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Haddix decries August censure in Rotary address

The mayor’s annual State of the City address is a political tradition in Peachtree City, routinely chocked with the city’s various accomplishments over the previous years and a look at the upcoming year.

And while he managed to cover that ground capably, Mayor Don Haddix also took aim at his fellow council members for formally reprimanding him with a censure earlier this year.

Haddix said the maneuver was an attempt by three council members to censor his viewpoint. The censure, approved in August on a 3-2 vote, took issue with Haddix criticizing several governmental agencies “which damaged the city’s relationship with those and other agencies” and hurt the city’s ability to recruit new companies here.
The censure also accused Haddix of “creating an untenable work environment” and “publicly belittling and criticizing city employees.”

Haddix said he was able to work with the state Department of Transportation to get three projects on the final regional transportation sales tax list.

“Yet I was accused of being negative and unable to work with GDOT. The facts speak for themselves and the position is false,” Haddix said.

Haddix further contended that his addressing of the censure was “not about sour grapes,” but a recognition that the action was a significant news item for the city last year.
“It was a big news item that distracted from important business,” Haddix said. “It was not a resolution of censure, but a resolution of censor, meaning silence, an attempt to deny my first amendment right to free speech.”

Haddix said he will continue to “tell it to you straight, keep my promises, and fight for what was needed.”

“Good, bad and ugly, we have to face reality before we can move forward,” Haddix said. “So, I can be censured, but I will not be silenced. No one is elected to be silent.”
In other remarks, Haddix said one of the challenges the city continues to face is decreased revenue.

“Reality is, we cannot fund everything at our current income levels,” Haddix said. “Priority and choices are going to have to be made. With people complaining our taxes are too high, leaving the city or refusing to move here, more tax increases will only make things worse.”

 Haddix said he understood that the city’s millage rate is low compared to other cities of similar size, but he feels that comparison is deceptive because it fails to take into account the property values of those homes.

Haddix also complimented City Manager Jim Pennington, City Attorney Ted Meeker and Fayette County Development Authority President Matt Forshee for hammering out a deal that will provide additional economic development services to Peachtree City.

The mayor said his main goal for the coming two years is to “go whole hog on creating more jobs here.”

Haddix said doing so will help sell more homes in the city, improve city commerce and also increase tax revenue for the city.



Mike King's picture

Our esteemed Mayor never misses a chance to deride fellow Council Members, and doing so he continues to prove that he is quite adept at putting his foot into his mouth. Is it any wonder why a 'top ten' city continues to have trouble recruiting new businesses when we are embarrassed on a weekly basis by this sort of petty foolishness? I'm positive the members of Rotary were left shaking their heads in amazement on just how we lowered ourselves to elect this clown.

Dr Pennington surely did not realize that coming to our town would place him having to deal with a kindergarten mentality.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Especially since there were at least 4 people in the room that actually have brought companies to PTC. To the Rotary Club's credit, we were nice and respectful and did not laugh. There was some eye rolling over the censure stuff, but nothing verbal.

No worries about business recruiting though - we sent $75k to Fayette County. Problem solved.

Live free or die!

Mike King's picture

For what it's worth, I'm going to ask a couple of my Rotary friends to ask that the Mayor Pro Tem be given the honor next year. Should that come to fruition, perhaps he will realize how inconsequential he is and resign.

At least this way, the city manager will not be so prone to embarrassment by attending his local Rotary Club.

What else can one say except that the man is consistent - consistently pathetic.

Why am I not surprised?

Please, just get this over with.

Mr. Mayor - Rotarians don't want to hear your pet peeves. They want to know what's going on the city. I thought the sophomoric attitudes left with Steve Brown after he complained about past Mayor Lennox while Mr. Lennox was sitting in the back of the room! How about acting like a statesman for a change?

John Giovanelli DC

PTC Observer's picture

If your looking for statesmanship don't look for it in the political arena.

Statesmanship, like honor is from a bygone era and something totally foreign to most citizens. Expecting it from Mayor Haddix is a bit laughable. However, I admire your thinking.

ginga1414's picture

I truly believe in holding public officials accountable for their actions. However, credit should most certainly be given where due.

Mayor Haddix was removed from the Regional Transportation Roundtable just because he chose to tell Fayette citizens the truth surrounding the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Transportation Investment Act.

Over many years, Fayette County’s good old boy political establishment had invested quite a lot of time in soliciting political favor from their buddies within the ARC, and they weren’t about to let a relative newcomer undo their solicitations. When they saw that Mayor Haddix’s proposal to leave the ARC was gaining momentum, they devised a plan that would undermine and discredit him as our Regional Transportation Roundtable representative and ultimately as the Mayor of Peachtree City.

Now, I know I’m going to get a whole lot of flak from that statement. However, before you start killing the messenger, let me say that this is the way politics works here in Fayette County, the state, and the country. Believe me, I have seen the correspondence and heard the conversations.

The only good thing to come from the West Fayetteville Bypass is the awakening of a group of people who have made it their business to speak out against the subversive political system within our county that has been allowed to operate much longer than it should have. Consequently, two old commissioners have been replaced and Fayetteville’s long reigning Mayor and one city council member have been replaced.

Everything that Mayor Haddix warned about concerning the ARC, RTR, and the Transportation Investment Act has proven to be correct. Peachtree City’s Bob Ross has substantiated all of Mayor Haddix’s predictions and much, much more. Now, based upon all of the information that has come to light Representative Matt Ramsey is carrying the ball by backing HB 938 authored by Cobb Representative Ed. Setzler. According to the Munford article, “HB 938 would ditch the July sales tax referendum in favor of putting a constitutional amendment before voters in November as to whether regional sales taxes for transportation purposes should be authorized.” Ramsey has said, “At the end of the day there is going to be a lot of pushback because of the time and effort that people have put into this. This is such a big, big issue that I think it would do us well to take step back, realize there is a better way forward and let’s consider all our options.”

Even though four powerful political leaders have been voted out there are still other Pro Mass Transit and ARC public officials in office. Having censored Mayor Haddix under the pretense of censure, they are quietly trying to establish another hierarchy within our local government.

Mayor Haddix was successful in persuading GDOT Director Todd Long to add five projects to the Transportation Investment Act’s constrained list. This completely debunks the accusation that he is unable to work with the Georgia Department of Transportation, as certain individuals would like the public to believe.

Gene61's picture

Okay Mr Mayor, you've had your say now, move on..

PTC Observer's picture

"the facts speak for themselves."

aptly put Mr. Mayor and correct.

You just keep doing the very best job you can do. The mistake is ours Mr. Mayor, not yours. Free elections allow us to correct our mistakes, or maybe not given the disengaged citizens of our fair city.

Maybe there's hope for you yet Mr. Mayor.

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