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Mayor Haddix: Committee will study tax rate, service priorities

The special called council meeting to set the millage rate was continued. The reason was to try to find more budget cuts and for council members Dienhart and Imker to see if they can create a joint proposal.

While unsure of the total amount Councilman Dienhart is trying to achieve, Councilman Imker has stated $3 million.

To use the descriptive from my budget letter, there are now so many budget Band-Aids being proposed and pursued, it looks like a mummy. It is like a boat that is falling apart being kept together with duct tape.

When I, again, said we needed to stop taking money out only to put it back during the fiscal year and stop ultimately paying for everything with tax increases was not well received.

The annually stated requirement for a needs assessment followed by providing services and budgets in accordance with its findings was once again rejected by council members Fleisch and Imker, who actually tried to claim this was the first they heard of it, which is totally false.

In thinking about how to proceed, creating a special committee was the strongest avenue available.

The surveys we used to do were discontinued after 2010, when 86.2 percent said no more tax increases.

That was followed, also in 2010, by a 1.25 mill tax increase under the guise the survey showed no service cuts were wanted.

The discussion at the meeting made it clear it was time to act. There needs to be a clarity of message from the taxpayers on what they want, do not want, and how much tax they will pay.

A statement of willingness to continue tax increases to pay for everything or a statement of the limit of taxes they can afford to pay for certain priorities. The rest has to be cut.

Per the City Charter, the mayor has the sole power to create a committee not already created by the state. It mandates mayoral membership on that committee. I am exercising that authority to create a Needs Assessment Committee.

The committee members will be selected by me and will not contain any city employee or elected official other than myself. Council will have no authority over this committee.

My role will be to be a neutral chair and ensuring needed information is obtained from staff.

The goal of the committee is to ascertain what millage rate the property owners are willing to tolerate, priority of services to be provided and where cuts, if any, are desired to occur.

This is the only way we will clearly know what Peachtree City wants, needs and is willing to pay for, be it continuing tax increases or reduction of services.

The committee needs to reflect the across the board opinions of the city, pro and con. It needs to have people who will work to reach out for and gather the opinions of the residents.

I hope you will consider taking part. Please contact me at or write me at 151 Willowbend Road, Peachtree City, 30269.

This will not be an instant process and will not be completed before the 2013 Budget is finalized. But remember, budget adjustments can be made at any time during the fiscal year to meet changing needs.

Don Haddix, mayor

Peachtree City, Ga.



Great news about this committee.

So, as we read it, this is your committee and even though you are a netural chair, your committee will determine the mileage increase followed by the service cuts?

Will you be identifying the standards for the needs assessment?

Example...let's say your committee wants only an X% tax increase and they want to make cuts, do they select where the cuts must be or will it be across the board?

As the chairman of the committee, will you identify and establish standards for the service levels and/or response times for various departments?

Is the implication that only you and your committee will have final authority on the tax increase and budget cuts?

Glad to see this moving forward.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

When the mayor says this :

"The committee members will be selected by me and will not contain any city employee or elected official other than myself. Council will have no authority over this committee."

I say this F---- ----- ------- ---- ----- ----- ------- and the horse you rode in on. mr. mayor.
You want a committee you dork? We will get a committee. Might have tar and feathers with them, but we will get you a committee. You evil, silly little man. Why can't you just grasp the fact that you were elected to serve the citizens of PTC - all of them. And so were the others on council? Get over yourself, dude. You are not equipped for any kind of intellectual exercise. Give it up!

Live free or die!

Successful businesses, organizations, cities, are successful because they plan for success, manage the progress, and also are prepared to adapt quickly with contingency plans when life throws one a curve.

Leadership and success starts at the top and as Mayor, this starts with you.

As our leader, I would like to know who canceled the yearly surveys. The citizens needs change based on the economy. In good times we want more luxuries. In difficult economic times we all know we need to tighten our belts. Had these surveys continued you would know where the city needed to cut costs. These decisions could've been a no-brainer if we had the information from the surveys in front of us. We are now in crisis mode. No one is satisfied when decisions are made under crisis conditions.

Surveys are simple and inexpensive methods to gauge public input. All organizations use these surveys to gauge their success failures and needs of constituents, clients, and employees. If these surveys had not stopped you would have known what is and is not important to the citizens. We could have cut costs where needed and then the city could have explained why we need a tax increase. The citizens then would just have to put on their big boy pants and live with the increase because the needs are now justified.

