July 14, 2010 — Political letters that didn’t make it into print edition

[Editor’s note: The following are political letters that were not included in the Wednesday print edition because of space limitations.

Smith’s position on SPLOST refuted by fellow Commissioner Maxwell

Jack Smith is under the false belief that we are “mandated“ to spend the SPLOST funds on the West Fayetteville Bypass. The pro-SPLOST commissioner penned an article in The Citizen dated June 15, “Smith Takes Aim At Brown,” which says “Brown will try to negate a voter mandate to do what the political winds tell him to in order to get more political support.”

It’s Jack Smith who’s a political bag of wind. Steve Brown has the right idea. Spread the $50 million over time to the needs of the many rather than for the few who are already rich.

The developers and the recent BOE land acquisitions already have their own slush fund if you connect the dots. There is no such law etched in stone and as a matter of late, more counties statewide are choosing to spend their taxed citizens’ money more wisely and with a greater fairness to all the municipalities and county needs.

For example, The Walton Tribune reported in January: “Local municipalities voted this week to return some of the monies received as part of the current Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax — moves to help cover a shortfall in debt service.“ “The fact is it appears to be the right thing to do,” Walnut Grove Mayor Don Cannon said. “The City Council voted to approve giving the money back at its council meeting Thursday night at the recommendation of legal counsel.”

Legal counsel and a re-vote! What a concept! Even Eric Maxwell, an attorney and commissioner, was asked the question regarding this issue from Eric Imker at a recent forum: “Can you legally change the allocation of SPLOST money you currently dedicated for the West Fayetteville Bypass? Can you re-direct it to some other SPLOST designated project? That’s just a yes or no question.”

Maxwell: “The answer is yes. Even the Georgia state code regarding bonds allows you to change what was voted on if the purpose stated is no longer necessary or circumstances have changed such that the expenditure of all or part of such bond funds is no longer practicable or feasible. O.C.G.A. & 36-82-4.2 (2008).”

Smith would have you think no with his repeated mantra, “voters mandate,” that we have to build this road to nowhere with no environmental permits and no* state funding because we have no choice.

We heard the same thing from our incumbent Congress when they spent billions of dollars for bailouts and bankers. We had no choice.

Vote out the narrow-minded incumbent, Jack Smith, and vote for someone who can think and act outside the box and says, “Yes, we have a choice.” Steve Brown will stand by his commitment to do the right thing for the entire county, not just for the interests of a few.

Michael Meyer
Fayetteville, Ga.

Don’t Smith’s and Maxwell’s SPLOST rules apply also to abandoned East Bypass?

I would like to ask Mr. Smith and Mr. Maxwell why there was no public hearing or vote when they dropped the East Fayetteville Bypass and started building the West Fayetteville Bypass. The county had already spent $600,000 on the East Bypass.

Why did they want the West Fayetteville Bypass instead of all the other unfunded SPLOST projects? What was so unique about the “road to nowhere” that other more valuable projects would be dropped for it?

The West Fayetteville Bypass doesn’t qualify for any matching state or federal funds, so we’re not leveraging a single dime.

We are building a useless road that seems to benefit only housing development, all on our dime ($50 million worth).

How many millions are the transit buses going to cost us? Who exactly is going to be riding those buses?

Mr. Smith was elected to regulate land use and zoning for the benefit of us, the present taxpayers.

He is also, however, on the board of the local developer bank.

You can have only one master.

People have gotten fat off of our apathy.

We deserve better. July 20 is OUR day. Vote!

I went and cast my vote for Allen McCarty, Steve Brown and Dr. Bob Todd in early voting.

In the school board races I voted for Dr. Todd, a well-qualified incumbent with a wealth of knowledge and experience who loves our kids.

Gail Onesi
Tyrone, Ga.

Support the honest candidates: Brown, McCarty and Todd

Past records show that less then 20 percent will vote in this primary. Are you tired, not interested, or do you think it does not make any difference?

If you had a neighbor who is dishonest, you would like to see him gone. If a store is dishonest, you would think twice about doing business with that store. The only way we will get better government is by participating.

This election cycle is very interesting. You have a BOE board member starting a story she should know is inaccurate against Mr. Todd. Was she thinking of your child or her power which she wants to maintain? An attorney associated with our state representative was willing to spread the story without checking the validity of it. Does he still have a job with our state rep or is it business as usual? Ethics and honesty are hard to find in politics.

I think that I pointed out a method for the commissioners and Peachtree City could resolve some of PTC tax issues. Other then Eric Imker, it has fallen on deaf ears. The easiest thing to do is raise taxes. One man cannot do it alone but he has had little support from the community.

The commissioners’ race is amazing. Half truths, conflict of interest, roads to nowhere, that could spend 30 to 50 million of your dollars just because they can. Do you still find it hard to find time to vote?

Is this the type of representation you want? I strongly support Brown, McCarty and Todd and I decided that by researching what they stand for. Most politicians want you to stay home, want you to be ignorant of what is going on. Please vote for whoever but get into the game. Twenty percent is a number we all should be ashamed of.

Ray Watt
Peachtree City, Ga.

Campaigns and credibility

We have a lot of issues and positions to consider in the home stretch of the July 20, 2010 primary, and when sorting through them I learned long ago that actions speak louder than words. I applied that yardstick to our incumbent commissioners’ words and actions on several issues that are important to me.

Incumbent Commission Chairman Jack Smith said he doesn’t support mass transit buses in the county, but voted in favor of plans that include just such provisions in Fayette County.

Incumbent Smith says he is a responsible steward of taxpayers’ money by keeping budgets in line with declining revenues, but firmly supported a $135 million sales tax.

Smith said he won’t lay his ethics at anyone’s doorstep, but accepted an expensive Asian trip and tours from the Chinese company he voted tax breaks to.

I’m also uncomfortable with Smith, as our senior elected zoning and land use officer, accepting and retaining a seat on the board of directors of the Bank of Georgia, whose president has stated that their “... loan business was geared primarily to support the front end of the building and construction industry [loans to developers and builders] in Fayette and Coweta counties ...”

This apparent conflict of interest becomes more entangled since neither the press nor public have any right to access bank meetings, minutes, or records.

Incumbent Commissioner Eric Maxwell, on the other hand, says he wants to serve another term in the post 5 seat, but stated his lifelong goal was to become a judge, and remained a candidate to fill a vacancy at the Justice Center (he’s precluded from holding both offices simultaneously). Both are honorable goals, but I don’t want to become a consolation prize.

School Board challenger Charlie Cave, dubbed the invisible candidate, is a different story altogether. He doesn’t say anything, so we have no idea if he has ever done anything that qualifies him for the post.

Commission challenger Allen McCarty has run his own businesses and achieved success working in a complex, fast-moving industry. He’s spent considerable time researching issues and speaks in plain language. And while it has nothing to do with his technical qualifications for commissioner, he and his wife physically built their own house in Fayette County, and I like that pioneer spirit of self-sufficiency.

Steve Brown stuck to principles of service to citizens when he saw the potential mass development for the planned TDK road and fought the project to a standstill. It cost him a re-election, but he did it. Even his successful challenger finally admitted in the city’s January 2008 newsletter that the road was not good for the city.

Bob Todd is a seasoned Board of Education member who has been on the short end of a number of 3-2 votes against [Lee] Wright, political dirty tricks matron [Janet] Smola and Terri Smith (who failed to disclose $12.2m of her personal finances because of “... a paperwork error ...”).

With combined annual spending authority of more than a quarter billion dollars, it’s vital that our elected leaders DO what’s in our best interests, not just talk about it. And with these candidates facing no opposition in November, the July 20 primary is the vote that elects them. See you at the polls.

Robert Ross
Peachtree City, Ga.

Brown: Saying one thing, voting another is Smith’s way

Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” At a time when America is waking up and tossing incumbents from both parties out because of constituent neglect, we in Fayette County need to realize the Primary Election on July 20 could be the most important vote of its kind in our county’s history.

