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3 commissioners show lack of wisdom

The article in the 1/5/11 edition of The Citizen concerning a special called meeting of the [Fayette County Commission] on 12/29 for the purpose of acquiring land by eminent domain was very informative on several levels.

This was not an emergency event and two of the members were losing their job in two days. The two newest commissioners, who had already been sworn in to office, attended this meeting as well.

When the commissioners went into executive session, the chairman refused a request to allow the new commissioners access to the session as observers. How is that for cooperation?

The other disturbing aspect was the fact that none of the other members attempted to correct this juvenile act by the outgoing chairman.

After reading this article I decided to attend the 1/5/11 meeting to see if a better attitude would be present. A prayer was offered asking for wisdom and common sense for the new board. A new chairman, Mr. Frady, was chosen on a 3 to 2 vote and he proceeded to run the meeting.

One of the first issues was a $24,000 repair to a 1988 piece of equipment and the board was asked to approve a line item increase in the road department budget and the work had already been performed.

My question: Who initially approved this expenditure? My understanding is that department heads can only approve a $5,000 expenditure and anything higher has to be approved by the board. I am unclear if that process was followed.

The two newest members of the board offered amendments to (1) term limits, no more then 2 consecutive terms, and (2) a 24-hour advance notice to the public of items to be voted on at a scheduled meeting. Both measures were defeated on a 3 to 2 vote.

The interesting thing is five-term (20 years) Chairman Frady could not understand why term limits was a good idea. Mr. Brown proceeded to give him 12 good reasons but they fell on deaf ears. Mr. Brown can also demonstrate how many times the previous board voted on issues (24) that did not appear on meeting agendas.

I and many others came away from this meeting shaking our heads. It appears that it is business as usual. The wisdom and common sense that you would hope would prevail did not attend this meeting.

The reasons for the election that brought two new members seems to be lost on the three remaining members.

The board works for the people and I realize it will take courage to change a position, such as the West Bypass and move forward on the East Bypass. I think it would be welcomed if Commissioners Hearn or Horgan were to show that courage.

Voting on issues like a clone does not serve the people’s interest.

Ray Watt

Peachtree City, Ga.



ginga1414's picture

Mr. Watt has described our county government very well. When Jack Smith sat on the throne, he was a force to be reckoned with. His influence over our other officials is still being felt throughout the Board of Commissioners and all departments of our local government. Who knows? It is very likely that he is still pulling the strings.

It has been said, quite often, that our former commission was drunk with its own power and had no regard for the people of Fayette County. Jack Smith's "quiet" way of governing behind closed doors was proof positive of that.

We now have two reasons to hope with the addition of Steve Brown and Allen McCarty. Brown and McCarty are the ones on our new BOC with the courage to stand-up for the people. Slowly but surely their intelligence will be felt throughout all departments of our local government.

It would serve Frady, Horgan and Hearn well to use their own minds instead of continuing to play "follow the former leader."

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