Dysfuntional Gwinnett Board of Commissioners in Action

Some members of BOC attempting to continue "business as usual" in back room deals despite citizen opposition and without citizen input.

Last night I . Based on what I saw and heard, if the BOC goes forward with Briscoe expansion any private operator is doomed to failure.

In May, the BOC voted to proceed with the RFP and to establish a citizens committee to advise the BOC on the RFP for Briscoe. No timeline or procedures were detailed in this vote.  No one ever appointed committee members. My recollection is that the BOC agreed not to go forward with the next step (RFP) until the citizens committee made recommendations to the BOC. Apparently no one took action on either item, hence last night’s lengthy discussion. But the important thing is that now the three legacy members (Howard, Beaudreau, Lassiter) want to push forward with the RFP without recommendations from the citizens committee and despite the recommendations of the IMG consultants.

We (C4BG) have told the BOC since October of 2010 that in order to issue an RFP the county needed to have a strategic goal and that the RFP would flesh out the tactical methods to achieve that goal -- this is a standard business procedure.  When Charlotte Nash took office, she confirmed this to the BOC in a meeting.  There are two distinct issues with Briscoe -- privatization and expansion. The BOC must have a clearly stated goal in the RFP. Based on last night's meeting, the "fuzzy" RFP being pushed will not instill confidence in potential bidders. 

My impression is that the three legacy board members are trying to expand the airport without taking a vote or making an outright decision to expand the airport.  They want to avoid responsibility and accountability to voters for what is a very unpopular position. They are looking for scapegoats to blame (county staff and IMG consultants) when the private operator fails. From my experience, I've concluded that Gwinnett has three BOC members which have no leadership capabilities whatsoever.  They are also attempting to continue "business as usual" in back room deals regarding airport decisions despite citizen opposition and without citizen input.

