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Mayor Haddix: Claims of credit are misplaced

With all due respect, The Citizen newspaper needs more accurate reporting in their news articles.

In example, Councilman Imker was credited with the idea of a 50-year agreement with WASA on veto rights. Fact is he never claimed it was his idea, nor was it. It was part of my proposal for how to proceed and I was the one who brought it up at the council meeting to Chairman Harman.

Now I read, concerning the Needs Assessment Committee, that, “The committee was appointed by Mayor Don Haddix at the urging of his fellow council members.”

Fact is council members Dienhart, Fleisch and Imker opposed the committee. They called it a waste of time and challenged its purpose.

There is a loss of understanding by staff, myself and others as to why clear, important statements are being omitted or incorrectly reported.

I am also troubled why they chose not to print my Letter to the Editor disproving some statements by one of their columnist.

“The Citizen” serves a very important role to the community. It has an obligation to report fully and accurately.

Don Haddix, mayor

Peachtree City, Ga.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Following is that “missing” letter from earlier this month.]

I avoided commenting when Terry Garlock targeted me in print before. But not this time.

Contrary to Terry Garlock saying I tried to take credit for the partnership between Peachtree City and the Fayette Senior Services concerning the Gathering Place, I did not.

Full credit was given to the Senior Council, which began the effort before I ran for councilman in 2007. But they did ask me to back their efforts, which I said I would.

Also, I credited the work of Debbie Britt and staff, in 2011 and 2012, for actually making it happen. They were the ones that did all the heavy lifting and brought it all together.

Prior to 2011 the majority of council and/or key staff were not on board, so it could not happen.

Did we discuss it? Yes, many times. Did both Councilman Doug Sturbaum and I back working with and sharing services with Fayette Senior Services? Yes. Did either of us take credit for originating the idea? No.

Did Councilwoman Fleisch, as she tries to claim, originate the idea? No. Did she make it happen? No.

At a council meeting Councilwoman Fleisch stated she was unaware of and could find no record of a meeting at the Gathering Place discussing joint efforts in 2008 or the workshop I called in 2010. She claimed credit for the initiation and success.

I refer all to the workshop minutes of April 26, 2010, which Councilwoman Fleisch attended. So, how could she actually claim no knowledge when she sat in this meeting at the Gathering Place discussing these issues? Council members Learnard and Imker also seem to have suffered the same memory loss, as they were there as well.

Ask Doug Sturbaum if there was such a meeting in 2008. Or is he lying as well?

Talk to the seniors who remember the meeting and were stunned at Councilwoman Fleisch’s claims at a meeting earlier this year of how this all began with her.

I remind you there are no minutes from Town Hall meetings.

Fact is it is against the charter for the mayor or council members to intrude into the day to day operations of staff and employees. But it is happening all the time, which is not productive.

Seriously, Terry Garlock needs to actually read the prior letter I submitted to The Citizen and stop accusing me of trying to take credit for this reorganization. As well stop trying to give credit to Councilwoman Fleisch for originating it.

Regarding the accusation I am trashing council members, that is his opinion and bias. What he dislikes others call standing up for what is right and bringing facts into the sunshine.

Just because he supports what the council members are doing does not mean my speaking against what they have said is trashing them. His bias is clearly shown in his statement, “I have watched them struggle to find a way to deal with him, trying not to descend to his level.”

If I am trashing them, then they are trashing me.

They are not in charge of the conversation. Nor do I hear Mr. Garlock criticizing Councilman Dienhart for his blogging against me or council members falsely calling me a liar, thief, delusional, etc., on the dais.

It is also fully permissible, in his book, for Councilman Imker to pontificate in Letters to the Editor on how in control and great his budgets are, when they are not.

Where was his complaints about their efforts to remove me from the Regional Transportation Roundtable and replace me with Ken Steele?

How about their censure of me to defend such as Ken Steele and Jack Smith in their work on the T-SPLOST, which resulted in their removal from office?

Has he ever asked if an inappropriate, not a criminal, statement is worth suing over? Of course not.

Without due process Terry Garlock declared me guilty of a crime I did not commit.

Contrary to what was declared, we were not elected as a group, but individually. It isn’t majority rules the conversations.

All should also be very aware Mr. Garlock is not opposed to tax increases and was angry over changes in staff in 2011, which he holds me personally responsible for, even though it was 5-0 support.

The fact Mr. Garlock has no argument with actions taken by the council members over the last three years but does with my positions on taxes, spending, services and more shows his attacks are based on his political beliefs with no respect for elected who do not agree with him.

His own quote, “Go tell the Spartans, thou who passest by, that here, obedient to their laws, we lie.” says a lot. Obviously, this is not an issue to go to the literal grave over, but it is one demanding a stand for what is right. We must have rule of law, not majority mob action.

I have been obedient to, and have stood for, the law. The council members and Terry Garlock have not.

When you hear statements of this not being about law, but what is right and honorable, to justify a position, you know immediately they have no legal leg to stand on and are resorting to cliché and sound bites to try to persuade others.

Mr. Garlock says that I have no honor (honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions), which I in fact do and take great exception to his saying I do not.

But where is his? He uses being a veteran, author and a columnist to claim special privilege and stature so as to speak with authority.

Well, I am one of many veterans in the area, many of whom dislike what Terry Garlock is doing and support me.

Does that strip them of honor in his mind as well?

Also, back in my columnist days, I never used my writings as a bully pulpit against those with which I disagreed.

To disagree is one thing. To falsely malign is another.

I also have been elected to public office twice, in three-way races, because of my positions and promises, which I have kept and will continue to keep.

Can the council members say the same?

As said, Terry Garlock and I are both veterans. But my belief is we served to defend this being a nation of freedoms and laws, not personal opinions suppressing the right of free speech of those with whom we disagree.

Picture future Peachtree City Councils where all elected standing up for what is legal and right and a different opinion only requires an illegal vote of the majority to be destroy them.

Do you want to live in a city like that? I sure do not, so I am fighting back.

Don Haddix, mayor

Peachtree City, Ga.



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Terry Garlock

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Live free or die!

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Live free or die!

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Live free or die!

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I yam what I yam

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I yam what I yam

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