Pfeifer: Chairman Smith’s ‘truth’ is example of nanny state paternalism

Tue, 07/15/2008 - 3:13pm
By: Letters to the ...

I’ve seen the recent letter from Commissioner Jack Smith “explaining the truth.” I’m not sure how many of you read through the entire letter and I don’t know how interested you are in all this.

What he says sounds pretty reasonable, doesn’t it? If you are tempted to believe his letter and you want to know more, read on. If not, then skip this whole thing.

I’m just going to refute a couple of the new items in this email, and only the short ones. For the rest, see my website at

I hope that no one believes that I have a personal animosity towards Commissioner Smith, nor any other commissioner. I just have sincere and deep disagreements with how they govern.

And, I’m sorry, as I said previously; there are a lot of “late” things coming out just before the election.

A general observation. His letter is an example of “nanny state paternalism.” You know — “We know what’s best for you,” or how about “We just need to get smarter people (or “good people”) in government who can tell you what to do.”

The personnel issue — raises and defined benefit (DB) plan: Commissioner Smith claims that the employee turnover rate had been too high, and now it is reduced.

Well, the combination of a bad economy, raises for employees and the promise of a defined benefit plan may be able to reduce a turnover rate. But at what cost to the taxpayers?

Is the goal to reduce the turnover rate to near zero or is the goal to provide services, at reasonable cost, to the taxpayer?

I know which one I choose. See more at “Peter’s Blog” – County Personnel.

Mr. Smith also spends much praise on this commission for obtaining a lower cost for our property and casualty insurance. This isn’t the first (and I hope not the last) time that something has been improved, and isn’t that what we are supposed to do?

Snead Road? Right of way acquisition was underway by the “former county attorney” when this commission fired him without thinking it through. Then, this administration just let it sit there without any action. Check the timeline, for goodness sake!

The former county administrator? They wanted to dismiss her, they said, because she did not have experience. Well, she had been serving as administrator for one-and-a-half years at that point, so she had that experience.

Then they replaced her with the current “interim administrator.” He had no experience in the job of administrator at all.

The illegal meeting(s): In his recent letter, Commissioner Smith says “supposedly illegal meeting.” When you don’t have an attorney, you can’t have a meeting with attorney/client privilege! That is what the Attorney General said and is also what is in the “Open Meetings” information. More at “Peter’s Blog” — Recent claims about the “Illegal Meetings.”

The minutes? We’ve been over and over that one. Bottom line? Either staff or “some” commissioner(s) without ANY public notice, discussion, comment or accountability, changed the process, for better or worse. Why? And, if it’s better to retain the audio recordings, why not just do that instead of making the current minutes often useless to determine what’s going on? For more, see “Peter’s Blog” — Even more about the minutes.

The reason I write letters, which predates this commission, is because I have found it a good way to communicate with the citizens of Fayette County. When I first began to serve on the commission, someone told me that I should listen to the issues, vote my conscience and explain my reasons. I try to do exactly that.

Peter Pfeifer

Fayette County Commission, Post 3

Peachtree City, Ga.

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Submitted by Vernon on Tue, 07/15/2008 - 6:38pm.

The fact have shown that employees did not receive the raises you indicate for this year. If an employee received 6%, that is for 2007,2008,2009 combined (not per year). Also there isn't a COLA this year or 2009 for employees. The county saved money because employees didn't receive a performance raise in 2007 and their raises for 2008 & 2009 were set by the study. Stop making the numbers fit your agenda. Why not resign? It would make lots of citizens & employees happy. Since you will not resign, at least shut-up.

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