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Fayette Commission says 'No' to term limits, 24-hour notice to public

Proposals to impose term limits for Fayette County commissioners and to impose a 24-hour public notice on agenda times requiring a vote were discussed and dismissed at Wednesday’s meeting of the Fayette County Commission.

The Jan. 5 meeting was the first for new commissioners Allen McCarty and Steve Brown, who had the items placed on the agenda.

A proposed policy that would have imposed a limit of two consecutive four-year terms for commissioners was discussed and determined not to have a consensus that would lead to the measure being placed on the board’s next meeting agenda for a vote.

Brown in advocating for the policy cited a dozen reasons why term limits were appropriate. Among those were voter preference, increased political competition, limiting ties to special interests and the introduction of fresh thinking and new ideas.

McCarty continued with his assessment of the proposal, saying that elected officials can easily become too comfortable in their positions and that it is preferable to keep “new blood” in commission seats and old viewpoints out.

Commissioner Herb Frady, who earlier in the meeting had been elected chairman on a 3-2 vote, said he thought term limits were appropriate for governor, presidents and county commission chairs, but not for commissioners.

Commissioner Robert Horgan agreed, saying that the current system works well.

Commissioner Lee Hearn also agreed, noting that he believes voters are educated when it comes to electing commissioners and adding that he would hate to see someone such as a potential Thomas Jefferson limited to two terms.

As for the consideration of a policy prohibiting a vote on any item not on the agenda be available to the public and news media 24 hours prior to the meeting, that request, too, went nowhere.

After a brief discussion Frady, Hearn and Horgan did not support the request being included on next meeting’s agenda for a vote.



Did anyone out there expect them to vote yes on this? This would be like voting for a pay-cut. When pigs fly!!

We didn't need them to oust Smith & Maxwell and we won't need them to oust anyone else who doesn't listen to us and whose actions are not in consonance with what's best for the county and its citizens.

We didn't need them to oust Smith & Maxwell and we won't need them to oust anyone else who doesn't listen to us and whose actions are not in consonance with what's best for the county and its citizens.

Mike King's picture

...Nor will we require any help to oust the other three. I can only hope that three responsible individuals step up to replace them. Being that the two new commissioners have been characterized as a mudslinger and a deadbeat, doesn't help matters.

Mr Brown will now unleash accusations on the other three for not making him chairman, and I can only hope one of those takes him on a trip to "the woodshed."

Like he would ever need to worry about that. LMAO.

NUK_1's picture

So true.

I think it's a shame the 24hr bit didn't even merit much of anything from the incumbent 3 because that's a solid idea. Term limits? Geez, no one is forcing you to keep re-electing people and the non-voters obviously don't care either.

Mike King's picture

If it were anyone but Brown, the 24 hour issue may have passed.

What is the matter with this fellow Brown? He got elected didn't he?

Seems to me conservatives wanted congress to have infinity to read the health plan! They read little anyway---they have huge staffs.

Steve Brown's picture

I cited an obvious problem that has occurred over the last four years. The three leftover from that Board of Commissioners voted in opposition and, somehow, it is Steve Brown's fault. That is stretching the logic a bit, Mike.

When will you get involved on these issues, show up at meetings, write the letters to the editor? As you can see, Commissioner McCarty and I could use the help.

Thanks to the bloggers for recognizing the significance of the issue.

birdman's picture

I.......oh I can't say it......wait, I can....I must. I...(oh the turmoil) ....I......agree....with....(can I do it?)...........Steve Brown! There....I said it. I support term limits because too many voters are simply uninformed. But there is a problem of a lame duck politician being totally unresponsive to the voter. After all, why should he/she care if not running for re-election. Plus, locally, we tend to be more familiar with the politician and more likely to vote him/her out. So term limits, not really a big issue.
24 hour rule.....whole 'nother matter. Ironically Brown showed that as Mayor. He shoved a few things down our throats as non-agenda items, including a $50,000 investigation of the Development Authority introduced and voted on as a Council Topic, AND he revised the order of the agenda to place this first, knowing the City Attorney would be late to the meeting and would not be able to give input, leading to a $27,000 Ethics Violation by Councilman Rapson. Additionally Brown ( as I remember it) placed a million dollar purchase of property on the agenda with less than 24 hour notice. These two items, along with others, cost PTC too much money.
So kudos to Steve and Alan for trying. Boo's to the other 3 for voting no on this item. Would be curious as to why they voted no. Did they explain in the meeting?
I agree with Mike King, and think Steve missed his point. The Commissioners are too familiar with Brown, and may have been establishing their territory with a rejection early on. We' ll see.

