It’s Steele who ends up being divisive

You will recall how Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix was chastised as our proposed representative to Regional Transportation Roundtable (RTR), a group mandated by House Bill 277 for structuring a region-wide sale tax referendum for transportation.

Haddix simply suggested that we look into joining the Three River Region to the south instead of remaining in the ARC. Afterward, Haddix received a stinging reprisal, something akin to a smear campaign, saying he had tarnished our county’s image in our region with his talk. However, nothing could have been further from the truth.

I personally attended a legislative dinner function that included most of our region’s leadership at the county level. Most of the county chairmen did not even know who Don Haddix was, much less anything he had said.

It turned out the broker of the smear campaign against Haddix was Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele. And, yes, in a masterful power grab, Steele managed to get Haddix removed from the RTR and installed himself.

Now, fast-forward to the Dec. 17 meeting of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable, the first meeting of the body. It was a meeting to remember.

Fayette County Chairman Jack Smith had previously proposed via a conference call the use of a caucus-type system for selecting the Executive Committee of the RTR, a mandated group responsible for laying the groundwork for road project selection (known as the “constrained” projects). Each representative of the various counties in the RTR was given Smith’s caucus-type proposal for selecting Executive Committee members.

Before anyone could vote, Steele made a motion to scrap the caucus-type voting and move forward with a straight vote of each member of the RTR to select the Executive Committee. Quite a few of the RTR members thought Smith and Steele had pulled a bait-and-switch maneuver on them at the last minute, but I think that is giving Smith far too much credit for thinking ahead.

Steele, however, had been working behind the scenes. His motion won by 12-to-9, the Executive Committee was selected and scene was described as the polarization of metropolitan Atlanta. Looking on, business leaders, including top officials with Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, were furious.

It appeared our representatives, Smith and Steele, thought the best way to get road projects constructed in the counties to our north which would benefit us was to completely exclude them from Steele’s self-absorbed ruse.

For my part, all I could do at the meeting as an observer was to shake my head and laugh. Steele had managed to bump off Haddix on trumped-up charges of being divisive and it was Steele who ended up giving us a political black eye.

Both Smith and Steele removed their names from contention for the Executive Committee. Smith’s move effectively knocks out a leadership role for our new county chairman beginning in a few weeks and Steele’s move gives him a hedge (he can say he was not responsible) in case the whole RTR stunt does not work out like he says it will.

Smith made the motion to lock in the investment guidelines for the upcoming referendum in 2012. Both Smith and Steele voted in favor of the guidelines.

Those guidelines include up to $370 million for “aviation” as if that is going to solve our automotive traffic problems. In addition, the guidelines include up to $3 billion for mass transit capital and up to $1.5 billion for mass transit operations and maintenance.

Were we not told that the program would not include funding for mass transit operation and maintenance?

Let’s engage our brains and consider what will happen to us and others in our region if we add $3 billion in mass transit infrastructure and pump up operations at such a rate using special limited sales taxes? Who do you think will pay to sustain that massive increase in mass transit capacity once the sale tax expires?

Did you know that a referendum is not required to extend the regional sales tax for 10 years after the first one?

The lion’s share of Fayette’s tax proceeds from the referendum would go to fund projects that most of our citizens will never use in other parts of the region.

For the record, Fayette County still appears in the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Concept 3 mass transit plan, thanks to backing from Steele and Smith.

There are alternatives, a lot less harmful ones. Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Perhaps we should take a serious look at some of the other proposals.

Steve Brown

In-coming Fayette Commissioner, Post 4

stevebrownptc@ureach.com

Peachtree City, Ga.

Spear Road Guy
Spear Road Guy's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2006
Give Us A Break Efdrakejr!!!

If you prefer "personal conversation" then why are you trashing Steve Brown in this blog??? You can't have it both ways.

Besides your post about Brown doesn't make sense anyway. You make a whopping assumption that he hates the black leaders Mayor Reed and CEO Ellis. Then you skip over Mayor Steele's actions and say something is wrong with Brown because he isn't cheering that the black leaders Mayor Reed and CEO Ellis weren't on the executive board. What Brown said was Mayor Steele caused the same kind of division that he accused Mayor Haddix of committing when he got Mayor Haddix kicked off the committee.

For the record, I supported Harold Logsdon instead of Steve Brown. I later admitted as did others that I made a mistake. Brown was dead on about TDK and the other stuff. He's right about the West Fayetteville Bypass too.

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
You're a horrible human being

You guys are good at this aren't you? Regular character assasination isn't enough for you...you've got to imply that the person your debating is somehow a racist, too.

You're a worthless skunk not worthy of further discussion.

Spear Road Guy
Spear Road Guy's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2006
I Don't Get It Efdrakejr???

Reed and Ellis are black. Right??? You're the one who said Steve Brown should be happy because Steele gave the two guys the hammer. Right???

So why should Steve Brown and the tea partyers be happy that Steele gave them the shaft???

Did Mayor Steele cause the same kind of division that he accused Mayor Haddix of committing when he got Mayor Haddix kicked off the committee??? You tell us Efdrakejr.

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
Google

Ginga - There you go assuming the worst again. I just put GCPA because I was replying directly to Mayor Haddix message where he spelled it out, not to hide my identity (once again, note that I put my full name and picture on my posts). Maybe you should take some Google lessons from the mayor so you don't have to sort through the other web sites you found (my name + GCPA or my name + Fayette will take you right to me).

