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Fayette primary winners and losers have their say

The July 31 primary ended with clear winners in some races, while others will face runoff elections later this month. A number of the candidates were contacted for their thoughts on their campaigns and the results of the election. The comments of those responding thus far are included below.

Barry Babb had a big showing in the race for Fayette County Sheriff, taking home 63.79 percent of the vote. Babb expressed appreciation to his family and to the voters, reiterating his comments during the campaign that he intends to serve in a hands-on capacity.

"I just want to thank everybody who helped and supported this campaign, especially my wife and family," Babb said. "We are blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive community. I am still overwhelmed by the response of the voters and it has instilled in me an even greater desire to work hard to serve our community. The message I received during these two months of campaigning has been to work hard to ensure our quality of life and to be an available hands-on leader. I am anxious to get started and I look forward to working with Sheriff Hannah to make the transition as smooth as possible. Thank you Fayette County."

Sheriff Wayne Hannah took 36.21 percent of the vote in the primary election. Contacted Wednesday, Hannah acknowledged the people involved in his campaign, adding that he was proud of the way it had been conducted.

“I want to thank everyone for their help in my campaign. I ran a clean campaign and I'm very proud of that. I've enjoyed my 38 years serving Fayette County and during the next five months I will approach each day as I have in the last three and a half years,” Hannah said. “It's up to you to hold the new sheriff accountable for his actions while he is in office. Under my service as sheriff, we have won many awards and we are proud of that. I do have to be concerned for some sheriff’s office employees who we’re hearing might not have a job.” 

Fayette County Board of Education Post 1 winner Barry Marchman took 57.49 percent of the Tuesday vote. A statement on his website thanked the many volunteers for their help during the campaign. Marchman said he would spend the next four years being fiscally accountable and promoting high academic standards.

“I want to thank the army of volunteers from so many different groups of people that worked so tirelessly to get out our message,” Marchman said. “I understand that the volunteers and the voters were supporting an idea more so than a personality and I promise to work hard these next four years to represent those ideas of fiscal responsibility, high academic standards, and common sense conservative values on the Fayette County Board of Education.”

Post 1 Candidate Scott Hollowell received 42.51 percent of the primary vote. In a statement on his Facebook page, Hollowell congratulated Marchman and said he would continue his involvement with the Fayette school system.

“I want to let every know that I called Barry last night and congratulated him on his win and to wish him well going forward. I told him if I could ever be of service, just let me know,” Hollowell said. “It has been a very rewarding experience. I am grateful for the new friendships made and the old friendships that were strengthened. I plan on being at the next School Board meeting August 6. I strongly encourage all parents who care about their schools to be at that meeting. We have to stay involved to keep our schools moving in the right direction.”

Hollowell in his statement also thanked a large number of people whose support he acknowledged and appreciated.

Fayette Board of Education Post 2 winner Mary Kay Bacallao came away with 68.14 percent of the vote. Bacallao will face school board member Terri Smith (D) in the November general election.

In her comments on the primary victory, Bacallao spoke about the experience of running, on the upcoming race in November and service to the school system.

"To God be the glory, great things He has done. I am grateful to God for all the wonderful people I have met while running for the Fayette County School Board. I have been impressed with the wisdom, intelligence, and kindness I have seen throughout this experience. We are truly blessed to live in Fayette County where so many people care deeply about our schools. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for all those who have worked tirelessly on this campaign. I have enjoyed getting to know you. That has been the best part," Bacallao said. "I am so appreciative and humbled by your support. I am looking forward to continuing on in this race as we get ready for November. We have something special here in Fayette County, and I hope to have the opportunity to serve our schools and our community on the Fayette County School Board. Thank you for your support, prayers and encouragement. Together we can make a difference."

Fayette BoE Post 2 candidate Gary Griffin in his comments on the primary election said he grew from having gone through the primary process, adding his congratulations to Bacallao and his thanks to the voters who supported his efforts.

"I was glad to have participated. I enjoyed it and grew from the experience, though I don't know if I would do it again," Griffin said. "I'd like to thank the people who voted for me and I'd like to congratulate my opponent."

Charles Oddo defeated incumbent Robert Horgan for the Post 1 seat on the commission and will be sworn in Jan. 1 because there is no Democratic challenger for the November general election.

Oddo said he really enjoyed the campaign and especially appreciates the effort of his family and other supporters who took part in helping get him elected to office. He specifically credited his wife for being by his side, even during the sign waving on the streetcorner when the heat sailed past the 95-degree mark.

