Week 3 — Elections Forum for Peachtree City

Tue, 10/30/2007 - 5:23pm
By: The Citizen

Peachtree City Council Post 1


Don Haddix

We have reached the third and final essay before Nov. 6. I would like to speak on trust.

It is a major issue and always concerned me in voting for others, I fully understand others now have that concern about me and fully understand that some events in this election warrant close scrutiny of all the candidates’ sincerity.

As you have had to examine me, I have had to examine the candidates for Seat 2 to determine the candidate I will vote for.

With that thought in mind, I had my goals and methods to achieve those goals thought out before I ran for council. If I could not put them on paper, I felt I had no business running.

I put my website up the last week of August, along with my agenda, perspective and approach to being on council. While some others have been changing and developing their positions, I now stand where I was from the beginning.

Now I will go one step further and promise that if elected I will not remove my materials from the Internet, but keep them on the Internet so that any PTC resident can review what I said and promised and test it against what I have been doing.

Combined with my pledge for a forum for citizen input and access via telephone and mail, I hope the PTC residents understand I believe in open government and keeping promises.

Without a doubt I understand the promises that were made, by some, last election, were promptly violated. I do not want the kind of anger and rejection that has caused directed at me.

With that said, I do not believe there are any other further promises or statements I could possibly add to make my thoughts in this area more clear.

I appreciate your patience and attention to this election. We cannot afford two more years of what have just had. The future is in your hands.

Please remember, it is critical to elect a good candidate to both seats 1 and 2. So please chose wisely and with knowledge.

Thank you.

Don Haddix

Candidate for PTC Council, Post 1



Mike Harman

Citizens of Peachtree City, I applied for the council seat I currently hold because I wanted to do more for the city.

I had already dedicated a great deal of time to the city as a member and eventually chairman of the Water and Sewerage Authority but I wanted to have a larger impact.

So, I applied for a vacant city council seat and was honored to be selected by the other council members.

Already, I have faced several important issues and made decisions that I believe are truly in the best long-term interest of the city.

As your councilman for the next four years, I will continue to work in a diligent manner, researching each issue fully. This will enable me to continue to make informed, thoughtful decisions that are in the best long-term interest of the city and its citizens.

I will work to ensure that the quality of life that we all enjoy does not deteriorate.

I will work with the police and fire chiefs to ensure the public safety. I will continue to work with our neighboring communities to ensure that we have shared responsibility for the issues that affect us regionally, such as traffic and taxes.

In addition, we will continue to face vital decisions on the development of our city, as demonstrated by the possible construction of a Kohl’s department store. These types of decisions will have a lasting impact on the quality of life in our city and any council member must act with a thorough understanding of each situation.

Although some wanted my decision on the issue sooner rather than later, I conducted my research and fact-finding in a deliberate manner, which was necessary given the importance of my decision.

In the end, I believe this research led me to the correct decision, which was to oppose the Kohl’s plan.

As the election nears, I want every citizen to know that I welcome the privilege of continuing to serve this city and its people.

We face a range of vital issues that will define our future, and I believe I can provide the qualified, competent leadership this city needs.

My family and I love this city. I look forward to the chance to continue as your councilman for the next four years.

Thank you, and I would appreciate your vote next Tuesday.


Mike Harman

City Council Post 1


Thomas O’Toole

Peachtree City has a unique character that prompted my family and most of us to make our home here. My wife, Yvonne, and our children, Patrick, Sarah and Kileigh, have found a community to call home.

We are thankful and appreciative of the support we have received from our inclusion in the Braelinn Elementary School family, the Holy Trinity Catholic Church family, the PTC Lacrosse and Basketball associations, Cub Scout Pack 409 and the Peachtree City Civic Association. This is truly a unique and remarkable city.

However, we have witnessed this uniqueness slowly disappearing in the short time we have been here.

Some examples are retail development not in line with our stated goal of village centers, rezoning of higher density developments close to our borders, an increase of graffiti and litter on the paths and increased traffic.

If this whittling away of the vision of Peachtree City is not stopped and great strides made to change course, we could lose our uniqueness completely and become just another suburb.

I want to protect and grow our vision, not watch it fade away. I can do this as your councilman.