Any citizen that expects honest and transparent government should be outraged.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Hugh C. August 24, 2011 at 06:42 PM
From what I saw of last night's meeting, Jim's post captures this in a nutshell pretty well. Thank God we have Charlotte Nash at the helm or we'd be in serious trouble by now. It seems apparent that Heard and Nash are the only voices of reason on the BOC. It is also obvious that Beaudreau wants to push this through as quickly as he possibly can in the worst way. It gives me great cause to be very skeptical as to his true motives involving Briscoe. He just wants this way too badly.
Bev Lougher August 24, 2011 at 11:05 PM
My letter to the editor of the Gwinette Daily Post which probably will not get printed. Just covering one aspect of that mess last night. Gwinnett’s Gang of Three - Beaudreau, Lassiter, Howard The county authorized Infrastructure Management Group to do an analysis of the FAA Privatization Pilot Program for Briscoe Field. Last night, at the Board of Commissioners meeting the Gang of Three declared their intentions to move forward to the next phase of the process and issue a request for proposals (RFP). With a vote of 3 to 2 on every issue, they hold the power. It is apparent the Gang Of Three, Commissioners, Beaudreau, Lassiter, and Howard, are determined to push this through, over the objections of Commission Chair, Charlotte Nash and District 4 Commissioner, John Heard. Citizens who have objections to the changes to Briscoe Field are not listened to. As one speaker said at the meeting last night, Mr. Beaudreau has blinders on and is not open to any information on the subject. I can somewhat understand the attitude of Commissioners Beaudreau and Lassiter, who are the last members standing from the previous board, when it comes to the arrogant attitude. I am disappointed in Commissioner Howard, who is new to the board. It is a shame she has aligned herself with this old guard who only care about their agendas.
North Georgia Weather August 25, 2011 at 08:29 AM
They will have a long road to hoe, if they go through with this there will be lawsuit after lawsuit to stop it. I am so feed up with arrogant politicians I want to throw up, and from what I've seen and heard from Beaudreau, he's the worst. He'll be out of office next and under investigation, wait and see.
DWL August 25, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Didn't the FAA say that commercial flights out of Briscoe is NOT a good idea because of the flight paths for Hartsfield????
Jimmy Orr August 25, 2011 at 12:59 PM
Charlotte, I was proud of your demeanor Tuesday night. Translated, this means that you were a "class act" in handling the "special" item added to Tuesday's agenda. I am appalled at the despicable treatment and lack of respect shown by Beaudreau, Howard, and Lasseter in your having to learn that the three musketeers, behind your back and that of Commissioner Heard, directed county staff to move forward with RFP's on Briscoe Field. I regret that you had to delay your planned trip after learning of their decision "in passing." Beaudreau compared us opponents as kids in a kick-ball game wanting a "do over." He is exactly right. We want to "do over" him should he offer for re-election or any other elected political office. Perhaps it is time for Danny Porter or Sam Olens to look into this matter. I have no idea who the county staff was that receive their directive but they should have asked them if their request had crossed your desk. In closing, Tuesday night on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being low and 10 being high, you went off of the scale on the high side. Charlotte, to paraphrase an automotive advertisement which was popular in the metro area remember, we apprciate you, we love you, and we need you. Selah
GregRodgers August 25, 2011 at 01:59 PM
It is very clear that Beaudreau and Lassister know that this is their last hurrah. They are clearly trying to make sure that when the door closes on their reign that they are paid dearly for their efforts by some business entity. Could it be the Chamber of Commerce, a lead appointment to a business near 316 (Mike, maybe Ricoh has something for you) or maybe they are planning businesses of their own. Who knows at this point. What is very clear...Mike really wants this airport!! The videos on Dacula Patch from his town meeting really emphasize that point. The way he speaks to his consituents really show the true Mike. He does not care about the people he represents. He is supposed to represent the view of HIS people. But its clear that he represents the view of a small group of business owners who want to money grab the area for all its worth at the expense of others. Greed is destroying this country and its clear that the group Mike represents is all for ruining it some more. Mike is a true Republican indeed!! As for Howard, when you've worked for the planning commission and made sure that businesses got exactly what they've always wanted (land and zoning) then you see how she falls into the mix. Its a sad state of affairs when a county pits neighbor versus neighbor in an all out money grab. Sad day indeed.....
Just Peachy August 25, 2011 at 02:33 PM
Nobody has ever said "Expand" the airport. The proposal is to privatize (take out of the hands of the government) and possibly accept commercial flights. An informed decision cannot be reached without all of the information. Not accepting RFP's is simply irresponsible from the board; without the RFP's we are accomplishing nothing more than false accusations from both those in favor and against. On the surface I am in support of the airport being privatized afterall I think private companies handle things much better than the government ever has. But I can't say for sure until I see what the RFP's contain. Further it is false to say the majority of citizens don't support the airport privatization. The polls show exactly the opposite. I think what you have dubbed the gange of three is simply doing what they were hired to do and that is to represent the county. •82% were in favor of airport privatization. •79% supported privatization and commercial service given the anticipated economic impact. •79% of District 1 respondents were in support. •76% of District 2 respondents were in support. •70% of District 3 respondents were in support. •66% of District 4 respondents were in support.
