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Raise in the works for PTC Mayor Haddix? Vote may be 3-to-2

As the Peachtree City Council bandied about budget cuts to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars this weekend, Councilmen Doug Sturbaum and Eric Imker said they supported raising the pay of Mayor Don Haddix, who is currently compensated at $9,000 a year [corrected amount].

Council members Vanessa Fleisch and Kim Learnard indicated they would not support the proposal, and Haddix said he would “go along” with whatever Imker and Sturbaum decided.

Imker said he has seen Haddix work well over 40 hours a week and that the salary was “kind of low for what he’s doing.”

Sturbaum said he would be OK with raising the mayor’s pay from $12,000 to $18,000. Imker said he would support a raise of up to $15,000 perhaps, and he agreed to discuss the matter later with Sturbaum.

If Haddix ultimately wins a raise, he would almost certainly be the only city official to get a raise this year. The upcoming fiscal year’s budget includes no raises for employees.

Raises for City Council were due to go into effect this year, bringing the mayor up to $18,000 a year and council members from $6,000 to $12,000 a year. But with the city’s budget woes, council last year voted to not fund those salary increases.

Fleisch and Learnard said they felt they “knew what they were getting into” regarding the pay when they ran for office.

“It’s very deserved but we don’t have the money,” Learnard said. “I want no more than I bargained for last fall when I campaigned.”

“The way the world is now it would be wrong to take anything more,” Fleisch added.



Don Haddix's picture

John, please correct your article. I get $9,000.00 a year, not $12,000.00.


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

Mike King's picture

To not adequately compensate those we elect to public office is asking for a repeat of the irresponsible Councils of the past. To coin a phrase; "You get what you pay for", and knowing Don Haddix as I do, he is the most underpaid and overworked public servant in Peachtree City.

Sure, he knew what he was getting into, and being the stand up guy that he is he has given of himself far more than any Peachtree City Mayor in my 23 years of residency.

Is there anyone out there in Blogger Land that will trade places for $9K annually? If so, stand to be counted.

dawn69's picture

I make more than that bartending! Explains why most public servants are of retirement age.

<"The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller>

Let's get this straight -- the same Imker guy who wants to balance the budget with more city employee cuts now wants to give the mayor a raise of up to 66 percent less than 5 months into the mayor's tenure???

9k is not a lot but I totally agree with Fleisch and Learnard: If Haddix didn’t want a 9k job he should not have run for it.

Don Haddix's picture

Nothing more or less than a clarification here. Then feel as you wish.

The raise was given in 2007, effective January 1, 2010. The funding for the raise was moved during the election cycle by the very ones who voted the raise in and ready to be moved back January 1. It was a political and after I declared for Mayor.

So yes, I knew what amount I was running for, $18,000.00 a year. I was absolutely honest and blunt last year and the voters knew exactly where I stood when I was asked about it at the Rotary Forum and elsewhere.

It is not a vote to give a raise. It is a vote to restore the funding for a raise given over 2.5 years ago on a pay level from 1985.

As I said, everyone is entitled to feel as they will on this issue. I have been nothing but honest on this issue all along.

This is my one and only comment on this article.

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

Thanks for the "clarity." I can sympathize with your situation, sort of.

However, if I understand your position you claim you were running for an 18k job, yet it actually only paid 9k at the time of your election and you knew -- prior to the election -- that it would require a council vote to implement the raise. Hmmmm...

You also knew the budget environment in which that vote would take place.

Here's my bottom line: While I do think the pay is too low, for you or anyone on council to accept raises right now would be horrendous leadership.

For Imker, particularly, to support such raises while advocating pay and benefit cuts for city workers strikes me as the height of arrogance.

that we don't know about. This is smells of Obama back room arm twisitng politics so badly it is revolting. Why are these 2 council members flip-flopping in less than, what, 10 weeks. since they these raises were voted down by all 4 council members in Jan.?

How about this scenario? The mayor is p.o.'d big time that the budget issues have snafued his raise. So, he convinces these 2 to support just his raise. Then, unless everyone squawks about it, the 3 of them vote it in. Then, shortly thereafter, the mayor puts raises for council up again for a vote. Mayor hs the power to do that.

Guess who's gonna vote yes..well, of course, Haddix, Sturbaum and Imker will. Learnard and Fleisch can go either way at that point. Either way, they win. Vote no, retain your integrity and they still get the money (3-2). Vote yes with the other 3 and it shows solidarity on council in numbers and they still get the money.

This is so unbeleivably self serving. A slap in the face to the staff and a slap in the face of a budget that is using OUR cash reserves to get balanced.

And, finally, just WHAT, Mr. Mayor, has changed on the budget numbers to the POSITVE CASH FLOW side, to justify a yes vote less than 3 months after you raised this at your first meeting in Jan.?

Mike King's picture

Your post makes me wonder just how many times you exuded considerable effort to save a dime while losing a dollar.

Pure unadulterated hyperbole!

You old flatterer, you. Stop, or you'll make yourself blush.

It's not about a dollar or a dime. It's about leadership.

