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Letter to the editor
Ethics complaint deserves hearing
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Forsyth County News
It seems that Commissioner Bell is unable to simply evaluate the merits of the ethics complaint against Brian Tam. He must resort to attacking the messenger. Rather than vilify Gerry Sullivan as the propagator of a witch hunt for a golf course, he should rise above his emotions and examine the veracity of the complaint. And before I join the ranks of those that he calls an idiot, I am not a member of the Lanier Golf Club, nor do I live anywhere near it. I even voted against the Greenspace Bond because I foresaw the very problems we are facing now.  

As to the complaint itself, I have seen a copy of the original lease agreement between the city of Cumming and Brian Tam’s restaurant. I’ve never operated a restaurant, but I do believe that a $2,000 monthly lease encompassing all electric, water, trash, etc. for a restaurant the size of Tams is a pretty good deal. It wasn’t even put out to a competitive bid for other restaurants to apply. Is it that unreasonable to ask an ethics board to examine whether this is an inappropriate relationship for a sitting county commissioner to have with another government entity?  

After all, Commissioner Tam regularly votes on matters having multimillion dollar implications potentially favoring the city that holds his livelihood in its hands. I, for one, am eagerly anticipating the investigative report by this newspaper into the details of this arrangement. If these personal business dealings between the commissioner and the beneficiaries in the city of Cumming are not a conflict of interest, then we should exonerate the man. Otherwise, let’s let the oversight committees do their job. It’s one of the few things I don’t mind government paying for.

Chris Goldston