Our opinion of Columbia County politics is not favorable and we suspect that you know as much. But after reading the June 2nd edition of Metro Spirit, specifically pages 9 and 10, specifically, “The Youngest Guy in the Room”, the Columbia County District 2 Commissioner Trey Allen piece, that column dotted the i, crossed the t…
Speaking of the Republican party, Allen is quoted as saying, “My belief is that the party is supposed to be the support group for the candidates and the elected officials who represent them.” While we see his point, we believe that that’s the problem; support “the candidates and the elected officials who represent them.” Support must be earned, and just because someone is elected as a Republican, it by no stretch of the imagination makes him/her entitled to die-hard unwavering support from us. How about the elected officials supporting the people who put them in office? How about low spending? How about responsible spending? How about honest government? How about listening to and obeying the people? What do we mean? Glad you asked, we’d love to explain:
- Columbia County Republican primary 2010 – more than 80% of the voters want term limits for county commissioners. Our Republican county commissioners and our Republican state legislators refuse to act on the matter. Where’s the people’s support?
- The people voted against the building of a swimming pool. The county disregarded the people’s vote and basically said, “The hell with you. We’re gonna build it anyway.” Where’s the people’s support?
- The county forged ahead and spent $2,000,000 to build a Georgia Highway Patrol station. That’s Georgia’s responsibility, yet this county, for reasons that we speculate amongst each other, irresponsibly spent…again. Where’s the people’s support?
- The county built another Georgia agency building in the form of digs for the State Health Department. Sure, it was a SPLOST measure…BUT, why would the county commission even put such a thing on the ballot and why hide it in there? We’re already $170,000,000+ in debt and it’s a state responsibility anyway! Hello McFly!
- State Representative Ben Harbin crashed his car into a pole while under the influence of alcohol and under suspicious circumstances. He never spoke with the people about the matter. He did send a lame mass mailing to his constituents in which he blamed his lawyers for the handling of the matter or some such thing. He received numerous examples of what many would consider special treatment, and the hearing kept getting postponed until after the Republican primary. Speaking of, he wouldn’t have had a primary opponent if he had acted responsibly after the wreck and acted somewhat as a public servant, or so his opponent said. So Harbin spent approximately $120,000 campaigning to keep a position that pays $17,000 a year. Where’s the people’s support?
We could continue, but we believe that you get the message. Allen is also quoted as saying, “…the anonymity of attacks and complaints bothers me. I respect people’s right to disagree, but I would like the opportunity to discuss it with you and find out what’s bothering you and who you are that’s being bothered. It’s hard to defend yourself against shadows.” We think that he’s referring to us, but we cannot be sure. To that quote we say, so what? Did we publish something that was not the complete truth? If Allen was speaking of us, we made ourselves clear, and he is free to act on our concerns. Funny…the Metro Spirit article on Allen…NO AUTHOR’S NAME. It’s hard to comment on shadows. No. It’s not. It was published and distributed, and we commented on it. Allen can do the same…he just chooses not to.
For as much publicity Richmond County’s “government” receives, and rightfully so, Columbia County’s is just as bad. What do we mean? Glad you asked, we’d love to explain:
- The Superior Court of Columbia County, Civil Action File No.: 2009CV0940 filed May 28, 2009, is regarding District 2 Commissioner Trey Allen and his business, Allen Express, LLC. It was alleged that he never paid rent ($4,500 monthly) for his toy store’s space to Academy Center, LLC, d/b/a Academy Marketplace (click here to see who owns it…are you beginning to see a pattern in Columbia County?). Academy alleged that Allen was to receive “rent abatement” if he could not move in on the agreed upon date which was April 1, 2007. He didn’t and was given basically free rent, Allegedly, he was to begin paying rent on October 26, 2007, and, allegedly, Academy shelled out $28,500 to Allen “to cover Allen Express’ build-out of the Demised Premises”. The claim states, “Base rent from October 26, 2007 through April 1, 2009 is $81,870.96 together with the late charges equal to 5% of the base rent due and payable by Allen Express…” Allegedly, Allen paid nothing and allegedly this matter was settled out of court. Allen was a commissioner at the time this suit was filed. Why would Barry Paschal refuse to report that a commissioner is being sued for non-payment of rent on his business? Remember, Paschal wrote that then-District 4 Commissioner candidate Vernon Thomas lacked business skills needed to oversee large sums of money that commissioners must budget. Well Barry, Vernon knows that you pay the rent! Again, Paschal refuses to report relevant news. Trey Allen is a Republican, so we are to be his support group?
- Scott Dean (R-Harlem) was District 4’s Commissioner and Ron Cross ally/gopher. In fact, at Dean’s swearing-in, he pulled up Cross’ pant leg to show those in attendance that he was wearing no socks which is according to a number of people who were present. Dean resigned after a criminal indictment. WGAC’s Scott Hudson (not someone from the News Times) reported in June/July 2010 that Dean was texting a Columbia County employee 900 times in one month and that the content was, oh, not work related. You all remember.
- After Dean’s texting was made known, Columbia County School Board member Mike Sleeper (R-Evans) remained his Campaign Manager through the 2010 Republican primary. Why would a School Board trustee stay associated with Dean? Right before the 2010 Republican primary, the Columbia County Commission voted to give county employees a raise.
- After the primary, Sleeper left his post as manager and was replaced by the Vice President of the Columbia County Young Republicans who, incidentally, became Dean’s spokesperson after his resignation.
- District 1 Commissioner Ron Thigpen (R-West Lake with dredged pond) is some big boss with Georgia Bank and Trust, which, has a very bad rating despite Columbia County’s water bill payments being deposited with…guess. More, much more on him in future pieces.
- Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross (R-we don’t know because he has no home in his name) has taken not one but two companies to bankruptcy. Much much much more on him and his activities in future pieces.
- Chief Magistrate Judge Bobby Christine (R-Evans) violated Georgia’s Judicial Code of Conduct by publicly endorsing Ron Cross and for being Ben Harbin’s Campaign Committee Chairman. Barry Paschal and Donnie Fetter refuse to report that. Why? Juvenile Judge Willie Saunders is Harbin’s Treasurer, which is a violation as well.
- Columbia County Planning and Zoning person Jim Cox was appointed by Ron Cross after the commissioners ousted someone. Jim Cox’s company runs Cross’ and Harbin’s campaigns, and, Cox allegedly helped now-convicted felon and former State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko funnel some money in exchange for her media contract to buy campaign ads.
In a short course, that’s Columbia County government, a government dominated by Republicans. County Republican Chairman Brian Slowinski ordered his Executive Committee to not speak ill of Cross or any Republican. And we explained a few minutes ago what Trey Allen thinks. Is it any surprise that not too long ago a black Democrat lost to a white Republican, the establishment’s candidate, by 23 votes? But, the local Republican leadership wants for mouths to be shut and allegiance be given to elected Republicans. Pretty soon, the Democrats will start winning a few local races and the GOP will have themselves and only themselves to blame. Funny…Republicans love and demand competition on all levels…except for when they are competed against. Wake up!