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.

Doug
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Do you actually read the letters to the editor, Spyglass?

Hard to approve MARTA? Read the letter above. It looks like GRTA gave it to Clayton County. Doesn't look hard at all.

I just voted: McCarty, Brown and Todd. Handel and Kemp were two last minute picks.

Spyglass, here's the quote from the letter below:

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.

Spyglass
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Congrats to SB...we are saved from the buses...

We were talking about Marta buses, and
I stand by what I said about Marta and its feasibility of coming to Fayette County. You may disagree.

One more thing, I've stated this in one other area, thankfully, this will be over soon and we can get back to more important things...like fishing...

This just in, it looks to me like SB has won...unless the Fayette County website is wrong.

FWIW, I wrote in Cyclist.

NUK_1
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Marta/C-Tran...still more LOL

C-TRAN completely shutdown in March after Clayco terminated their contract with MARTA.

Clayco's commissioners voted to have a referendum on the whole formation of C-TRAN and the voters APPROVED it. I know a lot of people don't like the idea of voters being able to vote something up/down, but that's life sometimes. Clayco voters wanted it, they got it, then they decided NO MORE.

Now, if you REALLY think that Jack Smith is so powerful that he can even get this idea on a ballot EVER and that the FC voters would approve of it....PLEASE.

MARTA IS limited to Fulton/Dekalb because those are the only two counties that actually PAY something towards MARTA. Marta can't go anywhere else unless the voters welcome them in and agree to pay for it. You see that happening here?

Voter
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Honesty and Integrity

Brown, McCarty and Dodd have the honesty, integrity and principles that we should all be looking for. They are the common sense conservatives that want to spend wisely and bring common sense to the schools and governmen.

If free trips, roads to no where, unrestrained development, deception and half truths are your cup of tea, then you know who that is. It is a election year and have you noticed the county had less revenue but announced they won't raise tax's. The schools are financially strapped but they announced a small decrease in your tax. Do you think you are being conned a little.

Do the right thing and vote for Brown, McCarty and Dodd.

Spyglass
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Can all of Brown's alter ego's vote?

Just curious. If so, he'll win by a landslide. :)

Spear Road Guy
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No

Because of the angry West Fayetteville Bypass opposition it will only be a margin of victory of about 8 percent.

Spyglass
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Spear, I think your prediction

was VERY close.

FWIW, I wrote in Cyclist. :)

Spear Road Guy
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Spyglass

I wasn't lying when I said people were pissed off big time about the West Fayetteville Bypass. I talked to two friends at Longhorn this evening who said that was the only reason they voted in the primary.

Spyglass
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I've seen this boards wild predictions before..

That one is out there. Time will tell.

NUK_1
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sounds like he says Brown loses by 8%

...due to angry voters over WFB, otherwise it would be a greater margin for Smith.

NUK_1
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but what if all of Bonker$' alter ego's went the other way?

Could be a tie, though some of Bonkers' guys would probably forget who they were supposed to vote for.

johenry
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Citizen Bob on Ken Steele

I think Ken Steele's quote was the actual truth. The bypass is all about future development and not traffic relief. Steele didn't give any excuses to fool the voters.

The road to nowhere: developers win, we lose.

Spear Road Guy
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Johenry: Truth About The Bypass

For some reason I didn't remember Mayor Steele in the letter. He did what Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell wouldn't do and that's tell the truth.

The road to nowhere is really about the "D-word" (development) and won't help traffic one bit. The county commissioners love running fast and loose with our tax dollars and the landowners and developers along the West Fayetteville Bypass route have become their number one welfare project. $50 million going bye-bye.

Citizen Bob
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Steve Brown is wrong!

I've agreed with candidate Brown on several points, but I just cannot do so on this one.

The headline on his above letter to the editor is absolutely false, because I don't believe commissioner Jack Smith will EVER run out of excuses. At sb4faycom.com (on the Vision page), I just counted three excuses for Smith's $52m road project:

- "Traffic relief" Nope, users wouldn't have any convenient access to I-85, the airport, or Atlanta.

- "The voters made me do it" Wrong again; we approved what you MAY spend the money on, not that you HAVE to build it

- "It's cheaper" It's actually very expensive to spend $52m for a project that doesn't accomplish its purpose.

Then supporter, Mayor Steele of Faytteville, added another- "It's for future use". OK, so now we get bankers, land speculators, developers and builders to build strip malls, more neighborhoods, or whatever around the road we paid for. They get the profit and we get the traffic, which creates the future demand that makes the road worthwhile.

Did I get that correct Mr Smith & Mr. Steele?

ginga1414
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A Final Thought

A Final Thought
I’ve learned a lot over the last few years of my life. One of the main things I’ve learned is who I can count on when it comes to getting down in the trenches and fighting for a cause. Some folks will get down in the mud and help the cause and some folks just walk away. Some folks will look over their shoulder but others don’t even look back..

Steve Brown and Allen McCarty have said from the beginning of this campaign that their concerns are with the citizens of Fayette County. They have voiced those concerns many times.

From the very beginning, Steve Brown has taken a lot of mudslinging. In the face of much ugliness, he has continued to state documented facts. That hasn’t been the case with the opposing incumbents.

Steve Brown has never abandoned the trenches. It got pretty dirty down here, but he stayed the course. He continued to address questions in the blogs. His opponent didn’t do that. Even though folks were ugly to him, he continued to personally and publicly answer questions and clarify matters. His opponents didn’t do that.

Steve Brown and Allen McCarty are good men to have in the trenches.

johenry
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He's wrong but he's loyal

One thing you can say for Robert W. Morgan is he's loyal. He's got no facts and no issues on his side but he'll go down with the USS Smith.

He's supporting the construction of the West Fayetteville Bypass. That road to nowhere is costing us $50 million taxpayer dollars.

He's supporting the Jack Smith votes in favor of mass transit buses rolling in from Clayton, Coweta and Fulton.

He's supporting Jack Smith's board position on the developer bank and how that conflicts with his government control of county zoning decisions.

He's going along with Jack Smith accepting expensive gifts from companies in exchange for tax breaks.

I admire loyalty in people but not when its going to wreck the place where we live.

ginga1414
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Robert W. and Nuk

I'm not naive enough to think that anything I might say here will change how some folks rationalize issues. However, there are some folks with open minds. There are some folks who want to learn as much as possible. I am one of those people and I value all opinions. I don't always agree with all opinions but I will fight for your right to have your opinion.

