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Planning commissioner resigns after email tiff with mayor

One of Peachtree City’s most outspoken planning commissioners resigned last week after an email exchange that began when Mayor Don Haddix questioned a comment the commissioner made at a recent meeting.

Larry Sussberg, who has served since October 2008, resigned Aug. 19 after he strongly criticized Haddix, who had asked about comments Sussberg made reference potential legal harm over the city’s proposed celltower ordinance.

Sussberg, over the span of several reply emails, noted that he was concerned about a comment made by a citizen at the meeting that the city council had committed to not putting cellphone towers in city parks or recreation areas.

Sussberg told Haddix that any statement made by a planning commissioner or a city council member regarding a project that has not been finalized, “a developer can perceive that as not receiving due process. That includes posting on The Citizen blogs or expressing an opinion to a citizen who might turn around and bring it up at a commission meeting.”

Haddix then replied that he disagreed with Sussberg “on what someone on council can or cannot say when and where.” Haddix also said in his reply that he has not said he didn’t want the city to allow celltowers in city parks or recreation areas.

Then Haddix turned the tables on Sussberg.

“Publicly lecturing council is not productive any more than any of us publicly lecturing anyone on the planning commission,” Haddix said.

That email from the mayor was the last straw for Sussberg, who resigned in a subsequent email reply.

“To further clarify, my lecturing was to you, not council,” Sussberg wrote. “It relates to your initial email to me as well as your blogs on The Citizen that disrupts the planning process. Finally, please accept my resignation effective immediately.”

Sussberg finished the email up by classifying Haddix as “an idiot.”

Haddix, in a brief interview this week, said that remark “went beyond the pale.”

“It’s inappropriate and it’s not a good reflection on the city,” Haddix said.

The seat vacated by Sussberg leaves the commission with four active members as alternate Lisa Curtis resigned in July.

The city is seeking applicants for the volunteer position and applications will be accepted through September 3.

A copy of the application is available at the city’s website at www.peachtree-city.org/jobx.aspx?jobID=124

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Comments

Good job, Haddix. When will people learn to stop questioning your authority???

Is it "King Haddix" now?

Mike King's picture

He would prefer 'emperor' as Napoleon wished to be known. It's kind of a diminutive thing.

TinCan's picture

Hope you and the Mayor are in fact buddies in spite of your exchanges on here. Otherwise that comment was pretty low (no pun intended).

"Short" people are always the smartest.

Napoleon, Sarkozi of France, Putin, Bloomberg of NYC, Lot of Cops with mustaches, The movie classic boxer (Italian Stallion) who I can't remember right now, and on and on.

The very tall ones are the problem! And of course the 75% obese ones we supposedly have here! All the rest are OK and can stay in America.

TinCan's picture

I'm guessing you're about 6'8"

PTC Observer's picture

That short?

TinCan's picture

You're right to question that estimate. Given the last 5 days or so posts I think he's still growing. Can't complain though, I does get me through reading the posts much quicker.

Mike, I've decided that Don just didn't listen to the Secgru CPOs like he should have!

The website given by Munford doesn't exist (it says)!

Jevank and Mike King are such sore losers. This Mr. Sussberg thinks the mayor can't express himself. But Mr. Sussberg doesn't have a problem expressing himself by calling the mayor an idiot. Haddix is right on the comment being inappropriate.

We expect trash talking from Jevank and King but a sitting planning commissioner should know better!!!

Mike King's picture

... you can certainly do better. Sussberg was correct in calling the Mayor out for making comments on the cell tower issue, and, in my opinion, was correct in his assessment of Haddix being an idiot.

You, Sir, are obviously of the mindset that anyone elected to public office is right regardless of what they say or do. I, on the other hand, will voice my concern.

Your old beret must be getting too tight and causing memory lapses, otherwise why would you characterize me as a sore loser?

hutch866's picture

In all fairness, Spear does think Mr.Innuendo Steve Brown hung the moon. Of course I'm still waiting for little Stevie to get back to me on what he implied about the mayor of Woolsey, what you figure my chances are of that?

I yam what I yam

Mike King's picture

The chances are somewhere between slim and none.

