Monday, Jul. 6, 2015    Login | Register           

Haddix to seek re-election

Following his annual “State of the City” address to the Peachtree City Rotary Club Thursday, Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix announced that he indeed will seek a second term in the November election.

Haddix specifically cited tax increases, added debt and the dissolution of the city’s development authority as matters that “need to be corrected to move the city forward.”

“They know I keep my word and work to accomplish my agenda,” Haddix said.

Haddix has had a heated relationship with his fellow council members, and his campaign website is already up and running with material that is highly critical of councilwoman Vanessa Fleisch, his only announced opponent so far.

Haddix and his fellow council members have failed to see eye to eye on a number of issues but perhaps most critically on the budget. Haddix has advocated for staving off property tax increases, but was unable to recommend specific cuts to the budget to accomplish that goal. Instead, Haddix has appointed a committee of volunteers who are studying city spending and seeking citizen input on what should be prioritized along with a millage rate.

Haddix and the rest of council have also clashed continually over the city having to pay more than $10,000 to defend and settle a libel lawsuit filed by former Mayor Harold Logsdon stemming from an email Haddix sent to a city employee in which Haddix claimed Logsdon was “part drunk” at council meetings.

Council in May voted to dock Haddix’s pay to help reimburse the city for the expenses, but they restored his salary, including back pay, in December after Haddix threatened to file a lawsuit challenging their action, which he argued was not authorized by the city charter.

Despite the clashes with his fellow council members, Haddix told Rotary members that he has been able to score some victories including changes at the city amphitheater and tennis center that saved about $500,000 a year. Haddix also noted that the former development authority, before it was disbanded, helped redevelop the Kedron and Braelinn shopping centers, the Fresh Market grocery store “and enabled the desires of Kroger to expand their Braelinn store.”

Haddix also cited victory on making changes to “city staff and structures” that he sought in 2011, though he noted those changes involved a struggle with some on city staff and some council members.

“It has been a great honor to serve Peachtree City, first as a councilman and now as mayor,” Haddix said. “Having taken everything into consideration and in respect to all those who asked me to run again, I am announcing my candidacy for re-election as mayor.”

In his state of the city address, Haddix noted the accolades the city received the past year including the designation from Bloomberg Businessweek as “Best place to raise kids in Georgia” and from Reader’s Digest as having the “Most Interesting Parade.”

Haddix also noted that more than four miles of cart paths were improved, the city also repaved north Peachtree Parkway, much of Dividend Drive in the industrial park and several other city streets, though the city is now out of sales tax money used to fund the projects, an issue that will be “of great and costly concern for the future.”

Another financial issue gripping the city is the identification of $62 million in stormwater repairs with no money leftover to fund them. City officials have previously said they are studying an increase in the annual stormwater fee assessed on all parcels in the city.

Haddix said the reorganization of the police department by the elimination of three captain positions “has saved over $300,000 while improving efficiency and operations.” and that the city saw a 40 percent reduction in DUI-related crashes according to police data while serious crimes increased by 2.58 percent.

Haddix also cited the fire department’s work to keep and improve a volunteer force to supplement career members along with the department’s successful public education efforts.

In the area of recreation, Haddix noted improvements in turf management at the city’s baseball, soccer and lacrosse fields along with the resurfacing of various city public tennis courts and the replacement of the Kedron pool bubble enclosure. The tennis courts and bubble replacement were funded by the city’s $3 million facilities authority bond, Haddix noted.

The mayor also said he is looking forward to the results of the work of a citizen “needs assessment committee” that is preparing an unbiased survey to help with strategic planning on taxes and spending. Haddix noted that he appointed all of the citizens who applied for the position in an attempt to prevent bias.

Topic: 
Location: 

Comments

Mayor Haddix, request you re-think this invitation outside of City Hall.

Don Haddix's picture

I cannot use City Hall for an election meeting. It is illegal.

If both Sussberg and I bring tape recorders, that should ensure an honest meeting with no shenanigans afterwards, claimed or otherwise, by either of us. If others show and it becomes obvious it isn't an honest meeting I will leave immediately.

Thanks for the concern.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

I'm not bringing one..but be my guest if it makes you feel safe.

Don Haddix's picture

Then will store it away hoping it is never needed. It is a great way to recheck what was said if any doubts arises or a desire to review anything for clarity.

If we keep to the promise of open, honest and accomplishment oriented, it will never be needed and I think we can walk away with a much better relationship. That is my goal.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

I am aware of the use at City Hall, I understood there are/were questions about what you are doing currently, questions about what you have done and questions about your leadership. That is what has been/is discussed here generally.