As for the forum of discussion, I prefer personal conversation where people can exchange thoughts and ideas a little bit better than through a blog but that doesn't work well for people who want/need anonymity.

911inside
911inside's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/03/2010
It's Steele being Divisive

Our Commissioners have been pulling abusing our dollars in this depression for the last 4 years and they've amped it up since Maxwell and Smith learned we've had enough. Now with issues such as using our money to give raises to the County AGAIN, the so-called Fayetteville bypass, signing off on Mass Transit which the people have said the are against; they have massacred the people out of revenge.
It will be good to see Allen McCarty and Steve Brown work with Matt Ramsey and Ronnie Chance to pull us out of the ARC. These guys will at least do their best to be fiscally responsible and listen to us.
So it's 2 down and 3 more to go next election. Good luck to our incoming Commissioners and thank you for your honest and good intentions. We can make it happen.

citizenal
citizenal's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/17/2008
Ramsey and Chance still need watching

Don't be too satisfied with Mr.'s Ramsey and Chance. Watch them carefully too. Conservative ideals need accountability.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
Right again

Since both representatives supported the Regional TSPLOST bill that will surely increase our taxes here in Fayette County, you are absolutely correct.

They did not represent me on this one.

ginga1414
ginga1414's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2008
Doug, Smith and Maxwell's Last Stand

Thanks, Doug, for the heads-up. This is typical Smith and Maxwell.

Doug
Doug's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/07/2006
Smith and Maxwell giving us another surprise gift on the way out

Please be advised that the Fayette County Board of Commissioners will hold a Special Called Meeting on December 29, 2010, at 3 p.m. in the County Commissioners’ Conference Room, Suite 100, 140 Stonewall Avenue, Fayetteville, Georgia.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and consider real estate acquisition.

They are dying to get the West Fayetteville Bypass going before Steve Brown and Allen McCarty take office.

ginga1414
ginga1414's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2008
Stop Spinning Our Wheels And Move Forward

We need to stop spinning our wheels and move forward. 911, Don Haddix and Steve Brown have the right idea. Let's not dwell on what happened in the past. Let's concentrate on what we can all do to fix the situation.

We have the perfect opportunity to move forward by attending the swearing-in of our two new commissioners. The best way of really getting to know someone is to establish a working relationship with them.

Fayette County, this is our opportunity to become a part of the solution to many problems that are facing us now and in the future. The first steps, in solving our problems, are to shake the hands of Mr. Brown and Mr. McCarty. Look them in the eye. Talk to them. Listen, with an open mind, to what they have to say. Give them your thoughts and ideas. They are truly interested in our opinions. They TRULY WANT to establish a dialogue and working relationship with us. They are both very approachable, genuine and warm human beings.

Fayette County's New Year begins on Dec. 27th., 2010, at 9:00 AM in the Commission Meeting Room.

Don Haddix
Don Haddix's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/17/2007
Haddix: 911inside - ARC

As most know I do support leaving the ARC. But the four elected officials you listed cannot do the job on their own.

The first legal step for Fayette is to get the PTC Council to petition the Commission to move. That effort failed 3-2 with the 3 voting against actually believing Steele's arguments.

Even worse is that if that petition isn't in and processed in time to go to DCA and the Legislature within the 2011 Legislative cycle Fayette is locked in for the full duration of the TSPLOST if passed. HB 277 states a County must remain in the Region where passed.

So, if one of the three are not persuaded to change their vote soon, there can be no move.

As well for those who like to say forget leaving the ARC and just get HB 277 thrown out, forget it. Again it was announced there will be no changes to HB 277 in 2011. That locks it in through the full life span of the RTR.

The best way to get it changed or thrown out is to defeat it at the RTR level. With no opposition voice from Fayette and our votes going in support, slim hope there.

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2006
ARC

What you seem to avoid is that both Ramsey and Chance supported and promoted HB 277 at the behest of Gov Purdue. Fat chance they'll be of help.

Second, another fat chance that the PTC Council will reverse the 3-2 decision as our Mayor's influence and concensus building continues to erode.

The only sure means to defeat this monster is to somehow get a grass roots movement aginst the measure throughout ARC affliated counties to vote it down. The local Tea Parties could be a great help, but I'm afraid they are more interested in collecting local dues while voicing frustration at national issues.

Should it pass on the ballot, Fayette County would be required by law to collect and send away literally millions (possibly billions) for the duration and any extension of the SPLOST.

Don Haddix
Don Haddix's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/17/2007
Haddix: Mike

Well, Mike, your solution is doomed to failure when you do not hold those who backed Steele and stated they want to remain in ARC accountable.

You just are not getting it. They don't want to leave ARC. They are disregarding everyone who wants to leave ARC, which a number of have approached some or all, including local Tea Party people.

So how about getting off the attack me at every turn and actually say something to those responsible?

I was working on getting movement going in the RTR. Why do you think they wanted me off? I was having an impact is why.

Todd Long has gotten a lot of grief over his action. At a recent meeting with the DOT he made a point of coming in and chatting with me.

Growl and complain at me if you want. But actually saying something to those obstructing what you want to happen would be more constructive.

Yep, at least $15 million a year will go out of county if passed. It is being seen as a 30 year program minimum.

One clarifaction. It isn't SPLOST, it is TSPLOST. Very different.

Your choice. That is all I have to say here. My point was to make the process for change clear.

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2006
Don

As far as getting it, HB 277 was to be tossed upon the voters of the ARC due to a state legislature too weak kneed to make happen at their level. The governor and his 'boys' simply passed a hot potato onward. Once passed into law our only real recourse was to vote it down.