My final thought last night wasn't just a thought, it was a fact. Unless Jack Smith was operating under an anonymous name, he did not personally and publicly answer questions nor did he have open conversation with any of us, here. Unless Eric Maxwell was operating under an anonymous name, he did not personally and publicly answer questions nor did he have open conversation with any of us. Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell didn't get down in the trenches with us. They just talked AT US through well choreographed statements that were printed for all to see. They did not have any dialogue with individuals.

Steve Brown did personally and publicly answer questions and he did have open conversations with us. I admire that openness in a man. I admire the fact that he didn't let all the nay sayers prevent him from conversing with us. I admire the fact that he had documentation to prove everything he said about the issues. His opponents did not. I admire the fact that Steve Brown does not "Go along to get along." I admire someone who is man enough to say, "I'm not sure." I admire someone who will say, "I made a mistake and will do my best to fix it." I haven't heard any of that come out of Jack Smith's mouth.

I'm sorry that you didn't appreciate what you call my "spam." I didn't think you would. But, I am a person and I do have thoughts. Some of my thoughts do make sense to some folks. Please forgive me for trouncing upon your sensibilities. I have an excellent idea. The next time you see ginga1414 pop up on your screen, just don't read what I have to say and that way you won't be offended by my thoughts.

Spyglass
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Thankfully, this will be over soon..

:)

borntorun
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Amen, Spy...Amen!!

Enough!!!

NUK_1
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It's spam

When you copy and paste the exact same message in 5 different places, it's not thoughts, it's SPAM.

Spear Road Guy
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Typical

Robert W. Morgan, go read Bob Ross' letter "The thing about Brown: He's most often right."

You're just a jealous little boy.

You go vote for your MARTA buses and roads to nowhere. We'll get you a T-shirt or something to remember the moment by.

Spyglass
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Marta Buses..

LOL.

Spear Road Guy
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Oh You Sad Little Boys

Do you remember what Jack Smith said about the West Fayetteville Bypass - it's been in the plan for years so we have to do it. Well he just put the buses in the plan.

Don't you guys take the AJC??? They outlined the 2012 metro Atlanta referendum on transportation and mass transit. Guess what guys, a regional transit authority will be calling the shots not FC. You'd better go get a copy!!!

Don't forget this when the regional transit authority says STOP COMPLAINING BECAUSE YOU PUT IT IN THE REGIONAL PLAN. This is why Steve Brown needs to win because he won't make sorry excuses like Jack Smith has (after he lied to us).

Spyglass
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Are you at all familiar with how hard it is to approve Marta?

If it was as easy as you say, why are the two original Counties (Fulton & Dekalb) still the only counties in the metro area participating?

Regional transit is another baby altogether, although the State is BROKE.

You said Marta, I laughed...

The debate it seems, from your point of view, should be if Fayette County needs to be in the ARC, or any regional "thinktanks", etc.

NUK_1
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MARTA is coming! The MARTA is coming!

LOL is right. I had no idea that MARTA had enough money to even maintain basic operations right now since they are perpetually broke due to a poor funding model and lackluster management. Yet, one FC commissioner somehow has the incredible power to order MARTA into FC without approval from any other commissioner or the voters and the money also magically appears to fund the tremendous expansion it would require to even get bus service into FC, much less rail. Wow!

Spyglass
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Some things just make me chuckle..

Vote for whomever you want, but claiming that candidate X will have Marta buses rolling through Fayette is just a JOKE. That said, I like a good laugh.

NUK_1
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The pro-MARTA thing has always been a gross distortion

I don't like Smith, but it is really grasping at straws to think he somehow has obligated FC to financially support whatever mass transit plan gets drawn up(if ever) by the ARC.

Mike King
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Fear Mongering At Its Best

Whether Smith, Brown Or Cyclist wins this damn election could all of us take a breather and let the winner figure out the promises made that he can not keep? We should know in around three hours.

Go eat dinner for Heaven's sake!

NUK_1
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Brown-McCarthy-Todd all winners

per Fayette County's website. Good luck and don't disappoint us!

Robert W. Morgan
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Sure ginga, but the trenches are full of hot air - Brown's

Your final thoughts are correct or at least the basic premise is - that being we have lots of citizens, voters and leaders who are disinterested and uninvolved. I doubt we will get close to 20% turnout in Fayette County today and fewer than 1 in 5 of our registered voters (which translates to about 1 in 10 of our total population) will decide on our 2 county commissioners.

I'm sticking with Maxwell and Smith. Don't know anything about McCarty, but Brown's tired old "kill all the developers" act is really getting old and tired. Beyond that, it is a straw man argument because there are no developers left because of the recession (aka depression if you are in any construction-related business).

So what do we need an anti-developer gadfly who is a proven failure at leadership and one who is certainly incapable of getting along with others and working toward the common good. Add no business experience and astounding immaturity, you have someone we don't need guiding the county for the next 4 years. Let's let the adults lead us, the hope and change and hoopla we have already seen in Washington. Want some of that here in Fayette County?

NUK_1
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C'mon Robert W.

You mean you weren't persuaded by ginga spamming the exact same post 5 times in a row? I know 3 or maybe even 4 spams aren't that impressive, but FIVE? C'mon, the Browniacs are desperate here!

fairplayer
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Nuk and Robert W

Do you ever wonder how difficult it will be for Ginga and her husband to vote Republican in this contest when they do not show up on the voter list as having voted Republican in the last 4 elections? So, what does that tell you about how they voted in 2008 ---------

pips1414
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I Agree with Steve B.

One thing Smith and Maxwell will never give you is a supported public need for the Bypass. They accuse us of voting for it when it was the commissioners that disguised the 2003 SPLOST projects in such a way to keep them off the ballot. Then, they lied about the Atlanta Regional Commission doing a traffic study when it did not. The ARC found the project to be way overpriced, so there was no basis for state funding. But these guys are so much into developers that they made the West Bypass the #1 priority, when it is the greatest waste of money in the history of Fayette County. Overpriced, misrouted, not needed, etc., etc. Only an absolute idiot would buy their story about diverting traffic from Fayetteville when it was specifically designed to go through developers' property. They absolutely refuse to discuss how that will happen in terms of traffic patterns and figures. Know why? Because there are none! Then, to top things off, they're damaging eight wetland areas, and building the road in a water recharge area to drain into tributaries that feed Whitewater Creek, where Fayetteville gets its drinking water. For much more information, before you vote, go to the McCarty www.allenmccarty.net and Steve Brown www.sb4faycom.com websites and learn what's really going on, and some of the things these current commissioners have done. Then, go to the straw poll and see how the current voters are casting their votes...www.splostpoll.com.

ginga1414
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Other Concerned Citizens

For any other concerned citizens who aren't clear where Steve Brown stands on District Voting, please go to "The Thing About Brown: He's most often right" and read comments #26, 63, 64, and 69. I'm sure those comments will clear up any questions you might have about the subject. If they don't just ask for further help and I'm sure someone will be happy to oblige.

