5 new appointments change development authority

The Fayette County Development Authority has a new vibe now that the county commission has appointed five newcomers to the eight-member board.

The development authority is charged with luring business and industry to locate and expand in the county, and though much of its efforts have concentrated on land in Peachtree City’s industrial park, last year’s landing of Pinewood Atlanta Studios in north central Fayette County showed that the reach can extend far beyond the Peachtree City limits.

The following information about the new board members was gleaned from the applications they submitted for the positions:

• Darryl Hicks has lived in Fayette County for over nine years and is currently serving on the county’s elections board as well as the county’s recreation commission; he will resign the recreation seat so he may serve on the FCDA board. A former chief of staff for the Chairman of the Fulton County Commission, Hicks worked with the Fulton development authority to attract new business and create jobs there.

Hicks has also served at Atlanta Gas Light Resources in various director positions including the managing director of governmental relations. His children attend Fayette County schools and along with being involved in their school programs, Hicks has also helped as an assistant coach on his son’s baseball teams.

• Patrick J. Hinchey has lived in Fayette County for more than eight years. He owns Hinchey Financial Group, a financial planning firm serving high net worth individuals and their advisors.

Hinchey has also been involved with the local Republican Party, the Fayette County Issues Tea Party and also keeps an eye on the County Commission and the county Board of Education as an observer.

• Margaret “Maggie” Laton has lived in Fayette County for 12 years and owns a social media company. She earned an MBA with a major in marketing from Georgia State University and she has previously worked in sales and as the business manager for an accounting firm.

Laton has also been involved with the Business Women of Fayette and Coweta Counties and serves as a spokesperson for Children’s Miracle Network and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

• Todd Strickland has been a resident since 1975 and owns the award-winning Historical Concepts architecture firm in Peachtree City. Strickland previously served on the Development Authority of Peachtree City for seven years and also served on various planning projects including a task force that developed a vision for the city’s west side.

Strickland graduated from the University of Georgia in 1993 with a degree in economics.

• Dennis Dorsey has lived in Fayette County for three years and has previously served as a county commissioner in Bibb County, on the Macon Economic Development Commission and also as a private business owner.

Dorsey also has served as the vice president of membership for the Flint River Council of the Boy Scouts of America and is a member of the Fayette County Republican Party and the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce.

Hicks, Hinchey, Laton and Strickland were appointed to full terms on FCDA, while Dorsey will be filling the unexpired term left by the resignation of FCDA Chairman Randy Hayes. They were chosen by a selection committee composed of county commissioners Steve Brown and Randy Ognio.

mudcat
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Lesson in classiness from Joe Morton

Looks like FCDA hid the ball from Rapson and Brown and the other commissioners while the Pinewood Studios transaction was being finalized with a giant tax break. Big surprise. Anyhow Matt Forshee lines up another job at the other end of the state and is gone. Randy Hayes basically says "me too". Joe Morton, showing remarkable knowledge of the real problem simply says, I think Mayor Clifton should be the Fayetteville rep on FDCA.

This all happens before Rapson whines from the rooftops that "They never told us about the tax break" and reveals both Clifton and Brown were out there in front of the media praising this deal as if they had something to do with it and emphasizing that no tax incentives had to be given. Whoops. Clifton says nothing, he simply eases into a role he needs to be in - thanks to Joe Morton. Good job, no drama.

Brown on the other hand has had and will have a lot to say and I imagine it will be negative about other people instead of his own failure to do his homework.
Good luck to you new people on FCDA. It may not seem that way with Brown breathing down your neck, but you are an independent body not a subsidiary of the county commission.

Husband and Fat...
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Educate me please on the "Deal of the year"

Just a few short weeks ago, the 5 county commissioners and the 5 former DA members stood hand in hand partying at the grand opening and before that taking photos with the governor while winning the "Deal of the Year" award.

Now we have 5 and soon to be 6th FCDA members gone along with the CEO.

What's the real reason for this? The bond? Jealousy? Did the BOC feel like they got the wool pulled over their eyes?

