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Chairman threatens to have county marshal remove Commissioner Brown from meeting

Free speech clashed with parliamentary procedure at last week’s Fayette County Commission. Procedure — augmented by the chairman’s gavel — won.

At Thursday’s meeting, Commission Chairman Herb Frady threatened to have rookie Commissioner Steve Brown removed from the meeting after Brown raised his voice to complain of censorship since he was not allowed to speak about the West Fayetteville Bypass, which was not listed as a separate item on the agenda.

Brown had hoped to discuss the bypass during the meeting under what he called a “commissioner’s report.” Frady explained that Brown’s information was not a report but instead was “rebuttal” about the bypass project, so it would not be addressed during the meeting.

“It is not a proper item to discuss under reports,” Frady said, adding that it could be added to the commission’s agenda at a future meeting.

Brown, who has pledged to defeat the bypass, said the project is a legitimate item to be addressed under the “reports” section of the agenda.

“If you want to put it on another agenda, that’s fine, but ... it’s not an appropriate item under reports,” Frady said.

After a Brown motion failed to add the bypass to the reports section of the agenda, Frady announced the commission would proceed with the agenda “as printed.”

That led to several voices of complaint grumbled by several citizens, prompting a warning from the deputy county marshal. Brown muttered in a hushed tone: “That’s ridiculous.”

Brown then raised his voice over Frady’s gavel: “Anybody who wants to hear what I had to say in the report, just stay after the meeting and I’ll be glad to show it to you.”

Frady continued to bang his gavel and then interjected: “Steve, you’re out of order. If you want to remain in this room, you’ll stay (in) order because you are interrupting a meeting that is taking care of the business of the citizens of this county. It will not be interrupted.”

On Friday, Brown said that prior to the meeting, he was led to believe that Frady would allow him to address the bypass in the reports section listed at the end of the agenda. Brown claims that 15 minutes before the meeting, Frady told him he would not be allowed to speak about the bypass under the reports section.

Since the matter was not on the agenda, that left the possibility the bypass wouldn’t be addressed until at least the commission’s next regular meeting Feb. 10.

As a result, Brown made the motion to add the bypass to the agenda as a “commissioner report.” The maneuver failed on a 2-2 tie as Brown and Commissioner Allen McCarty were in favor, and Frady joined Commissioner Robert Horgan voting against; Commissioner Lee Hearn was absent.

In the public comment portion of the meeting, citizen Denise Ognio addressed the commission about the dispute over the bypass being on the agenda.

Ognio said she expects all five commissioners to work together.

“Mr. Frady, if Steve Brown properly followed procedure and if in fact the item he brought up should be on the agenda, I am asking for your apology,” Ognio said. “Steve, if in fact he is right and you are wrong, I expect the same from you. You guys have to work together.”

In an email Monday, Brown said he wants a portion of the commission’s upcoming retreat to address “what recourse commissioners have when the chairman is out of order during the administration of a meeting.”

In an email copied to The Citizen and his fellow commissioners, Brown claims the county should not “suffer under the arbitrary judgment dictated by a presiding officer functioning outside the parameters of his position.”

McCarty, who campaigned with Brown, indicated in a subsequent email that he agreed with Brown’s request.

Friday afternoon, Brown contended that he is unable to address matters not on the commission’s agenda because of the recent elimination of a section at the end of the agenda for “commissioner reports.”

The end of the agenda has been changed since the beginning of January, with Thursday night’s agenda listing a section for “reports” at the end.

Prior to the beginning of Frady’s tenure as chairman in January, the reports section at the end of the agenda was broken down to include reports from the county administrator, county attorney, staff reports and also “commissioner reports.”

Brown claims the elimination of the detail for commissioner reports is an attempt to silence him.

Following the meeting, Brown told reporters that he wanted to tell the audience — which consisted largely of bypass opponents — that the previous commission had never voted to shift money from the East Fayetteville Bypass to the West Fayetteville Bypass, which is why county staff is not to blame for what some have perceived as a “mishandling” of open records requests on the matter.

Brown added that he wanted to ask county staff to investigate reports he has received of an agent for the county using “intimidating and rude language” with some of the property owners along the West Fayetteville Bypass.

Brown also said he wanted to address critics who have accused him of supporting the West Fayetteville Bypass years ago with evidence that he has never supported the project.



