WHAT IS FORSYTH COMMISSIONER BRIAN TAM HIDING?

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Nydia Tisdale
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WHAT IS FORSYTH COMMISSIONER BRIAN TAM HIDING?

Post by Nydia Tisdale » April 16th, 2012, 4:15 pm

CONFLICT — Commissioner Brian Tam's Backstage restaurant

Commissioner Brian Tam should be under scrutiny
FCN COMMENTS

kanthony1
April 10, 2012 7:23 p.m.

At the same time the Board of Ethics is ruling on Commissioner Amos' objectivity, I believe Commissioner Tam should be under the same scrutiny because of the very favorable lease arrangement Tam's Backstage Restaurant has with the City of Cumming - the holder of the current water contract. Perception is reality unless proven otherwise. I call upon Mr. Tam to recuse himself as well and let the Ethics Board review the lease and do comparable analysis of other leases in the Cumming area.

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Conflicted Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam

Post by Nydia Tisdale » May 3rd, 2012, 4:05 pm



0:00 Water talks town hall meeting 03/29/2012
1:16 Board of Commissioners meeting 04/19/2012

Forsyth County District 2 Commissioner Brian Tam has conflict of interest with the City of Cumming as the landlord to Tam's Backstage Restaurant.

Commissioner has conflict of interests

Letter to the editor
ForsythNews.com
April 29, 2012

In my opinion, and many other water rate payers and taxpayers, the issue of Commissioner Brian Tam’s conflict of interest is not over.

Mr. Tam stated in a similar 4/21 AJC article and your 4/22 FCN article that “he is tired of having his integrity challenged.” Any public official that feels this way should encourage further and deeper investigation into the allegations — if he is a true servant of the people.

Then, in your article, Tam talks about how a similar case was dismissed by the county Board of Ethics by a unanimous vote back in 2010. I would almost bet on my life’s savings that not one member of the Board of Ethics was familiar with lease law, terms, conditions and negotiations involved in leasing retail space; they were neither qualified nor understood the real issue about this atypical lease the Tam family holds with the city of Cumming.

In addition to the atypical provisions of this retail lease in question already identified in your article of 4/22, any retail lease that does not impose any late fees for late rent payments is atypical; any retail lease that has “all you can eat” utilities is atypical; any lease that has no rent increases for 11 years, is atypical; and it is not standard business practice in the retail lease arena to only have a $500 deposit when one month’s rent is the standard of the industry. Having a lease with the city and no increases in the agreement until 2016, one wouldn’t care what water rates would go up to (for the restaurant) since the business would not be affected until 2016. This is not a conflict? Poppycock!

With the sad state of our nation with the lack of full transparency, perception is reality. There is a conflict of interest to have Mr. Tam participate in any discussions or votes involving intergovernmental agreements with the county and the city of Cumming. If Mr. Tam still refuses to recuse himself there will be additional research and investigation regarding this conflict of interest.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is not a goose!

Robert (Bob) Rorke
Cumming

David Milum
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Tam’s Backstage Restaurant lease stinks

Post by David Milum » May 3rd, 2012, 9:26 pm

Exactly as many of us have preached for years. This lease stinks and it stunk from day one. Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam was bought and paid for by the City of Cumming, Ga. No ifs, no buts just cold hard facts!

greenbaynative
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Commissioner Brian Tam has huge conflict of interest

Post by greenbaynative » May 3rd, 2012, 11:07 pm

Brian Tam has a huge conflict of interest when it comes to the City. I have a copy of his lease agreement with the City and nobody and I mean nobody could ever get this type of deal from the private sector. He depends entirely on staying on good terms with the City so that his restaurant can survive. It is just too bad that it will be the water residents of Forsyth County who will have to pay for his conflict.

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Forsyth County crooks get away with this

Post by David Milum » May 3rd, 2012, 11:53 pm

greenbaynative wrote:Brian Tam has a huge conflict of interest when it comes to the City. I have a copy of his lease agreement with the City and nobody and I mean nobody could ever get this type of deal from the private sector. He depends entirely on staying on good terms with the City so that his restaurant can survive. It is just too bad that it will be the water residents of Forsyth County who will have to pay for his conflict.
I did an extensive cost comparison on restaurant properties in this area and not once did any of them come even close to the cheap lease payment Tam makes. Considering his freebie he pays only 20% - 30% of the true value of his special deal with the City.