Still surprised a one on one for your future candidacy is being held in this manner (none of my business) without someone in your campaign.

I wish you the best.

Don Haddix's picture

One on ones are common, election year or not. Have had many and will have more in the future.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Don Haddix's picture

Has it gone suddenly too quiet here after accepting the meeting invitation? A few people have contacted me and said this is looking like a setup.

What say you?

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

NUK_1's picture

It sounded like you just wanted to meet with Larry and no one else by one of your posts that mentioned if a "others" showed up you'd leave.

I don't think Larry is going to have some goons jump u in the Starbucks' parking lot. As for anyone else, a Monday at 830am probably doesn't work for a lot of them, even if they are welcome to attend, which I'm not clear that they are.

PTC Observer's picture

I think he has actually thought about it.....what's the point?

We can only hope that there will be a number of solid citizens step up to run against you. In my personal view there are a number of qualified people out there but they need to develop a sense of public commitment.

Either way, in the end I don't think it matters much who runs against you, your toast.

I'm sorry to be so quiet!

I'm out of town, working on a project, back on Sunday. Frankly, glad we are meeting and if you want to invite others, feel free. Just reserve the room at Starbucks if you can since I'm away.

My goal is to listen and ask a few questions. I want to know what your plans are if you are re-elected and I appreciate the opportunity to meet, especially after 4 years of my repeated attacks.

No bombs, no set up, ok to bring your tape recorder. And I hope you ask others to come, that's your call.

Thanks
Larry

Don Haddix's picture

I didn't mean quiet as in you. Normally I am constantly being attacked by a few bloggers whenever I post anything. It was spooky how quiet it had become. Not normal.

Having thought it through, all my positions are on my website. Reviewing The Citizen Archives of those who are constantly after me, I was not supported in 2007 or 2009. My anti-Big Box, anti-tax and anti-build-to-build alienated them. While their right to disagree, it was not honest about what they are unhappy about. We could have agreed to disagree.

So, rather than to meet, let me give a general summary of the high points I will be working for:

A first ever comprehensive/strategic plan where the citizens priorities are actually known and paid attention to. The Needs Assessment Committee is but a first step.

That has to be followed up with a Council that will actually accept and use the findings as a guideline, whatever the results say, including me.

Then Staff is instructed to dig in and do the research, etc, on the proper avenues to follow to bring those goals into reality. It would have to include potential public/private, privatization, repurposing, service cuts and even restructuring. Needless to say everyone on Council could be doing their own research as well to contribute.

If you think about it, this covers a lot of turf and should explain why I didn't make any band aid cut proposals. They have not and do not work over time.

Economic Development is critical. DAPC was doing some good things in areas the FCDA didn't do, as listed on my site. They were disbanded and you see the areas they were working in stopped progressing.

The next Council has to have a discussion on that subject. Do they want to stay with the status quo? Do they want to bring back DAPC? Do we need to take a serious look at having a joint City/County Development Authority, which has been so successful in places like Valdosta?

As for the Economic Development Coordinator, that was not a development authority position, but a City Staff position. By law it has none of the powers and abilities of an authority. Neither useful or productive for PTC.

We need jobs to attract younger families who will buy homes thus filling the retail space.

These things cover a lot more area than it may seem. It organizes, sizes and priorities Safety, Public Works, Recreation, etc. Spending is capped. It requires looking at the Budget as a whole, each year, instead of silo by silo, which has been the cause of our financial problems.

I seem to be the only one on Council who understands this.

Electing Councilmembers who understand this need is a must. There has to be a 3 vote or it will not happen.

That lays out an overview with a ton of work involved to get PTC on a proper and fiscally sound and sustainable basis. But it has to happen for our future. We cannot stay the course we are on now.

If there is anything else I could say or add here, I have no idea what it would be. Read my website. I do not want to retype it all here.

Hope you understand and if reelected, then we can sit down in my office for a long talk.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

I was looking forward to hear about this meeting.

mudcat's picture

This gem rom the mayor "We need jobs to attract younger families who will buy homes thus filling the retail space."

Now how does that work exactly? Some business creates a job, a person with a younger family takes it, they buy a house and that fills the empty retail space somehow? First of all, we aren't building any new houses, The 200 or so resales that are for sale are (or were) mostly occupied by somebody who has to move away to let that young family move in, so where is the influx of shoppers that cause someone else to go rent some of the vacant retail space and start selling baby furniture or something?

Your statement makes no sense unless you are engaged in senior bashing by assuming that old folks don't buy as many things as young people do and therefore should be replaced by younger families who will spend more. Of course if you follow that logic, you'll have to explain why you are gutting and outsourcing recreation which attracts younger families to Peachtree City.