Leaving the ARC is really not an option for Fayette County because it would end up in some type litigation, effectively nullifying that option.

Don't mistake my intent, for I have no more respect for Steele than I do for most in elected office because, like you, they become so self centered they stop listening. Case in point, a TSPLOST is still a SPLOST, but I digress.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Don Haddix
Don Haddix's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/17/2007
Haddix: No Mike

I fully agree HB 277 is really pushing expenditures from State to more local levels. We have gotten hit with that, as well has having to send more dollars up to them, every year. It is killing cities and counties.

Moving is a clear cut four step process. Either it passes or it does not. Any litigation after would be nothing new and really would have no leg to stand on per law.

The vote it down approach is not negated by the other effort. It isn't one or the other. The more approaches tried the better the chances of success.

Because I don't agree with you wanting to cut police numbers and employee pay and benefits more does not make me self centered. It means I am a decision maker making some decisions you do not like. Believe it or not our number of employees is lower now than before. We have some further reductions coming up as well.

I have never stopped listening to citizens. Your problem on the above points is the majority do not agree with you. I didn't agree with you on those points in 2007 before being elected and I still do not today. So I have not changed.

To digress as well, it isn't a SPLOST. You have Sales Tax. Add the parameters of collection, use and distribution and you have LOST, HOST, MOST SPLOST ESPLOST, TSPLOST, etc.

To me TSPLOST defies the very meaning of being a Local.

Being Mayor does have a much higher profile, but it does not mean I can make Council Members keep election promises or control their thinking. Far too often what one thinks someone's goals are and how they vote prove to be very different realities.

Like the 1.25 tax increase, going by the campaign promises could you ever see that coming? No, you could not.

Merry Christmas to you as well. I hope Shirley is doing well.

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2006
Mayor

Your opinion of the TSPLOST having no leg to stand on does not mean it could not be way laid during either of the four steps you mention, thus running past the deadline. In which case the citizens of Fayette County are at the whims of larger and less responsible (if you can imagine) should the measure be passed by the electorate. Vote it down, and a clear message is sent. You do remember Fayette's last attempt at SPLOST?

Your previous support of SPLOST speaks volumes.

Go ahead and take the last word, I'm enjoying the holidays.

Steve Brown
Steve Brown's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/02/2009
Humor abounds

The anonymous bloggers have awakened from their hibernation.

It's always fun to read their responses. They really do not say a whole lot, but some are entertaining.

Please, Ginga, do not think they are actually interested in the well-being of the county.

For the record, the legislative dinner meeting someone asked about was the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, District 3. Jack Smith was also present. The county is a member of ACCG and they paid for the dinner.

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2006
Steve

Come January when you take office is the time Fayette Countians will begin to experience the humor we in Peactree City experienced for four years.

Merry Christmas.

hutch866
hutch866's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/28/2005
Steve Brown

So Steve, unless we put our real names out there we're not "actually interested" in the well being of the county. This coming from you is indeed hilarious. Who knew that Steele was such a power in the county, and him just a mayor, as for Haddix, he never had any intention of representing the whole county, he was there for just what he could get for PTC, when questioned about it, he came up with lame answers that were worthy of one of your responses. Who knew (but Haddix) that the people from Woolsey would go all the way to PTC before going north out of the county. Lets also remember your sly innuendo that the mayor of Woolsey was in the pocket of.... GASP.... builders. I asked you then, and again was ignored, if you had some kind of evidence that Laggis was dealing with the dreaded builders and for some reason you never answered, maybe you were out of town again, the excuse you used last time. Us anonymous have always been here Steve, you just choose to ignore us while you bluster and spin your opinions.

Steve Brown
Steve Brown's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/02/2009
Anonymous Hutch

Mayor Laggis will openly tell you he had a business relationship with Tom Reese (of Reese Development), involved in local development, banking and insurance. Reese was the one who wanted to build a small city on the Coweta side of the TDK Extension.

This is pretty much common knowledge in many circles.

Anonymous Hutch you forget, you know who I am, so please give me a call or an email anytime. That is the beauty of being open.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

hutch866
hutch866's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/28/2005
Steve Brown

The name is Randy Clokey, doesn't make a difference in regards to opinion. Laggis worked for Reese Insurance for years, why does that make a difference? Yes Steve, I do know who you are, that's why I was against you being our commissioner, I've never made any bones about that.

Spear Road Guy
Spear Road Guy's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2006
Randy Clokey a.k.a. "Hutch866" and Mike King

There's a lot of stupid comments in this string of blogs. You asked Brown about the ties and he gave it to you. According to your reply he was right.

Mike King is playing the Scrooge in his posts. Bah Humbug!!!

In all honesty it looks like Brown is on target. Ken Steele can't be trusted and most of the comments against Brown are trash talking.

Thanks for spreading love and joy around Christmas time. Oh look Mike King it's Tiny Tim!!!

hutch866
hutch866's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/28/2005
Two things here

First Spear, according to your mighty commissioner-elect, your opinion doesn't count because you're anonymous. Steve implied that Laggis had done something wrong, is it illegal to sell insurance, to know someone who builds? Steele can be trusted just as much as Haddix or Brown, or any politician, which is not much. So remember anonymous Spear Road Guy, according to your savior Steve Brown, since you choose to use a secret identity, your opinion doesn't count, and you are not actually interested in the well being of the county.

ginga1414
ginga1414's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2008
Paying Attention To The "Well Being"

If we were all "paying attention" to the "well being" of Fayette County, we would have all noticed that our current county commissioners slid some county pay raises in without putting the items on a MEETING AGENDA.

