Commissioners warned of bypass lawsuit

If Fayette County does get a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approving the alignment of the second phase of the West Fayetteville Bypass, a citizen’s group is prepared to immediately file a lawsuit under the federal Clean Water Act.

Dennis Chase, a local retired biologist and member of the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition, said the group has secured enough funds to file the lawsuit and legal representation has already been secured.

Chase was one of six citizens opposing the bypass who spoke Thursday night to the Fayette County Commission during its public comment period.

Chase said the WFBC attorneys have told him it could take 18 to 24 months to resolve the lawsuit if it goes smoothly. What he didn’t specifically spell out is a hope among bypass opponents that such a timeframe will halt the bypass progress and give them time to vote out the three incumbent county commissioners in the 2012 election.

Already the bypass opposition has gained favor from newly-elected commissioners Steve Brown and Allen McCarty, who will be sworn into office in January. Both men have pledged to stop the bypass project and divert the money from the 2003 transportation sales tax to other projects.

Just over two weeks ago the commission voted unanimously to proceed with land acquisition for the second phase of the bypass, and Commission Chairman Jack Smith told The Citizen that the county has been given a verbal indication that the Corps of Engineers would approve the current alignment of the bypass.

That move drew the attention of several bypass critics at Thursday night’s meeting who contended that the voters have spoken against the bypass on two occasions: when incumbent commissioners Smith and Eric Maxwell were defeated at the polls in July, and also last year when the county’s 2009 special purpose local option sales tax was defeated resoundingly by a 3 to 1 margin.

Chase told the commission that the coalition against the bypass consisted of some who don’t even live near the bypass.

“Don’t ever think this is just a few people lying along the path bringing this lawsuit,” Chase said, explaining that the lawsuit had to wait for the Corps decision before it could be filed. “... This will be an issue for those of you running for election two years from now because it’s still going to be here.”

Fayette resident Denise Ognio said despite the fact that “we do not want a West Fayetteville bypass” she is continually reading about its progress in the newspaper.

“I ask you, have you forgotten who we the people are?” Ognio said. “We will stand behind you, but you have to listen to us. You work for us. We pay your salaries.”

Gordon Furr of Tyrone said he was unhappy that the bypass project was proceeding.

“I’m upset about how y’all are just undermining the citizens and don’t pay us any attention whatsoever,” Furr said. He added that the bypass would create a bottleneck of traffic on Westbridge Road where it terminates across from Ga. Highway 92.

The commission has already voted to proceed with work to realign a portion of Westbridge Road and also replace a bridge on the road.

Kim Hinchey, who also lives in unincorporated Fayette County, said she felt the commission was “ramming the West Fayetteville Bypass down our throats.”

Tom Halpin was another one of the six people who spoke against the bypass. He said he was concerned about the third phase of the bypass because of the affect it might have on kids walking to schools in the area. he also was concerned about the possibility of not having a traffic light on Harp Road at. Ga. Highway 85 where the southern leg of the bypass is slated to start.

“We don’t want this bypass,” Halpin said, adding that the inaction of the commission sends a message that they think nothing is wrong with the project.

mbest
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LMAO..potatoe chip crumbs.

Typical liberal reaction. Insult your critics with juvenile remarks. I'm standing up for something now warning those that don't know about Denise Chase. We haven't elected him to any office. He is a self appointed antagonist who, in the end, will cost us more than any good he could ever achieve.

ginga1414
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THANK YOU, Avenger12, For Your Logical Views

Almost three years ago when Phase I of the Bypass was started, residents spoke loud and clear about the potential dangers of that particular intersection and the entire alignment of the West Bypass, for that matter. If that intersection is supplied with every safety device known to man, there will still be a hazardous situation there. The obvious danger of that intersection coupled with politicians trying to build roads for real estate developers makes for a deadly combination.

