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Fayette County pushes out long-time Elections Board member Watts

Depending on a pending decision from the Fayette County Commission, the county’s Board of Elections may lose its most veteran member.

Marilyn Watts, who has served since 1998, might possibly be replaced as the commission’s representative on the three-member board.

At the Feb. 10 commission meeting, Commissioner Lee Hearn thanked Watts for her service but nominated resident Addison Lester to take her place. Commissioner Steve Brown in turn nominated Watts to be reappointed to the position before the matter was tabled because Brown hadn’t received the background information on Lester.

Although Watts’s term has technically expired, she has continued to serve until the county commission would make a decision on the matter.

Brown said he was concerned because the other two serving elections board members are not likely to return; each of those positions are filled by appointments made by one of the two political parties: both Republicans and Democrats.

Watts has publicly asked to be reappointed, addressing the commission during the public comment portion of the Feb. 10 meeting. She explained that she had a significant amount of training in elections matters, and others have indicated that Watts is very knowledgeable when it comes to parsing Georgia’s various elections laws.

“There are six pages here with classes she has attended on elections training,” Brown told his fellow commissioners. “So I dare say she probably is the most competent person we have,” in the elections process.

The board is charged with training and the selection of poll workers and also of hiring a staff that is paid for by county funds, Watts said. She was also very complimentary of the elections staff, adding that she has felt “privileged to work with them.”

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Comments

During the last four years, I have witnessed many questionable decisions by our previous commission. Frady, Horgan, and Hearn are just continuing the tactics of the old regime.

I thought I had witnessed the most outrageous display of poor judgment when our previous commission voted to appoint themselves as supreme rulers of our Elections Board. However, the ruling our three musketeers handed down last night has me asking once again, "What were they thinking?"

They are leaving our Election Board with virtually no experienced leadership.

Maybe that is what they want. Maybe that is their way of influencing the election process!!!

To top that off, Commissioner Lee Hearn nominated one of his fellow church members to replace Marilyn Watts. His entire focus appeared to be on Mr. Lester's qualifications as a leader in their church as opposed to experience related to Election Boards. His nomination was approved 3 to 2.

OVER HALF OF THE COMMISSION MEETING AUDIENCE WALKED OUT IN PROTEST AS A RESPONSE TO MR. HEARN'S NOMINATION AND REMARKS.

Mr. Frady repeatedly tried to squelch applause during the Public Comment portion of the meeting. Much to Mr. Frady's dismay he wasn't able to stop Fayette citizens from voicing their opinions through applause. The County can take our homes and destroy our property but we can't respond with how we feel about the County's invasion of our lives? The shame of it all!

The Three Musketeers are controlling our lives and now they are controlling our voting process by ousting the only experienced person on the Elections Board we had. The only reason we were given for the oust was "we feel it's time for a change."

CombatCorrespondent's picture

[quote=pips1414]I thought I had witnessed the most outrageous display of poor judgment when our previous commission voted to appoint themselves as supreme rulers of our Elections Board. However, the ruling our three musketeers handed down last night has me asking once again, "What were they thinking?"[/quote]

http://www.kombatkamera.com/Journalism/Local-News/News-Stuff/7952631_aot...

Thursdayday, February 24, 2011. Fayetteville, GA.

Fayette County Commissioner, Lee Hearn makes the most rediculous nomination to Fayette County's Board of Elections by voting to replace long serving board member Marilyn Watts.

Hearn nominated Addison Lester, a man with no experience with the board of elections, no schooling or experience with the board of elections.

According to Fayette County Commissioner, Steve Brown, Lester has never even attended a single meeting of the election board!! So what makes him qualified?

You have GOT to hear Lee Hearn list Lester's qualification. After this nomination, many citizens in attendence stood and walked out of the commission meeting in apparent disgust. Hear it for yourself.

CombatCorrespondent's picture

[quote=pips1414]Mr. Frady repeatedly tried to squelch applause during the Public Comment portion of the meeting. Much to Mr. Frady's dismay he wasn't able to stop Fayette citizens from voicing their opinions through applause. The County can take our homes and destroy our property but we can't respond with how we feel about the County's invasion of our lives? The shame of it all![/quote]

http://www.kombatkamera.com/Journalism/Local-News/News-Stuff/7952631_aot...

Fayette County Commission Chairman, Herb Frady, DEMANDS respect for the Board of Commissioners by trying to force attendees at the meeting to stop clapping for citizens who speak to the board.

Hear a response to Frady's demand for respect.

suggarfoot's picture

So the fact that this new person goes to Church with Lee Hearn is suppose to make him better qualified than someone who has done the job all these years and we've spent countless dollars on training, who said they WANTED to keep the job?

MS Watts has 6 pages of qualifications. ...AND... the only qualification that was mentioned to the public for this new person is that he goes to Church with Lee Hearn?

This whole thing just gets nastier and nastier.

I would like to publicly apologize to Ms Marilyn Watts as a citizen for the embarrassment she suffered at the hands of the 3 clunkers we have in office.

Thank God Marilyn is gone, it's time the old guard Republicans are replaced with the even older Tea Party contingent. On a separate note Michael, can you turn on the anti-shake on your camera? I have to keep an air sickness bag nearby everytime I watch one of your videos. Thanks

CombatCorrespondent's picture

[quote=More Cowbelle]On a separate note Michael, can you turn on the anti-shake on your camera? I have to keep an air sickness bag nearby everytime I watch one of your videos.[/quote]

Sorry Cow about the shake. I don't usually shoot video. But when I am shooting stills and covering an event, and a newsworthy moment presents itself, I feel it is better to capture the moment, even with the shake, than to not capture it. In this case, I think it is more important what you hear than what you see.

My videos aren't perfect, because I'm not primarily a videographer. I hope you find my still photos technically to your liking and high standards.

A couple of solutions for ya, though, if you know ahead of time my videos will have vibration in them, please feel free to:

a. Play them with your eyes closed and simply listen.
b. Don't play them at all.
c. Deal with the vibration.

Thanks for your input!

Mike

Don't apologize for your videos, you're not much of a still photographer either.

CombatCorrespondent's picture

[quote=More Cowbelle]Don't apologize for your videos, you're not much of a still photographer either.[/quote]

Gotcha!

Mike

It's called FIRO and keep on doing what you do--giving it your best shot!
Gym (2 1/2 yrs in a Combat Zone--no camera!)

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