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It's still no-bid business as usual at the Fayette Commission

I have to start off by thanking everyone who voted in the primary, and especially the ones who voted for me.

A very sincere “Thank You!” goes out to all of my supporters for their hard work and financial support. I know it will be hard, but we have another couple of weeks’ work to do — we need to tell citizens there is an all-important run off, they need to go to their precincts again, and please vote OGNIO one more time on August 21st.

Why? Because it’s business as usual at the commission meetings. Even though my opponent is aware of how many citizens voted against his record last week, he continues to approve expensive single-bid contracts.

At the July 26 commissioners meeting, for example, he helped pass a single bid contract for $769,950. During the same week, Peachtree City announced saving $260,000 on a contract that citizens demanded be offered to multiple bidders.

I have been going to county commission, workshop, and budget meetings for years, and strongly urging the 3-commissioner majority, including Commissioner Hearn, to seek bids on expensive contracts. They continue to ignore me and others’ demands to do so, and approve no-bid contracts.

Let’s look at the result of them passing this last contract. First, it sends the wrong message to the Fayette county employees. It says it’s OK to get only one bid. It also doesn’t give them any incentive to understand why they only got one bid, what other capable companies may be hungry for business, and how to get more bids the next time.

This particular contract brings another potential problem. It included the company supporting the county water department with large equipment in case of a major pipe failure. If this company cannot get the equipment needed out to the site, we do not have a second place bid to fall back on; we’ll have to call in whomever we can for help and will be subject to whatever they charge.

Was there a rush to approve this contract? No. Why not back up and do it with the taxpayers’ money in mind?

Go vote August 21st.

Randy C. Ognio
Candidate for Commissioner Post 3

Randy Ognio sent a message using the contact form at http://www.thecitizen.com/contact/editorial.

To Fayette County Voters:

This election vote is about you and your family.

When you vote, you should vote for someone who has the same values and principles as you. I always study the issues. I strive for accountability, fiscal responsibility and open government.

As a business owner of a 38-year-old, well-run business, I know how to balance a budget. I am confident in what I do. I work daily with both my employees and my clients. I am responsible for every job that we perform. You don’t stay in business for the 38 years without providing good service.

I’ve stated many times I believe in zero-based balanced budgeting. It is the taxpayer’s money being spent. Every County Commissioner must always remember that. I feel my opponent, incumbent Lee Hearn, has lost sight the board’s task of providing services efficiently and on budget.

If you want things to change, I will need your vote in the August 21 runoff election. I would be honored to be your voice on the Board of Commissioners. Please allow me to serve you.

When my wife and I moved here 19 years ago we picked Fayette County for the rural feel of the county. We picked Fayette County for the schools.I’m proud of where I live. We attend Woolsey Baptist Church. Our Family and Friends are here.

I’ve attended Board of Commissioner meetings for years. Some current board members seem to have their own personal agendas. I have no personal agenda.

We can no longer continue to run the county in the red. We can’t keep building roads to nowhere with no benefit to the taxpayers. You must listen to, and work with, the citizens of the county. My door will always be open.

I appreciated getting the most votes in the primary election. Please help me on this last leg of campaign and cast a vote in the August 21 runoff.

Please vote Randy Ognio. Give me the opportunity to work for the Citizens of Fayette County on the Board of Commissioners.

Thank you!

Randy Ognio, Candidate
Fayette County Commission – Post 3




Mr. Ognio, I have seen you and Mr. Barlow firsthand actively participating in the commissioners meetings for two years. Both of you have provided the commissioners and the public with valuable insight into how the commissioners office can achieve greater transparency. Unfortunately, the majority of commissioners listened to Public Comments with deaf ears.

One thing I'll guarantee is that both of you will stand up for what you believe is right, and will not always vote in sync with any other individual as the majority of commissioners are now doing. That's the kind of stubbornness I admire.

ginga1414's picture

Mr. Ognio's explanation of what goes on in the bidding process here in Fayette County exemplifies his dedication to Fayette County and her citizens.

