Too many cliches for one county
There is, “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” or perhaps “Peter, meet Paul. Paul, meet Peter.” You could include, “if it walks like a duck ...,” “money makes the world go round,” “bait and switch,” “show me the money,” and even “a fool and his money are soon parted.” But my favorite is “Bend over.”
Amazing what has transpired in the last few months in our little town just south of Atlanta. On Oct. 28, 2010, the Fayette County commissioners (led by Jack Smith) crowed numbers that demonstrated the sublimely superb financial health of the county. Spewing millions of dollars saved, millions of dollars in the bank, and millions more to come, Smith attributed all these millions to the enslavement of the county employees. (I was there, and you can read the minutes online).
Here is what appeared on the agenda for that meeting under “Old Business”:
“E. Further discussion resulting from a previous request from staff concerning current account and fund balances for fiscal year 2010.”
Here is what was actually covered and passed under that agenda item: a 2.5 percent pay raise (just under $600,000) for select employees. Huh?
Now, the county manager is recommending that the newly elected board of commissioners consider an increase in property taxes. Very peculiar that just four months after dancing the million-dollar jig we find ourselves doing the hokey-pokey.
I am guessing that this is the point they want us to “cry uncle.” After the defined benefit debacle, the West Fayetteville Road to Nowhere, the naming of foolish projects after veterans, private companies using official county letterhead to intimidate landowners, employee raises when taxpayers are getting laid off, can you see who is Peter and who is Paul? (Hint, you and I play the part of Peter)
Speaking of saints, how is it that the funding for the East Fayette Bypass suddenly and miraculously appears? Was the money always there? Is it really there now? How do you “find” $30-some-million?
I have been “thrown a bone” before, but this is hard to swallow. Just don’t take your “eyes off the prize” and have your attention diverted with hollow promises.
We moved to Fayette County in 2005, purposely seeking a rural flavored community to raise our children. Schools were above average, and density was below.
Interested in keeping it that way? By attending our County Commission, City Council and School Board meetings we can help our local officials “smell the coffee.”