“One thing that impresses me about this county is that a lot of people have passion and rightly or wrongly they were involved in the process and they made their two cents known and that’s the good part about this,” Oddo said. “My manner is a lot more low key ... but I think the passion everybody had was good if we can just redirect it a little more positively in the future.”

Oddo said he hoped to help improve relationships between the commission and also get more citizens involved in government, perhaps by streaming the meetings online so more citizens can provide input.

“One of the thins I really hope to do is get more people involved, and listen to them and get their input because there are a wealth of ideas in this county that seem to be sliding by, it seems like an opportunity missed not talking to these folks and getting them to meetings,” Oddo said. “I know people elect us to get up there and do our job and not be bothered with it. But we need help: we’re just commissioners, that’s all, we’re not mind readers. We’re there to serve the people who elected us so I will be looking for people to get in and determine what the community wants and move forward together.”

Oddo said while it is impossible to make everyone happy, things can be improved by increasing communication and understanding.

“When I make a decision it will be based on what is best for the county and its citizens, and not any individual or group,” Oddo said. “... A lot of this is simply communication and that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to communicate.”

Oddo said he and the other commissioners will have to look at some tough issues ahead.

“I’m not saying we want to changer everything, but I want to talk a look ... and probably the new commissioners will want to take a look or whomever gets elected. We just want to reassess where we are and kind of get our thoughts together and our citizens thoughts and go down the same path together.”

Oddo said he will work on getting up to speed on how the county functions so he can understand the process and if necessary make any improvements.

Oddo also credited opponent Robert Horgan for his service on the commission.

“He put in about seven years and rightly or wrongly, it doesn’t matter how I feel about his votes, he was there and he did what he felt was right and he deserves a lot of credit for what he has done in the community,” Oddo said. “I hope after I leave office I wil be able to say I made a contribution to the community as well.”

Post 1 County Commissioner Robert Horgan lost Oddo. Horgan said he was disappointed in the outcome but he proud of his service in seven years as a county commissioner.

"I would say the last seven years I think I have been very productive as a commissioner and have accomplished a lot of things," Horgan said. "I will work as hard as I can to keep the two circus clowns, Randy (Ognio) and (David) Barlow from being elected. I really think I had a good run. I think with my help through the Fayetteville Main Street coordination we were able to do improvements at the courthouse and I was instrumental with the Fayetteville mental health facility and the WIC office here in the county, resolving the sheriff's lawsuit agreement and fights back when (Randall) Johnson was sheriff, and changing how we have an in-house attorney and our policies and everything have been gone through and updated."

Horgan also said while it may have cost him the election, he thinks the West Fayetteville Bypass is a huge accomplishment.

"I think in the long run those were hard decisions and I stuck by my guns on that, and I think it will be beneficial to Fayette County in the long run," Horgan said. "I have been through three different boards with Greg Dunn, Jack Smith and Herb Frady and I was told in the very beginning as commissioner your should leave things better than it was when you got here and I certainly think I have done that. I have matured a lot and grown up a lot and I'm not leaving Fayette County."

Horgan said that he thinks if Ognio and Barlow were to be elected to the commission "it would be a detriment to this county ... neither one of them said anytihg about the issues at all, it's all about bad things. It's about getting things done. It's easy to point fingers."

Post 2 candidate David Barlow will face Sheila Huddleston in a runoff election and said he was really pleased he came in first, but was disappointed he didn't win a majority.

"I was also surprised that Jack Smith got as few votes as he did and that Ms. Huddleston got the amount of votes that she did,:" Barlow said. "I believe that we are well prepared to move forward on the points that I have already talked about: transparency and accountability. We need to have fiscal responsibility, not just talk about it, but we actually need to sit down and address it. Today you can refer to some things that came out, that we are going to be increasing the fire fund and if commissioner Brown is accurate, I haven't had a chance to research it, and we have been kicking the can down the road five yeras you have to ask the question why did that not meet the definition of fiscal accountablity. I understand we don't want to be a drain on the cities that have their own fire department but that is something that needs to be addressed."

Huddleston in her comments said she would not let the citizens down if they elect her in the runoff election. Huddleston said she represents a perspective that includes old-school values combined with new visions and ideas.

"I am humbled and honored by the vote of confidence I received Tuesday night. With your vote and support I am now in the Aug. 21 runoff for the Post 2 seat on the Fayette County Board of Commissioners and I can assure you I will not let you down. I will live up to the confidence you have shown in me. I am committed to accountability, fiscal responsibility and open government," Huddleston said. "I want to bring new visions and new ideas to Fayette County, but I am committed to old-school values. I will work to insure that we preserve the quality of life we all hold so dear in this county that we call home. Fayette County is a special place, and we need to keep it that way. That is my commitment to you."