Obviously Spear has a short memory and refuses to acknowledge the old Stevie as mayor. Those same arrogant and childish antics will return soon after the first of the year.

citizenal's picture

Let's have a great discussion and learn from one another. The term 'idiot' just doesn't have a place in a discussion among those seeking to engage the issues and improve our community. Blogging has opened the window to our hearts too wide. We need to close that window a bit and stick to the issues. We need better leadership but name calling will not accomplish that.

My Dad would say - Grow Up!

ginga1414's picture

The term "idiot" is inappropriate and not a good reflection on anyone or anything. Sticks and stones, Mr. Sussberg.

with his comments toward Councilman Imker at last Thursday's PTC City Council meeting?

Agreed, both occurrence's were at a point of heated disagreement with one another but I don't see the Mayor holding the high ground here.

As a matter of observation what I see are at least two people, if not more, that strongly disagree with the Mayor's positions on issues.

Perhaps the Mayor should at least be willing to publicly reconsider his position on some issues.

ginga1414's picture

I wasn't present at the PTC City Council Meeting, so I can't speak to that incident. However, I think calling anyone an "idiot" is more a reflection on the person doing the calling than the person on the receiving end.

I have heard parents call their children idiots. To my way of thinking, that is the absolute worst.

After one of our Fayette County Commission Meetings, several audience members (myself included) overheard one of our current commissioners tell another commissioner that the folks making Public Comments were "ignorant." None of our current commissioners will have open, public dialogue with citizens, but they will call them names when they think they aren't being heard.

It is extremely unfortunate that some adults don't seem to be able to mature past the point of childhood when they are faced with someone who doesn't agree with them.

My name is Larry Sussberg, the commissioner who resigned.
I am sorry that you had a poor experience with the Fayette County Commission Meeting, but that should not reflect on the PTC Planning Commissioners and their meetings.
Those meetings are held with the utmost professionalism and part of its purpose is to hear citizens' input which they do, anf listen to as part of their decision making process.
As for my comments regarding Mayor Haddix, I stand by it on many leavels and I do feel I have come past the point of childhood....I have very clear and specific reasons and its unfortunate that people in PTC do not attend council meetings to watch the behavior I am referring to.
If you would like to contribute and make a difference, I believe the planning commission is seeking my replacement.
As for Mr. Haddix's comment that my comment does not relect well on the city....then read the Mayor's continual comments on this blog, read his blog and you be the judge as to whose comments do not reflect very well on this city. Its pretty clear to me and the over 200 people who e-maled me sharing similar concerns.
Thanks and all the best

SPQR's picture

I'm trying to place you. Were you the one at the meeting before last with the soft drink and no socks sitting in the front row?

nope..that wasn't me...sorry.
I was sitting behind John Munford.

My name is Larry Sussberg, the commissioner who resigned.
I am sorry that you had a poor experience with the Fayette County Commission Meeting, but that should not reflect on the PTC Planning Commissioners and their meetings.
Those meetings are held with the utmost professionalism and part of its purpose is to hear citizens' input which they do as part of their decision making process.
As for my comments regarding Mayor Haddix, I stand by it on many levels and I do feel I have come "past the point of childhood"....I have very clear and specific reasons and its unfortunate that people in PTC do not attend council meetings to watch the behavior I am referring to.
If you would like to contribute and make a difference, I believe the planning commission is seeking my replacement.
As for Mr. Haddix's comment that my comment does not reflect well on the city....I suggest you read the Mayor's continual comments on this blog, read his own blog and you be the judge as to whose comments do not reflect well on this city. Its pretty clear to me and the over 200+ people who e-maled me sharing similar concerns.
Thanks and all the best.

They come and they go! Mayors and Commissioners!
We elected Mr. Haddix. Careful about those elections here, we screw up a lot. Need candidates who have no agenda except the citizens.

He has his years to go unless incarcerated!

Not commenting about you, don't know you, but more such resignations and firings need to occur in difficult times.
The Mayor even needs to realize this!

Sometimes we need a "Patton," and sometimes we need an "Eisenhower." Both rich and republican but OK. Just have to overlook their personal foibles, sometimes.

It's been a 1/2 year since the election what has been accomplished so far?
I was strictly a volunteer...no problem with coming or going...but tell me what has been accomplished.

Haven't you been there a year or two or more? Are you saying Haddix causes nothing to get done?
Other than money what has been requested?

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