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Brown: If you want mass transit, vote for Smith, Maxwell

The issues in race for the two at-large county commission posts, to be decided at the July 20 primary election, are extremely clear. (Whoever wins the primary gets the commission seats as there are no Democratic challengers.)

In my Post 4 race against incumbent Jack Smith, there are some obviously clear distinctions. First, the incumbent Smith has consistently voted in favor of regional mass transit plans that include transit buses and rail in Fayette County. The county’s engineer, under Smith’s administration, has also voted in favor of the same mass transit plans in regional government meetings, representing our county’s citizens.

The process here is quite simple. If you do not want mass transit in Fayette County, avoiding enormous expense and pain, vote for me. I have been on the record for years denouncing any plans to bring mass transit to Fayette County. Even the metro counties that have mass transit are suffering from low ridership, canceling routes and drowning under the cost of operation.

I like our open green spaces, low housing density and separation from the clutter of the rest of metro Atlanta. However, if you absolutely do want mass transit in our county, including a big bus route between Riverdale and Fayetteville, thinking it is the way we should go, the incumbent Jack Smith is the only candidate who has a proven track record of voting in favor of that approach.

Incumbent Eric Maxwell has stated he adamantly opposes mass transit in Fayette County, but he never challenged incumbent Chairman Jack Smith’s vote in favor of the regional transit plan. Why?

A presentation of the regional mass transit plan was given in Fayette County, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, attended largely by county government officials. Was the incumbent Maxwell asleep at the switch?

The regional government meeting minutes very clearly show every regional government representative of Fayette County voted in favor of the mass transit plan that includes Fayette County, and not a peep from Maxwell about it, why?

If you want someone who has been opposed to building the wasteful West Fayetteville Bypass (a.k.a. “road to nowhere” and “Developer FREEway”) since day one, I am the only choice. The bypass got such a bad cost versus function rating that the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Atlanta Regional Commission refused to help fund the boondoggle.

The bypass (which, by the way, will not function as a bypass) is an expensive form of developer welfare at taxpayer expense, providing free road frontage to large tracts of open land. Knowing these facts, incumbent Smith and incumbent Maxwell CHOSE to fund and begin construction on road with almost no utility to anyone but real estate developers.

However, if you are absolutely in favor of building the West Fayetteville Bypass, using a huge amount of your tax dollars, located right next to the new empty $13 million Rivers Elementary School (it’s nice that we are grouping the boondoggles), then the incumbent Jack Smith is the candidate who has a proven track record of voting to construct the bypass.

If the mandate of the people is to vote for the candidate who will terminate the construction of the bypass, saving tens of millions in taxpayer funds on phase III alone, vote for me.

Those multi-millions can fill a lot of potholes, repave a lot of local roads and add a bunch of useful turn lanes all over our county, projects that would add value to your home and make life better.

If you want your vote to count as a mandate to stop frivolous government spending, keeping elected officials from making up projects to spend your tax dollars on, I am the only choice.

Again, from day one I have publicly denounced the thoughtless and wasteful SPLOST. I made it public that the SPLOST was nothing but a bunch of pork projects, including speculative school buildings and over $100 million in road projects the commissioners had not reviewed until the night they voted to approve them.

Moreover, the commissioners wanted the current taxpayers to pay off the portion of the capital debt on the Judicial Center that future residents were supposed to pay, forcing the long-term debts of the county on us with future residents getting a free ride.

If you are in favor of wall-to-wall tax-and-spend proposals, especially in a very weak economy, the incumbent Jack Smith is the only candidate who has a proven track record of voting to approve large spending proposals for unnecessary things in the midst of a poor economy.

Even though the people of Fayette County have unquestionably opposed, loudly and openly, the useless West Fayetteville Bypass and mass transit plans and the arrogant SPLOST projects, the incumbent Commissioner Jack Smith has deliberately ignored his constituents’ desires.

I could write an entire essay on who actually has the incumbent’s attention. You are not the object of his consideration.

Please take this July 20 primary seriously. Your vote is the mandate on Fayette County’s direction for the future. This is your chance to officially authorize a return to slow growth and a conservative spending philosophy. Up to this primary election, we have been shut out of the process.

Early voting begins June 7 at the County Elections Office. You can vote in advance at the Peachtree City and Tyrone libraries beginning July 12. For those of you who have to vote after business hours, go the regular polls on July 20.

The incumbents will become even more emboldened if you do not vote. It’s time for a clear mandate from the people of Fayette County.

Steve Brown, candidate

County Commission Post 4

Peachtree City, Ga.



mudcat's picture

No offense, little buddy, but even if your headline was correct about Smith and Maxwell pushing for mass transit, not many of us would be able to vote for you. We actually remember what you did as mayor and the damage you caused. Maxwell fully explains your duplicity on the TDK extension and your support of Doug McMurrain and your love of farm animals in his opinion piece today. You are not what we need as county commissioner, believe me. Having the support of Harold Bost is sort of like being a blue dog Democrat and finding out President Obama is coming to town to help you raise funds.

No thanks Steve. We will stick with Jack Smith - and Eric Maxwell of course.

Dondol's picture

I'd take Brown or Logsdon over Marta in Fayette county any day. At least you know the evil that you have instead of the Evil coming.

TinCan's picture

Given that choice I'll donate my front lawn for a Marta station.

Mudcat, we'd rather have Brown than you!!!

The Smith and Maxwell transit train is about to detrail. Jack Smith has been saying one thing and doing another behind our backs. No incumbents this time around!!!

Brown writes that it would take a longer letter to explain "on who actually has the incumbent’s attention. You are not the object of his consideration."

Judging from Smith's complete absence of any replies it looks like he is still on that mountain top that the editorial warned us about. Maybe he has been busy hobknobbing in Atlanta with the beautiful people.

Throw the bums out.

grassroots's picture

Open Meeting with all candidates. Monday May 24th. Be there with your comments and questions.

I have never meet Brown. I am tired of his BS over the same things. I have never heard Smith or Maxwell say they wanted MARTA. I agree with Smith voting for the ARC transportation plan. There is more to it than what Brown is letting you know. This guy is a snake oil salesman. And he buys his oil from Harold Bost.
Goats to cut the grass. Your so call arrogant SPLOST projects that the current commission put on the SPLOST where ways of helping to save money in a downward econonomy. I would rather have the debt paid from a one cent sales tax then out of a general fund that is funded by my county tax payment. And the future
And another lie of Browns is: "empty $13 million Rivers Elementary School" There are kids in the school and being used. School buses drop kids off and pick them up. Brown you do not have a clue.

grassroots's picture

There's less than a classroom. Let's see, that comes to about $500,000 per student. Read about BOE''s fuzzy budget math per student in article "They Spend What?" at Rivers is along proposed WFB road to nowhere. Connect the dots.

jpopeye's picture

Smith it is.

Steve Brown's picture

First the Rivers Elementary School. 40 Special Ed students were moved into the building so the BOE would have an excuse for using the unneeded facility. We do not get a dime of state funding for the school either because of the enrollment situation.

Smith did vote for the mass transit buses and rail. Go see the article in this newspaper with Smith giving his reasons for voting in favor.

As for the SPLOST, the voters killed it 3 to 1, so they knew what was going on there.

This election will be the people's mandate on the incumbents' decisions.

To this point, mud slinging seems to be there best weapon. Go see.

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