Campaign signs cause a stir among commissioners

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A series of photos posted last week on Facebook shows County Commissioner Steve Brown posting signs asking voters to vote against two of his fellow commissioners. (Photos via Facebook)

signElection season is getting more testy on the local level, with social media debating a new set of campaign signs popping up around town. The signs highlight “No Haddix, No Barlow, No Oddo,” referencing three candidates up for the May 24 primary. The sign is referring to Don Haddix, a candidate for the at-large commission seat, David Barlow, the sitting commissioner for District 1, and Charles Oddo, the current commission chairman.
Barlow is running against Eric Maxwell in the Republican primary. The winner would face Pamela Devonne Reid in November.
Oddo is running for the at-large seat. He is being opposed by Haddix, Greg Clifton, Alan McCarty, and Emory McHugh.
Late last week, photos surfaced on Facebook showing commissioner Steve Brown placing copies of that same sign, catching the interest of many, in particular for its stance against his fellow commissioners. Steve Brown is not up for re-election until 2018.
“The public response to the signs has been overwhelmingly positive and are causing some of the politically apathetic to pay attention, which is why Oddo and Barlow are concocting these conspiracy theories, but I have been making my complaints for several years in the public meetings, letters to the editors, and in the County Administrator’s annual reviews,” said Brown. “I am just one in a large group that supported Oddo and Barlow four years ago and deeply regret that effort, watching helplessly as they grind our efforts to protect our quality of life to a halt.  The May 24 primary election is where we all say ‘NO.'”
Oddo said that he only felt an obligation to respond to the signs after seeing online posts implying they were placed anonymously and questioned if that is the way we should expect elected officials to conduct themselves.
“Anybody who has seen my campaign posts, or even my Facebook page, knows they have always been extremely positive. I never attack anybody. I don’t interfere in other elected officials’ campaigns,” said Oddo. “We have to work together, and I hope we get to keep working together, but you have to set the foundation for it.”
Barlow pointed to a resolution passed by the commission when Brown was chairman and renewed again this year as an example of not fulfilling his pledge to the county. The “Pledge to Citizens and County Staff on Core Values and Beliefs” lists a number of points, including that “the Board believes in the Golden Rule, and we will strive to be friendly, courteous, fair and compassionate in all our dealings.”
“Commissioner Steve Brown being photographed placing the ‘No Barlow’ signs around the county is the epitome of hypocrisy,” said Barlow. “Commissioner Brown is bitter that he is no longer the chairman of the Board of Commissioners, and he will stoop to any level to regain that position.”
County ordinances do not lay out what information must be included on political signs, meaning there is no legal requirement to say who paid for the signs. Signs may not be placed in the right-of-way or on private property without receiving permission.

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Christopher Dunn has been the sports editor for Fayette Newspapers since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Game Day 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.


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