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Put egos aside, do the right thing for PTC budget

There are a number of challenges the Peachtree City’s City Council has to face in the coming months from the 2011 millage: Whether to budget $150,000 for the Development Authority, whether to annex 70-plus acres of land to our south to allow an industrial complex, the westside annexation, and the Walgreens on Ga. Highway 54, to name just a few.

It would be a challenge for any administration.

From my observations over the summer months, there are differing opinions among council on many of these issues. Right now we don’t know where we stand with the millage with a 2-2-1 stalemate. We are at a 3-2 division with respect to a budget for the DAPC. Annexing land to our south to allow for the industrial complex in lieu of the current plan could also prove to be controversial.

Disagreement is not always a bad thing. Usually the best solutions come about when differing opinions keep an open mind and cooperate.

I see a lot of differing opinions lately, but not a lot of open-mindedness and cooperation.

The most important factor is doing what is best for the city and its future. Cooperation cannot be achieved if all parties cross their arms and pontificate about how they know best and if you disagree then you obviously are misinformed, ignorant of the facts, or just plain wrong.

Take the millage rate debate. Whether you believe a 0.5 mill increase is the way to go or a 1.25 mill increase is a more effective solution, the debate is not about whether you want to raise taxes or not.

No one wants to have to raise taxes. If it must be done, however, let us talk about the facts surrounding each option. Leave egos, campaign promises, and politics out of it and come up with a solution that will balance the needs and expectations of our citizens both now and five years from now.

Whether to budget $150,000 for the DAPC is another hot topic right now. No one disagrees that we need to invest in on our economic development and attract more businesses to promote a more solid foundation for our future. The question seems to be not the WHAT but the HOW.

Some feel that by giving $150K to an openly dedicated volunteer organization like DAPC is the best path. Others feel that hiring a city economic development director to oversee and assist our current DAPC is a better path. All want to accomplish the same goal, just differently.

Instead of grandstanding, each council member needs to focus on blending their ideas in a cooperative manner so that a solution can be reached. Stop debating the WHAT and focus on the HOW.

As far as Low Temp coming to our south side in lieu of competitive retail, I doubt many would disagree with looking into any alternative to the current Southern Pines Plantation retail project.

I want Mike and C’s in PTC to thrive just as much as anyone. We certainly do not need more retail competing with Mike as is currently planned.

However, if we choose to annex, we need to be doing so for the right reasons for the entire city. We cannot annex 70 acres just to avoid retail at our borders. We will always have borders.

We need to cooperate and facilitate good relations with the county to make sure what is built both in our city and at our borders benefits everyone. We also need to be sure that with our 2012 comprehensive plan update that we include potential annexations, if any.

That way we can be sure that our planned community continues to be PLANNED and we end up with city limits that are deliberate and make sense for the long run.

The point is that we need more cooperation among council members in the coming months. There is never only one way to do anything. Please find a way to do what is in the best interests of our citizens and PTC and check politics and egos at the door.

It is not about being right; it is about doing right.

Beth Pullias

Peachtree City, Ga.



Don Haddix's picture

Avoiding the subjective arguments and points of view issues you brought up I will focus on the one that is not subject, but pure law.

You said:

<cite>Others feel that hiring a city economic development director to oversee and assist our current DAPC is a better path.</cite>

As taught in GMA classes, stated in law and confirmed by our City Attorney a City employee cannot oversee DAPC or exercise any authority, power or ability given by the State to DAPC but denied to elected or Staff personnel.

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

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Move on to the next logical step - vote with ladies for the very modest increase of $108. Take the spotlight off Imker - he's not being helpful.

If you can't (or won't) work around the law by being creative, then give it up and get a budget approved. Then we can all learn together that economic development doesn't happen by itself and we can take some emergency measures later in the year without Imker holding us hostage through the budget approval process. Come to think of it, all of you are holding us hostage by not compromising - it is not just Imker.

I think Beth is onto something here - get your ego off your shoulders and do something. We can afford either tax increase and we all know you are not going to cut anything, so get on with it. Don't turn this into a comedy show like Brown's 4 years.

Live free or die!

you are absolutely right! The time that has been wasted on this process is beyond compreshension. It is painful to watch. Is it really that complicated? As the saying goes, "time is money"....much time has been wasted.

Mr. Mayor, as asked before, can you point us to that law in the Georgia code. Shouldn't be all that hard to locate with your GMA training.

Mr Mayor

Please raise the tax to the max.
Please push the $150,000 issue for your development authority.
Please annex the land to allow a factory on our border.

Please plan on serving as a 1 term mayor since you will be voted out for pushing your agenda over everyone else.

We are waiting for you to force YOUR will on everyone.

You are the new Steve Brown as mayor....and Imker is the new you as council member!

What is that anyway, belong to your brother?
I'll answer your questions now so you can quit worrying:

The millage will be raised---probably a compromise to the high side. They are not going to cut any more expenses!

You can't "Hunt down" large employers with a few bucks, so.......hire a typist.

Everyone ought to "blend" their ideas with other's ideas, and unfold their arms. Why don't you say compromise?

I think also that we need to cooperate and facilitate, and mediate, and make sure our borders benefits what's there now, and cooperate (that's a good word) with the County, and also collaborate and transgress with all.

Then when they do what is already been decided we can say, "see how easy it was?"

Mike King's picture

Much has been said and read regarding the $115,000.00 funding increase for the Development Authority of Peachtree City, and it is the opinion of the undersigned that such an increase is a waste of revenue that could be better used elsewhere. Let it be known that the establishment and funding of a fully staffed Authority can and will bear fruit for our town in the coming years.

Currently, the Authority is comprised of volunteers who give freely of their talents and resources to attract the attention of commercial entities toward Peachtree City. These individuals are to be commended as they have done much with little and whose efforts have been not been unnoticed. But, facts are facts, and they have yet to cross the goal line with any results. The rationale for their lack of success is simple; they are too few held together by good intentions and a volunteer spirit.

Our mayor’s intent is to increase DAPC’s budget from $35K to $150K, which includes a full time employee at a salary of around $35K. The idea, perhaps, is to lure a graduate student to coordinate, answer phones, and perform administrative functions for maybe a year and then expand. Both the mayor and the chair of DAPC know that this is a waste of resources and simply will not bear fruit.

For such a development authority to work, it will require the resources of as many as three full time employees with backgrounds in marketing and the ability to go “toe to toe” with relocating or expanding business owners. To fund this expansion of DAPC would require substantially more than the additional $115K, and maybe that is the Mayor’s intent. If so, his timing could not be worse.

The city’s debt ceiling at eighty percent of its annual revenue and Council uncommitted on how much of a tax increase to levy is surely an indication that expansion must be delayed. To continue the course, would the Mayor be willing to make cuts in other departments to offset the revenue required for such a venture? He has stated in writing that cuts in recreation would be the first enacted should the situation dictate, but in doing so would he not discontinue that which brought us here in the first place?

To make an increase of some $100K is simply a waste of funds as it only extends the status quo. If the Mayor is serious then he should resource it so as to enhance success and fund it from other departments. To simply add it to our already bloated cost of city government (63% of revenue) is something even he wouldn’t attempt, hopefully.

To approve his requested $115K he may as well take that amount from the city treasury and have a go on the tables at Biloxi. Either way, its not his money that he is willing to gamble, but ours.

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