Answers from Grace Caldwell (incumbent), candidate for Post 3, Tyrone

Wed, 10/28/2009 - 2:29pm

Questions for Tyrone candidates:

1. Whether an incumbent or challenger, what things do you bring to the table that would convince voters to cast their vote for you?

2. Having Tyrone maintain its rural character is something that many citizens say they want. Do you agree with that sentiment? How will the town continue having larger lots, limited commercial development and limited sewer capacity without requiring a much higher millage rate?

3. Tyrone has a recent history of factions strongly opposing each other, particularly regarding town government and growth policies. Do you see that division continuing? Why or why not?

4. Grade the current Town Council on openness and transparency to town voters. What will you do to improve the council’s “user-friendliness”?

5. Will you vote for or against the countywide SPLOST renewal? Why or why not?

6. Describe your general political philosophy, particularly regarding local government.

Answers from Grace Caldwell (incumbent), candidate for Post 3

1. I have the experience, education, and communication skills to continue to bring the Tyrone government into the 21st century through effective management of tax dollars, maintaining the infrastructure, maintaining low density, without sacrificing our original plan of keeping Tyrone’s small-town atmosphere.

2. For the past two years, I have been the council financial liaison, working closely with the finance director to insure that the town’s financial records are in compliance with federal and state regulations. We have cut expenditures so they do not exceed our revenues, made sure we have sufficient reserves, and have balanced a budget without cutting services. The Tyrone government currently has no long-term debt and no tax millage rate increase in the past four years.

3. I agree with Tyrone citizens maintaining its rural character (small-town atmosphere). I voted to change the comprehensive plan to denote one-acre minimum buildable lots in Tyrone.

Residential development requires more services of government than commercial development. I oppose using sewer for high-density residential development.

Commercial development with sewer capacity in Tyrone is designated on Highway 74/Carriage Oaks Drive area. Tyrone must attract more commercial development in order to balance our tax base. I believe a challenge for us is to attract commercial businesses that are environmentally friendly, provide employment to our citizens, bring new technologies to our area, improve quality of life, are easily accessible, and businesses our residents will patronize.

The Town of Tyrone sewer system is a private enterprise system funded solely from the users. The town of Tyrone currently paid off the sewer capital improvement project from the sewer enterprise fund. The Tyrone sewer rates are high in comparison to other municipalities and the council is looking at the possibility of lowering the sewer rates in the future.

Millage rate: I believe that we must carefully balance the commercial development with the residential development. The more services required by the electorate, the more taxes will have to be collected to offset the cost of providing those services. We have for the past four years been able to keep the millage rate the same, in fact lowered it. However, with this uncertain economy, foreclosures, bankruptcies, lower sales tax, unemployment on the rise, unfunded mandated government regulations, each day is a challenge to continue to provide the services required with revenues received.

4. The prior town government had a different vision of the definition of small-town atmosphere from the citizens. This I believe caused some bad feelings. The citizens clearly stated in the hearings to adopt our comprehensive plan that they wanted to maintain the small-town atmosphere, and it appeared the prior government presented a plan that wanted high residential development, live/work, and place government buildings in Shamrock Park. I believe the current mayor and council are making decisions based on the wishes of the majority of the citizens.

5. I believe the current town council is open and transparent to Tyrone town voters. To my knowledge, the mayor works eight hours a day in his Town Hall office, all town employees have or are receiving the necessary training/cross-training to become more knowledgeable in their job, the council is on call 24/7. The town records are for review five days a week, 8-5.

There are some decisions that must be made in executive session. Those are personnel and real estate. We have had very few executive session items.

Many citizens come to the council meetings which are held on the first and third Thursday of each month to voice their thoughts. I welcome any citizen to come before the council to express their wishes. Suggestions are welcome.

6. This is a continuation tax. I voted several months ago in support of placing the county SPLOST project on the ballot for voters to decide to vote the tax either up or down. The town of Tyrone receives 4.29 percent of SPLOST monies.

In my opinion, I believe the SPLOST monies should be used in the manner in which the SPLOST was originally intended, that being for transportation only. I believe the SPLOST should be presented as a five-year plan instead of six years. Tyrone Council voted to use the monies from SPLOST (if passed) for road improvements only.

