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Commission counts bees ahead of budget wreck

Our county is headed for a train wreck and our elected commissioners can’t seem to get anything done to prevent or even recognize it. The last workshop held June 1, the commission debated/discussed and argued for 40 minutes and could not agree on how many honeybees a resident could have in their front or back yard.

With all the many things that are affecting this county and its citizens, one would think the commission could get their act together. But, no, they can’t seem to agree on anything, not even bees.

The county’s budget is in trouble with lower taxes being collected and expenses continuing to rise. We will soon be taxed on the amount of rain that runs off our property (should we get rain again) and the 911 fees will be based on the value of your property. Does it cost more for emergency responders to go to high value homes? The county is desperate to find more sources of revenue but not so inclined to cut the budget.

County records show we have $58.3 million in the bank from the last SPLOST. This money could go a long, long way to relieve the county’s financial troubles. This tax money is slated to be used on very controversial and mostly unneeded projects. The 2003 SPLOST was presented to the voters as a transportation improvement tax, but has turned the county into turmoil with the east and west bypass issue. No one, except the left-over commissioners and developers see either as an improvement to traffic.

Fayette County now has a legal way to divert this $58 million to do some REAL good for the citizens. House bill 240 was recently signed by Gov. Deal. This law allows counties, with voter approval, to re-direct SPLOST funds to other debt or projects NOT on the original ballot. What a windfall this money would be for us to bring our debt down (Justice Center) and make improvements that are really needed.

I urge all concerned citizens to let your county commissioners know what you think their actions should be. Oh, by the way, do it soon because they are now considering taking away your right to speak at the meetings or make you wait until after they have decided an issue.

The commissioners want our “feedback,” not our input! After all, we are just “venting,” as one commissioner recently stated.

Donald Fowler

Fayetteville, Ga.



Commissioner Frady did say that he wanted to get county business done before public comments. He also said that if people wanted to make comments, they need to sit through the whole commissioners meeting. Yet, his hearing on "how many bees" took at least 45 minutes last time I attended. I've been to commissioners meetings at night where the commissioners spent similar amounts of time on issues not of general interest to the public.

No matter how you slice it, public comments ARE county business, and the commissioners work for the public. People are not always free to attend entire meetings, which can take 3 hours or more. Placing their views at the end of the show does much to discourage participation. Further, the practice has been for the commissioners to retreat into Executive Session leaving the audience sitting for long periods of time. Recent comments have been mostly about the West Bypass and transparency in government.

This is a situation where Mr. Frady and company need not only to to hear what's said, but to listen.If he wants to quash public comments, he's going about it the right way.

grassroots's picture

The probable reason for the limit on honey bees is due to the Federal Govt Farm Subsidy program allowing to lower property tax. I intend to apply it to my property as I have 5 acres. The bee limit should be per acre and not per property, thus allowing those with two acres or more to take advantage of this program. John Stossel report showed that Bon Jovi was only payng $100 property tax on over 100 acres. This would scare any county official. especially if we run seminars teaching people how to do it if they raise our property taxes. FREE!
See Stossel report at SPLOSTOPINION.

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