A baseball team doesn't get rid of their all-star. A CEO doesn't get rid of the marketing guy after he snags a client.

What gives?

Robert W. Morgan
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Add Joe Morton to that list

He's stepping aside so the mayor can be the city rep on the FCDA.

Somebody must be expecting something to happen. Or maybe someone is giving them a push out the door. Or maybe they were expecting the NAACP to knock on their door and accuse them of racism.

It really is the equivalent changing their whole marketing team (because that's what FCDA is) after snagging a very big client. Odd behavior, but I'm sure we will learn more when someone decides to speak up - probably Logsdon will have some info so he can drop a bomb on Brown before the election - although my advice would be that it is hardly necessary for the outcome of the election and it is dirty politics to say nasty things about your opponents.

Speaking of marketing teams, do you remember the PCmatic.com commercials with the cute Victoria Secret model who whines to her father (and later the flower shop customer - same guy) about her slow computer and his solution was quick and easy - PCmatic.com. Terrible dialog, awful acting, Dad was pretty creepy, but a memorable ad because you remembered the name of the product. Now they replaced that with some oriental looking guy who smashes his computer with a baseball bat. Talk about a bad marketing decision. Bring back the babe.

borntorun
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The Brown Clown Strikes Again

Me thinks The Brown Clown is behind all of this. It's an interesting new FCDA board. Not much there in terms of people with true economic development experience. And the relationship with the state economic development folks is critical to the success of the locals. Matt's done a good job developing that relationship. My guess is The Brown Clown's lap dog Todd will play a critical role with this. That's why he put him on there. I'd like to think that Todd will act independently of whatever The Brown Clown would like but I have my doubts.

mudcat
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Maybe, but he's a serious lame duck after May 20

Brown conspiracies are such fun because no matter how outrageous, they are entirely plausible. His moral and ethical compass is capable of 360 degree fluctuations. I don't think he has the power to replace an entire board, the long-term chairman and the senior employee all at once. Must be something else going on.

On the other hand, I seem to remember Todd Strickland being appointed to something similar in PTC after Brown ran off Bradshaw, Truitt, Warner and some others - and disrespected the late Tom Farr. Maybe something there. Stay tuned.

Robert W. Morgan
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Brown really doesn't like Development Authorities

Or more correctly he doesn't like development authorities that existed before him and he really doesn't like ones that keep him in the dark.

Our driveway Citizen tells us that FCDA - specifically Forshee and Hayes kept Brown and the entire commission in the dark about the tax reductions for Pinewood. Rapson claims he asked and they didn't answer him. All this sounds really bad until you get to the part about the DAPC meetings being open to the public and Brown didn't attend, although Fleisch and Learnard did.

The tone of the article and certainly Learnard's comments make it seem as if Brown is cleaning house in retribution for keeping him in the dark and I have no doubt he would fire everybody he could if he thought they dissed him, but I don't think he did that. I think those who had expiring terms felt that a. This was the best economic development deal that has ever happened here and they were not about to better it so go out on a high note and b. Brown is bound to have his nose out of joint and would obstruct and conduct petty retribution campaigns for the rest of his last term which is the rest of the year - a very long 7 month. I think Forshee, Hayes and Morgan, none of whom had to resign did so for the same a. and b. reasons.

I don't agree that Todd Strickland is a Brown toadie, but you can bet we will find out as the new FCDA meets and elects a new chairman (Todd) and Brown attends every meeting and kibitzes.

Big congrats to Matt and Randy and the others for keeping Brown (and god help us, Haddix) out of the process and getting this done for the county.

G-Man
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Brown offering the County HR Department

Steve Brown has offered the services of the Fayette county Human Resources Department to vet the candidate for the directors position for the FCDA.

Hummm Wonder why?? Oh, let me guess, so he can look over Lewis Patterson's shoulder and help pick out the candidate that would best serve Stevie B.

You have to understand that Chairman Brown wants his minions in office so they can make Brown look good.

Message to Stevie, stay out of the Counties Human Resources business.

