Forest Hill Road Homepage
Forest Hill Road
Letter to Bibb Commissioners - January 2012
Bibb County's - "Roads Improvement Program"
Re: Ken Sheets, the Bibb County Engineer -
slandered a citizen at a public meeting on 1-17-2012, and he
continues to mislead the Bibb Commissioners about a multimillion
dollar road project in the Macon-Bibb Road Improvement Projects
video of the event
|To: Bibb County
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2012 06:26
| Re: Ken Sheets, the Bibb County Engineer -
slandered a citizen at a public meeting on 1-17-2012, and
he continues to mislead the Bibb Commissioners about a
multimillion dollar road project in the Macon-Bibb Road
Improvement Projects (RIP) list.
Your employee, the Bibb County Engineer, Ken Sheets slandered me at a public meeting, and he continues to mislead the Bibb Commissioners by misrepresenting the facts concerning the Forest Hill Road project.
At the regular meeting of the Bibb County Commissioners on Tuesday evening, January 17, 2012, the Bibb Chairman, Sam Hart told me that one of the reasons he is disinclined to help the Forest Hill Road neighbors to get a better designed road is because he (Hart) understands that compromises have already been given to the neighborhood concerning the road's design.
I stated that no substantive changes have been made to the Forest Hill Road design since the 1st public meeting in 2001. I stated that Macon-Bibb P&Zoning Director, Jim Thomas had recently confirmed this in an email to me.
I further stated that the only reason the Commissioners feel that reasonable compromises have been rendered to the citizens is because the Commissioners have been repeatedly misinformed about this situation from Moreland-Altobelli (M-A) as repeated to them (Commissioners) by the Bibb County Engineer, Mr Ken Sheets.
At this time, Mr Sheets blurted out to say that "Doc, you should have to be 'under oath' to talk to the Commissioners" implying that I was a liar, and that I was misleading the Commissioners about the road design having no changes since 2001. Mr Sheet's statement was slanderous, and it was publicly insulting and demeaning to me; as it was spoken in front of dozens of people attending the meeting. The people at the meeting included a Telegraph reporter, Mike Stucka who reported this fiasco in the paper on page 4B on Saturday 1-21-12. Other witnesses at the meeting were delegations from two large constituencies: retired Bibb Sheriff's Department personnel and humane-animal-shelter proponents.
I demand a written apology from Mr Sheets, or else an enumeration of any facts I might have misstated. Engineering documentation should be included as to the validity or veracity of Mr Sheet's opinion(s) concerning those facts.
I will publicly apologize to Mr Sheets and to the entire Bibb Commission if I am given documentation that the road design has been substantively modified to accommodate the citizens since the 1st public meeting in 2001. Otherwise The Bibb Commission will be proven to be a part of the obfuscations and misrepresentations promulgated by M-A to confuse the Bibb County citizens concerning a very expensive and costly part of the 1994 SPLOST Road Improvement Program.
I have documentation that the northern section of Forest Hill Road has actually been enlarged by at least 5 feet of pavement since the 1st public meeting in 2001. This is contrary to any claims by Sheets and M-A that citizens requests for downsizing have been accommodated.
Mr Sheets needs to explain why he has failed to get the facts straight about the size of this project in the six years since it was brought to his attention at the Bibb Commission meeting of Oct 3, 2006. He has continued to mislead the Commission in this regard for 6 years.
Mr Sheets needs to admit in writing that the major length of the FHR project; that is the northern section; that is scheduled for construction later this year -- That this northern section is planned to have at least 5 more feet of pavement than the design that was shown on the plans at the first public meeting in 2001. Mr Sheets must admit that this project has become wider despite the overwhelming sentiment from the public that the project needs to be downsized. This is what I keep telling the Bibb Commission and this is what Mr Sheets keeps denying. Mr Sheets is wrong and he needs to admit it to the public.
- Lindsay D Holliday
| Some Documentation:
At meeting of Commission on 1-17-12, San Hart asked when mediation started and stopped.
See Telegraph article on Aug 20, 2008.