I was amazed that the FBI didn't take my copious report and run with it. Any half-wit can see the bribery easy as pie. Only in Forsyth County can the crooks get away with such as this. It's like we are a pack of idiots as this sort of corruption has taken us over. We bitch and moan but nothing changes.

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AND HERE’S THE IDIOT COMM. TAM LADIES & GENTS

Post by David Milum » June 14th, 2012, 2:28 pm



This is your District 2 County Commission Brian Tam acting like a complete idiot right before a million-dollar, sewer-membrane vote.

Go ahead and watch that several times so you can remember this idiot's face when you go to the polls to vote against him.

Isn't Retired Colonel Dennis Brown looking really good to you about now to replace a moron who plays hide and seek with the camera during a Forsyth County Commission Meeting like he's high on something?

Vote for DENNIS BROWN

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Forsyth County District 2: Kristin Morrissey and Brian Tam

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 15th, 2012, 11:25 pm



Kristin Morrissey, Forsyth County Board of Education.
Brian Tam, Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.
Dennis Brown, Candidate for Board of Commissioners.

0:00 Water Town Hall March 29, 2012
0:17 Kristin Morrissey waves "Good bye" as she skips the town hall — early
0:27 Brian Tam crosses the camera as he skips out of the town hall — early
Kristin Morrissey and Brian Tam left the town hall meeting before it was over.

0:29 Commissioners meeting June 6, 2012
Brian Tam plays hide and seek while speaker addresses the Board.

0:52 Commissioners debate June 6, 2012
0:53 Kristin Morrissey arrives late for debate
1:00 Brian Tam arrives late for debate
2:00 Brian Tam does not shake opponent Dennis Brown's hand after debate
2:06 "Good job! I'm proud of you," Suzy says as she hugs husband Dennis Brown.
2:15 Brian Tam and Kristin Morrissey leave together right after debate.

Video by Nydia Tisdale for AboutForsyth.com.

David Milum
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Where is wife Kelly Tam?

Post by David Milum » June 17th, 2012, 1:37 am

Where is Kelly Tam? Does she ever appear on the scene with Brian?

greenbaynative
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Honored he did not like me

Post by greenbaynative » June 17th, 2012, 9:06 pm

I am kind of honored that he did not like me when I was there.





Ed. Note: from the former Forsyth County Finance Director.

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Forsyth County Commissioner Brian “Arrogant” Tam

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 24th, 2012, 8:00 am


Commissioner Brian “Arrogant” Tam snubbed constituents at debate April 16, 2012.

STEVE VOSHALL: A debate is a very important part of our election process. It allows our citizens to get, to be able to ask questions and to allow each candidate a chance to challenge others' answers and issues. If you are elected to be commissioner, do you feel that an elected official owes it to the citizens of our county and to your constituents to attend a debate during an election year? Or as the incumbent, would you not show up for the debate? If so, why?
CHARLES MEAGHER: Somehow, I figure that’s not really addressed to me.
AUDIENCE chuckles.
CHARLES MEAGHER: I believe in openness. I believe that you should be present to present your views.
DENNIS BROWN: Brian, what do you think?
AUDIENCE roars in laughter and applause.
DENNIS BROWN: Absolutely, you should be here! These are your constituents. These are the people we’re going to be working for and I think it’s an insult for you not to be here.
AUDIENCE applauds again.
DENNIS BROWN: I just wanted to say that I think probably who is hosting the debate here has some of the reason the incumbent is not here. Thank you.
AUDIENCE: You got it.
STEVE VOSHALL: John.
JOHN DERUCKI: I absolutely believe that you should be here. I mean, we’re obviously talking about the empty seat to my left.
STEVE VOSHALL: Oh, yeah, absolutely which is why —
CINDY JONES MILLS: But it’s good for you.
STEVE VOSHALL: You know, he’s an elected official. I think you owe it to people. Brian has known since January about this and he supposedly scheduled a “homeowner’s meeting” supposedly on the same night? Give me a break!

Steve Voshall, chair Forsyth County Tea Party.
District 2: Dennis Brown, Brian Tam (absent)
District 4: Charles Meagher, Patrick Bell, Cindy Jones Mills, Bill Mulrooney, Tim Hubbard
District 5: Jim Boff, John Derucki

Video by Nydia Tisdale for AboutForsyth.com.

