Watch for conflicts of interest with 3

Tue, 10/27/2009 - 3:40pm
By: Letters to the ...

Many years ago, there was a game show on television called Truth or Consequences. To the best of my recollection, the contestants had to truthfully answer prickly questions or suffer some sort of embarrassment, like a pie in the face. Today, I believe the current Fayetteville City election is much the same, i.e., we need the truth or we will suffer the consequences.

The truth is Mr. Edwards and Mr. Oddo hold significant property in the city and if Mr. Oddo, Mr. Edwards and Ms. Hawkins are elected, they will hold a majority of the council votes.

I am similarly concerned that Mr. Edwards and Ms. Hawkins are family members. Nepotism is never good. Given that none of the three candidates has taken a position against high-density development, I just see too much opportunity here for their personal gain and our community’s loss if they are elected. Watch out for that pie!

In Mr. Edwards’ campaign flyers, I have read his scare tactics about quality and quantity of police protection in the city. The truth is, we should all be proud of our city Police Department. It has become nationally recognized and certificated for quality and leadership.

Both Larry Dell and Walt White have been big supporters of our police and fire departments. They have been instrumental in creating these nationally recognized, top notch public safety departments.

Finally, when Mr. Oddo wrote in his recent letter to the editor that he wants “to improve the sign ordinance to benefit citizens, consumers and businesses,” I immediately ducked for fear of flying pie!

When Mr. Oddo requested to be annexed into the City 11 years ago, he did so to sell some of his property for the Kroger South development. Thanks to our Planning and Zoning Commission and a top notch development company, we were able to ensure the project was in keeping with our land use plan.

I believe the Kroger South project to be a fine example of quality retail development. But, at the time of the project, I recall Mr. Oddo had an affinity for high-density development and large road signs. Maybe he has changed.

I do know that Larry Dell and Walt White have held the line against dense developments and have voted for strong sign ordinances that will require signage to be in keeping with our community standards.

So, I will be voting for Larry Dell, Walt White and newcomer William Dick. The consequences in this election will be significantly more important than a pie in the face. Please join me.

Mike Wheat

Fayetteville, Ga.

[Wheat is a former mayor of Fayetteville.]

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Tug13's picture
Submitted by Tug13 on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 9:57am.

I was sitting here thinking maybe you would like one of my favorite quotes.
"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." Mark Twain

Citizens of Fayetteville I hope you will take the time to go out and vote today. My vote was cast for Mr. Oddo, Mickey Edwards and Ms. Hawkins. All three are class acts. They have been attacked by the good old boy crowd and have showed what the word "class" truly means.

Tug Smiling

Submitted by Davids mom on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:26pm.

After living here for six years, and doing some investigating on my own, I have decided to cast my vote for Mr. Oddo, Mickey Edwards, and Ms. Hawkins. I had an opportunity to meet Mr. Dell one Saturday - and was not impressed. I have also encouraged the members of my family to vote the same. Fayetteville is a wonderful city - and I feel that these three candidates will listen to the citizens; keep an open mind; and work for the continued improvement of business opportunities in Fayetteville. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EVERY CITIZEN TO VOTE -regardless of whom they vote for. I hope we have a larger turnout than expected.

pcocpa's picture
Submitted by pcocpa on Fri, 10/30/2009 - 1:35pm.

First, let me thank former Mayor Wheat for endorsing my proposal to return to the 1999 sign ordinance. (See explanation below.) However, if I was Ronald Reagan I would be saying “there he goes again.” It is election time and Mr. Wheat seems to believe it necessary to once again present the citizens with misconceptions about Paul Oddo as he did in his letter to the Citizen. (By the way, this is the same Mayor Wheat under whose watch the Pavilion was born.) So, for those who know me and for those who don’t, once again I will set the record straight.

The first charge by Mr. Wheat is that Mr. Oddo holds significant property in Fayetteville. OK. What of it? My family has roots in Fayetteville. We apparently have much deeper roots than Mr. Wheat’s. Some have deeper roots than the Oddos.

So what? Under Mr. Wheat’s logic the most qualified person to hold office in Fayetteville would be homeless.

