Steve Brown: The failures of the school board

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With a sense of literary tragedy, the exit of John DeCotis, Ph.D., coincided with a bitter cold front, snow and the closing of our schools, an image ripe with symbolism.

Steve Brown: Times are tough — governments need to check their priorities

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When times get tough, you had better check your priorities.

When you view our economic crisis through the prism of what is truly important to our country, a lot of things can be thrown out while we should be truly fighting for others to remain.

Steve Brown: PTC schools getting shortchanged

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I am the chairman of the school council for J.C. Booth Middle School in Peachtree City. So what is a school council?

Every public school in the state is required by state law to have a school council consisting of the school principal, parents of students enrolled in the school, members of the business community, certified teachers and students.

Steve Brown: Officials should encourage input

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I was in attendance for the Jan. 21 Peachtree City Council meeting and was thoroughly pleased. It appears the new group manning the helm is quite capable of piloting our ship.

Steve Brown: More to bypass story than Citizen portrayed

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I read The Citizen article entitled, “Who needs W. F’ville Bypass?” Of course, “who” is the optimal word in that headline.

Steve Brown: Highlights of 2009

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The year 2009 gave us the nation’s first African-American president, more failing economy, healthcare legislation, and the continuation of two wars.

Steve Brown: PTC traffic about to get worse

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To be, or not to be, that is the question. Well, Mr. Shakespeare, this tragedy will certainly be.

The journey began back in the year of 2006, and a massive rumbling stirred throughout our area when a C-7 Commercial Major Shopping District rezoning application came before the Coweta County Board of Commissioners. It was Scott Seymour of Seymour Construction and Development in Peachtree City who brought this matter to bear.

Steve Brown: What 2010 will bring

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Here is what is scheduled for the political calendar in 2010.

President Obama’s poll numbers will continue to drop. Sure, his teleprompted speeches carry the same vim and vigor as the march to Washington campaign addresses, but fewer people are buying pomp, wishing for leadership and results instead.

Steve Brown: Do Christmas all year

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I do not have the traditional Christian view of Christmas. Ever since my youngest days, I have looked upon Christmas as being a sort of rah-rah session for the faith, a substitute for having to pay attention on the other 364 days, replete with colored lights and pictures with Santa Claus.

Steve Brown: GOP leaders: ‘What’s ethics?’

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Witnessing the breaking of our ethical bones, the splatter of our values and expectations, the utter hopelessness of the moment, it is difficult to tolerate the gang-like attitude of our Republican Party in Georgia.

Steve Brown: Advice to new council: Default budget position should be ‘No’

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Congratulations to Mr. Haddix, Ms. Learnard, Mr. Imker and Ms. Fleisch, and we wish you well.

Please remember after the warm glow of election victory subsides, you have a derailed train to put back on the tracks. That train needs your immediate attention.

Steve Brown: PTC owes a great debt to its 2nd mayor, Ralph Jones

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[Editor’s note: The following is an appreciation of Ralph Jones, the second mayor of Peachtree City. Jones died Nov. 24.]

Steve Brown: Plunkett’s postcard and smear tactics; Logsdon in a skirt?

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Mayoral candidate Cyndi Plunkett mailed her third campaign postcard. For the third time, she does not include a single word about any accomplishments or her voting record of the last four years. Anyone who attended the council meetings or kept up with the local news knows why.

Steve Brown: Mouth soap for Chance, Ramsey; Plunkett flees her votes

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Art Linkletter coined the phrase, “Kids say the darndest things.” To borrow from Mr. Linkletter, politicians also say the darndest things.

Steve Brown: County should shift bypass funds to cities

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Why did the Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (SPLOST) referendums in other counties pass, but not in Fayette? Ours was a vote of no confidence.

Steve Brown: Guidelines for rookie local elected officials

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This could be useful for newly elected politicians and students of political science as they will not learn this in class.

Steve Brown: SPLOST is crack cocaine for local officials

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The cat, regarding the proposed SPLOST, is officially out of the bag.

Fayette County Commissioner Lee Hearn trudged out to meet with the disgruntled constituents, trying to prevent the natives from getting more restless. As fate would have it, some of the constituents had the audacity to actually read the 2009 SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) ballot and supporting materials, a commissioner’s nightmare.

Steve Brown: Fayette County taxpayers, they are ripping you off

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People of Fayette County, I want to object to your terms of political argument. The truth will set you free, but you need to be able to identify the truth.

Steve Brown: PTC candidates and their websites: Some unanswered questions

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Let’s get specific regarding the upcoming election, starting with community participation on issues of importance.

Historically, Cyndi Plunkett has been involved in the community and was on the Peachtree City Recreation Commission prior to her council service.

Steve Brown: Candidates, skip the fluff and get to the specifics

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It happens every year: emails and phone calls asking for my advice on whom to vote for in the upcoming election. I do not mind the queries, but it really is an indication that people are not keeping up with local current events.

Steve Brown: Local volunteers: Politics just never seems to intrude

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There we were, my daughter at my side, sitting in the pickup truck at 7:30 a.m., watching the rain come down. It was the Dog Park Work Day on Saturday when we stain the gazebos, clear the weeds from the fence, trim the tree limbs and any other thing that needs doing.

Steve Brown: Common sense in short supply on school board, PTC Council

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The French philosopher and author Voltaire was exactly right when he said, “Common sense is not so common.” He also said, “Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”

Steve Brown: Send your well wishes to Lt. Berschinski at Walter Reed

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If you woke up this morning healthy and of sound mind, thankful for your beautiful family, grateful that you live in the greatest nation in the world, I would like to ask a favor of you.

Steve Brown: Let’s recognize the original genius responsible for PTC

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There were certain issues in the past, whenever they arose, when I just kept my thoughts to myself and kept going.

As an elected official who was vocal on land use and transportation issues, I was often called to speak to various groups regarding those subjects. But before speaking, I would sometimes be introduced as the mayor of a city created under a master plan, never veering from it, maintaining the original vision from start to present. It was not true.

Steve Brown: Recognize your teen’s problems

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We always like to think that “our child” will always behave well, follow school rules and obey the law. However, every year a whole host of students manage to wind up in trouble at school or violating the law.

Steve Brown: Chairman’s bypass for developers

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I was amazed at how many people were shocked to discover Fayette County Commission Chairman Jack Smith was on the board of directors for the Bank of Georgia (owned by Georgia Bancshares, Inc.).

Steve Brown: Broken promises hurt our seniors

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It’s time to face the truth. Our local community falls short on caring for our elders.

Some of our senior citizens, widows and those on fixed incomes, are the casualties of local government policies and apathy.

Steve Brown: Gov. Sonny, then and now

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The Honorable George “Sonny” Perdue III is closing in on the end of his term-limited tenure as governor, elected in 2002, being the first Republican to hold the office since 1868.

Steve Brown: Check what they want SPLOST for

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Beloved citizens of Fayette County, beware of the shady bargain called Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

Steve Brown: Government never seems to learn

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I was reading the newspaper regarding the county commissioners receiving a full-time benefits package, the mayor in Peachtree City wanting more deficit budgeting and the arrogance of local government leaders looking at proposing another Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (a.k.a. “significant tax increase”) when they cannot justify the West Fayetteville Bypass they are building now.

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