I believe that we need a council member that will stand up and defend the character of Peachtree City when it is threatened. Sadly, ordinances alone will not protect the future of our city nor guarantee honoring the wishes of the majority of our citizens. We need to elect people who understand what makes Peachtree City special.

I understand the unique qualities that make Peachtree City special:

- A “green” city which cares about natural buffers, preservation of natural resources such as specimen trees and greenbelts, and natural aesthetics.

- A safe, clean cart path system with courteous users.

- A family-friendly city with many recreational opportunities for all ages

- Master planning using the village concept

I will promote responsible redevelopment that maintains the current character of our neighborhoods and village retail centers.

I will use the comprehensive plan with its core focus of the village planning concept as THE guide to the work of the Council.

My decisions will be made in regards to the wishes of the citizens and built upon research into the financial impact, quality of life impact, traffic impact, and long-term impact of every proposal on the character of Peachtree City.

I will “Protect the Promise.” Thank you for your vote.

Thomas J. O’Toole, Jr.


Peachtree City Council Post 2


Mark Hollums

Peachtree City has continued to evolve from its earliest conceptual plans, which envisioned a targeted build-out of 80,000 people, to its present day population of 36,000 and reputation as one of the top 10 most desirable places to live.

The quality of life that we enjoy so much today can not only be traced to our community’s founding fathers’ foresight, but also to the tireless efforts of those citizens throughout the years whose wisdom helped mold and modify our story into a success.

As with every generation, we face new challenges.

9/11 brought external terrorism to our shores. Former third world countries like China and India have become economic powerhouses that now infringe upon industries traditionally dominated by our country.

Here in Peachtree City, we are beginning to see the green pastures that have always lined our corridors being turned into traffic-bearing commercial developments.

Understandably, many of us find this unsettling. How we respond will determine whether we continue to flourish in this new world, or whether we are fated to suffer the ills of rampant development and increasing crime.

I believe we can flourish, but it takes the right imagination, determination, and motivation. We must not fail to take action.

Peachtree City is not Switzerland. We cannot just shut down our borders if external events are not to our liking.

Problems in our future for the most part will not come from within our city’s limits. Because of this, we must reach out to our neighboring jurisdictions.

We have to overcome the petty insecurities that divide us and find a way to share the secret of our success ... that a well-defined plan and consistent application will yield very desirable results.

Good neighbors always help each other. This means that we must take a proactive role as a regional leader and learn to share some of our resources that traditionally we have not been willing to do. If we don’t, uncontrolled development attracted by our demographics will continue to ring us and ruin us.

We need to fill our existing commercial vacancies before we add more retail space.

We must remain vigilant against crime and continue to improve our EMS services as more seniors locate here.

We need to make sure that our police and fire department officers are appropriately compensated.

And we need to thoughtfully consider whether redevelopment proposals are actually beneficial to our net quality of life.

Mark Hollums

Candidate Post 2


Mike King

I’ve been accused of being a protégé of Mr. Logsdon. In fact I’ve been accused of being the guy between Harold and Steve Boone at the Y-Knot.

Sure, we are personal friends and have been so for four years playing golf together, but I hold differing views and will vote accordingly if elected. Here is where I stand on the following:

TDK – Simply put, not no, but, “Hell, no!” As an old soldier I believe that at some time one must choose a position and make a stand. This is one of those times. Should a previous council had realized that such a development as McIntosh Village had been known at the time, it would certainly have been voted down.

Now that it is out in the open, the TDK Extension must be permanently scrapped until such time as it is proven to me that it is in the best interest of Peachtree City.

Currently, it is advantageous to Coweta County at our expense by adding to our traffic woes and increasing commute times to I-85.

Arguments have been made that compliance is mandatory after the GRTA decision and court ruling, otherwise we “might” or “could” lose funding for road projects within the city.

The question is better asked, “How much in lost funds are we willing to give up?” to avoid TDK. To give in is simply a death knoll for Peachtree City because the TDK Extension would be in essence community suicide. The answer is NO!

Big Boxes – NO! Enforce the ordinances that we have in place. If we have to drive to either Newnan or Fayetteville to preserve our bedroom community, so be it! Our city fathers did not intend for our city to become a regional shopping area.