I try to analyze all aspects of the SPLOST. I look at the local economy, assessments down, bankruptcies, foreclosures, unemployment, and loss of tax credit HTRG next year. Can the taxpayer continue to fund this tax?

If the SPLOST does not pass, the Tyrone government will have to make a decision on how to fund the road projects out of the general fund. We must make a decision on what services we can provide or not provide with limited revenues received.

I have not made up my mind on how I will personally vote on the SPLOST. I am still weighing the pros and cons and will continue to do so until the day of election.

7. I believe in less government, less taxes, the best government is the government closest to the people. Government should provide the necessary services through thoughtful, efficient use of tax dollars while operating with a balanced budget.

My philosophy is simply once elected to office, I am here to serve the people, the people are the government, the people should tell the government their wishes, not the other way around.

I believe the local government officials work very well together. We should all consider the other’s jurisdiction in regards to land use planning, etc., how a decision made in Tyrone affects not only the residents of Tyrone, but all residents of Fayette County. We must remember how we are affecting the quality of life of all citizens of Tyrone and the county.

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Submitted by TyroneConfidential on Fri, 10/30/2009 - 4:58pm.

Questions from Cal Beverly.

1. What things do you bring to the table?

Caldwell: “I have the best experience, education & communication skills”. Caldwell gives an incomplete answer by failing to tell the voters anything about her education, skills & experience.

Matthews: Explains his knowledge and experience on the planning commission and other town projects and activities. Straight to the point, Matthews appears to understand the question better than Grace Caldwell. Plus 1 for Matthews.

2. On the millage rate, rural character, sewer & commercial development.

Caldwell: Did not address the question except to say, the town hasn’t raised the millage rate in 4 years. Voters are left to wonder whether she is for or against raising the rate to maintain the rural character and limited commercial development.

Matthews: Specifically says he is for maintaining the rural character and indicates his research shows a millage rate increase is not necessary in today’s recessionary times in light of all the vacant commercial spaces. Matthews was far more coherent on this question than Caldwell. Plus 1 for Matthews.

3. Will the factions opposing each other regarding town government continue?

Caldwell: Did not answer this question at all. Apparently got confused and tried to answer question #2. Gives voters some facts on development but doesn’t tell voters what she will do except to say she’s for rural character. She’s not clear on the millage rate, but implies that to maintain town services, the rate will have to raised.

Matthews: Acknowledges Tyrone’s opposing factions, but doesn’t tell voters what he will do about it or take a stance on issues. Neither candidate answered this question. Zero score for both.

4. On government openness, transparency & what you would do to improve the council’s friendliness?

Caldwell: Blames secrecy & unfriendliness on prior town government, fails to explain or acknowledge the ongoing secret executive sessions, the cover-up of illegal vacation payments to employees or results of the GBI investigation. Has no solutions and fails badly on this question given that she was in office during all this mess and had never said a word to the public about it. Addressed Question #4 as #5, creating more confusion.

Matthews: Hits the issue squarely when he says that transparency is limited due to vagueness of answers coming from administration and issues skirted. Will seek more citizen input and participation in holding council accountable. Sounds good but tell the voters how you will go about this input. Matthews wins hands down on this issue. Matthews Plus 1.

5. Will you vote for Splost renewal, Why?

Caldwell: Addresses Question #5 as Question #6. Skirts the issue with factual info about splost but refuses to tell the voters her position on splost. Indecision all the way to voters booth. A typical politician’s ploy to keep citizens in the dark.

Matthews: Again straight to the point Matthews says he will vote against splost. Believes splost has too many loop holes. Voters have no trouble understanding Matthews position on Splost. Matthews Plus 1.

6. Describe your general political philosophy.

Caldwell: Addresses Question 6 as Question 7, which doesn’t exist. Says her philosophy is to serve the people and their wishes. Voters don’t know which wishes will be served when citizens have two different opinions.

Matthews: Says his philosophy is to work with all citizens.
Neither candidate understood this most important question. A political philosophy is an approach to government that generally applies to most issues. One’s philosophy is either liberal or conservative in varying degrees. Liberal philosophy is more government control, more spending, high taxes, larger government. All issues are solved by these methods. Conservative philosophy opts for more freedom and less government control, and living within one’s means. Issues are solved by reducing expenditures rather than raising taxes. The work ethic vs. government should give me everything. If you know a candidates philosophy then you have a good idea what approaches they will take.


