PTC took pass on sale of tennis center

Fri, 01/23/2009 - 2:48pm
By: John Munford

Majority of council wanted to keep ‘asset’

A local businessman informally offered late last year to purchase the city’s tennis center for about $1 million, according to Peachtree City Councilman Don Haddix.

The facility would have remained as a recreational use, Haddix said without detailing specifics of the proposal. But despite getting support from councilman Doug Sturbaum, the other three council members dismissed it, Haddix said.

Haddix said the council members against selling the facility said it was an asset and should remain owned by the city. The city operates it via the Peachtree City Tourism Association and pays for some of its operations with funds from hotel-motel taxes.

Mayor Harold Logsdon said the tennis center is close to making money, unlike some other city facilities, and he would like to see it remain as a city asset.

At the same time, “everything is on the table” when it comes to budget cuts, Logsdon added.

“We’ve got to work through the whole budget process,” Logsdon said.

Selling the tennis center would have allowed the city more than $400,000 a year, Haddix said. And since the use would have remained recreational which is allowed under open space, Haddix said he didn’t think nearby residents would oppose it.

There is a sentiment among many Peachtree City residents that the tennis center should be sold, Haddix noted.

An online survey that is also being mailed to city residents, asks citizens to rank among 11 different services that should be reviewed for budget cuts. Although facilities such as The Gathering Place and the Kedron Fieldhouse and multi-purpose skating rink are on that list, the tennis center is not.

The survey does, however, ask residents if they knew that membership is not required to play at the tennis center.

Logsdon said he did not know why the tennis center would have been left off that list but added that he would inquire about it.

Haddix noted that there are new hotel-motel tax regulations in Georgia that if adopted would allow the city to spend money on more general fund items instead of strictly tourism-related expenses.

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Submitted by ptcmom678 on Tue, 02/10/2009 - 6:59pm.

You know how they have the marshal at soccer games to keep the peace on the sidelines? O.k, the (unfortunately) soon-to-be-laid off kindergarten teachers can be the city council meeting marshals. What do you say??

Seriously folks, this he-said, she-said thing is sounding less like adults doing business and more like my kids when I ask them who broke the lamp or drank all the milk in two hours.

Submitted by BillonSouthSide on Tue, 02/10/2009 - 6:47pm.

There was a lot of talk on this back in July and I am sure Haddix is correct. He is a straight shooter. Started that way and still is. There is more of this to come out and if the questioning council members would review notes from July before jumping on Haddix, they would, at least appear to be, a lot more intelligent.

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Sun, 02/08/2009 - 6:00pm.

The following story was reported in the Fayette Daily News Today In Peachtree City.

Wonder why the Citizen failed to report the following exchange that occured during Thursday night's council meeting?

Thanks goodness we have another paper to offset some of the hyperbole in this one. I think the headline below says it all.


Peachtree City Mayor Harold Logsdon and Councilmember Cyndi Plunkett challenged councilman Don Haddix Thursday night on claims he has been making in web blogs recently.

"You have been stating that we received a $1 million offer for the tennis center and turned it down," said Plunkett. "Can you bring it to me, can you show it to me?"

"There was an offer and you turned it down," said Haddix.

Haddix said the offer was brought up during a city workshop last year, and "you said no way."

But, like Plunkett, Logsdon said he was unaware of any offer for the tennis center.

"None of us have ever seen it," said Logsdon. "You are putting something out there with accusations, and none of us have no knowledge of any offer."

Haddix said the offer was made by local businessman Dar Thompson.

"He didn't approach you, he approached me, and I approached you with the offer," said Haddix. "But you shot it down."

Logsdon agreed that he has gone on record saying that he is not interested in selling the tennis center, but added, that "I've been here (as Mayor) over three years, and I don't think I have the power to kill anything. "To say we had a million dollar offer that was turned down is a stretch."

They also confronted Haddix on comments that "two tried to interfere with demands on how to handle certain ticket holders (for the Fred Brown Amphitheater) and satisfying their demand for acts."

"You said you wanted preferences for season ticket holders," said Haddix.

"I stand behind that, I did say that," said Plunkett. "But I never interfered with anything."

Logsdon added that "you are implying that we interfered with management, and you are putting your own spin on things."

Logsdon and Plunkett also challenged Haddix about a blog that they say inferred that they interfered with the city's recent citizen's survey.

They pointed to a blog that followed a question blogged by former Mayor Steve Brown.

" are saying Mayor Logsdon, Councilman Steve Boone, and Coucilmember Cyndi Plunkett intentionally omitted listing the Tennis Center on the survey for the public to weigh-in on. Is that correct?"

Haddix replied in his blog, "Yes. They stated they did not want it on. They wanted to add language explaining why we needed to keep it, but I objected they were trying to steer citizens to the answer they wanted to hear."

"That's a bald-faced lie," said Logsdon. "I want proof that I said that."

Haddix said he sent every member of the council, and the mayor, an e-mail stating that he felt the tennis center should be included on the survey.

