Smith is running out of bypass excuses; it’s developers, stupid

The incumbent commissioner Jack Smith is not going to run on his record of the last four years; that much is clear. Instead, he is trying his absolute best to paint an ugly picture of me, hoping you take the bait and forget about his dealings.

I am going to help the incumbent commissioner speed his task so that we can get on with a discussion of the issues that affect you as taxpayers the most.

Let’s be truthful and get it all out: I am 25 pounds overweight; I have a bad left knee; I snore at night; I would rather eat a good dessert than the entree; I am losing my hair; I never wash my car; I eat the ice cream when the family is sleeping; I am near-sighted; I do not like wearing neck ties; and I once stole three bucks from my daughter’s piggy bank to tip the pizza guy. There it is, all in the open.

Now let’s get on with what really matters. At the end, I will show what we can do.

To be as fair as possible I have put the video clips of Commissioner Smith on my website (www.sb4faycom.com) so that you will not think I am distorting his words. I encourage you to go see for yourself.

Commissioner Jack Smith voted to put mass transit buses in Fayette County. In public, he said he was not going to do it, but he did do it, multiple times. He admitted this on the video.

You will also see where he says [of] the transit plan, “It is not the best plan that I would put together, but I was only one voice in the group.” The other “voices” from Clayton, Henry and Fulton counties told Smith to take the buses and he agreed.

Likewise, Smith said, “MARTA wouldn’t be what’s running it anyway; it is restricted to Fulton and DeKalb County, so it’s not an option for us.”

Smith has served on three regional mass transit boards. Smith knows MARTA is not “restricted” to Fulton and DeKalb.

Since July of 2001, MARTA provided the operation personnel and the facilities for the bus service in our neighboring Clayton County called “C-TRAN.” Since October of 2007, MARTA began full operation of C-TRAN bus and paratransit services, including all operations and maintenance. It is quite clear MARTA can expand outside its current boundaries.

The one thing you ALWAYS heard in the big push to build harmful roads like the TDK Extension and the West Fayetteville Bypass was “it’s been in the plans for years.” Those buses are in our plans, and they are coming if we fail to counter what Commissioner Smith has done as our representative to the regional government.

My position on the mass transit buses is: “no buses.” I really do not care whose name is on them (MARTA, GRTA or Fayette County Transit). Mass transit in a low density area like Fayette amounts to fiscal irresponsibility, and that is the direction Commissioner Smith is taking us.

On fiscal irresponsibility, we almost need a score card so that we can track the excuses we have been given on why we need to build the West Fayetteville Bypass. Commissioners Smith and Maxwell first said they switched the construction priorities to the West Fayetteville Bypass because the road provided “traffic relief,” or as Smith says, “to actually have a road that would funnel traffic around downtown Fayetteville.”

Well, the traffic relief excuse got shot down real quick. The project was so poor on function, the bypass would not even qualify for federal and state funding (hence, the name Road to Nowhere).

The second excuse for building the bypass was it offered “the most bang for the buck.” Well, the West Fayetteville Bypass offered the least “bang” and no federal “bucks,” so that did not work either.

Smith and Maxwell’s last excuse was they have no choice but to build the bypass. “Now you are going to have to talk to someone else, I’m sorry, that wrote the transportation SPLOST that we’re mandated to be under,” Commissioner Maxwell said. Well, there is a list of unfunded SPLOST projects that rate higher in function than the West Fayetteville Bypass; let’s build those instead.

One of the biggest West Fayetteville Bypass supporters, Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele, in a June 17 letter in the Fayette News publication, gave us THE REAL REASON for building the bypass: developers.

Yes, Mayor Steele, writing in favor of the bypass and the incumbents, spelled out what the developers want to accomplish in our county saying: “With the hospital located in the middle of the county and looking at aerial maps, it is obvious that most future growth in Fayette County will occur between Peachtree City and Fayetteville and southward towards Starr’s Mill.”

That is the most politically correct way to say they are building the bypass to give developers premium access to undeveloped land.

The mayor of Fayetteville did not say the bypass was about relieving current traffic congestion or bang for the buck. To the contrary, he rightly said it is all about future development. Guess who owns the large tracts of land along the bypass route: land speculators and developers.

No way will I allow $50 million of our tax dollars to pay for a road for developers. Let the developers pay it!

They want to plaster the center of the county all the way down to Starr’s Mill with homes, and they can do it at a higher density because Mayor Steele will give them the sewer capacity. Sewer is already extended to the hospital now.

Here is what a vote on July 20 for Allen McCarty and Steve Brown will get you:

• Stop wasteful spending on the West Fayetteville Bypass and immediately re-prioritize unspent funds for more worthwhile projects.

• Reject multi-million dollar SPLOST sales tax increases.

• Create a Low Income Senior Homestead Exemption for county taxes.

• Explore a unified operations and maintenance strategy between the county and cities for programs and services, focusing on collaboration and avoiding duplication.

• Block mass transit bus projects in Fayette County like MARTA from the regional transit plan, avoiding overdevelopment and more urbanization.

• Preserve Fayette County’s rural character by closely adhering to our approved land use plan and reject increases in residential unit density.