Robert W. Morgan's picture

I even told you when. Now 2 meetings after the brown clown got sworn in, he fufilled my wildest dreams,,,, errrr nightmares.

The guy can't help himself. He is what he is. Sad, silly and impotent to do anything about his signature issue - the West Fayette Bypass.

Frady calling in the cops is also good comedy. A real bonus!!

Live free or die!

suggarfoot's picture

Steve Brown is doing just what he said he was going todo...represent the people.

Frady seems to have his fingers in his ears, Horgan's fingers are holding some kind of cigarette, and Hearns fingers? I don't know yet, but these 3 commissioners are making a mockery of their office.

tortugaocho's picture

The key thing about Morgan is that he likes the Good Ole Days---when government was largely done in secret and violative of who knows how many laws--- like the sewer deal...Ah, the good old days.

Sorry Bobby but what Brown lacks in tenderness he makes up for in commitment.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Only opinion expressed was that Brown is sad, silly and impotent and unable to actually do anything about his signature issue. That is 100% correct during the rest of this year when the 3-2 votes are against him.

The good old days of civility and maturity - Yes indeed. Especially when compared to Frady/Brown and Haddix/Imker comedy shows. Everybody says we can do better - well you know what, we did!

Old days of secret backroom deals? No, I don't like those. Like the building moratorium in PTC (Brown's), like the Development authority and the bank (Real Brown and Lenox), like the airport snafu (Frady and real Brown), like the tennis center thing (Lenox), like the $27million for an aging sewersystem (Lenox/Pace), like the tap dance on the west Fayette Bypass (Dunn/Smith/Frady) - no, don't like them at all.

Live free or die!

cogitoergofay's picture

Mr. Morgan---I would submit that many of our politicians over the recent times have been nothing but self-serving egomaniacs.

What do Governor Deal and Speaker Ralston have in common?

Each has children that have now engaged as LOBBYISTS at the State Capitol. Absolutely shameful.

Oh, I'm afraid you have only seen the beginning of "using an office" for gain.
That priority is far above infrastructure needs, jobs, budget, etc.!

He is what the majority wanted however, I suppose, considering the opposition!

Now I see, that since Georgia has always wanted to have one day a week where people couldn't purchase alcohol (except in ritzy privates) we are to be allowed to determine locally whether we want our liquor and grocery stores to sell alcohol seven days a week. I doubt the Jews have been buying it on Saturday anyway. The Muslims on Friday--isn't it? Hindu's, I don't know. Buddhas, Sake isn't it?

Of course if an adjoining county votes to sell it, the other adjoining counties will have to also sell it or it will be unconstitutional!

It is like when someone asked a large landowner if he was interested in owning all of the land and he said, no just that which adjoins mine!

KraftyFla's picture

Congratulations, Herb...Your spot in The Fayette Political Graveyard is now officially confirmed.

Other than the time Steve Brown was serving in an elected capacity in PTC, I knew nothing about the guy other than some of his rantings that I read about back during that time. I can't recall anything he did that was productive for PTC or it's taxpayers.
From what I've seen so far (and heard from others), this guy is a clown. He's so full of himself and his need to generate headlines with his name in them, we're in for a wild ride.
First, the by-pass is needed. It's opposed by those that are affected and I can't blame them for not wanting it, I wouldn't either. (NIMBY argument).
These select few will lose out in the long run. All Brown will do is generate more headlines, scream and yell, eventually get thrown out of a meeting, and continue to try and appease those few without doing anything productive for the county as a whole.
I have to give Herb credit for managing his meeting. He did right. Brown was wrong, and he'll continue to be wrong until we finally can vote him out. But that's 4 long years away. So buy more ink "Citizen" ... you're gonna need it.

ginga1414's picture

These comments and others are perfect examples of how things are misrepresented and therefore believed to be true by the extremely uninformed.

Mr. Brown is passionate about transparency in government.

Our governmental officials who don't want their actions made public will try to destroy other officials who fight for the truth. Some folks are blind and willing to believe everything they hear and read. And, that dear readers is how good people who truly care become fodder for those who have nothing better to do than talk just to hear their own heads roar.

Give me a passionate public official any day over one who sleeps through meetings, never says anything, never asks a question, doesn't support the voters, never responds to citizens' letters, lies about the facts, hides information, and works undercover to promote his own interests.

