaming others.

johenry
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naturegrl Horgan fan

Apparently you didn't read it. Those new commissioners are making their own record by actually creating open government.

One thing Steve Brown said was:

"With the last Board of Commissioners, I was twice voted down by the old board majority on being able to present my own agenda items. The philosophy of not permitting people to speak with differing opinions ended on Jan. 1, 2013."

I say AMEN!!!

Husband and Fat...
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Joined: 07/23/2012
Transparency

How can anyone claim to balance the budget when we know that stormwater repairs are required and not fully funded?

Not having a line item or failing to budget the actual costs doesn't fly in the corporate world.

moelarrycurly
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Joined: 10/17/2010
Read and sign up

everyone. This is a good thing and brings the county, finally, into some semblance of present day. 'Bout time.

Thanks Mr. Chairman and Mr. Rapson and staff. Now, just remember, only good news emails are acceptable.:)