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Commissioner upset over possible delay for new park

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A commissioner is crying foul over the possible delay for the second year in a row of a new park.

When the fight first ensued a year ago, Commissioner Mike Beaudreau was unable to stop the move a year ago to delay engineering of a park with baseball fields and other amenities for the new Archer High School cluster.

Once again, he believes the attempt to remove the funding from the 2010 budget -- due for adoption today -- is political payback for recent fights with Chairman Charles Bannister over budget cuts and a tax increase.

In a document given to commissioners just before Christmas, Bannister proposed moving the $1.2 million earmarked for the design of the Archer community park in the Harbins area to Lions Club Park in Lilburn.

"The folks in the Archer district are going to get hosed," Beaudreau said. "They are told their ballfields aren't as important as anyone else's. ...

"It's awfully sad to put kids in the middle of a political fight."

Bannister said he did not intend to fund any project that would require more employees in the future.

"We don't have funding for everything," he said. "He's upset and that's OK. I can't help that. ... I'm not going to discuss that part of the budget until we vote on it."

Lions Club Park is in need of renovation, and officials have planned an expansion, but Beaudreau said the community, which is part of the Meadowcreek cluster, has fields to play on, while the new Archer cluster does not.

"It's like D.C. politics hitting home," Beaudreau said. "He's obviously got a personal vendetta. ... It's very shallow and callous. It's just shocking."