ONLY 7 MORE MONTHS

mudcat
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I wonder if Matt's replacement is reading these postings

I would think that a potential candidate for Matt's job would have to be extremely self-confident to read this stuff, then walk in here, interview, meet Brown and still think positive rosy thoughts about Fayette County. Of course he or she may not appear until after May 20 at which point his due diligence would include meeting the 2 new commissioners.

Maybe we can get back that guy from Texas that pumpkin ran off in PTC.

borntorun
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Wrong Dead DJ

Todd is nothing more than The Brown Clown's lap dog who was put on FCDA purely to be his eyes and ears. Nothing new here. He did the same thing when he orchestrated his being on the DAPC. And Kim is spot on with her remarks about all the historical knowledge and relationships that have been forged with the state economic development office now scuttled. And looking at the new board members, I don't see anyone waiting in the wings to take the reins. But that's The Brown Clown's modus operandi. Same thing he did with DAPC. Hopefully he's gone in the upcoming election as well as Donnie Darko. Not that Logsdon is a great candidate but heads above these two losers.

Robert W. Morgan
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Strickland seems very much his own man

You could be right about his fealty to Brown, I just don't see it. Admittedly I have only met him once, but he's knowledgable, professional and seemed very disinterested in politics - not the profile of a normal brownie, although they are few and far between. Like I said, we'll see for the next 7 months. Beyond that it won't matter.

Husband and Fat...
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Haven't seen the article

But RWM, it sounds like the development authority had a big chip on their shoulders. I have been FCDA website and never saw an announcement about meetings. Guess I thought it was all hush hush as they negotiate with potential business opportunities.

One of the 5 commissioners should have been at each meeting.

The worst part of this is their snubbing the county manager who needs this information to develop budgets. Sounds to me that the county is actually going to make less than the FCDA promised. Maybe that's why the county is looking to consolidate fire with Fayetteville.

The county elected too many inexperienced commissioners who aren't business leaders or had any experience in how government operates.

Robert W. Morgan
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I don't think it is a chip on their shoulders

instead it is an all-volunteer organization who by definition are successful and polished business people who are charged with the task of professionally selling the county to other successful businesspeople looking to expand their business - hopefully here. The tax incentive parameters are well-known and negotiated in good faith. The development authority exists as a separate entity so that the elected political officials don't have a whole lot of input into the issuance of bonds or negotiating tax incentives. The thought is that some politicians may try to use a relocating company as a way of paying political debts or garnering votes and that is not deemed appropriate behavior.

Read the next part very carefully. Some politicians may even try to influence the relocating or expanding company to their favorite area, building or land or perhaps one in which they or their supporters have a vested interest. Imagine how this might become much more of a problem under district voting, actually district representation, when a local pol is intent on bringing something significant into his or her home district. But that's a problem for the future.

The Pinewood process started in Peachtree City and then went into the county. I cannot imagine any group that contained Forshee, Hayes, Pace, Foley, Gibbs and others saying, "Hey, you know what would be helpful? Let's introduce the Pinewood people to the mayor of PTC or the chairman of the County Commission." I mean, would you?

What are those 2 going to contribute? Movie ideas about how to scam the city out of $12k or how to spend $845k for a bridge that meets the ground on only one side of the highway? Stuff like that doesn't make for a good or interesting movie. Or they could just enter into idle business talk where the inevitable question arises "So, what do you do for a living?" Anybody see any upside to the Pinewood people meeting those 2?

moelarrycurly
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Let's gloss this over

shall we? Fleisch and Learnard went to the meetings to compare their hair dye treatments with those of the developers and the board members. A realtor and a liberal visionary in her own mind. Fer sure. You saying that those board members who got together for lunches for the last 10-15 years made this happen? Other than signing documents that pissed away tax dollars for the next 20 years and hid that fact from those who have to budget those very same tax dollars for the next x number of years, well, then, guess that's a great deal for everyone here. Bang up job, Mattie and Randy. There is at least one more shoe to drop here, and when it does, there will be more than bug guts stuck to it for at least one involved in this. Stay tuned, dead guy.

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