Post 3 candidate Randy Ognio will face incumbent Post 3 commissioner Lee Hearn in the runoff election Aug. 21.

"I've got to thank all my supporters out there," Ognio said. "I know a lot of them did a lot of hard work for me and a lot of them gave financial support, so I've got to thank them all. And we've got to let them know we have two to three more weeks to go and I won't stop 'til we're finished."

Ognio said he would continue to stick to the issues even though bloggers have started with personal attacks.

"Personally I believe that if we stick with the issues, we'll win," Ognio said. "Just please get out and vote August 21."

Hearn, who will face Ognio in the runoff election, said he looked forward to the challenge of the next three weeks.

"I would really love the opportunity to have an open debate with Mr. Ognio sponsored by the chamber or the Rotary Club," Hearn said. "I would make myself available anytime they can work that out to talk about the issues. I look forward to a positive issues-based informative campaign. ... I don't indulge in attack-oriented politiics and I haven't in the past and I won't in the future."



The citizens have spoken. There's quite a reason for their choice. Wayne Hannah can make excuses and spew negative speculation; but he wrecked the morale and prestige of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office. It's time to resume proper policing of the county. It's time to make criminals fear entry into Fayette County once again.

Yes, we need more policing of the county. When I first moved to Fayette County 15 years ago I would go out and mow the lawn without locking my doors. Now, I turn on my alarm system. I am always watching over my shoulder, and carry my cell phone with me at all times. I don't feel comfortable shopping at the pavilion. Our County is better than most...but, I remember the good old days when I felt safe. No one in Fayette County should have to worry about home invasions.

Silver Bullet

Did you have a confused moment and think you were writing a comment for Barlow?

MajorMike's picture

Ain't that the truth.

Hannah states, " I do have to be concerned for some sheriff’s office employees who we’re hearing might not have a job.” That sounds like the comments sheriff's office employees might have made when Hannah was elected. What goes around comes around.

If he does anything like what happened to him, I would be very surprised and disappointed--and I'm not surprised that "rumor" is rampant. I'd bet none of it came from him.

The Wedge's picture

I know Barry decently well. I am expecting him to continue to make me proud to be his friend. People may leave on their own, no doubt though. Not pushed and crushed as he was

rolling stone's picture

I voted for Barry both times, but to be honest, I figured this time would be a vote to make a statement. His winning the election now makes me think that the people of Fayette County are a lot smarter than I look.

Can he have any less class. He never even called Barry to congradulate him. He is the only one that will be out of a job come 2013. Woodie the wood pecker has stated he would resign if Barry won. GOOD BYE woodie. It looks like your $500.00 donation was a bad investment. Hannah you have been held accountable for the demotions, promotions, poor record keeping, inflated salary, and all the wrecks by deputies (including your wife )that have been swept under the rug. How much is Mrs. Hannah's little accident going to cost this county. This county will again strike fear in these dirtbags crossing the county line. GOOD BYE Hannah the invisable sheriff

NUK_1's picture

Horgan, just go away. Let others with a lot more credibility than you call others "two circus clowns." You forfeited that right with your poor voting record and major stupidity of driving around with expired plates while huffing a fatty.

Hannah showed his backside and also simply needs to go away. He can take goof Capt. Woodie with him who has no business with a job at the FCSO to begin with. Good riddance to this crowd and this is a great development for FC.

I sure didn't vote for Hollowell, but at least he knows how to show some class and dignity instead of some of the BS the other losers had to spew. He's been involved and wants to stay involved, and more power to him for that. Concerned and active parents are a big part of the FC school system and the BOE is going to need all the help it can get from everyone to get through the financial crisis, so I hope he does stay active. My respect for him increased due to his comments......he sounds like a guy who isn't ego-driven and arrogant and he can be a help.

Bacallao sounds like she just won 8 gold medals suddenly :) Talk about THRILLED! Whooooo! That did sound similar to a Barlow speech but I think she'll be a very good addition to the BOE. Gary Griffin sounded like a man who found out that politics in these here parts can be nasty and who the hell needs that? I can't say that I blame him if he's thinking that way, though his race was one of the few that weren't too rough and tumble.

