Plunkett concerned about tone of council

Fri, 09/19/2008 - 2:19pm
By: John Munford

Says group must ‘agree to disagree’

Peachtree City Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett shared a frank concern at Thursday night’s council meeting.

“I feel like the last four or five council meetings a lot of people have thrown a lot of people under the buses,” Plunkett said, referring to the discussions that have taken place among council members.

Plunkett also said she did not “appreciate reading in the paper that one or all of our decisions are unfounded.” Though she didn’t mention him by name, Plunkett was referring to a recent letter to the editor authored by councilman Don Haddix, who criticized Plunkett, councilman Steve Boone and Mayor Harold Logsdon on a number of issues.

“We can agree to disagree,” Plunkett said. But how council treats each other affects how the citizens respond to council members also, she added.

In the letter, Haddix expressed dissatisfaction that he and fellow councilman Doug Sturbaum are almost always on the losing end of 3-2 votes of contentious issues such as annexation.
Thursday night, Logsdon said he agreed that the council wasn’t working as a team and he felt council needed to do that “and find out what’s best for Peachtree City and operate that way.”
Councilman Steve Boone agreed, and Councilman Doug Sturbaum said while council members should agree to disagree, it should be done “professionally and not personally.”

“We can try to all work together so we’re as strong as we can be, so let’s see what we can do about it,” Sturbaum said.

Haddix remained silent during the exchange, which occurred briefly before council adjourned into executive session to discuss a personnel matter and a litigation matter.

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Submitted by flip212 on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 6:29pm.

I read that Mr. Mayor and Mr. City Manager went to China to “better understand their culture” since the new Chinese Company (that they approved) is coming to our City.

Did they also go to Japan to better understand their culture, so that they could help prevent Panasonic in eliminating 500 jobs?

Hey City Manager…Hey Harold…have you heard The term quid pro quo… is also used in the contexts of politics quid quo pro can refer to the use of political office for personal benefit. For instance, an elected official might promise favorable governmental treatment to a person in exchange for something of value. This form of quid pro quo would be a violation of the law. On the federal level, the Hobbs Act (18 U.S.C.A. § 1951 [1994]) makes it a felony for a public official to extort property under color of office.

The Citizens of this City have the right to request a full scale (independent) investigation into the actions leading up to and the subsequent trip to China.

Submitted by flip212 on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 6:03pm.

The China trip was a blatant slap in the face to the citizens of this City. Mr. Mayor and City Manger you should be ashamed of plastering your mug shots on the front page of the newspaper. Why throw it in our faces for the unethical trip?

I can’t even begin to comprehend why someone in these positions would even think that this was anything but a ‘pay-off trip”. How stupid do you take the citizens of this city? Obviously, you think we’re a bunch of idiots.

Mr. Mayor, Mr. Boone and Ms. Cyndi you are destroying this city…one vote at a time. All three of you are a disgrace. As a citizen of this city, I am embarrassed.

Thankfully, we have Don and Doug to keep our faith in local government alive.

I would like to begin a campaign to remove all three of you from office immediately. Furthermore. I think we need a full-scale investigation into the China trip.

Submitted by PTC Avenger on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 9:24am.

Princess Cyndi feels like she has been "thrown under the bus." She deserves it. She tries to deflect any negative criticism by claiming that she always votes for the best interests of Peachtree City. Hogwash. Her voting record has been destructive. She's thrown the citizens of Peachtree City, our tax dollars, and ostensibly her moral fiber under the bus. She does not represent the wishes of the people. Mr. Haddix should be commended for his transparency and willingness to (gasp!) lower himself and actually communicate with the lowly concerned citizens and voters of Peachtree City. I have never met Mr. Haddix but judging from what I've seen and read he is truly concerned about the future of our city and wishes to keep his constituency informed. How is communicating information with the people who need it most, the citizens and taxpayers, unprofessional and an act that is to be frowned upon? The truth is it's not. It's how politics at any level SHOULD be.

Actions speak louder than words, Cyndi. Peachtree City will be better off without you.

Submitted by skyspy on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 5:34am.

In order for our council to work together 3 of them will have to start to consider what is best for the citizens of PTC.

