McCarty, Brown make 10-point ‘Promise to constituents’
The Fayette County Commission chambers were full Monday morning as Commissioner-elect Allen McCarty and Commissioner-elect Steve Brown were sworn in by Probate Judge Ann Jackson. After the ceremony McCarty presented their pledge to Fayette County residents.
A 10-point pledge, “Our promise to our constituents,” outlined many of the issues raised by Brown and McCarty that led to their election in November.
“We will always recognize that our authority comes from the citizens of Fayette County,” McCarty said as he began the presentation. “We will make every effort to support and vote for any proposal that allows for greater public input in our public meetings held in our public facilities.”
In terms of accountability, McCarty said the new commissioners will insist that all business subject to a board vote be properly cited on an agenda at least 24 hours prior to public meetings and that they will do their best to ensure that citizens’ questions and concerns receive thorough answers.
Continuing their pledges on accountability, McCarty said he and Brown would strive to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest, adding that, “We will treat everyone fairly, especially if they offer an opposing point of view. We would rather earn your respect than demand it. We also hold the county staff in high esteem, asking that they be impartial in all dealing with elected officials and the public.”
Their acknowledgment of accountability also included the promise to not change the priorities of Fayette citizens without their consent.
“The West Fayetteville Bypass construction is the most glaring example of telling citizens one thing and doing another,” McCarty said.
Turning to all elected officials, McCarty said he and Brown recognize that the constitutional officers throughout Fayette County are elected by the citizens and they will be treated as peers, not as department heads.
“They are responsible for providing the highest level of service in the most cost-efficient manner and we will partner with them to make that happen,” said McCarty.
The remaining components of the pledge to citizens related to development and the local economy. Citing development issues, McCarty said the new commissioners will always favor low density land planning aimed to reduce the demands on public infrastructure.
And citing the ongoing recession, McCarty said, “We recognize the county is in the midst of a poor economy. We will do our very best to ensure that each tax dollar is spent wisely. We are committed to enhancing our opportunities for quality business investment in the county and to protecting the assets that are essential to maintaining our quality of life.”
Brown and McCarty will take their places on the five-member commission at its first meeting of the new year, Wednesday, Jan. 5.
Brown defeated Chairman Jack Smith and McCarty beat Commissioner Eric Maxwell in the July Republican Primary. Neither faced Democrat opposition in November.