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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Former Sheriff of Fayette County, Ga.