Fayette County Commission Chairman is hanging it up after 20 years behind the commission dais.
“I thought I was pretty clear about this four years ago,” Frady said Tuesday morning with his trademark bluntness and the added humor of “I thought I’d give someone else a chance. I’m going to be 82 in October.”
Frady said as early as four years ago, right after his most recent election in 2008, he and wife Shirley had discussed his retirement and they had decided it would be his last term in office.
Makes sense when you realize that its his second retirement. In 1993 he retired from Peachtree City-based M.A. Industries.
Frady has been a consistent winner since his first election in 1992 and was reelected to his fifth term in 2008, the only commissioner in county history to be elected to five terms in office. He has served as commission vice-chairman from 2007 through 2010 and was elected chairman in 2011 and 2012.
His official bio says Frady was born in Cherokee County, enjoyed athletics and entered the Air Force, where he served for four years. Afterwards, he completed real estate school and attended Georgia State University. He and Shirley were married in 1959, moved to Fayette County in 1975, and have four children and have ten grandchildren.
For 10 years he and his wife owned “Frady’s” in Peachtree City. In 1980 he was hired by M.A. Industries as a corporate pilot and later became their vice president and general manager.
Frady was elected to the Peachtree City council in 1977 and he went on to be elected to serve two terms as Mayor of Peachtree City. During his term, the city purchased the amphitheater, now fondly known as “The Fred” as well as obtaining areas for the city’s initial fire stations and recreation areas for the city.
“We didn’t own anything until then. Then we made package amenities deals with the developer.”
He has also served on the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the National Association of Counties.
Frady hasn’t always seen an easy tenure on the board, with some of the biggest controversies coming in the last few years as the West Fayetteville Bypass has taken center stage with citizens.
“I’ve apologized to citizens for disrupting their lives - over and over.”
Frady said more than one study has indicated the ongoing need for the roadway, citizens cast ballots for the transportation local option sales tax plan and he was going to do what the majority of the voters wanted and not cater to special interest groups.
Additionally, he noted, despite what anyone said, neither he nor former Fayetteville mayor Ken Steele “never voted on anything to promote mass transit in the county. People are running on assumptions.”
Frady says he’s proud of the status of the county’s recreation departments, the Justice Center and the Fayette County Library, and can’t wait until the Lake McIntosh area was ready for the public, additions that were all constructed during his tenure, and “I think we have two of the best public safety units - Fire and EMS and the Sheriff’s Department- in the state.”
He thinks the county is going to have some economically troubled periods with the economy flat and he hoped the board’s future leadership would make the right decisions, then referred to the man who had announced his plans to oppose Frady in the upcoming election, David Barlow.
“Barlow, he’s never run a lemonade stand. He’s going to be a yes man.”
He’s concerned about the incoming board members and hope they would always do what the majority of the people wanted.
Frady says he plans to spend some time traveling with his wife, hopefully a trip to Alaska is on the agenda, and spending time doing gardening with Shirley.
“I like gardening,” he said, then, after a beat, “Well, Shirley likes gardening and I help.”