Fayette County

Volunteers unveil ‘Therapeutic Garden’ at Fayette Senior Services

Volunteers rest for a moment at the Enrichment Center Therapeutic Garden long enough for a photo. They are from left: Kevin Hargrove, Joyce Peck, Tom Peck, Morgan Gibbs, Allen Coe, and Harrison Gibbs. Opening ceremonies are today at the Fayette Senior Services in Fayetteville. Photo/Carolyn Cary.

Several years ago one of the board members of the Fayette Senior Center and a couple of Fayette’s Master Gardeners thought a therapeutic garden on the grounds at the center sounded like a fine idea.

That idea has come to fruition. The official opening is today (June 15) at 10 a.m. next to the Fayette Senior Center.

Because the 15,000-square-foot space was really a drainage field, fill dirt and top soil needed to be brought in. In addition, funds were needed for the project. It was estimated that the entire project would take about $65,000. Read More»

Father’s Day gift: A daughter’s kidney

Arnold Hicks stands with daughter Natalie Fields. Photo/Michael Boylan.

Natalie Fields donates one of her healthy kidneys to her dad, Arnold Hicks

Arnold Hicks will likely still get a card this Sunday from his daughter, Natalie Fields, for Father’s Day, but he got an incredible gift nearly two weeks ago when he received one of her kidneys in a transplant operation. The surgery was nearly two years in the making and it will almost certainly improve Hicks’ quality of life as well as the lives of everyone in the family.

Hicks, 59, is a Type I diabetic and he has been insulin dependent for 49 years. One of the things that diabetes does is take a toll on the kidneys, an organ that filters the blood, among other functions. Read More»

Fayette schools have unused space for 4,791 more students

Chart showing Fayette schools' enrollments, capacities and percent capacities. From the print version of The Citizen (June 15, 2011).

The Fayette County Board of Education tentatively adopted the FY 2011-2012 General Fund budget on June 7. And while the budget will be balanced using the majority of the fund balance from June 30, such an approach will not work the following year unless the state and local economies recover at lightning speed or unless millions in expenses are cut.

One of the falling revenue sources is linked to falling student enrollment. The Citizen recently looked at current and past enrollment numbers at the individual schools and the percentage of student capacity at each school. Read More»

What would Brown have proposed if Frady hadn't squelched him? Here’s a peek

Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown (L) and Commission Chairman Herb Frady in composite file photos.

In the presentation he wasn’t allowed to make at Thursday’s Fayette County Commission meeting, Commissioner Steve Brown was going to recommend the county take on millions in debt for what he feels are a host of necessary projects, with the debt to be paid off from repurposed transportation SPLOST revenues.

That plan, however, assumes that the county commission would authorize a referendum allowing for voters to sign off on transportation SPLOST revenues being shifted to pay off debt or shift the money to the general fund for property tax rollbacks. Read More»

UPDATED: Tempers flare as Frady tables tax shift plan

UPDATED: Tempers flare as Frady tables tax shift plan

Chairman claims fellow commissioner failed to submit documents per county policy

UPDATED for print version — When Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown came to Thursday night’s commission meeting, he had planned to ask his fellow commissioners to pursue a referendum that would allow transportation sales tax dollars to be shifted towards either paying off debt or helping the county’s general fund. Read More»

3 commissioners block tax debate

It should come as no surprise that an immovable majority on the Fayette County Board of Commissioners — who put their relatives on the Board of Elections to oversee their re-election bids, push expensive and unwarranted road projects, voted on contacts and other expenditures in the millions without putting the items on an agenda, voted to keep us in the regional mass transit plans and consistently approve no-bid contracts for everything from grass cutting to engineering services — is frantically attempting to thwart a fellow commissioner from trying to rescue a failed budgeting process which w Read More»

Fayette Commission majority as arrogant as in Miami-Dade recall

As a Miami-Dade County attorney for 30 years I had an up-close look at the inner workings of the Dade County Commission. It is no wonder that many considered those workings to be similar to those engaged in by Third World countries.

I didn’t believe that it was possible that annother county commission could be so arrogant and out of touch with the wishes of the electorate. I was wrong. Read More»

Watch YouTube video to see how Frady runs commission meetings

The June 9 meeting of the Fayette County Board of Commissioners was a successful launch of Fayette County into a new orbit of ludicrousness. Houston ... can you hear us ... we have a leadership problem!

There wasn’t an open seat in the auditorium. The crowd had come to support Commissioner Steve Brown’s effort to right our county’s financial ship. Many in the crowd got up and spoke in favor of Brown’s plan to use the new House Bill 240 solution for adverting a budget crisis in future years. Read More»

Frady’s behavior last week was reprehensible

I have been regularly attending [Fayette County] Commission meetings for over two years now. There were easily 200-plus people in attendance at [Thursday] night’s meeting, and [the] display was one of the most disrespectful I’ve ever witnessed.

Unfortunately, the citizens who attend these meetings have become accustomed to routinely being derided and mocked and having their rights trampled upon, but Chairman Frady’s behavior last night was reprehensible. He’s the one who’s supposed to set the standard, and he failed miserably. Read More»

Brown not allowed to present referendum idea

On June 9, 2011 Commissioner Steve Brown was listed on the commissioners’ meeting agenda to speak on HB240. Under HB240, the funding for infeasible or impractical SPLOST projects may be put to a referendum vote. If the public decides it does not want those projects, their funding may be used to reduce debt or property taxes.

But for that to happen, the commissioners must first agree to a referendum. Brown brought with him a 20-page PowerPoint presentation he had prepared to help communicate what he had to say. He gave copies to the other four commissioners before the meeting started. Read More»