Our county is on the verge of some changes that, if allowed to proceed, will alter our lifestyle and transform our community into something we would have never imagined.

We in Fayette County are not afraid to stand up and save the things that make our county great, and July 20 is your most important day to take a stand.

Until four years ago, Fayette County stood apart from the rest of the other metropolitan Atlanta counties because we dared to be different. When other counties were building new houses as fast as they could, we held back and kept a land plan that gave us a less dense, more rural feel.

Our having fine schools, low crime rates and rural character was not an accident.

Regrettably, we are at the point where things are changing drastically. Our Board of Education has literally mismanaged our tax dollars on unneeded buildings and unwanted real estate while pounding our teachers with avoidable pay cuts.

Our County Commissioners have gone overboard on asking for tax increases, most recently in the 2009 SPLOST referendum, for things that were totally unnecessary.

When our local government asks you for another $137 million in sales taxes for non-essential expenditures in the middle of a devastating economy, things have gone very wrong. These exploits do not represent our conservative Republican values.

Another key factor is the commissioners’ dropping certain road projects in favor of others which do little good. In an about-face, the commissioners chose to construct the West Fayetteville Bypass (commonly known as “the road to nowhere”). The road does not function as a bypass.

The primary purpose of the West Fayetteville Bypass is to enable future development in the middle of the county using our tax dollars. I believe it is wrong to use tax dollars promised for traffic congestion relief on a road project that provides no relief and will eventually cause more traffic.

Suspicions of many were raised with incumbent Commissioner Jack Smith accepted a board position on a local developer-friendly bank AFTER he was elected. Instead of refusing the position with the bank, citing conflicts of interest between his land use regulatory duties and the profit incentive of the bank to make more loans to developers, Smith stubbornly holds on to the board seat. Is this what we want?

Another critical issue is the introduction of mass transit into Fayette County. For years, Commissioner Smith, as our representative to the regional government, assured local residents he opposed mass transit buses in Fayette County.

Unfortunately, at the same time he was making those promises he was also voting in favor of plans for transit bus routes in our county. This is dishonest and should not be tolerated.

Commissioner Smith is setting us up for that tried-and-true scheme of saying, “It’s in the plan, so we have no choice but to do it.” (You will recall this is the same excuse he is using for the West Fayetteville Bypass now.) Commissioner Maxwell said the funds could be moved to another, more useful SPLOST road project and we agree.

I moved to Fayette County to get away from the neglected places where mass transit rules. The idea of continuous incoming buses from Clayton, Henry and Coweta Counties is not appealing to me. But the cost of sustaining such a transit system is even worse.

All the counties with transit, much larger in size with considerably larger budgets, are watching their transit systems cause a financial meltdown. Imagine how that would devastate our much smaller budget.

These issues will cause significant changes in our local lifestyle and environment. We are all in this together. The decisions made in the voting booth this month will affect what happens in our county for the next 50 years.

The incumbent commissioner has done his best to vilify me in his letters and paid ads. I do not think the voters are buying that kind of approach any longer. You either agree with where Commissioner Smith is taking us or you do not. I have stuck to the issues and spoken directly to the incumbent’s voting record. This is a very serious matter.

I want our entire county to succeed. I know the cities and understand their concerns, and I have the utmost appreciation for the more rural areas in the county too.

Our goal should be to keep the housing densities as low as possible, avoid overcrowding our schools and redistricting, save as much green space as possible and keep crime and traffic numbers down as well as stop wasting tax dollars on special interest projects. I will work extremely hard to fulfill those goals.

The candidates are under strict instructions not to raise new issues in the last edition of the newspaper before an election that cannot be refuted; hopefully, I honored that request.

If you would like more in-depth information, go to www.sb4faycom.com or put any of the headline titles below in the upper right-hand search box on the www.thecitizen.com home page: “Smith ad untrue in many points,” “Smith’s definition of ‘sanity’: $50 million road to nowhere,” “Smith’s untruthful about bank ties,” “Steve Brown has fought to check local government abuse here,” “Ethics a challenge for officials,” “TDK Extension, W. F’ville Bypass similar examples of deception,” “Does anyone besides commissioners want West F’ville Bypass?” and “Commission Smith explains his mass transit vote for Fayette.”

I am frustrated that millions of our tax dollars are being wasted on special interest projects like the Road to Nowhere, and I absolutely do not want bus routes from Clayton, Henry and Coweta Counties streaming through Fayette County on 15-minute intervals. I hope you agree and will extend your vote to me on July 20.

I will not accept one set of rules for county managers and another set of rules for all other employees; everyone should be treated the same. Likewise, I will assist in any way possible to prevent the further disintegration of our school system, including the damaging actions taken against faculty and staff. The schools are too important to our county’s success.

Your property values, your lifestyle and our county’s future are riding on this July 20 vote.

Please do not worry about the campaign signs being stolen, we are on the right side of the issues and that is enough.

Steve Brown
Candidate for County Commission, Post 4
Peachtree City, Ga.

Smith: ‘My record speaks for itself’

As previously stated, my record speaks for itself. Over $7 million in budget cuts and over $5 million increase in cash reserves cap a three-year stellar performance in improving Fayette County government operations, made possible by my background as a CPA with over 37 years working as an advisor, tax consultant and auditor of businesses and governments and my continuous involvement with numerous religious, civic, government, business and professional groups, including many leadership positions within them.

I continued my education to better serve you by achieving “Advanced Certified County Commissioner” status (first ever for a Fayette County commissioner), giving me an even more in-depth perspective of what works and what doesn’t in county government.

I’ve answered the absurd claims of my challenger, who has been convicted of an ethics violation. He won’t admit that my less than 1 percent ownership of a bank with less than four-tenths of one percent real estate acquisition and development loans in Fayette County isn’t (even in one’s wildest imagination) a conflict of interest.

He, out and out, perpetuates a falsehood by claiming to always have been against TDK Boulevard when the records say otherwise. He is the same opponent that did not support the Arizona border law and did support district voting to forever destroy Fayette County’s way of life.

And he tries to divert your attention away from his own attempt to fund mass transit directly in the heart of Peachtree City while he accuses me of planning for the future to preserve options we may need at some point in our future.

Finally, his laughable insinuation the county needs conservative financial management with this commission’s record first mentioned above shows just how out of touch he really is.

I addressed the West Fayetteville bypass, which is an issue to those few (less than 25 people) who are directly impacted by its path and those misguided people would believe my opponent’s claim that it is a “road to nowhere.”

They envision some clandestine, super-secret plan exists to benefit the property owners when there is a record of this commission limiting the access to the bypass so that it remains a congestion relief mechanism. These few people want to control, after the votes have been counted, that in which they did not prevail at the ballot box.

Commissioner Maxwell and I have been unjustly blamed for pursuing what the voters, not us, approved at the ballot box and what we are charged with implementing.

My opponent even claims an illegal action taken by another county is grounds for your County Commission to break state law and he and his running mate have been so bold as to tell you they would ignore the wishes of Fayette County voters and commit this same illegal action – an action that should send shivers down the spine of anyone who professes to be for democracy!

I challenged my opponent to run on his record, and he declines to campaign on any of his failed policies, preferring instead to sling mud wherever he goes. I even included in one of my letters citations to his dismal accomplishments from the archives of this newspaper. I also pointed out Fayette voters took their government back from the power mongering (formerly disgraced Commissioner Harold Bost and his minions) individuals who obviously placed staying in political power ahead of their vow to work for the betterment of Fayette County (look at the accomplishments outlined in the county’s annual report — www.fayettecountyga.gov — and ask yourself why many of these had not previously been addressed).