"But it wasn’t on the survey," he said.

"And what was my response to your e-mail?" asked Logsdon.

"You didn’t answer it," Haddix said.

"That's right, I didn’t answer it," Logsdon said.

Boone also challenged Haddix on this blog.

"You are putting my name out there, misquoting a lot of information of things that go on, and you need to be careful Don," said Boone.

Plunkett said she simply felt there should be wording of clarification or explanation with the question on the tennis center.

"It's unfair to ask a question without giving all the information," she said. "But I did not interfere with the survey."

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Tue, 02/10/2009 - 1:57pm.

Most likely Councilman Haddix did convey a one million dollars offer to the other members of the City Council. I brought up such a possible deal at the council’s special workshop meeting with the tourism association a while ago. However, at that meeting, both the mayor and Council Member Plunkett said they would never go for such a deal – I agree.

The amphitheater “business” was completely bungled for the past couple of years. All of the data was suppressed and not made available, even upon my request at the workshop meeting.

Councilman Haddix was correct in saying it was a raw deal having all the other venues on the survey and leaving the tennis center off. We all know why the tennis center was left off the survey.

One thing I did learn from the council exchange was that Mayor Logsdon not only avoids answering correspondence from his constituents, but he also will not reply to his own council members.

Council Member Plunkett’s saying, "It's unfair to ask a question without giving all the information" is pretty hypocritical to anyone who has read the survey.

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 02/10/2009 - 9:12am.

Misinformation on these blogs seems to be his M O.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Mon, 02/09/2009 - 5:45am.

If The Citizen ignored this they are clearly anti-Logsdon which is a questionable position for a newspaper to take, of course once you make the leap to be pro-Steve Brown you are already on the road to perdition.

Very interesting exchange. Not appropriate to waste council's time on a personal cat fight and that's why this should be reported so we can look into the soul of our "leaders"

It is nice that Boone finally said something, but it seems like he should get a 10-yard penalty for piling on.

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Mon, 02/09/2009 - 8:28pm.

Sorry, Mr. Morgan, but I would not categorize this exchange as a personal cat fight. Seems to me that if any elected official is going to make public statements he/she needs to be totally truthful. Sounds like here that did not occur based on this exchange.

When you start from a position and twist facts to support a position already taken rather than let the facts take you to a position, that is called propoganda.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Tue, 02/10/2009 - 6:52am.

Sure public officials should be truthful when stating things in public - although the standards set by our national leaders seem to be slipping.

In this case someone is not being truthful, but that is not the most important thing. THIS WAS A CITY COUNCIL MEETING - not some schoolyard shouting match - although that is what it sounded like (meaning read like - I was not at the meeting.)

This was immature political posturing at an inappropriate venue. I'd acronym it IPPIV, but that doesn't have the panache of "cat fight"

The council meeting is to conduct the city's business - not to advance any individual's self-image. This kind of stuff is why I thought Haddix announced for mayor too early. I see why he did it. I just don't like it. In fact their cat fight made me lose a lot of respect for him and the little left I had for Logsdon. Notice I didn't mention Boone.

Now if Dar or anyone else wants to buy the tennis center, the pool or some city streets or anything else, the way to do it is make a formal written offer, get staff and Planning Commission review and have council vote on it. Oh yea, get a legal opinion before or after council makes up their collective mind, but certainly before the actual public vote.

If any candidate for any office does not like the result of that vote, then he or she can bring that up in their campaign for office - usually in Sept. or Oct. of the election year and proudly state that they would have voted differently and why.

Doesn't that sound better than the immature "he said, she said, no I didn't" nonsense?

Loved ya at the Super Bowl.

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Tue, 02/10/2009 - 8:37am.

Sorry Mr. Morgan, while I agree with your comments the vast majority of the time, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

The Tennis Center and the Amphitheater are city business since the city owns both venues and if one council member is twisting facts to support a position on those venues for political gain, I think it is appropriate for other council members to counter statements being made in public that are not totally correct.

PS - glad you enjoyed the Super Bowl performance. Hope to see you at Phillips Arena on April 26th. If so, I'll give you a shoutout!

Submitted by Nitpickers on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 5:37pm.

Mind telling me what a city "asset" is?

It is like some machinery in a business that is a necessity and can be sold.
In a city I don't think a Tennis Center is much of an asset--it is not a necessity. Doesn't even pay its bills! Insignificant in tax revenue, and spending here.

I think you mean an "attraction," like the pretty long-legged girls on FOX news. Thjey are long becauase one can see the entire length at times, entire!

Submitted by Spyglass on Sun, 01/25/2009 - 2:18pm.


Thankfully, we have 3 Council Members with some sense on this issue.

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Sun, 01/25/2009 - 2:07pm.

I have to admit, I had no idea that membership was not required to play at the tennis player, and my son has been dying to play there. I went to the PTC official website to double-check on the fees, etc. It wasn't easy to find fee info about the tennis center (had to do a search on the tennis center), but the fees are fairly reasonable.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Sat, 01/24/2009 - 7:22pm.