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Forsyth Commissioner Brian Tam’s special interest groups

Post by Nydia Tisdale » June 27th, 2012, 10:00 am

FCN comments

billevelyn: June 21, 2012 9:40 a.m.

"Tam replied that his only special interest group is homeowners in south Forsyth, noting that he has struck compromises with residents and developers during his tenure."

Really? Let's see ...

A) Proposing the biggest millage increase in recent county history (1.56) mils in 2010 OR

B) Tripling the county's debt since he first took office OR

C) Pushing the Board to give $700,000 of taxpayer money to a private company where his biggest fundraiser is on the Board OR

D) Supporting a banking services contract to UCB where another Tam fundraiser is on the Board instead of getting the services free OR

E) Voting to pay his restaurant's landlord -- the City of Cumming -- $11.4 million that the county attorney says the county had no obligation to pay OR

F) Supporting lifetime healthcare benefits for county commissioners after they leave office which would cost taxpayers millions of dollars OR

G) Voting to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money to buy membranes for Fowler wastewater facility which can be replaced free OR

H) The millions of dollars he has steeret to his landlord for its share of the Local Option Sales Tax.

I) Being such a terrible Chairman his fellow commissioners voted to strip him of his chairmanship earlier this year.

J) Raised millage rates to boost the Bond rating, but gave the credit to the government no the homeowners who actually paid the tax.

What a bum!

Overtaxed: June 21, 2012 10:19 a.m.

We had the opportunity to attend and I found it pretty amazing that Tam spent the entire night looking down at the floor (even when he answered questions), sipping on his perrier and pretty much refusing to look at the audience. I was quite amazed at how arrogant he appeared to be. He told everybody he still hadn't made up his mind on TSplost even though he and Gravitt were the only 2 representing Forsyth County in the Mountain District roundtable that were responsible for final project selection. He also told all of us that Brown's facts were incorrect and he had nothing to do with a proposal that the county foot the bill for a 700k private ambulance or that we could have gotten our county banking needs for free as was offered. I guess he thinks that nobody in the County actually reads the Commission's meeting minutes.....

Jolly_Roger: June 21, 2012 10:51 a.m.

If you pay attention throughout their tenure and REMEMBER, the debates don;t hold much value. I am not aware of any member of the commission that has distinguished themselves. It is a transparently self-serving panel. My voting finger is twitching with anticipation.

Charlie: June 21, 2012 11:22 a.m.

Brian Tam will say anything and do anything to be re-elected.

On March 22 at a work session, Tam voted to award a banking services contract to United Community Bank, where one of his chief fundraisers sits on the Board of Directors. The cost to taxpayers, $50,000 a year. Sun Trust offered the same services for free, but they must not have had anyone who donated to Tam's campaign.

Then, at the work session in July Tam voted to direct the county's attorney to draft an agreement that would allow the transfer of $700,000 to Children's Healthcare, where Tam's No. 1 fundraiser, Mary Helen McGruder, sits on the Board of Advisors.

Those are the facts. You can read the minutes of the meetings online or in the newspaper. But they are the facts and they are undisputed. Tam lied. Again!

Overtaxed: June 21, 2012 11:29 a.m.

Great point, Jolly Roger. It got me thinking, that it's time to go take a look at exactly how self serving it actually is. Election rules require disclosures of expenses & contributions to a campaign and I heard more than one incumbent say they served the people and not special interest groups. So it's time to go look at who is paying money into these campaigns (and who they are paying) to verify that and I'd encourage everyone to do the same. You can check up on your candidate of choice here http://www.ethics.ga.gov

TTaylor: June 21, 2012 11:41 a.m.

"F) Supporting lifetime healthcare benefits for county commissioners after they leave office which would cost taxpayers millions of dollars OR"

This is absolutely ridiculous! This should be voted on by the taxpayers that pay for the insurance not the commissioners that will get the insurance. I guess next the commissioners will vote to get themselves a county vehicle and gas card for life.

celtichouse7: June 21, 2012 12:28 p.m.

A few years ago McDonald's wanted to build a restaurant on the corner of Windermere and Old Atlanta Rd, but needed a variance for a drive thru window. Brian Tam met with the residents of Three Chimneys Farm and the owner of the franchise for McDonalds.

When I asked Brian Tam if we gave our blessing to McDonalds then we would have fast food restaurants on the other corners. He assured us that would never happen. McDonald's would be the only restaurant. He said there were safe guards in place and no one could build a fast food restaurant.

