Who should be new PTC councilman?

Cal Beverly's picture

Right in front of you, I’m going to wrestle with some conflicting political feelings.

First up is the runoff race next Tuesday with top vote-getter Mike King facing Doug Sturbaum for the Post 2 Peachtree Council seat.

I endorsed and voted for King, a retired military man and a 20-year resident of the city in his first political race.

I liked what little I knew about newcomer Sturbaum, resident for about one year and a purchasing agent for a manufacturing company in our industrial park.

But, as I said, I just did not feel good about turning over the running of our city to somebody who had just moved into town.

For years I have been lamenting the damage — some ignorant, some deliberate — being done to PTC by johnny-come-latelies who professed to have embraced the “PTC vision,” and then proceeded to sell out that very vision.

My advice to Sturbaum and another candidate who sounded good but had just arrived was this: Live several years in PTC, send some kids through local schools, put down serious roots in our special town, then come back and offer yourselves as leaders.

Another long-time resident, Don Haddix, won the Post 1 seat without a runoff. I was glad to see that.

Haddix, a former homeowners association president, is someone who has seen many changes in PTC, and stepped up to the plate to slow down or reverse some of those changes. I’m with him on that mission.

Haddix has in turn taken young Sturbaum under his wing and the two seem to be on the same page about a lot of ideas that also seem good to me.

King, on the other hand, was actually encouraged to run for the post by his friend and golfing buddy, Mayor Harold Logsdon. King admits to quaffing a few brews at the Y-Knot in Aberdeen Village with Logsdon and Councilman Steve Boone. Boone, who defeated Steve Rapson two years ago, has become one of Logsdon’s most reliable allies and thus one of the major mistakes made by the PTC electorate in recent years.

King, however, in a series of letters to this paper and in blogs and comments in our online news site, has gone to great pains to distance himself from his friend Logsdon and the mayor’s positions on the controversial Kohl’s proposal, TDK Boulevard Extension, big boxes in general and traffic concerns.

King has tagged himself as “Mr. No” in his letters, detailing exactly how he would vote in diametric opposition to Logsdon and Boone on some of the big issues. King said in his letters and postings that it was time for the council to say “No” to developers much more often, though he has emphasized the “No” should be friendly and respectful.

On the strength of King’s “Mr. No.” assertions and on Sturbaum’s short-time residence in PTC, I made the decision to support King Nov. 6 for the upcoming vacant council post.

I hope King will be reliably true to his public assertions if he is elected. I hope his friendship with Logsdon and Boone will not cause him to tilt over the next few years to more accommodation with them and the increasing pressures from developers and re-developers. I hope, I hope . . .

On the other hand, with Haddix and Sturbaum, I see real potential for formation of a majority coalition of like-minded council members who will stand firm and reliably for the current homeowners of PTC and will force outside developers to demonstrate convincing evidence that their proposals will accrue to the greater good of the greater number of homeowners in PTC. And they will follow the land use plan.

Haddix and Sturbaum would have to bring Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett into their orbit, not a small task. Plunkett has seemed at times to be level-headed, and then she can go off on some truly dumb crusades — as an example, her fronting the Logsdon push to double the salaries of mayor and council members, which passed.

After pushing for it, Logsdon abandoned Plunkett at the crucial vote and abstained. But make no mistake, the pay raise was Logsdon’s idea, while Plunkett wound up carrying his water.

I’m intrigued by the joint idea from Haddix and Sturbaum to turn the advisory land use plan into an actual city ordinance, so that any changes to the plan would have to be made as ordinance amendments by a majority of council.

That seems like a good way to stop the loosey-goosey, changeable and individualized council and planning commission interpretations of the advisory plan, in which the plan becomes squeezed and stretched into almost unrecognizable configurations, mostly contorted to accommodate some developer or other, and rarely for the benefit of the average homeowner.

King has come out against codifying the plan into law. I understand his cautions, but I’ve seen the sorry results of loosely changing interpretations.

I admit I’m torn between the two candidates.

Current council members Logsdon and Boone have damaged Peachtree City with their cavalier attitude toward the majority of residents.