VOTE TOMORROW "FOR THE PEOPLE." DON'T VOTE FOR THE DEVELOPERS, THE BANK, THE BUSES OR MORE SPLOST. "TAKE BACK FAYETTE COUNTY."

Citizen Bob
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Concerned Citizen; Just started paying attention

You're correct that a lot of people say a lot about Steve Brown; I'd urge you to look at their actions & motives as well as Steve's actions when deciding who you'll support.

Steve did get branded when he withdrew his support for the TDK road to Coweta County. He learned early on what the majority of others later discovered- that the road would not reduce traffic but increase it dramatically. He took considerable public ridicule, but was eventually proven correct (even his political rival, Harold Logsdon, publicly admitted in Jan 2008 that the road was a bad idea, and Logsdon reversed his position also).

Steve took similar heat and abuse for exposing conflicts of interest of Development Authority of Peachtree City (DAPC) board members who simultaneously served on the board of the bank that was making higher than market interest loans to the DAPC. Their records of financial transactions and meeting minutes was just about non existent.

How about Chairman Smith?
No one who reads the newspaper or these blogs has yet seen him explain the extravagant Asian trip paid for by the Chinese company Smith approved tax breaks for.

Many are uncomfortable with their senior elected official who rules on zoning requests and county land transactions accepting membership on the board of a bank whose president has publicly stated does business primarily with builders and developers in Fayette & Coweta counties. Maybe you're not.

75% of the voters demonstrated their displeasure with Smith & Maxwell's decision to impose a 5-year $135m tax on us, while they simultaneously accrue a $5m county nest egg and can keep expenses in line with declining revenues. Look on sb4faycom.com on the Vision page to see the very low bond rate Smith wanted to pay off with money you earned during a recession (it's 4.1% this year).

I just wish more citizens were starting to pay attention; keep up the good work.

Doug
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An obvious Jack Smith bias post that is baseless

Concerned Citizen, you're exactly right when you say you “just started paying attention.” You are either clueless or trying to lie to make Jack Smith look better. Go read David Barlow’s letter entitled, “Smith’s definition of ‘sanity’: $50 million road to nowhere” and see what you think about Jack Smith’s financial prowess.

Brown is not for district voting. The truth is posted on his web site (www.sb4faycom.com) and these blogs. He has been both open and honest which is more than I can say for you. He wants to do term limits instead and I support the idea.

No again, Concerned Citizen, Brown didn’t say he wanted to consolidate all the county and city services. At the candidate forums, he talks about services like recreation field maintenance and servicing vehicles. You’re exaggerating to make Brown look bad.

Brown’s articles in the Citizen were very instructive just like Bob Ross said in his letter “The thing about Brown: He’s most often right.” Ross is right that Brown took some serious stands for us and he turned out to be correct.

Stick to the facts like Smith’s forcing the West Fayetteville Bypass on us and his vote to bring transit buses into Fayette from Clayton County. Smith also has quite a few ethical challenges.

Your post typifies the Smith campaign: cry like a baby and lie, lie, lie.

CCB
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Concerned Citizen, you've hit an all time low

From the SB4 website: "When services are duplicated, we need to study ways to unify the service or eliminate the duplication. It makes no sense to pay for certain services twice."

Where in that quote does it say fire department, police or sewer? You're making it up as you go!

From the SB4 website: "My original thought on district voting was that citizens residing in our cities were not being adequately represented at the county level. The majority of the population in Fayette County lives in cities. There were several problems, chief amongst them was that city dwellers were being taxed by the county for services they were not receiving."

Ok, where does it say anything related to your racial inequality accusation? Again, you are making it all up. You're using the same tactics Jack Smith used in his campaign ads. Lie and hope the voters believe it.

And you wonder why people distrust Smith and Maxwell so much.

Concerned Citizen
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Quotes

From the SB4 website: "When services are duplicated, we need to study ways to unify the service or eliminate the duplication. It makes no sense to pay for certain services twice." Just which services would he be referring to here? Fire has always been the main focus of consolidation talk when it was all the rage in the late 90's and last year as well; if it's not fire, which service are we talking about here? A new County police? Building County sewer?

From the SB4 website: "My original thought on district voting was that citizens residing in our cities were not being adequately represented at the county level. The majority of the population in Fayette County lives in cities. There were several problems, chief amongst them was that city dwellers were being taxed by the county for services they were not receiving." Actually, this is not correct, he seemed to be for district voting due to racial inequality.

No lies here, just what I have read. It'll all be over tomorrow!

ginga1414
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Concerned Citizen

Steve Brown has stated that he doesn't favor District Voting. He does favor Term Limits. Please go to "The Thing About Brown: He's most often right" and read comments #26, 63, 64, and 69. I hope these comments will provide you with the answers you need.

It is truly a daunting task to gather enough information to make an educated vote and I commend you greatly for your effort. We need more folks who are willing to put forth the effort to educate themselves before they go vote. If you need any other references, please just ask and I'm sure someone will be happy to give you a link to find your answers. Good luck on your search.

PLEASE FAYETTE COUNTY, GO VOTER TOMORROW.

Concerned Citizen
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Just started paying attention

Researching who to vote for this morning I have seen a few things I like and don't like. Jack Smith seems to be way too defensive about the whole mass transit thing. He should have been up front about his statements. I do like the way the current comission gets along with the cities and other agencies these days. I do not care that he is on the bank board. He seems way to cry way too hard about the "felony flier" incident. Give me a break, signs go missing every campaign, get on with your campaign, stop tattling to the feds. Bottom line, he has the experience that we need, budget times are tough, I have not paid more taxes.

Steve Brown seems shrill. After looking at his site a few things really stood out. He favors district voting and term limits. Thanks but no thanks. Steve, I don't mind long standing incumbants, they have institutional knowlegde. I also hate laws that are designed to protect me from myself. If we keep electing them, than we deserve what we get. Mind your business and keep your nose out of mine. County consolidation, what a terrible idea. I live in PTC and I like having a fire truck with a paramedic or two on it. Consolidate the services and PTC's trucks end up responding to alarms in Brooks. This is a terrible idea. I pay for the services I use, keep them here. Bottom line, Brown will not lose as bad as he did in the State House race but it will be close. Take it from the common observer, you need an image makeover, you are perceived as a kook.

Citizen Bob
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Where's the explanation for closing the GA74 - I-85 interchange?

