The Frady factor: Commissioner Frady’s negative impact on Fayette

Tue, 07/08/2008 - 3:50pm
By: Letters to the ...

For eight years, from Jan. 1, 1999, to Dec. 31, 2006, Fayette County government was truly in the hands of the citizens of Fayette County. During this eight years period, the County Commission operated out in the open so all citizens could see how Fayette County business was being conducted. The commission encouraged input from the public on all matters of substance. Decisions were always made based on what was best for the citizens of Fayette County.

In January 1999, the Fayette Commission adopted a very strict ethics ordinance. This ethics ordinance was followed to the letter during this eight years’ period.

During this same eight-year period, previous explosive population growth was brought under control in the unincorporated areas of Fayette County. Special interest favoritism came to a complete stop. There was only one set of rules for friends and foes alike.

On top of all of this, spending was brought under control. During this eight-year period, the county general government mileage rate was reduced. This occurred even though it was necessary to build the new court house and county jail.

Who was responsible for this great eight years run? Greg Dunn and Linda Wells were there for the full eight years. Harold Bost was there for 1999 and 2000. Then Peter Pfeifer was there for 2001 through 2006. This is where the consistent controlling three votes came from to do what was right.

Then, unfortunately, came Jan. 1, 2007. On that day there was a major change on the Board of Commissioners. Eric Maxwell replaced Greg Dunn and Jack Smith replaced Linda Wells. This changed the controlling three votes to Herb Frady, Eric Maxwell and Jack Smith, plus a further supporting vote from Robert Horgan. What has happened since then has been a complete reversal from the previous eight great years.

The architect of the new way of conducting Fayette County business since Jan. 1, 2007, is Herb Frady. Herb Frady had been on the Fayette County Commission for many years, but did not have the votes to support his ideas of what he wanted the government to be. Now Frady has his dream team in Eric Maxwell, Jack Smith and Robert Horgan. He has the votes to control the commission’s action.

It did not take Mr. Frady long to begin his dismantling of the great way Fayette County business was being conducted.

The first thing they did was to stop publishing meaningful meeting agendas. Instead, they would not list very important subjects on the meeting agenda. Instead, they would have one of the commissioners introduce the subject after the meeting began. This way, they could take up the subject and vote without the citizens of Fayette County knowing anything about it.

Within weeks in office, this Board of Commissioners fired Chris Venice as our county administrator. Chris was an extraordinarily dedicated, honest, hard-working expert in planning with 19 years experience in planning and enforcing county standards. Very quietly, with little discussion, she was fired. Since she was fired without cause, they had to pay her one year’s severance pay.

In the summer of 2007, although not listed on the public meeting agenda, Bill McNalley was removed as the Fayette County Attorney after 28 years of extraordinary service to Fayette County. Six former Fayette County Commission chairmen vehemently opposed his removal.

During 2007, Herb Frady personally re-drew the three county commission districts. It is no surprise that Mr. Frady drew a likely opponent out of his district and a likely opponent to his friend, Robert Horgan, out of Horgan’s district so they would not have to face these viable candidates in the 2008 election. Frady was trying to ensure his and Robert Horgan’s re-election in 2008.

Of course, it is not a surprise that his sidekicks, Eric Maxwell, Jack Smith and Robert Horgan sucked up and endorsed Mr. Frady’s handy work without hesitation. They voted to send Mr. Frady’s personal proposal on to the Justice Department without ever having a public hearing. Fortunately, the Justice Department did not respond in time for the upcoming Primary Election on July 15, 2008.

If you need more proof that the current Fayette County Board of Commissioners are conducting business in a shady manner, ask yourself why have they stopped recording detailed minutes of their meetings.

Yes, without any discussion or vote at a public meeting, they stopped recording detailed meeting minutes of all of their meetings. Currently, county records do not show who did or said what or how each of the commissioners voted on any issue.

Herb Frady finally is on the top of his mountain. He has a majority, including Eric Maxwell, Jack Smith, Robert Horgan and himself to ensure Herb Frady can get anything he wants. After so many years of being kept in his political cage, his is now King of Fayette County government.

Please be mindful that it takes three votes to return the control of Fayette County government to us, the citizens of Fayette County. It can be done in the Republican Primary Election on July 15, 2008.

Before it is too late, let’s replace Herb Frady by electing Bob Fuhrman. It will also be necessary to elect Greg Dunn to replace Robert Horgan and to re-elect Peter Pfeifer. If we will do this, we will have the three votes to bring control of Fayette County government back to the citizens of Fayette County.

From eight years’ experience, we know that Greg Dunn and Peter Pfeifer are very strong advocates of open and honest government. These two gentlemen are also fiscal conservatives that are very hard-nosed with taxpayers’ dollars. They have a great track record from their time on the commission.

I have known Bob Fuhrman for quite a long time. Without hesitation, I can tell you, Bob Fuhrman is cut from the same piece of cloth as Greg Dunn and Peter Pfeifer. They will form a solid block when it comes to open and honest government.

One more thing. We cannot achieve this objective if we were to elect Lee Hearn. He is part of the Frady, Maxwell, Smith and Horgan group. If Hearn is elected, Maxwell and Smith will still have the third vote to continue on the current path of deceit. Also, Lee Hearn is a strong advocate of bringing MARTA buses into Fayette County. Jack Smith has stated a number of times that he supports bringing MARTA to the Southside.

We have all had our warnings. Let’s do what it takes to return to open and honest government.

Harold Bost

Fayetteville, Ga.

[Bost served as a Fayette County commissioner from 1997 to 2001, and as chairman in 1999 and 2000.]

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