Fayette County News

Fayette County


Rousseau warns against appearance of violating new policy

At Thursday night’s Fayette County Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioner Charles Rousseau warned re-appointing a fellow commissioner to the Public Facilities Authority would be a bad look, given a recently approved change to county policy.
The Public Facilities Authority saw the terms of all three of its members expire. Their duties include acquisition, construction, equipping, maintaining, and operating the buildings and facilities of the county. The recommendation to re-appoint Letitia Naghise was quickly approved. The second nomination would be cause for debate.
At the last meeting, and at the recommendation of Commissioner Randy Ognio, the board approved a revision of county policy that allowed for the commissioners to appointment residents to just one authority, board, commission, or committee. Only Chairman Charles Oddo voted against the policy change. Ognio is already a member of the transportation committee and was being recommended to be re-appointed to the Public Facilities Authority.
While it would not have technically violated the policy because Ognio was a member of both before the new policy was approved, Rousseau did not like that it might appear to the public that the policy did not apply to the commissioners themselves.
“We’ve created a quagmire sort of situation,” Rousseau said of the re-appointment recommendation. “We have to be as consistent as we possibly can. This is our first test of the ordinance we just passed.
“If we don’t, we’re moving down a slippery slope, and we’re not living up to our own rules.”
Ognio expressed his desire to be on the authority because he noted the bonds they vote on are “not for hundreds of dollars, they’re for millions of dollars.” He asked that one of the other commissioners consider taking his spot.
County Attorney Dennis Davenport laid out that any bond the authority would want to float would come before commissioners for approval, because they would need the backing of the county or no one would buy the bond.
Ultimately, Commissioner Steve Brown proposed that the nomination of Joseph Tolbert be accepted in place of Ognio and that the third seat be advertised again. Brown’s revised proposal would pass unanimously.

By Christopher Dunn

Managing Editor Christopher Dunn has been with the Fayette County News since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Victory magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.