• Require developers and builders to submit Educational Impact Statements on all rezoning requests to protect our schools from overcrowding and school districts from shifting.

• Respect and serve citizens: listen to them, serve as an exemplary steward of their resources, follow best business practices, and adhere to the highest ethical standards.

• Establish a two-term limit for Fayette County commissioners.

• Open up government to citizens by eliminating the current severe limitations on their free speech at Board of Commission meetings and make government readily available to the citizens

We have already seen some changes we do not like. It is about to get a lot worse unless you vote.

Steve Brown

Post 4 Candidate, Fayette County Commission

www.sb4faycom.com

Peachtree City, Ga.

ginga1414
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mbest, Commission Meeting Police

M, what exactly is the basis for your statements? Are you the Commission Meeting Police, now? Have you attended every Commission Meeting. Just the facts, now.

If that is your best shot, M, you might try factual statements. I learned a long time ago that folks have nothing to stand on without facts.

Steve Brown has more vision than Jack Smith could ever imagine. Steve Brown is smart enough to know that if
we just keep building and developing, without a checks and balancing system, our community will be one big asphalt jungle. Steve Brown cares about what happens to the community where his family and the rest of us live. Jack Smith is a CPA, for goodness sake. His bottom line is MONEY.

The hospital has been a great addition to our community. It is something we all needed for our health and well being. However, building homes and schools around a hospital and along a thoroughfare makes no sense at all. Who, in their right mind, would want to live next door to a hospital? Who, in their right mind, would want their children's school to be adjacent to a hospital and thoroughfare? Have you looked at the map of the WFB, m? Do you think Terri Smith and Janet Smola had a vision of Rivers Elementary School to sit in the middle of wilderness? Or, do you think they envisioned houses being built around that school? Houses sound more reasonable, but then we've got the little matter of the Bypass running along side the school. And, we've got the little matter of another high school envisioned to sit along side the hospital and the Bypass. That is poor vision, m. That is Jack Smith, Eric Maxwell, Terri Smith and Janet Smola's poor vision. Whoops, I left out The Bank. I'm absolutely sure all those developers in The Bank had a part of that vision.

Don't talk to me about Steve Brown's lack of vision. The man wears glasses but his vision makes far more sense than the officials we have now.

Oh, M, just envision all that development. It isn't a pretty picture. Hospitals, medical buildings, shops and restaurants sitting next to homes and schools. Homes and schools sitting next to a thoroughfare. It is like the pictures we used to have in school where we had to pick out what didn't fit.

Vision works both ways, m. Steve Brown's vision has to do with quality not quantity. Jack Smith's vision is all about quantity. Quantity doesn't beget quality. I would rather have one really good cookie than a whole box of old dried-up stale cookies.

mbest
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Browns never been to a Commission meeting?

WTF. What a blowhard! How can he come on here and preach his form of government when he's never been to a meeting. What does he do? He doesn't have a job. His wife supports him. That just tells me he knows he won't win so there's no need.

Spear Road Guy
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Jack Smith And Eric Maxwell: No Plan And A Weak Record

I agree Brown and McCarty will carry us in the right direction. They've made it known what their agenda is and I agree with them.

What do we get out of Smith and Maxwell? They promise to finish building the road to nowhere. We know they want another SPLOST tax. We know Smith is in favor of the mass transit extension into Fayette. We know Smith has a conflict with his bank board position. We know Smith's trip to China looked really bad.

There's noting attractive about going with Smith or Maxwell.

Spear Road Guy
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Picky Mbest

So I left a letter out while typing. Well damn me to editorial hell.

Get over it.

mbest
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Spear...dude

"There's noting attractive about going with Smith or Maxwell." Noting? Dude, back off the Spear Road moonshine.

ginga1414
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Jack Smith Is Running Out Of Excuses

Every time I hear from Jack Smith, he has a new excuse for the Bypass, a new excuse for the SPLOST and a new excuse of the Mass Transit runaround. Every question posed to Mr. Smith is met with another runaround. I have heard so many, it is hard to tell where one stops and another begins.

However, when one looks at the map of the West Fayetteville Bypass, it is so clear and easy to see that who/what is driving the construction of this ill fated road happens to be developers. The developers are pushing Jack and the other commissioners along the road and for some unexplained reason, Jack and his commission buddies are allowing themselves to be pushed.

ginga1414
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Save, I am interested

I am extremely interested in who you spoke with at the Corps. What was that person's name? We have been dealing with the person assigned to the WFB and we have been getting different information.

Also, who have you been speaking with at the EPA? My husband has been corresponding with the director of the EPA and we have received different information from him.

Save, the county won't be taking my home. They don't want to pay me for may home. They just want my land. They just want to build the Bypass through my backyard. That is as of now. It was going through my front yard. Then they moved it to my backyard. Who is to say they won't move it to my front yard again? They don't want to pay for homes. That would be too expensive. They will build the road through people's property and the homes will be left with their value vastly reduced. What would you give someone for a four bedroom, four and a half bath, separate living room, separate dinning room, great-room, kitchen, breakfast room, sitting room, sun room, laundry room, three car garage, full basement all brick home with a bypass running through the front yard or back yard? I dare say, not what it is worth.