Now Bost and crowd are working like mad (including illegally placing campaign signs and removing/destroying mine – where you see my opponent’s sign near mine, his is illegal and where you see his sign on a utility or roadway right of way – his is illegal) to get their newest lackey elected. Ask yourself: Was Fayette County or even Peachtree City better or worse off after my opponent’s four years as mayor?

Finally, I have written on the challenges facing our community and the grit and determination that will be necessary to face those in the months and years to come. Those challenges include declining revenues, increasing senior population, property tax relief for ALL Fayette property owners, and consolidation of services. Your current commission has already considered and is already addressing these challenges.

Yes, you have a clear choice in my commission race between a person who has demonstrated in just three years that government can be streamlined and money can be saved when all the commissioners work for the betterment of the county instead of for re-election.

There is still time for you to do your own research and see whose claims bear fruit, and I urge you to do so. I stand on my record. My opponent has been and continues to urge you to vote quickly before you have an opportunity to research all the facts that will discredit his claims.

As I said last week, a vote to retain your current commissioners will allow us to continue addressing issues in a businesslike manner with our decisions being made based on factual analysis and not based on emotional pleas as my opponent would have you do.

With a budget of over $70 million, over 700 employees and a poor economy, this is not the time for emotional decisions or the time to place our resources in the hands of the lesser trained. Fayette County, you have proven leadership; please vote to keep them in place – Vote for Jack Smith and common sense government on July 20!

Jack Smith
Fayette County Commissioner
Peachtree City, Ga.

Commission Chairman Jack Smith fails to respond to bypass questions

Commissioners Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell have long touted themselves as being responsive to the citizens of Fayette County. At the same time, they have also been the staunchest supporters of the West Fayetteville Bypass (“WFB”).

On July 6, I decided to make one final attempt to address certain questions about the WFB that have never been answered.

First, I sent Commissioner Smith an email reiterating what I understood both he and Commissioner Maxwell said during a public discussion of the WFB at Christ’s Church, where the questioning time ran out.

I heard them say that a different group of commissioners drafted the 2003 SPLOST voting ballot that did not include the actual names of the SPLOST projects on the ballot itself, but instead read “road, street, and bridges purposes.”

After the 2003 SPLOST passed, they said that the East Fayetteville Bypass (“EFB”) became a priority item, but was too expensive to build. At that point, the priority somehow shifted to the WFB.

Evidently, it was Bang that shifted the priority, as both commissioners said that the WFB “was more bang for the buck than the EFB.”

Then, Mr. Smith said that the commissioners were mandated to move ahead with the WFB, and no further justification to proceed was needed.

When asked how the WFB would relieve traffic congestion in Fayetteville, both commissioners said they were relying on the county engineer’s finding that the WFB was the most efficient route to accomplish that objective.

They never offered their own opinions on this issue, and we still don’t know who threw Bang into the equation. I was unable to find Bang in the county regulations.

The next part of my email dealt with public opinion. With the barrage of negative publicity surrounding the WFB, I asked Commissioner Smith why the WFB was chosen over all the other less expensive SPLOST projects passed at the same time. I also asked him why he was earlier quoted in The Citizen as saying that “only a court order can stop the WFB.”

I also explained that the county had never made any attempts to explain how the layout of the two-lane WFB that the commissioners approved would ever effectively divert traffic congestion from Fayetteville.

Then, I explained that the Atlanta Regional Commission (“ARC”) determined that the WFB did not score highly enough, and was too expensive for funding (see below). Next, I asked the commissioner why Fayette County was taking a position against the ARC’s findings to support such an expensive project during a bad economy.

Finally, I tried to find to what degree Mr. Smith is in touch with the public by asking him whether or not he felt that the public now supported the WFB.

I thought that the public had the right to know just how well Mr. Smith understood they felt over the issue. It surely seems that commissioners can shift priorities from one project to another. One example is shifting the EFB funds to the WFB.

There was a recent article in The Citizen where the county administrator, not the commissioners, finally decided to address the county’s persistence for pressing on with the WFB. The article suggested that once begun, SPLOST projects must be finished.

There were two exceptions: cost and viability. If one project is found to be too expensive, it should be scaled down and continued. Scaling down didn’t happen with the EFB. The EFB was stopped, and those funds diverted to the WFB.

The article also suggested that if a SPLOST project is later found to be impractical, that, too, was considered a basis for transferring funds from it.

While the ARC funded the study for the WFB and, found it not feasible (more below), the county disagreed, and passed the entire cost on to the voters. So the question arises as to what is behind such persistence on a totally impractical project?

In 2009, the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition (“WFBC”) filed an Open Records Request with the ARC for WFB traffic study records. The WFB found that, according to all documents gathered from that request, there have been NO traffic studies.

The documents obtained covered a period from 1985 through June 2009. It was found that all references in association with the need for transportation growth to bypass downtown Fayetteville have been conducted by outside consulting firms at the request of the Fayette County commissioners and Public Works Department.

A total of five consulting firms with many different plans and recommendations with several variations have been submitted with NO traffic studies.

The only independent study performed was enlisted by “The Association of Fayette County Governments” in the late 1990s. The ARC was brought on to “lend technical assistance” in the area of county transportation projects and act as a “neutral partner” in further developing and assisting the county for state and federal funds.

ARC’s Transportation Improvement Plan never recommended a West Fayetteville Bypass and was only used for a vote on the EFB in February 2000. In an Aug. 6, 2009 email, we found the following: “As far as ARC traffic model studies, there were none performed exclusively on these projects,” Sincerely, Tom Weyandt, ARC Director of Comprehensive Planning.”

Most notably, as late as April 2004, ARC found the WFB “did not score high enough and is too expensive.” Jurisdictional Briefings Draft 2030 RTP and FY 2005-2010 Project Lists, Section 3.2, April 15, 2004.

But our commissioners were not inclined to accept ARC’s findings that the WFB was not viable, even though they had brought in ARC as consultants. This meant only local WFB funding was left.

For a while, I thought Mr. Smith disapproved of the way the WFB had gotten on the 2003 SPLOST ballot. At the Christ’s Church meeting, the commissioners’ forum, he acknowledged that the 2009 SPLOST ballot was intentionally detailed with projects because of the tactics used in 2003 to hide SPLOST projects.

Common sense would tell us that Mr. Smith is aware that the tactics used by the commissioners in 2003 were not to be tolerated in 2009, as the 2009 SPLOST, even with its listed projects, failed by a voting margin of 76 percent of the voters against it.

Yet, it has become clear that the current administration is not going to budge in terms of answering questions regarding the WFB publicly. They’re figuring that most voters don’t even know about the bypass, much less its controversy. What they’re not telling us could hurt us.

No response had been received from Commissioner Smith by the July 10 deadline.

In politics, sometimes saying nothing says a lot.

Steve Smithfield
Fayette County, Ga.

School Board election about future of Fayette kids

I was surprised to read that Ms. Edith Carpenter, a retired Fayette County High School English teacher, thought that my focus on the excellent achievement of our schools and their below average operational cost was not the issue facing our schools.

She offered instead that we should focus on the issue of school capacity or “over building,” in her words. The board, including Dr. Todd, voted to acquire the River’s Elementary land on 1/27/07 and voted to go forward on building the school (4-1 Key voting no) on 8/20/07 according to approved board minutes. If the building of River’s Elementary is a problem for Ms. Carpenter, she must hold Dr. Todd accountable for his votes to buy the land and build the school.

Ms. Carpenter states that for the first time we have faced “real cuts in state funding.” In fact, the state of Georgia, excluding federal stimulus funds, has reduced our funding under the QBE by over $40 million over the past eight years, thus requiring the taxpayers to pay additional local property taxes to maintain our Fayette advantage of excellent public schools through smaller class size, parapro support for early education, and other quality services long abandoned by other systems but supported by nearly every parent of school-age children.