Mr. Wheat also throws out the charge of nepotism. And while this charge is leveled against others running for office, I think it is important to point out Mr. Wheat’s misuse of the term. (Others who support the incumbents also are misusing the word “nepotism” as it seems to have become the buzzword of the incumbency.) The definition of “nepotism” is “favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (as by giving them jobs).” OK. Just how does a popular election result in one candidate granting a job to another candidate? If that is the case, it can also be made against other incumbents who are sheparding around a “close friend” who they want in office.

The third charge is that I requested to be annexed 11 years ago to sell some of my property to Kroger. That is less than a half truth (maybe it’s a 1/5 truth) because I never owned the land that was sold to Kroger. And the only reason the land was annexed (after the City had reneged on its agreement to provide sewer to the property even though it was not in the City) was because the Kroger Company preferred to be on sewer. However, Kroger was prepared to build in the county on a septic system after Mr. Wheat could not convince Kroger to abandon the Oddo property in favor of property, “coincidentally,” owned by his friends (see “nepotism” above.)

And, by the way, it was the Oddo family and the developer who made the project first class. If it were up to the City, the Kroger development would never have been. After unsuccessfully trying to deep-six the project on the Oddo property, the City realized they would lose the property taxes if Kroger went ahead and built in the county. So they reversed their original decision to deny annexation and sewer and they “jumped on the train before it left them behind at the station.” But it was the Oddos who wanted a first class project. The City came along for the ride.

And while we are on annexation, there is still one caveat. And that is Mr. Wheat and his protégés at the time demanded that the Oddos allow their entire property to be annexed or else the City would not annex any of the land for the shopping center. So, to help Kroger, and to help make a better project, the Oddos agreed to the City’s demand and we let them annex us. Let’s get it clear. Mr. Wheat and his protégés came after the Paul Oddo Sr. family property, not the other way around.

And as to signs, OK, we have a difference of opinion. But the fact is, I support common sense sign ordinances. And although Mr. Wheat and I disagree on many things, by way of his letter to The Citizen he does agree that the Kroger on the south side is top notch. Therefore, I welcome Mr. Wheat’s endorsement, albeit somewhat backhanded, of my plan to return the sign ordinance to that which existed in 1999 when the Kroger shopping center opened and Mr. Wheat was Mayor.

Finally, as to the “pie” on Truth or Consequences, the TV show, I had to check, but what I found was “if the contestant could not complete the "Truth" portion, there would be "Consequences," usually a zany and embarrassing stunt. From the start, most contestants preferred to answer the question wrong in order to perform the stunt.” So, once again I have to set the record straight. But that’s OK.

Oh yes, one more thing. Did you know that when the long-term incumbents leave office they will get a raise? That’s because these public servants who tell you that they, unlike me, have nothing invested in Fayetteville except their own house and who run for office only to serve you will have served themselves to a lifetime pension which, because of their length of service, amounts to nearly $1,000 per month per incumbent. So since my motives for running have been repeatedly questioned publically by former Mayor Wheat and others, you have to ask youself, just who is running to serve who?

To quote another famous Paul, Paul Harvey, “now you know the rest of the story.”

Paul C. Oddo, Jr.
City Council Member
Fayetteville, Georgia

CPA, President
Oddo Brothers, CPAs,
P.O. Box 68, Fayetteville, GA 30214

pcocpa's picture
Submitted by pcocpa on Sun, 11/01/2009 - 7:23pm.

Election Politics. Power. Lies. Half-truths. Misconceptions. You’d think we were in Washington, but this is Fayetteville. This election has seen an unending open spigot of negative campaigning, much of it aimed at Paul C. Oddo, Jr. Sadly, the latest once again comes from a former mayor. We see politics like this on the national stage every day. The tragedy is that our fellow citizens have seen fit to inject this nastiness locally and bring Washington style politics to Fayetteville. This time, a former elected official has seen fit to jump in and throw mud.

For the record, Paul Oddo has served the citizens of this city faithfully and admirably. He has tendered the utmost respect to all those citizens who have come before the council body. He has diligently weighed the needs of the citizens and the city and has AT ALL TIMES based his decisions on facts and fairness. He has worked above board and in public view and has comported himself with the professionalism the office of councilman, and the citizens deserve.