Is that in the "BEST INTEREST" of Fayette County or is that in the "BEST INTEREST" of the ones who got the raises?

Also, is it in the "BEST INTEREST" of Fayette County to have county employees who work "AT THE BEHEST" of our commissioners when we the people are the ones paying those employees salaries. Shouldn't those employees be working "AT THE BEHEST" of the taxpayers. Shouldn't the taxpayers be able to know in advance what those few privileged employees are earning?

Is it in the "BEST INTEREST" of Fayette County when our County Commission Chairman repeatedly denies that he is in favor of mass transit in Fayette County and he repeatedly votes in favor of mass transit in his position as a member of the ARC's Transportation Board? All the while our County Commission Chairman was denying those facts, he knew that mass transit was already in the County Transportation Plan. Go to the County website and look it up. It is there.

Excuse me! I forgot that Jack Smith believes in "QUIET GOVERNMENT." Personally speaking, I am TIRED of "QUIET GOVERNMENT!" "QUIET GOVERNMENT" got us the West Fayetteville Bypass, Mass Transit and county employees who work "at the behest" of our county commission while we pay their "QUIET" salaries.

pips1414
pips1414's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/18/2009
How Well We Remember The "Behest" Employees, Ginga 1414

Some time ago, it was brought out that there were at least two behest employees. One was given a sizable raise with no performance review, and the other was contracted to receive a performance review "if he requested it."

It is logical to conclude that this practice, when discovered by the other county employees, hurt morale. It presumably reflected negatively on the current administration, no doubt costing them votes. At the last Commissioners meeting, (the final meeting for Commissioners Maxwell and Smith) the meeting was adjourned to enable them to retreat into executive session. According to the agenda, the matters to be discussed there involved the same two "behest" employees. Do you suppose that the commissioners were formulating plans to keep the same "behest" people in place during the next administration? Maybe they made a few policy changes involving the reviews. I would love to have been a fly on the wall.

If I were a county employee, I would request a copy of the latest performance reviews of the County Administrator and the County Attorney, to see how the previous findings played upon future policy. If these two individuals were given raises during the past year, such actions should be well documented by supporting evidence in their personnel files.

But most of all, I would like to hear from anybody who thinks a county employee should decide whether or not he/she gets a performance review.

ginga1414
ginga1414's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2008
911, Merry Christmas and Thank You

Thank you for having the courage to speak out for the citizens of Fayette County. I was there the night our oh so "quiet" commission chairman insulted the people of Fayette County.

911inside
911inside's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/03/2010
Unless we put our real names out there...

The last time I used my real name, I was kicked off and wasn't able to log in again for 2 years. It looks like things at the paper are changing for the better. I have never used profanity but I did quote Jack Smith for the horrible things he said about the citizens after they had left a commission meeting one night. He couldn't say it to their faces. It's spilled milk now. I could never get on after that. I'll probably get ousted for this.

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
So now we don't want what is best for Fayette....

It gets better and better.

Merry Christmas to you Mr. Brown.

Steve Brown
Steve Brown's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/02/2009
Spyglass

On the knowing what is best statement, what do you think and why? Most of the anonymous posts were just character assassination, not much on the issues.

Thank you though for extending Christmas wishes. I wish you a very Merry Christmas too.

ginga1414
ginga1414's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2008
TinCan, Pay Attention

Yes. Fayette County should "pay attention." We should especially pay attention to a governing body that says one thing and does the opposite.

How many times did Jack Smith say that he wasn't in favor of mass transit in Fayette County when he actually voted in favor of bringing mass transit into Fayette County through his votes with the ARC?

Yes. Fayette County "pay attention" when you see Ken Steele try to take-over a public meeting and prevent other public officials from giving citizens information that would provide them with a choice concerning their lives.

"Pay attention," Fayette County, when Jack Smith tells us that SPLOST funds can't be moved from one County SPLOST transportation project and then he approves moving County Transportation SPLOST funds to the City of Fayetteville for one of their transportation projects.

PAY ATTENTION TIN CAN!

TinCan
TinCan's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2005
I do ginga (no we are not wed)

Just not much of it is directed at you. Why don't you tally the pros and cons in this thread, it may give you a clue what my comment was about. My comment, by the way, had absolutely nothing to do with the usual suspects you continually malign in your posts. I get it, you don't like them and I'm not too excited about goat boy.

ginga1414
ginga1414's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2008
TinCan

I am very well aware that you are "not too excited about" Mr. Brown. If I understood your comments correctly, you were advising Fayette County residents to "pay attention" to what might transpire with Mr. Brown in his capacity as one of our in-coming commissioners. If I did not understand your comment correctly, I truly apologize. Maybe you could provide some clarification for my feeble brain.

My point was that Mr. Brown had passed along information to the residents of this county to inform us all of what had taken place in relation to the RTR, Mr. Steele and Mr. Smith. To my knowledge, none of us were there. However, Mr. Brown was there and he was passing along what had happened. As a result, there was no meaningful dialogue. It was just the same old, same old. Some people just can't get past their preconceived ideas.

In an effort to bolster a little meaningful dialogue, I made comparative statements concerning some previous actions taken by Mr. Smith and Mr. Steele. In an effort to conserve the readers' time and the paper's space, I did not address Mr. Brown's points of interest. To make myself perfectly clear, I was ticked-off because no one could see past their preconceived notions.