You are certainly right about one thing - economic development needs to be handled by a separate professional organization far away from our so-called political "leaders".

PTC Observer's picture

Nice list, here's my input on the strategic plan.

1. Strategic imperative - remove Mr. Haddix from office November 2013.

That's it!

I understand your apprehension to meet, sad that a city leader would act this way but understood. Of course your review of the Citizen Archives has a nice twist, apparently there are 2 truths in your world, yours and everyone else. But that's ok too.

Actually, my questions were centered around what you would do differently in a second term to improve the city and get council working as a team and what I am reading is that you offering little new which is sad...

Why do I say that...

1-Although the Needs Assessment Committee is a great idea, that is not a reason to vote NO for 4 years on expense cuts or revenue increases. You voted NO with little to no suggestions on budget cuts when we needed them.

2-Time will tell what the Needs Assessment Committee reports but no matter what, the city should always be in motion to find ways to reduce cuts. As for fire and police, I suspect there are further cuts in excess equipment that are used as perks yet no one on council is willing to dig in on that. There are probably other ways to generate cuts and improve service and efficiencies that a Needs Assessment Committee is may not qualitied to identify and "mayoral leader" should always be motivating staff to seek out new technologies to do that.

3-As for our budget and taxes, I am waiting for the candidate who will in his/her campaign explain the budget in detail and present the next 4 years to show revenue and expense projections. Why? Because I suspect that our deficits are drying up and the city is on the road to fiscal health thanks to the actions taken by council over the past 4 years.

Although I oppose tax increases, I suspect that the increases taken over the past few years have helped especially when you apply a time value to money. I would love to city where the city would be at if we went with your orginial proposal of 0.5% increase. DAPC would not have generated enough new business to balance the budget in such a short time and I don't remember budget cut proposals from you as the offset.

If our fiscal house is in order....unless you plan to outsource or privatize the police or fire departments I'm not sure trying to do that with our recreation facilities and other entertainment facilities which make us unique as a planned community is the solution.

These facilities are important in attracting young families and will be more important than ever based upon potential sports program cuts in our schools. Recreation is always a easy target but not necessarily the right target.

As for DAPC, that issue was decided upon 3+ years ago, I can't believe you are raising this issue again! FCDA is doing a nice job, they just announced a new company coming to town. As for the coordinator working for Matt on behalf of PTC who recently left, that should be reviewed, possibly hiring a stronger person but allowing a DAPC of volunteers with a $400,000 that you proposed is a recipe for disaster. Volunteers have full time jobs, its takes professional eco development people like Matt Forshee to bring in the business working with the State, we do not need to disrupt what has already been started by bringing DAPC up again.

On the issue of volunteers involved with authorities, ones with employees and operating budgets, why does WASA need a $60,000 PR budget? Or the top 3 people earning such high salaries with the top position earning the same as our city manager running a much larger organization?

You are big on promoting authorities with large budgets but if budget cutting is an agenda, then their be cost savings are right before you? Our water bills doubled a few years ago and I have not heard a peep about that!

Hopefuly the Needs Assessment Committee is looking at those issues too. If not, then we need a mayoral leader who, working with council, not against council should be teaming up to really analyze our city's and authorties' budgets.

Finally, my biggest concern is in a few of your statements regarding council itself. You need work with the hand that you are dealt and since we elect council, not you, you have to work with them.

It appears you want to be mayor and you also want a majority on council who will work your way. Your way or no way. You have not had that in 6 years, as a council member and mayor and the result is little has been accomplished. Unless you can change the city charter where you have total control, you will probably not have that if you are re-elected. That means if I were to vote for you as mayor, I would be voting for more of the same.

Meanwhile when I speak with each council member they want the same things, all of them want to cut expenses increase efficencies and most of all they all want economic development. Each one seeks the same as you, so why such a difference?

I believe that you have created such disarray and discord on council instead of teamwork through leadership. I read your campaign website and already you are starting with the attacks on Vanessa.

I have not picked who I am voting for yet and I am hoping that all the candidates focus on the important issues. Not attacking each other which you have already started to do once again.

You can change that dynamic by changing your website and focusing on the issues.

Frankly, I want PTC government to work and currently it's broken. It will take teamwork with whomever is elected, and that does not mean stacking the deck with YES people! You work with the hand delt.

Posted almost 48 hours ago.

It's obvious that you think you have done no wrong.

Hopefully the voters will be paying attention this fall.

I will say that you seem to have slightly less argumentative tone lately, at least here on the blogs...always a bright side I say. The Council meetings, now those are a hoot, watching you children argue.

