Part one - Don Rehwaldt's Essay

Tue, 10/09/2007 - 11:06am
By: Don Rehwaldt

I wish to thank those of The Citizen newspapers for the opportunity to express some of my ideas to improve the life styles of ALL citizens of Tyrone. As many of Tyrone citizens already know, there are many issues separating the town. Foremost is the development that is being thrust upon us. This, seemingly, is without considering that a corresponding level of infrastructure has to be planned to support these visions; i.e. traffic congestion, citizen safety, etc.
Secondly, what can we do to protect the way of life that most citizens moved to Tyrone to achieve, both now and in the future? Paramount are the concerns about overcrowding and citizen safety. Additionally, decisions must be made to meld Tyrone into our surrounding area; i.e. Fayette County, Peachtree City and Fayetteville, and even Coweta County, our neighbor to the immediate west. As surrounding entities struggle to bring the best possible life experiences to their citizens, it is imperative that Tyrone become an active participant. Tyrone cannot be an island to itself! I have the time and desire to interact with our neighbors and represent Tyrone. It is to this end that I will work diligently and provide the best possible government based on the desires and economic well-being of our businesses and residents.
As The Citizen has agreed to provide a forum for all candidates for three consecutive weeks, I will use this space to address a portion of issues each week. This week, I will discuss the issue of what to do with the down-town area. Although well known that business development in the down-town area is desirable, lack of sewer in old Tyrone is a limiting factor. Tyrone has, as do most cities and towns, have the power of eminent domain. Mandating expensive sewer tie-in at each home or business, whether desired or not, seems unrealistic and unfair. Business people were asked about what business or businesses they would build in down-town Tyrone that would be viable enough to earn a living. Answers were sparse. Today, almost any business or service that a Tyrone citizen desires is available within a 15 minute drive or less. Further discussions concerning down-town are necessary.
Next week, I'll address our citizen's public safety and emergency plans, our parks and the need to review our current ordinances and charter to bring these items into readable, easily updated documents.

Don Rehwaldt

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Submitted by TyroneConfidential on Wed, 10/10/2007 - 12:20pm.

Thank you for recognizing that more study regarding downtown development is needed, and that business owners as well as residents should be involved. The first thing is that a small committee is not equipped to make decisions for business property owners. This is the old way that's left people out and caused so much trouble. Second, a government appointed committee cannot decide what business they want. This is socialism which Russia proved doesn't work. In a capitalistic economy, the market decides the business needs. Small retail shops for the whole of downtown will never be financially successful. This is the fallacy of the current plan. A few shops will be successful, but the main businesses will be everyday. Service businesses. Just look at the list of deleted land uses in 1997 and 2004 ordinances and then you will know. Deleted businesses like auto service & repair, lawn mower & other repair shops, furniture upholstery, etc. These type of services are the market in Tyrone and the customers they bring in help support the small retail shops. Take it from someone who knows first hand. These service businesses gross 5-6 times what small retail shops make. The average life-span of small new retail businesses in Tyrone is 1-2 years. With Tyrone's strict architectural and building regulations, imagine the cost to build new buildings and the increased rent businesses would have to pay. Successful business is market driven not governmental decision making. The government can help by providing tax and other incentives to cut business costs and stop turning good business away. Start by repealing ordinances 341 & 454. Guess what? There's a doctor negotiating as I write to buy a building in downtown. He doesn't yet know that doctors are not allowed. How unknowledgeable our government has been!

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