PS. This management skill was taught to me in High School when we studied Jack Welch who was the CEO of GE and one of the top business leaders of the time

Don Haddix's picture

Councilman Sturbaum and I pushed for Surveys in 2008. They began, but there was always political opinions on what was to be asked and how they were asked.

The 2010 Survey formulation work began in late 2009, under one Council, and finalized in 2010, under another Council.

Councilmembers Learnard, Fleisch and Imker wanted no question on tax rates and would not allow direct questions such as, "Do you want to pay for replacing the Bubble?"

Doug and I basically forced them to allow the tax question by asking why they didn't want it on?

I believe the 1.25 tax increase later explained why.

I tried to get a Survey going for 2011. It died on the vine, ending the Surveys.

The majority want to continue the good times spending. But with the economy, build out, etc, we must adapt, as you said.

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

Do you really think you are displaying an effecitve leadership style by trashing the other cit council members on this post?

Its time to work as a team member (its not re-election time) but it is time for you to effectively lead this new committee, do a good job, come back with solid recommendations and prove that you are qualified.

Many are tired of listening to your fingerpointing. Just do what you are suppose to do and maybe if you do it right, you will get re-elected because you have proven your abilities.

enough said

Don Haddix's picture

Part of my job is answering questions when asked. Here, the question was asked, so I answered. The answer was accurate.

Let me correct you. I am not a Council Member. There are four Council Members and one Mayor.

As far as many, many support what I am doing. Many have told me to fight the illegal taking of my salary.

I am forced to do this Needs Assessment Committee because the majority does not support it.

As Mayor, my leadership duties are first and primarily to my constituents. I was elected to pursue goals I laid out. To keep my promises, which I do.

The ballot didn't have a team roster. It had individual names.

You are back and can say what you wish. I just ask you do not resurrect your other identities, including the one of a supporter of mine you assumed.

That should about say it all.

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

Thank you for that clarification...

It clearly shows why there is dysfunction within the city council.
LACK OF LEADERSHIP by the Mayor, as head of the council. Some citizens may want to point the finger at all or select members of the council, but the bottom line is you are in charge.

You are 1 of 5 votes. The city's structure requires teamwork for progress. Since being mayor, and prior, as a council member you have always been on the losing side of the vote.

What this indicates is that council is in charge and where you had the opportunity to be the leader of the council to garner a consensus to get everyone working together with you not against you, you have not succeeded.

Instead, you sit back and criticize members on almost every issue, or take credit for work done by others.

True leadership is not based upon absolute power but on the ability to build consensus and support. Something our current President has failed to do with the Congressional law makers.

That might be how one can lose a presidential re-election and a mayoral re-election.

"That should about say it all"
"enough said"

and any other excuse you want to throw out to end this conversation

Don Haddix's picture

As always, you assume you have it all figured out. But, as always, you do not.

Councilman Dienhart ran unopposed. No one helped him get elected.

As for being 4-1 against, that is not accurate. There have been several 4-1 votes where either Councilman Imker or Dienhart were the 1. Also, some 3-2 where I was in the majority or minority. There will be more of each.

Not to mention the 5-0 votes or where I have persuaded a majority vote or been persuaded to a different vote.

As for criticizing, you turn a blind eye to the attacks upon me. Ah, but that does not fit your political agenda.

This is not an election year. I have not made up my mind what I will do because there are three options with requests from backers to do one or either of two. You have a very long wait ahead of you before I make a firm decision.

So, now that you have something to puzzle over, have fun. As in, what will he in fact do?

That should close out this conversation.

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

NUK_1's picture

You invited a slew of personal attacks the same way Brown does: by instigating them over and over and through the newspaper. When you turn the heat up to scorching levels, don't be surprised when heat-seeking missiles find you.

You left out Imker's opponent you were cheerleading for who lost. According to the resident FC crazies, since the margin was greater than what Steve Brown beat Jack Smith by in 2010 and that was called a "landslide," I guess he got really thumped badly. My criteria for landslides is a little different: that would be the margins that Brown lost to Logsdon and then Ramsey. Now that was a landslide!