Save, I'm glad you love me and I hope you will pray for me and all the other families who will be greatly impacted by the Bypass. No, Save, Jack doesn't want my home. He wants me to keep living in my above described home so I can keep paying the county for the privilege of living here with the Bypass going through my yard. He wants all the other homeowners to keep living in their homes with the Bypass running through their property. He just wants to destroy ancestral property and barns that mean the world to some of my neighbors. That home is too expensive, too. So he will just take the property and barn those folks great-grandmother farmed and built. He doesn't want the home, he just wants to take the property and huge barn that houses approximately 20 horses that belongs to another neighbor. He will take one neighbor's home (with the current plan), but he will leave the neighbors on either side of that home with a Bypass adjacent to their bedroom windows. Those two homes are so close to the Bypass, those folks will be able to reach out and touch the cars. He has already paid for one home on Janice Drive. By the way, I was told by Phil Mallon that the county couldn't and wouldn't buy homes or property until they had the approved 404 Permit in hand. All the while he was telling me that, he knew the county was in the process of buying one home on Janice Dr. which is at the end of the Bypass. You see, that is the way they work. They buy property at either end of the road to try and justify what is in the middle. Pray for us, Save. We are dealing with a bunch of lying, two headed snakes. I used to be a nice sweet lady. I'm tired of being nice and sweet. It didn't get me anywhere. Now, I'm known as Eric Maxwell's "bucket lady." See what Eric Maxwell did to a nice sweet lady?

Save Fayette
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ginga I do love you

Ginga; Believe it or not I really do like you. You remind me a lot of my mom. I think you have a valid beef with Maxwell and his comments. My mom lived in East Point when EP was one of the best places to live in Atlanta. She used to tell me stories of when
They would see airplanes fly over head at Harts Field Airport from a tree in her front yard. Then it got big and the airport made them move.
This is somewhat the something, progress is here in Fayette county. This is a time to build a new road when it does not impact lots of people, however it is going to impact some people and unfortunately it is impacting you and a few dozen others. I am very sorry. I have also contacted the corps of engineers and they are going to approve the construction of the bypass.
The county meets all requirements. I also have a friend who works with the EPA and he is telling me that, their will be restrictions and different methods of construction required but it to will be approved. I think it will be in your best interest to work with the current BOC and get all the money you can get. From what you have said I believe you will be able to get enough money to make your self a very comfortable life. I know its hard to let go just as mom had to do. But believe me she is very glad that the airport took her home. Electing Steve Brown and McCarty will not make things better.

johenry
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Go see Steve Brown's web site

It is one of the most informative web sites I have ever seen. John McCain had one for president and it was not as good as Steve's site.

ginga1414
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johenry is absolutely right

Where would we get the money to keep a bus system running. Clayton County has far more population than we do and they couldn't keep it running.

It is a well known fact that if a regional transportation plan went into effect, the people of Fayette County would essentially have to help support a transportation plan that would include the entire metropolitan area. Our population is only 9% of what Fulton County's population is. Yet, we the citizens of Fayette County, would have to pay an equal share? for a system we would not be equally utilizing. I have been told that our equal share would be in the billions. How in the world would we be able to pay an annual portion of billions?

I just don't get it. Why would anyone want to destroy our beautiful county with more and more development, more and more roads. Why would anyone say, I don't want it but I voted for it? It just doesn't make sense.

johenry
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Remarks from Lion

Steve Brown isn't a racist. He's made the point in several forums that it makes no sense to spend a huge amount of funds on buses for such a small population.

Where would we get the millions upon millions to run such a bus system?

lion
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Brown and mass transit

I have been a fan of Steve Brown for some years because he has been one of the few in Fayette County willing to challenge the traditional thinking of elected representatives in the county.

I am very disappointed to see him use "mass transit" as a wedge issue in this election.

I have come to understand that "mass transit" has a very racist connotation in Fayette County. "Mass transit" is feared by many Fayette County citizens because they think that mass transit (bus or rail) means people from Clayton County or Atlanta will then have ready access to Fayette County. The discussion never addresses the benefits that mass transit will provide to those many Fayette county residents who work in Atlanta or to those many Fayette County businesses who depend upon workers who must commute here from Clayton, Fulton, and other counties.

The truth is that rail mass transit in Fayette County would be a great benefit to those who commute to Atlanta every day--and there are more of those than our elected representatives think. And where to you think many of the minimum wage workers at Walmart and other PTC business live? Many of them live outside Fayette County and we depend on their services.

Mass transit is not likely to come to Fayette County in the near future so Brown and others should not use this as a issue to frighten Fayette County voters.

Doug
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Brown and McCarty moving forward while incumbents spin

I was very happy to see the points listed in this letter. The term limits should have been in place a long time ago.

I also agree that we had better do something about the mass transit plan or we'll be in a lot of trouble down the road.

Steve Brown
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Hutch 866

I looked through the whole list of blogs and could not find your question. Please put it up again.

S. Brown

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