Councilman accuses County Commission of ‘grandstanding’

Mon, 07/24/2006 - 9:25am
By: John Thompson

Tyrone finally received funds for recreation from Fayette County, but the timing of the award has two City Councilman up in arms.

Fayette County Commission Chairman Greg Dunn, along with fellow commissioners Linda Wells and Peter Pfeifer attended Thursday’s Town Council meeting to present the town with $18,000 to be used for the town’s recreation needs.

The funds were approved by the County Commission Wednesday, but not before Commissioner Herb Frady wanted to provide more money to the town. Frady suggested the county fund Tyrone on a similar per capita basis that it uses with recreation funding to Peachtree City. Frady’s figure was just over $26,000, but his motion failed. Dunn, Wells and Pfeifer agreed on the $18,000 figure and the motion passed.

On Thursday evening, Dunn appeared before the Town Council with a contract and check in his hand.

“This is the beginning of a relationship. When your recreation budget increases, we’ll take a look at it again,’ he said.

Dunn said the three commissioners appeared because they had “frustrated” efforts in the past to provide the town with recreation funding. But after seeing the town’s commitment to recreation, the County Commission decided the timing was right to start funding.

“Are you going to provide us funding for the last four years when we’ve received nothing from you?” wondered Councilman Paul Letourneau.

Dunn added the commission was not looking backward, but forward in starting the relationship with the town.

After the meeting, Letourneau was suspicious of the funding approval.

“This is the most blatant example of political grandstanding I’ve ever seen,” said Letourneau. “We’ve put $1.4 million in recreation in four years, and received nothing from them.

Councilman Mike Smola said he appreciated the money, but questioned the timing.

“This wasn’t in their original budget and they had to do a budget amendment two weeks before the election,” he said.

Smola said the county’s funding amounts to 75 cents for each resident for the last four years.

“That’s simply not enough.”

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