When you mix school buses loaded with children and 4000 lb. trucks, it just makes for a disaster waiting to happen. When a road that is touted to be a thoroughfare runs along side many schools and through neighborhoods, it is just asking for disaster.

Avenger12, your comments are logic in the face of lunacy. It seems that some folks in Fayette County just can't deal with logic. That is a sad sad situation because one young woman has already lost her life due to that kind of reasoning.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for voicing your experiences with the Hwy. 54/West Bypass intersection. Be careful and stay safe on your travels through that area,

Avenger12
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Deathtrap

I find it very difficult to get behind any endeavor Fayette county makes when it comes to transportation simply because of my experience over the past 4 weeks. I travel throughout Fayette County all day, every day to customers and go through the intersection of Hwy 54 and the "bypass" from all three directions at least 5 times a day. I can say, without hesitation, that it is currently the most dangerous intersection south of I-20 in the Atlanta metro area. I don't care how many half-asleep, brain-dead cops with gloves and whistles you have standing there or construction workers with a flip sign, 4000 lb vehicles traveling at 55+ MPH don't react well to poorly planned (half-completed) intersections of doom. I have had or witnessed nearly two dozen near misses in just a few weeks there. One person has died and there will be more. Any organization that demonstrates that level of galactic stupidity and has such a cavalier disregard for public safety should not be trusted to accomplish anything. Everyone involved with that calamity of a road should be canned...now.

mbest
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You're not listening,

I said I quit listening when Dennis Chase stepped in the ring. If ever I catch myself on the same side as him I re-think my position. He hurts your cause.

ginga1414
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mbest

When one stops listening, they have lost the potential to move forward. If citizens and officials don't start listening to someone other than their own biased opinions, we are doomed as a people and community.

Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell wouldn't listen to anyone except the developers and you see where that got them.

Dennis Chase, the WFBC and many others have asked Smith and Maxwell to tell us or show us good solid reasoning for building the WFB. What did we get? Nothing. Oh, they spoke to the press but they wouldn't truthfully answer questions publicly.

Dennis Chase has never done anything to hurt the people of Fayette County. He has fought against the politicians who place politics over the ecological welfare of the county. It's indeed unfortunate that his critics don't know enough about ecology to understand what he is doing.

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mbest

Denis Chase doesn't hurt the cause of anything! What have you stood up for lately other than to let someone clean the potatoe chip crumbs out of your recliner?

Spear Road Guy
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The Commissioners Deserve The Lawsuit And A Whole Lot More

The commissioners have turned out to be no better than common criminals. You've got to know Smith and Maxwell have their payoff coming for delivering the road to nowhere for their developer friends. They're a disgrace.

ginga1414
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Double Post

Please excuse the double post. I tried to delete it but it didn't work. I guess it is just one more reason for folks to find fault. I freely admit that I'm not perfect. They freely admit that they are.

ginga1414
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jevank, mbest, nuk

Do you believe everything you read in the papers? I surely hope not.

There were many more than six people.

There are time constraints placed on public comments.

Dennis Chase was asked/invited to join the fight against the West Bypass in September 2008. He was asked/invited to join because of his expertise with the 404 Permit. Approving or disapproving the 404 Permit was his job for many many years.

Neither we nor Dennis Chase are ignorant nor idiots.

Is it idiocy to be concerned for the water quality we all consume in Fayette County?

Is it idiocy to hold county officials feet to the fire when they repeatedly lie to every tax paying citizen?

When the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition decided to fight this thing, we all knew that we were setting ourselves up for ridicule and slanderous comments. Maybe, if you knew all the facts, you wouldn't be calling people names! Nah, I doubt that's true. Some folks just like to be nasty just for the sake of being nasty.

I'm not going to waste my time debating with you, but I just had to set the record straight. Dennis Chase, the WFBC, and many others are fighting for your rights, too. The problem is you just don't know it.