Boone seems to have no discernible voting philosophy except to go along with developers.

Logsdon’s philosophy seems to be to ignore public input and to try to accommodate developers and high-intensity growth projects, despite what the majority of his constituents may want. Maybe he just really is the handmaiden of high growth, and the PTC homeowners be damned.

Whatever, the two of them — Logsdon and Boone — should be made the new minority and a new homeowner-centric majority should take control of the PTC Council to restore some humility and public attentiveness to the local governing process.

Where does that leave me with my vote next Tuesday?


King sounds good, but will he slip-slide back into Logsdon’s good graces and become just another PTC Council mistake?

Sturbaum makes the right noises, but will his inexperience and lack of deep, years-long, local roots make him subject to unsettling course corrections as he gains his footing?

I wish I had a definitive answer. I guess I’ll decide next Tuesday as I stand in front of the touchscreen to vote.

But vote I will. And so should you. Sorry I haven’t helped you more with this one.

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Submitted by Crug on Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:35pm.

Citizens of Peachtree City,

I would like to lend a word of support for Doug Sturbaum. I have known Doug since our college days and share many of the same life experiences. Doug and I both chose to leave an area that was becoming overdeveloped and join, or rather adopt, a community that had a family feel.

I personally moved to Flowery Branch about the same time that Doug moved to PTC. I too made the personal commitment to serve my community though the city council to leverage the lessons learned from my previous city. Flowery Branch and PTC are facing many of the same issues. Here in Flowery Branch, the citizens realized that the old guard wasn't getting the job done and so I was just recently elected to Post 1.

I find it to be a real asset that he personally and recently experienced the impact of overdevelopment. You will find Doug to be a very straightforward, hardworking and honest person. I just wish we could still be neighbors. Doug will do a good job for PTC.


Craig Lutz

Flowery Branch City Council Elect.

Submitted by bj7755 on Thu, 11/29/2007 - 9:14pm.

I have known Mike King since he moved to PTC.
We are lucky to have a man with his qualifications in our town and willing to use his experience and wisdom to "bring PTC back" to where the founding fathers intended it to be.

I served with Mike on one of the non profit associations in PTC and his strong leadership led us through some tough times. IF you are not sure who to vote for spend 10 min. with Mike and your mind will be made up. This man is a born leader, tough as nails and will have no problem in being and staying “Mr. No”.

Both Mike and Doug are good men BUT WHEN A TOUGH DECISION NEEDS TO BE MADE MIKE HAS THE EDGE and will NEVER BE ANYONE’S PUPPET! These are facts backed up Mike’s reputation in the capacities he has served in other positions in PTC.

I just wish he had been on the council in the early 90s when PTC started down the road of ruin.


Vote for Mike King, go to the council meetings and watch him save the greatest community in America!

CCB's picture
Submitted by CCB on Fri, 11/30/2007 - 1:38am.

I don't think you want to bring it back to where the founding fathers wanted it. That would be population 90,000.

We sure could've used a Mike King during the Lenox years, I agree. We might not have a police station built on a landfill if King had been there.

Submitted by Citizen_Steve on Thu, 11/29/2007 - 6:51pm.

We have 2 outstanding candidates - Doug and Mike, should you not get the majority vote on Tues, please hang in there until the next seat is open. I expect we'll end up with both of you on council.


Submitted by Doug on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 8:47pm.

It looks like Beverly flipped coin on this one. King on one side and Staubaum on the other.

Mike King's picture
Submitted by Mike King on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 10:32am.