Mediation Plans ( here)
Notes of First Day of Mediation (here _2-28-08)
But at a (10-3-06) Bibb Commission meeting, Chairman Bishop and County Engineer, Ken Sheets, wrongly declared this project has been "Downsized". If that were true, then it has also been "Supersized" for a net gain of at least 5 feet of sidewalk.
excerpt of Bibb Minutes of October 3, 2006
Page 20 of 22
Chairman Bishop responded that this project was one of the first projects or one of the
projects voted on when the one cent sales tax was passed. He stated that this was done
a long time before he became a commissioner and before any of the current members of
the Board were commissioners. He stated that it was listed as an initial project on a
East-West Connector. He then asked if this was the East-West Connector that’s slated
to run from Northside Drive all the way to Eisenhower Parkway. He pointed out that
Tucker Road was another connector. He stated that it was slated to be four-laned or
five-laned for the entire route initially, as I understand it. He then asked if it was four-lane
with a turn lane or four lanes.
Ken Sheets stated that he thinks it was four lanes with a turning lane, initially.
Chairman Bishop added that it was to go all the way out to Northside Drive where it
terminates. He stated that the other end of Forest Hill Road has already been widened.
Ken Sheets stated that both sides of Northside Drive have been done.
Chairman Bishop continued that former Commissioner Calder Clay was instrumental in
getting some revision made to the original plan. He stated that the problem is that the
downsizing only took affect from the intersection of Wimbish Road out. He stated that
there were some questions at the time and whether or not it should have been fourlaned
completely all the way out. He stated that at that point, Calder was effective in
getting it downsized to what it is now. He stated that he doesn’t know about the trees
and how they’ve been marked, adding that he heard this morning that they had marked
a bunch of trees between Wimbish and Forest Hill, where is slated to be four lanes.
Chairman Bishop advised Mr. and Mrs. Boyd that in their particular area, it was
downsized and in the area above them where Calder lives, they kept it four lanes with a
Mrs. Boyd added, with a median. She then asked why was it necessary to have a
median when they are going to cut down all of those gorgeous trees.
Chairman Bishop responded that, if he was not mistaken, the median was a result of one
of the designers that went out there after one of the neighborhood meetings.
Ken Sheets confirmed this.
Chairman Bishop continued that when Calder got them to downsize it to the three lanes
from four, at that time, it was their understanding that they’d accomplish something and
that they’d done something to help those people out there. He stated that it was against
the advice of the people that were working on the design of the road. He stated that they
still recommended the four lanes all the way.
Doc Holliday chimed in that, “Ya’ll need to get this straight.” He stated that it was three
lanes with one sidewalk at the vote in 1994. He stated that he has the documents. He
then said, “Ken Sheets, you know that’s true; you’ve got the documents too.” He then
asked Ken if it was or was not true. Ken Sheets responded, “I don’t have any idea, Doc
Holliday.” Doc Holliday then stated the project was not downsized. Chairman Bishop
said that it was downsized. Doc Holliday stated there were three lanes and one
sidewalk, and now it’s three lanes and two sidewalks. He also stated that it’s wider now
Page 21 of 22
than when the vote was taken and nobody has downsized it and that it is larger. He
added that he wanted to get that fact straight.
Chairman Bishop then stated that, according to some people on Forest Hill Road, they
do have a problem getting out of their driveway, particularly in the morning when the
school buses are there. He added that the problems they are faced with as County
Commissioners is that they have to rely on the expertise of Georgia DOT and engineers.
He stated that they were engineers themselves. He stated that he’s tried to do what he
thinks is best for everybody. He stated that it has gotten to point now that they have
spent all of the money they had in this road program or overspent trying to downsize,
contrary to what Doc Holliday said. He stated that they spent $1 million over trying to
redesign that road to try to appease different people. He stated that he was only going
by what he knows has happened since he has been on the Board. He further stated that
he thinks have been as good of stewards as they can in this situation. He stated that
DOT has the money to acquire right of way. Chairman Bishop stated that he doesn’t
understand if there’s somebody with a house and the porch is gone, that it was not
coshure. He stated that there is some recourse in that situation.
Chairman Bishop continued that as they listened to everybody, trying to satisfy
everybody; everybody has got a different concern and there’s a lot of people living in that
area that don’t live on the road that travel that road. He stated that while the Board cares
what they think, there’s only so much they can do in a situation like this. He then nixed
the notion that this has anything to do with Bass Pro Shops because Bass Pro wasn’t a
figment of anybody’s imagination at the time that road design was done. He stated, too,
that he doesn’t know what the answer is but all they can do was rely on the engineers.