The same cannot be said of former mayor, Mike Wheat, who in a recent letter to the editor asserted Paul Oddo of being . . . . (drumroll please . . .) a Landowner!, and consequently, accused Mr. Oddo of using and intending to use his office for personal gain thereby making himself unfit for office. It’s sad, but apparently unable to find fault with Mr. Oddo’s fine record of service to the citizens, Mr. Wheat resorted to “what if’s” to demean him personally. There is neither a place nor a reason for Mr. Wheat’s conduct.

Mr. Oddo issued a fine reply properly putting former Mayor Wheat’s letter in perspective. However, I wish to present some additional thoughts I believe the public will find eye-opening.

Here are some facts. First, Paul Oddo is not THE landowner as Mr. Wheat stated in his letter. Anyone who wished to know the truth could easily verify this fact. As a politician, Mike Wheat is at minimum aware of back door political machinations, and he understands the effect of “misstatements” at critical moments in campaigns. Mr. Wheat knows all he need do to prove his assertion is show the voters the public records indicating Paul C. Oddo, Jr., to be the owner of the property as Mr. Wheat claimed. I’d wager to say Mr. Wheat could put his hands on those documents blindfolded, if they existed. But, either it didn’t occur to Mr. Wheat to verify his assertion first, or a misstatement at this critical juncture suited his purposes better. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he just simply didn’t check his facts before opening his mouth and filling it with his foot. After all, would the former mayor of Fayetteville really resort to misstatement of the facts for, perhaps, to quote from the Mayor’s letter, personal gain?

Second, here is an item former Mayor Wheat perhaps found so insignificant he simply didn’t think to include it in his letter. When the property of the Oddo Family (that would be the same property Mr. Wheat wrongly implied as being owned by Paul Oddo) came to the council for rezoning during his first term as Councilman, Paul recused himself from the deliberations. He refrained from discussing the project with other members of the city government. He accepted the decision with grace when his fellow Councilmen voted the project down.

It seems to me that Mr. Wheat should congratulate Mr. Oddo for his ethical conduct, and hold him up as an example of good government at its best, rather than denigrate Mr. Oddo with baseless charges.

Third, when did owning land in the United States of America become a contemptible sin? When did we come to believe that success disqualifies every citizen landowner from ever holding public office or the public trust? Thank God, 233 years ago we didn’t have a Mike Wheat running around screaming George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were unfit to hold public office because they were . . . . Landowners!

I would also like to elaborate just a bit on some additional “misstatements” of the truth issued by the former mayor.

“MISSTATEMENT:” Mr. Wheat essentially took credit for the city, and by extension, himself, for the creation of the Kroger shopping center on the south side of Fayetteville.
TRUTH: The city fought the Oddo Family tooth and nail to prevent the construction of this development on Paul Oddo Sr’s property.

“MISSTATEMENT:” Mr. Wheat stated that Paul C. Oddo, Jr., was the owner of the property on which was built the Kroger shopping center.
TRUTH: That property was owned by Mr. Oddo’s father, Paul C. Oddo, Sr. (Mayor Wheat, FYI, that would be Paul’s dad. They’re two different people in case you forgot.)

“MISSTATEMENT:” Mr. Wheat stated that Paul C. Oddo, Jr., petitioned for annexation of his property into Fayetteville in order to sell his land for the Kroger shopping center.
TRUTH: Paul C. Oddo, Sr., had already sold his property. It was already a done deal with Kroger to be built in the county. Annexation was not necessary. For more details, take a look at Paul Oddo’s reply to Mr. Wheat. But suffice it to say, Mayor Wheat and some, not all, on the City Council opposed the Kroger project until they realized it was going forward without them. (As a note, former Councilman Glen Brewer treated the Oddo Family fairly during the entire process.)
TRUTH: Mr. Oddo, Sr., to accommodate the preferences of Kroger, agreed to seek annexation, but for only that part of HIS property necessary for the development. However, Mr. Wheat et al, insisted that Mr. Oddo, Sr., annex ALL of the Oddo property, approximately 70 acres more than necessary. Curiously, had Mr. Wheat et al, not insisted on total annexation, the remaining property would have remained in the county where the land use plan requires lower density than the city allows.