North Georgia Weather August 25, 2011 at 02:45 PM
But what part about the study that was done do people not understand????? IT'S NOT FEASIBLE. It don't matter what people want if it can't be done! I want a lot of things and I don't get them.
Jimmy Orr August 25, 2011 at 08:10 PM
Just Peachy, show us the documentaion which will support your so called poll. When was it conducted? By whom was it conducted? Who commissioned the study? With such an "impressive array of percentages, I am sure that you would not mind "manning up to the plate" and giving us your name, rank, and serial number so to speak. Look forward to receiving the aforemetioned requests.
GregRodgers August 25, 2011 at 08:43 PM
Jimmy Orr... I've been saying show us the polls since Propeller came out touting these polls. I have not seen one, but Just Peachy has because he/she works for the Propeller or Fly Gwinnett Forward. My guess is that the polls have not been released because they have polled certain business entities. I have yet to meet one resident that in District 3 who has ever said that they were polled. Also, from what I've been told by VanGundy.. that only 1000 people were polled out of what...almost 800k people. So would it be safe to say that the poll is really garbage? 1000 people out of 800k for a poll is a joke. Why not let people vote or do the poll over now that information is out there. My guess is that they do not want to do this new poll or vote because they know what the results will be, which NEGATIVE to proponents plans. BTW this poll was done 2.5 yrs ago, when no one even knew that the board had even submitted papers to the FAA. Now that doesn't sound fishy now does it?
Gary Fox August 25, 2011 at 09:00 PM
Just Peachy there's no way - your percentages you refer to are just stupid. 74% of Gwinnett County has never agreed on anything. Your stretching something, somewhere, & that will bite you back. Dacula Weather's observation & referal to the recent authenticated & published report SHOULD put the lid on this EXPANSION!! IT'S NOT AN OPTION!!! Proponents of the idea need to suck it up & accept that. If the county wants to continue with the idea of selling the airport to a private party, PROCEED - just be sure to keep ALL matters "above board" There just very well may be someone that could operate that airport (as it is) more effeciently, than our county government. All you proponents (of expansion) get ready for a fight - this ain't goin down w/o one.
GregRodgers August 25, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Actually...I found the poll. 1639 people were polled. The poll contains 4 questions. Two are basic questions. Here is the question about the airport: Question 3. Some community leaders have proposed allowing limited commercial service at Gwinnetts Airport. They state having this service would help bring new employers to the area and create jobs. Would you support allowing some form of commercial service at Gwinnetts Airport or Not? 4. Gwinnett county is considering proposals from businesses that might want to run the airport. These proposals would not commit the county to anything and only be for information. Do you support or oppose the county voting to request this information? What is disingenuous about this poll is tha the poll is vague about commcialization. We know that 737's are on the table and the biggest entity is Propellar. Saying some kind of commerical service could mean cargo flights or passenger. Why not just tell the truth. Q4 is not true either. This is not for information only. We know the BOC members want passenger service at Briscoe. This is why Mike brings up Hartsfield monopolizing air travel. This poll is flawed, does not have a big enough sample and 200 people are undecided. I'd like to know how the rolls were obtained for this poll. 1600 people who work are related to business owners and/or chamber members should not count
GregRodgers August 25, 2011 at 09:26 PM
Just Peachy's percentages are correct. Again...it means nothing because there is no way of knowing how the poll was administered and how the respondents were solicited. Per prior conversation with Van Gundy, the rolls were obtained by the Chamber of Commerce.
Just Peachy August 25, 2011 at 09:28 PM
Jimmy, Greg, & Gary... tisk, tisk you're angry men and you are proving to not be very credible sources, Landmark communications has conducted three polls on the airport. And if you weren't aware the county was considering the sale of the airport back then, frankly you don't follow local politics enough. Oh and while I appreciate the compliment, I'm not employed by Propeller or Fly Gwinnett Forward. I'm simply a person in the community that WANTS the RFP so we can actually make an informed decision. As of right now there are simply people from BOTH sides of the fence shouting accusations. The RFP will bring actual studies, facts, and possibility to the table. I am the first to admit I am neither in support or against it. I do think it is necessary to bring the FACTS to the table. That is all Mike, Shirley, and Lynette are trying to do this is why we vote on five commissioners. The vote was in May they won 3-2 now the board needs to honor its word and accept the RFP's. otherwise, why did they vote on it in the first place? You are aware that right now the county makes no money from the airport? Perhaps privatized the county may bring in some revenue... but we won't know that will we until we ALL humble ourselves and listen to the facts presented in the RFP. http://www.peachpundit.com/2011/05/04/privatization-movement-gains-momentum/
GregRodgers August 25, 2011 at 09:36 PM
Poll conducted by Rosetta Stone Communications... a Republican leaning service. Not sure where Landmark Communications comes in because it clearly says Rosetta Stone on the reports on the peachpundit report. Republican leaning.......This tells the whole story right there.....
GregRodgers August 25, 2011 at 09:39 PM
Just Peachy.....I do not think anyone is against privatization....we just want commercial passenger flights (737's) off of the table. They do away with that and I think the shouting matches will go away....
Just Peachy August 25, 2011 at 09:39 PM
