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Commissioners choose to ignore Fayette voters

I read today in another newspaper that commissioners Hearn, Horgan and Frady have vowed to support the West Fayetteville Bypass, and will not provide our new commissioners, Steve Brown and Allen McCarty, with any assistance in keeping their campaign promise to the voters of fighting the road.

In short, they have decided to take a position against the very voters who ousted commissioners Smith and Maxwell over their pro-WFB stance. Brown and McCarty made stopping the WFB their central campaign plank.

It is indeed unfortunate that the reporters who interview the commissioners don’t ask for or demand details to justify the positions they take. The commissioners refer to 10-year-old traffic studies, but can’t show us any details on how a two-lane road four miles away from Fayetteville will reduce traffic in Fayetteville.

Instead, they pull figures out of the air like “a mile of backed up traffic on Highway 85 to the town square.” I, personally, have never seen traffic that bad. But even if it were, how would driving four miles west to a road that goes in a different direction than Hwy. 85 ever reduce traffic in Fayetteville? It wouldn’t. We didn’t fall off the turnip truck.

Commissioner Frady said that he couldn’t understand how those who do not live in the path of the WFB could be against it. Apparently, Commissioner Frady is not aware of the environmental impact of the road, and the county’s failure to conduct detailed comparisons of alternative routes. He also appears to be unaware of the value of taxpayer dollars going to benefit developers.

In the July 20 Republican Primary, almost all of Fayette County voted against the WFB by voting for Brown and McCarty. Much has been written about the voting precincts on or near the WFB going most heavily against the project in the recent election, with most of the more distant precincts also against it.

It’s been puzzling how the WFB become a priority item when the East Bypass became unaffordable. Rather than considering the alternative routing to the East Bypass, the commissioners suddenly funded the WFB.

What the commissioners won’t tell us is how it was decided to dedicate funds for the West Bypass instead of considering any other approved SPLOST projects.

When a request was made under the Georgia Open Records Act for minutes or records of that transformation, the county submitted nothing. So we must accept the fact that how they did it is their business, and not ours.

If you support the current commissioners and believe they know what’s best for us, do nothing. But if you want to send them a message that the voters of Fayette County will not accept their defiance of the public outcry, then attend the commissioners meetings between now and January.

You will be allowed to speak under “Public Comments” for up to five minutes. You do all the talking; there is normally no dialogue.

Tell them what you think of their stated position of being uncooperative with the newly elected commissioners. Or, write letters to be published in your local newspapers, and to the commissioners, themselves, voicing your opinion over their ignoring the voters.

Better yet, do all of the above.

Steve Smithfield

Fayette County, Ga.

[Smithfield has property that is being affected by the bypass.]

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