I have never objected to educating the voting public on the record of any politician. The more information, the better to make an informed choice. Win or lose, an honest politican has nothing to fear from his voting record being made public, so long as the facts are truthful. To me, that is educational campaigning, not negative campaigning. But the travesty here is that Mike Wheat is engaging in truly negative campaigning in all its ugliness. Mike Wheat may have a preference for another candidate, but he needs to leave the untruths and innuendos in the dump where they belong.

So that the reader knows, this writer has first-hand knowledge of the events written about, and has no desire to stand by idly while the former mayor “misstates” the facts. I, too, am Paul C. Oddo, Sr.’s son. I am Paul’s brother. I am Charles Oddo, and with Warren and our mother, Genevieve, we are the Oddo Family that, with the help of a very fine developer, succeeded in bringing Towne Center to the south side of Fayetteville, instead of another corner gas station which we had ample opportunity to do.

So to paraphrase Mr. Wheat’s cute reference to Truth or Consequences in his letter, I would say, “Watch out for WHO is throwing that pie.” It’s not coming from Paul Oddo. Yes, Mr. Wheat, as you wrote, the consequences of this election are significantly more important than pie in the face. My question to you . . . just where do integrity and telling the truth fall in your lexicon of consequences?

Judge Paul C. Oddo, Jr., on how he has performed his duties as Fayetteville City Councilman – on the facts, not on hearsay. The great mantra today is Transparency in Government. With Paul, that’s exactly what the citizens of Fayetteville have. Please vote for my brother to allow him the privilege of being our representative on the City Council for four more years.


Charles W. Oddo

pcocpa's picture
Submitted by pcocpa on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 12:17am.

Paul and Chuck, great job of replying to former Mayor Mike Wheat’s letter.

I believe candidates endorsed by Mike Wheat are using the word “integrity” in their advertising. Integrity runs 24/7. Integrity does not take time off. Integrity should NOT be delayed. Integrity means refusing to accept tainted votes.

For integrity to mean anything, the endorsed candidates should issue statements disavowing themselves from Mike Wheat’s letter BEFORE the election.

It’s still difficult to believe that former Mayor Mike Wheat would hijack credit for the Kroger development from the late Paul Oddo Sr.

Mike Wheat, did you think the Oddos would not defend their father and family?

Mike Wheat, you gave credit to the P&Z commission and a top-notch development company for the Kroger development. Unless I’m totally mistaken, there was only one development company involved, and that is the one Paul Oddo Sr. brought to the table.

Mike Wheat, you then implied Paul Oddo Jr. wanted some kind of high-density development with large signs. Where did that come from?

Paul, thanks for letting the Citizens know about the pension plan. That is an election issue that should be discussed. As a voter, I want to know more.

In any event, Paul, you’re doing a great job representing the Citizens of Fayetteville with your excellent work. Thanks for demonstrating ethics and INTEGRITY in your work. I pray the Citizens of Fayetteville will re-elect you. We need more members like you.

The more members like you, the sooner Fayetteville can take its City Council back!! It belongs to the people!

Warren Oddo, CPA

Submitted by 30yrFville on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:39pm.

If my memory serves me...the development company was Retail Planning represented by a guy name Heard. That company had previously done business in the City. So much for Oddo bringing him to Fayetteville.

The current counil will get pensions as will Paul Oddo, Ferrol Sams, Ann Mitchell and on and what!

Submitted by wao-cpa on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:11pm.

Dear 30yrFville - thanks for your reply.

The number of times the development company did business in Fayetteville was NOT expressed in my letter, as it was not relevant to the point I was making.

My point was that former Mayor Mike Wheat hijacked credit for the KROGER DEVELOPMENT on the South end of Fayetteville.

I respectfully request that you please reread his letter and I think you will agree. The letter was insulting to the Oddo family.

A former Mayor should know better than to misrepresent or make up facts.

Thanks again for your reply.


Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Sun, 11/01/2009 - 9:28pm.