We have around $5 million sunk into the facility. I am disappointed we are selling city streets to big box developers.

It is like a fire sale for Peachtree City.

Submitted by Bonkers on Sun, 01/25/2009 - 5:14am.

Shhh. This is a secret thing! Can't be seen by us. Details that is.

Why hasn't anybody sued anybody over this? All we need is an outside lawyer!

Why did we pay the bank when it was the bank who made a bad and illegal loan?

How many houses can be built on the Tennis Center grounds---someday?

It was a "private Tennis Center" from the word go! Intended to be that way. It has proven to be that way. Except now, the "wheels" aren't babied by a babying Pro, who signs check and loan papers.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sun, 01/25/2009 - 11:47am.

Because the only ones who know all the details are the ones who were in Executive Session, at that time, who have the authority to release that information. The ones remaining on Council with those answers are Logsdon, Plunkett and Boone.

Neither Doug Sturbuam or I have that information to give you.

The odds of success via suing for the information are small at best. Executive Sessions are critical to effective government. Courts recognize that and will not violate it except for extremely good cause.

The land is zoned Open Space. Under the changes we made to the zoning, as in splitting into two types of Open Space, there are heavy usage restrictions in place. So, it can be sold as recreation use only.

Further, I said that if we sold it the buyer was to expect deed restrictions on usage as well, an added layer of protection.

Never any intention of throwing it wide open to any usage.

I agree the membership costs do have the net effect of being a private club. That shows in the membership and usage numbers, especially when there are other courts PTC own that get used as well, just not as fancy settings or with the associated costs.

Plus, there is nothing stopping people from hiring instructors. There are several around, as well has instructional facilities.

Government does not fare well in private sector efforts. That has been proven over and over.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Nitpickers on Sun, 01/25/2009 - 3:31pm.

Executive meeting to sign loans from Peachtre National Bank?

Executive meeting to write a check to pay Peachtree National Bank??

Executive meeting to the details of how much we have in the Tennis Center???

Executive meeting as to who has priority to the courts---members, leagues, regular citizens with no membership?

These questions could go on and on and I don't believe you either. You know exactly what happened and where we are!!!
Suicide politically however to say so.
Law suits galore if you do. Lawyers were involved!

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sun, 01/25/2009 - 5:08pm.

I know what is public record from the Old DAPC and Council Meetings, plus public information on GBI saying there were activities that should be investigated. Those issues have been posted on The Citizen more than once, heavily in 2005 and 2006, with links, during that election and after, when Council was assuming the loan.

To make it legal they had to do multiple steps of signing over titles, paying off legal issues and loans to work around the restrictions that didn't allow PTC to directly assume a DAPC created debt.

It was not a PTC debt incurred, but a DAPC one.

But I only know what was public record, available to anyone doing research.

What was actually said in the 2006 executive sessions I do not know. There is no interest by those who remain on Council to discuss it. I know that they had to be advised on the legal standings on all issues and how to achieve what Council wanted to achieve, meaning assuming the debt.

Remember, in the election Logsdon said assuming the debt was the right thing to do. That was not a legally driven goal, but a personal opinion driven goal.

I am totally safe from any lawsuits on anything I say because I do not know anything you do not or cannot know from public record.

Sorry that you do not believe me and think I have access to more than I do, because I don't. And obviously you do not understand how executive sessions work or what is and is not included in their minutes.

Understand that as a private citizen, I opposed building the Tennis Center and opposed assuming the debt. So if you think I am defending the actions, now, you are mistaken.

Yes, I know where we are. It continues to be a source of problems for PTC.

So why would I defend it now? My record in office has been one of voting against issues driven by this kind of thinking. That thinking is a big reason I am running against Logsdon.

What else I can possible say on this issue I cannot imagine.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Spyglass on Sun, 01/25/2009 - 2:24pm.

In your opinion, what should the City get rid of?

I take it you don't like PTC owning much of anything. Do we have too many parks? What about all the swing sets? They cost money too. Do we maintain too many miles of cart paths? It seems you want to get rid of the very things that sets PTC apart. I won't even mention the Amphitheater and it's NO DOZE lineup this Summer.

You can come across as a curmudgeon at times.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sun, 01/25/2009 - 3:15pm.

I think PTC owns a lot of great assets that we should never get rid of. We just need better agreements with the County for their usage of our facilities. Something very wrong with County and PTC residents paying equal usage fees with equal access rights but PTC citizens bearing the heavy tax burden of support. Plus some other issues needing better management, but heavily created by past Councils.

Cart paths are not Rec, they are public transportation infrastructure that are also a recreational asset. They are under Public Works, not Rec. They are some peoples only means of travel. I support them and have for my 22 years here.

Amphitheater is another issue entirely. It can be an asset without being a burden.

Sturbaum and I pushed for independent manager with special interest keeping their fingers out, but not sure we got that. Others wanted to maintain a committee governance, the failed model that does not work in the business world.