Well when Zaxbys applied to build across the street, he voted for allowing Zaxbys build. So now we have a Zaxbys where he promised it could not be built.

I no longer trust Brian Tam. I felt stabbed in back.

Now my house has been redistricted and I can't vote against him.

I feel cheated and now screwed over twice.

Charlie: June 21, 2012 1:06 p.m.

Ol' Tax & Spend Tam also said he was undecided about the Transportation SPLOST, the biggest tax increase in Georgia history. When you check out Tam's donations, be sure to check out the name Gena Abraham. Gena is the Exec. Director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Agency (GRTA), which is the leading proponent of the TSPLOST. Gena wouldn't have given Tam money without making sure she had his vote.

Overtaxed: June 21, 2012 1:51 p.m.

Interesting stuff, Charlie- Ironic that there is a GRTA project included in the final Mountains proposal document earmarked for TSplost money. I did go look at Tam's campaign contributors and interestingly it appears that over 40% of his disclosed contributions all come from people and companies that touch the real estate, land development, building, zoning, and construction industries. So much for that "my special interests are the people of Forsyth" quote he made on Wednesday night.....

Overtaxed: June 21, 2012 1:56 p.m.

Correction- Tuesday night's debate...

Charlie: June 21, 2012 2:40 p.m.

Six months after he was elected in 2009, he announced that he would resign from the Board of Commissioners to run for State Representative. But the special interest groups who supported his campaign explained to him they had just put him into office and wanted him to stay there until all their needs had been met. Those special interest groups include the builders and developers, GRTA, and all the other interests from outside Forsyth County.

GG: June 21, 2012 7:01 p.m.

Eight years of the Tamster is enough!

jsmoses: June 22, 2012 1:08 a.m.

T Taylor, You are right. "Supporting lifetime health-care benefits for county commissioners after they leave office is absolutely ridiculous." All county resident should know that JIM BOFF ALONE STOPPED THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FROM PASSING LIFETIME HEALTH CARE BENEFITS FOR THEMSELVES by being the only commissioner voting against this proposal in a work session. If Jim had not voted against this, it would have been placed on the "consent agenda", which means that it would have already been passed at a public meeting without discussion.

Residents should be alert, because this will probably surface on the BOC agenda again after the election. Jim will still be in opposition, but the question is -- will the other four commissioners still vote for it again when they may be lame ducks and an election is not imminent?

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Forsyth Commissioner Brian Tam reappoints Kristin Morrissey

Post by Nydia Tisdale » July 11th, 2012, 9:30 pm



June 12, 2012

There was a motion by Commissioner Brian Tam and a second by Commissioner Ralph (Pete) Amos to reappoint Kristin Morrissey as a member to the Library Board of Trustees for District #2 and that this item be approved as time sensitive. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Brian Tam picks Kristin Morrissey for Library Board and then skips out on marathon six-hour work session to primp for Smart Growth-Forsyth debate.

Video by Nydia Tisdale for AboutForsyth.com.

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Re: CONFLICT — Commissioner Brian Tam's Backstage restaurant

Post by greenbaynative » July 12th, 2012, 9:16 am

I have stated in the past and continue to believe that Tam should not be voting (or speaking) on anything to do with the City. Tam's landlord and the reason he can stay in business is due to his landlord -- Ford Gravitt who also happens to be the Mayor of the City that owns the building in which Tam operates his restaurant. It would be best if the voters in his district end this guy's political career.

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Commissioner Brian Tam and Kristin Morrissey

Post by Nydia Tisdale » July 26th, 2012, 11:10 am

Image
Commissioner Brian Tam and School Board member Kristin Morrissey at commissioners meeting November 17, 2011.

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Public comments on Commissioner Brian Tam

Post by Nydia Tisdale » July 26th, 2012, 10:05 pm

FCN COMMENTS

MADJAX: July 25, 2012 6:41 p.m.

Past elections were "County Wide" -- Voted-on by All Forsyth County Citizens -- so Two-Term Incumbant District 2 Commissioner Brian Tam at-least had some excuse for how he's voted on various "County-wide" issues over his tenure since 2004...

"Traffic" that remains status-quo today, such as the Johns Creek portion of Forsyth County Commission District Two where "Traffic Arterials" only remain coagulated (sic) for what "Priority" they've garnered under His stewardship over that 8 year tenure...while "Growth and Development" has done just that, it has only hurt Our Quality of Life vs. Improving it for what demands are made on Infrastructure...that then only go ignored.