He has given us a detailed account of what the one or no bid process can cause.

Thank you, Mr. Ognio!

On top of that, I am 100 percent sure we wouldnt have Hearns Fire Department debacle to clean up if you had been on the board. Go get em' ,Randy

"At the July 26 commissioners meeting, for example, he helped pass a single bid contract for $769,950. During the same week, Peachtree City announced saving $260,000 on a contract that citizens demanded be offered to multiple bidders."

Personally, this also did it for me. A single bid contract, with so many out there needing this job, and to not allow at least a 3 minimum bid is irresponsible with the tax payers money and it's OUTRAGES! Press on and continue the fight for fiscal responsibility for Fayette County. Run off election is August 21, early voting is available, along with absentee ballots....GO VOTE.

You have my families vote...

NUK_1's picture

You had my vote before and will get it again. I also like how you haven't tried to tie a vote for you into some kind of cabal where the voter is also supposed to vote for Barlow or anyone else or believe half of what comes out of Steve Brown's mouth. You're running on your own stuff and I can appreciate that as well as your background at B&O. I also like how I think you'll call BS when necessary if elected, and are kind of raw and straight-forward.

The common man(Ognio) vs. the government man(Hearn). Like your chances.

ginga1414's picture

Randy Ognio is "the common man," and that is exactly what we need.

We need someone with sound "common" sense who can relate to the financial problems everyday people in Fayette County face. We need someone who knows how to meet a budget and make it work.

He has kept B&O up and running through good times and especially through bad times. All of that, his down to earth way of dealing with people, and his no nonsense, "straight forward" way of confronting problems are the reasons I voted for him and will vote for him again.

ginga1414's picture

As George Dienhart and McGerkin88 have observed, Randy Ognio's "Excellent Analysis" is absolutely "right."

He has offered us all a sound solution to a problem within our local government.

Candidates Lee Hearn and Sheila Huddleston have not given us any solutions, sound or otherwise, to any problem facing the county.

americanpatriots's picture

No bid contracts have been a way of life for Frady, Hearn and Horgan for a long time.

The latest example came on July 26, 2012 when these three again voted to award a contract for $769,950 without obtaining any other bids.

I was a commercial and residential general contractor and the owner of a metal building manufacturer for over 20 years and rarely saw a single-bid contract awarded by a government agency.

The citizens of Peachtree City recently forced the city council to get more than one bid for contract services and saved over $250,000 in the process.

That is how the system is supposed to work!

We need to finish the job and vote Lee Hearn out of office on August 21, 2012.

Randy Ognio has repeatedly called out Frady, Hearn and Horgan for awarding single-bid contracts but they continue to ignore sound advice.

I bet none of these guys would get only one bid for something they needed fixing at their own homes but it apparently seems ok with them as long as they are spending someone else's money.

They just all need to go away!

Jim Richter

Steve Brown's picture

1. Hearn had a chance to de-fund the West Fayetteville Bypass and use the funds for county debt and tax relief, but he voted it down.

2. Hearn appointed one of his relatives to the Board of Elections to oversee his re-election bid. He lied to the public at a commission meeting, say the relative was "a friend of his from church."

3. Hearn voted to approve a sizable amount of our tax dollars to pave a dead end gravel road with only two houses on it (Snead Road). We later found out that two large tracts were owned by local real estate development interests. Again, this expense occurs at a time when we are deficit spending.

4. Hearn admitted to a group of concerned Fayette County residents that the Board of Commissioners had not reviewed the road projects for the 2009 county SPLOST until the evening they voted on them. He went on to vote in favor of moving the boondoggle project list forward for a public referendum. Hearn voted to pass a motion on using taxpayer funds, not to exceed $35,000, to have a special election for a referendum on his boondoggle projects. Hearn’s list was defeat by the voters by a 3-to-1 margin.

