Why Tyrone’s Grace Caldwell Wasn’t Re-Elected

Thu, 11/05/2009 - 2:21pm
By: TyroneConfidential

The reason is she destroyed her own voter support base. Why she did it defies logic.

Caldwell was elected to her first term as councilwoman 4 years ago with great reform expectations by her strong base of supporters. During her first two years in office, Grace’s popularity rose, reaching its zenith in 2007.

At the time Grace enjoyed the full trust and support of the business community for her support to change the destructive zoning ordinance. When repeal of the zoning became the major issue in the 2007 election, Caldwell set up a meeting of business people at C-21 Realty to outline strategy to change the ordinance. Councilwoman Gloria Furr also attended the meeting at which Caldwell declared that we all must work to elect a new mayor and 2 new council members who would vote with Caldwell & Furr to change the zoning. The President of the Tyrone Business Assoc. stated that he would deliver all his members to the effort. The plan worked and the incumbents were swept out of office.

Aside from support from businesses, Caldwell also enjoyed large support from the residential community of individuals and the Tyrone Neighborhood Alliance. During 2007, the Alliance met regularly to discuss who they would work to elect. At that point, if Grace had wanted to give up her council post and run for mayor, she would have easily won.

After the 2007 election triumph, strange changes came over Caldwell. Immediately she was no longer for changing the zoning. Just 4 months into 2008 Grace went back on her promises to the business community and voted against any zoning changes. In 2009 she voted to make a Business Sign Ordinance worse.

Suddenly she no longer seemed interested in helping citizens who helped put her in office. She became more secret in government participating in a cover-up of money taken by former employees and refusing to answer citizens letters and questions.

Over the final two years of her term Caldwell’s supporters began to talk among themselves about her betrayal. By election time in 2009, Caldwell’s once vast base, had turned against her and were actively working to get her out of office. She had lost the entire business community and the majority of residential supporters.

Seemingly oblivious to this loss, Caldwell went to some previous supporters to put up her signs; afterwards some property owners removed her signs in anger. A small group of the once powerful neighborhood alliance held a re-election tea party for Grace, but didn’t invite many of her previous hard working supporters thereby angering them.

When the votes were counted, Grace Caldwell, once the most popular people’s candidate in recent memory in Tyrone was unceremoniously removed from office by a resounding 2 – 1 margin. Defeated by Ken Matthews, an opponent who didn’t even campaign and had few actual supporters.

Why did Grace Caldwell shoot herself in the foot? Why did she alienate her winning support base? Why did she betray so many people and end her own political career in Tyrone forever?

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Submitted by boxwing on Tue, 11/10/2009 - 9:11am.

The Tyrone Business Association never endorsed a candidate nor did the Chairman ever "promise to deliver all his members" to any candidate. I know because I was the Chairman of the Tyrone Business Association at that time. We understood that we would need to work closely with whoever won the elections, so it would be counterproductive to endorse one candidate over another. In this case Tyrone Confidential you have received bad information.

Submitted by totellthetruth on Thu, 11/12/2009 - 7:57am.

And you wonder why you were never invited to a Tyrone Business Association meeting??Give me a break.......Mr. Negative about everything in life......Who would want to associate their business with you.........You are the bad news for Tyrone..........Let up, your candidate won. Now ask him to ask his cousin and fellow councilmen to repeal ordinance 454 and all of Tyrone will be celebrating in the streets.......Did it ever occur to you Mr. Tyrone Confidential-Dick Shelley that it takes three people to pass any thing on the council........No you would rather operate on lies. That is what life is all about for you. Please find a church of your choice this weekend.............

Submitted by TyroneConfidential on Thu, 11/12/2009 - 10:58am.

That take away property rights and the income of a 92 year old disabled lady, there’s going to be a fight. And that fight is going to last until all those who support those bad laws are run out of government and justice is achieved.

So far 6 Tyrone supporters of the bad laws have been removed from government service. There are 4 to go and these 4 will not survive the next election. The bad zoning laws were initiated by Barry Amos in 2003. Since few people support Barry in Tyrone, it is a mystery why the current council would want to support Barry’s bad laws.

Tyrone has been forced through a lawsuit to change the illegal use of an occupational tax as a business license to refuse businesses the right to operate. Notice that after the lawsuit was filed in July 2007, Tyrone was forced to stop issuing business licenses.

