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Unanswered questions about PTC remaining in ARC

Was the recent vote by Peachtree City Council members Imker, Fleisch and Learnard to ask for a new representative to the Regional Transportation Roundtable, (in effect voting to remove Mayor Haddix from that position) in Peachtree City’s best interest?

Mayor Haddix had floated the idea of moving Fayette County from the Atlanta Regional Commission to the Three Rivers Regional Commission. Had Mayor Haddix’s idea been properly and publicly debated with all the facts known ahead of time so an informed decision could have been made?

When our county becomes part of a larger governmental entity, it is very important that we step back and take a hard look at what the pros and cons of that government entity are. Has this been done for the Atlanta Regional Commission?

Within this regional commission government entity each county will be operating in their own best interests. What will determine the hierarchy of any county’s influence and strength within a regional commission?

Let’s be honest, some counties will be “more equal” than others. And what makes some counties more equal than others? Population, specifically, voting population.

As a hypothetical exercise; which county within a regional commission will have more influence and strength to get what is in their best interest, the county with a population of two million or the county with a population of half a million?

Which Georgia regional commission is best for Peachtree City and Fayette County, to be part of, the Atlanta Regional Commission or the Three Rivers Regional Commission?

Question 1: Which regional commission will have higher taxes for Peachtree City and Fayette County, Atlanta or Three Rivers? When it comes to any tax, lower taxes are preferable to higher taxes. The Atlanta Regional Commission will have much higher taxes.

Question 2: For the taxes that we will have to pay, which regional commission will provide Peachtree City and Fayette County the best return on our tax dollars? If Peachtree City and Fayette County end up losers by having a net loss on the taxes we pay into any regional commission, then that is a bad deal for Peachtree City and Fayette County.

Will the Atlanta or Three Rivers regional commission end up taking more tax dollars from Peachtree City and Fayette County than we will get back from them? It is looking like Peachtree City and Fayette County will be net tax revenue losers in the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Question 3: Which regional commission will provide Peachtree City and Fayette County with the best position of influence and strength from which to negotiate and control our own destiny?

The Atlanta Regional Commission is composed of Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb, Clayton, Henry, Douglas, Cherokee, Rockdale and Fayette counties. Which of these counties within the Atlanta Regional Commission will have the most influence and strength? Which counties will have least?

The Three Rivers Regional Commission is composed of Coweta, Carroll, Spalding, Butts, Pike, Heard, Troup, Meriwether, Lamar and Upson counties. If Fayette County was in this regional commission, would be our position of influence and strength be better than what it currently is within the Atlanta Regional Commission?

Within the Atlanta Regional Commission, look at what has happened to the likes of DeKalb, Clayton, Cobb and Gwinnett counties. Are they unique communities to live in or, are they part of a very large, densely populated and continuous population growth emanating from Atlanta and Fulton County?

Did being a part of the Atlanta Regional Commission help this urban sprawl develop? If these counties had it to do over again, would they do things differently?

Given the above history of DeKalb, Clayton, Cobb and Gwinnett counties’ development and growth pattern being located so close to Atlanta, what do we think will happen to the other “close to Atlanta” counties of Henry, Douglas, Cherokee, Rockdale and Fayette counties over the next five or ten years?

If you believe lots of housing development and population growth are good things, especially if you profit from them, you will want this same type of massive development to happen in Fayette County. If you do not want this massive housing development and population growth, then something very different needs to be done for Fayette County.

Question 4: Which regional commission will help to maintain and protect Peachtree City’s and Fayette County’s quality of life?

Our quality of life is based upon safe and stable communities; low population density and traffic; open spaces, an idyllic environment; good schools and family friendly activities. Does the Atlanta Regional Commission have a strong history of protecting and maintaining the quality of life of their counties, or do they have a track record of doing the opposite? How will massive housing development, population growth and urban sprawl change our quality of life?

Question 5: Which regional commission will be the best for Peachtree City’s and Fayette County’s property values? Will higher Fayette County taxes or lower Fayette County taxes be better for our property values? Will operating at a net loss from our regional commission taxes have a positive effect or a negative effect on our property values?

