Inside school system promotion would be bad for taxpayers


I wish we had a sunscreen to prevent the harmful actions of government from burning us.

At a recent public meeting, a local citizen actually stated she thought the Fayette County Board of Education (FCBOE) had done a wonderful job with the school system’s finances. Her remarks were part of a scheme to cozen the public into accepting the concept of promoting a current administration insider to the post of school superintendent. I was truly amazed that anyone could make such a pronouncement with a straight face.

Promoting someone from within the current FCBOE administration would give us third-degree burns for sure. The consecutive years of managerial madness has got to end.

Our Fayette County commissioners are hanging by threads to their miserable excuse for continuing to build the extremely wasteful West Fayetteville Bypass. Chairman Smith cannot find a single rational excuse to build the bypass other than it had been planned for the last 30 years. If a nuclear waste dump had been planned in the center of the county for the last 30 years, I guess Smith would build it too.

The fact that developers wanted the road built for the last 30 years is the only excuse the beleaguered commissioners can come up with to waste $51 million of our tax dollars. Oh, how sad. It is extremely clear to all of us the bypass has no purpose other than giving valuable road frontage to residential developers at our expense.

Chairman Smith and Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele are secretly cementing Fayette County into a regional mass transit system we do not want and cannot afford.

Just months after the former Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, Glenn Richardson, was caught with his pants down (figuratively speaking) over an intimate affair with a utility lobbyist, at the same time he was sponsoring a legislative effort aiding her utility, the movement for tighter ethical standards seems to be waning. This could be yet another moral failure of our Republican majority under the Gold Dome.

If you thought the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts was going to protect you from the harmful UV rays associated with faulty legislation, you were wrong.

President Obama boldly promised transparency in government, but Democrats held closed-door meetings and hid most of the details of the ObamaCare package from the citizens.

The Associated Press (AP) recently presented their annual review of the Freedom of Information Act, reporting that the agencies under the Obama administration cited exemptions at least 466,872 times in budget year 2009, compared with 312,683 times the previous year.

The laughable part is the Obama administration has even stalled on open record requests about its own efforts to be more transparent.

“The AP is still waiting — after nearly three months — for records it requested about the White House’s ‘Open Government Directive’ rules it issued in December directing every agency to take immediate, specific steps to open their operations up to the public.

“The White House on Tuesday described the directive as ‘historic’ but the Office of Management and Budget still has not responded to AP’s request under the Freedom of Information Act to review internal emails and other documents related to that effort.”

Never fear though, as Democratic influence begins to diminish across the country, we have Rep. Lynn Westmoreland — one of the most non-productive and least innovative congressmen in the country — to protect us. Ouch. I think my skin is beginning to blister.

[Steve Brown is the former mayor of Peachtree City. He can be reached at]