Brown/McCarty victory a stunner

Todd easily wins reelection over newcomer Cave

While school board member Bob Todd had the largest margin of victory in Tuesday's election, it was the voting-out of incumbents on the Fayette County Board of Commissioners that spoke the loudest.

Post 5 incumbent Eric Maxwell was defeated 6,005 to 5,008 as political newcomer Allen McCarty took 54.26 percent of the vote.

Perhaps even more significant was the defeat of Post 4 incumbent and commission chairman Jack Smith, who was handed a loss by former Peachtree City Mayor Steve Brown. Brown had been defeated at the polls in two previous elections, first losing his mayoral re-election bid to newcomer Harold Logsdon in 2005 and then losing a bid for the Georgia House of Representatives to Peachtree City attorney Matt Ramsey.

Brown managed to redeem his political career, partnering with McCarty in a campaign that centered heavily on opposition to the West Fayetteville Bypass. It remains to be seen, however, if they will be able to convince another sitting commissioner to also kill the bypass, as three votes are the minimum required for any action on the five-member board.

Board of Education member Todd won re-election handily over newcomer Charlie Cave, as Todd took nearly 62 percent of the vote for the Post 4 seat. Todd took 6,785 votes to Cave's 4,232.

One seat on the BoE remains unclaimed, as Republican Sam Tolbert will be facing off against Democratic challenger Laura Burgess in November's general election for the Post 5 seat.

At the polls Tuesday, a bid to repurpose tax dollars for redevelopment of older commercial properties in Fayetteville was defeated 890-798.

Not quite 28 percent of the county's registered voters participated in Tuesday's primary election, with 19,276 ballots cast among 69,119 registered voters. The final voter turnout was determined to be 27.89 percent.

Among races for the Georgia legislature, Fayetteville's Emory Wilkerson lost a bid to unseat incumbent District 74 Democrat Roberta Abdul-Salaam, who took 62.6 percent of the vote. Incumbent District 34 Senator Valencia Seay held off two challengers to claim 52.1 percent of the vote in the Democratic race, defeating Travis Spruill and former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill. Despite his controversial one-term reign as sheriff, Hill managed 39.4 percent of the vote district-wide with 4,757 supporters to Seay's 6,294 votes.

Those were the only locally contested races in the legislature in the primary.

In statewide races, Fayette Republican voters resoundingly supported Karen Handel for the party's nomination as governor. Handel won 38 percent of the vote here with Nathan Deal finishing second with 24.35 percent. The two are heading to a statewide runoff election Aug. 10.

On the Democratic side, Gov. Roy Barnes handily carried Fayette County with 73.93 percent of the vote as he cruised to victory statewide for the Democratic nomination. In November Barnes will face the winner of the Handel-Deal runoff.

Also headed for a runoff statewide are:
• Gail Buckner (35.1 percent) and Georganna Sinkfield (22.6 percent) in the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State
• Sam Olens (39.9 percent) and Preston W. Smith (30.6 percent) in the Republican nomination for Attorney General;
• Republicans Ralph Hudgens (20.7 percent) and Maria Sheffield (19.6 percent) for their party's nomination for state Insurance Commissioner.

Georgia voters also decided a number of other statewide races in Tuesday's primary:
• Carol Porter won the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor with 69.7 percent of the vote. She will face Republican incumbent Casey Cagle in November's general election;
• Brian Kemp won the Republican nomination for Secretary of State with 59.2 percent of the vote. He will face the winner of the Buckner-Sinkfield runoff.
• Michael Thurmond handily won a two-man race for the Democratic nomination for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Thurmond in November will face incumbent Johnny Isakson.
• Ken Hodges won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General with 65.5 percent of the vote over challenger Rob Telihet. He will face the winner of the Olens-Smith runoff in November.
• John Barge won the Republican nomination for State School Superintendent with 51.9 percent of the vote. He will face Democrat Jim Martin, who won a three-way race for the Democratic nomination with 54.9 percent of the vote.