The letter should have listed Wheat as the former Democratic Mayor of Fayetteville.

Charles, you should have written a letter to Cal Beverly.

Vote Republican

Tug13's picture
Submitted by Tug13 on Sat, 10/31/2009 - 9:27am.

Thank you for your honesty and integrity. I know many people who voted early and cast their vote for you.

Tug Smiling

Tug13's picture
Submitted by Tug13 on Wed, 10/28/2009 - 9:01am.

Many years ago (over 20 I believe)Walt White and Larry Dell were elected to serve on the council. Things have really gone down hill. New empty buildings, small businesses leaving the city.

Embarrassment? Pie in the face? lol The truth is Walt White, Larry Dell, and Ken Steele are famous for their cronyism. Walt White and Ken Steele are neighbors. Check their voting record and you will see they all vote the same. Cronyism is never good.

I have seen Mr. Edwards campaign flyers. He plainly states his full support for the police department, and he will also try to find new ways to help them more. I don't have blinders on, crime is a big issue in Fayetteville and the police department needs all the help they can get.

Mr. Oddo is a fine councilman who shows respect to each person who goes before the council. I have been there as a witness when he has been ignored by the Mayor and other council members.

I do agree with you Mr. Wheat. The citizens absolutely need to know the truth. The truth about cronyism.

Watch out for that pie. Smiling


The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. Samuel Johnson

Submitted by Dixieboy on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 10:33am.

Cronyism? Please! What about Mickey recruiting and financing his sister in law to run for the council? I have many problems with Paul Oddo, not the least of which he is probably the most immature person of his age to ever serve as an elected official in Fayette County. (with the notable exception of Charlie Mask) He knows he can't get any of his rezonings passed with the current council, but if he can get reelected and get Mickey and Patty elected, he will have a 3-2 majority and get whatever he wants passed. I wonder why Mickey and Patty could not spend their money locally, but felt they had to go to a Lawrenceville, Ga. "communications company" to get their signs made and filings made (incorrectly!)
Could your rantings have anything to do with the council not agreeing to buy a house at an inflated price in a flood plane? Something ain't right here!
As for lying, Paul and his brother are well know for stretching the truth! Just look at the hearings records back when they were asking for rezonings for their properties on Hwy 85 that were denied because they were asking for high density zonings that were not compatible with our land use plan.

Submitted by Bud Man on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 11:52am.

Your name says it all. "Dixieboy" If that doesn't have "good 'ole boy" written all over it, I don't know what does. That's what's wrong with Fayetteville now, good 'ole boy politics: You do for me, I'll do for scratch my back...well, you get the picture. That's why we need to get Larry Dell and Walt White out of office ASAP. I'm sick of the good 'ole boy attitude. It sounds to me like Larry and Walt are scared that they might lose the election and in the process lose some of their taxpayer funded pensions. I'm a lifelong Fayette County citizen and have lived in Fayetteville for the last 12 years. I have personally met all of the current council members and Mayor Steele and I cannot for the life of me figure out how you can say that Paul Oddo is immature. I've sat in on council meetings and have seen Walt and Ken Steele talk down to citizens as if they are lower class. I was shocked and appalled by this behavior. And it didn't happen once or twice. I've seen it several times. It amazes me that people like this can serve public office much less earn a taxpayer funded pensions! I tell you, if these people continue to sit on the council and Ken Steele continues to run for mayor UNAPPOSED, I'm leaving Fayetteville. I'll take my tax dollars somewhere else where it’s appreciated.


Submitted by Dixieboy on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 12:19pm.

My name does say a lot about me. It says I am a proud son of the South. You will get no apologies from me on that. What does your name say!? That the most descriptive name you wanted to identify yourself with was "Bud Man"? HaHaHa! Maybe you would feel more comfortable moving to Clayton County. My folks still live over there and it is getting Bad! I still love Fayette County and especially Fayetteville, Brooks, and Tyrone.
If you don't understand why I think Paul Oddo is immature, maybe you need to spend some time with him when he is not putting on a front in council meetings. I can never forget the photo I have of Paul standing in front of his antique pinkish Cadillac convertible, with a huge cowboy hat, oversized cowboy boots, and a silly pair of fairly short shorts that were too tight! HaHaHa!