Even after Staff went with our model two tried to interfer with demands on how to handle certain ticket holders and satisfying their demands for acts. Politics over management.

But I said I would keep my nose out and see how the manager does. I will keep that promise. We have to give it a season to see how it goes. There will be more happening than just that lineup. It is only the kickoff, not the full package. A beginning, not the final program.

The Tennis Center has been an issue from day one it was proposed. Originally going to be referendum item, it was pulled and voted by the Old DAPC when it was obviously the rejection was overwhelming. Always been a financial burden servicing on the very few, with declining membership and usage every year.

No, it is no where near break even in spite of what some want to claim. Hotel/Motel Tax is not an income by the Tennis Center, it is unearned support money. No mention of the portions paid by Tourism for advertising, promotion and other expenses. No mention of the loan payments coming from the General Fund.

For the money spent serving less than 500 people a year we serve thousands at other facilities. Return on Investment is sad, at best.

Now, it was supposed to be a Survey item, but not allowed because of fear of the size of the negative response that would occur. They know what the majority of PTC thinks of this facility.

You cannot compare apples to oranges. There has to be some reasonable expectations for the money we spend.

If the Tennis Center was on the survey and didn't have the negative response I expected, I would concede the issue and move on. They are not even willing to hear the response.

Sturbaum and I wanted the survey to get a total overall feel of the thinking of PTC in these economic times, then act.

Not governance by survey. But communications with constituents before acting. Just like referendums serve a purpose.

You are way over reaching by trying to project what I think on this issue onto all issues.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 9:41pm.


According to your reply post above, you are saying Mayor Logsdon, Councilman Boone and Councilwoman Plunkett intentionally omitted listing the Tennis Center in the survey for the public to weigh-in on. Is that correct?

In the 50-year history of the city, the DAPC's illegal loans and the subsequent bailout just might be the biggest whopper ever. Personally, I would put the purchase of the private sewer system a close second. The police station on the dump site would be third.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 9:39pm.


According to your reply post above, you are saying Mayor Logsdon, Councilman Boone and Councilwoman Plunkett intentionally omitted listing the Tennis Center in the survey for the public to weigh-in on. Is that correct?

In the 50-year history of the city, the DAPC's illegal loans and the subsequent bailout just might be the biggest whopper ever. Personally, I would put the purchase of the private sewer system a close second. The police station on the dump site would be third.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 9:57pm.

Yes. They stated they did not want it on. They wanted to add language explaining why we needed to keep it, but I objected they were trying to steer citizens to the answer they wanted to hear.

Ended up with the sentence you see on the Survey.

Doug and I wanted everything on because we wanted across the board opinions on everything, regardless of what we did with it.

An informational aid in the decision making process, not a decision maker in and of itself. Especially when claims were being made about what PTC wanted and how the citizens felt that we knew were in error.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 11:13am.

Does the Tennis Center host any events that bring in visitors to PTC?

In your opinion, would the City have been better off for the Bank to Foreclose on the Tennis Center?

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 11:32am.

Some events. But those incomes are reflected in the budget. Nothing comparable to other events we host that cost less.

Considering the roles bank officials played on the DAPC and bank loan side of the actions, PTC assuming full costs was a mistake, in my opinion.

And considering the known construction and other problems with the building, that cost us a lot more money afterwards, allowing foreclosure may have been the better route.

GBI stated there were serious irregularities warranting investigation. Those investigations became moot when the debt was assumed because PTC assumed responsibility.

We won't know now, but maybe they would have ended up having to put the property for sale at a bargain basement price. After all, it was and is on Open Space, so no one was going to buy it and just slap up retail or homes without PTC permission.

Jumping out there and paying top dollar was a mistake.

What has to be looked at now is the realities of now. They are not good.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by dollaradayandno... on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 12:18pm.

Why did they become "moot?"
Wasn't it the duty of the GBI to keep investigating? Or someone?

Is it because upon ownership by the city, the GBI stepped out since it now was the city's responsibility to prosecute? Why didn't they?
Because they bought it?
It was illegally bought, illegally sold to City, and illegally run!

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 12:39pm.

Now you are getting into areas I cannot answer and goes back to my statements about Executive Sessions.

Sorry, I have no more to give here.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 12:58pm.

That you take this fellow seriously. Bonkers, $$$ a day, Nitpickers etc...he's best when he's ignored.

Submitted by dollaradayandno... on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 1:15pm.

Are you talking about Mr. Haddix?

Are you saying he knows the details but won't say, or that he knows nothing?

Maybe he is on the wrong SIDE, huh?

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 1:18pm.

to be lost and not even know it. Oh the Humanity!!

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 5:52am.

"There will be more happening than just that lineup. It is only the kickoff, not the full package. A beginning, not the final program."

Uh...Don...I hate to break it to you 'ol buddy but that IS the final program as it relates to the 2009 series. There are no more concerts scheduled for the 2009 series.