I'd like to see a debate with the runoffs folks, maybe two. While Huddleston ran before and lost by the slimmest of margins, there are probably a good chunk of FC who don't really know her that well. Huddleston-Barlow will be a very close contest and let them both get up and answer some questions. Hearn-Ognio could be real "interesting" to say the least. The rather unpolished common man vs. the greasy politician/government man. Go Ognio and go Huddleston!

Hannah thinks Fayette County should hold the new sheriff accountable for his actions??? Really...Mr. Hannah...I believe Fayette County just held YOU accountable for your actions!!!

NUK_1's picture

That's exactly what happened. If Hannah thinks it was some kind of fluke/luck, he needs to examine the vote count again because he got really shellacked.

Thanks to all the voters for making all the right decisions. It shows that you care about the future of Fayette County.

Silver Bullet

ginga1414's picture

Times have changed, and the people we elect to office should reflect those changes.

None of the incumbent candidates have addressed our current financial situation. All I've heard from them is a litany of good things they've done for the county. They completely ignore the facts that real estate values are way down, folks have lost jobs and homes, the population has decreased within the county, and student population is down, all of which makes for a smaller tax base. I've heard absolutely nothing from the incumbents as to their solutions for our current financial problems.

When we vote in the August 21st runoff, we need to give our votes to the people with solutions to those problems. We need realistic people who know how to tighten the belt and live within our means.

By Randy Ognio's own admission, he's not a public speaker. However, I would much rather have a quiet person with real solutions than someone who continues to tell me how great they are. It is real easy to appear great when you have an unlimited amount of taxpayer money at your disposal. Mr. Ognio has proven that he knows how to bring a business through the longest and worst financial crisis this country has known since the great depression. Over the last two years, he has been at every commission meeting with his evaluations of the agenda items and real solutions to problems. Mr. Ognio knows how to apply his effective work ethic to the financial problems facing Fayette County.

I think we would all feel safer with a public official who says, "Times have changed and we have to change with the times!" But, that isn't what we've been hearing from the majority of our current public officials here in Fayette County, the state, and the country. All we've heard is collect more taxes, build more roads, economic development, and look how much I'VE accomplished. Once again, that's easy to do when the taxpayers are footing the bill, but what happens when the taxpayers can't even keep their own heads above water?

Through his experiences in Vietnam, David Barlow has developed a strength of character and resolve that will not let him rest when there is an injustice. Mr. Barlow has repeatedly pointed out that blindly awarding no-bid contracts to the same contractors time and again is not financially responsible. For over two years, Mr. Barlow has publicly opposed the West Fayetteville Bypass as being a waste of taxpayers' money. He has also opposed appointing people to key positions non-competitively..

Those are real solutions to real problems.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

those are just sound bites and feel-good platitudes. The problems you describe are certainly real enough, but no one running for office is going to say "we must cut this specific spending program" or "we must close this school" or "we must raise taxes". No they won't do it because as I have said before 80% of the people voting have no clue about specific candidates or real issues and will vote based upon a yard sign or a faintly-remembered newspaper headline - usually a negative one.

Now in a runoff the % of clueless might very well be lower so a candidate may have a chance to win over a few informed voters if he or she has a winning argument that doesn't have a downside that can be exploited. Hearn is smart to ask for a debate because it will look a bit like Gingrich debating Obama and the newspaper will be sure to cover it that way. Ognio running a business, Barlow developing character in Vietnam and Huddleston being invisible are all things that won't make a bit of difference.

I'd like to see Hearn retired and Oddo become commission chair. If Barlow can support Oddo for commission chair, I will vote for him. Of course that only works if Ognio supports him as well. Not unreasonable, after all those 3 guys campaigned together which implies they had something in common. Why not have common support for Oddo as chair and announce it ahead of time? No reason at all - unless you support someone else as chair.

Live free or die!

Not too sure about "developing" character in Vietnam--I spent 2 1/2 yrs there and doubt that my "character" was changed much at all. He may have spent one yr there out of his 3 yrs in the Army. I agree with Morgan that campaigns produce lots of "feel good" sound bites that don't really have any teeth.

suggarfoot's picture

I guess a lot of us won't get anymore hate mail from them for a while.
Can just slither off and lick their wounds

Calling two candidates "circus clowns" shows you just what this guy's values are. No respect for your fellow man. Say Bye, bye bobby!

Steve Brown's picture

Horgan could not leave on the high road. He gave us deficit spending, illegal activity, "no-bid" contracts, voting to keep us in the regional mass transit plans. He pushed the West Fayetteville Bypass - the road no one wants.

