The well-attended meeting of the Fayette Citizens for Open Government (FayCOG) Tuesday night came with a review of FayCOG’s ongoing concerns, but it also included a difference of opinion between FayCOG founder Harold Bost and Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele on the history of the West Fayetteville bypass.
The Tuesday night event at Whitewater saw the meeting room packed with approximately 140 people.
The meeting’s agenda include FayCOG’s opposition to the 1-cent sales tax rejected by voters last year, the West Fayetteville bypass, the county’s defined benefits program and the continued presence of Commissioner Robert Horgan on the county commission after being arrested for using marijuana.
“We’ve tried to identify issues that we have information on to back up what we say is true,” Bost said. “We’ve spent hundreds of hours evaluating what we’ve found.”
Pertaining to the 1-cent sales tax, Bost said it was ill-conceived and thanked voters for turning it down.
Commenting on the three-phase West Fayetteville bypass, Bost said that, “When they get the whole thing built, where is it going? To the same place on the north side (Ga. Highway 92). In my opinion it just doesn’t make sense.”
Questions from the audience about who decided the project should be done resulted in a remark to Bost by Mayor Ken Steele.
“As memory serves, I think you were on the county commission way back then,” Steele said. “We prioritized a countywide plan. Our first priority was TDK, the second was the East Fayetteville bypass and the fourth was the West Fayetteville bypass. At the time all the elected officials said the growth would be in Peachtree City and Fayetteville and that if we didn’t build a bypass it would never be built.”
Bost responded saying to Steele, “Your memory doesn’t serve you correctly.”
The two men squared-off politely but insistently on one other occasion a few minutes later, again disagreeing on the issue of when Bost served and when he was county commission chairman.
Other topics at the meeting included a presentation by Pat Hinchey of Hinchey Financial Group on what he said were inherent flaws with the county’s defined benefit plan for employees.
“Defined benefits is akin to a pension,” Hinchey said. “It takes a lot of money to promise it forever.”
The final agenda item dealt with Commissioner Robert Horgan and FayCOG’s past efforts to have him unseated after being arrested last year for smoking marijuana.