And thought the circus was in town

Vince McMahon couldn't write a funnier script.

Thinking of selling refreshments next time

NUK_1's picture

There needs to be a few off-the-top-rope moves on Mayor/council along with a few chair-shots thrown in there, and then the crowd goes home happy instead of how terribly unhappy we are now.

Except for pumpkin: she cheers for the heels.

Careful there--as a Chapel Hill Alum, I'm pretty serious about'cheering for the heels'!!

Lets see if they can behave themselves at the next meeting or it may turn into a battle royal.

Not sure if I root for the heel.

Vanessa Fleisch - Chyna
Kim Learnard - Sable
Eric Imker - Iron Shiek
George Dienhart - Dusty Rhoades
Mayor Haddix - Hornswaggle

NUK_1's picture

[quote=Husband and Father of 2]
Mayor Haddix - Hornswaggle[/quote]

Perfect!

Thought it was appropriate

Do I need to change my "handle" to the American Dream?

That would be cool. Just need to drop the bionic elbow to the head the next time someone gets out of line during the council meeting.

What about the oldies but goodies

BoBo Brazil
Bruno Sammartino

We're in the south. Southerners call it wrastling.

Bobo Brazil was before my time.

Check out Hornswoggle in Wikipedia. Vertically challenged, also referred as "little bastard", who is also Vince McMahons illegitimate son. Has a reputation of being aggressive and attacking his opponents and biting.

At first I thought how in the world did this discussion evolve from Donnie to rasslin'. But then I realized it was a natural transition. After all, rasslin' ain't a real sport and The Megalomaniac ain't a real mayor. Both are pretending to be something neither one is. The difference is you know that going in with rasslin'. Sadly and much to our chagrin, we learned it the hard way with Donnie to the tune of $10,000 of our tax dollars. Fool me once shame on you....fool me twice shame on me.

Than Hornswoggle is the perfect nickname.0

I was concerned about a one on one meeting in a private setting after the way you have been blasted. Especially setting up a meeting in this manner on a blog, just didn't pass the smell test. I did think perhaps more than one might come and yes, it would be better suited if a group wants to meet, at least it should be in a control setting like city hall.
A concerned citizen would request an appointment, it would appear on an agenda a meeting held.

When you stated many times you have met privately with citizens, I think we were talking about two different situations. As stated "I mis-understood". I thought a meeting regarding current issues and the on going negative blogging were to be discussed. And yes it has been almost a shut down on the blog, perhaps the local group is planning to drop by.

Somehow I missed Larry wanted to talk about your future campaign. If this is the case, there are many opportunities for Larry to meet with you and your supporters.

Yes...I can't physically go in and reserve the room, but we can sit out and chat. If you are nearby and can reserve it, feel free, otherwise I'll meet you in the lobby.

Thank you for taking the time.
Larry

Don Haddix's picture

That will work. In the spirit of "trust but verfy," to ensure accuracy of comment to others afterwards, feel free to bring a tape recorder. Fully legal for this kind of meeting in Georgia.

I hope for a productive meeting.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Mike King's picture

"Moan and gripe, get a few laughs,waddle home after the grease and gravy, and feel "job well done" they all agreed with one another."

Typically a statement from an individual who consistently allows their alligator mouth to over ride their humming bird ass.

typical

Mike King's picture

Not even close, but bless your heart anyway.

It is not funny, it is just embarrassing.

PTC Observer's picture

and it's on us.

mudcat's picture

Even though some of us understand the Needs Committee is just the mayor's brainchild, the average voter who pays minimal attention to such things might just vote to sweep all 3 incumbents out of office because of the silliness of appointing a committee to do your own work. Again, you and I know the truth, but for every one of us, there are 10 average voters who is operating with minimal information.

Why didn't the other 4 on council vote against this?

The Mayor has 13 additional "powers" outside of being a councilman. One is the ability to form committees. There was no vote called to vote against on.

mudcat's picture

Regardless of their findings, I think that committee is a real hot potato for council - but especially for Kim and Vanessa as they are up for election. You can't win - its like dealing with Obama. If the committee is a dud, you all take some of the blame unless you go out of your way to discredit the mayor, the committee and the fine citizens who volunteered to be on the committee - and that's not too good either. And if the committee has some good ideas and you reject them because it is mayor's solo act - you lose again. And of course if you support their ideas, mayor gets all the credit.

Do you think he actually thought this out all by himself?

NUK_1's picture

As Haddix likes to trumpet over and over, the Mayor has the power to form committees on his/her own. Hence, you have the Needs Assessment Committee.

