Randy’s Rules cuts out the taxpayers

A significant number of people are growing weary of the double standards in the county government.

The Fayette Humane Society and other animal advocates gave an intelligent and thoughtful presentation at our Board of Commissioners meeting on September 28. A large crowd attended in support as they have previously.

Once again, the presenters were rebuffed by their elected officials. Only Commissioner Rousseau and I voted in favor of moving forward with allowing local citizens to work in collaboration with the taxpayer-paid county staff to look at revising our animal ordinances.

Keep in mind that this group of dedicated volunteers is only asking to be allowed to work with the county staff, not approval of anything, and there is no funding requested. A final vote on any proposal still has to come before the Board of Commissioners for approval and implementation.

It was ironic that the double standard, dubbed “Randy’s Rules,” occurred again on the same night, Sept. 28.

Because Commissioner Randy Ognio displays a general lack of non-support for anything the Fayette Humane Society wants to do, he put the kibosh on an open, inclusive and friendly group wanting to propose some badly needed changes to the animal ordinances in July, including some changes the commissioners ordered staff to make three years ago that never happened.

Ognio got a motion approved saying the citizen-taxpayers were forbidden from collaborating with the county staff. Pretend rules were cited in order to blame the negative reaction on the animal advocates, maintaining that the open, inclusive and friendly group and I had to get the entire Board of Commissioners’ approval before we could begin working on anything.

None of the commissioners can deny that they were invited to give high-level feedback on a draft set of animal control ordinances with a private attorney specializing in animal control issues who was hired by the local animal advocates. However, Ognio says they did not get prior approval to begin such a process and he is adamant about never granting his approval, so there you go, the trap is sprung.

Now for the double standard. At the same meeting, Ognio had a park proposal on the agenda that contained background and details, including extensive work from county staff related to conceptual drawings, computer aided design work and research from two county departments. There was no prior vote to approve beginning such a process.

How come Ognio does not have to gain prior approval before committing extensive staff time into his personal agenda item? This is why it is called “Randy’s Rules” and they are evoked whenever Randy says it’s necessary. By the way, I did not utter any pretend rules in objection and simply voted in favor of it.

Also in the same meeting, the commissioners were presented with an intergovernmental agreement (contract) to provide fire and EMS training for the city of Riverdale for a fee. Not only was there extensive staff involvement prior to our seeing the concept and agreement for the first time, but Riverdale had already voted on the contract and signed it. Not a peep from Commissioner Ognio.

People ask me why commissioners Ognio and Oddo want to behave in such a disparaging manner and apply a set of pretend restrictions that are unfairly applied in different ways to different people. I have no idea. Also disturbing is the county administrator appears to support this process. Most disturbing is the taxpayers of Fayette County are paying them to act this way.

Steve Brown, Commissioner
Fayette County Board of Commissioners
Peachtree City, Ga.