The Fayette County Board of Commissioners had some fun with commissioner Allen McCarty’s final meeting as McCarty graciously bowed out after four years on the commission.
Chairman Steve Brown credited McCarty with being “just an exceptional person, kind, compassionate.”
He also recounted how McCarty, who has a background in broadcasting, volunteered to upgrade the video system in the county commission chambers so that meetings could be broadcast on television and recorded for the internet.
“We kept toying around with trying to put our meetings on the cable channel and have internet access. That was great, but we just didn’t have the funding to make that happen,” Brown recalled. “Allen has a background in broadcasting and volunteered to do that project free of charge. He and his buddies crawled through the ceiling, putting wires in place. It’s because of him you’re now seeing the images on the screen. They’re all being projected on TV live and you can continue to see them online.”
Brown said the board appreciated his “kind spirit” and “willingness to work with everyone.
“It’s just been an honor to work with you my friend. Thank you very much,” Brown said.
McCarty’s comments were brief, as he simply said “thank you to all the citizens for putting me in office in the first place.”
Later on in the meeting, during the commissioner comment section, McCarty expanded his thoughts and then made an unorthodox move in an apparent attempt to leave Fire Chief David Scarbrough a parting gift.
“The past four years as commissioner has been one of the most exciting, best things I’ve ever done in my life. Every citizen of this county, they’re great people. We have the best county in the state of Georgia and in the nation as far as I’m concerned. We have the best staff I’ve ever worked with anywhere. I can’t do anything but complement all the employees and the commissioners for the last two years,” McCarty said.
He then suggested Scarbrough could use another fire truck, and motioned for the board to approve purchasing one for the fire department.
A commissioner voting to spend that much money, in his final meeting, on an item that wasn’t on the agenda would certainly raise some eyebrows. The rest of the commissioners agreed, however. They then presented Scarbrough with his fire truck.
Fayette Newspapers recently printed the inspiring story of a county firefighter losing 100 pounds in six months. Even that won’t be enough, though, if county firefighters expect to get small enough to use the toy truck that Scarbrough received. Though the fire truck vote turned out to be a playful prank, McCarty did make an actual final motion that was approved.
McCarty proposed the county join a national initiative by council member Jacquie Sullivan of Bakersfield, California to have local governing boards across the country feature “In God We Trust,” prominently in their meeting chambers.
According to the website of her nonprofit In God We Trust ~ AMERICA, Inc., the mission of the group is to protect “America’s Religious Heritage.”
McCarty agreed the national motto, “In God We Trust,” should be featured prominently as it is “all over Washington, D.C. It’s in the Supreme Court, it’s on our money, and it’s what our nation was founded on. If it’s not in God we trust, who is it?”
The board voted unanimously to approve the measure. County Administrator Steve Rapson said staff would likely come back to the board with different options for prominently displaying the motto in the meeting room.