The problem is that the council as a whole still votes up/down on anything they recommend, but when you only care about being a craven politician like our present Mayor, that's good enough for him. He'll just blame them or praise them instead of making big boy decisions himself and accepting responsibility and accountability if some voters didn't like his decision. Eh...just dump it on a committee and make them do the heavy lifting and take the heat. Typical non-leadership we've seen forever with this clown.

And we lack that at the top.

We don't have a good long term plan in place. And council should review this EVERY YEAR.

Good leaders evaluate the long term plan and then base heir short term goals to meet that plan. Economys change every year.

It's simple math. Costs have gone up and our tax income has gone down due to the economy. We have a choice. Raise taxes or make service cuts.

It doesn't have to be a fight all the time. We know the mayor has stated he doesnt want to raise taxes. Neither do any of the other council members. But they were elected to make these decisions.

The mayor would have had better standing if he had come to the table with some proposed cuts at last years budget meeting. If he had made suggestions, he could have simply stated that council has a problem. None of us want to raise taxes, but we cannot agree on the best place to start with service cuts.

If he had worked with council and got them to buy into a committee to research the needs and wants of the city and worked with council on this project, this could have been a success. The problem is that the mayor chose to point fingers and call people out. Who wants to work with someone like that especially when they came to the table without suggestions.

This committee is all his. And its his right. But, any suggestions made by the committee can be rejected by a council that has been abused by the mayor publicly for years.

The mayor however can't lose on this one with the average voter. He will claim victory if council approves any item. If the committee fails to get anything approved, the mayor will just blame council or the committee.

It's a real shame

RKS's picture

Anyone who takes what posters say on here as the gospel is silly. We are all hiding behind a screen and keyboard using silly names to hide our true identities so we can say stuff we don't have the gall to say in real life. Chill out, peeps.

Why he felt the need to use 12k plus of our city money to defend his actions.

Don Haddix's picture

Email me at dhaddix@peachtree-city.org to set up a meeting. Include that you are spyglass.

You know from a long ago email I will not reveal your real name.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Mr. Mayor; Below is your agenda items taken from your website. You identified 6 items, but did not go into any detail on how you plan to accomplish these goals. Please provide more detail.

1. Keeping promises- What would you do should it sense to break a promise for he betterment of the city?

2. Economic Development - Please detail this plan further? How will you monitor this plan?

3. Streamlining government - What are some of your ideas so we can see if they are feasible.

4. Developing a long term plan setting realistic priorities via Staff analysis based on citizen input, public/private potential, private vs public, needs and ability vs wants, etc. - Tell us how you will get this done following the completion of the committee review.

5.Tax and Spending Reform - Please explain further

6. Infrastructure repairs - There are a lot of items that need repair. The city is performing a sewer review now. What else is on the list and how do you plan to pay for this?

Most or all of these items will require teamwork to accomplish. Please detail how you might differently work with council to get these accomplished after you have gone on record berating anyone on council who does not support your agenda.

Are you saying I would get a different answer in a face to face meeting?

PTC Observer's picture

what you mean, I gall people all the time. However, there are a few people that I would avoid to be seen with in public, the Mayor falls into this category.

;-)

Don Haddix's picture

A simple reality is a number of bloggers here ask question to then try and spin them into something not said if answered. Plus, I am not going to write pages and pages of materials here.

So, if you want to ask me questions, email me at dhaddix@peachtree-city.org and ask to have a one on one or a group meeting. That requires your real and blogger names so I know who I am dealing with in fact.

As spyglass can confirm, I do not reveal blogger names.

Enough games, if you want to be serious, let us be serious and do this correctly. But it has to open and honest.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Written is good, one on one or group city hall meeting better for current business as Mayor.

Mayor if any honest citizen wants to know you better this is a step in the right direction. Campaign coming up we should attend, a good place to talk and ask before and after, in fact it's where I got to know you. A lot of work involved in selecting the person you want to be your City Leader but you, the citizen, really must put in the effort.

Your kidding right ? Can we get some assessement of accomplishments beyond the big national enquirer soap opera act ?

C55

Pages

Ad space area 4 internal

Government

The Fayette County Republican Party monthly breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, July 11, at the FCRP Event Center, 174 Glynn Street North in Fayetteville.

Sponsored Content

Opinion

As the nation celebrates its independence, it is possible that we are more divided as a country that at any time since the War Between the States.

Community

Amazing Grace Community Resource Center is sponsoring a Community Back-To-School Bash scheduled for Saturday, July 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at 949 Pointe South Pkwy.

Sports

The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Senoia June 6-7 for the Canongate Series #4. The Canongate Seminole Course played excellent host to two very competitive rounds of junior golf.

Lifestyle