Smith: Brown’s record on display, as are signs on public rights of way


I’m Jack Smith, CPA, your county commissioner, asking for your vote in the July 20 primary. I discussed my record last week and referred you to the county annual reports for more details. I stand on that record, capped by a $6 million reduction in the county budget and a $5 million increase in cash reserves in just three years.

Voters clearly can view candidates’ records, but Brown is betting most won’t take the time, but will put credibility in his accusations, none of which are true. Below is a sampling of incidents that occurred while Brown was mayor – taken from the pages of this newspaper and available for reading in its archives:

• Created PTC Tourism (disbanded in 2010) to run the amphitheater and tennis center, allowing them to use profits from one to cover deficits of the other – exactly what he chastised and castigated the PTC Development Authority for doing.

• Egotistically and personally negotiated the sales tax split (occurring every 10 years) for Fayette’s cities – without input from the other cities — resulting in millions of dollars of sales tax revenue losses for PTC.

• Increased PTC property taxes 12 percent (They decreased after his defeat).

• Engineered the city purchase of property near Wynnmeade for three times its appraised value with a 6-figure commission paid to the real estate broker from taxpayer funds.

• Took actions that decimated a world-class tennis center and lost 100s of amphitheater patrons.

• Refused to take any stand on Target’s development, leading to a court negatively deciding the city’s fate.

• Illegally lobbied against the 2004 SPLOST – costing PTC $6 million, (enough to address city road issues for 10-20 years).

• Isn’t/hasn’t been active in any civic group to better our community or metro Atlanta (other than during his ill-fated mayoral reign), but then cries “conflict” for those who try to make things better for our community.

• Is the only PTC mayor to ever lose a reelection bid, followed by a humiliating defeat when running for state representative – both losses against political newcomers with no name recognition.

This is the record that Brown won’t mention and why his electioneering method is nothing more than smut attacks.

I raised allegations challenging the unadulterated garbage from Brown’s pen. He thinks voters believe anything produced by his overactive imagination, and fabricates innuendoes and myths about my record rather than face his own dismal one. To prove my point, I offer the following taken from the pages of this newspaper’s archives:

Regarding TDK extension: At the 2010 candidate forum at Christ Church at Whitewater, Brown said he’s been against TDK from the very start, but facts prove otherwise.

“… I still believe that the road (TDK) will be built” – Mayor Brown – 2004 letter to this newspaper.

“Brown said there was not a person on council against TDK …” 2003 PTC Council minutes – 2005 reference by Brown in a letter to this newspaper.

“… McMennamin made a motion and I seconded to sign a resolution in support of TDK …” Brown – 2005 letter to editor of this newspaper.

As to district voting:

“The time has come for Fayette County to catch up with the rest of the metro Atlanta counties and have each county commissioner elected in their own district and the commission chairman elected countywide” — Brown, a member of the NAACP, read from a prepared statement in a 2004 article in this newspaper.

“Come young Republicans and young Democrats, this is your time to take a stand (for district voting) … Organize and make your voices heard.” Brown — 2008 letter to this newspaper.

As to West Fayetteville bypass being planned years ago:

“I’m writing about the … SPLOST … I’m going to vote “YES” … It’s better, for all of us … The proposed traffic plan … first put on paper in late 1980s …” — Peter Pfeifer — 2004 letter to this newspaper

As to general character of Brown:

“It is just nonsense and I’m tired of the lies” – Greg Dunn – 2004, speaking of then-Mayor Steve Brown in this newspaper. Dunn also said that he’s not the only elected official who has trouble dealing with Brown.

“I urge you to turn away an ethically challenged Steve Brown …” Dan Tennant — 2005 letter to editor of this newspaper speaking to Brown’s sham, self-nomination and subsequent receipt of a Georgia Trend (magazine) award.

All public record. Look them up for yourself. I am convinced you will then dismiss Brown’s fantasies and cast your vote for honesty, integrity and common-sense government – plus 36 years of business ownership and experience in advising clients regarding theirs — for me in the July 20 primary.

One other point underscores just how desperate Brown and his cohorts are: political signs. My signs are located only where property owners have requested. Brown’s signs are being placed on the same property, without request or permission of the property owner.

Brown also placed numerous signs on public rights of way and on those controlled by telephone, electrical and other utility providers, without permission and in clear violation of local ordinances. This is an indication of the character of the person Fayette County needs to avoid placing in any leadership position.

Brown has already told you that he will ignore and trample voters’ rights by stopping the West Fayetteville Bypass, a road that was mandated by a majority of the voters. It does not matter whether you are for the road or against it, the majority voted for it and there is no mechanism to legally undo that vote unless you want to subject the county to an expensive and unnecessary lawsuit, something Brown is very familiar with.

If he will ignore the voter’s wishes in this case, he will ignore them in any case that suits his purpose. Voters need to beware of this dangerous precedent and his adamant intent to ram district voting down our throats, thus destroying the very nature of Fayette County.

Please cast your vote for Jack Smith in the July 20 primary to prevent Fayette from heading in the disastrous direction our national leaders have set, to which Brown subscribes wholeheartedly.

Jack Smith

Chairman, Fayette County Commission

Peachtree City, Ga.