The other four concerts will be spotlight concerts and as I understand it patrons will have to pony up even more money on top of what they have already paid to see those shows.

And based on what I hear from folks, not a whole lot of excitement about this years lineup. And no reason to think that the four additional concerts will be better.

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 11:14am.

very weak.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 10:53am.

I never said anything about additions to the season lineup. But there will be other adds.

I am well aware of the mixed feelings out there about the lineup. Very aware who had the majority and minority input into the lineup.

All subject to review at the end of the season and input by the oncoming Council of next year.

Please understand I have my frustrations that I simply cannot address this year.

I need to give the Amphitheater manager a chance to do her best this year and address those background issues later.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 8:55pm.

Don, let me quote you again:

"There will be more happening than just that lineup. It is only the kickoff, not the full package. A beginning, not the final program."

The operative words in your statement were "a beginning not the final program".

But Don, my man, the series as announced IS the FINAL PROGRAM. There will be no other concerts added to the 2009 series. Any other concerts will result in patrons paying additional monies to see them.

Sad to say but between this extemely weak lineup and the economy, this could well be the last year for the Fred. At least the past few years had a variety of acts. These acts are MOR music on steroids.

Bringing fun back to the Fred? Sorry but this lineup is for the Lawrence Welk crowd. I'm sure the Pink Flamingos will be happy though, God bless 'em!

Submitted by Nitpickers on Sun, 01/25/2009 - 5:40pm.

See how simple it was for you to tell me that the "payments" on the Tennis Center debt are coming from the general fund---not the The Tennis Center! I did not know anything about what has Ben paid, when or by what!

Still don't, except the town is paying it in installments---do you know the interest rate and how much we will end up paying?

Is there a town budget copy somewhere available that indicates the payments for the Tennis Center only?

If you don't get the gist of what I'm saying by now, I am wasting my time.
If I were you, I wouldn't want to be Mayor of PTC!
We need a mayor who is retired or rich, who wants nothing and needs nothing and has few friends!
No Generals need apply!

Also, first time I ever heard about only 500 people using it! That isn't clear either! How often do they use it, or is that just the members? Not clear.

You are now procrastinating on the Amphitheater also! I think you are reasonably sure that it won't fill up this year with what is scheduled!
We could let the agencies send whomever they wanted to send and do as well, without the large salaries we pay to book them and manage it 2-3 hours for a few weeks per year!

That thing now sits there 90% of the time unoccupied! Sell it and the Tennis Center for what they are worth--let them tear the Tennis Center down and build houses. The zoning can be changed!
Might bring several million that way! (not until we get over the last administration, however.)_

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sun, 01/25/2009 - 6:21pm.

Numbers and other breakdowns have been on my website in the Touism thread since July of 2008. Links has always been in my sig line and on several issues I have repeatedly pointed to it for more extensive information.

Just click the link and look around for data on numerous issues.

For the Tennis Center, the fastest link is to look in the left column of the Top Ten Stats, about half way don the page, for the Tourism (Tennis/Fred) link.

It has spread sheets, breakdowns commentary and more. A lot of info in it.

I do not put such in the Blogs because the info falls off the page and becomes hard to find. Does not happen on a forum script.

Looking and asking there saves everyone a lot of repeat typing.

Info on the Fred is there as well. And we had to kick in something like $128,000 more, at one point, just to keep it out of trouble.

Being more firm is hard because I don't know how well everyone will hold to keeping their fingers out of running the Fred and letting the manager try to chart a new course. Plus, being a new manager with a new start, I don't know how long it will take to see success or failure. But I do know that the business model is correct while my interfering in the day to day, since I am not an expert in that arena, will hurt.

The membership data was presented at a workshop. It was not exciting.

Not procrastinating on the Fred or anything else. Doug and I began working on these things before we were sworn in. What makes it appear we are procrastinating is the simple fact it takes three votes to move forward.

I am not rich, by any stretch of the imagination. Retired, yes. But I do have a lot of friends, who like what I am doing on Council, but are not special interests seeking anything for themselves. Many have lived here a long time and share the Village Concept as why we came here.

The Fred and Aquatics Center issues can be resolved, I believe, providing even better service than they have been providing.

Tennis Center is a different animal. We will have to work hard on that one for a real solution. As is will not work.

We just need to be in the majority to make it happen. And that is up to the voters on who gets elected this Fall.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Spyglass on Sun, 01/25/2009 - 4:36pm.

You obviously don't like the Tennis Center and the Amphitheater bugs you too. You're even complaining at times about the Aquatic Center. At least you appreciate the cart paths.

In my opinion, if the Amphitheater and Tennis Center can come close to breaking even, they are a GREAT benefit to PTC.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sun, 01/25/2009 - 5:22pm.

The Amphitheater does not bug me. I just want it to do better and believe it can. It can come close to breaking even, maybe even a small profit.

The Aquatics Center can also do better. My job to get it doing better. Currently costing us over half a million a year due to the winter months. $250,000 a year just to put the bubble up and down.