Caldwell: Showed a lack of understanding of some questions and an inability to organize her answers under the format. She rambled and refused to give straight answers. She would not clearly tell voters what she would do if elected on the issues, she continually referred to the entire government as her specific work. She ignored two questions.

Matthews: Clearly answered 4 of the 6 questions leaving no question in voters’ minds as to his positions on issues. Showed more understanding of the questions, more clarity of thought and better organizational skills than Caldwell. Giving one point for each correct answer Matthews outscored Caldwell 4-0. Neither candidate understood political philosophy or what to do if an issue is disputed.


Ken Matthews looks like the most solid candidate to hold office. Of course this is an exercise in futility since very few people in Tyrone pay attention to their government and even fewer actually vote.

Submitted by totellthetruth on Fri, 10/30/2009 - 9:59pm.

here we go again. Have you no life man? Really again we have to be subjected to the rantings of a disgruntled citizen. I thought maybe your family had sought help for you...sadly I guess not.

For your own health there just let it drop. Maybe with some therapy you can get through this and make your own run for office next time around. If you go quietly to counselling no one will know. If they have to drag you out kicking and screaming you will kiss that political career goodbye before it even starts.

Let it go buddy, it is sad to see your mutiple blogging personalities come through so often. All these different names and identities for you. It must be hard to keep up.

Submitted by PreciousStahr on Fri, 10/30/2009 - 9:02am.

Caldwell on millage rate: I believe that we must carefully balance the commercial development with the residential development.

This statement is a good example of political gobbledygook. What does it mean? We the voters are left to wonder exactly how Ms. Caldwell is going to create this balance and for what purpose? Is this some magical governmental ratio of people to business? Let see, could the bureaucratic formula be P/C = B; # of people divided by # of commercial developments = balance. Is that it? Hell no! The statement is nothing but political gobbledygook. Webster’s Dictionary defines gobbledygook as: Wordy and generally unintelligible jargon.

Submitted by totellthetruth on Fri, 10/30/2009 - 9:06am.

GOBBLEDYGOOK!!! It sounds so silly...I am afraid you are craking up!

Webster’s Dictionary defines gobbledygook as: Wordy and generally unintelligible jargon.

Your posts on this blog are exactly that... GOBBLEDYGOOK!!!

Great word for SCRABBLE though! I think I will use it the next time I play.

Submitted by Shammed again on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 2:13pm.

Breaking news just in..... apparently Grace Caldwell is also uneducated and does not have a college degree so this ALSO makes her unaware of whats really going on... guess what... she is not a veteran either she just tries to suck up to them, even by taking the flags down on around Veterans Park the night before the Parade honoring the that is classy!

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 4:10pm.

heard it from another that you've been messing around...
Good song from the 80's

Submitted by Shammed again on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 12:44pm.

Hear ye! Hear ye! The news is out…Apparently, the Town mayors wife has decided to take it upon her self to slander Grace’s opponent by going door to door, saying he is uneducated and does not know what is going on. Does she realize that not everyone has a college education? Instead, he decided to join the military to defend and protect our freedom? Is she saying that Veterans are unworthy of such a position? As far as not know what is going on…does she not realize that her husband “spends 8 hours a day in his town hall office" calling “Here kitty, kitty!” and walks around feeding cats all day and REALLY does not know what is going on himself?
Just because you have a fancy education does not necessarily mean you have class.....

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 2:22pm.

Just because you have a fancy education does not necessarily mean you have class.....

That's right.

And the "classiest" people I've ever known were my grandparents who never graduated from high school.

Submitted by Margot on Wed, 10/28/2009 - 10:30pm.

This is a political satire

Vote to re-elect me Grace Caldwell for Tyrone Council. My support in passing a new sign ordinance is another accomplishment I forgot to mention. The purpose of this outstanding piece of legislation as stated in Sect 6-6-2 is to attract sources of economic development and growth as a means of communication in the town. For all you people that don’t understand legal talk; that means how Tyrone helps bring in new businesses. We help businesses by prohibiting the following signs.