Our Fayette County Schools graduate impressive young people well positioned to tackle any of life’s challenges they choose to take. Our SAT performance is regularly in the top 10 out of 180 Georgia school systems with nearly 75 percent of our seniors taking the test. No other system has anywhere near that percentage of students even taking the SAT.

I am grateful to all the candidates who have offered themselves for service and respect their efforts and opinions; however, I believe that Dr. Todd, whether intentional or not, is proposing a retreat from our high standards.

In the AJC voter guide Dr. Todd states, “... many jobs that do not require four years of math or science. I would return the general high school diploma with seals of endorsement ...” Many systems across the state have abandoned this idea and offer only a college preparatory high school diploma. Given the increased academic competition across the state, especially from our neighbors in Coweta, we should focus our energy on advancing our already academically excellent system.

To reasonably implement the strategy above we may have to offer sections of every core subject designed for “non-college prep,” taking resources from our already excellent high school programs that result in one of the highest graduation rates in the State of Georgia.

Instead I would propose that we focus on offering as much gifted, enrichment, and advanced placement classes as possible to provide our children the best possible options for a great future.

This election is not about Mr. Sullivan or Ms. Carpenter, Mrs. Smola or Mrs. Smith, Dr. Todd or Mr. Cave. In my opinion this election is about the future of my son Jackson, his teammates on the PTCLL Jedi Knights, and every other current/future child of Fayette County.

I hope that the voters of Fayette County get the unfiltered facts as they decide the future of the currently excellent Fayette County Schools.

Neil Sullivan
Peachtree City, Ga.

Cave has worked in our community for 17 years

I would like to urge the voters of Fayette County to cast their ballot for Charlie Cave, candidate for School Board. The reasons are numerous. He has appeared at candidate’s forum, numerous community events but above all, he has worked in our community tirelessly for the past 17 years. When you look at his achievements, all other candidates pale by comparison.

Charlie has worked in his church, the Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club, United Way, Main Street Fayetteville, Fayette Senior Services, Intermediate School Advisory Council and has won community awards too numerous to mention.

If past actions are any indication of his commitment to our schools and community, then he has more credentials than any of the current school board members and should be an outstanding addition to this group.

Also, he has run a very positive campaign, not ever saying a bad word about his opponent or the current board. To me, this speaks highly of his integrity.

If you would like to see a hard-working, visible, and moral candidate elected, I urge you to vote for Charlie Cave.

Juliette Babb
Fayetteville Ga.

Ex-sheriff: Smith, Maxwell have done well for county

In 2006, I publicly endorsed two candidates for County Commission: Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell. Back then, I felt as if both of these men had their hearts in the right place and the citizens of this county as their priority; they have not let me down.

If you will remember, prior to Jack and Eric taking office, this county was in turmoil. For over two years, the sheriff’s department had been forced to spend thousands of dollars defending it from frivolous lawsuits filed by the previous Board of Commissioners.

But the lawsuits were not the only problem; there was no cohesiveness between the previous commissioners and the cities in the county. All of that has disappeared.

After 32 years as sheriff of Fayette County, I retired feeling that the county was once again in good hands with Jack Smith, Eric Maxwell, and the rest of the County Commission doing what they feel best for the citizens.

There have been no frivolous lawsuits filed by the county, the commission supports the constitutional officers elected by the voters, taxes have not been raised, lines of communication between the county, its departments, and the municipalities within the county are all working together.

Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell are long-time residents of Fayette County; they have family here, they have businesses here and they are active in the community as volunteers in various organizations. They both have the knowledge and the vision to keep Fayette County heading in the right direction.

I ask you once again to join me at the ballot now or on July 20 to re-elect Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell so that they can continue the excellent job they have done for the past four years leading this county. They are the right men for the job.

Randall Johnson
Former Sheriff of Fayette County, Ga.

Doug's picture
Joined: 09/07/2006
Before I leave for work today

There are some things Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell never cleared up along the way. They had had plenty of chances with blogs, paid newspaper ads, computer phone messages and much more, but they wouldn't answer.

1. Why are they really building the West Fayetteville Bypass? They say they have no choice, but they did, in fact, choose to build that useless road.

2. Why did Jack Smith never give an explanation for why he accepted some expensive gifts from a local company he gave $5 million in tax breaks? Who is he working for?

3. How can Jack Smith claim to be honest when he told the citizens of this county he would absolutely oppose mass transit in Fayette County and then turned around an vote for it three times?

4. How can Jack Smith remain on the board of a local developer bank even though he admitted there could be conflicts of interest with his government responsibilities?

5. If Eric Maxwell is applying for judgeships at the same time he's running for county commissioner, does he really want to be a county commissioner and can we expect him to do a good job?

6. What does it say to the citizens when Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell send a SPLOST (2009) up for a vote asking for a sale tax increase and they didn't even know what the projects were (and none of them were necessary)?

With Smith and Maxwell the campaigning was more like a game of dodge ball. This is why people around our great country are dumping incumbents who have lost their respect for the people they represent.

Best of luck Steve Brown. You deserve to win.

johenry's picture
Joined: 08/22/2006
Good questions for the election

Doug said it a lot better than me. Jack Smith is doing the kind of things that makes us dislike congress so much.

ginga1414's picture
Joined: 09/01/2008
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.

pips1414's picture
Joined: 03/18/2009
I Halfway Agree With Spyglass

I'm speaking in English, and I agree that Smith is a poor choice. As for Smith, if you were to read all the negative posts on him, you would miss the election deadline to vote. Same applies to the Bypass and rapid transit.

pips1414's picture
Joined: 03/18/2009
Have You Ever Wondered Why The Issues Continue with Incumbents?

Never before have Fayette County citizens spoken out so loudly against incumbent commissioners. Everywhere I go, I hear people talking about Brown and McCarty. They are sick and tired of having aloof commissioners who show their disdain for addressing public issues. Why do they vote for rapid rail? Why do they insist on the Bypass that helps only the developers, yet refuse to discuss how its layout will reduce Fayetteville traffic? Why do they say that if their challenger's campaign sign is near theirs, the law has been broken, when permission had been granted? Why do they treat two county employees above the others by giving raises and no written performance reviews? Do you want four more years of that?

Go vote. But, before you do, visit the Brown www.sb4faycom.com and McCarty www.allenmccarty.net websites. Then, go to www.splostpoll.com to see how other voters are leaning. What you see may surprise you.

Spyglass's picture
Joined: 01/28/2008
Both are poor choices...

In my opinion. I'm writing in Cyclist.

Steve Brown
Steve Brown's picture
Joined: 12/02/2009
I just thought about something regarding the TAD

I had a dialog about the Fayetteville's TAD going on. It just occurred to me while I was driving back home today that it was strange the TAD question appeared on the primary ballot instead of the general election ballot.

This probably means that if the voters approve, Fayetteville will seek approval from the County Commission and the BOE this year.

Ninja Guy
Ninja Guy's picture
Joined: 06/26/2010
Steve Brown More on TAD

With the state cuts to eduction, why on earth would the Fayette BOE go along with shifting school funds to redevelop shopping centers in Fayetteville? Also, the TAD issue as it appears on the sample ballot says nothing about the source of funding, so on the surface it would seem to be a good idea to the general voter. Mr. Brown, do you think the TAD issue could be another developer-driven boondoggle?

CCB's picture
Joined: 08/27/2006
"Why on earth..." a lot of things Ninja Guy

Of course it would be foolish for the school board to sacrifice tax money when they're broke. But then you have to ask why did they build all those empty schools too? Don't expect a rational response from them.

Why are the county commissioners building the West Fayetteville Bypass? It makes no sense because the road goes nowhere. Why did Jack Smith promise to oppose transit buses in our county and then vote for it every time without telling us back home?

Why did Jack Smith accept a board seat on a developer bank after he was elected when he knew it would conflict with his government duties and decisions on land use and zoning?

Why did Jack Smith accept some very expensive gifts from a local company after he gave them $5 million in tax breaks?

