On Feb. 6, 2006, I announced my first candidacy for the Fayette County Commission with a campaign slogan of “Time for a Change.” During the last three years, following my election, I am proud of the changes I have brought to Fayette County.
I am sure that anyone who has ever been elected and then sought another term talks about running on their record. I am no different. But I back this up with a list of some of the milestone events that have taken place since I took office on Jan. 1, 2007.
• I inherited a Board of Commissioners that was at war with then-Sheriff Randall Johnson. However, within two weeks of taking office, I made a motion that ended years of fighting between the commissioners and Sheriff’s Office. The lawsuits against the sheriff were dismissed.
• I made a pledge to the citizens of Fayette County to save tax dollars by reducing frivolous spending for attorneys. I followed through as the driving force in changing the way the county handled its legal services. By hiring an in-house, full-time attorney, I was able to cut the legal services budget in half.
• After two years of study, commissioners tweaked the county’s retirement system. Not only is the system fully funded, it has saved the county approximately $400,000 a year. Fayette County is now positioned to retain its trained employees and stop the high turnover rate.
• In Fayetteville, commissioners broke ground on the new Senior Services Center. Since its completion, the center’s membership has grown from three dozen to over 3,000.
• In Peachtree City, commissioners and Peachtree City Council members successfully negotiated a compromise on EMS delivery of services, avoiding costly litigation. The new system clearly directs the city and county, and ensures tax dollars are equally pro-rated between the two systems.
• In north Fayette, the county completed phase I of Kenwood Park, allowing residents the chance to enjoy tennis, a large picnic area, walking paths and a multi-use field.
• In south Fayette, I remained committed to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. There has been no new major rezoning activity in south Fayette under my watch.
• In east Fayette, I have been successful in delaying, and hopefully stopping, the East Fayetteville Bypass.
• In west Fayette after 30 years of work, commissioners received permits to construct Lake McIntosh on the Peachtree City border. Ground was broken on the project in January 2010, and once completed, this lake will insure Fayette County will always have water.
Also, when developers threatened the neighborhoods of Crystal Lake, Brechin Park, and those close to the intersection of Ga. highways 279 and 314, I led the vocal charge defending these neighborhoods.
Transportation issues continue in Fayette County, and current commissioners have fiscally administered the transportation SPLOST dollars. Last November, Fayetteville and Fayette County completed a joint widening project on Jimmie Mayfield Boulevard. Phase I of the West Fayetteville Bypass should be complete this summer, and many intersection improvements have been completed or are in the works. Banks, Gingercake and Redwine roads have been repaved.
Traffic mitigation remains a top priority for the next four years, and I also remain committed to keeping MARTA out of Fayette County.
Although I mention many accomplishments, they must be kept in proper perspective. Each were achieved in tough economic times, and each has been completed without a tax increase and without a reduction of level of service that Fayette County residents expect.
The board has reduced the number of county employees by 50; however, there have been no cuts to positions in public safety, including the Sheriff’s Office, Fire and Emergency Services, 911 Center and the Marshal’s Office.
Two years ago, commissioners initiated an audio version of each commission meeting on-line. For anyone unable to attend the meeting, the audio is one click away on the county website.
I am most proud of the relationship the current county commission has developed with other governing bodies in the county. Long gone are the days of fighting among the cities and county. I was recently honored to accept a proclamation from Fayetteville that recognized this accomplishment.
Personally, and without exception, I have returned each phone call, responded to each email and letter, and have met with any citizen that has asked for a meeting with me. I appreciate the trust Fayette County residents have put in me, and it has been an honor to serve you the past three years.
Now I ask for your continued support for four more years.
I can be reached at my law office, at 678-520-0583 or by email at email@example.com.
In closing, I have remained true to my first campaign slogan, “Time for a Change.” I have been successful in guiding the county in a new direction, and in these trying times, I remain committed to a better Fayette County. Please join me in my 2010 re-election campaign, “Making Fayette County Better.”