Don't worry, this little problem will be fixed when the citizens fire the 3 who don't listen to the citizens.

Big thanks to the 2 councilmen who do have a personal code of ethics and do listen to the citizens of PTC. In appreciation for your hard work we will give you 3 new people to work with. It will just be another long year, hang in there.

Submitted by MYTMITE on Fri, 09/19/2008 - 11:48pm.

there are two of you who vote for everything developers and builders want. If only all of you would start "finding out what is best for Peachtree City and operate that way." Gee, Mr. Logsdon does that mean you and
Boone are finally going to take into consideration what the citizens of this city want instead of agreeing to everything every builder and developer asks for---a little late in the game isn't it? But at least that would be a start.

I, for one, appreciate Mr. Haddix keeping us informed and I see nothing wrong with his stating that a decision is unfounded if he can back it up. Without Mr. Haddix keeping us informed there would be many things going on around the city that we would never know about.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Fri, 09/19/2008 - 8:22pm.

Let me just say John Munford is reviewing the minutes.

Things like accusing me of personal attacks in my letter when there were none, misquoting Doug Sturbaum and, again, being told we are supposed to fall in line and vote with the majority to show unity, no matter if we agree or not or what we promised to do in our elections. Yes, we have been told 3-2 votes are unwanted and unacceptable.

No. The Mayor is not the only one with a right to speak to the public and when newspapers focus on what he says, with Cyndi the second most quoted, there is a false perception of what really happened created.

I was elected to represent my constituents. That includes keeping them informed.

As for being quiet, I did so because I felt this issue on the dais during an in session Council Meeting was inappropriate.

I understand you have never supported me. That is your right.

No argument here. Just making some points. Accept or not as you wish. Again, that is your right.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

yellowjax1212's picture
Submitted by yellowjax1212 on Fri, 09/19/2008 - 6:00pm.

Looks like Mr Haddix has been taken to the woodshed. Right or wrong I agree that council differences need to be worked out internally and not aired out in the paper. I know that they are not going to agree on everything but showing a unified front every once in a while would help convince the public that PTC is not "doomed".

Submitted by wdd5885 on Fri, 09/19/2008 - 7:26pm.

This type of behavior is what the voters soured against from the last administration. Constant public attacks on fellow city officials are extremely unprofessional and inappropiate.

I fear this will become the norm as the next mayoral election approaches. They want us to feel like the city is doomed and blame it all on Harold, Cindy, and Steve. This way, Haddix and his crowd can make a run on the council in 2009. Hopefully PTC voters will see though this. I don't have much hope as the tactic worked to get Haddix elected. Fear and half truth go a long way towards influencing voters.

Submitted by MYTMITE on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 12:01am.

I hope Haddix and his "crowd" do make a run for office in 2009. I can't believe you would want more of what we are experiencing with Logsdon and his "crowd". Peachtree City may not be doomed but it will soon be if we keep having council members who are only too willing to acquiesce to every demand made on the city regardless of the damage it may do. Let's not forget that it was Logsdon and his "crowd" that couldn't wait to get into office and pay off that Tennis Center fiasco. Same "crowd" giving up our streets to a developer and now giving Sany whatever they want. Maybe you want this "crowd" to stay in but most of Peachtree City has had it with them. We want a council that will really take into account our desires as to what we want for our city.

Submitted by wdd5885 on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 7:03am.

Then vote accordingly. I want elected officials who conduct themselves with an ounce of professionalism. I think if you researched the hundreds of votes of the last 3 years, you'd find a different picture than what is painted here. It is funny to me you people continue to bring up the Tennis Center debt, as Harold ran on the platform of paying it off. He made that clear from day one in his campaign. The variance for Sany passed 5-0. That's right, Don and Doug voted for it too. I bet they were all going to vote for it without a trip to China. There is always more to the story than what John and Cal will tell you, even Don has seen it happen now, as evidenced by his reply above.

I don't want to see Steve Brown politics creep back into PTC. We as a community can do better. I see a trend developing which disturbs me. Decisions made by this council are constanly berated publicly by Cal, Steve Brown, and now Don Haddix. It is extremely rare to see good press in this paper at all (about this council). Cal sends John Munford in to do the dirty work, then Cal edits to achieve his desired effect. Would it make news anywhere else in this country if the mayor and manager bought a house to fix up and flip? City officials going to China is a good thing. We need to lure more good industry to town as the old stalwarts are packing up and leaving.