Commissioner Smith listed that as a means of making the West Fayetville Bypass a viable project, since it would supposedly open the possibility of a GA 92- I-85 interchange.

There is no GA or federal support for either the closing of the one interchange or construction of the other, and neither commissioners Smith nor Maxwell have retracted the idea or offered additional explanations for it (nor have any WFB supporters).

Maybe Ed Wyatt opposed it because it would kill his truck stop business, who knows?

My antenna go up when I listen to such far-flung justifications or prerequisites for a project...

Citizen Bob
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Spyglass- here's your link to Smith, "Close GA74 access to I-85"

Critics have also alleged the bypass is a “road to nowhere” because it doesn’t bring motorists very close to the Interstate. Smith was asked the status of any improvements to Ga. Highway 92 to allow access to I-85.

This is the link to The Citizen's interview with Commissioner Smith; extract:

"Smith replied that the Federal Highway Administration, which controls access to interstate highways, is the agency that will make such a decision. The FHA previously has denied proposals to create a full “diamond” exchange at Hwy. 92 and I-85 and also a trimmed down concept of allowing just one northbound access ramp and one southbound “on-ramp” to primarily serve commuters, Smith said.

Currently there is talk of creating an access road stretching from Ga. Highway 74 to Hwy. 92, with Hwy. 74 losing its direct I-85 access. Instead, vehicles on Hwy. 74 would be routed down the access road parallel to the Interstate before accessing an Interstate ramp at an improved Hwy. 92 interchange.

“That’s the current thinking simply because there is nothing else we can get approval or even discussion with the Federal Transportation Administration,” Smith said."

Full story here:
http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/01-12-2010/who-needs-w-f%E2%80%99vill...

Spyglass
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That doesn't reference Smith directly at all..

It says there is "talk" of doing something. As in the Federal Transportation Administration...that's just great, more Feds, just what we need.

I have read/heard that many in the County, probably Smith and Brown both would love a half diamond intersection at Hwy 92...get off southbound from 85 and get on going northbound on 85. Honestly, that is all that makes any sense at all. And since neither of these areas is actually in Fayette, we are mainly whistling past the graveyard on this subject.

That and the bridges etc need to be widened at the 74/I-85 Interchange.

CCB
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You're right Citizen Bob

Smith wanted to eliminate the Hwy. 74/I-85 interchange. Not only has Smith been dishonest, but he's also made a lot of poor decisions.

Spyglass
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Who has ever mentioned that?

IF you could link it here, that would be interesting. I can't imagine anyone was serious, even if it was mentioned.

Courthouserules
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spy and BOB

Anyone who travels 74 to I85 at various times can see that very soon traffic there will be unbearable due to what has been built around that intersection for several years.
It is also obvious that different exits and entrances to I-85 will be required and should have already started. One doesn't have to be a Philosopher to see that.
Also, you can bet that all that money invested there wasn't done by whomever invested it without knowing what was going to happen! Just isn't done except by amateurs. (you know good cooks who don't know anything about management but start a restaurant so they can cook and go broke).
Wait until that distribution center and other things there open!
The 74 North traffic from PTC. etc., will have to be routed around the Fairburn Intersection---that is obvious. One can't shop there now.
Other changes will be required but aren't obvious to me. No one is talking!

CCB
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courthouserules

When Steve Brown was mayor he was part of a group that was trying to solve the problem at that interchange. The people in Fairburn and Fulton
County won't work with Jack Smith.

Citizen Bob
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Courthouse; maybe we need ...

... a professional traffic study (in conjunction with Fulton County?) to cover the bases instead of Commissioners Smith & Maxwell opining on such an expensive and technical matter.

Spyglass
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The shallowness of your brilliance..

never ceases to amaze me.

Even more amazing is the group that thinks you are serious. The PTC Mayor even takes the bait. :)

Good work, I say.

Courthouserules
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Spy: more brilliance

The AJC had an article today concerning the fact that the state of GA is about out of money to pay for the health claims of the state employees they finance (they are self insured).
They claim to insure 680,000 people! It does include state employees and teachers and administrative school employees. But NOT Cops, firemen and other city, county employees.

I couldn't believe the sheer number of tax paid employees in just two categories!

If you wish to translate that for the other 49 states we are talking real money. I'm estimating 15,000,000 people (million) just for those two categories. (about the same amount as is unemployed).

I will say again that it takes only 2or3 of those working who have to pay for everyone of those who get paid by taxes or pensions.

I make this point ONLY for the "Conservatives" who still think we don't need any socialistic laws! What mayhem without some!

Courthouserules
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spy

You must have been talking to citizen BOB about fooling the Mayor.
The Mayor knows when I am right, he is just limited in what he can do.
You seem to have NO knowledge about much of anything except criticizing other who do! If you do I haven't seen it.

What do you think now about the capping of the BP well, causing the ocean floor to leak? Are more and bigger leaks coming? You know when they mud-in the casing to "kill" the well, the ocean floor possibly will still leak?
No knowledge of that?
Does it matter to Fayette County or the Controllers?

My suggestion is to make the whole Gulf of Mexico a storage area for our oil from the Gulf.

johenry
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The Peachtree City Mafia making an offer we can't refuse ...

It was hilarious to see Logsdon, Lenox, Frady and Fred Brown on Jack Smith's postcard in the mail. The PTC mafia boys wanted the TDK Extension, big annexations, tennis center corruption, police station on a dump site and sold city land to a big box developer.

They want us to believe that Jack Smith who is forcing the West Fayetteville Bypass on us, sits on the board of the developer bank, gives hefty tax breaks in exchange for expensive gifts and voted to put MARTA buses in Fayette County is the perfect leader.

One of these days we're going to stop listening to those developer-friendly fools. I hope that day is July 20.

I know Steve Brown and I've seen the good he can do. He's not perfect, but he's honest and never does something for his own self interest. Jack Smith is arrogant. He's a perfect fit for the PTC mafia.

Courthouserules
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Citizen Ad

A full page full color ad promoting Mr. Smith over Mr. Brown with oodles of pictures of county hall officials, former sheriffs, former mayors, and I don't know what all, concerned me somewhat.
Frankly, I don't care who wins this election but it is going to surprise me if money doesn't buy this one.
Even airline personnel are against Mr. Brown---at least the biggies.
Why is it that clerks of court, former sheriffs (not current), and other officials (Blingo, also) would want one over the other----so badly?
Was there too much embarrassment when Mr. Brown (the latter) was Mayor in PTC? Wasn't he pretty much correct in his assessment of the local bank that has changed names several times since the Tennis Center fiasco, which Brown was also against (the loans)?
Wouldn't it have turned out to be a great waste of money to have extended TDK?
It gives the impression that if a small town Mayor rubs wrong developers, banks, road builders, executives, and brings forth shattering information that is not normally discussed in open----they don't forget it!

