Mayor: Issue of the Night - Negative Job Growth

So, it's Friday night, I should be out partying and enjoying life, but I'm in front of a what the heck!

This will be the first of maybe several "researched" opinions regarding each of the candidates' common "talking points". Tonight, let's tackle "negative job growth."

Logsdon says:
"Peachtree City was once known as a magnet for quality jobs and business development. Since our current mayor has come to office, we have had negative growth in this area. I want to work with the Chamber of Commerce and local business figures to ensure that quality job opportunities continue to grow in PTC, and bring back some of the quality jobs lost during this administration."

Brown says:
"Some candidates have actually stated on their websites that we had “negative job growth” which is totally false. We lost the low paying jobs using hazardous chemicals at Photocircuits that employed mainly out of county to foreign competition. However, we had nearly 900 new businesses register with the city in the past four years. Our aviation business sector also had the sharpest rate in growth in its history and we landed another Fortune 500 headquarters in Cooper Wiring."

The statistics say:
Peachtree City’s labor force has grown by 3,915 people from 1999 to 2004. The unemployment rate went from 3.0% (1999) to 2.3% (2000) to a high of 3.1% (2002, 2003, 2004). The Peachtree City jobless rate has remained constant, even though we have gained 258 more people into the work force. Well, there hasn’t been positive job growth, so it can be neutral at best. WINNER - Neither

Now, that being said, how many people who live in Peachtree City actually work in Peachtree City? OK, let’s discount the above statistic, if you’d like.

So, what is the loss to the local economy of Photocircuits moving away, which might be the more relevant question?

The top five employers in Fayette County, according to the Georgia Department of Labor (source: in the 2nd quarter of 2004, include Fayette Community Hospital, Cooper Lighting, Matsushita (Panasonic), World Airways and Photocircuits. Peachtree City’s Consolidated Annual Financial Report states that Peachtree City’s Ten Largest Taxpayers included NCR Corporation, Matushita, Summit Properties, Hoshizaki, Photocircuits, Alcan Packaging, AMLI at Peachtree City, P B Leasing Group, Balmoral Leasing, and CP Venture Three (apartment/condo complexes). Photocircuits had assessments of $9.952 million in 2004.

The impact of Cooper Wiring moving to town? According to the rather confusing (in my opinion) (if you include the part of the Cooper Wiring facility that the Fayette County Development Authority actually “owns” and Cooper Wiring leases) – in 2005, the assessed value for the Cooper Lighting facility is $1,200,000 plus $120,000.

Lose $9 million, gain $1.5 million, gives a total loss of nearly $7.5 million. I know my statistics can be taken into question, but that seems a bit much.

I was a little confused here, so I did some more digging...went to the Fayette County Tax Commissioner's website, where you can actually see the tax bills for anybody in the county (wonder how long that will last?).

In 2005, Photocircuits tax bill (net tax) was $337,589.59. Cooper Lighting AND Cooper Wiring, combined, were $204,033.22

OK, so we're going to lose somewhere around $200 thousand in taxes each year when Photocircuits finally finishes closing up shop (they're keeping some customer service here, so I would guess that the tax base wouldn't entirely go away).

Peachtree City's share of $200,000 is around 25% of the entire tax bill. So 1/4 per year is $50,000 - to hop on the bandwagon, we could've funded a firefighter for that kinda money Smiling And hey, does anybody remember TDK? Yeah, they've let a good part of their workforce go away, too, moving operations to California and New York. No one ever talks about them, but they used to be one of the big players in PTC (heck, got a road named after them!).

So, did we have business decline? I would say so. By inference, Logsdon gets the point in my opinion.

And now, for something completely different...the Mayor stated that we "landed a Fortune 500 headquarters" in Cooper Wiring.

So I looked….not in 2005, they’re not, unless they’re Cooper Tire or Cooper Cameron (maybe, they’re in Houston, but don’t seem to be related to Cooper Industries) The Fortune 500 list I found?

I don't think they are a Fortune 500 company, and I would guess that Fortune wouldn't be happy to have someone portraying a business that came to town as that.

By the way, the "owner" of the property that Cooper Lighting and Cooper Wiring leases? The Fayette County Development Authority, the same authority Mr. Brown states is doing a "reasonable job". Is that a underwhelming compliment?

What did Peachtree City do to bring this jewel of a business in? Have space near the railroad and a major highway. Who marketed that land? Peachtree Brokerage Group. Who owns Peachtree Brokerage Group? Pathway Communities. OH NO, THE DEVELOPERS STRIKE AGAIN!. When did Cooper Lighting come to Peachtree City? 2001 - right before Steve Brown came into office.

OK, let's discuss....more to follow on another topic soon!

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Submitted by questionable101 on Sat, 11/19/2005 - 4:37pm.

Idontknow, I think you do know. Great research and information.

Submitted by 30269 on Fri, 11/18/2005 - 11:41pm.


Outstanding research. FYI, Cooper Wiring is a division of Cooper Industries, which is Corporately based in Houston.

Keep up the good work....

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