Here's the sad part, Lee Hearn has the exact same record. The only reason Hearn is running is so he will become eligible for the county's defined benefit retire program that he (Lee Hearn) voted to put in place. He's done well by his family with the West Fayetteville Bypass and he will get a big pay day with the defined benefits retirement package if he is re-elected.

I hope the voters are a smart as I think they are.

Stay above this. I know it is hard for you to do, but folks will think better of you. I know I would.

Or at least you should. I did some checking with officials at the Fayette County Administrative Offices on the Defined Benefit Plan statement you made and was told by Lewis Patterson, Director of Human Resources, “At the present time, as the plan is written, Fayette County Commissioners ARE NOT ELIGIBLE to participate in the defined benefit retirement plan.” Maybe if you would spend less time on these blogs and showboating on TV, you would have more time to work on county business, i.e., know who’s eligible for what. Then you wouldn’t be spouting untruths on here all the time. This one certainly isn’t the first! How does that reflect on your integrity when you know the truth but tell untruths? How much truth does your word hold? NOT MUCH!

Mike King's picture

"The only reason Hearn is running is so he will become eligible for the county's defined benefit retire program that he (Lee Hearn) voted to put in place." No matter the color of the lipstick placed on this pig, it's still a lie.

Who, besides the lemmings that are will in to follow Mr Brown over a cliff, believes such dribble. Make an allegation outlandish enough and it will draw attention. A sitting commissioner making such obviously cares little about factual data, the truth, or anyone independent enough to think for themselves.

I guess Steve is rehearsing for his upcoming chairmanship so that all of Fayette County can experience what we in Peachtree City have known all along.

Would anyone have info on the benefit retirement funds/programs they would like to share in regards to ALL FC employees/elected or appointed officials. This is the type of information, I as a taxpayer, would like to be transparent and revealed in great detail. Where do these monies come from to fund retirements plans. Employee contribution only OR, investments, OR fees, fines, from monies collected from taxpayer???

Robert W. Morgan's picture

They may not choose to release it or they may choose to lie about it or they may choose the no comment option. Nevertheless, the info is there. Go get it. Let's see if Hearn feathering his own nest or if Steve Brown is making things up to further his political agenda (Power, pictures in the AJC and other publicity) and defeat Hearn so he (meaning Brown) can become county commission chair. Anybody doubt that Brown is thinking about anything else?

Methinks Cal and his intrepid reporters should ferret this out.

Pretty simple in fact, either Fayette County Commissioners qualify for the defined benefit retirement plan or they don't. Yes or no. Brown truthful, or not.

Live free or die!

Steve Brown's picture

Buddy, there were a handful of us fighting that TSPLOST battle on your behalf. Where were you?

Instead of my putting 800 miles on my car and spending every night debating TSPLOST in another county, you could have taken some of the assignments and I would have gladly given them to you.

There are the people that act and there are the people that complain. We have a lot of the complainers in this blog line!

But do not worry, I will still fight for your best interest anyway.

NUK_1's picture

You stated 2-3 times here that Hearn only wants to serve so he can be part of the FC defined benefit pension program and some are stating that he(and any other elected official) isn't eligible regardless. You ignored that completely and you're a FC commissioner already who surely knows whether you or Hearn are or any other commissioner can take part in the pension plan, so.........what is the truth here?

if you know the facts, can you post them? If you have the documentation that says that elected officials can participate in the retirement plan, can you please provide it to us?

You seem to be able to quote lots of articles, so I know you know how to do research - how about giving us the actual FACTS, in their entirety, instead of misleading half-statements?

Mr. Barlow can give us facts and references.
Mr. Ross can give us facts and references.

It's your turn now - please answer the question posed - substantiate the accusation that Mr. Hearn is looking to be elected so he can get on the County's retirement plan. Refute or acknowledge jbcriswell's call to Human Resources. Does that mean that long-time commissioner Herb Frady will also be in the plan? What jbcriswell posted indicates that isn't the case.

Who's right here, Steve?

PTC Observer's picture

When you need him to answer a question like this?

Bob knows, but he's not talking.

Fat lot of good that did us.

Steve Brown's picture

Mike, we were also told we were going to save millions of dollars on the early retirement package from our staff. Just wait till you hear what we are really getting - that is coming.

Hearn has "time-in" as a county employee and it takes five years to be vested as of the creation of the defined benefits plan. I know where this is going with Hearn.

You can be wrong, Mike,and I will not remind you when it happens.

