Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chuck Trader Press Release

Campaign to Elect Chuck Trader

804 Sliverleaf Walk, Saint Marys, GA 31558

Cell: 904-238-0012

For Immediate Release

October 18, 2011


St. Marys City Councilman Chuck Trader today called on Councilman Greg Bird to pay promptly the state fine levied against Bird for failure to timely file financial disclosure reports, as required by state law. You can find the late filer details of Mr. Bird at the following Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission sites:

"Greg Bird has constantly portrayed himself as a champion of open government and full disclosure. Yet he delayed filing his own financial disclosure reports until that failure was publicly exposed by local bloggers," said Trader. "In addition, he did not report the four airport hangars he has owned for eight years on the St. Marys Airport. He may never have reported them on past required financial disclosures. And while he may claim these hangars are not real property, which the law requires him to report, a full disclosure of what he owns as his primary source of income is not too much for the public to demand. I ask that he file an amendment to his report adding his business hangars, together with their value, so the voters will be fully advised as to his interest."

Mr. Bird has regularly voted on airport issues, in a direct conflict of interest, considering his personal business on the airport. "The grand jury appearance by others he supported, attacking the plan for a new, modern airport, and other claims rejected by the grand jury, had the effect of protecting Mr. Bird's sweetheart deal on his airport leases that he pays a total of $480.00 per year for all four property tracts. These leases would have been automatically terminated if the new airport had been built and the old one closed," said Mr. Trader.

In addition, Mr. Bird had a golf cart business during his first 3 years on city council. During this time, he initiated several initiatives to expand golf cart usage in the city. Trader said “Although I don’t disagree with increased golf cart usage in the city, the fact remains that Mr. Bird voted on matters that promoted his business interests, and this has many citizens concerned with a conflict of interest or at least the appearance of a conflict of interest at a minimum”.

Trader believes that listening to the concerns of the people and not promoting or voting on these issues would have been appropriate in both cases. Trader said, “With my conservative and professional approach there is no question I would not have voted on issues that have direct business connections to the matters. It’s just not reflective of good judgement”.

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