Bloviating editor shows ignorance of how F’ville really works

Ken Steele's picture

There is a time-honored tradition in our nation that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Unfortunately, many people forget the corollary that the relevance of one’s opinion is directly proportional to one’s knowledge of the subject of which they opine.

For a man of your age and having been the editor and publisher of a local newspaper for so many years, your understanding of how local government works, be it city, county or school systems, is abysmal.

Perhaps the root cause of your lack of knowledge is that you sit behind your desk and bloviate and pontificate without taking the time to experience or learn of the challenges, opportunities and constraints communities deal with on a daily basis.

Having been involved in various aspects, volunteer and elected, of our community for many years I think the folks would find it interesting that you have been to but ONE Fayetteville City Council meeting in the past 12 years.

It was hard to decipher the intent or purpose of your opinion piece last week. The shallowness of your article was readily apparent when it only took you to the third paragraph to revert to your standard personal attacks. One has to ask, are you unable or unwilling to develop your opinion or thoughts in a cogent manner so as to offer a counterpoint to divergent viewpoints?

The sad part of all this is that you are an enabler for a very small vocal and divisive group of our community. Look at your editorial page. The same eight to ten people take turns denigrating their fellow citizens.

Most would agree that is not the way to foster free and open debate on relevant issues in our community. These individuals might all be great anonymous philanthropists in support of our community; however, they seem to have a different agenda. I do not recognize the names of one of these folks as contributors or advocates that have helped make this the wonderful place to live that it is today and if we work together will continue to be into the future.

We are not entitled to or guaranteed that future; we must influence that what we can and plan for the unexpected. Fayette County and our cities are rated and adjudged to be in the top tier, by all measurable standards, of all areas of the United States. To listen to or read the tirades of the nay-sayers one would think we lived in Baghdad or Kabul.

Mr. Beverly, you seem to be having some degree of heartburn with our new sidewalks. Might I suggest, again, that you push back from your desk and go for a walk on these great additions to our community? Your heartburn might dissipate!

Once again your knowledge of city operations is mistaken and you misrepresent reality. The voters approved the pedestrian sidewalk/path concept and subsequent projects for the city of Fayetteville’s small portion of the 2004 TSPOST. Fayetteville’s portion of the TSPOST represented about 3.6 percent of total revenue. We have actively endeavored to leverage our limited resources with grant money from any number of sources, including public and private.

I, indeed, AM proud of the positive results we have been able to achieve through the tireless efforts of our staff. The grants we have competed for and won concerning sidewalks/paths are called TE (transportation enhancement) grants that are RESTRICTED to sidewalk/path construction.

These grants actually reflect an extremely modest return on the tens of millions of tax dollars Fayetteville citizens send to Washington each year. So, yes, I am very comfortable in saying that each and every sidewalk in the city has been paid for by the residents of our city!

The response to the sidewalks has been overwhelmingly positive from our citizens. They paid for them, thus it is their opinions that our elected officials honor. You are also probably unaware of the wealth of research and data available indicating that walkable communities, like Fayetteville, play an important role in improving the overall health and extending the life expectancy of their citizens. As healthcare costs sky rocket this would seen to be an important benefit to all.

As to your snide remarks about the bridge on [Ga. Highway] 92 North, once again you know not of what you speak. A year-round stream proceeds under [Hwy.] 92 at that location and it is also a drainage basin for a large area that reaches all the way to Ga. 85. A less substantial bridge would be prone to washout in heavy rain events and if the culvert became clogged the subsequent back-up of water could flood the adjoining neighborhoods.

Thus, planning ahead and taking the advice of engineering professionals to preclude possible problems was certainly the proper thing to do, regardless of the comments of local pundits.

Mr. Beverly, perhaps your underlying concern is that the federal government should not offer these and hundreds of other grant programs given their proclivity to spend money that they do not have.

If that is your premise, I wholeheartedly agree; however, that probably calls for top-down solutions that leave the tax dollars at the local level and in the taxpayers’ pockets where they are much more effective.