1. Any sign that use movement or color to depict action.
2. Any sign over a door, entrance or window.
3. Any sign that is directed by beam of light.
4. Any sign on a bench or seat meant to be seen by the public.
5. Billboard sign.
6. Changeable copy signs.
7. Flashing signs
8. Signs that are illuminated inside a business.
9. Sign that move.
10. Any sign that depicts a scene or event of natural, social, cultural or historic significance.
11. Any pennant or streamer.
12. All portable signs.
13. Balloons used as signs.
14. Sandwich sign boards.
15. Signs on vehicles.
16. Roof signs.
17. Any sign that extends more than 6 inches from a building.

I’m proud of this sign law because it virtually guarantees that no business will be allowed to attract customers by the use of signs. If re-elected I will continue to be anti-business and unconcerned about constitutional property rights and freedom of speech.

Submitted by Shammed again on Wed, 10/28/2009 - 2:55pm.

Response 1: I am reading this correctly? Grace was the “Financial liaison”? Did she grant herself this entitlement?
Response 2: “Maintaining Tyrone’s rural character”- well “Small town atmosphere is nice” but dilapidated buildings are an eyesore. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a small town atmosphere where you could walk from store to store, stop in a coffee shop, small bookstore or a restaurant? An atmosphere that would draw wanted desirable businesses to downtown Tyrone like Highlands or other small quaint communities.
The comprehensive plan was to bring Tyrone up to date not to exploit Tyrone. We have one of the best schools in Georgia, Tyrone Elementary, but because we do not have sewer system FCBOE has considered closing it down and use it for an alternative school. Is that what Grace wants to happen, bring in the kids that are too much of an issue for regular schools to deal with?
The comprehensive plan included golf cart paths soothe citizens of Tyrone could get from place to place without using their cars. It also included a new police department for the Police to replace the old moldy one that they have to fund and fix themselves presently, new tennis courts and several other breathe taking ideas. Grace voted it down and now we have a big grassy field of weeds. Her Shamrock “plan” is panning out wonderfully, don’t you think? Too bad the focus became a political focus and not a community supported focus and leaped across the road to Triangle/ Veterans Park which she despised for years because it was a place for churches, communities and children to gather for events. She should have used all the money spent on signs to keep up with the Veterans Park instead of expecting the Town of Tyrone to care for it financially. The left over tea from the Tea Party on Sunday could also help fertilize the roses. Don’t forget the roses are a symbol for bloodshed… so, whose blood will be shed. Hopefully, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have been discovered by the citizens by now , if not, the multiple personalities of Sybil are sure to come out in the public eye soon. If not, it is because she is hiding behind her big sunglasses as she trots herself around Shamrock Park and her “little doggie” too.
Response3: “The prior town government had a different vision of the definition of small-town atmosphere.” The thing about “visions”, visions are not exact from one person to another. Translations are easily lost or easily misunderstood. Older generations visions are much different that than a younger generation. Mostly, because older generations do not want change or like change. They want people in power on their level. I am sure that the citizens did not visualize that Tyrone would have a councilwoman that would go from door to door where her opponent signs are posted and tell those individuals how uneducated he is or that he is not worthy and does not know what is going on. Does she realize that these generations relate well to people on their level, that knows what is going on in the community. They want someone that will listen and talk to them like they are human beings. They respect those that have had family here for years, not just moved here because they wanted political gain in life. The fact that Grace can not even communicate with a citizen on a day to day basis because she is so “highly educated”without looking down her pointy nose at them, judging them and treating them like they are trash…tells me, as a citizen, that I would rather have someone that is making decisions about my community because they care about my community and the citizens in my community… instead of it being about power and a popularity contest. She is known to get upset and stomp her feet when things do not go her way. She is observed that when a citizen is irritating her she is sitting in her Council Chair clicking and tapping her pen because she does not have the patience for them and letting everyone know that she is annoyed.