If someone like that didn't come along once in a while places such as PTC (and Washington DC and Wall Street) would soon be as bad as Sicily or Detroit and Chicago----not to mention the old Robber Barons.

Steve Brown
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Hutch, what is the question?

I have been out of town and did not have Internet access. I would be more than happy to answer your question.

On the "openness" point. You can ask any member of the news media who covered one of my city council meetings and they will tell our meetings were the most open of any meetings in all of Fayette County.

What is your question?

Steve Brown
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Hutch, your answers

Hutch,

Here are your answers.

I have never called you a racist. The only person in Fayette County I have ever accused of racism was former-Judge Melear who frequently used the “n-word” while conducting judicial business. The Judicial Qualifications Committee agreed with me and the officers who testified and the judge who filed the complaint.

The link you gave is a history of voting in our country and fact that our three commission districts were created all the way back before the Fifteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

The “dead horse” defeated SPLOST you speak of was before the voters in November of 2009 and is a vital part of the incumbent’s record. Most importantly, is the fact commissioners, according to Commissioner Hearn, did not see the SPLOST project list until the evening they voted on it. With around $130 million on the line, the taxpayers deserve better. Furthermore, there was not a single project on the SPLOST list that was either urgent or necessary.

What message does that 2009 SPLOST send to the taxpayers in the middle of a significant recession? A wise and considerate commission would have never brought that shady deal to the public. No apologies for making it an issue.

hutch866
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Brown

The question wasn't what the SPLOST was composed of, it was are you going to give "US" the voters the chance to vote on these things or are you going to keep them off the ballot if you don't agree with them? Here's the question again..."Another question was since you keep on beating the dead horse of a defeated SPLOST as one of your issues, I have to wonder, are you going to be one of those elected officials that just because you don't agree with something, you'll keep us from a vote on it, if it looks like we'll go against your beliefs, because the way I read your letter or post, that's how I took your response." Now I admire how you danced around that question, but in truth you never even came close to answering it, a simple yes or no will suffice, I don't need a history lesson or a recap. It's still a dead issue, regardless.

Citizen Bob
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hutch866- correct

The 2009 SPLOST vote is in the history books. No doubt about it.

What still IS ON the table, however, is whether to give its chief promoter & his sidekick another term or not.

If incumbent Smith thought it was a great idea to charge current taxpayers $55m to pay off low interest bonds so future Justice Center users could use it for free, I question that judgment and do not want similar judgments applied to future decisions.

That proposal's stinging 3:1 defeat demonstrated that Smith & Maxwell were clearly out of touch with the majority of citizens. I want my elected officials to be IN touch. That's the reason for the discussion on a dead SPLOST...

hutch866
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Steve Brown

My questions started when you first announced YOU were running, so it must have been a long trip, not to mention I've seen you answer other people on here shortly after I've made my posts, just ask your disciple CCB, who accused me of twisting the truth, but like you, wouldn't respond further.

Lets start here, I know you weren't running for anything here, but since you put your opinion out there, I felt like I had the right to question it...here's the link..http://archive.thecitizen.com/node/26339, that was a question you never answered, and since I also like the at large voting I must be one of the racists you were talking about. Another question was since you keep on beating the dead horse of a defeated SPLOST as one of your issues, I have to wonder, are you going to be one of those elected officials that just because you don't agree with something, you'll keep us from a vote on it, if it looks like we'll go against your beliefs, because the way I read your letter or post, that's how I took your response.

I can't remember all of the questions I've been asking for the last month or more, I also don't believe you just happened to see one and none of the others, but I do believe you finally decided to respond because you thought you had no choice. Now like I have said before, I don't like Jack Smith one iota more then you, I think you're both wrong to be in a position of power in this county, for different reasons maybe, but still wrong. I'll even admit I voted for you over Ramsey, I held my nose, but I did vote for you. This time I feel neither you or Smith need to be in office.

VOICE YOUR DISPLEASURE WITH OUR COMMISSION CHOICES, WE DON'T NEED BROWN OR SMITH, WE NEED A BALD CYCLIST FOR COMMISSIONER. WRITE IN BALD CYCLIST ON YOUR BALLOT.

Ninja Guy
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Another Question

Mr. Brown, not Hutch's question but another. Is the TAD proposal for Fayetteville a developer-boondoggle as well? Seems fishy that school funds and county funds can be shifted to spruce up struggling shopping centers. If elected, would you ever vote for any TAD project in Fayetteville?

Steve Brown
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Ninja Guy on TADs

I have to be honest and say I know little about Fayetteville's proposal. There is some potential for good and harm.

Some TADs can be long-term winners, but I would have to study the proposal.

We will see if the people of Fayetteville approve the referendum first.

hutch866
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Gee whiz Steve

One of your points here..."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" and yet you won't answer any question I ask you. If you won't answer here why am I to believe you'll be more forthcoming once you're elected?

EXPRESS YOUR DISPLEASURE AT OUR CHOICES FOR COMMISSIONER, WRITE IN BALD CYCLIST FOR COMMISSIONER.

Citizen Bob
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hutch866

I was dressed down by Chairman Smith during public comment at a county commission meeting on June 9, 2009; you can listen to it on the Fayette County website:

http://www.fayettecountyga.gov/administration/BOC/archives/2009/2009acti...)

My delivery from the podium began with "My comments this evening are primarily directed to commissioner _____." Chairman Smith immediately weighed in, directing that all comments would be directed to the board as a whole instead of to any individual commissioner.

What pompous gall! I amended my remarks on the fly to comply, but should have reminded the good chairman:
- that we individuals are endowed by our creator (defined by your beliefs) with basic rights, they are not derived from other men- especially by a county commissioner
- We cede a portion of our rights to elected officials, and their authority is bound by the limits we set
- I was in the people's house- built with OUR money to serve OUR needs.
- That a majority of voters had elected him to serve OUR needs, not the other way around.
- That I was free to address any (or all) of my commissioners as I saw fit; we're talking MY issues here, not his.
- That the written instructions for speakers (available on a table beside the door) in no way limited which of my elected officials I could address

I voted last week to reaffirm my beliefs about these relationships between citizens and their elected officials. I urge you to do the same.