BBQ Jones's picture

Mr. Brown

Once again put forth incorrect information. I don’t know if you’re ignorant or purposely writing false information, but either way it scares me to think you are in a position of power in the County.

First, County Commissioners aren't covered by the defined benefit plan, hence this statement is 100-percent false. As a County Commissioner you should know that!

Second, Mr. Hearn was not involved in Phase One of the Bypass. Mr. Hearn was already working at Henry County when Phase One happened. Again, another false statement.

You want your buddies (Barlow and Ognio) on the County Commission so you can be Chairman and run the County.

Vote Hearn & Huddleston to keep Fayette County moving forward!

So just why do you think Commissioner (Elect) Oddo supports Ognio & Barlow?

hutch866's picture

[quote=Steve Brown] The only reason Hearn is running is so he will become eligible for the county's defined benefit retire program that he (Lee Hearn) voted to put in place. [/quote]

Well Steve, as you told the concrete man, "it's time to put up or shut up". So what's it going to be Steve? You made the accusation, but for some unknown reason, you can't or won't offer proof. This is why Steve, I call you and your Brownies hypocrites.

Also I would love for you to show me where I slammed Barlow, another of your accusations.

Man up Steve, go borrow a pair from somebody and offer some proof.

I yam what I yam

Feet held to the fire


americanpatriots's picture

I received this from Charles Oddo and felt it should be shared:

THANK YOU! It is impossible to tell you just how much my wife, my family, and I thank you for your support, so I will have to leave it at a simple, Thank You, inadequate as those two words may be to express my feelings of gratitude.

For me, the election is now over. I will be taking my place on the Board of Commissioners in January. I will fill my position to the very best of my abilities and never forget that I have been elected to serve the citizens of this great county we all love and call home. It is a tremendous honor and privilege.

I would also like to take a moment to remind everyone that the election did not end on July 31. We still have two important decisions to make.

Two commission seats remain undecided. On August 21, a run-off will decide the new commissioners from Posts 2 and 3.

In Post 2, David Barlow is competing against Sheila Huddleston. In Post 3, Randy Ognio is competing against Lee Hearn.

I’ve met each candidate. On a personal level, I like both Mr. Hearn and Ms. Huddleston, as I do David Barlow and Randy Ognio. On a professional level, I believe Mr. Hearn has served as he believes is best for the community and I respect Ms. Huddleston’s desire to serve. Choosing between good people is always difficult, and I consider all four candidates to be good people.

However, we must choose. I have known both David Barlow and Randy Ognio the longest. From the first time I met them at a county commission meeting, I was impressed with their passion for making our local government more transparent and open and more efficient and fiscally sound. Both men have invested a great deal of personal time and effort to help make Fayette a better place.

David, for two years, has faithfully filmed virtually every Board of Commissioners meeting and posted each in its entirety on YouTube, making the meetings more open and transparent and available to citizens who would otherwise not be able to follow the proceedings. At no cost to the taxpayers, he has enabled many interested citizens to be able to view the meetings and hear the decisions affecting their lives.

Randy, also for the past two years, has concentrated his attention on analyzing agenda and budget matters, raising questions and informing the commissioners of better ways to accomplish their goals. During this time, he has offered suggestions he believed would make the county more efficient and fiscally sound.

The common thread binding the individual campaigns of Mr. Barlow, Mr. Ognio, and my own, is our shared philosophy that our county commission must act in a more transparent and open way and must pursue fiscally sound policies that will strengthen our financial situation without “robbing Peter to pay Paul” as the saying goes.

Considering their philosophy, considering that both gentlemen have already contributed much in a positive way to the county, I believe as full time members they would make excellent commissioners and ambassadors for Fayette. I have no doubt they will remain independent in their governing decisions, will bring a new perspective to county governance, and will consider what is best for all of Fayette as the difficult decisions come our way.

I would urge you to vote for both David Barlow and Randy Ognio.

While I find each of the four candidates . . . David, Randy, Lee, and Sheila . . . to be personable and would be pleased to call them my friends, and while I commend and thank each for seeking to devote their time, talents, and energies to Fayette, I have seen David and Randy demonstrate a real passion and desire to tackle the difficult problems ahead.

If the Board of Commissioners is to be effective, it is to the taxpayers’ advantage to have a group of independent thinkers willing to listen to all sides, offer fresh ideas, and consider all options before making decisions that will have lasting effects. I believe the election of David Barlow and Randy Ognio to the Board of Commissioners will give Fayette Citizens the respectful and effective Board they desire and deserve.