There are a lot of "why" things. If Steve Brown does not win this one I will lose my faith in our ability to stand up to corruption.

ginga1414's picture
Joined: 09/01/2008
Mr. Smith's Statement On Campaign Signs

Mr. Smith's statement, "where you see my opponent's sign near mine, his is illegal." Mr. Smith is, once again, verbally manipulating, the situation.

As a campaign volunteer, I greatly resent Mr. Smith's verbal abuse.

He fails to address the fact that, during any campaign, overzealous voters are known to remove campaign signs that belong to candidates they don't support. We have tried to keep that in mind whenever we discover missing campaign signs.

As a Brown and McCarty campaign volunteer, I can say, within the city limits of Fayetteville we have been given permission to place signs only to go back the next day and find all the signs gone.

We were told by one property owner on Redwine Road, when we asked to place a sign on his fence, that they were out of the state. He said that a neighbor had called to say that Mr. Smith's sign had been placed on the fence. The property owner told us that Mr. Smith's sign had been placed on the fence without permission.

Mr. Brown and Mr. McCarty have instructed their campaign volunteers to never touch any of Mr. Smith's or Mr. Maxwell's signs. I guess we now know what happened to Mr. Brown's signs.

One of our campaign volunteers unknowingly placed a few signs along the right of way in one place and that was immediately rectified. Sometimes, it is extremely difficult to know where the right of way begins. Unless you have a tape measure and stand in the middle of the road, it is impossible to be accurate in all situations. We have observed, on many occasions, that a Smith or Maxwell sign has been placed on the right of way, but we have not touched those signs.

Mr. Brown and Mr. McCarty have diligently worked to make sure that they have conducted themselves in accordance with civility and legality. They have instructed their volunteers to do the same. They have instructed all of their volunteers to "stick to the issues." Mr. Brown and Mr. McCarty are very proud of their campaign volunteers and greatly appreciate their help.

Spear Road Guy
Spear Road Guy's picture
Joined: 07/21/2006
I Agree With Major Mike Below

How many of the few Smith supporters say they "feel" Smith and Maxwell are the ones. They refuse to talk about the big problems like the West Fayetteville Bypass and the mass transit buses and the sales tax increase the two wanted.

You will never hear any of them talk about Jack Smith's conflict of interest with being on the board of the developer driven bank and voting on rezonings for the same developers who will get loans from his bank. You will never hear them talk about Smith accepting expensive gifts from the company he gave $5 million in tax breaks.

Jack Smith is one of the those Peachtree City residents that all of the others in Fayette County despise. He's the connected developer friendly kind willing to make a buck off of the situation even if it's not in the best interest of the county. I hope everyone is smart enough not to reelect the incumbents.

MajorMike's picture
Joined: 10/20/2005
Randall Johnson highlighted the problem

Randall Johnson highlighted the problem by stating; "After 32 years as sheriff of Fayette County, I retired feeling that the county was once again in good hands with Jack Smith, Eric Maxwell, and the rest of the County Commission doing what they feel best for the citizens." THIS attitude is what has all but destroyed ethics in the American political system.

NEWSFLASH!!!! Elected officials are NOT ELECTED to do what they feel best for the citizens. They are elected to represent the will of the citizens! Doing "what they feel best for the citizens" is a cheap cop out for getting caught doing what they damn well please.

Is Jack Smith a bad person? No, most assuradly not. He has done a lot of good for Fayette County over the years and has been of great service to the community in a number of ways. i.e. Boy Scouts, Rotary, church, etc. I have a great deal of respect for the man.

I don't expect to change the mind of any of the regular contributors in this blog but the general voting public deserves an oportunity to view the facts and get answers to questions from those who would hold office. Sadly, those answers from Jack Smith have not been forthcoming to date. Additionally, all I see is "the usual suspects" attacking his opposition.

Voting is a priviledge, it should be a responsibility.

ginga1414's picture
Joined: 09/01/2008
Squeezing In The Middle

SpearRoad, MajorMike, Voter, Courthouserules I'm just going to squeeze in the middle of you guys because you are my kind of people. Now, we've got a real dialogue going. We've got an analysis of how our country, state, and county got in the condition we are in. If "We The People" can analyze the situation, "We The People" can solve the problem.

I think (my thoughts only, I'm not speaking for Steve) that is precisely what Steve Brown has been doing with his "Term Limits" plan. It seems, to me, that the longer someone stays in office the more chance there is that the "special interest" folks will worm their way into the process.

Just last week, I was having a discussion with one of our former commissioners and he said that the whole time he was in office that not one of the "special interest" people ever approached him. He said that they knew better because he would have kicked them out.

That is the kind of person we need to elect every single time. We need candidates who have the courage to standup for "the people." If someone will go toe-to-toe and eye-to-eye with the developers, banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies, other counties or other nations with no regard as to what it will do to their political career, that person has my vote. I once heard a great Georgia Senator talk about the difference in a "statesman" and a "politician." A "statesman" or "public servant's" integrity would never allow them to tell "the people" one thing and vote for the opposite. A "statesman" or "public servant's" integrity would never allow that person to align themselves with any "conflict of interest" to that of "the people."


PLEASE VISIT: www.sb4faycom.com - www.allenmccarty.net - www.splostpoll.com

Voter's picture
Joined: 05/19/2010
just wondering

Why do public office holders and ex public officials feel the need to endorse candidates in a PRIMARY? Is it a good old boys club and challengers are not welcomed or is there something to hide?

What makes the development business have a need to be close or own elected officials? I think a good business plan should be able to stand on it's own.

Politics seem to corrupt men. Were they corrupt before elected or are the opportunities after elected so great that they can not pass them up?

Would term limits stop a lot of the arrogance of power?

The big money raised in the recent Peachtree City elections lost. Will that happen next week?

The issues are clear, will you vote?

Courthouserules's picture
Joined: 07/02/2010
Endorsement of candidates

I'm afraid that politicians are made corrupt by citizens who have a need for influence and power.
They simply can not get re-elected unless they make a lot of "friends."
They don't dare "cross" a powerful person, business or political, or they will see to it you have no support next time.

Do you think developers would vote and talk-up a person running if he was hard on developers? Nor would the bankers, realtors, etc. He has to go along. The back scratching thing also comes into being!

Now one term of a short duration with NO pension would mostly solve that problem.
You would have to talk good people into serving 2-4 years!

pips1414's picture
Joined: 03/18/2009
Jack Smith's Record Speaks For Itself, Indeed

Here's what Jack Smith (see above) had to say about the West Fayetteville Bypass:

"I addressed the West Fayetteville bypass, which is an issue to those few (less than 25 people) who are directly impacted by its path and those misguided people would believe my opponent’s claim that it is a “road to nowhere.”

They envision some clandestine, super-secret plan exists to benefit the property owners when there is a record of this commission limiting the access to the bypass so that it remains a congestion relief mechanism. These few people want to control, after the votes have been counted, that in which they did not prevail at the ballot box.

Commissioner Maxwell and I have been unjustly blamed for pursuing what the voters, not us, approved at the ballot box and what we are charged with implementing.

My opponent even claims an illegal action taken by another county is grounds for your County Commission to break state law and he and his running mate have been so bold as to tell you they would ignore the wishes of Fayette County voters and commit this same illegal action – an action that should send shivers down the spine of anyone who professes to be for democracy!"

I reply that the WFB IS a road to nowhere. It is circuitous, and unreasonably out of the way to reduce traffic in Fayetteville. Who would drive so far West to take a detour that ends out in the country, totally disconnected to any through roads? It will relieve far less traffic than even the Peachtree Parkway. The whole county, not just the property owners will benefit with no high-density development.