Tiger Dad's picture
Submitted by Tiger Dad on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 12:11pm.

From your rantings, you must be one of the scared incumbents Larry Dell or Walt White. Are you afraid you might lose a few dollars on that pension? I too have seen you guys in action at a couple of meetings. It's like watching an episode of Andy Griffith, except not funny. I sense a lot of hostility in you, understandably I guess since you stand to lose some control of Fayetteville (and some of that prized pension!). Paul Oddo is a very nice, well respected and honest individual. He has the best interest of the citizens of Fayetteville in mind and not any personal agendas like you (Larry or Walt). I feel the same about Mickey Edwards and Patty Hawkins too. They are both very down to earth people that want to make Fayetteville a better place to live. MY vote has already been cast and I can promise you, it was not for you Larry/Walt or Dick...

Submitted by Dixieboy on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 12:25pm.

Thanks for the compliment, but you really don't have a clue! (But then, you seldom do, do you?) If Patti and Mickey win, your words will come back to haunt you. I am proud of my friendship with Larry and Walt. Why are you so worried about their pension? Would you want to take it away from them? Weird reasoning!

Tiger Dad's picture
Submitted by Tiger Dad on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 12:38pm.

Uh...that wasn't a compliment but whatever...I'd hate to be compared to either one of those guys. As far as pensions go...I have no problem with someone EARNING a pension. Key word = EARNING. The only reason you (Larry/Walt) want to remain on the council is to pad that pension. You don't deserve it. You haven't earned it. Period. Name one positive aspect or area of improvement you have brought to the city of Fayetteville in your years of "service". Just one...

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 12:59pm.

I have no dog in that fight, but it sure looks to me like Fayetteville has their financial house in order much better than the other Fayette municipalities so I don't get the obsession over whether some councilmembers are getting a pension for their service or not. It appears they have done a MUCH better job than their counterparts in other cities when it comes to fiscal responsibility. You want to talk millage rate? They have the lowest and no one else is close and they are also maintaining it despite the economy and no one is howling about the measures they took to keep the city running.

It would be great if the only problem with elected officials was how much pension they were getting. Yeah, things could always be "better" or "improved," but attacking people simply because the job also pays out in a pension is lame.

Tiger Dad's picture
Submitted by Tiger Dad on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:57pm.

See that's the problem. Current incumbents that have "served" many years on the council are more concerned about their pensions than serving the citizens of Fayetteville. I don't know if you've visited our city recently, but can you actually compare the quality of life here to that of Peachtree City, Tyrone, Brooks or even Woolsey and Inman? No, you can't. We have more than our share of empty retail space, crime is on the increase, traffic is a nightmare most days and the pavilion is nothing more than a crime magnet. I sit in my house at night and constantly hear police sirens blaring. It's like living in the inner city. By the way, I'm not "attacking" anyone. If you have read the thread, I'm actually defending someone being attacked by this Dixieboy (aka Larry Dell/Walt White). And it's not about the pension they will draw. It's about the quality of MY community. Let me ask you this: Since you apparently don't live in Fayetteville, are you willing to move here? What is it about Fayetteville that appeals to you and would want you to bring your family here and maintain a home? I'm really curious as to your answer...

Tug13's picture
Submitted by Tug13 on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 11:09am.

My home is not in a plane, it's a modest house on the ground. (dry ground except for all the rain) My home has never been for sale at any price. ??? I don't intend to move, I hope to spend the years I have left in my famly home.

Seems like you are the one ranting. Maybe you would like to read another one of my favorite quotes.

"If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way." Mark Twain

Hope you calm down and have a wonderful day. I've got to get busy, lots of things to do today.

Tug Smiling

Submitted by Dixieboy on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 12:31pm.

I just asked; someone else suggested that about the house, and I just wanted to know. Maybe you have another diferent ax to grind.

Seems like you must want to learn things the hard way...holding a cat by the tail does not seem like an intellegent thing to do....but you do what you want to......let us know if you learn something you did not expect.....

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