Obviously, I did not make myself clear or there is just no way to bolster meaningful dialogue with some people.

If I did not make myself clear, I truly apologize. If there is just no way to bolster meaningful dialogue, I am truly sorry about that situation also.

johenry
johenry's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/22/2006
Mayor Steele is a pawn for the concrete industry

Dear Mr. Drake (efdrakejr),

I’m very sure you were at that meeting seeing how you are a lobbyist for the concrete industry! Your association’s web site (http://www.pavementse.com) tells us why you were at the meeting, “The Southeast Chapter, American Concrete Pavement Association was incorporated in 1987 and is dedicated to the promotion of concrete pavements for use in interstate highways, state and county highways, municipal streets, local roads …”

I’m very sure you support Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele too. You’re gonna pave the world arm in arm one mile at a time.

Read Steve Brown’s letter and you’ll see he said nothing about Mayor Reed or CEO Ellis. Steve was referring to Mayor Steele’s power grab and his using it against our county.

Please tell us, Mr. Drake, why the exclusion of Mayor Reed or CEO Ellis should be considered a positive. And why does the exclusion of Mayor Reed or CEO Ellis make Brown a contrarian? By the way what did Mayor Haddix do?

It’s obvious you want a big pay day Mr. Drake when it comes to pouring concrete for all those roads you want to see built. Your ally Mayor Steele is going to see that you get them.

We don’t want different behavior from Steve Brown because he fights corruption and special interests. He actually looks out for the average citizens instead of the concrete industry.

By the way, I laughed out loud when you pulled your picture and information as well as the entire staff section of the pavementse.com web site after Mayor Haddix outed you. I was on the page when it was pulled. GREAT JOB MAYOR HADDIX!

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
I'm laughing too

My picture is still up there. Go down the left side and click on Georgia.

I wasn't "outed"...I put my first and last name and picture on my posts. Mayor Haddix doesn't know who I am, he was given my information by Claudia Eisenburg. She has my information because I gave it to her and even sent her e-mails from my work e-mail giving her heads up on the RTR meeting so she could attend for herself. I have also donated $100 to the local Tea Party for the billboard because I also support the idea of limited government. I just think you guys have chosen the wrong guy to champion your cause. We can just agree to disagree on that.

Although most people on here seem to assume the worst in others, I think you might be surprised, if we had a real conversation, to find that we have many of the same goals. This clearly isn't the forum for that level of discourse.

ginga1414
ginga1414's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2008
efdrakejr

Mr. Drake, I did a Google search to see just exactly who you are before Mayor Haddix provided the information.

Among others, you could have been the Executive Director for the Georgia College Personnel Association, the Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists, or the Gambian Christian Peoples Association.

You could have been Gene Drake, Artist. Or you could have been Gene Drake, DDS.

We all know your motive for not fully identifying yourself. Had you fully identified yourself, your wouldn't of had the pleasure of sitting back and saying, "I'm laughing too."

You also stated, "Although most people on here seem to assume the worst in others, I think you might be surprised, if we had a real conversation, to find that we have many of the same goals. This clearly isn't the forum for that level of discourse."

In your opinion, Mr. Drake, what is "the forum for that level of discourse?"

I am extremely interested in knowing what, exactly, are the goals that we might share?

While you might not believe Steve Brown is the man for the job, it looks like you got outvoted by the public. Unfortunately, the sitting commissioners don't believe in delivering what the public wants.

Don Haddix
Don Haddix's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/17/2007
Haddix: Mr. Drake - Bad Assumption

Yes, you put your name in your post, so it is indeed completely erroneous I outed you. I do not out posters even though I do know the real names of some of my critics.

No, Claudia did not give me any information about you. Nor is she Ginga, as you said in another post.

It was quite easy to find your occupation. Just a simple Google search for "Gene Drake Fayette." You are the number one return due to the concrete association.

To go even further it was quite easy to find your home address and telephone number as well.

I just wanted to set the record straight on a couple of wrong assumptions you made. It isn't fair to accuse others of things not true.

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
Fair Enough

I apologize if I was wrong about Claudia. It's just that Ginga used the exact same words and expressions that Claudia used in her recent e-mail to the group. I guess I'll have to turn in my Dick Tracy badge!!

I am aware that all of my contact information is out there. I have nothing to hide. As a Faytte county resident, I feel perfectly free to criticize my county commissioners whether or not I work for a company that deals with state and local government.

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
RTR Meeting

I was there. In fact, when Mayor Steele proposed simple majority voting for the executive committee and the group didn't select Atlanta Mayor Reed or DeKalb CEO Ellis, I remember thinking that this should make Steve Brown and the Tea Party happy since they will not feel that the City of Atlanta is running roughshod over the process. Imagine my surprise to open the paper and read Brown criticizing Steele for that outcome. It was then I realized, as I should have long before, that Brown is just a contrarion. He can and will take the opposite view of any issue as long as he can get in the paper. The real challenge will be whether he can work collaboratively and govern effectively. I'm not suggesting that he go along to get along but he must learn to work with his fellow council members, not just sling mud in the papers. Unfortunately, to paraphrase the last line of his column, I may just be insane to expect different behavior from the same old guy.