Tennis Center will never come close. Even the most avid supporters say it will continue to loose money. Triple digit loss, when all factors are included, for so few users, is serious money.

And no, it is not a great asset to PTC from all the data around it. A restaurant cannot even survive in it.

Something has to give on our budget. Just dumping it all into tax increases is not an answer.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by daytonarules on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 8:26pm.

If you are going to continue to put numbers and facts out for the public to read please do us a favor and go check your facts with the recreation department. I bet it doesn't cost 250k to run the pools during the winter. 250K is just plain hard to believe. I am not saying it isn't expensive, just not 250k. Go check it out and if I am wrong I will apologize.

Also, you put out some numbers on open- gym participants at the aquatics center saying many of them were Clayton and Fulton residents. It is my understanding that Open- gym is for Fayette County residents ONLY. I know I have to show my drivers license every time I go there to play basketball.

What are your proposals for making the Aquatics Center, The Fred and the Tennis Center run better? You said that was your job. Is it selling them, outsourcing operations, closing the pools during the winter, better entertainers, all of the above?

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 8:50pm.

I already answered these issues on this thread and on the site in my sig line.

Respectfully, you are wrong.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 9:35pm.

You are saying that $250K is just to put the Bubble Up and Take it Down? Are you positive about that?

Submitted by daytonarules on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 9:14pm.

I just asked you to check with the Recreation Department about your facts. What am I wrong about? The 250K to run the pools or the fact that Clayton and Fulton residents are not allowed to play basketball there? All of the above?

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sat, 01/24/2009 - 7:53pm.

Yes, there is sunk money. It is not coming back and it far exceeds the value of the facility. Economic reality is we have been hurt with this facility.

Your argument was the same argument used to justify sinking more money into the Police Station. More than the worth of the building and land has been spent there as well on repairs in total.

Problem is the continued sinking of money into it. That is the only real numbers we can look at that have true meaning, now. Over $400,000 a year, per Staff, is how much could be shaved from the budget. Do projections of the annual costs over time for X years and see what additions monies are under consideration.

It will never make a profit, services very few citizens, is under utilized massively, with the best court usage hours being about 22%. Annual memberships are decreasing and more.

I opposed the street abandonment. To me those roads served a purpose at almost no cost annually.

While not yet a done deal on selling the streets, with several points in the agreement that could return the roads even 5 years down the road, the same ones who are trying to sell them are the ones who landed us in the Tennis Center debt issue and wish to continue it.

There is no perfect answer here, Steve. But we have to try to stop the bleeding.

Selling it is off the table for now. Offer gone, at least for the time being. So we again try to get the best performance out of it we can.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by skyspy on Fri, 01/23/2009 - 6:31pm.

We had a chance to unload this waste of space and money and we passed it up?? This thing has never made money from the day it opened. If we actually had someone who was stupid enough to buy it we should have jumped at the chance to unload it.

Even if they were going to give us half of what it cost to build at least we would get some of that money back in the city fund. Please tell me you people weren't stupid enough to pass up on a deal like that in these tough economic times.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Fri, 01/23/2009 - 4:12pm.

"Majority of council wanted to keep ‘asset’" is a technically accurate headline, but does it reflect what went on?

Wouldn't "Divided council votes 3-2 to keep ‘asset’" be much more informative?

-Sniffles, junior editor in training
Palin-Nugent 2012

John Munford's picture
Submitted by John Munford on Fri, 01/23/2009 - 5:27pm.

Trouble is Snif, they didn't vote.

Now go fetch me some coffee or you'll never get promoted above junior editor!


carbonunit52's picture
Submitted by carbonunit52 on Fri, 01/23/2009 - 8:15pm.

I think the headline should have said "A divided council opts to keep the tennis center as a kick in the assets."

"I can't wait until tomorrow, because I become more lovable every day."

Submitted by FayetteFlyer on Fri, 01/23/2009 - 3:53pm.

But I never knew you didn't need a membership for the tennis center! Plus, please don't do anything to Kedron "multi-purpose skating rink"! Unless of course you're going to improve it.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Fri, 01/23/2009 - 4:14pm.

Yes, you can play without a membership, for a fee.

The question was the replacement, it appears, for the Tennis Center being included in the list for ranking cuts.

A copy was sent to all Council for review, prior to going to the printer. It was noted more than once the Tennis Center was absent from the ranking list.

Originally the Field House and Aquatics Centers were one question. I had them split it because they were two very different uses with very different users.

The Aquatics Center is very costly during the winter. The majority of use is by the County swim teams, mainly non PTC residents.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by ravines on Sat, 01/24/2009 - 1:38pm.

Where Mr. Haddix gets his information about Aquatic Center use, I am a user of the Aquatic Center year round and I believe there is a significant amount of use other than just the County Swim Teams during the Winter months. This same issue came up during the last elections where it was being stated that the entire complex, including the basketball courts, gets very little use and should be sold.

Is this just more mis-information from Dar Thompson concerning the Aquatic center or does this information come from the Recreation Department?