If we are to have a positive impact on our future, I believe we cannot sit around our own table and talk to ourselves. We must represent our local best interests but also be engaged in regional, state and national affairs lest we be marginalized, as some folks seem to fear. If we are not at the table we will certainly not be part of any solution.

I would like to offer you an open invitation to spend some time with us at City Hall where senior staff, who are recognized throughout the state for their professional knowledge and expertise, can give you a tutorial to bring you up the speed on the daily workings and the short- and long-term planning of a city and all that it entails. You might find it interesting and enlightening.

[Ken Steele is the mayor of Fayetteville. He has served on the Fayetteville City Council since July 1994. He also was elected in 2010 to head the Georgia Municipal Association, the lobbying group for Georgia’s cities.]

skyspy
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Whaaaaaa Somebody Call a WHAMM-bulance

Is this tantrum really about editorials, or is it about a politician who got caught lying via open records??? You voted for mass transit now live with our anger over your poor decision. The days of taxpayers turning a blind eye to lying scum-bag politicians is long over.

Spear Road Guy
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Ken Steele: The Biggest Ego This Side Of The Mississippi

For Ken Steele to accuse anyone of shallowness is definitely the pot calling the kettle black!!!

They had to expand City Hall so his head would fit!!!

hutch866
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Spear

At the very most, he's neck in neck with Steve Brown.

BHH
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Impressive

This was well written and seems to have been well thought out.

But I'm still not sold.

Please, write again.

yada yada yada
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How Fayetteville works

Sadly, we all know how Fayetteville works. Time for new blood on the City Council and Mayor in Fayetteville.

yada yada yada
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Blow Hard is another word for Steele

Cal, you really made the hit dog holler. Keep up the good work.

yellowjax1212
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Sorry Cal

Tough week for Cal. He's getting it from the mayors of Peachtree City and Fayetteville. Surely Tyrone has some reason to blast the Citizen.

ginga1414
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Mayor Steele, Woo!

I really hate to say it but, to be perfectly honest, I had to look up "bloviate."

It looks to me like you have been "bloviating" and continue to "bloviate" quite a bit, to say the least.

You're just mad right now, Honey, but you'll get over it.

Try to keep in mind that not everyone is as ignorant as you and Jack would like to think they are.

Mr. Mayor, you mentioned fostering "free and open debate on relevant issues in our community." How would you go about fostering "free and open debate on relevant issues in our community?"

I dare say that Cal Beverly has fostered more freedom and openness in debate on relevant issues in our community than ANYONE to date! Over the last 25 years, I have attended more forums, commission meetings, County government meetings, Republican Party meetings, Tea Party meetings, etc. than I can count. The only place I have found that truly exemplifies "Freedom of Speech" is The Citizen.

Cal Beverly has made The Citizen a "free and open" forum for everyone.

And, try to remember that Mr. Beverly has even provided you space to "bloviate."

More Cowbelle
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Steve Brown - Fayette's Charlie Sheen

"I'm not Bi-Polar, I'm Bi-Passing"

When it became apparent Steve couldn't stop the West Fayetteville Bypass, what does he do? He gets our commissioners to move forward on an equally unneccessary East Fayetteville Bypass. Talk about the best defense is a dumb offense

yellowjax1212
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It's called...

It's called...WINNING...DUH!

Steve Brown
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Look at the record.

I have known Ken Steele for quite a while and some of us used to call him "Teflon Ken." He could always fly under the radar and say one thing and actually do another.

He would say, "No mass transit in Fayette County!" Then he voted us into the regional mass transit plan 100 percent of the time. At the Association of Fayette County Governments meeting in December 2010, Steele admitted mass transit is eventually coming to Fayette County - that was his real vision. However, even the ARC transportation planners say mass transit is not warranted in Fayette County for at least the "next 50 years."

