The person who sent us the audio of a Columbia County GOP meeting in which Chairman Brian Slowinski adjourned a meeting in progress because he didn’t get his way and then stomped out, has sent us another audio. This was audio of Thursday’s meeting of the Greater Columbia County Republican Women. Two of the District 1 school board candidates were there along with commission districts 2 and 3 candidates. The audio was sent by email and we were told that the speakers didn’t use a microphone, so it was hard to understand all of what was said, but we heard and understood plenty.
The school board candidates went first…nothing exciting but both Carolyn Chase and David Dekle seemed competent and knowledgeable. Up next was Butch Holley for District 3 who talked about his upbringing and vision and said that people need to vote for him because he is young and representation on the commission from his age group is needed. Charles Allen discussed the difference between a tax and a fee and the county’s growth and broadband fiberoptic project. Up next was District 2’s Magnolia Trey Allen and his bragging about voting to reduce 1 mill from homeowners bills, improving quality of life (not that he can do that, he meant buying stuff for residents at high prices with their money) and the fact that his store’s location was a few doors down. He refused to discuss that he paid no rent. Up last was Lee Benedict who said he agreed with reducing the millage and added that state law is that if you have more than 180 days of reserves it must be returned to the taxpayers and said that it means that the people were taxed too much to start with. He mentioned Magnolia Trace and we guess that he had the letters with him because he said that he has a rejection letter for the project stating that it was the most expensive bid placed at $140 square/foot (someone from the audience made a comment that we couldn’t understand). Low and behold he said he has the approval letter that was marked received before the date of the letter.
Now’s when the fun started. We understood that whoever was running the meeting invited all 6 candidates back to the front of the room for questions. The first question was a yes or no on TSPLOST. Holley supported it. Magnolia Trey, Benedict and Dekle opposed it, Chase hasn’t made a decision and Charles Allen didn’t want to say. Someone asked a question to Trey the rent Allen about Magnolia Trace and its high price. Trey got defensive and upset and they kept going back and forth ending with Trump whining, “Jim whatever I say you’re gonna” something along the lines of dispute or contradict. Turns out that the questioner was Jim Bartley. You remember Jim? Let’s use the words of Barry Paschal shall we. “It’s impossible to mention George Snelling during the campaign season without noting his bullying errand-boy: Jim Bartley.” Well, Snelling gave $500 to Trey Trump’s campaign and has a Trace Allen sign on his property. So this obviously means that Bartley is a rabid supporter of Allen. “Snelling is a rabid supporter of Brett McGuire, who is challenging County Commission Chairman Ron Cross in the July 20 Republican primary” said Paschal. Billy Morris’ pride and joy also wrote and published
The public last met Bartley when he ran as a Democrat back in 2000 against County Commissioner Diane Ford. Since then he’s busied himself with various political mischief – he says it is his only hobby – and is now both a member of the executive board of the Columbia County Republican Party and live-in companion of party chair Pat Goodwin.
Bartley was one of the people who orchestrated the ouster of former GOP chairman Lawrence Hammond, largely because Hammond was friendly to Cross. That opened the way for Goodwin’s ascent.
Hey Barry, let’s talk about one of your family members’ live-in-companion shall we?
Back to the Q&A session. After Magnolia Rent-Free finished, there was some other talk and dialogue and then Holley asked to speak. He commented on Charles Allen’s refusal to say yes or no to TSPLOST and recalled the first Springlakes/Augusta Prep lighting dispute and his non vote. The Allen who pays rent for his business said he didn’t vote because it was at the last minute and he didn’t have all of the facts, but when he had all the facts, he voted. Holley argued that a commissioner must make a decision and not say “well I’m not gonna tell ya'”. Then that chat got a bit heated…then the audio ended.
From what we heard on the audio sent to us last night, Magnolia T-Rent Allen was bitter and defensive and claiming that the rejection and approval letters from the Department of Community Affairs were written before Nathan Deal (the recipient of nice campaign donations from Magnolia Trace developers) appointed him to the, WHOA!, Department of Community Affairs. OK then Trey, you were a commissioner then weren’t you? We really hope that these guys debate.