Response 4: “To my knowledge, the Mayor works eight hours a day in his Town Hall office”. I do not understand, to your knowledge? Grace, do you not drive by Town Hall everyday heading to Shamrock Park 2-3 times a day? Are you not up at Town Hall almost everyday going through old files and having closed door meetings with the Mayor? You either know or you do not. I am pretty sure you know because you are constantly up to town hall trying to get your one last input in before you are voted out of office.
Response 5: As usual Grace tries to keep her vote confidential and then will slam the citizens with the tax by her vote yes. She does not want you to know her vote. She realizes that Tyrone will barely receive anything from this tax and the surrounding cities will receive the majority of the funds, but since she wants Tyrone to be “unincorporated Fayette” anyways, she really doesn’t care if the citizens will have to pay to fund the other Fayette County projects because she is trying to make her way back over to the County side anyway.
Response 6: “I believe in less government, less taxes, the best government is the government closest to the people.” Grace, you should listen to your own words. It is time to bow out gracefully, but we know that will never happen. And yes, Grace , “we must remember how we are affecting the quality of life of all the citizens of Tyrone and the county.” Just remember you yourself have caused low morale with in the Town of Tyrone and its citizens. Its time for a change…. I really hate that saying, but in this case it is true!

Submitted by PreciousStahr on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 11:01am.

VOTE HER OUT. Anyone who was elected to office prior to 2009 is a product of government for the benefit of government. They are part of a bye gone era of big big government, spend, spend, spend and tell the people anything to get elected, and then do as they please.

Grace Caldwell says her philosophy is to listen to the people and serve their wishes. THAT IS VAGUE ABSURD GOBBLEDYGOOK. VOTE ALL INCUMBENTS OUT OF OFFICE.

Submitted by totellthetruth on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 1:20pm.

I have been reading your lunatic ranting blogs for the last year and you are obviously CRAZY. Listen, maybe your family should seek professional help for is actually scarey to see how you are getting ready to crash and burn. Calm down. You might have a stroke or something.

Submitted by PreciousStahr on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 5:04pm.

You’re the one who are full of gobbledegoo! Totellthetruth whoever it was you’re wanting to crash & burn, well your voodoo didn’t work you old fart. And why do you care if I’m going to have a stroke, but don’t you worry, I’m still young and my BP is 120s/70s It’s you who needs to worry, because it might happen to you with all this political crap you’re involved with. Now, you ought to change your name from totellthetruth to “IamaLiar” maybe someone will believe that you are telling the truth.

Submitted by totellthetruth on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 8:25pm.

Your star is falling from the sky...listen, people will understand when you they check you in to the whacky need to calm down. I'm not worried about your physical health it is your MENTAL HEALTH that is of concern! Tell the lil wife to put you back on the meds!
For someone that has had a recent near death experience, you really need to CHILLAX!!!!That means to chill dude and relax....that is what us young whipper snappers like to tell you old guys!!!

Submitted by PreciousStahr on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 10:43pm.

You’re really drunk and confused. Go to bed dude, in the morning you’ll be sober. But I’m sure you still are mean and ugly.

Submitted by totellthetruth on Fri, 10/30/2009 - 5:37am.

No drinking on my part. How are the meds working out?
Listen, you have no idea who I am and BTW, everyone on this blog thinks you are a nut case. What is your beef with Grace? All you do is smear her every chance you get.Wait until she wins. Lucky for you that is only a few days away, then the your family can call the guys with the white coats to come visit. I hear they have a special jacket, with long sleeves and lots of buckles for you. I think you will find it fits rather snug.
Really, maybe you should take a walk, take some deep breaths, take some valium, take a rest from these here blogs and just chill.
You are really becoming obsessed and that is quite concerning. Just chill dude...count the ain't playin' with a full deck.

Submitted by Shammed again on Fri, 10/30/2009 - 7:06am.

I believe someone other than Grace has bipolar anger issues.. hmmm maybe you and Grace can get a deal 2 for 1 psych evaluation and prescription deal. Are you guys related or twins.

Submitted by totellthetruth on Fri, 10/30/2009 - 8:59am.

I am just an observer. Not related to you or Grace. I do have qualifications that allow me some insight into your behavior. You are obsessed with some kind of slight and that helps you feel entitled to repeatedly attack Mrs. Caldwell.
It is okay to criticize people once in a while, but you are obsessed with this and that is unhealthy.
Again, I implore you or you family to seek professional help. I would be happy to provide you some names and numbers of professionals that can help you get past these obsessive compulsive behaviors.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 1:39pm.

Gobbledygook, that is word that you just don't see or hear enough.

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