Will operating from a position of weakness within a regional commission have a negative effect on our property values?

Conversely, will operating from a position of strength within a regional commission have a positive effect on our property values? Will massive urban sprawl have a positive effect or a negative effect on our property values? Will lowering our quality of life also lower our property values?

Being so close to a large city like Atlanta creates a tremendous momentum for housing development, population growth and urban sprawl on its own without any assistance from other entities, like the Atlanta Regional Commission.

There are many benefits to our location [near] Atlanta. There are also many pitfalls that are easy to fall into, and, once we have fallen into these pits, we cannot get out.

We will not be able to undo mass transit once it has been built in Fayette County. We will not be able to undo massive housing development and population growth once it has been done here. We will not be able to undo urban sprawl, traffic congestion and crime once it has been established here.

What we need is a very strong bulwark to stand up to this strong momentum from Atlanta and Fulton County to properly control our own destiny, quality of life and help protect our property values.

So, is being part of the Atlanta Regional Commission the best way to achieve this control over our own destiny, quality of life and protection of our property values? Or, is membership in another regional commission, the Three Rivers Regional Commission, a better way to achieve this?

We in Peachtree City and Fayette County are at a serious inflection point in our evolution as a rather unique and distinct place to live. The urban sprawl and housing development momentum from Atlanta and Fulton County is banging on our door. The quality of life reasons many of us chose to live here and pay the prices for our properties that we paid is in the balance.

What will we be saying five or ten years from now when we are asked what life used to be like in Peachtree City and Fayette County? Will we say that it is still a great place to live, work and play, or that it used to be?

The vote by Peachtree City Council Members Imker, Fleisch and Learnard to make a motion asking to have a new Fayette County representative for the Regional Transportation Roundtable was one of the catalysts needed by those who want to keep Fayette County locked into the Atlanta Regional Commission and not consider another such as the Three Rivers Regional Commission.

Was this vote cast after all the facts had been properly discussed and publicly debated, or was it done using the same “ready, fire, aim” approach as was used with this year’s DAPC funding votes by these same three City Council members?

Stephen Allen

Peachtree City, Ga.

Location: 

Comments

fire, forget the ready and aim. Very, very dangerous trio at work here.

What other choice is there for us than a regional tax. The state of Georgia has not done their job for the counties, so getting together into a region is the only choice.
How else will we ever build dams, bridges, roads, and general regional planning?
The state will never be able to do it. They are far too political and polarized.

Also, how can any county that practically touches the property of one of the major airports in the world expect to stay bucolic? No matter the region it can not.

This sort of thing will continue in Georgia just as it has in Florida and many other warm states with sufficient water and climate mildness.

NUK_1's picture

You seem to not realize the other FC Mayors also wanted Haddix removed and also that their councils voted against leaving ARC and joining Three Rivers. It was hardly just the three on PTC council.

As far as the rest of your very tiresome letter of stating your opinion as a "fact" with nothing to back it up, how is FC about to have massive housing development and density? Do you understand the zoning on land in FC areas right now? You do realize that in order for FC to suddenly have this apocalyptic housing boom that all this land would have to be rezoned, right? By the people elected, right? You know that when they have "mass transit in FC" that it will probably be in the next century?

Noooooooooooooo wait.....there is gonna be some MARTA buses in Fayette any day cuz that there Kenneth STeele LOVES dem buses! I herd it a few times from some sharp fellers who heard dat third-hand from Bubba's cousin so it's true!

"there is gonna be some MARTA buses in Fayette any day cuz that there Kenneth STeele LOVES dem buses! I herd it a few times from some sharp fellers who heard dat third-hand from Bubba's cousin so it's true!"

And all this time I thought you had never been to the Fayette Mêléers BBQ.

Please remember it's going to be, "thems peoples" and/or "them damn yankees", like us, that undid all the 'fine liven' here in FC.

