Whoever the winners may be, some hot issues remain to be resolved in PTC

Steve Brown's picture

To the victors go the problems — I am writing this prior to the election, so congratulations to whomever won. In Peachtree City the warm-’n’-fuzzy feeling should wear off swiftly since there are some hot topics to be addressed.

More tax dollars for rubbish — I think Councilwoman Plunkett was correct on her assessment of the police station crisis. It would be a good time to stop, take a deep breath and contemplate the possibilities.

We are about to spend another $600,000 to mend the ailing station built on an unregulated landfill site which the city purchased from a prominent local developer.

Remember, hundreds of thousands of dollars had been previously spent on Band-aids (all promised to work, but unsuccessful) and studies for this facility.

Councilwoman Plunkett asked the city staff if the repair contractor guaranteed the problems would be resolved and the answer was a firm, “No.”

Her response was then to begin looking for a new site and construct a new building.

I agree the time has come to genuinely evaluate the continued financial and health risks by taking a serious look at cutting our losses by constructing a new facility elsewhere.

Mayor Logsdon dismissed Plunkett’s idea as too expensive, but even he acknowledged the repair costs could escalate. However, if the latest Band-aid fails like the previous attempts, we will have lost another $600,000 along with having to fund building a new facility on a new site anyway.

The sad part is we should have never bought the unregulated garbage dump and its liability in the first place. The mayor and council at the time had documentation clearly stating the condition and past uses of the property, but they still purchased the land.

Alas, the documentation was not released to the public or the news media until years after the acquisition from the local developer.

Anyone who dared allege there were problems in the past with the site was deemed a “lunatic” or a “troublemaker.” One of these days we are going stop believing the few who do not mind hurting us and take a stand on governmental accountability to the taxpayers.

Although the current mayor and council did not cause this catastrophe, they can undoubtedly make it much worse. Put the repairs on the hold and immediately form a committee to examine all of the possibilities.

Doing it right or not at all — The mayor and council have a golden opportunity to rework the hodgepodge annexation on the city’s Westside. The Peachtree City Civic Association (PTCCA) provided some excellent guidance to the mayor and council regarding the annexation, but it was totally ignored.

PTCCA suggested the city master plan the entire area, including the 89-acre tract already within the city limits (zoned industrial). However, the city council opted to annex and rezone only the unincorporated land resulting in a considerable band of residential zoning surrounding a large clump of industrial zoned land.

This makes absolutely no sense. Even worse, one of the developers, Levitt and Sons has totally backed out of the project.

A local resident filed a lawsuit claiming the city acted improperly on the annexations. The claim has merit, so why not take the lemon and make some lemonade by starting over again following the city’s time honored standard of master planning an area prior to development.

Surely we will not allow a new set of the developers to sneak in under the old plan. If the mayor and council feel compelled to annex the land, so be it, but please, for goodness sake, do it the right way.

Restore trust and accountability — The former Development Authority seriously violated the law regarding unauthorized acts and illegal loans. The current mayor and council elected to resolve the tragedy by issuing an uncalled for $1.5 million taxpayer bailout.

In order to avoid such misfortune in the future, my council created the Tourism Association to handle the disbursement of hotel/motel taxes and the operations of the tennis center and the amphitheater. In addition, we mandated that a member of the city council always be a board member of the association to insure the officials elected by the voters knew what was going on at all times.

Accountability is a good thing. Unfortunately, one of the first actions of the Logsdon administration was removing the mandate for a city council member to be on the Tourism Association board (Councilwoman Plunkett opposed the measure).

Why would anyone purposefully move to obstruct accountability to the taxpayers? This has been a trend over the last two years.

So here we go again reverting back to the same behavior that cost us a $1.5 million bailout by allowing millions of tax dollars to flow into an independent third party with absolutely no accountability. The door has been opened wide for more corruption.

Stop giving away authority to special interests and restore the mandate for city council oversight of the tax dollars by mandating a council member be on the board.

Take on these challenges, handle them in a proper and honest manner and make us proud.

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Submitted by johenry on Tue, 11/06/2007 - 10:58pm.

Hey, I'm sorry, but if Bob Lenox and his sneaky bunch wanted to help their Pathway buddies so much they would hide disclosure documents, then the city ought to sue them for negligence.

Of course Logsdon took out the accountability for the tennis center. What do you expect? I can't wait to see him gone.

the_assassin's picture
Submitted by the_assassin on Tue, 11/06/2007 - 11:08pm.

Sure Bob Lenox couldn't get Steve Brown arrested for theft of services (remember the city staffer 'volunteered' to taxi a family member to golf camp?). But that was a criminal matter.

Nevertheless he got Brown's attention. And made his point!!!

I'd put Bob Lenox's mind (and wit) up against the very best lawyer out there and he'd still win. There's a reason he's a millionaire successful businessman and Steve Brown is, er, well, a 'former mayor.'

abeautifulday4us's picture
Submitted by abeautifulday4us on Wed, 11/07/2007 - 6:18am.

If Lenox is so smart how did he fail to convince the peasants to vote for the Lenox Performing Arts Center referendum? He pulled out all the stops on that one including campaign ethics violations. His "successes" have included "creative" tactics all along the way. You give any business the deeply discounted Dev Auth loans (usually never given to existing, local businesses) and they'll make money. It's a house of cards.

Submitted by johenry on Tue, 11/06/2007 - 11:13pm.

Bob Lenox invented corruption in PTC. They way I see it, Bob Lenox lost everytime he challenged Steve Brown on local issues.

If he had documents saying what was on the land and he didn't disclose them before the purchase, we ought to go after him. It's just plain dishonest.

the_assassin's picture
Submitted by the_assassin on Tue, 11/06/2007 - 11:22pm.

"Corruption" you say? You do sound an awful lot like our mini-Brownie!

IF he had documents? Do you have any proof? A scintilla of evidence?

IF YOU HAVE THE JUICE, SPILL IT! If not ... shut up and eat your own sour grapes!!!

Submitted by John M on Wed, 11/07/2007 - 5:05pm.

Steve Brown's column said there was a document on the condition of the property. Hey, I remember when Bob Lenox said there was nothing wrong with the police station. Where is that bum now? Do I trust Steve Brown, you betcha. Mayor Logsdon is great at flushing money down the toilet.

"I'm NOT John Munford"

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Tue, 11/06/2007 - 6:42pm.

Which parcel would you re-zone? You have the bully pulpit, let's hear it.

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