Mr Beverly,
I applaud your candor and even the intellectual honesty that you have concerning the differences between Doug Sturbaum and I, but just when have I admitted to "quaffing a few beers at Y-Knot in the Aberdeen Shopping Center." Have you actually lowered yourself to believe blogger comments such as the one that early in the campaign placed me as the guy sitting between Boone and the Mayor at Y-KNOT?
Yes, I admit to knowing both of these gentlemen, but, obviously, I need to reassert our relationship. I met the mayor some four years ago when I joined the Flat Creek Mens Golf Association where I eventually succeeded him as association president. I met Mr Boone several years ago as our daughters played both travelling softball and high school softball together, and yes Mr Boone is a member of our golf association. I admit to having the occasional adult beverage, sometimes at Y-Knot but more frequently, after golf at one of our city courses. Since I have a regular foursome on weekends I seldom have the opportunity play with them.
Your inferrence lends me to believe that you consider me to be a regular drinking "buddy" with the two of them-nothing could be further from the truth. Doug Sturbaum and I made a pact not to sling mud and we have stuck to discussing issues in your paper, you on the other hand are in the business of selling them.
I have stated my positions against the Mayor on many occasions and stand by them and you can rest assured that in my 58 years I have yet to "backslide" and will not do so now.
You and I agree on one thing, however, and that is to encourage our citizens to vote.
Whoever wins this election runoff, one thing is certain, and that is that the City Council win benefit as Doug and I consider each other to be both honest and honorable individuals.
Mike King Candidate for City Council Post 2

cogitoergofay's picture
Submitted by cogitoergofay on Thu, 11/29/2007 - 4:31pm.

Coming to a blog near you soon.....

Submitted by Doug on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 8:19pm.


I have to say the "Mr. No" and the "Department of No" slogans were classic.

Good luck to you.

Silence Dogood's picture
Submitted by Silence Dogood on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 7:49pm.

Has is ever occurred to you that maybe you have a drinking problem? My late husband died from liver disease becasue of his abuse of alcohol on the golf course and in the clubhouse. I would have given anything to have had his membership revoked at the Atlanta Athletic club while I still had a chance of saving him. Please get help before it's too late. then you might be a wonderful council person.


mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 8:18pm.

So many words, not so many conclusions.

Let me help.
Sorry for the all CAPS


Hope that is clear enough for you.

Submitted by TomCat on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 6:02pm.

We should ALL have the guts to go vote - and in so doing - listen to our gut in voting for PTC council. From the available information, and the Citizen has done a highly commendable job of presenting facts on all candidates and allowing all candidates to present their positions - we appear to have a run-off where there isn't a really bad choice. Both candidates are making the "right noise" about the important issues before PTC right now. King has definitely tried to distance himself from the mayor. Sturbaum has been present and available to citizens attending the comprehensive planning meetings. Cal, you've made some excellent points - echoing many of my own feelings so I wont repeat them - you did just fine the first time. I don't agree with your 10 year rule - since I'm still working to make 5 years here myself. PTC appears on the brink of getting a council majority that will actually work for the preservation of the city, the protection of its citizens and not be pawns for builders and developers. But you have to listen to your gut - and my gut says Doug Sturbaum is the right choice for right now. Let's hope it aint indigestion.

Sniffles's picture
Submitted by Sniffles on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 5:27pm.

Hello Cal,
You seem truly conflicted. This is unsettling to us mere mortals who have the expectation that you newspaper publisher have all the answers.

I admire you standing on principle about not voting for someone unless they'd been here for a decade. I'd like to point out that you have in the past been able to put aside your own artificial roadblock... I recall your enthusiastic support of carpetbagger Dylan Glenn a few years back (the 'resident' of Fayette County who had a 'residence' in his Grandma's spare bedroom).

I personally thought Glenn a deeply flawed candidate, but after seeing how badly Lynn Westmoreland turned out as congressman I must admit you were right back then.

I advise you to "go with your gut". I had an extraordinarily bad feeling about Harold Logsdon when he was running for Mayor, but an exceptionally eloquent "silver tongued blogger" named Spear Road Guy asked me to look at the candidates without bias. I couldn't see anything overtly wrong about Logsdon's candidacy, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. How wrong we both were!

Fool me once, shame on you, etc, etc. Now I'm feeling the same queasiness about Mike King as councilman that I originally felt about Logsdon as Mayor, and I am wondering if I am being a rare second chance to "trust my gut feeling". I've found nothing that makes me flat out dislike Mike King....I just don't trust him. And isn't trust the glue that binds a voter to a politician?

Just my two centavos.

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