This controversy has been equated to a poker game. Our commissioners are the ones who started the game. Right now, all the cards aren't on the table.

jevank
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Ginga

Why in the world would you include me in this response? My post was strictly about the “award-winning” “journalist.” I stopped reading your incessant posts a long time ago.

ginga1414
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jevank, Excellent

I'm very glad to know that you stopped reading my "incessant posts a long time ago." That being the case, I won't have to see where you have replied to another of my "incessant posts," yet again.

ginga1414
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jevank, mbest, nuk

Do you believe everything you read in the papers? I surely hope not.

There were many more than six people.

There are time constraints placed on public comments.

Dennis Chase was asked/invited to join the fight against the West Bypass in September 2008. He was asked/invited to join because of his expertise with the 404 Permit. Approving or disapproving the 404 Permit was his job for many many years.

Neither we nor Dennis Chase are ignorant nor idiots.

Is it idiocy to be concerned for the water quality we all consume in Fayette County?

Is it idiocy to hold county officials feet to the fire when they repeatedly lie to every tax paying citizen?

When the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition decided to fight this thing, we all knew that we were setting ourselves up for ridicule and slanderous comments. Maybe, if you knew all the facts, you wouldn't be calling people names! Nah, I doubt that's true. Some folks just like to be nasty just for the sake of being nasty.

I'm not going to waste my time debating with you, but I just had to set the record straight. Dennis Chase, the WFBC, and many others are fighting for your rights, too. The problem is you just don't know it.

This controversy has been equated to a poker game. Our commissioners are the ones who started the game. Right now, all the cards aren't on the table.

mbest
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ginga, it is my not so humble opiniion...

that you hurt your cause by involving Dennis Chase. I don't have an opinion on the WFB because I don't think it will affect me other than the taxes involved. However, most people I know stop listening when Chase starts talking.

suggarfoot
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mebest

there is nothing 'humble' about you. When they vacum your chair for the potato chip crumbs, why don't you stay there and bend over?

pips1414
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mbest

So you don't care where your taxes go as long as the projects involved don't directly impact you? This is a $50 million pork project. Mr. Chase obviously doesn't support damaging the environment solely for the benefit of developers. There are many other folks who don't live in the path of the bypass that don't support it. The July 20th election returns told us that. Do you believe the voters were wrong to oust Smith and Maxwell? If so, please tell us how.

I'll have to give the commmissioners credit, though, for being fiercely loyal. Once you can get them to support a project, they won't back off, regardless of what the voters want. Undoubtedly, the commissioners thank you for your unquestioning financial support. Perhaps you could give us some good reasons why the bypass will be good for the environment and provide us with some traffic data showing how Fayetteville will no longer be congested when it is completed.

NUK_1
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Know all about Dennis Chase

I've had the displeasure of knowing and seeing him in action for about 20 years. He's almost always on the "losing side" and for good reasons: he's hysterical in his rhetoric, has accused just about everyone in FC of being criminals at one point or the other, and he's also very arrogant and too obtuse to understand that not everyone is going to agree 100% with him. He's an "all or nothing" guy who has burned about every bridge in FC already and isn't going to help your cause.

By the time Chase gets through with his crusades and tirades, I feel like clear-cutting a national forest and building a smokestack industry on Lake Peachtree. He can really make you want to dislike our fragile environment.

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Environment and Dennis Chase

Why don't you drink and swim in the Flint River? Dennis warned us 10 years ago, now it's dead. 2nd thought, maybe you have been and that's why you're brain dead.

NUK_1
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Salvo

So glad u could stop by and I have to give u some credit for being able to say ANYTHING without SPLOSTPOLL SPLOSTPOLL SPLOSTPOLL all over it, for once,at least.

Now, maybe you can explain how the Flint River is "dead" since that's real news to me and the people who happen to live around it or the lakes it flows into. I assume you are referring to when the anti-freeze contamination happened almost 10 years ago or so. Yeah, that makes this river just "dead" forever. Please.

ginga1414
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Nuk_1, According To You, You Know It All. However

I knew you would be back with more of your slanderous remarks. How, do you suppose, I knew that? Little do you know just how funny you are.