Told ya Steve, if you did the right thing I'd admit it and give you credit.

Mike King's picture

You are correct in that it is indeed a problem, and likely a direct violation of precedent from the state. Now, should Commissioners Hearn, Frady or Horgan decide to correct this, and I believe they will, they would most likely do so without the fanfare you introduced.

It is these same tactics you used while mayor that ostracized you to most of the citizens of Peachtree City, and now you are on the same path do the same county wide. Please consider that merely reading a book on flying fighter jets does not make you an ace. The same applies to a one meeting commissioner.

You are VERY good at writing long winded essays to the Editor.

PTC Observer's picture

As I said we now know where everyone stands on the 24 hour issue, we will vote accordingly in the next election.

As a citizen I am tired of the old business as usual with this commission, they don't seem to understand that it is the citizens that ultimately set the rules. They should realize this based on the last election. Either they vote for 48 hours or I am voting against them. 24 hours is not enough time to get a fixed agenda out there to the public.

It wouldn't apply to Brown for four more years and then he would have eight more to serve after that!
Surely by that time he will be in Washington or at the Georgia Capitol!
And don't call be Shirley!

Tom is dead and I don't know how one would evaluate whether someone was like Mr. Jefferson or not.
I'll just bet you that he wouldn't know how to use a computer or cell phone even if he were alive!

He would get into all kinds of trouble trying to buy slaves for his plantation also. If he didn't allow his wife or Sally to own property, they would probably sue him.

If we are going that route for a candidate, I think maybe a US citizen Taliban individual might do the job!

You have just garnered the "DumbAzz Comment of the Week award--no matter what day or what week it happenes to be!

I thought you had won it with the Jefferson comment, but I guess I can take the prize!

PTC Observer's picture

Well now we know where everyone stands don't we?

Next election let's remove those that voted "no" to include this item on the agenda.

Either we want an open government that gives Citizens notice or we don't.

I would say that a 48 hour rule would be better, it would give The Citizen time to put it on their website.

I am not for term limits for any elected offical, but I am for holding elected officals accountable for their voting habits.

Gene61's picture

Like we expected anything different ? Did you really think they would vote to limit their terms and power? some say the best term limit is " voting ", guess thats the way we have to go. Get out the vote and start voting them out.

It is my understanding that, under Georgia's 'Open Meeting Act' that it is already a state law to give notice. Here is the law:

(e)(1) Prior to any meeting, the agency holding such meeting shall make available an agenda of all matters expected to come before the agency at such meeting. The agenda shall be available upon request and shall be posted at the meeting site, as far in advance of the meeting as reasonably possible, but shall not be required to be available more than two weeks prior to the meeting and shall be posted, at a minimum, at some time during the two-week period immediately prior to the meeting. Failure to include on the agenda an item which becomes necessary to address during the course of a meeting shall not preclude considering and acting upon such item.

How are they getting around the law already in place?

NUK_1's picture

I don't agree with what FC and several other jurisdictions that also use this tactic are doing, but the law clearly states it's "legal."

Look at the very last sentence: "Failure to include on the agenda an item which becomes necessary to address during the course of a meeting shall NOT preclude considering AND ACTING upon such item. " Caps are my emphasis.

Their wiggle room(usually done with the A-OK and cover from their dishonest and/or ignorant attorneys they hired)is that the item(s)became necessary to discuss and act upon, regardless of not being on the agenda.

O.K. No surprises here. Now that the powers that be have effectively nullified the will of the voters by making one of the Three Stooges Chairman we will now see thing go back to the way they have been the last 2 years. Here comes the developer and banker express via the West Fayetteville Bypass. Oh, I forgot, they renamed it Veterans Parkway. Our sincere apologies to the men and women who have served our country so admirably!

They've seriously renamed the West Fayetteville Bypass abortion as "Veterans Parkway"?

Odd way to honor veterans with that widely reviled road.

Gort's picture

CPB, the next thing you know they will be changing the name of the “Roundabout for the Crosstown-Parkway Intersection” to “Ronald Reagan Memorial Circle!”

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote for the Democrat.

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