- Local News
--By Beci Ricks on --
Honesty, Honor, Integrity.
These are the qualities we all look for, but very rarely find, in elected officials. Which is what makes retired U.S. Army Col. Dennis T. Brown unique. It also explains why I, and many others, support his bid to become the next commissioner in Forsyth County District 2. Spend just five minutes with this extraordinarily humble man and see if you don’t agree.
Brown is an educated man. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Alabama and his Master’s Degree in International Business from Kennesaw State.
He is a born leader. For 30 years, he served this nation honorably as a member of the U.S. armed forces, rising to the rank of colonel before retiring in 2010 following a year in Afghanistan where he served as Chief of Staff at Camp Alamo.
He is a conservative who personifies Tea Party ideals of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets. Which is why he was one of the first candidates to ever receive the endorsement of the Forsyth County Tea Party.
When he was asked to run for county commission, he readily agreed, even though he wasn’t aware that commissioners are actually compensated for their work. That tells you he is in this race for the right reason — to serve his community.
Brown’s evaluation of county government is that it has been hijacked by the special interests groups and big-money campaign contributors and his top priority will be to put the citizens back in control of their own government.
At Tuesday night’s GOP debate, Brown’s opponent, incumbent Brian Tam, said the only special interest groups he recognizes are the citizens of Forsyth County which is a confusing since the vast majority of his contributions come from places like Beverly Hills, Michigan, Atlanta, Alpharetta, etc.
WHY I CAN’T SUPPORT BRIAN TAM AND YOU SHOULDN’T EITHER!
Honesty, Honor, Integrity
Tam’s honesty was put to the test during the debate. It came early on when Brown raised two key issues. The first was Tam’s support for giving Children’s Healthcare $700,000 of taxpayer money to buy an ambulance. The second was Tam’s vote to award a banking contract to United Community Bank for $50,000 a year when Sun Trust the same services for free.
In an effort to be polite, Brown ended his comment on the issues with: “If I have my facts right.” Tam seized the opportunity to say: “Your facts are not right.”
But Brown’s facts were right.
On April 4, 2011, the Atlanta Journal reported: ”
SunTrust Bank asked the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners to reconsider its 4-1 vote (Boff opposing) at its March 22 work session to give the county bank business to United Community Bank.”
Tam was not being honest.
Brown’s facts were also right on the Children’s Healthcare issue.
On July 6, 2011, Cumming Patch reported: “Commission Chairman Brian Tam placed the issue on last week’s work session agenda and commissioners voted unanimously to direct County Attorney Ken Jarrard to meet with Children’s Healthcare officials to draft an agreement.”
Again, Tam was not being honest.
But let’s leave the good commissioner’s honesty aside for the moment and review his track record. After all, in his opening statement last night, he said he is running on that record.
That record includes:
Being stripped of his chairmanship by fellow commissioners in January;
Tripling of the county’s indebtedness since taking office;
Proposing one of the highest tax increases in recent county history in 2010, 1.56 mils. Fortunately that was defeated;
Voting to give the City of Cumming $11.4 million to help pay for a water intake facility even though the county attorney said the county had no obligation to pay;
Proposing a gift of $700,000 in taxpayer money to a private company where his biggest fundraiser sits on the Board;
Voting to award banking services contract to UCB for $50,000 a year rather than Sun Trust which offered the services for free. Another Tam financial contributor sits on the UCB Board.
Refusal to recuse himself from the water contract negotiations with the city of Cumming even though the city holds the lease on his restaurant Tam’s Backstage;
Refusal to recuse himself from the Local Option Sales Tax negotiations with the City of Cumming.
After 8 years in office, Tam has become a career politician who represents the City of Cumming, special interest groups and big-money campaign contributors, not the citizens of District 2.
Brown is right, career politicians can’t solve the county’s problems. They are the problem.
Please join me next month an sweeping the incumbent from office and replacing him with a man of honesty, honor and integrity, Col. Dennis T.Brown.
Rebecca “Beci” Ricks