Courthouserules
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BOB

I kinda find it difficult to form an opinion about Mr. Horgan and his possession of some Mary Jane in his pick-up truck.
The part about asking the officer if the thing could be resolved immediately in some way was a little pitiful providing the officer was correct, but it seems to me that a censure by the board would have been adequate. In PTC, some can get drunk on a golf cart and pour wine on officer's shoes and get less than that! Theoretically he WAS the boss!
Why would the board have NOT wanted to do that? Do some of them have worse skeletons in the closet possibly?
Maybe a couple of our judges (at that time) knew Mr. Horgan and he knew them, I don't know.
What did a judge do to Mr. Horgan anyway for his transgressions? Nothing, I assume.

Citizen Bob
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Courthouse; on Horgan

His case is quite tangential to the matters at hand, but since you asked, I'll endeavor to respond to your question.

As a result of his being charged for operating a motor vehicle without current tags and for possession of less than an ounce of pot (he admitted to driving while using it, but wasn't charged for that), Mr. Horgan was the subject of three distinct and different actions:

- After pleading nolo contendere to his two criminal charges, he was fined, directed to abstain from alcohol & illegal drugs for a year, and was subject to unannounced drug testing during that year. He did not appeal

- Based on his poor judgment for possessing, using, and admittedly driving under the influence of an illegal substance, a citizens' group filed an application for a recall petition to remove him from office. He contested the action in Superior Court and prevailed on the grounds that his activities were not conducted during the administration of his official duties. The judge also ruled, however, that "The Commissioner has committed an act of "misconduct in office" ... to wit: (a) he willfully committed an unlawful act; and (b) has violated the Code of Ethics for Government Service as found in [GA state law]." The citizens did not appeal to the GA Supreme Court.

- Two county citizens filed a complaint against Mr. Horgan under the Fayette County Ethics Ordinance. Per the ordinance, a panel of three County Attorneys heard his case and found him in violation of the ordinance on two counts. Mr. Horgan appealed the finding and his appeal will be heard on July 27th at 9:00 AM in Judge Sams' court.

Now, back to matters at hand...

Citizen Bob
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Board censure

Any of the commissioners can state their own opinions on the matter at any time, and in a June 11, 2009 letter to the citizens of Fayette County, Commissioner Maxwell called for his resignation.

As a Commission, however, they must await the outcome of Horgan's appeal.

If Judge Sams sustains the guilty finding under the county ethics ordinance, his ruling will be returned to the Fayette County Commissioners. Per the ordinance, they may then:

- Do nothing
- Impose a written reprimand or public censure
- Fine Mr. Horgan up to $1,000

The ordinance calls for a public hearing in such cases, so you can observe their announcement.

Cyclist
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Oh don't worry Citizen Bob...

my buddy hutch is going to cast a ballot. ☺

Citizen Bob
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Cyclist- great!

Then we know that Brown and McCarty will get at least two votes apiece

hutch866
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Citizen Bob

Brown will not get a vote from me, or Smith for that matter, neither one passes the smell test for me.

WRITE IN BALD CYCLIST ON YOUR BALLOT, VOICE YOUR DISPLEASURE WITH THE CHOICE HERE IN FAYETTE, AND WRITE IN BALD CYCLIST.

Doug
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Elections have consequences

Steve Brown is exactly right. Things are going to get a lot worse if we don't act now. The West Fayetteville Bypass could go down as the most harmful project in the county's history. The transit buses from Riverdale would be a close second. Look at what's happened to the Pavilion shopping center and imagine that the entire county could be like that. It's turned into a mean area of town.

MajorMike
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Doug

"Pavilion shopping center and imagine that the entire county could be like that" - THAT is a truly scarey thought. And here I thought that my property values were depressed now.

pips1414
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Smith's running out of excuses

Smith and Maxwell are desperate. They can't disappoint the developers, so they have their appointed employee whose job performance is rated orally by Smith conjure up a remotely related case precedent, and then misinterpret it in their favor.

I have reviewed the Brown www.sb4faycom.com and McCarty www.allenmccarty.net websites, and have been favorably impressed with the two new challengers. Cast your poll vote at www.splostpoll.com for Commissioners and Board of Education.
You can also see who's ahead.

suggarfoot
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Smith is running out of excuses

the truth would be nice.

ginga1414
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Citizen Bob Has Done His Homework

Citizen Bob is right about doing our homework and we should all be more aware of the issues and what is going on around us.

Please check out all the facts by researching the issues for yourself. For more information concerning Candidates Brown and McCarty visit their websites at www.sb4faycom.com and www.allenmccarty.net.

And, PLEASE whatever you do GO VOTE DURING THE PRIMARY ELECTION. Advance voting began on July 12th - July 16th at the Tyrone and Peachtree City Libraries from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM daily. If you miss those dates, please vote on July 20th without fail. July 20th Primary Election Date is the DETERMINING FACTOR this year. If you wait until the November General Election, it will be too late to save Fayette County from rampant development, mass transit and future SPLOST Resolutions.

Citizen Bob
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Take a minute...

...to do your own digging on the key county commission and Board of Education issues- the county staff is very helpful with document searches and you can download considerable original material from the county website.

ginga1414
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johenry, Right-On

Me too, Johenry, me, too!

johenry
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Ken Steele admitted the bypass is for developers, NOT traffic

The whole west fayetteville bypass has been exposed as a sham!

Yes I'm bias in favor of Steve Brown. Anyone who doesn't want to see county go down hill with buses and developer roads ought to be for Steve Brown too.

Who can trust Jack Smith after that trip to China and the fact he's on the board of that developer bank? This is not rocket science people!

ginga1414
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DBarlow, Commission Meetings

How wonderful. That is exactly what we need. I told you that you have been a blessing to this community and you've only been her about 3mos. Now, this is something we can work with. Thank you so much, D.

DBarlow
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Volunteer Video Services

As a Certified Legal Video Specialist who works closely with Certified Court Reporters, I've learned that Ginga is a retired Court Reporter, I offer my services to the Board of Commissioners free of charge. I will videotape each commission meeting and give an .mpg file to the clerk that can be uploaded on their website. The only thing I will need is an XLR audio feed, I'll supply cabling, so I can capture quality audio. There Ginga, that will help solve the problem. God Bless America and God Bless our County.

ginga1414
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Ninja Guy and others interested in developers.