The Region – I have heard all the speak or double-speak about planning for the betterment of the entire southside of Atlanta.

Well, I’m willing to look at the region’s needs, but the needs of Peachtree City come first, and if the region needs to build roads through our town for their benefit, the answer is a resounding NO!

NO! – Your council needs to become a department of NO! for a while.

The ongoing drought, new roads, unchecked development, and no regard to what Peachtree City will become in 25 years have encroached upon our lifestyle long enough.

Boiling frogs – we all know how

[Editor’s note: Per our long-standing rule, the candidate’s essay was cut off after 400 words, the limit for all candidates’ essays.]


Doug Sturbaum

Voice of the Customer — What is it and why it is important.

In business circles, the VOC is the program where people formulate a business strategy around the wants and needs of its strategic customers. Usually, the program has an customer advocate, an internal person who champions the customer’s position.

Many people have spoken out about not being heard by the current city government. I tell you that if I am elected, I will listen to what the people want and keep the communication open.

Hence, I become your advocate. I will champion your position and listen to the people. Needless to say, you are the customer.

We do not need closed meetings and non-published programs. What we need to do is get the people involved in our government and make the decisions based on the needs of the people.

The people that I have set down with and discussed my agenda know that my Voice of the Customer platform is critical to the success of Peachtree City.

Right now, we understand what lies ahead. It is up to each citizen to decide what happens to PTC. If elected, I work for you and my job will be to protect PTC and its citizens from undue pressures and burdens.

I am for open communication about zoning, planning, balanced budgeting and relaying to the citizens the issues and opportunities we face now and in the future.

Communication is the key to success of any program, be it business, personal or government.

If I am elected, feel free to contact me about concerns on redevelopment, traffic, environmental or other issues facing the city. Your concerns will guide us to the PTC that the citizens want and deserve.

Thanks and please vote!

Doug Sturbaum

Post 2 Candidate PTC City Council


Dar Thompson

It was the philosopher Emanuel Kant who said, “Life is difficult at best.” I disagree; I’m an optimist: Life is what you make of it. It’s all about attitude!

I happen to agree with many of the other candidates on almost every issue; public safety, the upgrade of our cart paths as well as cart path safety, keeping and staying true to our strict zoning ordinances, maintaining landscaping buffers, and green belts in our city; the list goes on.

The only difference is that I’m the only candidate who has come up with ideas to help fund these areas without going into your, the taxpayer’s, pocket.

It’s true everyone can tell you what needs to be done; that’s easy. But there is only one candidate that has an actual plan and ideas to make it happen. That candidate is me, Dar Thompson.

When I decided to campaign for the office of city council I made the commitment to offer a platform that was based on new ideas and truths with a solid business base. I have done exactly that.

I have brought new ideas such as “real estate transfer fees” which will create added revenue for our city of approximately $350,000 per year at absolutely no cost to current residents. This plan, in fact, could potentially lower your tax dollar(s).

I have offered a new idea of “deferral of taxes for seniors” which could give qualified seniors an additional $392 a year in income.

I have brought forth the idea of “town hall meetings” for our neighborhoods, seniors, and youth.

I’ve been asked why I would want to do this difficult, challenging, thankless job. I think it’s about attitude. As Neil Cavuto said, “While others see the world and get overwhelmed by it, optimists see the same world and relish it, embrace it, challenge it, love it, and, yes, laugh at it and themselves. The best see only the good in things, what is right. Their attitude makes those around them feel good because all the while there are too many who are busy trying to make them feel bad.”

I see what’s good with our community. I see the good that can be done. I see the power of positive interaction and cooperation. I don’t believe in the word “can’t.”

That’s why you should vote Dar Thompson, City Council Post 2.

Dar Thompson

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Submitted by johenry on Wed, 10/31/2007 - 5:35am.

Dar has been to far too many self help seminars for his own good. For Dar, it's not about making good decisions and planning for the future; instead, it about feeling good.

Did anyone else notice that Dar did not write about any of the pressing issues for Peachtree City???

It's really funny how many of the candidates went out of there way to avoid talking about the issues.

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