P.S. try and not let the BBQ sauce run down one side of your mouth. (that indicates that the trailer isn't balanced)

I'll refrain from the 'daddy your crushing my cigarettes' type jokes.

editor Cal prefers that we use the less offensive and more inclusive term 'Scots Irish', or for a more local flavor 'members of the Brooks and Inman communities'.

The Ninja on behalf of editor Cal.

ginga1414's picture

As I was growing up, my parents taught us to weigh the pros and cons of all situations. When my husband and I were raising our children, we taught them to weigh the pros and cons of all situations. It just makes good sense.

The citizens of Fayette County, Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Brooks, Woolsey and even Tyrone were not given the opportunity to weigh the pros and cons between the ARC and Three Rivers.

That opportunity was never presented to the citizens. When Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix and Tyrone Mayor Don Rehwaldt tried to give Fayette Citizens the opportunity to weigh the pros and cons of staying in the ARC, Ken Steele saw to it that we the people of Fayette County would not have that opportunity.

Ken Steele decided to exercise his influence by infiltrating all city councils throughout Fayette County with his personal opinions.

The only two public officials with enough courage to stand against Ken Steele's "personal opinions" were Don Haddix and Don Rehwaldt.

I was present at two meetings where Don Haddix and Don Rehwaldt did an excellent job of presenting facts and figures surrounding our participation in both the ARC and Three Rivers. During both of those meetings, Ken Steele repeatedly interrupted with his "personal opinions." It didn't matter that he would have been given his opportunity to be heard, he had to interrupt Haddix and Rehwaldt. When those tactics did not work and the snowball was gaining speed toward Three Rivers, he had to resort to influencing all of the city councils. That says very little for Ken Steele but it says even less for the members of the city councils in Fayette County.

Stephen Allen has given us a very thoughtful evaluation of the situation. It is a crying shame that most of this county's public officials allowed themselves to be swayed by one individual's "personal opinions." As Mr. Allen just asked, "Was this vote cast after all the facts had been properly discussed and publicly debated?" The answer is a great big NO, NO, NO!" Ken Steele and the Fayette city councils took that opportunity away from the people of Fayette County!

Thank you, Mr. Allen, for taking the time and putting forth the effort to evaluate a situation that will determine the future of Fayette County and her people.

was not something even he could understand never mind argue for.

I thank God my child received a decent education here in FC. Apparently Mayor Haddix was schooled somewhere else.

Mayor Haddix is so far out of touch with the needs and wants of the majority of the citizens of FC his argument to join 3 Rivers was at best wanting; at worst is was unintelligible. (no surprise there)

If you moved to PTC 20+ years ago because you thought PTC would forever be a quaint, quiet little hollow off of everyones radar, you were a fool!

That's not the reason I moved my family here. We came here to take full advantage of the schools.

That there might be a possibility to improve the mass transit between PTC and Atlanta is a great opportunity as far as I'm concerned.

That loud popping sound you're hearing is the 'bubble' bursting.

We commuters who are paying for this town are going to get things done our way from here on out.

Get used to it or get out.

ginga1414's picture

I don't live in PTC.

I'm sick and tired of people like you that think FC should remain some little back-woods hollow never to be touched by the unwashed.

You're not the ones paying for FC, 'those people' like me are.

I moved here form DC over 20+ years ago. As far as I'm concerned we and 'our kind' are now going to run the place, like it or not.

If you want to live in the woods forever, move.

Show those of us who want Fayette to remain different from Fulton Clayton and other metro areas your proof that everyone agrees with you. I only see a hand full who post along with you( same 12 people over and over) there's over 100,000 people in Fayette. You truely can't think you speak for everyone. If you do, you're as bad as you say mayor haddix is.

To be honest, there are many people who don't care that your sick and tired of something. Just as no one cares that I'm sick and tired of whiny people (which we all are guilty of).

Ill asked you the question you demanded of ginga. Why don't you move? Things have been this way for years ( I've been here 20 years also), people like fayette the way it is or they wouldn't live here. Its why they pay more to live in fayette. Better schools, lower crime, better reputation, no crack dealers on the corner, no homeless sleeping on a bench at a bus stop. You want Fulton in Fayette? Move to Fulton, its easier to change one than to change 100,000.

