The Oct. 19 City Council agenda had it as “Fayette County Board of Elections September 29th Meeting, List Maintenance Billing Discussion.”
There were more questions and short answers than discussion. Instead, it was like a courtroom examination by a lawyer.
Councilman Phil Prebor, with help from Mayor Kim Learnard, directed some sharp questions at fellow council members Mike King and Clint Holland about requests to the Fayette County Election Board to examine and clean up registration information of up to 8,000 local voters.
The unusual question and answer exchange followed a video of a recent election board meeting at which the three board members were talking about who should pay for the voter rolls examination.
Under questioning, King and Holland replied they were part of a “City Council committee” that asked the voter board about names of people who no longer lived in Peachtree City but were still on the active voter rolls.
“Who was on that committee?” Prebor asked. Besides King and Holland, four other people were involved, one of whom was City Council Post 2 candidate Suzanne Brown.
“But this wasn’t an actual City Council-appointed committee,” Prebor said. No one disagreed.
King said he was concerned that his daughter was still listed as an active city voter though she had not lived here in more than two decades.
The mayor expressed concern that the “committee” had in their possession voter rolls that contained names, addresses and Social Security numbers. “This is unacceptable,” Learnard said. “That’s 8,000 names,” she said.
The three-member elections board declined to pay for the cost of scrubbing the lists.
No official action was taken by the council after the discussion, but more questions seem likely to arise.
Councilman Holland responds to voter lists controversary
Peachtree City Councilman Clint Holland emailed The Citizen his response to the concerns raised at the Oct. 19 council meeting:
“The lists discussed by the City Council during their October 19, regular meeting are not “voter rolls” as they alluded to, but rather lists of deceased Fayette County residents, available to anyone who asks for them. The public lists can be used to verify whether all deceased residents have been removed from the voter rolls.
“Any member of the public can obtain the list of deceased county residents from Lynn Crittenden, Chief Clerk Probate Court, located at 1 Center Drive, Fayetteville, GA (770-716-4224).
“A group of concerned citizens asked for a list of Fayette County residents who died since January 1, 2020, that could be compared to the active voter rolls to ensure the Fayette County voter rolls were up to date and accurate.
“One list is the ‘Fayette County Productivity Report’ which gives the Decedent Name, Date of Death, Date of Birth, Address, File Date, and State File Number.
“The second list is the ‘Secretary of State Field Report’ which gives the State File Number, Decedent Name, Date of Death, Residence Address, Residence County, and Social Security Number.
“Per Ms. Crittenden, the Probate Court does not redact the 9-digit Social Security Number because after your death it is public information and no longer protected. Now that the Social Security system is linked to the administration when the death certificate is registered the Social Security number is automatically cancelled and cannot be used again.
“If you recall, Councilman Prebor was focused on the Social Security Number and implied that our possession of the lists somehow compromised the identity of his deceased son-in-law. Again, these lists are available to anyone who requests a copy from the Probate Court.
“Should Councilman Prebor want to restrict access to the public at large, he should take that up with the state legislature,” Holland said.
In other action at the Oct. 19 meeting, medical apparatus manufacturer Gerresheimer asked for and got local plant expansion incentives valued at more than $637,000 from the Peachtree City Council last Thursday.
There’s no cash outlay to the company from the city. Instead the firm asked for a number of exemptions from city red tape, which the council was glad to extend.
“Based on the unusually high investment, job creation, and the positive impact the project will have on Peachtree City’s economy, staff recommends that City Council approve all three requests of the applicant to include providing expedited permit reviews, exempting 100% of the impact fees, and accepting the $40,000 contribution for the off-site planting alternative compliance program,” according to the council information packet.
“All expansion phases are for an advanced manufacturing facility that will manufactire and assemble medical devices for pharmaceutical companies,” the company said.
New private investments in the first phase will “exceed $160 million,” half from the company and half from its main customer.
New wages upon completion of the Phase I expansion would be $11.4 million annually, the company said. That would be an added 214 jobs locally with average pay of $56,000 annually.
The council also approved setback variances for a home on Pine Circle built in 1969.