At the February Fayette Republican breakfast, Steele said, "There is not a dime of our tax dollars going into mass transit." Well, yes, our federal tax dollars do go into mass transit. Likewise, Steele and former-Chairman Jack Smith voted in December 2010 in favor of a HB 277 referendum funding formula that allows up to $4.6 billion of our dollars to be use for capital, operations and maintenance of mass transit.

In 2004, Steele demanded that the county build the East Fayetteville Bypass as did all the other jurisdictions. In 2007, the Smith Administration at the county completely dropped the number one priority project and began building the unwarranted West Fayetteville Bypass (the Developer FREE-way) with Steele's complete support.

To Steele's credit, he did not lie, openly saying in a letter to the editor that the West Fayetteville Bypass was to accommodate future development from North Fayette down to Starr's Mill. We should not sacrifice true transportation improvements for developer welfare projects.

hutch866
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Steve Brown

Look who's also pushing the East Fayetteville Bypass now, why it's none other then our own Steve Brown, the man who insists that he's so different from our other politicians in the county, yet insists on building just another road to nowhere, spending money that could be spent for other road improvements. Please Steve, tell us again how you're different.

Steve Brown
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Hutch

The East Fayetteville Bypass was the number one priority project in Fayette County transportation SPLOST. It was the ONLY project to receive support from every governmental jurisdiction in the county.

It was the project the county was building before the previous Board of Commissioners switched (with no public vote, no public input and no public announcement) to the West Fayetteville Bypass in 2007.

hutch866
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Well Steve Brown

Tell me this, since this is a road to nowhere, doesn't really bypass Fayetteville, just stops in the middle of the secondary roads, how is this any different then the west bypass, at least the west bypass actually stops on a numbered hwy. What makes this road so imperative, other then the fact that it might delay a phase of the west bypass? Like the west bypass, it just mimics a route already there, so what is so freaking important about this road that makes it so high on your list to be built. The ARC recommendation? Suddenly they are right on something?

Mike King
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Hey Steve

Do you consider the East Fayette Bypass a bypass, or could it be a diversion from your objection to the WFB that got you elected. Fayette County now realizes that neither are actually bypasses.

Mike King
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Fayette County Mayors

How is it that the most forward thinking county in the state of Georgia has mayors of its two largest municipalities this incompetent? On one hand we have Emperor Haddix who firmly believes he is a Divine gift for Peachtree City, and now Mayor Steele who insults the editor of the most widely read local news medium in the Fayette County.

With all that these two have in common, could it be that both share Native American blood as espoused by one of these men? Since opposites seem to attract, these two are so much alike they likely despise one another. After all, wasn't it Mayor Steele who replaced Mayor Haddix on the Atlanta Regional Commission after Haddix's own Council voted to have him removed?

As another writer noted, it seems we elect those who are simply against whatever the 'hot button' issue du jour happens to be only to learn that without vision or managerial abilities they flounder. Without the heavy hand of authority, I doubt either could be trusted to lead a horse to water.

Added to these two is a former PTC mayor who seems to stand against everything, but has accomplished little but his ability to inject himself into any issue once he determines the direction of the political wind.

Chris P. Bacon
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Angry Mayor Steele is Angry

Gosh Angry Mayor Steele is Angry!

Of course, I'd likely be angry too, if I was caught telling voters how much I hated mass transit in Fayette county but secretly voted in favor of it every single time it came up.

Robert W. Morgan
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Anger like this can be managed.

Cal is simply tying to increase readership so he can sell enough ads to keep his newspaper afloat. He should be publisher and hire a full-time editor, so each should concentrate on their respective jobs, but it is a private business and he can do what he wants.

Now then, Mayor Steele needs to get a "Pause" or "Delay" key installed on his computer that overrides the "Send" key. I used to have this same anger management problem with e-mails and I found that by delaying the sending for 1 hour after typing, you delete some truly stupid things and tone down many others. Not that Steele is incorrect about editorials being factually accurate and that an editor should get out and about once in a while, but the tone is a bit harsh.