Don Haddix
Don Haddix's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/17/2007
Haddix: RTR

Actually, efdrakejr, there was behind the scenes planning. Before Steele played his illegal game to bump me off he chaired a GMA meeting of the RTR Mayors where the plan for the Executive Committee was proposed. It included not electing the Atlanta Mayor. Those that were chosen come as no surprise to me.

But also at that meeting it was also agreed the criterion was flawed and needed changed to better percentages. Steele most assuredly pulled a switch there.

Steele is most assuredly for rail in Fayette and some road projects not benefiting Fayette.

What some are missing as well is the division on the RTR. Not only is there Core versus Suburban Counties there is Mayors versus County Chairs, GMA versus ACCG.

Steele is playing a game here. Fayette is going to be the big looser if he gets his way. It was a lot more than a simple majority vote.

As well I believe it is appropriate to disclose as the Executive Director of the Georgia Concrete Paving Association you have special interest here.

NUK_1
NUK_1's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/17/2007
Yes, Fayette will be the big "looser"

Would someone tell me how a semi-literate doofus ever got elected Mayor of PTC? I know Plunkett was poor competition, but please.

carbonunit52
carbonunit52's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2008
Da mayor

I like the guy, and I like the way he gets in here and mixes it up with the other bloggers. It is a given that a compliment from the carbonunit amounts to little and the qualifications to judge literacy are even less, but...attaboy Don!

ginga1414
ginga1414's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2008
Mr. Mayor, Very Informative

Thank you Mr. Mayor for divulging the identity of efdrakejr.

efdrakejr is just one more of the "special interest" folks coming out of the woodwork trying to get his little piece of the action.

My thinking is that he is soooo worried that Steve Brown and Allen McCarty can't be bought, persuaded, or coerced into giving special favors to "special interests."

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
Identity

I'm not trying to hide my identity Claudia. I'm more than happy to discuss any issue in an open and honest forum. There is nothing nefarious about being the Executive Director of an association.

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
RTR Meeting

I am the Executive Director of the GCPA and I do have an interest but I have always had success in my efforts when I take the position that I think is in the best interest of the taxpayers which is easy to do since I'm one of them. In this particular case, I am one who thinks that the legislature kicked the can down the road by being unwilling to address our transportation needs themselves and instead passed it off to the public by way of HB277. That being said, HB277 is all we've really got if we intend to take care of our infrastructure as we should. Whether I represent the industry or not, our transportation infrastructure is the lifeblood of our economy and we best address its many needs if we want to remain a first rate state. As for MARTA rail coming to Fayette County, I GUARANTEE you that won't happen in our lifetimes.

I don't doubt nor am I surprised that there was some back room dealing. I don't even have a sense for what all was involved in your removal as the county representative although, in honesty, I must say I believe we are better served in the ARC than Three Rivers. I also don't doubt that there is friction between counties and cities but at least there is a reasonable balance on the executive committee with two county chairs and three mayors. Now they just have to act like grown-ups, work cooperatively and get something done. Good thing Steve Brown is not burdened with that responsibility.

Jabs at Brown aside, I'm engaged in this process not only because it's my job but because I care about our county and state and want them to be prosperous and remain great places to live. If I can help in that process, please let me know.

Don Haddix
Don Haddix's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/17/2007
Haddix: Mr. Drake

The honesty is appreciated.

You are correct, most involved in putting Steele on really didn't have a sense for the full context of what was going on. There are actually issues beyond just the TSPLOST that played into that decision, as in the upcoming LOST negotiations. We agree.

Of course I disagree with being in ARC as better. I also disagree having Steele and Frady representing us is better. But we can agree to disagree.

The arguments of making due with HB 277 and MARTA not coming here in our lifetime are straight out of Steele's quotes and game plan. There is no reason to make do with a bad bill.

Fact is Concept 3 is not about MARTA. That is a misleading argument. It is about a regional plan controlled by the RTA and RTC. So you cannot make a guarantee rail and bus will not come here under another name than MARTA.

Read the Bill, Concept 3 is part of it. Review ARC votes, they endorse it. It is a Project already on the Unconstrained List.

Fact is Plans call for almost immediate bus lines in Fayette with the full rail in place Tier 2, meaning the last five years of the first ten years of the TSPLOST. Fact is all that is required to put bus and rail in PTC are to add the stations in Tyrone, PTC and Fayetteville. The rail is already there.

Review current statement on 74/85. They are just what I told everyone before. That intersection is not under consideration for anymore improvement on it by GDOT.

Look at Steele telling everyone I was not doing my job by not working on the projects list. He rejected my saying it was not time to submit projects yet until he was seated and asked what was on the list now. Then he said it was not time.

Fact is, as well, the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and other groups are already creating their sales programs for the 2012 vote with the blessing of GDOT and the ARC.

This is a critical issue. Understand your not talking a 10 year tax as regards ARC, but a 30 year, minimum.

As well we lose all local controls. Things like the Outer Loop and Concept 3, if approved, will go in regardless of what Fayette says. Steele has tried to imply otherwise but the Bill says no County can opt out once voted in, projects are not subject to change or partial execution and all control goes to the Region, not the County, on Regional projects.

The Plan includes urbanizing Fayette. We will cease to be what made us the great County we are today.

Just understand everyone needs to put the politics aside and actually read the bill and the associated Plans that will also become effective, Like 2010 and 2040.

Yes, I understand those who just like to criticize will be jumping on what I said. But like it or not there are consequences to the decisions that have been made and will be made.

How anyone feels about Brown or me, personally, is not the issue here. The issue is the TSPLOST and what Steele is doing.