Ninja, if you are interested or if you haven't seen a map of Phase II of the West Fayetteville Bypass here is the link: www.fayettecountyga.gov/road/SPLOST/wfay-phase2.pdf Please look at all the large open spaces. Those parcels are owned by large developers. For a little history, please observe, the parcels owned by Green Development, Fayette Builders, and Ed Wyatt. That property has been owned by Ed Wyatt and family for many years and they have been trying to develop that property for many years. A great portion, if not all, of that property sits in the middle of a huge ground water recharge area. For details concerning our ground water recharge areas, please read my husband's letter, Steve Smithfield, under "Political letters that didn't make it into print edition." Now, back to Ed Wyatt. Mr. Ed Wyatt owns many service stations in Fayette County and the surrounding area. He is a big supporter of Jack Smith. He will only allow campaign signs belonging to Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell to be displayed on his properties. His employees told Steve Brown and Allen McCarty that they could display their signs but the next day Brown and McCarty's signs were gone. Mr. Wyatt is certainly free to support whomever he wishes to, but there is an obvious connection there. That is just one connection, Ninja, and there are others. Thanks so much for your interest. For further information, please visit Brown's website at www.sb4faycom.com and McCarty's website at www.allenmccarty.net Thanks again for your interest.

CCB
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Ninja Guy on bypass

The board of education purchased land to build a school complex like Starr's Mill and Whitewater. All of a sudden they sold a section of the land to a developer for a big housing venture.

Then, the board bought another site on the path of the bypass. No one knew why. Then they built an elementary school there. The school is practically empty.

The only acceptable explanation is the board made a deal knowing the housing developers were going to go wild on the bypass. Then everything crashed.

ginga1414
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Ninja, We Have Developers Coming Out of The Woodwork

For the last 30 to 40 years Fayette County has been touted as being a great place to live. Therefore, we have developers coming out of the woodwork trying to cash in on this great place to live. If this continues, Fayette County won't be a great place to live. Developers are just like termites, they will insinuate themselves into the community and eat away until it is all eaten up. That is what has happened and is happening to Fayette County.

Our own Board of Education Chairman is married to a developer. She and her sidekick are responsible for buying and flipping land. They are responsible for buying and trying to flip more land. They are responsible for building schools when they knew they didn't have students to fill them. They were hoping the developers would come in, build on the adjacent land, and justify building the schools.

Our own Board of Commission Chairman also serves on the Board of Directors for the Bank of Georgia. The Bank of Georgia President, Pat Shepherd has said in this very paper that the BOG caters to builders and developers. Our BOC Chairman, Jack Smith has said in this very paper that the BOG is not a developers bank because there are only 2 members of the Board who are involved in development. However, upon further research with the Georgia Secretary of State's office we found that not to be true. If you count Commission Chairman Jack Smith, there are 9 people on the 11 member board who are directly tied to development in one way or another. Our Commissioners are doing pretty much what the School Board Chairman tried to do. Chairman Jack Smith is promoting the West Fayetteville Bypass because he wants the developers to build on all those tracts of land adjoining the Bypass in order to justify building the Bypass. It is like the old nursery rhyme "This Is The House That Jack Built." The only difference is in this case it is "This Is The Road That Jack Built."

So as you can see, developers are like termites. They have insinuated themselves into our government and they have even developed their own private bank. Ninja, it is all about developers, development, money and the termites' never ending appetite.

Please visit the following websites www.sb4faycom.com and www.allenmccarty.net and www.drbobtodd.com

AND, DON'T FORGET TO VOTE ON JULY 20TH.

Spyglass
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I'm guessing you and your entire family live on land

that you've owned for YEARS and YEARS. Heaven forbid you live on any land that was developed by someone at sometime. :)

Ninja Guy
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Fishy Land Deal

Ah so, I didn't know about the BOE purchasing land for a complex of schools and then flipping some of it to a developer. Smells fishier than week-old sushi. Thanks for the info on that. Was there not an uproar at the time of this deal, or was it done under the table? I am still trying to connect the money trail between the two pro-bypass groups among the county commissioners and the BoE. There seems to be several developer groups that stand to benefit from getting a road built through their tracts of land at taxpayer expense, but is there one in particular that is the driving force here and has direct links with either the BoE or commissioners group, or both? Sorry for my lack of background knowledge, but I am new to the area and find it this whole issue intriguing in a ninja kind of way.

Ninja Guy
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Joined: 06/26/2010
What's the Connection?

Perhaps someone could enlighten this newly arrived Ninja as to the connections between the groups of Smith/Smola/Cave and Smith/Maxwell. It seems they are in the developers pockets, as none of their pet projects appear to good for Fayette County, thus they must be pushing these school/road projects purely out of self interest. Is it one particular developer that is the common link? Or, are there many links here? Maybe some of you Fayette County old timers can shed some light on this subject.

ginga1414
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Joined: 09/01/2008
Save Fayette, Commissioners' Meetings

Save, I won't pretend to say that I have been to all commission meetings, but I have been to a goodly number. There are some major problems with the meetings and most of these problems are the reasons folks don't attend the meetings. I have some suggestions as to how those meetings could be improved.

One of the main problems is the fact that people just can't hear what is being said. They can't hear what the commissioners are saying and they can't hear what the citizens have to say at the microphone. The sound system in that room is absolutely atrocious. The sound system problem is further compromised because our commissioners don't seem to want to be heard. For example, Mr. Maxwell continually holds his head down with his hand held up to the side of his face and that posture makes it even more difficult for people to hear what he is saying. Mr. Smith holds his head down when he is speaking and that makes it more difficult for people to hear him.

I understand that a time limit has to be placed on a person's participation during the public comment portion of the meeting. However, I don't think there should be constraints as to the subject matter. I have been to commission meetings where the public was told that the subject matter was thus and so and no other comments would be accepted. I have been to more than a few meetings where folks were told to leave the microphone for briefly straying from the subject matter. Another problem during the public comment portion is the fact that our commissioners will not have the common courtesy to address citizens during the public comment portion nor will they answer questions. People who speak during the public comment portion feel as if they are talking to a wall. A person should be given a certain amount of time to address their issue and that amount of time should also include any questions or answers they have of the commissioners. Those folks should be able to have a question answered by the commissioners during the meeting.

i think citizens should be able to pickup an agenda sheet the week before the meeting and they should be able to count on the agenda being what is shown on that sheet. I have been to several commission meetings where the agenda was to be about one thing and when I got to the meeting I learned that the agenda had been changed. The commissioners are supposedly there to conduct our business and to be our representatives. I vote for a county commissioner because I want to be able to rely on that person to do what they say they will do.

Whenever a citizen addresses a commissioner or any public official, for that matter, they should be addressed in a courteous manner. I would never want any commissioner or public official to endure abuse of any kind. But when a citizen addresses a commissioner in a courteous manner they should be able to expect the same treatment. I understand that some citizens have problems with the county that precipitate passionate feelings. However, expressing passionate feelings is not the same as someone being discourteous. No citizen should ever have to feel intimidated by any public official if that citizen is behaving in a courteous manner. That hasn't always been the case with our current commissioners.

