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West Bypass controversy continues to simmer

The power of each and every vote was clearly demonstrated with the results of our July 20 Primary. With the West Bypass issue being the central point of contention, Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell were defeated in 80 percent of the precincts in Fayette County.

The precincts adjacent to and surrounding the West Bypass overwhelmingly voted against Smith, Maxwell and the West Bypass. That is understandable. Those folks have a stake in this issue and they have more than educated themselves.

However, what is very telling is the fact that folks all over the county (north, south, east and west) voted against Smith, Maxwell and the West Bypass. The issues surrounding the West Bypass, mass transit, and Smith/Maxwell’s blatant disregard for the people of Fayette County were so obvious that the voters couldn’t ignore them.

Having said all that, the West Bypass controversy continues. The county’s 404 Permit Application still sits in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ office. It sits there because the county did not provide the required information for the Corps to process the application. It sits there because hundreds of people from all over the county have written to the Corps with documentation as to why the West Bypass shouldn’t be constructed.

The West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition has been informed by the Corps of Engineers that the opposition to the West Bypass has been so great that they have to coordinate with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Even though Smith and Maxwell have lost their seats on the commission, people in Fayette County realize that the bypass has not been defeated yet. So, letters continue to pour into the Corps’ offices. People from all over the county continue to voice their opposition to the West Bypass by sending their votes against the West Bypass to the appropriate federal agencies.

The West Bypass is such an environmentally damaging project that as long as it sits on the Fayette County project list, the process to defeat it will continue with voters throughout the county. If need be, the WFBC has vowed to take the issue to court.

While Smith and Maxwell continue to proceed with their disrespectful treatment of our citizens and proceed with the West Bypass, voters continue to vote against Smith/Maxwell and the West Bypass. Voters continue to make it clear to our current commissioners and federal agencies that we are a viable and informed body.

Ginga Smithfield
Fayetteville, Ga.


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