Thanks Greg for agreeing I didn't fabricate the #'s... simply reported what I've read. I still maintain if you agree with the polls or not and how they were conducted until RFP's are accepted we won't see the possibilities this may or may not have for the county. We just need to see the proposals... then if the board agrees it's not feasible that is fine. I would also add Mark Rountree has been conducting polls for years and I've found his polling to be very accurate in the past (even when I didn't agree with his findings and wished they weren't correct).
GregRodgers August 25, 2011 at 09:53 PM
Just Peachy....in light of the Kennerly and Bannister findings, Mike Beaudreau's apparent disrespect for his own constituents (see video's on this site) and all of the land deals, stadium, trash pick up etc....the people who are against this simply have no confidence in our BOC doing what is right for the people. The stadium has failed to return an ROI, the trash pick up implementation was horrible and actually charged homeowners the whole amount for 3yrs which added an additional burden during a downtime (Some would call Socialist Republican Agenda) and now hold this over our heads. Saying lets see what the RFP bears out to opponents ears simply means...lets get this report so we can move forward with getting ourselves paid. Sorry...smells like a fish...then its a Whale.
North Georgia Weather August 25, 2011 at 11:40 PM
Just Peachy, there was a study done in conjunction with the FAA, have you not seen that study? It's not practical to have commercial air traffic at that airport. There are many things working against it yet only three politicians trying to force it down our throats. And please think about the wording of the questions. Question 3. Some community leaders have proposed allowing limited commercial service at Gwinnetts Airport. ***They state having this service would help bring new employers to the area and create jobs***. Would you support allowing some form of commercial service at Gwinnetts Airport or Not? Please don't offer more jobs without any proof. You can't make a statement like that in a poll. 4. Gwinnett county is considering proposals from businesses that might want to run the airport. ****These proposals would not commit the county to anything and only be for information.**** Do you support or oppose the county voting to request this information? Maybe not, but what they mislead you on is that it WILL cost you if they do allow privatization and they go under. That is certainly NOT a scientific unbiased poll, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Second, the vast majority of the citizens unfortunately are not informed enough to even answer those questions with any intelligence.
Andrew McNeil August 26, 2011 at 12:42 AM
JustPeachy...does the quote, "We won't know what's in the bill until we pass it and then we can read it and find out" sound familiar? Any business person knows that in the bidding process, there must be a goal in mind before an effective proposal can be written....so what is the goal with this airport???? No one knows. And you are missing the point of the BOC meeting...no CEO I know of would want someone going forward even if it was approved...what...four months ago..without informing him/her that now is the time. Thank you Charlotte and John, for your courage to address this issue in public. The Gang of Three should be ashamed...they earned no respect from me Tuesday night.
Cynthia Montgomery August 26, 2011 at 06:04 PM
A while back a business friend came knocking at my door. I opened the door and saw him and a young fellow standing in front of me. Knowing my interest in politics and community, my friend had brought this young guy by for me to meet. He was doing is political advertising for an upcoming campaign. Being my strong, no nonsense, get to the point, D Type Personality, I ask him one question, WHY SHOULD I VOTE FOR YOU?" HE was a bit puzzled and looked like he was flustered. Again I said, REALLY, WHY SHOULD I VOTE FOR YOU?" I will NEVER forget what he said in a questioning manner, "Because you know him pointing to my friend?" That young man was Mike Beaudreau. He did not have a clue as to why he was running and from my vantage point he is still clueless. He is a puppet, but whom is the puppet master? I want to know who is pulling his strings? It is time for the party to find an intelligent, forward thinking, business owner or business leader, financial brain savvy person, to lead this new district. I was shocked when he won! I guess he decided to get a pat answer together before his next introduction. So after you saw his behavior at the meeting, I again ask him, "WHY SHOULD I VOTE FOR YOU!" Register and VOTE!
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew September 01, 2011 at 12:17 AM
Cynthia, You seem to be an accomplished as well as connected business person. The party to which you refer is in desperate need of good candidates, and in a paradox, doesn’t seem to be looking for candidates at all. Is there someone you could put forth? We appear to have reached a need level BEYOND just voting if we are going to fix this.
Cynthia Montgomery September 02, 2011 at 09:06 PM
I have two persons in mind that are both UGA grads, raised to think out side the box, have IQ of over 140, are young and ready to withstand the battle and turn the tide, have graduated with political science and history because they have loved government and politics, have followed politics since they were 10 years old, one has worked down at the governors office and is familiar with HOW government works, the other is a political commentator, were ranked top of their class and have a strong desire to see this county and state get back to being successful. Yes, I do know 2 qualified persons, BUT unless the republican party will put their money, endorsement, and weight behind them it is a waste of their time to run. I have heard BOTH of them talk about the TEA Party as an option. And if you were to ask them, WHY SHOULD I VOTE FOR YOU?" (like I asked MB) ....you better get a seat because they would let you know why you should vote for them and would know the challenges facing us! They would know how our country and county can begin a rise back towards a day of fiscal solvency and away form reckless spending. Everyone must begin their careers somewhere. Everyone must start at the beginning. Either of these two would be the kind of representative that would make us proud of our governmental process again. VOTE out the representatives that DO NOT speak for you! A journey begins with a single step. WHOM is the party backing this time?


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