Messrs. Smith and Maxwell never speak of the guaranteed development which such a road would bring. It was designed to run as much as 3/4 mile through one developer's property, and almost that much through others.While it's true that a previous administration "fixed" the ballot box so that the WFB would not appear visible, it was Smith's watch, not the voters, who decided that the WFB would be built. They ignored the other more needed SPLOST projects that could be done for much less. Does anyone reading this post remember seeing the WFB on the 2003 SPLOST ballot? How do you feel, knowing that Mr. Smith is giving you credit for voting in a project you couldn't see on the ballot? We tried to find the WFB on the 2003 ballot, and it took us over an hour to find the office that had the attachment where the WFB appeared about 40 pages into Attachment "B". There were several consultants on the project, and the Atlanta Regional Commission found that the expense of the WFB would not justify its funding. So SPLOST tax was the only thing left, and it's now up to us, because we all got pulled through the SPLOST loophole.We replied in 2009 by beating Smith's new SPLOST down by more than 3 to 1. But now, we must beat Smith and Maxwell again.

As far as an illegal action by another county is concerned, Smith may be the Commission Chairman, but he is no judge. The County Administrator and County Attorney prepared a response supporting building the WFB. Those two individuals' performance reviews are done by Jack Smith. At the last Forum, Mr. Smith admitted that they were under contracts which called for performance reviews, which are required to be in writing for all other county employees. When the county got an Open Records Request for two performance reviews, no performance reviews were furnished. When asked about the discrepancy, Mr. Smith said that he conducted oral reviews, not written reviews for those two individuals, even though he made no mention of "oral reviews"as being recited in their contracts. Oddly,the County Administrator's contract called for one only if the County Administrator requested one. In government, a quick way to lose your job is taking a position against the Administration. That's why we have one less general now in Afghanistan.

Brown and McCarty are against policies like bringing in special people to serve at the will of the administration. By going to Brown's www.sb4faycom.com and McCarty's www.allenmccarty.net websites, you can learn a great deal about what's really going on. Take the time to read what they have to say, as it's all over after next Tuesday. Don't take my word or Jack Smith's. Find out for yourself.

You can view the polls and cast your straw vote at www.splostpoll.com

johenry's picture
Joined: 08/22/2006
Good post ... I forgot about that quote

Pips you did a good job. How arrogant can Smith be by blaming the HIS SELECTION of building the West Fayetteville Bypass on the citizens of Fayette County?

Who in our county thinks the bypass is a good idea? Only the developers.

ginga1414's picture
Joined: 09/01/2008

I don't suppose you had a recording device on your person somewhere; did you?

In Jack Smith's letter (above) he speaks of "factual analysis" but he has refused to supply any "factual analysis" in the form of a detailed traffic study to support or justify the construction of the West Bypass and to support or justify the destruction of many homeowners property. He seems to think that we are just supposed to sit here and take whatever he sees fit to tell us without asking for "factual analysis."

I hope other voters will visit www.sb4faycom.com and www.allenmccarty.net and www.splostpoll.com before they vote on Tudsday.

Also, if anyone would like to have a question answered by Steve Brown or Allen McCarty, please email either or both of them. Steve can be reached at stevebrownfayette@gmail.com and Allen can be reached at allenmccarty@earthlink.net


suggarfoot's picture
Joined: 10/10/2007
Mr Randall at your 'rocking chair meeting'

I was standing close to you and heard you say, "if/when, the bypass is done, it will bottleneck 74." You seem to have forgotten that.

I've seen the traffic that comes over off Oakley Rd competing with 74 Peachtree city and Tyrone residence for access to I85 during rush hour. Believe me, it is not a pretty site. Since there is no access off the bypass to I85, people will have to use Oakly to 74 to access I85 just like the present ones.

Tell the truth, the west bypass is a disaster and everyone knows it.

wildcat's picture
Joined: 04/12/2006
Mr. Sullivan- shame on you

Mr. Sullivan you wrote the following, "I would propose that we focus on offering as much gifted, enrichment, and advanced placement classes as possible to provide our children the best possible options for a great future.... this election is about the future of my son Jackson, his teammates on the PTCLL Jedi Knights, and every other current/future child of Fayette County."

Yea...you seem to have forgotten about the spec ed kids in the county and what they need. Granted, some are quite capable (college-prep/AP all the way), but there are others that are not so. Those are mine and I will fight to the death for them and their opportunities. When pompous windbags, such as yourself, write about focusing on the academic elite, and totally ignoring the other end of the spectrum, I get really mad. We all have to stand for something, Mr. Sullivan. Clearly, you stand for the gifted, well, I stand for the others. People like you make me want to scream.

If your kid is normal then you are VERY lucky. Try to remember that we are all one head injury away from being cognitively impaired. For most of us it is by the grace of God alone that we were born with average IQs, no learning deficits, the ability to focus and the ability to be able to display acceptable social skills.

You may not know this but a lot of mildly retarded students (not the pc word, but it gets my message across) are more than capable of leading productive, satisfying lives. With the proper educational background they can obtain jobs in the community and support themselves. A long time ago this population typically dropped out of school and picked up a trade. Most of the time, in general conversation, one wouldn't notice there even existed any cognitive impairment (unless one were to get into a deep conversation).

A college professor once told me that like the poor, the slow-learners will always be among us. Let us not forget about this population. They don't even get spec ed services. Did you know that? We need vo-tech classes. We need to provide all students with the opportunity to become a productive member of society (no matter what level that productivity may fall).

You are lucky that your child is "normal," "regular," "average or above," or whatever you want to call it. Count your blessings.

Signed by --- a spec ed teacher and the mother of an LD child

NeilSullivan's picture
Joined: 10/08/2008

Hi Wildcat:

You read too much into my comment. I not only understand the situation of those blessed in other ways by God. I have fought on their side.

Since SB10 has become law, several parents have chosen to take their voucher and leave our system. When that happened, our allocation for special education resources was dramatically affected and our programs have taken a hit. This concerns me greatly. Fayette County has taken the top spot in all 13 categories of the Pace Setter Awards since these awards were created. The Pace Setter award measures the values of Special Education Program on a common standard.

When FCBOE reduced those Special Ed positions a few years back due to lower allocations, I personally wrote to all five board members and asked others to do also. Our email network was not as large then you may not have heard. I thought the Fayette County citizens needed to lobby the state government to look at the unintended consequences of this bill. In fact, I had the opportunity to talk personally with Sen. Eric Johnson the uthor of SB 10 a few weeks ago and made the case that his bill unintentionally hurt our schools. He did not consider how the proximity of such excellent private facilities nearby that offer service to these children and how that could impact the Excellent Fayette County Schools by taking so many students. He gave me his personal email and I have sent him further comments. I was impressed how conversational was on educational issues and I plan to vote for him in the primary although we disagree on universal vouchers.

Sen. Johnson was surprised to hear that due to students who took vouchers and returned to our schools, FCBOE at one point was owed more than $250,000 by these schools. The bill does not have a good mechanism for the transfer back of students. But this is why I react so passionately to issues of capacity. At anytime, any child who goes to private school or chooses home school can show up at our door and demand public education. So we have 22,000+ kids and how many more can show up at anytime?

Because I post under my own name, I choose to say only that through my extended family I am more familiar with LD and other cognitive issues than you may think and take them seriously. But I also worry about “tracking” and slotting of children who may blossom later if we start allowing for the general high school diploma. We can disagree, but given the unintended consequences of SB10. I think we need to consider carefully the track Dr. Todd proposes.

We have a vocational education program and should keep it. My dad was a graduate of the Samuel Gompers Technical High School in New York City, worked 32 years in the powerhouses of Con Edison, and had one of the most brilliant math minds that I have encountered. If we do we not have room in the school day to properly accommodate vo-tech in the daily schedule, maybe use extended day or zero period. I am for AND not OR when it comes to vocational education. Remember that I am a taxpayer, not a candidate.