Commissioner Richardson stated that he has heard a couple of references to marking
trees back to 77’ from the centerline of the road. He stated that he doesn’t know why, but
he will certainly be glad to look into that to find out why that has been done. He stated
that he travels Forest Hill Road quite extensively, quite a lot because his office is out on
Riverside Drive. He stated that he comes up Hall Road to Forest Hill Road and follow
Forest Hill Road all the way to Vineville Avenue when he’s going to the Vineville
Avenue/Forsyth Road area. And he added that he travels it at different times of the day.
He stated that the traffic does vary, adding that between 9:30 - 11:00, there’s very little
traffic on the road. He further stated that earlier than that there’s extensive traffic on the
road, say 7:15 – 9:00, there’s a lot of traffic on that road. He added that about 4:00,
traffic does start picking up until about 6:30, so there is a lot of traffic during that period
Commissioner Richardson stated that if you say you only travel Forest Hill Road to go to
Vineville Avenue, that’s wrong because there are a lot of people out in the Riverside
area that are coming up Hall Road and up Forest Hill to get to the Vineville/Forsyth Road
area. He stated that it is used quite extensively.
Chairman Bishop stated that he doesn’t see this project being stopped at this point in
time and that he was being as honest as he could. He added that he doesn’t think they
have the votes to stop it.
The final speaker of the evening was Doc Holliday but he agreed to defer his comments
until the next meeting but he advised the Board that at that time, he them to be ready to
play a two-minute DVD on Roundabouts from the National Institute on Highway Safety.
Page 22 of 22
UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None.
NEW BUSINESS – None.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
Shelia Thurmond, Clerk of the Board
Bibb County responds on 2-16-2012
From: "Baxter Pratt" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Correspondence to Dr. Holliday
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2012 14:15
Please see attached correspondence from Virgil Adams.
Assistant to Virgil L. Adams
Adams & Jordan, P.C.
Fickling & Co. Building, Suite 1250
577 Mulberry Street
Post Office Box 928
Macon, Georgia 31202-0928
From: "James P. Thomas" <email@example.com>
To: 'Holliday Dental' <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2011 10:36
Subject: Forest Hill Rd.
I got your voice mail about your desire to come and show me a video of the first public meeting for Forest Hill Road. There’s no need because you were right. After we talked I reviewed the files and confirmed that the concept presented at the first public meeting was indeed a three lane section from Wimbish to Northside. What I was remembering was the debate about the project as the scope was being developed before a concept was presented to the public. Bob Fountain originally thought a five lane section was necessary but others including P&Z and FHWA were of the opinion that 5 lanes weren’t warranted.
James P. Thomas
Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission
682 Cherry Street
Macon, Georgia 31201
(478) 751-7460 FAX (478) 751-7467
p4B Saturday, 1-21-2012
Forest Hill Road revisited
Lindsay “Doc” Holliday brought a revitalized push for reconsideration of Forest Hill Road work to commissioners, citing an earlier Telegraph item about his previous talk. The widening of the northern portion, from Wimbish Road to Northside Drive, could start as early as this summer. The northern segment is slated to become three lanes. The southern portion, to Vineville Avenue, is planned to become four lanes, but construction on that segment isn’t imminent.
Holliday said it isn’t too late to change the plans. Then he said a majority of commissioners owed their fleeting power to the work of Martin Luther King Jr., who listened to people. Holliday said the county hasn’t listened to residents.
Commissioner Bert Bivins interrupted: “I don’t need your lectures about Martin Luther King, and I don’t need your lectures about being fair and equitable.” Bivins went on to say that he’d pushed for people to listen to Holliday -- but Holliday needs to listen back.
“That calls for both sides being willing to listen to each other, and I really haven’t seen that,” Bivins said.
Holliday called again for the county to bring down a consulting engineer to help with mediation talks that were called off years ago. He said the county hasn’t changed its Forest Hill Road plans since it began.
County Engineer Ken Sheets said Holliday needed to be under oath when he made such claims: “Doc, you mislead the commissioners when you come in here. You tell about that much of the truth.”
The next morning, Holliday demanded a written apology from Sheets, saying his comment “was slanderous, and it was publicly insulting and demeaning to me.”
- CAUTION Macon -