After this long post I don't know what else I could add. So everyone will just have to decide for themselves.

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
Representation

I don't think I said nor did I mean to imply that I think Steele provides better representation than you as, unfortunately, I don't know either of you that well. As for county commissioner, I wrote in myself because I really wasn't interested in my other choices. I do think we are better served in the ARC and I concur that we should agree to disagree.

As you know, regional transportation planning through Metropolitan Planning Organizations is federally mandated. I don't necessarily agree with it or think it works to our particular benefit but it's the hand we're dealt. I'm for working together to make sure Fayette County gets represented and treated as fairly as possible.

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2006
Well Don....

"After this long post I don't know what else I could add. So everyone will just have to decide for themselves."

For starters, you could have apologized to Mr Drake for two reasons:

1) For 'outing' the man since he chose to mask his identity until you decided to show how smart you are.

2) For the innuendo concerning his special interest.

But, Don, you're just being yourself. Could it have something to do with not attending the city manager's farewell?

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
Clarification

Just for clarification, I was not masking my identity in my initial comments, I was just commenting on Steve Brown as a dissatisfied Fayette County citizen, not in my role with the paving association.

johenry
johenry's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/22/2006
efdrakejr

Dissatisfied with Steve Brown but satisfied with Ken Steele?

Why does efdrakejr dislike Mayor Reed or CEO Ellis so much?

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
What???

I don't dislike either one of them nor did I even remotely imply that.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
Lobbyists, like

everyone that has political power, to a degree.

But I suppose that they don't really favor those that are opposed to their interests. That's why you're a lobbyist, right?

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
???

Actually, I'm an engineer but if I had your incredible powers of logic and perception perhaps I could have risen above it.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
I am sure you

are an engineer, representing the paving industry.

Or are you not representing the paving industry?

Yes or no?

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
Yes and yes

I am an engineer and I do represent the concrete paving industry. I don't go out and push for roads to be built for no reason (you'll notice I have not been out advocating for the WFB) but when they are being built or re-built, I encourage the DOT and municipalities to give equal consideration to concrete as the pavement material.

I am not a lobbyist by definition but it is probably fair to characterize me as part engineer, part technical salesman and part lobbyist as I do actively push for fair consideration of my product.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
Thank you Mr. Drake

we all work in our own self-interest, you are no exception to this fact.

efdrakejr
efdrakejr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2009
You're welcome

I can understand your skepticism but I really believe that concrete pavements are generally in the taxpayers best interest. That's the good part of my job...selling my product is good for me and you.

Robert W. Morgan
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/26/2005
What? Mike? No show Haddix?

Are you kidding me? Haddix didn't show for Bernie's farewell party? What a lack of class. I guess that makes it clear that he forced Bernie out. But he still has to thank him for his years of service - doesn't he?

Even Steve Brown had the class to attend the Faulkner, Basinger and Williams farewells.

Don Haddix
Don Haddix's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/17/2007
Haddix: I cannot Resist this One

Morgan, maybe I was busy elsewhere?

I believe I also missed one other farewell before due to a schedule conflict.

As for forcing Bernie out you do realize for that to have happened it would have required a three vote?

Later.

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2006
You really don't know when to

You really don't know when to stop, do you? Both you and Doug were conspicuous by your absence. Could it be that Harold Logsdon showed more class by being the master of ceremonies?

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2006
Mayor

Get beyond the sore loser syndrome and get on with the business of Peachtree City. Your tripe concerning Steele's illegalities and what you perceive him to support is sheer immaturity and a source of embarassment.

Now if you have a specific allegation of impropriety concerning the Georgia Concrete Paving Association, present it. Else, cease with the mudslinging.

NUK_1
NUK_1's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/17/2007
Typical Haddix/Brown BS

That's their MO and it works sometimes when they run against other politicians every bit as clueless and inept as they have shown to be themselves. Accuse others of "criminal activity" and "conflicts of interests" and never have to prove it. I can't wait to hear more of the shrill "BANKERS! DEVELOPERS!" mantra.

Brown had to take a detour after getting demolished by Logsdon and then by Ramsey enough to at least wake up and drop the district voting idea and demonizing as racists those in favor of it, but the people in FC have short memories and a lot never paid too much attention in the first place.

I hope both enjoy their one-terms reigns of error and at least PTC has a chance before then to get rid of useless Doug Sturbaum.

I doubt you'll hear the same from McCarty since he's had 3 liens filed on him in the last 2 years and can't really say too much without serious blowback, so maybe he'll take the "Sturbaum" role on the commission for Brown.

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

You can play the part of Tiny Tim in Mike King's Scrooge!!!

You don't seem to have a freaking clue.

TinCan
TinCan's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2005
Aggghhhhh I'm wounded o' brilliant one

Dissed by another Brownie. Geez my day is ruined.

TinCan
TinCan's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2005
Fayette county voters, please pay attention

As stated by Mr. in-coming......

Quote:

Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

ginga1414
ginga1414's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2008
Fayette County's Two Headed Snake

It is a fact that Steve Brown has given the citizens of Fayette County information in the above letter. To my knowledge, neither Ken Steele nor Jack Smith provided any information with regards to the proceedings that took place with the RTR.

Lack of information was one of the main problems concerning Jack Smith's reign over this county. He believes that government should be "quiet."

Ken Steele is far less quiet than Jack Smith. I have seen Mr. Steele try to take over 3 public meetings by shouting over the speaker with his own opinions. He wasn't about to let Don Haddix give Fayette County voters information concerning HB 277, especially when that information was in opposition to Steele's opinions.