The next bad law, supported by the council and planning commission, to be struck down by the courts will be the refusal of Tyrone to acknowledge grandfathering and vested property rights. Last but not least, Tyrone’s government will have to ask its citizens to pay damages for inverse condemnation, which its council doesn’t have a clue as to what that term means. Except Eric dial, he knows what it means but has chosen to recuse himself on the issue. Sooner or later “totellthetruth” is going to be called upon in court to really tell the truth.

Submitted by TyroneConfidential on Thu, 11/12/2009 - 12:00am.

I don’t remember the guy’s name who was identified as some sort of leader of a Tyrone business organization. Ask Grace Caldwell, she brought him to the meeting. I know he worked for a Tyrone bank and I think his first name might be Mark. If he wasn’t who he said he was, it wouldn’t be the first time a Tyrone Council person has lied to me and the public.

Over the years there have been several efforts to establish a Tyrone business association that would defend business and property rights against the Tyrone government.

The issue in 2007 and today is the unconstitutional and destructive zoning ordinance on Tyrone businesses. If you were the Chairman in 2007, why weren’t you speaking out against the ordinance and why aren’t you speaking out today.

I’ve been in business in Tyrone for 14 years and I have never seen, heard or been contacted by anyone from the Tyrone Business Association. I have leased to dozens of business over the years and not one of them is familiar with the TBA. I believe that the TBA you refer to represents the Tyrone government and not the businesses. Why don’t you send out a letter to all the businesses and business property owners telling us who the TBA is and what it stands for. That’s the trouble with Tyrone. There are so many little groups that try to control Tyrone through the government to the exclusion of the majority. I assume as a member of the TBA you quite satisfied with Tyrone’s sign ordinance.

Submitted by totellthetruth on Sat, 11/07/2009 - 9:45am.

In answer to Mr. Tyrone Confidential blogs, I suggest the following nominees for the following positions:

Planning Commission Chairman-Tyrone Citizen of the Year

Town Attorney-Tyrone Confidential, IWatch,PreciousStar, Dick Shelley, TJam, and any other blog name he might have....

Town Engineer-Gordon Furr
Village Idiot- Richard 'he sells sea shells"

I believe this eliminates all the former county employees......................
Be an entity to yourself........You should be a great success.

Submitted by BRATT on Thu, 11/05/2009 - 7:55pm.

A Leopard can not change its spots.
She acted the same way she did when she was with the county.
Nobody should have been surprised and some of us weren’t.

Submitted by Chow on Fri, 11/06/2009 - 5:09pm.

What did Grace do in the County like she did in Tyrone? Most in Tyrone were surprised. Grace came riding in on a white horse promising to reform a bad government. Everyone fell for the con. You know, you people in Tyrone have got to stop taking the rest of the County’s rejects. You’ve also been stuck with PTC’s reject Barry Amos & the County's lawyer rejects.

Voice of Fayette Future's picture
Submitted by Voice of Fayett... on Fri, 11/06/2009 - 4:35pm.

Will Grace's Crooked County Cronies be swept out with her ? Sure hope so. Imagine the cost savings ! I wouldn't work over there without Kevlar.

Submitted by reagleson on Thu, 11/05/2009 - 7:52pm.

Do you know new businesses in Tyrone can only have a sign 1/5th the size of current signs. 1/2 square foot of sign for each foot of storefront. Brilliant. Before the new ordinance wall signs could be up to 40 square ft for a business with a storefront of 400 square feet or more. Now that same business can only have a 10 square foot sign. Can you imagine the Burrito Brothers sign being 80% smaller?
Great work Tyrone. You have businesses lining up to move there?

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Thu, 11/05/2009 - 8:20pm.

Most of the citizens and voters in Tyrone do not like growth. They do not like the new residents who have moved in and they certainly don't like the commercial development on the "Bypass" (Hwy. 74).

Progress does not work for the old school Tyronese. They want to live in a farming community and would probably turn Amish if they could. Next election they will see the new urbanism take over the town's leadership from the farmers.

Guns have no place in a civilized society. I learned that from Ms. Fran Shelton - a red hatter.

Submitted by Chow on Fri, 11/06/2009 - 5:12pm.

While reducing the size of signs by 80% they also in increased the sign fee by 240%. The tiny signs certainly do match the tiny governmental minds. No one except those elected to council ever promote no signage. If you ask an official, the argument is, “we don’t want Tyrone to look like Buford Hwy”. But they don’t mind Tyrone being the laughing stock of Fayette County. You can’t get much dumber than the people in Tyrone’s government. They’re going kicking & screaming into the 21st century. Businesses should avoid Tyrone.

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