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PTC election to heat up Tues. at Rotary candidate forum

Spectators can submit questions in writing; handicap best options for mayor, 3 council seats

With a field of 12 candidates running for the mayor and three city council posts in Peachtree City, how’s a discerning voter to sort them all out?

A great place to start would be the annual Rotary Club candidate forum Tuesday night (Oct. 8) at the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center. Not only is it a revered political tradition in Peachtree City politics, but audience members can pose questions in writing.

Depending on how the election shakes out, the city council could end up with four new faces in its five seats on the dais at City Hall. The mayor’s race has five candidates, with another seven residents vying for three council seats.

The forum will focus on the aspiring council members first, as they will be introduced and grilled from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. The mayoral candidates will be introduced and probed between 7:50 and 9 p.m.
The questions will be presented to the candidates by a panel of Rotarians. Only issue-related questions will be accepted for consideration, club officials have said.

In the race for mayor, incumbent Don Haddix has drawn four challengers, which almost guarantees a runoff election presuming no one wins more than 50 percent of the vote. Among the hopefuls are former mayor Harold Logsdon, current councilmember Vanessa Fleisch, former council member George Dienhart (who had to resign mid-term last month in order to qualify for the mayor’s race) and political newcomer Ryan Jolly, a businessman.

The winner will serve four years as mayor.

Likewise, four-year terms will be awarded to the victors in the Post 3 and Post 4 faces, while the Post 2 winner gets little more than two years in filling the seat vacated by Dienhart.

Running for the Post 3 spot are incumbent Kim Learnard and the mayor’s wife, Cathy Haddix. In the mix for the Post 4 seat are former Peachtree City police captain Terry Ernst and web developer Stephanie Franz.

The shortened Post 2 term has attracted quite a crowd: Recreation Commission Chairman and homemaker Shayne Robinson; Vietnam veteran and retiree Mike King; and political newcomer Austin Chanslor, an advanced field technician for Mastec Advanced Technologies.

Because they lack incumbents, the Post 4 and Post 2 races are guaranteed to provide an infusion of fresh faces, and perhaps perspectives, to the five-member council. That makes the other results even more interesting, with the possibility of a new face in the mayor’s office ... or not; and perhaps Mrs. Haddix replacing her husband’s foe Learnard ... or not.

The only sure bet for the 2014 city council is holdover Post 1 councilman Eric Imker, who is in the middle of his second four-year term.



If this goes as good as the last one did for Dienhart, it may be over already.

How were they? Did the Logs thank the Hadman for the payout. Did anyone seem half drunk? By liquor or power.

Haddix thinks it's his sandbox and no one else can play!!!

Logsdon goes down as one the dirtiest politicians ever!!!

Fleisch believes campaign promises are made to be broken!!!

I'd be willing to bet that Anthony Weiner could've beaten all three of them. Stop trying to kill Peachtree City!!!

Will refreshments be served?

I would like to order a BEER from Haddix....and ask him if I look part drunk? :)

In case you can't go Tuesday to the PTC Rotary Candidate Forum...

The Greater Fayette Republican Women's Club will host a Meet and Greet for the Candidates at the Fayetteville Train Depot this Thursday, October 10th at 6:30PM. This is another opportunity to hear and spea
k with ALL the Candidates (not just PTC candidates-but including them).

Come Join us on Thursday to talk one on one with the candidates over dessert and refreshments.

Denise Ognio

All his answers were good and he nailed it on three of them. Haddix and Logsdon argued, Vanessa and Jolly were irrelevant.

After Vanessa bragged about her 500k survey. Dienhart pointed out that the actual idea came from a citizen, not Vanessa. He also reiterated that this study and work is GDOTS responsibility. Since we already pay taxes and fees to GDOT, paying for the study amounts to double payment to maintain a GDOT road. He said it "was not right, and is not fair".

He actually presented solutions as well. When the empty lots in the industrial park came up he said we should use a TAD to put sewer in. He wants this because FCDA cant move the lots without sewer, and this TAD could pay for them.

His sensible budget answer was also well received.

Truth is, all the buzz after the forum was all about Dienhart.