Your rant reminds me of a shirt I saw a woman wearing several years ago that said "we took Clayton, Fayette
we're coming for you"

citizenal's picture

And now you will have Mr. Allen on PTC council. Better run back to WDC. it sounds like you would like that place and the improvements made there recently much better than FC. We would like for you to move too. Let us know. I'm sure if we pass the hat we can help with expenses.

I really like your picture. You cannot be all bad. Though your cute little PS is classic . It is interesting that God will actually sort them all out, even now, but you are a big help sorting yourself.

NUK_1's picture

His and others in FC's "personal opinions" seemed to have trumped the "personal opinions" of Haddix/Rehwadt rather conclusively. The idea yet again for about the 100th time lately that Steele has so much incredible power as Mayor of Fayetteville that he can influence every city and decision-maker in FC is almost as laughably asinine and dishonest as claiming he has voted for "MARTA buses" or Haddix saying he heard from some unnamed other people that Steele said he wanted buses in Fayetteville.

The screeching zealots always have to have a supreme boogeyman they can point to as being the root of all evil and they have no problem running campaigns based on gross distortions, lies and character attacks. How that got to be Steele I have no idea who wasn't/isn't up for reelection, but knock yourselves out, whiners. I guess the crazies got tired of beating on doofus Horgan and now need a new target. Heaven forbid someone amongst the fury would have to propose IDEAS instead of just whacking at opponents. You know, ideas like how can FC and especially PTC pay for all the services they DEMAND without raising taxes and no development at all? No.....that would require doing something besides yapping all the time. Robert and STeve Brown, Phyliss Aguayo, some on here and the other hysterical fear-mongering "everything sucks and is a crook" crowd, I'm looking right at you.

As PTCObserver aptly stated a couple of months or so ago here and I paraphrase:" if you want to live "away" from everyone and never have to deal with growth/development/change, buy a 100 acres in the middle of nowhere and then build your house right in the center of it." Otherwise, the fact that they stopped making land a very long time ago but make people constantly means that development and growth WILL happen EVERYWHERE.
Let's manage it intelligently instead of nostalgic nonsense that doesn't resemble reality then or now.

And if that worked out for ya how are you going to treat Coweta, Carroll, Spalding, Butts, Pike, Heard, Troup, Meriwether, Lamar and Upson counties? They do not want to try and live under your dreams of bubbled cities, isolated commutes, high taxes and rules and regulations not enforced. You want to do a survey? How many people live in Peachtree City that work here? Other than the CEO's with big salaries/bucks and probably crossing the line on the sly sending their kids to private or Fayette schools, have opted to purchase their homes where they can get three times the house with less taxes yes living in Coweta. Do you think they spend their money in Peachtree City. Give me a break.

What has become typical behavior with Mayor Haddix is he gets involved in a project, does not discuss it with council and either keeps secrets or barfs up his ideas on the Citizen blogs.

With ARC he elected to "barf" and the city council give him a vote of no confidence as did Fayette County and the State. He did no homework on the issue, did not speak to Fayette about his idea, or call Three Rivers. Nothing but "barf".

Some people point to the 3 on the council who have banded together against our unleashed mayor when in the fact the problem is the mayor himself.

When will this mayor accomplish something? when will he learn to stop playing silly games.

ginga1414's picture

Don Haddix was chosen to be our RTR representative by the mayors of Fayette County. That was a setup. If this situation weren't so sad, it would be funny.

If you don't believe what's been said about Steele wanting MARTA/Mass Transit in Fayette County, go to the ARC and research how he and Smith voted in their positions on the ARC boards. I did that.

If you don't believe that the ARC has planned for MARTA/Mass Transit to come into Fayette County, go to the County website and read the Transportation Plan from top to bottom. The ARC paid most of the consulting fee for that Transportation Plan. So, they have a vested interest in the Plan. As a matter of fact, you can also go directly to the ARC website and check it out.

If you want more development in Fayette County, offer up your family home and property so the county can bulldoze through with another road for developers.

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