There are other suggestions that I could make, but the ones I've listed are matters that I have personally experienced and matters that many other people have talked about. Citizens may go to www.sb4faycom.com and www.allenmccarty.net to learn what two of the candidates have in mind for the future. Please vote during this election. You can vote now but please vote on or by July 20th. This is a Primary Election and the decision as to who our next commissioners will be will be decided on July 20th not in the general election.

Citizen Bob
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Joined: 05/06/2010
Save Fayette... didn't Brown publish a vision statement?

I just double checked Brown's website and there it was... a 10 point vision statement that he and candidate McCarty have put forth (http://www.sb4faycom.com/Vision.html)

1-term mayor.
Brown's mayoral challenger promised to build the TDK blvd that Brown came to oppose. Like the familiar WFB saga, that project was also supported by developers, builders, land speculators, and bankers. The challenger prevailed and unseated Brown, but even he publicly admitted in the official city news update (Jan 2008, page 3) that "Two years ago I campaigned on the need for TDK. Well, the situation changed with the proposed massive development on our border, so I changed my position. Completing TDK is not in the best interest of PTC and I don’t see that changing anytime soon."

Brown stuck to his principles and was ridiculed. Ultimately, though, even his opponent had to admit Steve's tenacity in the face of personal & public adversity benefitted but one constituency- the citizens.

Saving $$
I too appreciate the BOC's keeping our budget in line with reduced revenue, but am dumbstruck that Smith & Maxwell tried to tax us 22x that amount thru a SPLOST. Especially in view of the initiative's #1 project: make us pay off the $50m Justice Center that so many subsequent generations will use & should share the costs of (by the way, the current interest rate on the Center is 4.1%; why would anyone want to raise taxes during a recession to pay off such a low rate obligation?).

Cheers, Bob

DBarlow
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Joined: 05/03/2010
No explanation whatsoever makes any sense

as to the "why" Jack Smith continues to serve as Chairman of the Fayette County Commission AND concurrently serving on the Board of the Bank of Georgia. The facts are evidence that Mr. Smith accepted the position on the Board of the bank approximately 1.5 years after he was elected to the Fayette County Commission. If Mr. Smith were a "Man of Integrity", and I submit that he is not, he would not have accepted the banks offer in the first place. Like all narcissistic people, he only concerns himself with what he wants to do. Accountability to the citizens of Fayette County is not an option he chooses to follow.

Here's my question to the voters of Fayette County, "Why do you think Mr. Smith continues to demonstrate a "conflict-of-interest" against you, the citizens of Fayette County?" My discernment is that he personally benefits financially now or in the near future by his inappropriate actions. Jesus says that we will recognize good people by their fruit(deeds). "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them". Matthew 7:18-20. God's word tells us in Ephesians 5:11, "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them."

If the citizens of Fayette County re-elect Jack Smith to the County Commission, they do so out of ignorance of the truth or they simply choose to ignore the truth. My wife and I voted early for Commissioner Steve Brown and Commissioner Allen McCarty. Citizens of Fayette County; please do the same. God is now and forever in control and I ask Him to give us wisdom as we deal with our county's future. God Bless America and God Bless you.

ginga1414
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Joined: 09/01/2008
Save Fayette

The West Fayetteville Bypass is all about developers, development, the bank and money. Look at the map. It is very plain to see. Jack is building the road to help the developers to build the houses to justify building the road. Terri Smith and Janet Smola built the Rivers School so the developers would build the houses along the Bypass to justify building the school. Bottom line, Save, it is all about developers, development, the bank and MONEY.

They are all connected. Follow the dots.

ginga1414
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Save, Smith Is Running Out Of Excuses

Save, Smith is the one lying. Brown has provided documented facts to support his statements. Smith just invents one excuse after the other. I really have started to wonder who writes his material. Whoever it is, Smith certainly isn't getting his money's worth.

For the facts, visit www.sb4faycom.com and www.allenmccarty.net and www.drbobtodd.com It is an eye opening experience.

VOTE JULY 20TH.

Save Fayette
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Joined: 05/02/2008
Brown Perpetual liar/ never attended a Co. Commissioner meeting

Brown once again you do not tell the truth. MARTA did not take over C-tran in Clayton Co. The Clayton County Commissioners’ just shut down the bus service because they where unable to fund it. MARTA had nothing to do with it. Bus service will never come to Fayette, stop saying it will, liar.
There are a lot of people here in Fayette county believe that the West bypass will help traffic in the county, now and into the future. Your lack of vision is very visible. The county will not stay as it is now forever. When I moved here, there was only one traffic light in Fayetteville, now look at things. The County is Growning.
Did you not read the articles in the Citizen today. One talked about how GDOT has improved the ramps onto Hwy 85, The improvements that South Fulton is going to make. They just got approval for a 1.5 million grant to widen hwy 92 and Oakley Industrial Blvd. to improve traffic flow from Fayette county. Also one of the SPLOST projects that you keep saying Fayette Co. should make and it is on the books and a RFP has been put out to improve Westbridge Rd. sharp turn and bridge. If you ever came to a meeting you would have know that.
Your comment about what Mayor Steel said is so out of context. He is correct that the hospital is becoming the economic engine of Fayette county, and if you do not see that you are very blind. When you have something as big as that hospital there is going to be growth. Again you have to have a vision to be a leader. Not a naysayer that you are. Your whole campaign is full of negatives. You have not said one thing that will help me out as a citizen. You only say negatives about what others are trying to do to improve our quality of life. That is why you where only a one term Mayor. You had no vision, the current BOC have only improved things, saved the tax payers money. Their has not been a county tax increase since 2004. That leads me to beleave they are doing something right. Your comment;
“• 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”
This comment is so out of line I don’t know how you look at your self in the mirror.
Since this current board of commissioners, there have been more access to the citizens than ever before. They have the whole meeting on line and audio, I have called the commission office and have asked for a paper copy and it was sent to me very quickly. Also the minuets are the most accurate than have ever been. Since commissioner qualifying I have been to every board of commissioner meeting. I have never seen you or the other guy running at a meeting. How do you know whats going on if you never attend a meeting. The county just pasted a 70 million budget you where not their and their was not one citizen other than my self in the audience . Only county employees where their. How come you do not go to the meetings???? Every meeting Chairman Smith asks for public comment and no one speaks up, because there is no one their. Unlike your BS the agenda is never changed, that is an out right lie by Rick Price and you.

The only thing that you have said that is right is; it will get worse if Steve Brown is elected.
The only score card we need is to keep up with your lies and untold truths.