With the election of these two gentlemen, Fayette will witness a dramatic and positive change on the Board of Commissioners, and that change will translate into very good things for our home of Fayette County.


Thank you.

Charles W. Oddo
Fayette County Commissioner Elect
Post 1

ginga1414's picture

I greatly appreciate the letter you've written. You have very eloquently put into words what some of us haven't been able to say.

Also, thank you so much for wanting to serve this wonderful community we all love and call home.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Classy letter.

Live free or die!

Steve Brown's picture

That guy is going to be a fantastic commissioner. All the Oddo's are straight-up guys and I look forward to working with him.

Like Chuck, I also support Randy Ognio and David Barlow who have proved themselves in the trenches and we know where they stand on all the big issues.


[quote]If the Board of Commissioners is to be effective, it is to the taxpayers’ advantage to have a group of independent thinkers willing to listen to all sides, offer fresh ideas, and consider all options before making decisions that will have lasting effects.[/quote]

americanpatriots's picture

Please refer to my article in the Citizen entitled "Smith, Horgan and Hearn saddled taxpayers with unsustanable pension payouts." There is a link to my supporting data shown on the last line of the article that you can click on to find answers to your questions.
One of the summary shows the amount paid by the county along with the amount employees contributed.

The Defined Benefit Plan is a train-wreck that could potentially bankrupt the county in the future. Three cities in California recently voted to file bankruptcy because of their pension fund liabilities. These cities are only the tip of the iceberg. Many government agencies, cities, counties, etc. will be following suit because of the Defined Benefit Plans they adopted.

Fayette County will find itself in the same situtation in years to come thanks to the ILL-ADVISED AND PLAIN STUPID decisions made by Jack Smith, Lee Hearn and Robert Horgan.

Jim Richter


We don't need another debate.

"I would really love the opportunity to have an open debate with Mr. Ognio sponsored by the chamber or the Rotary Club," Hearn said. "I would make myself available anytime they can work that out to talk about the issues."

Why on earth would Mr. Hearn want another debate considering he didn't bother to show up for the NAACP debate? It makes me wonder why he avoided this particular debate. Mr. Ognio bothered,and did an outstanding job, and was well received. Lee states he'd like to debate Randy Ognio. Why? After 5 debates in the last month, with the same people attending each one, you'd think Hearn would realize the citizens are debated out! Makes me wonder if this isn't just another strategy to control the venue including the questions and/or to to build up his ego.

We don't need another debate.

Only a career politician seeks numerous debates to stroke their ego! We are no longer seeking career policitians to fill positions in our governments. These guys think once elected to ANY position, city, county, state, federal, they are royalty and guaranteed positions (and benefits) for life! I guess its difficult for the "good ole boy" system to accept the concept; you are the employee and the taxpayer is your employer. If you serve your employer well, you will be encouraged to remain in that position, if you express arrogance and disrespect to your employer you will be asked to leave.

Steve Brown's picture

Commissioner Horgan showed his true colors with his rude comment, enough on that one.

The citizens have been debating Lee Hearn for the past four years. They have asked Lee to not build the West Fayetteville Bypass, but Lee said "no."

The citizens asked Lee to balance the budget and stop deficit spending, but Lee said "no."

The citizens asked for openness and transparency, but Lee gave them "no-bid" contracts and voting on items that never appeared on meeting agenda.

To this point the citizens have lost the debate, but they get to make their final statement on August 21.

I have been reading The Citizen and have followed the posts since I moved to Fayette County 7 years ago. My wife and I choose PTC due to the schools, family values, and recreational activities afforded to us by the county. I work in downtown Atlanta, my wife is a stay at home mother and my two kids go to FC schools. I study the issues and vote each election for the people I feel best represent my families interests whether republican or democrat. I happen to be a republican.

Both my wife and I volunteer in the schools, scouts, sports programs, and religious activities. We choose to do this as our way to give to the community in which we live. We choose to live within our means, save for the future and give to charity when we feel our monies are spent wisely.

We want our elected officials to represent our values and best interests.

Mr. Babb I believe will be a fantastic sheriff. I hope that he is in the trenches with his people, provides the leadership needed to keep the criminals and lowlife out of FC. I want my family to feel safe. Every officer I have spoken to in the sheriff dept, PTC, and Fayetteville police have spoken highly of him.

I believe Mr. Marchman will do a great job helping get our school finances back in order. This will take time, and will require a lot of sacrifices. Not everyone will be happy with the outcome, but after the unnecessary expansion, we will have to make cuts. Hopefully, we can still provide the best education for our kids future.