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sat, 01/24/2009 - 5:25pm.

I get the information from Rec use records and comments by numerous citizens.

Dar Thompson has nothing to do with any of this information.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by ravines on Sat, 01/24/2009 - 6:57pm.

I appreciate your responding, as I said, I am a year round user and beg to differ. I know the city is going to have a tough time making decisions on cuts throughout the city, and hope that people are well informed. Even though many users are not PTC residents, the Center is the only pool in the county, and would be a missed assest. After Dar Thompsons mis-information, people just need to be well informed.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sat, 01/24/2009 - 7:23pm.

I understand what you are saying, but neither the school system, the heaviest winter user, or the County are willing to pay the costs.

We cannot afford to be their Rec source at PTC citizen expense. But, until that old agreement expires, neither can we just raise charges on them to compensate.

It is either some services decrease or PTC property tax takes a significant increase. No other options, so we have to prioritize.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 01/26/2009 - 11:30pm.

Either they pay a higher fee than city residents, or only let city residents use the pool. We can't provide welfare for everyone. Better yet, close the pool for the winter. Did I really read somewhere that it costs 16,000 to put up the bubble for winter, and another 16,000. to take it down in the spring?

Sell the tennis center it has been nothing but trouble since it was built. See if the idiot...oooopppps, I mean the nice person who offered to buy our white elephant still wants it.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 10:56am.

Bubble up and down is $250,000.00 a season.

Plus, the bubble needs replaced.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by MrBeef on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 9:53am.

For some reason you seem to hate the Aquatic Center. You are telling people that it costs $250,000 to put the bubble up and down every season. This is just not true, the line item you speak of for $250,000 I believe is for the REPLACEMENT of the bubble, but you keep telling people that it costs that much each Winter to put the bubble up and down, and hey, maybe they will believe you.

I'm pretty sure your figures on gym use are WAY off, the gym side gets a TON of use and as another person told you, it is NOT being used by Clayton and Fulton residents, you HAVE to show ID to get in the gym, every time I go, I have to show my ID, and I see those people several times a week. It's posted in several places that you have to show PHOTO ID, that you are a Fayette county resident.

I think if you are going to be on here, you need to spout ACURATE information.

Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 11:09am.

I would believe that a new bubble could cost that much. If anyone has the email of the Recreation Department Head, I would like to ask how much it does costs for the bubble installation and removal. Haddix has been known to float misinformation on these blogs.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 12:10pm.

A quote from Dr. DeCotis about the Bubble.

Per Dr. DeCotis, Peachtree City is having some funding issues and may not be able to put the bubble on the Kedron pool. The annual cost for putting up the bubble (so the pool can be used in the winter I assume) is roughly $300,000. Peachtree City currently charges a fee per use of the pool. They are considering getting the School Board, and others who may use the pool, to help fund putting up the bubble. Ten million dollars can pay for a lot of pool use in Peachtree City for years to come and help the city, too.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 2:38pm. you really don't a real source from PTC with this figure.

You clearly stated that is costs $250,000 to put the bubble up and take it down. You never claimed that included running the pool, etc. or other costs associated with the Kedron Center.

You've also been known to throw out numbers on retail vacancy that are FAR from the truth.

If you come on these blogs, as a Councilman & a declared Mayoral Candidate, throwing out numbers, don't be surprised if you are challenged when you do.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 11:54am.

The Kedron Pool is already a budget discussion item because of the heavy costs of running it, especially during the winter. It will be discussed, again, and a decision will be made by Council, later this year, for the 2010 budget. Too late for the 2009 budget.

City Manager, Recreation Director and others will all be there, as they were at past meetings. They are our source of information.

What that decision will be I cannot tell you. But it will be made and I am not alone in believing it needs closed during the winter months.

Argue any point you want, but pools are extremely expensive, and why the Clover Reach Pool is being closed and probably one more, not Glenlock. And why this is a budget discussion item.

It isn't like this is the only winter pool around. There is public access to Wyndham and the 54 World Gym pools. Dolce has an indoor pool, as well, but I don't know if they allow public access.

As for my known misinformation, I believe it is more correct That I have said things you disagree with. Things such as the 54 W development and light, how much retail space PTC has versus how much we need and some other items. Misinformation implies lies versus different opinion. Disagreement says differing opinions, which we do have and are fully entitled to.

This is my closing statement on this issue.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 1:42pm.

Ok, not only are we paying $250,000.00 to put the bubble up and take it down, but now we are supposed to buy a new one??? Throw out the bubble we have and close it for the season. Unless we get user fees to cover the cost. This thing is a huge waste. I wish I had known this before I sent in the survey.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 2:43pm.

Spyglass, It is true. Haven't lied yet to the public, so why would I start now?

2009 Annual Budget (projected)
Kedron Fieldhouse and Aquatics Center
Page 97

Total cost - $936,650
General Fund contribution - $701,247 (the money not covered by income from usage)
Rest funded via programs rentals, etc.

