Bacallao to improve schools with high standards, effective policies

Fayette County schools have a tradition of excellence, but as in any organization, there is always room for improvement.

Ballard tough on gangs

Recently, I was privileged to provide street gang training to about 25 Fayette County law enforcement officers from four different law enforcement agencies. The training was arranged for and sponsored by District Attorney Scott Ballard and included district attorney personnel.

‘Re-draft your questions in a positive manner ...’

We received your questions for the school board candidates, but we are concerned about their tone and the context in which our answers will be used.

Sheriff candidates explain refusal

The candidates for the office of sheriff of Fayette County have discussed your invitation to participate in the online candidate forum being hosted by The Citizen. Unfortunately, we have decided unanimously not to participate in this forum, in this format.

Crying ‘wolf’ on racism: Some ideas

Am I the only one who has had his fill of the garbage put out there from the NAACP? I doubt it. There is a problem between many black and whites. And the “R word” is the reason we are having problems, but it is not racism, it’s resentment.

Waste in F’ville government just keeps on keeping on

To the Fayetteville City Council: I am writing you collectively to address a concern I have had and expressed to you personally at the City Council meeting of March 20, 2008. I related my story of walking from the Autumn Glenn area west on Ga. Highway 54, observing a lone city works employee edging the 12-inch strip of grass running along the sidewalk on the south side in the area of Azalea Estates. He was heading westbound.

Math program not north vs. south

Last week, I wrote a letter for the “Free Speech” section regarding the University of Chicago Math Curriculum.

Even though it may offend some that I am referring to a “Northern” curriculum, I feel strongly about this math program, so I am writing back, this time including my name.

Ann Jackson most experienced

As the election approaches we at the Fayette Law Group (also known as Kirby Palmer Farrell Nix) want to share with our fellow citizens of Fayette County why we will be voting for Ann Jackson for probate court judge on July 15.

The truth: Pay raises and open meetings

I’ve seen the comments of several bloggers/writers regarding a few different issues. I’m lumping those together as they contain errors that I am going to correct.

The Citizen good paper, but that Free Speech . . .

I believe The Citizen is a good newspaper, BUT I disagree with the policy of printing things about people that are either libel or slander and are written by people who don’t have the “guts” to sign their name to their opinions.

Libertarians and the girl next door

Recently, Bob Barr was officially declared the Libertarian Presidential candidate for 2008. With his reputation and name recognition, he will be the strongest candidate the Libertarians have put forth in years, maybe ever.

Prosecutorial errors, verdict reversals are responsibility of DA Ballard

I am writing to respond to the letter on June 10, 2008, from my opponent Scott Ballard. In that letter, Ballard attributes some of the prosecutorial errors which I have identified are allegedly attributable to his staff and that somehow, I have criticized his staff by pointing these errors out.

Former assistant DA: Ballard best man for job

In January of 2005, I was hired by current District Attorney Scott Ballard to work as an assistant district attorney in the Griffin Circuit. Initially I worked in the Fayette County office where I handled our circuit’s appeals and tried several cases.

Time to replace Wingo as tax commissioner

During the past 16 years, my opponent has developed a pattern of pushing the limits. Here are just a few examples.

A couple of days after the Brian Nichols shootings in 2005, and in violation of state and county law, Mr. Wingo brought a gun onto county property. When confronted about it, he stated that he was exempt from that law.

Rep. Yates at 86 fails to provide strong leadership for mass transit

We all understand that metro Atlanta has one of the nation’s most lengthy commutes. In 2007 our average commute was 40 minutes or one hour and 20 minutes roundtrip each day.

Rep. Ramsey: Williams has it all wrong about Yates, education

There is no more important issue to the parents of Fayette County than the quality of our children’s education. I believe it is important for voters to know all the facts before going to vote in the July 15 primary, particularly on issues as important as education.

County attorney locked out public, sued Fayette to get billboards here

Whatever happened to ethical and open government in Fayette County? When running for office, our elected officials always claim that is what they want, but what are we getting from our current County Commission?

Taxpayers to feel sting of pay hikes

Ten percent, 14.2, 9.2, 9.4, 5.4, 7.5, 8.3, 16, 9.4, 7.5, 17.6 percent, 7.2, 2.6, 7.5, 7.1, 9.3, 3.4, 13.7, 17.4, 8.7, 5.4, 9.1, 7, 14.7 percent.

PTC and Wieland: Where’s school site?

On the agenda for this June 19 is a request by John Wieland to lift the ban on multi-family housing on his 89 acres in the West Village.

Wingo’s CPA license expired more than 2 years ago

Wanting to be an informed voter, I decided to check the credentials of a couple of people running for office. Imagine my surprise when I checked with the Secretary of State’s office ( and found that contrary to his advertisements, George Wingo is no longer a CPA.

Keep your property unattractive to foxes

Red foxes are traveling through our yards in Kedron Hills regularly.

At least one pair of red foxes are hunting openly every day and evening in our subdivision, and there have been several sightings on and across the yards on Loring Lane and Chambray Hills. I have personally seen them and they show no fear as they hunt.

‘Church of global warming’ fails to engage the largest problem of all

Global warming as a media fixation has taken back seat to the presidential primaries. But that doesn’t mean it has gone away.

Defined benefits pension needed to retain highly trained county workers

I would like to comment on the recent proposal to provide a retirement program for Fayette County employees, but first let me emphasize that I am writing this as a private citizen, and not as a representative of my present employer.

Simmons’ signs are being stolen

I have seen different articles in the local Fayette papers about Mr. Simmons saying that he has been having his signs taken down and removed from the area where they were put up. I have also seen different articles in the same papers written by different individuals saying that Mr. Simmons has not had his signs removed and that he is just using that as a ploy to get attention to try and get more votes.

New sheriff in town is from here

After the War between the States, history tells us about the carpetbaggers from up North who took advantage of a largely illiterate South. Most of the people in rural Georgia were farmers and putting food on the table for the family was number one, and an education was secondary.

Sheriff must deal with diversity

In the last several weeks, The Citizen has reported on the changing cultural diversity of Fayette County. In the May 21, 2008, edition of The Citizen it was reported that 13,720 new residents moved to Fayette County between 2001 and 2005, most coming from Clayton and Fulton counties.

Kourajian lays out platform for county Post 3

[Editor’s note: The following was received from Fayette County Commission candidate Stuart Kourajian.]

Republican Stuart Kourajian publicized his platform today for his run at the Fayette County Commissioner Post 3 position. Kourajian identified leadership and safety as two of his primary planks and also listed recreation improvements as a priority, specifically multi-purpose fields to accommodate additional sports such as lacrosse while still serving the core recreational needs of the county, and bicycle-only lanes on roads.

DFCS is broken

I applaud Mr. Munford’s article on DFCS in the state of Georgia. We are foster parents caring for a 2-year-old girl since she was 8 weeks old due to domestic violence and drug abuse of her biological parents.

Cart path safety is our concern, but not ONLY our concern

I received a phone call from my friend Gary within the last week. Gary is my friend from Gainesville, Fla. He is a triathlete in his mid 50s, a husband and a father. He’s the kind of guy that can literally run laps around me as I walk and tell a full story without losing his breath.

Special Needs program is responsive

I was sorry to read the angry commentary on the Fayette County schools’ special needs program in a recent Free Speech.

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