Check the following link for the Fayette County Election Office's unofficial final tallies:

http://www.fayettecountyga.gov/elections/results-1.htm

Citizen Bob
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A Concerned Sen... What we voted on

Check here to see the actual ballot with its Yes/No question for 2004 voters to decided the SPLOST:

http://www.sb4faycom.com/2004_SPLOST_ballot.html

"Shall a special 1 percent sales and use tax be imposed for road, street, and bridge purposes in Fayette County for a period not to exceed five (5) years and for raising not more than $115,857,267.00?"

We collectively approved a list of projects (contained in a separate document- the 2003 Fayette County Transportation Plan) that COULD be built, not that any of them HAD to be built. The list of actual projects, by the way,

ginga1414
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Courthouserules, Abandoned East Bypass

Courthouse, the county spent $600,000 on the East Bypass and abandoned the project. At one commissioner's meeting I attended Eric Maxwell said that he was not willing to spend one more cent on the East Bypass. The rest of the commissioners agreed and they abandoned the project. Our current commissioners threw away $600,000 that had already been spent on the East Bypass. The East Bypass was originally a SPLOST (Special Purpose) project.

According to County Administrator Jack Krakeel, the county cannot, by law, abandon a SPLOST project. Originally, the East Bypass and the West Bypass were to be funded with State/Federal/County money. To get the big picture, one would have to read the entire Transportation Plan (Exhibit B of the SPLOST). When the State and Feds pulled out of the funding for the East Bypass, our county commissioners decided to strap the entire cost of the West Bypass to the backs of Fayette County citizens.

The issues surrounding the West Fayetteville Bypass Phase II have become so convoluted that our commissioners, County Administrator, County Attorney, County Engineer, and Public Works Department seem to be wandering around in the county fair fun house. They pick one phrase here and another phrase there, add it to the pot, and we have wound up with a sticky gooey mess.

In the beginning, the only description that appeared on the county website concerning the 2004 SPLOST was a copy of the Resolution and Exhibit A. When members of the WFBC (West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition) started searching through county documents to find Exhibit B (mentioned on the Resolution, not displayed on website) and pointed out the fact that Exhibit B did not appear on the website, the county rectified that situation after the WFBC found Exhibit B buried within county files.

To make a very long ugly story short, here we are today with the county's 404 Permit Application sitting in the bowels of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office waiting for the county to provide the Corps with the information they should have provided when they applied for the 404 Permit. The county cannot proceed to build the WFB without a 404 Permit. The West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition ("WFBC") has retained an environmental law firm that is prepared to file suit if the COE grants the 404 Permit. However, if the COE requests the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement, that will take years. When the WFBC examined county files, it found no detailed traffic studies supporting public need, no comparison of the selected route to alternative routes to show that it was the least damaging, and no environmental assessment studies. Any road project crossing wetlands must be in the public (not the developers') best interest, and it must be shown that the selected route is the least environmentally damaging route. Should the COE find the 404 application to be complete, it may require public hearings. The COE is required to consider all public comments in making its evaluation. With the Bypass the central campaign issue and its proponents defeated, that, in itself, could be a strong indicator that the Bypass is not in the public interest even if the lack of documented need is not taken into consideration. You should also bear in mind that the Bypass crosses eight different streams and is located in a water recharge area, that is not recommended for roads. Mitigation damages for crossing the wetlands is estimated to exceed $800,000 should the permit go through.

Courthouserules
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Bob

It will be built. No way they will just throw away that money. Special purpose, you know? (That is what SP means! (in SP LOST)

Doug
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I disagree

I disagree with the comment below from Concerned Sen about Brown eventually going to the "trough" like other politicians. A few bloggers get really nasty and throw mud on Steve Brown, but not even those accuse him of being on the take.

He's proven to be an honest guy.