You are one vote out of 5. Forming and populating committees is rather meaningless if you alienate the other 4 to the point that they will simply ignore anything your self-created committees study. You've already laid the groundwork to make the Needs Assessment Committee pretty useless by grandstanding it as "the other members don't want this but I can do it since I'm Mayor and they have no say." That's par for the course there.

Also, don't confuse those who disagree with council gutting your pay with that in any way meaning they approve of the job you are doing. These are two separate issues entirely, though you have made plenty of enemies who enjoy seeing you get the dirty end of the stick and aren't going to quibble over the tactics used. I'm not one of those at all because it was simply wrong to do and not the way to handle it.

Don Haddix's picture

We will see if the Committee report has value or not.

Remember, even if it does not get changes from this Council, it will be there for the next and the election in-between. Three terms expire next year.

By the way, since you want to talk about Brown's election history and landslides, mine was 57% in a three way, first ballot, and 66% in a runoff in the next election.

Imker had a good opponent that ran a poor election. He was and remains a good man.

You have not thought this through very well.

Those who disagree with the salary cut, here I can say a huge majority of PTC, demonstrate the thinking process of the majority, not only here but in other areas, needs to be changed.

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

NUK_1's picture

No way I would have voted for Cynthia Plunkett but that was another Mickey Mouse vote for me back then. Too many of those kind of choices lately.

The facts show your hefty margin of victories and I will never disagree with reality. I think you may have squandered it though. Then again, you pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat in making the Tennis Center fiasco turn into something much more beneficial to the City with Canongate and you still have over a year to go so maybe you can hit the jackpot again with the committee approach.

Don Haddix's picture

That felt strange to say, but deserved.

Looking at Federal elections, I also agree about the candidate choices we have had and are see more and more of is a big problem.

Don't forget the changes of the Fred Management and replacing Tourism with the CVB.

As well pushing for a major reorganization of the city.

Remember, all those issues, at that time, had anger raining down on my head for the proposals at those times.

All had majority opposition that had to be worked through to get at least a 3 vote.

The status quo, in major areas that are failing, is a red flag that something has to change. It does not take a genius to see the obvious.

That can even include re-purposing an existing facility to a better use.

It can also, possibly, mean even up to selling to a private concern to get the property back on the tax digest and better used.

With most government entrenched in a repetitive pattern, it usually demands change in a new, out of the box approach, which I am not afraid to try.

Owning a business for 20 years was a big learning curve.

I look to see where there is success in other cities, all across the nation.

Also, in those classes Councilman Dienhart wants to cut, there is a lot of innovative thinking to be found.

The City Attorney brought back the Facilities Authority from a class he attended.

Why reinvent the wheel if it can be avoided?

If you know, or you personally, are good at developing the right approaches, asking the right questions, etc, to get solid and useful information from the citizens, then by all means, please encourage involvement or be involved.

Every City Department can furnish any information desired. We already have a survey tool online that, collects, totals and publishes results automatically.

The assets are there to make it happen. I just want other than elected or Staff formulating the questions.

Unless we ask the residents, we will not know the answer to what they want and are willing to do.

It is a red flag that where we are now is not working.

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

NUK_1's picture

[quote=Don Haddix]T

Don't forget the changes of the Fred Management and replacing Tourism with the CVB.

You're correct here as you did push to end the fiasco that the Brown regime created with the Tourism Authority and subsequently FBJ mgt. Just like the Tennis Ctr/Canongate, I will salute you for these accomplishments. Much better than what you inherited.

I remember you spending time on this blog promoting was clear that you thought you had a shoe in with him and now that shoe doesn't fit for does it. You appeared so clearly desperate to get your 2 people elected so you had a 3 to 2 vote..Remember how you promoted how important that election was!

So let's not try to twist and turn on this one. You made those intentions very clear during the campaign and on these blogs promoting both of your candidates! You can't say something like that here with your fingers crossed behind your back Donnie Boy! We are know that you are a HABITUAL LIAR, and take credit for things that others on council did....

You can disagree here, but others may weigh in on that topic to remind you.

As for critizing, absolutely I do, because you bring it on with stupid blogging and even dumber letters to the editor attacking council members who have too much class to fire back here.

As for my polticial motivation...I have only 1 motive, to make sure there is a new mayor in town because as a local business owner you are bad for business.

