I get an eerie feeling when Fayette Commissioner Jack Smith tries so hard to convince everyone he’s upstanding and ethical. Board of Education Chairman Terri Smith tried her best to assure people that she could do no wrong, too. Look at what happened to Terri Smith, getting caught with her hands in the cookie jar by not disclosing almost $13 million worth of real estate she owned as required by state law.
Commissioner Jack Smith being on the board of directors of the Bank of Georgia isn’t a good situation for us. For some reason, the developers always seem to get a foothold in our local government.
The Bank of Georgia got in trouble with the FDIC because they were overly involved in development loans.
I don’t know who Commissioner Smith is trying to fool by saying the bank is not oriented toward builders and developers. There are many newspaper articles supporting that connection.
In fact, just take a look at some of the board members of the bank: Pat Shepherd, a former board member of sales and marketing of the Mid-West Georgia Homebuilders Association; Donnie H. Russell, owner and president of manufactured housing sales company Parham Industries, Inc. as well as director and part-owner of manufactured home production company Signal Homes; Arlie C. Aukerman, former chairman and president of construction firm A.C. Aukerman; Fayette County Commission Chairman Jack Smith, an elected official who votes on land use and zoning matters; Thomas G. Sellmer, former owner of real estate management and investment company Sellmer Property Management; Vincent M. Rossetti, president of Ravin Homes, Inc. as well as manager of real estate and office management firm MiRome, LLC; and William Robert Hancock, Jr., partner in real estate firm F&H Investment.
You owe it to yourself as an informed voter to read the FDIC’s “Order to Cease and Desist” for Jack Smith’s Board of Directors at www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/enforcement/2009-06-06.pdf. There are a lot of things Commissioner Smith is just not telling you.
Having to deal with the pressure of a failing bank is bad enough, but I can’t help but worry that Commissioner Smith will be pressured to abuse his power with voting on developer zoning cases when they might be potential clients of his bank.
The other issue that Commissioner Smith tries to conceal is the dreadful 2009 SPLOST he and the other commissioners tried to push on us. It took a great deal of audacity to ask the citizens for another $137 million in taxes in the middle of a distressed economy.
The worst part was the commissioners had to admit they hadn’t seen the SPLOST project list until the night they voted to go ahead with the voter referendum. We, as citizens, weren’t allowed to even peek at the project list until after they voted for the referendum. Doesn’t this sound like Congress?
It’s depressing when the elected officials in the ivory tower decide to keep stacking the debt on our backs at the same time we need them to lighten the load. Really, what motivates elected officials to act this way? Not a single one of those SPLOST projects was worthy of being funded.
Commissioner Smith and Commissioner Maxwell were perfectly content to keep squeezing the money out of our wallets. Government needs to live within its means. The county commissioners want more taxation and less representation. It’s un-American.
We are tired of being tuned out by our local government. When the people we elect get too comfortable in the seat of power, it’s time to let them go. Smith and Maxwell are well past due.