5. Hearn supports a measure to “dumb down” the minutes that avoid listing the detail of the debate.

6. Lobbyist Gene Drake who supported the regional TSPLOST on behalf of the interests he represents is helping with the Lee Hearn campaign. This is not a coincidence. Hearn’s campaign is also endorsed by Brooks Mayor Dan Langford the only elected official in Fayette County who conveyed support for the regional TSPLOST referendum.

Sheila Huddleston has made it very clear she is supporting the Hearn team and has aligned her campaign with the Hearn campaign. They are now campaigning together. Is this what you want for the next four years?

We know what we had for the last four years did not work and was not in the best interest of the citizens. Repeating those mistakes for another four years would be ridiculous.

ginga1414's picture

It is "No Bid Business" as usual.

I can't remember when I've attended a Commission Meeting during the last two years when there hasn't been at least one contract awarded without a bid or with only one bid.

I've heard Commissioner Hearn defend that policy by saying the commission knows the contractor and they've been good in the past.

That still doesn't say they couldn't have found a less expensive and/or better qualified contractor.

I truly appreciate Mr. Ognio's determination to expose this practice for what it is.

Stronger terms could and maybe should be used, but putting it as nicely as possible, the "no bid" or "one bid" practice is either laziness and/or it is biased.

I've only known Randy for about 3 years, but in that time my respect has only grown for him and his wife, Denise. This election is only a drop in the bucket in terms of their total efforts. They are true Republicans, and they work harder on all elections than any other two people I know.

In terms of giving the citizens of Fayette County what they are entitled to, you want people who will dedicate themselves to reducing waste, not catering to special interests, and not supporting wasteful or unpopular projects, or catering to special interests. Over the past several years, we have seen voters better informed over what is actually going on than ever before, thanks to Randy.

Randy Ognio has actively participated in Commissioners meetings for years, and he has passed along his views on Commissioners Meeting Agenda items to the public. He has made many comments on specific wasteful spending issues, and unduly restricted bidding opportunities. His attention to the needs of Fayette County won him substantially more votes in the July 31, 2012 Republican Primary Election than his opponent, Commissioner Lee Hearn.

Once the Republican Primary election was over, Mr. Hearn decided to attach his campaign signs to those of Commissioner candidate Sheila Huddleston. Since the last commissioners took office, I have not seen Mr. Hearn vote against Commission Chairman Herb Frady. If you want a commissioner who has stood up in front of crowds for Commission transparency and what he, himself, believes is right, then vote for Mr. Ognio.

Mike King's picture

You very well may be right, but how is it that Randy Ognio is more of a "true patriot" than Lee Hearn? Your opinion does have merit, but specifically what makes Mr Ognio a true patriot and not Mr Hearn?

Mike, it may depend on what sort of definition PIPS holds of "Patriot"--many have problems with a definite meaning.

ginga1414's picture

A "Patriot" is someone who loves their country and supports it, but won't blindly follow whatever their country's government does.

Randy Ognio and David Barlow are definitely patriots. They are constantly questioning and evaluating all issues presented to the BOC either by the County Administrator, the BOC Chairman or the Atlanta Regional Commission. I've seen it happen over and over. Even though they question and evaluate, their decisions are always fair, just, and in the best interest of what the people want.

A "Loyalist" is someone who runs around waving the flag, pledging his support to the government, and going along with what the government says and wants.

Lee Hearn is, in my opinion, a loyalist. I've seen and heard Mr. Hearn constantly vote in conjunction with the established hierarchy both locally and regionally. I have never seen him vote independently. It has always been either the government way or the highway, which in my opinion is the same.

While there is something to be said for both, a patriot believes in the principles upon which this country was founded. A loyalist blindly follows the leader, and is constantly doing the go along to get along shuffle.

Just my 2 cents worth!

Mike King's picture

Thanks for answering for your alter ego. By your definition of a loyalist it seems that you and your alter ego are loyalists as well if for no other reason than blind 'loyalty' to Steve Brown. Should you not believe me, substitute "Steve Brown" for the word 'government' in your third paragraph.

I do wish you well.

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