I will be first in line to sign up and contribute to any PAC to unseat you if you run again.

Keep coming at me, Donnie. I'll get as mean as you because I want people to see what you are made of. I will go right to the bottom of this barrel with you! See, I am not, and never was interested in public office so I only care about exposing you.

I agree, you now need to close this conversation!

When you, and your backers decide what to do(lol-I didn't know Laurel and Hardy were still alive) ...make sure it's not to run for mayor again.

I suspect there will be SUPER PAC formed to lay out to the voters the truth about you. Thanks to your constant blogging, letters to the editor, and city council video tapes, everything is so well documented. You actually created all the material needed.

Try running for a county commissioner or something in the state legislature.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Please spare us from this stuff, mr. mayor. Your salary was taken because you took money from the city. Illegally and unethically. The review on both is coming up and you will be either innocent or guilty.

Whatcha gonna do Donster when the hommies in da hood say ya a felon? Pull your piece and fight it out with the PTC PO PO? I think not. Please just go away. You can get a lake lot with a log cabin (kit) on Lake Lure for $60k. Jump on it. We will help you move.

Live free or die!

mudcat's picture

They may be Log Cabin Republicans, but a real log cabin is complicated. You have to put Tab A into Slot B and so forth. You think "Me and Doug" is cool with that? Where is Doug anyway? How come no comment from him? What would Barlow think about "Doug and me" if someone like John Munford sought him out tomorrow while he's chowing down at Chick-fil-A? God bless them all.

I am not a council member - I am Mayor? Are you kidding me? What former mayor (even the brown clown) would ever say something so stupid?

This just gets better and better.

mudcat's picture

He actually thinks he is going to get reelected with all this pap and that is what drives him. His hero Brown thinks the same thing, but Brown is right - he will rise to State level office. That's what the vehement T-SPLOST opposition was all about. Brown for State Senator - look for it.

Haddix on the other hand is a tool, a fool and a dork.

His job is to discourage FREE THOUGHT and actually get elected again. I don't think so. Do you?

Mike King's picture

"I tried to get a Survey going for 2011. It died on the vine, ending the Surveys" Throughout 2011 you were involved in the actions that got you censured. In other words, you kept people off to the point nothing constructive was accomplished. Funny thing is, you don't even acknowledge that any of this was of your own making.

Do the city a favor, resign now for we've suffered enough.

mudcat's picture

You get what you pay for. Here again that is proven. Silly little manchild.

Mike King's picture

You're right, I shouldn't expect more. Our mayor is simply Peachtree City's hemorrhoid.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

and your committee members. In fact it would be good if the new county commissioners read this as well. See if you apply some of the lessons.

It is not a book, it is only a 2 pager - Larry Elder in today's Townhall Daily writes about uber-Democrat George McGovern and his adventures in the private sector.

Live free or die!

Don Haddix's picture

Here is a chance to serve the community.

Sign up for the committee.

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

at my front door if my grass was as HIGH as much of what I see around town.

I hope I addressed you by the correct Title.

Don Haddix's picture

The purpose of the Committee is to gather information form the public, not determine specifics.

You can volunteer to be part of that effort.

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

I am giving you information that if my grass was as high as the grass I see all around town, code enforcement would be asking me to cut it. This in my opinion needs to be fixed.

I will kindly pass on being on any committee with you, as I have seen on here and at Council meetings how you treat people. No need to subject myself to that.

mudcat's picture

Wednesday there were 3 deer out there grazing in the tall grass about 6PM. Thursday the grass had been cut and the deer were gone. What happened?

yellowjax1212's picture

So, is it your intention to leave the taxpayers of PTC holding the bag for the 10K you spent on legal fees to fight a libel suit brought against you as a private citizen?

Randy Boyett's picture

RWM there are no worries re Haddix and his committee. I expect to see little from this.

Haddix does not have the intellectual capacity to propose any budget issues on his own other than threaten service cuts so his only alternative is to propose a committee. He has no leadership skills to I doubt any committee he forms will be successful unless there is the off chance he accidentally finds some with the intellectual skill and leadership abilities to pull something through.

When is the next election for Mayor if he fails to do the right thing and resign?

Randy Boyett

PTC Observer's picture

get one.

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