At the County Commission Meeting held on April 8, I was one of the residents that spoke against the approval of the variance for property adjacent to the Veterans Memorial Park at Beacon Hill. With the exception of Commissioner Bryan of District 3, my remarks fell on deaf ears. Later thinking of what was said I feel I was remiss in not pointing out a couple of points.
You may be aware of the movie “A Few Good Men” and in a scene from that movie the prosecutor asked the witness “for the truth” and the response was, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH”! It appeared at the meeting that we were reliving that scene when Commissioner Bryan so correctly pointed out that the procedures for the variance were not followed and that it was clear that the county’s land development regulation was not being followed either. Her insight provided the “TRUTH”, but the other three commissioners clearly demonstrated again that they “COULD NOT HANDLE THE TRUTH”.
As the vote was about to be taken it could not help but be noticed that a prominent member of the business community was in the audience and it appeared his presence was intended to ensure the commissioners would vote as he desired? In fact when the vote was taken he immediately rose to depart the meeting room and it was clear that the expression on his face was one of satisfaction. Satisfaction that the three commissioners had towed the line as directed, even though they were ignoring the TRUTH concerning the issue. Further, his friend from LaGrange, Georgia had witnessed his control and influence and had gotten “no matter how wrong” what he wanted! Rack up one for Commissioner McLemore’s favorite “Blow-IN” ($250 campaign contributor). One would suspect that if the other commissioner had been present the vote would have been 4 to 1 for he too tows the line.
Even with this open display of arrogance by the other commissioners it must be noted that the courage, stamina, intestinal fortitude, strength and willingness for the TRUTH that was demonstrated by Commissioner Bryan should be APPLAUDED! She has on more than one occasion attempted to ask “THE UNASKED QUESTIONS” on hot button issues only to be met with disregard and disrespect by other commissioners and some members of the staff. Her efforts to uncover inadequate procedures used in awarding bids, questioning procedures used by some staff members and even to the point of requesting information from the staff have all been met with attacks by other commissioners and staff and resulting in delays by the staff in responding or in some cases not responding at all.
Finally, as one enters the BCC meeting room the gallery on the wall of former and current members of the commission is most evident. As one may view these pictures they might notice and be surprised that in one there is currently a woman seated. We hope this continues for many more years, but we also hope that one would have the courage to say, “Yes there is a woman on the board and she makes a difference”.
Thank you, Commissioner Bryan for being true to the value of truth and seeking what is right. We hope you continue to be blessed with good health and strength to seek the good for our county and its citizens.