NUK_1
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I wouldn't say it I know it all........but

...I'd say I know a lot more than some and it's pretty evident. The most recent example would be that I happen to know what slander is and you obviously have no idea, very similar to how you think we live in a democracy with a "majority rules" backbone and I am fully aware we never have.

I don't think you help your own case vs. the WFB at all. Just about everyone is against it but you're going to change some minds.

ginga1414
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NUK_1

I don't know what your dictionary's definition of "slander" is but my dictionary defines "slander" as: slander n. false, malicious report.

The definition of "false is: false a. deceptive; unfaithful.

The definition of malice is: malice n. ill will, disposition to harm others.

NUK_1
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What was "false" there ginga?

That he is almost always on the losing side. That's a FACT.

That he's accused a lot of people of being criminals and engaging in illegal activities for quite a long time. That's a FACT.

That he alienates far more people than he convinces? That's a FACT.

That his columns in the local newspaper used to be shrill and full of hysterics? That's an OPINION.

Dennis Chase is a weaselly little puke that isn't going to help anyone's cause, especially the environment. That's an OPINION.

Now, look in your dictionary again and tell me exactly how any of that falls under the category of "slander."

NUK_1
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6 (SIX) people show up to speak out

WOW....earth-shattering. Ginga1414 made it sound like a a huge throng of concerned citizens were in attendance and also spoke up and now it turns out it was all of SIX.

Oh, I forgot loser Dennis Chase who hasn't been taken seriously by anyone for over a decade after he used to have a local newspaper column where he made himself look like a hysterical freak and bomb-thrower who did more harm to his own causes than good. Great work, folks.

pips1414
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Here's The Bypass Story as I told It

You left me out of the fray, Mr. Munford. The only folks I've found in favor of the bypass are a very few bloggers who seem to be consistently controversial on a very wide range of subjects. But this was my schpeel to the commissioners...

"For over 2 years, now, you commissioners knew or should have known that the public in Fayette County has been against the West Bypass. You commissioners, not the voters, selected this project out of a large number of eligible SPLOST projects from the 2003 SPLOST referendum. You gave the voters no choice over which projects you chose. When the voters complained, you simply said “you voted for it.” At one point you published an article claiming that once a project was started, it could not be stopped. You also never explained why the East Bypass was started and not scaled down, but stopped totally, yet the WFB could not be stopped for any reason..

On September 16, 2008, you held a West Fayetteville Bypass open house where you received 87 negative written comments from folks living within the alignment of the WFB who were against the project, with fewer than 15 positive. Rather than addressing these problems, or responding, you ignored them, and continued to pursue the bypass. The open house was not an open presentation, because it did not allow all attendees to hear the questions and your answers to them. Why did you tell those who commented to fill out their names and addresses on the comment forms when you had no intention of following up on them as promised by the meeting chairperson?

One of you admitted earlier this year that no detailed traffic study was conducted that would support public need for the WFB. One of you has also stated that “the WFB is my baby.” Additionally with no 404 Permit in hand, you also very recently purchased residential property in the WFB alignment. This was after the Director of Public Works had told us at a public workshop in 2009 that no land acquisition for the WFB would occur until all permits were in hand. The Public Works Dept. also told the public that the Atlanta Regional Commission had conducted a traffic study, but ARC denied having done so. In fact, ARC also indicated that the project did not score highly enough to be eligible when the County sought funding from outside sources.

None of you have ever publicly discussed details showing how the current alignment of the WFB will reduce traffic congestion in Fayetteville. You simply said that the County Engineer approved it. The WFB is several miles from downtown Fayetteville, and it does not follow a well traveled traffic pattern from its starting point to its termination point.

