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Fayette to revamp development authority with 5 new members

The Fayette County Commission on Thursday will appoint five brand-new — and younger — members to the nine-member Fayette County Development Authority.

Commission seeks to eliminate 1 of 2 PTC appointments to gain 6th county slot

The new DAPC members will add a younger vibe to the development authority as the county looks specifically to attract high-tech companies whose management often skews younger than other corporate sectors, according to County Commission Chairman Steve Brown.

But it is not coincidence that the county commission is going in a different direction by appointing five brand-new board members. While four of new members are being appointed to replace current members whose terms are expiring, the fifth vacancy was created by the resignation of board chair Randy Hayes, who cited the timing of FCDA CEO Matt Forshee’s departure as an appropriate time for him to step down as well.


Brown acknowledged there were some “communication” issues between the county commission and the FCDA in recent months, particularly in terms of being made aware of development projects and having the ability to scour bond issuance documents in advance of them being executed.

Brown said the problem does not tie back to any one specific project nor reflect on any of the businesses recruited to the county, but it was really a challenge on a staff level.

“They knew I was worried about it, and unfortunately the channel stayed closed,” Brown said. “... We wanted to be aware of what the activities were and be kept up to date, and we wanted to have a say in what happened because obviously in some issues the county and the school board is giving up something.”

Brown said the FCDA did nothing illegal, and he is looking at the new board members as a way of moving forward.

There were 13 applicants for the four positions that morphed into five vacancies with the resignation of Hayes, Brown said. Any of the applicants would have done extremely well, but the five picked by the county commission were handpicked for the niche talents they bring to the table.

“It’s a much younger group, the reason being we are trying to reach younger, newer companies such as high tech companies that have younger management,” Brown said. “We need to reach out to that group, speak that language and speak in the channels they appreciate. ... We are clearly expecting each of those authority members to be active participants in attracting and maintaining business in Fayette County.”

Beyond the county’s existing five appointments to the FCDA board, the cities of Fayetteville and Tyrone also select their own board members.

The new FCDA board members to be approved at Thursday’s county commission meeting are: Darryl Hicks, Pat Hinchey, Margaret “Maggie” Laton, Todd Strickland and Dennis Dorsey.

According to its website, the FCDA board of directors sets policy, determines annual goals and serves as liaisons between the business community and local government, “leveraging their individual talents by networking and building consensus to facilitate an improved business climate, diversified economic base, and stable economy that benefits each resident, government and business in Fayette County.”

As the new board members take office this month, the county commission is looking to update the intergovernmental agreement between the county and the cities of Tyrone, Fayetteville and Peachtree City. The county is proposing to eliminate the position tied to the former DAPC and also eliminate the position tied to the chair of the Peachtree City Airport Authority.

In return, the county wants the city of Peachtree City to have independence to pick any person they choose, in much the same freedom granted to the cities of Tyrone and Fayetteville.

With the exception of a contribution from Peachtree City to fund the salary of one employee, the entire FCDA budget is funded by the county commission.



They seem to have kept any issues with the FCDA behind closed doors. Would the commission approve all this had they known about the bond? Would they have given up as much?

Was the authority as transparent as they could have been, or were people looking to pad resumes?

Seems an awful lot of people are not being kept or are leaving.

What's really going on?

Robert W. Morgan's picture

The adults in the process - Foley, Pace, Hayes, Forshee and Gibbs knew that the brown clown or the garden gnome in PTC (where the Pinewood thing began) could easily screw up the deal by opening their self-promoting mouths - so they were frozen out so they could get the deal done.

So, what is happening now is Brown (and if he could, Haddix) is cleaning house as retribution - one of his special talents. I sort of agree with the youth movement - especially Todd Strickland, so it will all turn out ok. Especially because the new District Voting victors will be in charge, Coston and Logsdon are huge improvements. Chairman should be Oddo, but they will probably give it to Logsdon as a thank you for ridding them of the blown clown.

Live free or die!

