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Barlow: Bailing water, ignoring hole in boat

I am blessed that my children are grown and that I have the time available to get active in local government.

We have got a real mess on our hands at the county level right now. It’s obvious to anyone who attends the meetings that the majority voting block made up of Chairman Herb Frady, Commissioner Lee Hearn and Commissioner Robert Horgan simply isn’t representing the citizens of our county.

Watching the citizens get steamrolled at the meetings motivated me to throw my hat in the ring to run against Herb Frady.

I have done my best to let our local citizens know what is going on in their county government. I appreciate the fact it’s difficult for some of our senior citizens to attend the evening meetings and a lot of our working parents have a lot on their plates keeping a family going.

As a service to all, I try to video tape all important county meetings and place them on

I taped the Board of Commissioners recent retreat and here are the four links:



3. and


Keep in mind that Frady, Hearn and Horgan do not want you to see what is going on in local government. In fact, on at least two occasions, Chairman Frady tried to prevent Commissioner Steve Brown from presenting his agenda items.

One of the reasons I am running against Chairman Frady is the lack of openness. I am in favor of letting everyone have their say. Every citizen of Fayette County has the right to speak out about any topic they wish, period, and they deserve an answer.

One thing you will see in the links is we are in for another year of deficit budgeting. Commissioner Brown gave a very honest appraisal by saying Frady, Hearn and Horgan are bailing water, but they refuse to repair the hole in the ship. If your revenue doesn’t meet your expenditures, you must identify and fix the problem(s).

I don’t agree with deficit budgeting, so you will have a choice when voting. As you guessed, Frady wants to pave more gravel roads in the next fiscal year even though many of the people living on those roads don’t want it.

Chairman Frady and Robert Horgan continued to stress that they want to complete the Road to Nowhere (West Fayetteville Bypass). No one wants this road and the cost is extreme, but Frady pushes on wanting to go to the next phase III.

I totally oppose continuing on to the next phase of the West Fayetteville Bypass, so you will have a choice come election time. We have wasted tens of millions of dollars which could have helped resolve the deficit budgeting crisis.

Frady tried to explain there was not enough SPLOST money to build the East Fayetteville Bypass, so he wants to build the next phase of the useless West Fayetteville Bypass.

This is just not true. From the beginning there was ample funding to cover the number one priority project East Fayetteville Bypass. Truth be told, the East Fayetteville Bypass was the ONLY road project that Tyrone, Fayetteville, Peachtree City and the county agreed on.

It was no surprise at all that Frady was excited about developing the land around the West Fayetteville Bypass. We all knew that is why the road is getting built in the first place. That is all we need with adding more traffic in the center of the county with more dense development.

You have a choice once again in the election because I will not support any type of residential development that does not consist of rural zoning standards.

I hope you will watch the county retreat on and please mark the July 31 election on your calendars because you now have someone to vote for who will not maintain the damaging status quo. Thank you in advance for your support!

David Barlow

Fayette Board of Commissioners Candidate

Tyrone, Ga.



While Fayette Commission Chairman Frady and Commissioner Horgan are holding on to building the West Bypass with bulldog tenacity, I don't believe that it will do them any good if they seek reelection. We are in a new era in Fayette County. The people have finally woken up and realized what has been going on. People are now attending the commission meetings and making public comments, and they're writing letters to the editor and commenting. Over the past few years we've seen a sudden burst of interest in Fayette government. Two years ago, even the support of all the top political leaders in Fayette County wasn't enough to get Commissioners Smith and Maxwell reelected. Just last year, Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele, who, like Mr. Frady, had been running unopposed got voted out, along with councilman Rick Price.

All it took was the effort of a few people who were sick and tired of what had been going on. When those few started making this known to the multitudes, things started happening. Yet the three remaining "old school" commissioners refuse to acknowledge the will of the people, and have thus far showed no signs of bending in their determination to have the last word.

Just last week, when Commissioner McCarty proposed to postpone Phase III of the West Bypass, Commissioner Hearn chimed in that it could cause huge problems, and had the motion tabled until May. I had heard through the it a "gut feeling" that he might be considering postponing it, but Mr. McCarty beat him to the draw. Had Mr. Hearn himself presented the motion, perhaps the voters might see some real evidence that at least one of the old commissioners was starting to bend. With the election coming up soon and no public support for the "road to nowhere", I think that it would behoove all voters to be on the alert for "bending" on Phase III, especially by Mr. Hearn. Should he do this, try and remember that "a little bird" told you.

You have to give Mr. Barlow credit for standing up for what's right, along with Mr. Randy Ognio, who will run for Mr. Hearn's district. With Brown and Mccarty thus far facing three votes against them, we just might have the makings of a transparent administration more in tune with the majority of voters.

Steve Brown's picture

It's no secret now as Huddleston campaign signs are being affixed to Hearn campaign signs.

We know very well where Hearn stands on the big issues and it is not pretty. Add Huddleston to that collection of bad decisions.

Steve Brown's picture

He actually showed up to our Board of Commissioners meetings and workshops. He actively opposed the harmful actions of the Hearn-Frady-Horgan majority.

Barlow made sure that others got to see what was going on as well. He took the time to tape the proceedings and post them on the Internet so that citizens could see with their own eyes what was going on.

Sheila Huddleston never showed up until she qualified and then rarely after that. She was a no-show for our workshop meeting after she qualified for the runoff. Huddleston has never spoken out on anything.

It seems that Barlow and Ogino yard signs are disappearing- and being replaced with Huddleston and Hearn signs. This is the type of politics that we do not need here in Fayette County. Each candidate will have an opportunity to be heard. Then the voters will decide. This type of dirty politics should be saved for places like Illinois. Places where people are judged on who they know, as opposed to what their ideas are. We deserve better in Fayette County.