Charles Oddo was an excellent choice. I am familiar with his brother and have witnessed the way he has treated his mother. He is fine man who I believe will vote for what's best for the citizens of FC.

I like what Mr. Ognio stands for. He appears to be a stable businessman who provides for his family. I believe his enthusiasm sometimes takes over and if he is able to harness his thoughts, he can provide some practical business sense to our commission. Mr. Hearn, though very nice when he spoke to me at the farmers market, has not shown any independence and has been less than honest to the county.

I am going with Ms. Huddleston in the runoff with the Mr. Barlow. Ms. Huddleston has kept a lower profile, but I like that. She does not appear to be one seeking the spotlight. I would hope that if elected, she would be a grinder (sports metaphor). Working for the people bringing old school values with new visions. Mr. Barlow screams attention seeker to me. His harassment of the school board chairman regarding his religious beliefs was vulgar. His alleged screaming across the room to the T-Splost backer that he would have to answer to god was inappropriate and not how I expect a candidate that wants to represent me to behave. His poor life decisions and bankruptcies are just too much drama to gain my vote.

To all candidates in the runoff elections, please tell us what YOU stand for. Don't being down your opponent. Tell me why I should choose you. You still have time to change my mind.

NUK_1's picture

Well said and I hope to see more of your comments in the future.

It has been discovered that Commission Candidates Sheila Huddleston and Susan Stopford did not join the Fayette County Republican Party until June 20, 2012. Board of Education Candidate Scott Hollowell joined the FCGOP the same day.

How very interesting! Those three candidates all joined the Fayette County Republican Party on the same date.

But, I'm not SURPRISED! Sheila Huddleston certainly hasn't been active in the Fayette County Republican Party, and no one ever remembers seeing her attend any of the monthly Republican Party breakfasts at IHop.

Ms. Huddleston, however, did attend one Commission Budget Meeting last month, but she left half way through the meeting.

NUK_1's picture

I can see why you would after what you just posted. Oh yeah, I am also sure you probably have 20 emails sent to him asking how to respond to his statement that Lee Hearn is only running for re-election so he can be part of the FC pension plan. Perish the thought that you would have one ounce of independent thought seep through your head and might not totally agree with Steve!

Your hero Clifton attended all of ZERO Fayetteville City council meetings before he unseated Ken Steele for Mayor. I must have missed your comments about how Clifton was obviously unqualified since he never attended any(that means ZERO) City council meetings. SURPRISED!

Glad to see you try and tear down Huddleston because I think she has a better chance of winning if the crazies align against her. If you had half a clue, you would know that Huddleston is hardly a newcomer as she ran for office before and lost by 1%. Pay attention already.

Hey, maybe while you're pondering this, you can tell me what you think about district voting. Agree or disagree?

<crickets chirping>

"Mr. Barlow screams attention seeker to me. His harassment of the school board chairman regarding his religious beliefs was vulgar. His alleged screaming across the room to the T-Splost backer that he would have to answer to god was inappropriate and not how I expect a candidate that wants to represent me to behave. His poor life decisions and bankruptcies are just too much drama to gain my vote."

Your first post was polite and I was with you until I read the above statement. What? First of all, if you are reading posts from the anti Barlow campaign, I would suggest you research the facts first. You even state "alleged screaming" yet your statement is simply based on posts. "Ms. Huddleston has kept a lower profile", so low, no one knows anything about her, what she really stands for, and only attended one Commissioner's meeting. She has claimed that she watches the videos, is that her claim to fame? You need to contact personally Mr. David Barlow, make your decision after that!

Josh Bloom's picture

I do have a piece of advice for Mr. Horgan. It is a lesson that is easy to understand but difficult to master. This particular lesson has been instilled in me from my parents and I wish to pass on to you sir. Simply put, it is not how you handle yourself when you WIN, but how you handle yourself when you LOSE.

As for Mr. Hearn wanting to debate issues with Mr. Ognio. Mr. Hearn, the citizens of Fayette County has heard you loud and clear. Not one person that I know is confused as to where you stand on the issues. Shall we reminisce...

West Fayetteville Bypass............................................YES
Unwilling to disclose the truth regarding conflict of interests.....YES
No-Contract Bids....................................................YES
NO Balanced Budget and deficit spending.............................YES
Voting on improper agenda items.....................................YES
Questionable conflict of interests in regards to the WFB............YES

And the list goes on and on and on and on.

Will I be voting for Lee Hearn........NO!


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