Our 30 year resident should realize that "these select few" are more than a few voters who voted out a portion of the County Commission that were not responding to the residents wishes and would not listen to the people. That "select few" voted their rights at the ballot box and when the next election cycle comes we will remove the balance of the Commissioners that do not listen to the people.

This is not about the west bypass, it was the straw that broke the camels back in Fayette County and caused the people to rise up against the goverment and make themselves heard. The west bypass is the same to Fayette County as Obamacare is to the nation, It caused people to band together and publicly make their views known about thing they did not like rather than set on the sidelines and let someonelse do as they pleased. Fayette Countians should rise up and make them selves heard, whatever their convictions are, as the "selected few did in the last election but do not wait get involved doday in making yourself heard.

kevink's picture

Of Steve Brown:

" I can't recall anything he did that was productive for PTC or it's taxpayers."

Of the Bypass:

"First, the by-pass is needed."

Of this particular meeting:

"I have to give Herb credit for managing his meeting. He did right. Brown was wrong, and he'll continue to be wrong until we finally can vote him out."

If you must speak in such absolutes, perhaps next time you will provide a shred of justification for your opinions.

Point 1) As Mayor back in the early 2Ks, Steve Brown took on the slash and burn tree-cutting tactics of CENTEX Homes, a company which damaged the root structures of the trees they left and then didnt want to pay to have them removed later. Mayor Brown met with the hmoeowners personally and CENTEX was forced to remove trees they had, in essence, damaged. So, now you know of at least ONE thing Mr. Brown did as Mayor.

Now, you said without wavering that "the bypass is needed." Why and by whom? I can´t see how it is money well spent for me. Enlighten me if you might.

As to The Chair handling his meeting "correctly" and Steve Brown being clearly "wrong" in your not so humble opinion, is stifling debate what voters should hope to see more of? Does the truth hide these days? Are we to pay taxes and have no expressed opinion? Steve Brown is where he is and Eric Maxwell is where HE is due to the will of us voters, so I don´t know why you are confident Steve will be voted out. I would see a recall petition of Frady as more realistic than your scenario, but I´m all ears if you would like to support your positions.


Vote Mytmite in 2012!

Kevin, Google "Oakwood BBQ" and visit their web site. Never mind Dean's--I've got 5 lbs of this whole hog BBQ on the way and I'm willing to share. Should be here Friday. If you're interested, let me know and we'll work out a meet.

I'm reading through these posts and the good old boys are coming out of the wood work.

They can't stand when someone actually takes on the established practices of back room deals and behind the scenes power brokering (sp?).

Your comments are so profound 30YearResident. It's right up there with the homeless guy holding the sign saying "Why lie? I need a drink. Please help!"

Anybody who says that Herb was doing the right thing in this meeting doesn't have all his tools in the shed - if you know what I mean.

highflyer2's picture

and enjoy the show folks! It was like this in Peachtree City and why would ANYONE think that it would be any different now?
Some people just shouldn't be allowed to vote!

kevink's picture

And that list should start with people who think Melear´s BBQ was worth more than two cents, and who think "hate and bigotry" are a permanent part of our southern experience. If you have some free time, maybe you can set up the voter de-registering program.


Vote Mytmite in 2012!

You ever visit Bill Ellis's place in Wilson?

kevink's picture

But if you say it's worth the trip from GBoro, I'll run the folks up there next time I'm home. I'm going through smoked meat withdrawl.

Vote Mytmite in 2012!

I haven't been either but I read about 2 guys who took the NC BBQ tour of 22 places, Eastern & Western. They judged Bill's as having the best BBQ of all. Wilbur's got about 5th or 6th place. I've been there but didn't think it was good enough to bring home. And if you're really 'twitchy' a stop at Dean's in Jonesboro should help out!

I could not agree with you more. Steve Brown rooted out the corruption in PTC with those development authority boys being on Peachtree National Bank's board and secretly making high interest, short term loans to the authority without public notice.

OH MY GOSH! What does that sound like? Votes with no public notice sounds like Jack Smith, Eric Maxwell, Herb Frady, Lee Hearn and Bob Horgan!

Go Steve go! It's the march to 2012! Cut the corruption loose!

ginga1414's picture

Specifically, tell me who shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Is it the people who disagree with you??????