Steve Brown recently accused Harold and Bernie of violating the city's ethics code. If so, why hasn't he filed a complaint? Because there was no viloation. The city attorney cleared the trip, and they had the blessing of the council as well. However, Steve writes a letter making an accusation, and he knows the seed is planted. He knew the variance was going to pass, but created a controversy with a baseless accusation. It is this kind of behavior that disgusts me and alot of other voters. In my opinion, Don Haddix engaged in that kind politics with his letter to the citizen.

Right now it seems no matter what the issue, the 3-2 vote comes into play. It's as if regardless if the issue has any merits, if Harold and Steve are for it, Don and Doug are against it. I would prefer they all work together. Great ideas are born from disagreement. You can disagree and be civil. As a voter, I would like to see cooperation on issues from ALL council members. With public letters, trust is undermined and all that's left is anger. Not good. Don facilitates this with his tactics. Steve Brown 101. I would like to see it go away.

As I see this activity increase, I fear they are going to make a run on the council in 2009, using these types of tactics. I hope the voters see through it.

David Downing

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 9:32am.

The Sany deal was a done deal before I even ran for office. What we voted was mainly agreement maintenance.

Doug and I are not going to reject getting all but 4 acres of the wetlands untouched and 40 acres put in a green trust to never be touched again.

Hope that clarifies the vote for you.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by wdd5885 on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 9:58am.

...but unethical behavior is being tied to the vote, and I see no one on the council refuting the accusation. Did you think the China trip was unethical, and if so why? Reply privately if you like, as you can look up my email on this site. If not, defend the decision by the council to bless the trip and put to rest the accusations.

Look, I respect anyone who has the fortitude to run for public office. It is a thankless job which frankly doesn't pay any of you appropiately for time spent doing the job. Whether you and I agree on issues is irrelevant for my point. I just don't like the style of politics being played and hate to see them resurface. I would like to see candidates and council members debate the merits of positions, not constant attacks against each other. Again, thanks for your sevice as well as your reply.

David Downing

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 11:28am.

Mr. Downing, thank you. Council can be rather frustrating at times. But, having seen the patterns over the last 21 years, I was frustrated there as well. So, I figured why not be frustrated while trying to actually make a difference, now that I could run, than being on the sidelines?

I understand your point. That is why my Letter to the Editor was purely a contrast of positions and votes, not personalities. Cyndi, Harold and Boone introduced personalities, with false accusations of personal attacks and improper conduct, via what I felt was an inappropriate forum to do so. That was not City business. It was constituent business made personal. Hence why I remained silent.

But really, what other vehicle do I have to occasionally contact my constituents, which are all of PTC? The Mayor and majority get quoted heavily in newspaper articles regarding debates. The Mayor is the go to guy for opinions by most sources with questions. The Mayor writes the letter in the monthly Update. They would rather confine disagreement to city emails where they can opt to reply or not.

Many constituents do no use online venues such as my website. Really, many do not even own computers to begin with. But I have had a lot of requests and demands to be heard from, in the paper, more than I have been. And questions about the implications of news articles that I am not speaking up or voting against certain thing.

There was no mention, in example, that Doug and I managed to kill the LUC for Fairfied by forcing the developer to admit the franchiser would not allow him to build anything less than 3 floors, thus changing Cyndi's vote from yes to get additional landscaping next to residential to no to kill the whole project, since this the landscaping issue for her.

By the way, I had the GC and LUC ordinances pulled for rewrite to end the need for negotiating from the Dais to get proper protections, thus LUC requests, by including proper protections in the basic GC ordinance for such situations. Better protection of PTC without giving excuses or creating needs to give more to developers.

As for the China issue, I would rather not engage in that issue publicly. But profiles on the Citizen do not allow direct email contact, even when you enabled it. So I cannot access your email address.

I can be contacted via the website in my sig line or the Peachtree City Website, a public records venue.

Feel free to contact me.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by wdd5885 on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 8:22pm.

I will contact you via city council email.

David Downing

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