Brown: July 31 primary election holds ‘future of Fayette County’


My fellow citizens of Fayette County, I am hoping and praying you are paying attention. We must have an educated electorate for the July 31 primary election. The future of Fayette County is in your hands.

Board of Education members Janet Smola, who opted not to run again, and Terri Smith, who flip-flopped into the Democrat Party to run for re-election, appear to be gone for good after shipwrecking the finances of the FCBOE. I know some local residents who are Democrats and they are not getting behind Terri Smith.

I am very excited that Tyrone resident David Barlow and Brooks resident Randy Ognio will be running in the County Board of Commissioners races. Barlow and Ognio give us two very active citizens who have continually fought the ten-of-millions-of-dollars worth of wasteful roads to nowhere, empty schools and budgeting schemes.

Mr. Barlow is a talented videographer and has captured many things on tape which we have rebroadcast to the citizens of Fayette County. We have been able to prove what was going on behind the scenes in local government because Mr. Barlow tirelessly brought his equipment with him and taped every word.

Mr. Ognio has been a local small business owner for around three decades. He was one of those guys who read the articles in the newspapers a couple of years ago and decided to start attending the meetings. Like most, he did not like what he saw.

Mr. Ognio has been a consistent critic of the “no-bid” contracts and secret votes from the previous Board of Commissioners on items that never appeared on an agenda.

Both Barlow and Ognio helped expose the waste, abuse and special interest dealings surrounding the West Fayetteville Bypass.

Another issue you need to be aware for July 31 primary election is the Transportation Investment Act (TSPLOST) referendum.

Fayette resident Bob Ross and I have been debating the “pro-TSPLOST” people all over metropolitan Atlanta. Crowds have showed up at each event wanting to hear both sides of the issue.

The justification for the $8 billion TIA (TSPLOST) regional sales tax is so weak it has been extremely difficult for sponsoring organizations to find people willing to defend the “pro-TSPLOST” side.

The Fayette County Issues Tea Party and the South Atlanta Tea Party are sponsoring a TIA (TSPLOST) debate in Fayetteville on June 5. Bob Ross and I will be explaining the hazardous pitfalls and regional plans they do not want you know about.

Mr. Sam Williams from the Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, a powerful force behind the $8 million worth of advertising spent on promoting the TSPLOST, has been invited to debate on behalf of the TSPLOST project list.

This issue is huge and will have an enormous impact on our finances and our quality of life. Please plan on attending the debate on Tuesday, June 5, 6:30 p.m. at the Harvest Christian Community Center (behind yellow Mexican Restaurant), 383 N. Glynn St. (Ga. Hwy. 85N) in Fayetteville.

This will be, most likely, the only opportunity for the voters in Fayette County to hear both sides of the issue so that when it is time to vote on July 31st you will have the information needed to make an educated vote.

The Tea Party debates are the best you will find, locally. They do not “filter” questions to the panel, allowing each member of the audience to ask their own question. It’s a truly democratic process.

Steve Brown

Fayette County Commissioner

Peachtree City, Ga.