Me thinks H&F is a little paranoid. Not sure how much more transparent FCDA could have been. Meetings are open to the public. If The Brown Clown was more interested in staying home watching Dancing With The Stars than attending their meetings, then shame on him. Four of the past Board members terms were up so its not uncommon to put new faces in. And even The Brown Clown admitted FCDA did not commit any illegal activity. The one thing I don't agree with you on is Todd. A Brown toadie from way back who was probably put on the Board by The Brown Clown to be his eyes and ears. Of course if he loses like we all hope, it will be for naught. Big shoes left there by Matt. Hope the new Board keeps the Big Mo going. Lots of exciting things happenin' in Fayette County.

I've been working with developers for 20 years. I know the game. Yes, the FCDA meetings are open, but who really goes? I can't recall ever seeing any meeting minutes. Do you? A normal person would expect to see something this important documented. Doesn't the FCDA issue reports each month to commission? Barlow isn't smart enough to know about finance, but Oddo should have been asking questions.

I'm not insinuating anything illegal happened, but it certainly wasn't transparent.

Studios come and go. One rich ATL producer bought a huge warehouse downtown a few years ago, modified it without permits and shot productions for a few years until it got so big and congested, the city shut it down. They simply moved into another space. Without skin in the game, how much is Pinewood really on the hook, if they choose to leave? A good corporate attorney develops subsidiaries and llc's to minimize risk for developers.

Pinewood SHOULD be good for Fayetteville and the county. I say that tongue in cheek. Lord knows the south side of Atlanta needs a boost. What worries me is that those on the boards (city and county) are already patting themselves on the back before we the citizens see any product produced and how it will actually impact all of us....the taxpayers. You know, the ones who are not given a free ride on building permits and whatever other deals were made behind closed doors. I have attended Fayetteville city council and zoning meetings and left with the sense that the Mayor and his council will approve any and all requests made by Pinewood and their constituents. I have not been to a county meeting but from what I read in this article it is not any different. Less than a handful of residents attend any of these meetings and the motions and seconds for ordinance changes are fast and furious and unchallenged. My neighborhood stands to be severely impacted by hair brained ideas to manage city traffic and residential building. My husband was told by a zoning commission member that we may as well not fight "because you knew that zoned commercial development in front of your neighborhood (The Villages) was planned and would have increased traffic anyway". What was planned/zoned when we purchased our home was not what is being pushed now...a four story apartment complex, a traffic diversion plan off Hwy 54 through our neighborhood, elimination of barely wide enough one way constructed streets to two way. The city and developers want to use the 'economy' as an excuse for every idea that they dream of without the slightest consideration of the residents, if it has ANYTHING remotely to do with the Pinewood development.

This comes from the top. The governor is touting Pinewood as as success by him as a campaign bite. Ain't no one in this conservative
county who is a politico going to rain on his campaign lest we end up with Jason Carter.

And you think Jason Carter would be worse than the most crooked, unethical, power hungry governor in the state of GA's history? Surely you jest. And I'm not even a Democrat.

Yes, I do. 38 years old and what career has he had? Peace Corps in Africa, wrote a book about it and now politician. You think that is governor material? I do not. I'm not a demo and in Georgia, a repub is a misnomer to me. To say I am underwhelmed by these choices is an understatement. I was not making an endorsement of Deal, I was pointing out the pressure on the locals in power to make Deal look good and Pinewood is the Fayette contribution to the cause. He can come and brag that his leadership fostered the economic climate to woo them from across the pond. Watch this from last month, as in this video below:

We will have plenty of time to talk politics in the upcoming months about Deal/Carter. For me, just too early. With the local candidates inundating us already for this May election, I don't want to get into the Nov. election miasma that is going to come about to unseat Deal right now. I still haven't gotten over the prezbo election miasma yet! And I'm dealing with the loss of Auntie Zeituni, too. One can only handle so much at one time, dontchathink? As wee Prince Georgie told one of his Zealander playmates today... My sippy cut is quite full right now mate...

"Yes, the FCDA meetings are open, but who really goes?"

Uh.....the people who really care about what goes on with FCDA? Certainly The Brown Clown in his role as Chair of the Fayette County Commission should be there.