These "Issues" were included in all of the last three SPLOST's -- like a Fire and Emergency Services Station identified as "Badly Needed" back in '04...well over 8 years now! Yet apparently, and well-for His continued acceptance of a Level-of-Service (LOS) of "D" and "F" with regard to "Planning and Community Development" (Here AND "Countywide" ; ) Ours and other portions of District Two's community only continues to suffer Quality of Life issues...while the Community HERE waits for a particulare "Development Interest" to give-up the land needed to procure it, do Emergency Response Times only continue to regress that sufferage too?

I do think-so...

He praises Himself and others for the aquisition of Caney Creek Preserve -- which he did vote-for -- but in My opinion He did-so begrudgedingly, for It complicated His preferred objectives of procuring the Buice and McClure Parks & GreenSpace aquistions -- both "Weighted" less than "Harrison Park" (Caney Creek Preserve today) in that '08 County Commissioned "GreenSpace Study" -- to an area of South Forsyth that was (A) NOT "Under threat of Development" (McClure for the Metropolitan River Protection Act) nor (B) "Environmentally Sensitive" (Buice)...'cause He takes "Heat" today for having garnered so-much "GreenSpace" for it?

I've come to believe so...

Then there's His perspectives illuminated with regard to the County Water Contract negotiations -- His position, perspective, and arguments that only seem more-favoring toward the City of Cumming over long-term interests of Forsyth County as a whole -- to which I only find myself in strong disagreement...

Indeed then -- in this new-day of "District Elections" especially! -- it is time for "Change"...time for Us to elect someone fundamentally behelden to none-other than those Constituents of District Two electing them...

That is a promise-made of both outwardly viable candidates, but only one that I've come to believe will be executed of District Two Commission-Candidate Dennis Brown...Godspeed then!

Please Vote July 31...or someone will -- by Your default -- vote for you : ?

Jack Gleason
Concerned Citizen
Forsyth County Dist. Two

billevelyn: July 25, 2012 8:11 p.m.

Brian Tam -

• The incumbent says the county is in great shape financially, which is like Barack Obama saying "the private sector is doing fine.” Both are clearly incorrect;

• Forsyth County's debt has nearly tripled since the incumbent took office, from approximately $100 million in 2005 to about $300 million today;

• When SPLOST and LOST are added on to the county's millage rate, our citizens bear the third highest per capita tax burden in the 13-county Metro Atlanta region;

• In 2010, amid the worst recession in decades, Tam proposed one of the largest millage increases in county history (1.56 mils);

• In 2011, he supported providing lifetime retirement healthcare benefits to elected officials, a proposal that would have cost county taxpayers millions of dollars. Our thanks to Jim Boff, whose NO vote required a public hearing with the citizens who soundly rejected this proposal.

HalSchneider: July 25, 2012 9:43 p.m.

This is no contest. Vote for integrity and fiscal responsibility. Vote for Dennis Brown! And remember the old TV show..... "Eight is Enough"!

katiemac: July 25, 2012 11:01 p.m.

I had the pleasure to get to know Dennis when we both were volunteers on the Citizen Judicial Review Panel for Forsyth county. Dennis is a man of great integrity. I hope that the voters in District 2 will welcome the "newcomer", Dennis Brown!

Kathleen Tyndall

Overtaxed: July 26, 2012 10:21 a.m.

I went to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website today and was surprised to learn that Mr. Tam has not filed his "Financial Disclosure-Candidates For Public Office" that was due to be filed on 6/8/12 with the State Ethics Commission. In addition, there was an outstanding, unpaid fine for a late filing from 2011. So, I decided to call them and verify that this information was current and accurate. In addition to verifying this information, they also advised that there is an outstanding, unresolved ethics complaint that was filed with them in 2012 against Mr. Tam. However, specifics on the complaint cannot be disclosed without a formal open records request. In the interest of time, with the election so close, maybe the Commissioner would be willing to tell the voters what all that is about...

TheATLMac: July 26, 2012 2:40 p.m.

To me, it appears that Mr. Tam's votes on SPLOST and water seem to benefit the city much more than they benefit the citizens of Forsyth County.

He does seem to have a very cozy relationship with the city of Cumming.

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