A Concerned Sen...
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AtHomeGym

No, I did not misconstrue what Mr. Brown said nor did nor did I misconstrue the SPLOST vote. He will not be able to stop the project underway now (Phase i & II). Perhaps he can with Phase III but I doubt it. He is just one of five commissioners and it will take a lawsuit to settle it.

It would be nice if they would just take some of the money and fix all the potholes amd repave the roads in Fayette County, but thats asking too much for a village of idiots. They are more interested in weaseling more tax dollars out of the citizens of Fayette County. Sooner or later Mr. Brown will take his turn at the trough and do the same as his predecessors. Look at what he did in Peachtree City. Bost Hog and his piglets rule again. Heaven help us.

A Concerned Sen...
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Well, Now Mr. Brown. What about the SPLOST?

Now that you have committed yourself to stopping the SPLOST Bypass Project and spending the money on whatever whims you want, remember that this was something that was voted by the voters in 2004. You can not change it without a full vote of the voters in Fayette County. (lawsuit pending???) Many of us want the bypasses on the East and West sides of Fayetteville to reduce the traffic. No, we do not want MARTA or any other State or Atlanta governmental transportation mess.

Transportation from Fayetteville or Peachtree City to the Airport should be handled by private business. Any fool who thinks that a 1% Regional sales tax will help transportation in Fayette County is an idiot. We are not interested in any MARTA busses or rapid rail in Fayette County. "Pork Chop" Sonny Purdue loaded the Regional 1% Transportation Tax bill with his Transportation Authority girl, Genna Evans, and any product of that will be aimed specifically at Gwinnett and North Fulton counties while the citizens of Fayette pay the bill. Ms. Evens could not even keep up with over 500 Million Dollars in committed transportation projects. She may have a Phd from GA Tech but dosen't know squat about accounting. God only knows what kinds of schemes and payoffs she, Sonny and the Statehouse crowd are cooking up now.

You have you chance to do what is right and lead Fayette County forward. I guess we ought to forgive your many mistakes and land deals in Peachtree City. By the way, what ever happened to the Hwy 54 bridge property you purchased?

Just remember, should you or any of the other commissioners fail to do the right thing, we will be watching. We have long memories and will vote you out just like those you replaced.

Now have a nice day!

ginga1414
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AtHomeGym

Thank you, AtHomeGym. You are so right. Thank you for being able to see past the propaganda that has been thrown out there.

AtHomeGym
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Concerned Sen..., Brown & Splost

You have misconstrued what Brown has said. Can you honestly say that you knew you were voting to construct the WFB in 2004 when you voted for the SPLOST? I know I didn't. Give the two new commissioners a chance! If they hose it up, they'll take heat from all sides and be out after one term.

Cyclist
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OMG Victor Hill

!!!!!!

Courthouserules
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cyclist

Was Victor the little dude who put snipers on the roof for protection and then fired many?
I hate to say it but a new chief should be able to fire and replace who he wants if he is elected. If he can't he ain't no Chief.

Cyclist
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Well CHR$

The judge disagreed with you and Clayton County had to dig deep to pay off the judgement because of that bozo.

AtHomeGym
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chr & Victor Hill

So are you saying that if, when elected, one can just ignore all the existing civil service regulations and hire/fire at will? Don't think so.

Courthouserules
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Gym

Yes it can be done!
All that is needed is 2-3 written warnings for just reasons and having been counseled!
If that casn't happen what can be done?
It is the weak supervision that is the problem!

MajorMike
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Bonkie

I don't believe that Chief "Walking Small" Hill gave any of those officers any warning. That said, a Sheriff in Georgia is a constitutional officer and the officers under him serve at his pleasure. At least that's how it's supposed to work. Clayton County however ............

AtHomeGym
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Election & Charlie Cave

Hard to believe he got all those votes, being a no-show,no-campaigner. Or were those really simply votes AGAINST Todd?

me.and_the_sea
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No that wasn't votes against DR Todd

that was 4,232 involved in developement, real estate, and loans.

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