The only beneficiaries of the WFB are developers, one of whom will receive up to 3/4 mile of free road frontage where the WFB intersects his property. Six wetland areas will be disturbed when this road goes through. The county will have to pay over $800,000 in mitigation damages because of this. When we requested records showing detailed review of less damaging alternative routes, none was provided.

In pursuing the WFB, you are going against the will of the people. Here’s how. The July 20, 2010 Republican Primary Election revealed that the public accepted the platforms of candidates Steve Brown and Allen McCarty, whose positions were fighting the WFB, mass transit, and SPLOST. Both candidates had decisive victories in almost all precincts with the greatest majorities in those precincts on or near the WFB alignment. The 2009 SPLOST vote was another issue in itself, as it revealed strong voter opposition to the WFB. When the voters realized what the commissioners had done to them in hiding the WFB in 2003, in November, 2009, they retaliated by defeating SPLOST with 76% of the vote against it.

All that being said, you commissioners still press on with a project nobody wants. All the WFB publicity is negative, all the comments are negative, and the majority of the voters are against it. That’s why the citizens of Fayette County can’t understand why you commissioners remain oblivious to their feelings.

With new commissioners taking office in January, you owe it to the taxpayers of Fayette County not to cast stumbling blocks in the path of the new commissioners as you are now doing by moving forward with the WFB. It is betraying the public trust not to follow the will of the majority. You owe your allegiance to them, not to the developers.

That’s all I’ve got to say"

mbest
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Dennis Chase; you're an attention grabbling idiot.

Yes I said idiot. You attach yourself to projects AFTER they have already been approved and in the works. You did the same thing when the Fayette County Jail was approved to be built and then you jumped on your soap box to fight it.

If your heart was in the battle you would be in these battles when they begin and not after they are a done deal. I've seen the way you work. You are doing nothing but using lost causes to further grab attention towards yourself as a citizen with a mission. I see through you because I've watched the way you operate. Now those around you will watch you and see the same. When you enter a cause it's about you and not the current event.

Salvo10
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attention grabbing mbest

You're the attention whore standing on your dope box. Denise has given his all since the BEGINNING of this fiasco when losers like you had your thumbs up your ear lobe, the one between your legs. I am part of this coalition and I was there in the lawyers office helping with decisions and handing over inditing documents the public has yet to see. What a bunch of lying crooks these commissioners are and their supporters like you. read the law suit letter of intent at www.SPLOSTPOLL.com

NUK_1
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Nice job, "Salvo"

Did your other name get banned for spamming the hell out of this site with SPLOSTPOLL over and over and over?

Who is Denise? Is Dennis Chase now into gender-bending too and sometimes goes by Denise instead of Dennis? Interesting.....

jevank
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Nuk

I believe he was banned right after calling Cal a liar in an editor's note. Something to do with the bypass.

Can you believe this guy after Cal gave him so much publicity?

NUK_1
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That's gratitude for you!

Free PR and able to jam his URL link in here repeatedly every day and then picks a fight with the site owner? Brilliant!

I haven't been happy with the FC commissioners, WFB, etc. myself, but some have a real zealotry against EVERYTHING and I don't trust them either.

ginga1414
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"It's A Done Deal" - Not Yet!

In September of 2008, I went to an Open House meeting for homeowners and property owners along the West Fayetteville Bypass. At that meeting, a couple of commissioners, quite a few consultants, and two folks from the Public Works Dept. all said the West Fayetteville Bypass is a "done deal."

It's not quite "done" yet.

Courthouserules
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ginga

I wish you could have your way with this road. But these things happen all of the time. People have homes at a certain location----even new ones, and by five to 10 years a major through way is behind them or in front of them.
I saw some more of this in Gwinnett County (Old farmland) last week.

Truly I wouldn't invest in lawyers and sweat and tears any longer on this.

This Fayette County. People want to live here that do not as of now.

ginga1414
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Courthouse

Despite all the stuff that goes on here, I know you have a good heart.