Some of our LD kids have their own parapros. I am amazed at the commitment of Fayette County to ALL of its children. But I believe we should offer as much opportunity for education to ALL of our children, even if they learn “slow” I have seen in my own life that slow does not mean can’t.

Thank you for what you do and I wish you well. I have chosen to stand for our entire system, openly in my own name, during campaign season and non-campaign season. We may not agree, but that is ok. I invite you to email me at NeilSullivan72@gmail.com, if you wish to discuss further.

Take Care,


wildcat's picture
Joined: 04/12/2006

Hi Neil,
Your e-mail is somewhat superficial. It sounds good, but I wonder if you really know of what you're writing? It's kind of like you are all potatoes, but no meat. I starting laughing when I read ..."some of our LD kids have their own parapros." Really? In 16 years I've not ever known one LD kid with a para pro. VI/HI/OI/EBD/AUT/MID/MOID? Yes. LD??? No. So, either you are writing in very, very vague generalities, or you don't have a clue.

While I'm sure that some took advantage of SB10, I don't recall losing any teachers at the school where I was working that first year the bill came into effect. If I remember correctly, numbers went up and we earned two more teachers. But I could be wrong because I don't really concern myself with such. My concerns are for the kids. Where are you getting your numbers? I will assume that you accessed public information and will be able to post a link so that all will see.

If I think the kids are getting short-changed, and I do with the new math curriculum and diploma, then I will open my big mouth and run it. What have I got to lose? My job? What have I got to win? Better opportunities for my kids. It's a no brainer. Remember, we all have to stand for something. Didn't Bob Dylan write a song about something along those lines?

You included information about your father...nice...we need more of that. Do you remember, growing up (I am almost 50) when only the dad worked? And he was a teacher? And he was able to buy a home, support his family, and go on vacation once a year? Yea...those days are LONG gone. Bottom line....we need vo-tech classes and we need to prepare kids to go to vocational school, along with college and/or straight into the workforce if that is what they want. Not everyone is a fit for college and there is NOTHING wrong with that. Why do you question it? I feel that if your buddy, Smola, had suggested it you would back it. I get the feeling it is some weird vendetta against Dr. Todd.

Anyway, these classes do not need to be "scheduled in" at zero period. For those that aren't familiar, zero period is a class that starts an hour before school officially starts for the day. The teacher is paid extended day pay for working the extra hour and the kids must provide their own transportation to the school.

I was going to ask you to explain the following: "We can disagree, but given the unintended consequences of SB10. I think we need to consider carefully the track Dr. Todd proposes," but I am leaving for vacation tomorrow and will not be utilizing any computers for the duration. By the time I get back, your response will have been buried.

Neil, I just don't feel that you are sincere. I'm not sure what you're angle is or what it is that you want. But I'm not really buying your words at this time. No offense, of course.

pips1414's picture
Joined: 03/18/2009
Smith's Record Speaks for itself.

I was there. I was at Christ's Church at the Meet The Commissioner Candidates
Forum when Eric Maxwell said that "yes, a SPLOST project may be dropped for another project as long as it is on the same SPLOST list." He also opined that the County Attorney said that unused county SPLOST funds can't be used for city projects. Smith never even attempted to illustrate what made the West Bypass the choice to shift the East Bypass dollars other than saying that it would reduce traffic congestion. Can't happen. The West Bypass is out of the way for those going through downtown Fayetteville, and does not lead to where the real traffic is going. That's why no detailed traffic study was done, as it would have shown the route to be totally impractical. We were lied to when we were told that the Atlanta Regional Commission conducted a traffic study. ARC said "not so". ARC found the project too expensive for financial aid, so that's why SPLOST dollars had to be used.

How many people are going from SR 54 to Fairburn? The Bypass and its destination, Ga. Hwy. 92 do not and will not connect to I-85, as anyone with a grain of sense already knows. Ah, but you say the name "bypass",in itself, implies that it relieves traffic. Not so. It actually takes much longer, as most of the travel time to points North is in Fulton or Clayton Counties, but first, you have to get to the Bypass. That's also time consuming.

Yes, Smith's record speaks for itself. At a BP gas station, Steve Brown and Allen McCarty got permission from the attendant on duty to place their campaign signs next to Smith and Maxwell's. Next day, their signs were gone, but Smith's and Maxwell's remained. As it turned out, the owner of several BP stations is a developer who also owns hundreds of acres that will be bordered and passed through by the West Bypass. Only Smith and Maxwell signs adorn those stations.

You can see Jack Smith in action on the McCarty www.allenmccarty.net and Brown www.sb4faycom.com websites. Go visit before you vote. Actions speak louder than words.

You can also cast your straw poll vote and see who's ahead at www.splostpoll.com. You may be surprised.

ginga1414's picture
Joined: 09/01/2008
Former Sheriff Johnson

You have just said, "I retired feeling that the county was once again in good hands with Jack Smith, Eric Maxwell, and the rest of the County Commission doing what they feel best for the citizens." There are 8 words in your sentence that struck me with a very uncomfortable feeling. Those 8 words are, "doing what they feel best for the citizens." That mentality is exactly why Smith and Maxwell are facing the opposition they are facing right now.

The United States Constitution starts out, "We The People." Abraham Lincoln ended his Gettysburg Address with, "that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

A lot of "people" and I dare say most "people" are not getting a fair shake from our current officials. Decisions that will impact the "people" have been made behind closed doors in Fayette County. That statement holds true for all our public officials, as well as, paid employees such as our County Administrator and County Attorney. According to Jack Smith, the County Administrator is "at the behest" of the County Commissioners. According to the dictionary the number one meaning for behest is, "an authoritative order." The listed synonyms for "behest" are "order, bidding, decree, dictate, mandate."


pips1414's picture
Joined: 03/18/2009
Smith Fails To Respond to Bypass Questions

I partially disagree with the captioned comment, as Commissioner Smith responded (indirectly). The County Administrator and County Attorney prepared an article for this newspaper stating why the county felt the Bypass must be built. Smith earlier stated at the Christ's Church Forum in response to a question about the latter two individuals not getting performance reviews that he personally gave them oral performance reviews. It should be added that the County Administrator's employment contract gives him the option of not receiving a review unless he requests it. So from the way things stand, it appears that once Smith attempts a performance review, the County Administrator could simply state that he doesn't want one, and walk out of the room. But that appears unlikely here. Doesn't it appear that both got their marching orders for the Bypass article? What's the price for taking a position against the administration in government? From what Smith said earlier, these folks are the only two county employees who don't get written performance reviews, even though the county attorney's contract called for a performance review with no option out. The county attorney received an 11% raise, so we must assume the oral review was good. That review would be an interesting thing to hear on tape.

NUK_1's picture
Joined: 12/17/2007
Randall's endorsement

PUKE. He also endorsed Wayne Hannah to be his replacement and that was a poor choice. The praising of Smith and Maxwell shows the good 'ol boy network still going strong.

MajorMike's picture
Joined: 10/20/2005

I finally found something I could agree with you on! Randall endorsed Wayne Hannah AFTER promising not endorse anyone. Hannah did provide a pleasant surprise though this past week when he was found to be actively addressing the illegal alien issue in Fayette County.

As far as "praising of Smith and Maxwell shows the good 'ol boy network still going strong." That goes far, far deeper than everyone in these blogs suspects. i.e.: If anyone in here is naive enough to believe that Bruce Jordon was canned over a ball trip, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you. Brucie was canned over HIS war with the County Commission. While Jordan was guilty of many misdeeds, he was somewhat of a sacrificial lamb in that matter.

Randall Johnson provided decades of exceptional service to then people of Fayette County and then spent the last eight years destroying that legacy by mentoring a man that was never going to be Sherriff in Fayette County. During that time, the department was without effective leadership at the top level. There was a lot of damage done in those eight years.

Now we're supposed to accept Randall Johnson's recommendation for anyone?!