Mike King's picture

We simply dissagree. Now get you facts straight.

What facts am I missing or misstating?

Mike King's picture

...there Bowser. I have never served on the Council.

I remembered a Mike King who ran...I think I even voted for him.

Don Haddix's picture

Both Doug Sturbaum and I supported the raise in 2009 Budget Hearings.

In the election cycle Imker supported the raise.

The vote in January was not against the raise. It was to continue until the Budget Hearings because Imker was not at that meeting to vote and avoid a 2-2 tie.

So there is absolutely no flip flopping. Your statement is incorrect.

The one thing all three of us share is we are not politically correct.

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

The other thing you three apparently share is lack of leadership instincts.

It's astonishing that this raise is even still on the table right now. If you three vote it through, here's the message you will send:

Times are tough. Everybody's got to tighten their belts. Well, except me.

Dondol's picture

I have been one of your biggest supporters from day one, but I have to tell you given the current financial situation of our fair city, now is not the time or the place for this. Come back in a year or two and then we'll talk raise. But until this mess that we have right now is cleared up just stay the course and live with what you knew you were getting on the day you signed on. If not you can rest assured that you will be a one term wonder.
Right now is just the wrong time!

NUK_1's picture

C'mon, you should know you can't resist responding more or did you mean "my only comment today on the article?"

OMG. I don't know of anyone who applies for a job, then gets a raise just a few months after they are hired. Be happy you are hired and working. Suck it up and tough it out with the rest of us. I don't care how good he is...he needs to prove his worth.

John Munford's picture

This article has been corrected. Mr. Haddix currently earns $9,000. The error is mine. Sorry for the confusion.

Staff Writer

Steve Brown's picture

In response to Mike King's post, a lot of us have stood up. I can tell you from first-hand experience, the mayor's post is extremely time consuming if you want to do the job right. I tried buying out of two day per week at work to compensate for the time needed at the city. It did not even come close, and eventually, when all four phone lines at the office were tied up with calls related to the city on a continual basis, I became mayor full-time. I was not the first as Fred Brown put in a lot of time too.
So does $18,000 really solve the time problem? No, it does not. I spent my whopping $9,000 on a student intern program, local charities and I paid a lot of my own expenses.
When the raise in pay issue came up a short while ago, I sent the Mayor and Council an email stating the appearance of the raises when so many are being asked to cutback would make the City Council look tone-deaf. My feelings have not changed.
Again, if you want to do the mayor's duties correctly, it probably needs to head toward a full-time position. It was not uncommon to work 13-15 hour days with many meetings and appearances on weekends. The timing is just not good now to make such a move.
Mayor Haddix's comments are correct and he has been honest and upfront on this issue.

NUK_1's picture

The timing is indeed wrong to truly address this issue, regardless of the fact that Haddix has always been very upfront about agreeing on the raise already voted upon.

The city employees and taxpayers to some extent have taken their hits and it would send a terrible signal to have the Mayor suddenly get a bump in pay. Remember, city employees also used to count on cost of living and merit raises too every year, and those have been stopped due to the economy. Regardless of when the new pay scale for Mayor/Council was agreed upon, now isn't the time or place or force this issue.

A mixture of an elected Mayor and a City Manager where certainly the Mayor would then make more money than the City Manager, would likely eliminate any significant influence of Councilpersons.

If the Mayor's job is primarily going to be answering complaints, then who will do the required planning and implementation of plans for the city?
It is bad enough that the Mayor must eat rubber chicken several times a week at civic and business meetings, but to undercut the needed power of a strong City Manager makes it difficult for him to supervise the daily city functions.

We don't want to make these positions a career of well paid politicians!

Item 1-10-09 "On Aug. 16, 2007, the council approved a pay increase for Mayor & Council to 18k and 12k respectively, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. The raises were not funded in the FY 2010 budget. Sturbaum stated that, in light of the current revenue situation, the funding of the pay raises should be postponed. Sturbaum moved to continue the funding of the Council pay raises indefinitely. Fleisch seconded. Motion carried unanimously."

I see postpone and indefinitely. Nothing about budget meetings.

So if the mayor's phone is ringing off the hook... what does the city manager do? And if Steve's 4 lines were tied up, why were we paying a city manager & Colin the asst (sorry this is a real burr in my saddle) a $100,000 yr? Does the mayor run the city or the manager? What form of gov't is this? Let me know if we are voting for career politicians or is it public service.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Not $100,000 for doing nothing but calculating time to retirement, but $119,000 in salary and full medical, retirement benefits plus a car and entertainment allowance. Real total cost of this
was closer to $160,000 a year.

Prediction - Haddix and Bernie will clash over the "full-time" mayor's position and the obvious duplication of effort or overlapping job responsibilities and Bernie will quit in disgust. The Mr. Haddix will hire someone who shares his vision of what each job should be - sort of like when Brown ran off Basinger and Williams and brought Bernie in. Of course there won't be any cost savings because government doesn't do that, but we will burn a lot of time and effort up to have change for the sake of change.

Live free or die!

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