Commission’s ‘Gang of 3’ champs at spending

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I’m constantly amazed at the liberal leanings of the Gang of Three on our Fayette County Board of Commissioners. The exploits of Chairman Herb Frady, Commissioner Lee Hearn and Commissioner Robert Horgan are proof the gang has little trouble spending our tax dollars as fast as they collect them.

While their constituents were worried about their personal finances, the Gang of Three decided to spend almost $90,000 to pave a dead-end gravel road with only two houses on it. They can’t balance a budget but they can surely waste our money on paving dead-end roads.

Look at the minutes from the July 14 meeting, for example, to see how reckless things can get. The federal WIC program is currently administered in the county’s administration building. The WIC representative complained at the meeting that she wanted a new facility on county land to see her clients who are using the federal assistance program.

Commissioner Steve Brown explained to the other commissioners that the county government was under no obligation to provide the funding to administer the WIC program. He even said the federal government handles all such costs in Spalding County. So Commissioner Brown “said he would not mind looking at the methodology that Spalding County employed and having the federal government just cover the entire service since it was a service of the federal government and let them look at it.”

Rather than let the federal people pay for their WIC program, the Gang of Three wants to use county land for new accommodations in addition to the cost of paving a new parking lot and routing utilities to a new site. In short, our county budget is a fiasco and now the Gang of Three want to unnecessarily put us deeper in debt to subsidize a program the federal government would totally fund.

The minutes from the June 23 Board of Commissioners meeting are just as wacky. Many of you read the front page article in the June 29 edition of The Citizen titled “NO to ‘biggest tax break in Fayette history’” describing how Commissioner Brown and Commissioner Allen McCarty tried to use new state legislation called HB 240 to take funds from useless and unwanted SPLOST projects like the West Fayetteville Bypass and create sizable tax breaks for county taxpayers.

Commissioner Brown showed how the board could also pay for needed vehicles and equipment without raising taxes with the new legislation. But much to the horror of the large audience, the Gang of Three voted to keep funding the West Fayetteville Bypass no one wants instead of providing the tax breaks and covering the underfunded budget items.

The West Fayetteville Bypass was never the top priority. The April 6 meeting minutes say, “[T]he previous Board of Commissioners with no public input, no public announcement and no public vote changed the priorities of our citizens, deciding instead to build the developer welfare project known as the West Fayetteville Bypass or the Road to Nowhere. It is especially painful since Commissioner Hearn and Commissioner Frady, who both participated in the creation of the SPLOST priorities, willfully denied the very voters who approved the SPLOST referendum of any input at all on changing their priorities.”

The County Attorney Scott Bennett tried to help the Gang of Three by convoluting his explanation of the new state law. “He said the first process was to look at a project or projects and determine whether or not they were infeasible or not.” Bennett was being disingenuous.

The actual HB 240 statute says the term “infeasible” means the project has, in the judgment of the governing authority as expressed in a resolution or ordinance “become impracticable, unserviceable, unrealistic, or otherwise not in the best interests of the citizens of the special district or the county.”

Nearly every person in Fayette County, except for the large landowners and developers near the site like Commissioner Hearn’s relatives, would agree the West Fayetteville Bypass is impracticable, unrealistic and not in the best interests of the citizens. However, Chairman Frady, Commissioner Hearn and Commissioner Horgan voted the HB 240 motion down and said building the road to nowhere was far more important than balancing the budget and providing tax relief.

The message to the local taxpayer is the county government will do whatever it pleases and it doesn’t care what you want. The Gang of Three should be embarrassed and soon to be replaced.

David Barlow

Tyrone, Ga.