Voters still looking for integrity, openness in elected officials


The demand was, “Resign or be fired.” It is not an enviable position to be in to make such a request.

The fastest growing political affiliation in our country is “independent” and there is a good reason for it: lack of integrity.

Not only do we suffer from politicians and bureaucrats with impure motives, but we also suffer from various groups who defend such behavior.

Our state legislature cannot find the gumption to pass a law saying lobbyists cannot spend more than $100 on our legislators. Why?

Our Board of Commissioners is not advertising public citizen positions on boards, authorities and commissions. We, instead, use a behind the scenes, back-room selection process without our citizens ever knowing a position was available. It is good for government to engage its citizens, right?

The Transportation Investment Act (TIA) referendum you will be asked to vote on in July was created to relieve traffic congestion, but what we got was a slippery set of projects reeking of special interests and lacking any kind of valid cost-benefit analysis.

I totally agree with Rep. Matt Ramsey and Rep. Ed Setzler that we need to make significant changes to the TIA process and develop a system that is cost effective and functional. The current plan wastes billions of dollars and will bleed our regional economy of critical capital in the future.

You have probably read some articles in the newspaper about some controversy over two Board of Elections members. Commissioner Allan McCarty and I recently sent a letter to Addison Lester asking that he simply abstain from Board of Elections activity until his relative, a county commissioner, has completed his re-elections bid this year, taking the high road.

We have another Board of Elections member, Marilyn Watts, who decided to take very public assignments for a presidential election campaign, eliminating the view of fairness and impartiality we deserve from the Board of Elections. I asked her to give up her seat to someone who can remain objective.

Both Board of Elections members have refused to comply. Wonder why?

Indeed, people are justified to feel pessimistic about government. The Tea Party movement is the visible backlash from government as usual.

I enjoy the Tea Party functions because you can express your opinion in a truly open forum. I love to watch people from other groups who hold their meetings in private attend local Tea Party meetings. The others take lots of notes to bring back to the secret burrow where they hold their meetings.

The groups that scheme away in private will try to get you to believe they are looking out for your interests. There is a reason their meetings are held in private.

Our population under age 30 (the ones we are destroying with our current bungling policies) have become energized by Ron Paul who is an outspoken man of principle. Whether you agree with Rep. Paul or not, there is no doubt he is an interruption to the scandal-packed government we detest.

I give Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis high praise for cleaning house in the cheating scandal, asking the educators identified in the state report to resign or be fired.

Our Fayette County voters will get the chance to do a little house cleaning with Fayette County Board of Education elections in July.

Board members Janet Smola and Terri Smith are the two remaining members of the triumvirate that took a first class school system and ran it into the ground, wasting million upon millions of our tax dollars, landing us in financial distress.

Smola, Smith and the person they elected FCBOE Chairman, Democrat Leonard Presberg, are all up for re-election this year.

It is easy to lose confidence in the integrity of our government, but the best answer to anyone wanting a future for their children and grandchildren is to keep fighting the injustice.

Demand that the groups with which you share a political affiliation fight for open and honest government, cleaning up your own house before complaining about others.

Keep the faith and stay active.

Steve Brown

Fayette Commissioner, Post 4

Peachtree City, Ga.