"I'm not insinuating anything illegal happened, but it certainly wasn't transparent."

As Matt says in another article, notice is given for FCDA meetings, which are public meetings, though only a few citizens attend. Neither Fayette County staff nor commissioners usually attend the meetings, he said.

"I can't recall ever seeing any meeting minutes."

Meeting minutes from the May 30, 2013 FCDA meeting indicate that Project Stargate (the original name for the Pinewood Atlanta Studios project) was discussed, as it had been in a number of previous meetings.

So what else do you want? Maybe the fault lies with people not taking an interest up front and tearing themselves away from Dancing With The Stars or American Idol and participating in the process. Much easier to lob hand grenades and innuendos after the fact.

I searched the FCDA and county websites. Can you lead me to this on the site please. Like everyone else, I have to pick and choose what I attend and rely on meeting minutes to keep me up to date. Too bad I can't quit my job, send my kids to grandma, quit going to church, forget coaching and scouts and give my wife the attention she deserves and go to every meeting, lol.

I agree someone from commission should attend these meetings.

For the life of me, I don't know why items such as FCDA, water dept, stormwater, ect... aren't on the county agenda every meeting.

mudcat's picture

To have him yapping about the Pinewood deal with Dorky Doug on Channel 5 or calling up my bff on 106.7 and doing an interview on cart paths - No, No, No. Better Steve Brown stays out of it and keeps his pie hole shut. Let us get some business coming here and he does not need to screw it up. And there is no way he can take credit for any that does -like Pinewood. I think they bypassed him on the Pinewood deal is because he is such a foolish narcissist and inclined to talk to the press when it may not be appropriate.

Tell me this, wise one. If commission had known Pinewood wouldn't have much skin in the game from the start, would it have been approved? And would we have given them variances, tax relief, and such for 700k a year without the adjustment for service costs?

It surprised me that people were relieved professionally.

Much of what FCDA does/did is behind "closed doors".... EVEN FROM SOME OF THE MEMBERS. There is an inner "clique" that runs the show


Just take a few of the 15 year olds from Redwine Rd. and let them be on the board. You know, the 4 or 5 who told the BOC they want to drive golf carts? There is the younger vibe.

I guess it is now time for the former chair to get his payback. Use that developement company and build, build, build! Yes, it's time.

fayette77's picture

Has anyone run these new members past John Jones yet?

mudcat's picture

I assume they are paid ads and that's fine, but shouldn't there be some for Haddix and Brown as well - just to be fair? I would really like to see them tout their accomplishments - mainly so I can see what accomplishments they believe they have.

The election is only 6 weeks away.

That said, I'm voting for's the obvious choice of the 3.

And speaking of elections, two dudes running for State Senate have came by my house in the past 3-4 days....

It's easy to throw them off when I ask if they are Libertarian?!?

I wish Studdard had called me Monday night just as the game was starting instead of his mother. I just wanted to ask him why he had to pee outside the bar instead of the restroom. Common decency prohibited this conversation with mom.

You got a live body! I get the ?&$/:; robo calls from everyone he's ever had a drink with at that bar.....

This is long needed. While they have had great success in the past, the internal politics and inbreeding needed to be fixed. "self-appointing" the same old good-old-boy members within the "family" in the back room was just wrong.



I don't blame commission for axing everyone. The DA though appointed thru political connections should not be political. The position is business development.

If those working in the DA aren't communicating with commission on a weekly and monthly basis, and providing reports, they need to go since they are being funded by our tax dollars.

At this point Brown/Logsdon and McCarty/Colston is a toss up. If Brown and McCarty lose, they still need to gain a 3rd to win any vote from the 3 remaining tea partiers, who are lead by Browns buddy Mr. Ross who will stop at nothing to keep power.

This mid term election is critical to the county. I expect the mudslinging to start soon.

If ever there was a group that needed term limits... this is it. Again, praise for the County Commission. Clearing out all the dead wood was a great idea. Clearly all of them had been there way too long. It is why our government doesn't work today. Back room buddies who create a closed group that self-perpetuates.


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