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Assistant chief and out of contol spending

The recent front page article about the hiring of a new assistant police chief of Peachtree City is just another glaring example of citizens not being well served by their elected officials.

Let me start by saying I am not a resident of Peachtree City, and would never buy property in Peachtree City for exactly what this article shows.

Peachtree City government on a close vote decided to spend taxpayer monies to hire an assistant police chief to a position that is not needed and did not exist before.

The $91,000 is just the start of the expense of this position. An employee of any business or institution cost approximately 124 percent of their salary in additional benefits, insurance and taxes paid on their behalf.

In addition I would almost guarantee you this officer will be assigned a full expenses paid police car full time (in business it would be a company car). The total cost to the taxpayers of Peachtree City for this additional and unnecessary officer will likely top $150,000 a year.

Perhaps you noted in last week’s paper that Fayetteville was reducing its spending in the face of difficult economics times and reduced tax base, while Peachtree City will burden its citizens with even higher taxes. As if Peachtree City’s taxes were not already the highest in the area.

Now to why this is so bad for Peachtree City residents. I am only one, but there are many many more like me who, because of the out of control government spending in Peachtree City, will never buy property there.

Fewer buyers of property mean less opportunity to sell property. Less opportunity means less value. Less value means lower equity in your home. It’s hard enough already to sell a home; why make it harder?

Many people I talk to believe Peachtree City has an abundance (way more than they need) of police officers as it is.

This is of course is evidenced by Peachtree City officers sitting still in their very expensive police cars in the turn lane medians waiting for some poor fool to fall into their snare.

This shows the crime rate in Peachtree City is low, the officers have too much time on their hands, which would indicate there is an excess of Peachtree City police officers.

And please don’t give me the public safety excuse — it’s about generating revenue.

To hire an assistant police chief to a nonexistent position is bad enough, but to hire the man because he was friends of the police chief is an insult to the qualified police officers with tenure in Peachtree City. If the position were truly necessary, wouldn’t they hire from within?

Please understand I have said nothing negative about Mr. McCollom or his qualifications. I’m sure he is qualified and a man of good character. I just think the position is unnecessary, particularly when Peachtree City officials should be looking to reduce spending and reduce the taxpayer burden. This might even encourage people to reconsider buying in Peachtree City.

To the residents of Peachtree City, from an outsider looking in, I don’t think your best interests are being served by adding expenses and raising your taxes while suffering a declining tax base. Your call, not mine.

Briggs Arrington

Fayetteville, Ga.



Robert W. Morgan's picture

I think we will be seeing your name popping up on those arrest reports soon. Best guess - broken tail light, failure to maintain lane or some such. Thanking you in advance for your revenue contribution. That $150 we get from you will just be the start of what we need to pay for the assistant chief. Let's see, divide $150 into $91,000 and that's how many traffic stops? Wow, better get busy guys.

Live free or die!

Mr. Arrington, I'd like to correct you on a few things. First, your point about the position of assistant chief never existing is incorrect. The EXISTING position of Major of police was in existence for over 10 years & was retitled as assistant chief at the May 3, 2012 council meeting (item 5-12-6). If you had done your homework you would've seen that staff reviewed & evaluated the assistant chief reclassification-the Mercer Group also evaluated the position-and recommended the position stay the same in pay grade but change the title AND qualifications. Since the Major position was never removed from budget, hiring an assistant chief did not add to the budget. The council unanimously approved these changes, with Human Resources' full approval. As for the company car...again, you are very misguided in your assumptions. From research I've done, EVERY SINGLE OFFICER WHO LIVES OUTSIDE OF PTC PAYS A STIPEND OUT OF EVERY PAYCHECK FOR THE PRIVILIDGE OF TAKING HOME THEIR PATROL CAR. Only officers who reside in PTC don't pay anything...this applies to every officer, from the Chief down, no exceptions. It's a city policy...look it up (I've done the work for you, city CAR 5-9, PD SOP 0207). All you have to do is ask questions, ask for the data, it's available under open records. As for your "abundance of officers and obvious low crime rate": please specificy the data you analyzed to come to this informed conclusion. What other agencies did you compare PCPD to-as similar in PTC population-and police deptarment size that enabled you to conclude that the PCPD is an oversized, overabundant department? Please, do tell, as such factual information would require at least some research on your part, right? Expensive police cars? Yes, I'm sure they are, but if you look up the finance policies of the city of PTC you'd see that all major purchses require a bidding process AND approval of the city manager and, many times, that of the Mayor and Council. Look it up. Police officer's generate revenue? I think not...if that were true then officers should be getting merit increases and COLA based on the tickets written...I mean, that is your logic, right? Do some more research and see how the money is allocated from citations (research really is the key here). By the way, last time I checked, a police officer's JOB-the one you pay them to do- was to protect and serve, whch includes enforcing all traffic laws...even the ones some people think are stupid. Your comment in reference to hiring an assistant chief to a nonexistent position, well sir, see my previous statement. I've provided you with factual data to counter your statements. As to your question of hiring from within...the job was posted for interal and external candidates. If you did your research and asked questions you would have found out what I did...there is a hiring process for positions with the City. Both internal and external candidtes were interviewed by a panel of interviewers to include persons from outside of city. They all would meet the interviewee and have a say in who was qualified... not just on paper but also in person-someone who would be the best fit and work in the best interest of the department. Obviously, the interview panel did not feel any of the internal candidates were qualified in all areas and met all the position's criteria. Again, asking questions and doing research gave me all this info...

Mr. Arringgton, how much time have you spent with peachtree City Officers? Have you tried to learn how the department functions? How many conversations with how many different officers have you had? Again, ask questions, spend time, do research and will you find factual answers. While you are entitled to your opinion, I too am entitled to an opinion and it's this: You have obviously done NO research and are spewing half truths at best. You are letting whatever personal issues with PCPD/the City cloud your judgement. Just my humble opinion.

PTCitizen's picture

I'm glad you took the time to write that response. Sadly, people that blindly go on rants like this go unchecked entirely too often. I would like to think the average citizen sees through this sort of nonsense, and maybe they do, but I don't think that's the case. Many people just tend to assume this sort of inflammatory junk is truth.

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