NUK_1's picture
Joined: 12/17/2007
Well said, MajorMike

Agree 100% with everything you said. I guess that's our one issue for the year we can agree on :)

Citizen Bob
Citizen Bob's picture
Joined: 05/06/2010
Ms Babb: Cave qualifications

As someone who DOESN'T know Mr. Cave's qualifications, it's been very difficult to assess his potential to perform as a BOE member.

He was a no-show at the single event where citizens could ask him questions, he's refused to respond to newspaper reporters' questions and interview opportunities. During the Rotary forum, he rambled on about his time in the county and family until he was literally gonged off the stage without saying a single thing about why he was suited for the position he seeks.

Most voters are unaware of any experience he may have in the administration of public education and their very substantial budgets.

You are correct in saying he hasn't said a bad word about his opponent in his campaign; the problem is, I haven't heard him say ANYthing during the campaign.

I am particularly frightened by Smola-Smith indorsements: one has been publicly exposed as a crude, unethical, political hack, and the other as a crude, unethical, political hack with $12m.

If you set low enough standards, anyone can achieve them.

me.and_the_sea's picture
Joined: 06/23/2010
Citzen Bob...Priceless!

We have to have people with the right background making the decisions. Our children are what we sacrifice for. For the life of me I can't understand voting for someone with no experience who would be under the mentorship of Smola-Smith.

NUK_1's picture
Joined: 12/17/2007

I know little about Cave also because he seems to either be in total "stealth" mode or doesn't really want to win. It's almost like Smith/Smola put a gun to his head and said "you WILL run for this seat!" He seems disinterested and I can't fathom a reason to vote for him.

It's like the POGO comic from years ago: "if nominated, I will not run and if elected, I will not serve."

Citizen Bob
Citizen Bob's picture
Joined: 05/06/2010

That was also Lyndon Johnson's quote, which he prefaced with "I shall not seek the nomination of my party..."

NUK_1's picture
Joined: 12/17/2007
CB: you're right!

I knew there was another part to that quote but couldn't remember it. Very fitting for Cave.

Citizen Bob
Citizen Bob's picture
Joined: 05/06/2010
Remember, RWM...

One of Logsdon 's primary campaign planks was construction of the TDK bypass that Brown came to adamantly oppose when he learned of the crush of traffic it was going to generate.

The same Logsdon who, in the city's Jan 2008 newsletter to citizens wrote "that he was for it, then learned that it was not in the best interest of the city and no longer supported it".

Fortunately, Brown saw the same problem- but much earlier and stood on principle to actually stop it. Even if it cost him re-election.

Spear Road Guy
Spear Road Guy's picture
Joined: 07/21/2006

Nuk is right. I went to several of Logsdon's campaign events. Logsdon ran on a couple of things: 1. Building the TDK extension, 2. Cutting the millage rate, 3. Leadership.

I didn't know leadership meant paying the crooked development authority loans back with my tax dollars. After Logsdon got elected and the developer plans for the Coweta side of TDK were announced, people like me went crazy but Logsdon still wanted to build it.

As for cutting the millage rate Logsdon never got within that universe. He was a huge disappointment. But the all time worst thing was when Logsdon sold our city property to the big box developer so he could build the store and screw up our traffic on Highway 54.

If we had a crystal ball that could show us the future, we would have never voted Harold Logsdon in office. The thing with Brown was the more you found out later on the more you appreciated him.

The current election is a no brainer. Smith's antics don't deserve four more years. It's clear to me that Smith wants some kind of personal return on his political office. The vacation for tax breaks scandal and the bank board deal prove that.

NUK_1's picture
Joined: 12/17/2007
TDK didn't cost Brown re-election

It was just one of many issues the voters had problems with in regards to Mayor Brown.

Dondol's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Lets not forget Group 6's part in the election

The letter writing campaign that came out against Brown before the election
and then afterwards it was revealed that it was all a bunch of lies and was admitted to.

Spear Road Guy
Spear Road Guy's picture
Joined: 07/21/2006
Dondol: There's Not Much Difference In This Election

Except this time around Jack Smith is paying to print lies against Brown in the newspaper. The biggest problem with Smith's paid lies was he went so far over the top most people didn't believe them. I mean he said taxes went down when Harold Logsdon took office - GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK!!!

Citizen Bob
Citizen Bob's picture
Joined: 05/06/2010

What do you believe are the others?

NUK_1's picture
Joined: 12/17/2007
CB: Here's some

1. Very open disagreements and the launching of personal attacks directed at quite a few people who may/may not have deserved it. Extreme lack of professionalism and lack of leadership throughout his tenure.

2. Wanting to rezone the Lutheran Church into Wal-Green's

3. Running off City Mgr Jim Basinger who somehow did the job well for over 10 years and replacing him with Bernie who immediately whined that he needed an Assistant City Mgr, which he got.

4. Flip-flops on Westside, Land Use Plan, TDK, positions that he changed promptly after being elected.

5. It may have mattered to some that he had the ethics charge he filed against himself. To me, that was a bunch of hoopla over NOTHING.

6. The Comcast fiasco, where just like Westside annexation, "Citizen Steve" forgets he's Mayor.

7. Taking the Amphitheater and Tennis Ctr "in house" by creating PTC Tourism to run it instead of DPAC and that has been nothing but a failure since it happened.

8. Non-stop grandstanding and making PTC look like a joke.

9. Perception he's a Democrat since he's involved with the NAACP

Citizen Bob
Citizen Bob's picture
Joined: 05/06/2010
Finesse vs results...

See a lot of personal & style aggravations you have with the candidate. When even Logsdon changes his mind on the developers' TDK road, I'm not upset with Brown's 'out there' efforts to halt the road.

If voters don't not want someone who will take a stand for the average citizens, fight government corruption, oppose transit buses, oppose the
West Fayetteville Bypass, oppose increase SPLOST sales taxes
then he should vote for Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell.

My 2c worth...

Robert W. Morgan
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Joined: 10/26/2005
I agree with Steve Brown

and Ben Franklin - yes indeed, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this case a simple vote against the worst mayor Peachtree City ever had is that ounce of prevention. That's not to say that Jack Smith is the best thing that ever happened to Fayette County, but you only have 2 choices and Brown is the wrong one. He is not a leader and his one trick pony - the "developer's" road, the "developer's" bank, etc. is just plain silly.

If you didn't suffer through Brown's 4 years in Peachtree City and are somehow impressed with what he writes and the things he says or have just met him and think him likeable (in a Bill Clinton sort of way) then please ask yourself how an incumbent mayor can draw 6 challengers when seeking reelection and lose his seat if he were a capable leader? The answer is simple - the man-child is not ready for any position of responsibility. God know the private sector has not offered him a responsible job, so he is seeking one by conning the voters. I doubt he can win, but of course I said the same thing about Obama. Live and learn.

Spear Road Guy
Spear Road Guy's picture
Joined: 07/21/2006
Jack Smith's Letter - What a joke!!!

Here's what Smith didn't discuss in his letter: why he wanted to increase our sale taxes by $135 million; why he can't justify building the West Fayetteville Bypass; why he accepted a free international trip from a company he gave huge tax breaks; why he voted us into the regional mass transit plan when he promised otherwise.

He just keeps on trying to smear Steve Brown.

ginga1414's picture
Joined: 09/01/2008

fc1989, thank you so much for you insight. Your comment is small but very powerful. The old saying,"Good things come in small packages," applies here, big time.

fc1989's picture
Joined: 08/01/2008
Justify WFB

Those that claim the WFB is the road to nowhere are dead wrong...it is the road that leads sraight to the bank!! A certain bank that is. No doubt the east bypass made more sense and served traffic sense.

Spear Road Guy
Spear Road Guy's picture
Joined: 07/21/2006
Harold Logsdon & Bob Lenox Support Jack Smith - Vote For Brown

The people who have ripped us off for years are backing Jack Smith.

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