District voting bill reeks of secrecy

Tue, 02/26/2008 - 4:36pm
By: The Citizen

Last week, many of the county’s political leaders and residents were stunned to learn that yet another district voting bill was about to be brought before the General Assembly.

Currently, all five county commission seats are at-large, meaning that all voters in Fayette County can vote in elections for each and every seat. While the official bill has not yet been dropped, district voting would only allow voters to vote for the seat established for their particular district.

Was this information released at a press conference or in a press release sent to the media?

No. The only way people discovered this information was in a small legal notice published in the county’s legal organ. The Citizen has been trying for weeks to obtain a copy of the legislation, but the request has fallen on the deaf ears of Rep. Virgil Fludd (D-Tyrone), who is the sponsor of the bill.

Another stunned group is the Fayette County Commission. It would only seem natural that the body who could see its way of being elected dramatically change would be consulted on the issue.

Instead, the County Commission was left out of the conversation entirely and is trying to get the message out that they oppose such a dramatic change.

In 2006, another district voting bill was rebuffed, thanks to the efforts of Rep. Dan Lakly. If the current bill makes it out of the House, it would probably die in the Senate, but that is not the central issue of the discussion this year.

Regardless of the political merits of the issue, this is not how business should be conducted in the county. Instead of using an exclusive approach to try and shove legislation down the county’s throat, a more inclusive approach would be far more welcome.

We have advocated openness in our local governments, and now it’s time for Rep. Fludd to get the message and operate in the sunshine, instead of trying to sneak the bill past an unsuspecting public.

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sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Mon, 03/03/2008 - 3:59pm.

What an amusing editorial....the journalistic equivalent of a temper tantrum!

"Mean old Virgil Fludd didn't give us a press conference! He didn't send us a press release!"

One can almost imagine the crocodile tears flowing down the author's rosy cheeks as he waxes indignant.

Is this any way to run a newspaper?

Whatever happened to good old fashioned reporting?

Guys, if you KNEW Rep. Fludd was "holding out" on you, and you couldn't get a copy of the legislation beforehand, why not write about that?

On a somewhat tangential note, I realize that two "wrongs" don't make a "right" (unless you blog under the pseudonyms "Denise Conner" and/or "Richard Hobbs"...but I digress), but where was your high dudgeon and situational outrage last August when Commissioner Herb Frady re-drew commission district lines in secret down in Callaway Gardens?

Fayette's first re-districting in 100 or so years? Frady gerrymandered his competition out of existance to strengthen his chances for re-election and presented his redistricting as a fait accompli to his fellow commissioners. Frady even thumbed his bulbous nose at the general public by not placing its adoption on the Commission's agenda (One can almost picture Frady saying "oh yeah, by the way boys, how's about approving this here little map revision...")

I'm not saying Rep. Fludd is either "right" or "correct" in his approach to district voting. I do not, however, believe that Rep. Fludd has any obligation, moral or otherwise, to do the Citizen's job for them. Perhaps Rep. Fludd was insulted that John Munford called him a "Republican" last month! (LINK) Eye-wink(I know *I* would be!!) Laughing out loud

Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Mon, 03/03/2008 - 8:42pm.

"unless you blog under the pseudonyms 'Denise Conner' and/or 'Richard Hobbs'"

You've raised your opinion of me! Laughing out loud

"your high dudgeon"

Are you sure you didn't mean "dungeon"? $ageless, a.k.a. Nitpicker$, lets his true self Laughing out loud slip out every once in a while, doesn't he?

"situational outrage"

You use that one a lot, don't you?

"I realize that two 'wrongs' don't make a 'right.'"

So, can we expect and new and improved Basmati? Laughing out loud

Just who is “Sniffles”? Puzzled

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