We know what Commissioner Hearn stands for- and we know that all of his cronies have been voted out of office. I honestly don't know what Ms. Huddleston stands for. She has yet to find her voice. Perhaps it would help if she actually attended some County Board meetings. It's hard to judge someone on the issues, when they have done very little to have their opinions heard.

I implore both Mr. Hearn and Ms. Huddleston to stick to the issues. If you are behind the sign theft, please stop. I hope you are both better than this. I know Barlow and Ogino are.

suggarfoot's picture

I've seen the same thing, Barlow's signs being pulled down and Hearn and Huddleston signs in their place. I dislike Hearn intensely, Huddleston signs going up wit his...reeks in my eyes.

Mike King's picture

Do you think the yard sign changeover could be Divine Intervention? Barlow might know, Seventy-five a Month Without Found surely believes he knows, and Steve Brown will blame Frady and Horgan.

Fayette County politics are quite simple.

Josh Bloom's picture

Again, the more I try to figure out Ms. Huddleston the more I don't like her as a political candidate. Why can't a person simply share with us their point of view on hot topics here in Fayette County.

Ms. Huddleston only speaks in generalities and that does not go too far with me. I don't like that we know nothing about her AND now I especially don't like the fact that she is aligning herself next to Lee Hearn.

I am definitely voting for David Barlow.

ginga1414's picture

On Sheila Huddleston's website she says, "My opponent keeps stating that he is for transparency in government. But he has never said how he will insure this transparency. As for me -- I have an open door policy and I am always willing to listen."

It seems to me that Mr. Barlow has taken more than several giant steps to "insure" transparency in our local government. He has been at every Commission Meeting for the last two years with his equipment to video those meetings and has placed them on YouTube for the world to see.

Ms. Huddleston said, "As for me -- I have an open door policy and I am always willing to listen." That doesn't tell me or show me anything about what she would do to promote transparency within our local government. By what she has said, I can assume that if I want to talk she will listen. That's it! She will "listen!"

Ms. Huddleston also says, "I have not attended every county commission meeting held in the last two years." Knowing attorneys the way I do, that can mean anything they want it to mean. It could mean that she hasn't attended ANY commission meetings. It could mean that she has attended ONE commission meeting. It could mean that she has attended ONE commission meeting and left half way through.

I guess my absolute favorite is where Ms. Huddleston says, "I have chosen not to address the board during public comment. Again, in life, you can complain, or you can offer solutions. Unlike my opponents, I have chosen to offer solutions. Taking action brings about change, Complaining doesn't. I have long believed that instead of telling me why something won't work, show me something that will."

When I clicked on Ms. Huddleston's website, I was searching for some information that would give me insight as to how she planned to implement transparency and how she planned on dealing with developers who say, "If you will pave that road, I will develop the land." I didn't find where Ms. Huddleston provided solutions to either of those problems. I really can't say that she provided solutions to any problems.

Elections pose problems for voters who try to figure out who the Best Candidate is for your beliefs. People who run for office will always try to say the right thing. So the public need to dig deeper and see if there is a record that will reveal more about a candidate. It is also important to find out who is advising and supporting the candidate.

Dave Barlow and Randy Ognio have demonstrated their interest and knowledge concerning the County Commission by attending most meetings and workshops for the last several years. Each has written many letters to The Citizen stating their positions. They are both involved with the Fayeete County GOP as well as active in and supported by the local tea parties. The tea parties are not a party at all but a group of citizens who are interested in smaller, transparent and fiscally more responsible government for all the citizens. Recent commissions lean heavily in favor of friends and special interest groups.

Mr. Hearn has a record. He has not been truthful, appointed a family member to a County position, big spender and approves of deficit spending, approved the defined benifit plan, the West Fayetteville bypass was his baby. There are many other things but you get the idea. His supporters are the likes of Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell.

Ms. Huddleston has no record. She is young attorney. I think several ex commissioners who also are in the tea party, sought her out because of their intense dislike of Steve Brown. In their minds Steve is not capable of having any good idea. They wanted a candidate that will block or play havoc with Mr. Brown. They did not have that confidence with Mr. Barlow or Mr. Ognio. I believe both men will be independent. What is surprising, is that it now appears that Ms. Huddleston has hooked her wagon with Mr. Hearn.

Ms. Huddleston has not been active in the GOP or the tea parties. We know absolutely nothing about Ms. Huddleston. She has come into this contest like a drone. The ex commissioners could have presented her to the GOP or the tea parties that they are active in, as a viable alternative candidate. That did not happen, why not? We know there are RINO's (republican in name only) in Fayette County like Terri Smith. She now is running as a Democrat. Could this be happening again?

The clear choice based on what we know about the candidates would be Dave Barlow and Randy Ognio.

Citizen Bob's picture

Hearn's got a 4 year voting record with way too many problems (no-bid contracting, wasteful roads, opposed resolution against mass transit in the county, early retirement plan, approved a $500k employee bonus item that wasn't on a public agenda, the county SPLOST, etc, etc).

Ognio's already saved the county some big bucks on the bulldozer deal alone, and submits other sensible recommendations to the BOC every month.

Barlow's got to assure voters he'll decide issues based on GA law and county ordinances rather than just faith, but knowing where he stands on issues is never a problem.

Huddleston was the stealth candidate until this week, then her signs started appearing on Hearn's mini-billboards. Now she's out of the closet and hoping to become one of the good ole boys (girls?). Only open question is who's backing her financially?

R.J. Ross

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