Is it the people who didn't vote for your good buddy Eric Maxwell??????

Is it the people who didn't vote for Jack Smith??????




I have to give credit where credit is due. When that little proposal was voted on, Eric Maxwell didn't support it.

Whether or not you love or hate the West Bypass, now, Veterans Parkway, let's take a look at the FACTS. 2 1/2 years ago, landowners were notified by mail that their property was going to be seized by the county to build the West Bypass. People started complaining and writing articles about developers, no public interest purpose for the road, etc. Citizens organized the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition. The WFBC and more individual citizens fought the road. The Tea Party joined in. Two new people ran for commissioner's posts on an anti-bypass platform. They won. They promised to fight the road.

Commissioners Brown and McCarty have an obligation to fulfill their promises. Unless they are given an opportunity to do so publicly by the Commission Chairman, thousands and thousands of voters will be denied representation by one person. The commissioners are supposed to represent those folks who elected them. When one man can simply deny them the right to have their will voiced before the full commission by banging his gavel, something is terribly wrong.

Commissioner Brown is trying to get the county commissioners into an open government mode. People are complaining about Gestapo tactics being used to intimidate landowners in the road's alignment to sell their property at giveaway prices. I have spoken with people whose property was surveyed by the county's acquisition contractor without their permission, and they were given a drop dead date after which time they were threatened with legal proceedings. Other folks are being told by the county it would do no good to go to condemnation court because people who had done that had lost. I spoke with one landowner whose property was condemned, but he verified that his case was still on the docket. He said that he and his attorney are very optimistic. Meanwhile, the road was completed over his property months ago, and he awaits equitable payment.

All I'm saying is that those who voted for Brown and McCarty should not be denied the right to have their voices heard before the full commission. If more folks would just attend the commissioners meetings and voice their opinions during the Public Comments session of the meeting, the Chairman will finally get the message.

So come to the next Commissioners meeting and bring a friend. It is February 10 at 7 PM in the Commissioners Meeting Room. Make your voice for open government heard. You'll be glad you did.

suggarfoot's picture

Why don't Horgan, Frady,& Hearn just have the County Commissioners meetings at their homes? They could keep the time and place a secret by switching houses every week.

That way they won't have to mess with Steve Brown, McCarty, nor the pesky public.

They know what Brown, McCarty, and the public want, and they are just making nuisances out of themselves anyway as Frady and friends are going to do they want.

I mean, if they aren't going to pay the taxpayers nor the other 2 commissioners any attention....what is the point of having a public meeting?


suggarfoot's picture

I came across this tonight written into the Citizen. It made me sad that in so short a time things could change so much for the bad. This was written back in 2006 by someone who respected the commisoners and the way they treated the public.

"County commissioners are protecting Tyrone
I was quite impressed when I attended a Fayette County commissioners meeting. Not only were they very informed on everything that came before them, they were very compassionate and polite to every citizen who spoke.

I feel we are very lucky to have them. They seem very committed to controlling the new growth coming into the county and making sure the current residents are not trampled by the developers.

Gail Onesi
Tyrone, Ga. "

suggarfoot's picture

"They seem very committed to controlling the new growth coming into the county and making sure the current residents are not trampled by the developers. "

that big money/developers, made it a point to get them voted out?

We seem a far cry now from 'polite' and 'controlling new growth and making sure current residents are not trampled by developers' don't we?

It seems 3 of the 5 have this attitude, if we can't cramp it down their throats...we'll cramp it up the other!

ginga1414's picture

The last five commissioners trampled whoever dared go a few seconds past their specified time during the Public Comment portion of the commission meetings. I even saw on U-tube where one citizen just had a few more words to say to finish out his sentence and old King Jack made a motion to the deputy. The deputy put her hand on her gun and started walking toward the citizen. The citizen put his hands up, said, "Please don't hurt me," and walked back to his seat.

We've still got three of the five left and they are carrying on in pretty much the same manner.

Whatever you do, just make sure you don't go past your allotted time during Public Comments. Each time my husband or I speak at the commission meetings, we carry a copy of what we have to say and give it to Carol Chandler. That will ensure that all of our comments will be a part of the record just in case we don't talk fast enough for our Fayette County royalty.

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