A snake "quietly" slithers through the underbrush in search of his prey. When he is close enough, he strikes with a vengeance. For quite a few years, now, Fayette County has been ruled by a two headed snake. The first head lures the prey with a little noise, then he strikes and stuns the unsuspecting prey. Finally, the second head finishes the job. Quietly and efficiently our two headed snake has been ruling this county. And, the citizens have been blindly and deafly following our snake. Sooner or later, old snakey is going to turn around and strike. When that happens, it will be too late.

The citizens of Fayette County have finally been given the perfect opportunity to establish a relationship with some of our local governing officials. Our two new commissioners will be sworn into office on December 27, 2010 at 9:00 AM in the commission meeting room. These men are more than ready, willing and able to talk with us. They actually WANT to talk with us. They WANT to know what we think. They WANT us to know that we have a choice and a voice, now, in Fayette County.

PLEASE attend the swearing-in ceremony of Steve Brown and Allen McCarty. Establish a relationship with these two men and you will learn for yourselves that all the mudslinging that goes on here is just that.

NUK_1
NUK_1's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/17/2007
Oh boy, meet the King of Mudslinging and The Deadbeat

Sounds like an awesome time.

mudcat
mudcat's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/26/2005
Ok ginga1414, which ones are the two-headed snake?

Smith and Steele? Brown and McCarty? I have actually met all 4 of these people and I think I prefer the first 2 over the second 2.
Think I'll skip the coronation.

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
Sad, typical tripe...

I have no idea why anyone would have ever expected anything else from this fellow.

PTClurker
PTClurker's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/05/2010
Deceiving and Malicious Letter

This letter reminds me of those Jay Leno skits where any spoken word is turned around to sound like Satan himself. Remember folks, this is just one spoiled person’s view of proceedings and does not reflect unbiased observations.

Haddix had indeed embarrassed not only himself with his ineptness, but also Fayette County and Peachtree City with amateurish antics. On the surface he appeared to be a good representative while in the background he tried to remove the county from the organization he was there to act as a representative for.

Revisionist history has already begun. Mr. Brown states, “Haddix simply suggested that we look into joining the Three River Region.” What about the vote Haddix insisted PTC council take to move the county to 3R? That, quite clearly, is not “simply suggesting” something.

Brown’s credibility was lost long ago. No need to continually reemphasize it.

I suggest Brown concentrate on getting funds from the county bypass redistributed to the cities where there’s a need. If he can’t do that, why did we elect him?

moelarrycurly
moelarrycurly's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/17/2010
Legislative Dinner Function

that included most of our region's leadership at the county level?

Well now, do tell. Incoming Fayette Commissioner Post 4 Steve Brown, how about a little detail on that minor item.

How many?

Who (names, please)?

Where was this held?

What was the cost?

Who paid for this?

SInce you brought it up, please don't let us just guess at these answers. And let's not bother our overworked press to find out for us, okayyyyy?

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
I guess it's asking

too much for a dignified county commission that is looking out for the citizens of the county?

What tone does this set for our future?

Professionalism or political infighting?

mudcat
mudcat's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/26/2005
Well birdman, I was wrong. Mr. Divisive has arrived.

Remember I told you Brown was going to make a fool out of himself in January 2011 - first or second meeting after being sworn in? Pitting Steele against Haddix and parroting Haddix's dubious position on all this is our early Christmas present from the brown clown - and the gift will keep giving.

Who was it on here Nuk? Morgan? Someone said that Brown might have matured in the years following his reign of terror in PTC. I guess we can forget that prediction.

NUK_1
NUK_1's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/17/2007
That was me....

I had stated that I hoped he had learned from his miserably failed leadership as Mayor of PTC and before that as Citizen Whiner 101, but it's now readily obvious he hasn't and he is still the immature juvenile little brat as before. That's a shame but at least he's only one vote on the FC commission.

johenry
johenry's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/22/2006
Oh brother

Nuk and Morgan talking about "learning or maturity" is like Gary Coleman talking about suiting up for the NBA. The shoe doesn't fit guys so stop trying to wear it, oh you slingers of the mud.

Robert W. Morgan
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/26/2005
No evidence of learning or maturity, NUK.

Sure he's only 1 vote, but the temporary felon (McCarty) campaigned in tandem with him and it is possible that the permanent misdemeanorer (Horgan) will be attracted to him as well. When is that first meeting when Brown will try for county chair? I do want to see that.

Meanwhile, his PR arm (Cal) continues to give him free space. In a way that is good because the fools that voted for him can get periodic reminders of what they have done. By this time next year you won't find five people that will admit they voted for him.

cogitoergofay
cogitoergofay's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/11/2006
Mr. Morgan, I surely hope that Santa Claus

Mr. Morgan, I surely hope that Santa Claus augments your education by bringing you a dictionary. Those found guilty of misdemeanors are termed misdemeanants, not "misdemeanorers".

Robert W. Morgan
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/26/2005
Misdemeanorers has a better flow when reading or speaking it

I don't see why I can't make up my own words. The dictionary is overrated - and too big.

But back to the subject, I see Brown is the only county commissioner posting on here, so I guess his grand knowledge of how things work make him the obvious choice as commission chair. Let's see if his fellow commissioners agree - 3-2 vote is all it takes.

ginga1414
ginga1414's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2008
Mistake

My mistake.

Recent Comments