That's 2 for 2 for Dienhart in the forums.


actually had a pretty decent wrap up. He surprised me. I went in with a lot of doubts and found him to be pretty versed in the issues. I am not saying I was wowed by any of them. Logsdon went low in his wrap up and of course the "pillsbury doughboy" couldn't resist the temptation to respond. He ran out of time and didn't have a coherent message. Jolly also surprised me but I agree that mentioning 5,000 jobs to be added by a local company was a stretch along with his mention of Google. All in all not as many fireworks as I hoped.

The council session was interesting. Mike King stood out as a man of action, something we sorely need. Kim Learnard was loaded with facts but a bit of an automaton. Shayne Robinson, who I believe is a Haddix groupie, was fair but for our fine city Mike King is a much better choice. Terry Ernst did an okay job, while Stephanie Franz floated in the clouds. Not sure where she is coming from or where she's headed. The only comment on the mayor's wife is she sounded like a smarter (but not by much) version of her husband.

I walked by Cathey helping her with her closing. Shane has always been in Vanessas camp.

I agree- Dienhart King and Ernst. I really like Terry. He is easy talk to and listens. Didn't talk to KIng, and Dienhart has always been a good listener (and always follows up).

Robert W. Morgan's picture

A lot of the quirky behavior by Kim and even Eric has been caused by the absentee leadership of the current mayor.
No danger of him coming back, so look for 5 people who will be able to debate, decide and govern without the silly side shows.

I too was perplexed by the 5,000 job comment. That has shades of Haddix-speak and we need to avoid that for sure.

Live free or die!

We must have been at a different forum. Dienhart didn't do that well at the one I attended.
In the Council portion, Mike King and Terry Ernst confirmed to me that they should be elected.
In the Mayor's Forum I attended, Mr. Jolly impressed me even though he's the only one who is new to the process.

Did anyone else offer answers? I mean real answers to our problems. Dienhart offered answers, was again well spoken and mayoral. No one else was even close. Haddix and Logsdon were at each others throats, vannessa was a total non factor and Mr Jolley claimed have an acquaintance that is hiring 5000 people in PTC. Really? 5000? I call shenanigans on that. That was a bigger lie than even Haddix is capable of...

Not one other mayoral candidate offered a plan or any answers. I am not sure what you were on to think that Jolly did good. You stop off for a pre forum drink with Harold? Did you listen to the people around you? The Buzz was all Dienhart

The author Joan Didion wrote "We tell ourselves stories in order to live".

Did you have the "legal" right to take the taxpayers' money to reimburse yourself for the private libel lawsuit. Yes, GIRMA, after 3 attempts ruled that since you wrote your horrible comments on city email it would be allowed.

Clearly with 3 attempts to reimburse yourself you knew exactly what you were doing! You knew that the $12,000 was below GIRMA's deductible and that the taxpayers would have to pay. You were clearly determined after the first 2 attempts failed, taking it to the city attorney to write the 3rd and final letter all the time keeping city council out of the loop.

Your actions were deliberate and with knowledge each step of the way that the money was coming directly from the taxpayers which is why you never reported it to city council

Instead of settling the lawsuit by issuing an apology, your ego was bigger and you decided to fight knowing that the taxpayers would pay for it. You carelessly used our money to fight your personal battle without our permission.

Even at the candidates' forum, you are incapable of taking responsibility for what you did by trying to explain your "legal" right to the money.

This is your legacy as mayor and the voters will not forget at the November polls.

What I liked the most about them last night is they actually talked to us. Every other candidate read their end statement, that is except for Haddix who admitted that he was going to not read his statement and wound up rambling on and on.

Dienhart, King and Earnst respected the audience enough to actually prepare for the forum, and not just write up what they thought the crowd wanted to hear and then read it. There is nothing worse than a public speaker who just drones on reading. Immediately loses the crowds interest.

These three men went up there and faced the crowd without having to fall back on something that someone had written up for them. That's just so much more sincere and honest. It makes me trust them all the more over the rest. It means they actually know and believe what they are saying, while all the others only proved to me that they know how to read.

Not being rude but the proper spelling is Ernst. I guess you are referring to Hadass, he didn't have Pumpkin to write his paper. Shame on Pumpkin she new there would be a test, but you are correct, they wanted to talk to the people, like the good politicians used to do


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