Open Gym Participants - 23,364 (not pool use and many of which come from Clayton and even Fulton County)
Adult Athletic Participants - 975 (again, not pool)
Classe Paticipants - 1,725 (again, class rooms mainly)
Registered Special events participants - 325
Youth Athletic Participants - 735
Pool Passes Sold - 700

The $250,000 was a breakout cost line at Workshops and Council Meetings. All public meeting. Does not include any other cost of running the pool, as in personnel, heating, cleaning, water, etc.

You can see the pool is not the heavy use portion but it is the heavy cost portion.

Fairburn has an Olympic size, fully enclosed, year round pool, with a sliding ceiling. Really nice facility. Closed several years ago because of costs.

Multiple counties schools use to practice there. I think Fayette did as well, but an not absolutely sure.

Ours is not Olympic sized and is has a bubble, which makes it even more expensive and less desirable for competition practice.

Pools are very expensive items. Ours is extremely expensive as a year round facility.

You are going to have to make up your own mind on this issue, which is your right. But I believe I have covered the essentials.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by nusport on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 1:41pm.

Mr. Haddix,
Clearly you have not visited the gymnasium. I am a regular weekend user and the supervisory staff ensures that any visitor, not from Fayette County, must live a minimum of 100 miles away. They check id's and make users sign in. The gym is over used by leagues, public barely gets any time to utilize during the winter months. Leagues should be charged more to reduce the number of teams and additional monies could be used to subsidize the pool.

Why don't the public schools have pools? When I went to high school we had two high schools on campus and both had olympic swimming pools, indoors with no charges to install/remove the "bubble".

Bottom line, before speaking about the usage of facilities you should visit sometime instead of just counting signatures on log books.

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 3:39pm.

For the most part, they are expensive to maintain, are mostly recreational or sport-related, and raise the ocsts of insurance. Why would our high schools need a pool for what is mostly an extracurricular activity? Certainly there are better ways to spend the money. There are lots of things that would be nice to have for schools. A nice open grassy space to play polo would be cool. We could have room for a stable and a nice string of horses. Lets worry about the quality of the education and less about the quanitity of the extracullicular opportunities.

Submitted by downunder on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 5:10pm.

Every High School in Fayette county has a high school swim team. Yes, swimming is extracurricular; so is football or any other sport.
The swim teams practice from October to February before school and in the evenings. There is no other facility in this county than Kedron.
In two weeks the Georgia high school swimming championship will produce many top finishers from Fayette county.
That is why public schools need a pool.

Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 10:53pm.

I feel bad for the kids. There's no telling what opportunies they're missing because of the morons on the board of education.

Vote Republican

Submitted by mthom5436 on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 3:53pm.

This way the facility will be more accesible for the uses of people from Clayton County and Fulton County.

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 1:44pm.

Not saying it's not true, but it seems like a lot...$125K just to put it up, and another $125K to take it down. I'm close to calling BS on this.

DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 7:47pm.

It is right there on the PTC web site. Download it and look it up. I now have my own personal copy and it is a real page-turner! It is right there for all to see. But none are so blind and those that will not see. Hey! How about the $33,000 listed for doubling the pay for the Mayor and the city council. It's there too!

Submitted by mthom5436 on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 1:56pm.

I am sure there are plenty of people who like to swim in the winter but $250,000 can go a long way towards city salaries and thermal imagers. Whats more important, providing jobs, supporting families, saving lives or swimming in the winter?

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 2:01pm.

First off, I doubt the figure...while it may be true, it seems AWFUL high. I think a bidding of the job is in order if it's really costing the City that much. 2ndly, I would bet that there are incomes generated by having the bubble in place. Probably not enough to cover all the costs, especially at 250K!, but still, you see my point.

Submitted by Nitpickers on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 3:34pm.

WHO BELIEVES THAT? ($250,000.00)

Does PTC also print their own money?

Let us buy a "bubble remover" and do it ourself. How much you reckon they cost? 4-5 million $?

Submitted by ptcga2 on Mon, 01/26/2009 - 11:10pm.

I also use the pool year-round and would never want to see it close. As soon as it can be done, raise the usage fees for non-PTC residents. Or raise them for everyone now, if current income is not covering costs.
If the Tennis center is not profitable as it is, one could look at downsizing it and using part of the remaining space as recreational space -- sports fields, courts etc. without necessarily selling it to a private developer who will try to change the zoning.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Mon, 01/26/2009 - 11:46pm.

We cannot raise the cost above PTC user levels to the County users per an agreement with the County that does not expire until 2010. They are locked in at the same cost as PTC users.

Total annual cost is about $1 million, heavily due to the winter costs.

How many hundreds should we charge every user to cover the costs? How many would pay it?

Even if we wait until 2010 and charge it, the county users will go away and then the PTC users will face the full costs.

A good number of swimmers have said close it during the winter. Not enough PTC users to justify the tax burden even to them.

On the Tennis Center, the users oppose that move. They want it for a competition complex, which reducing it would eliminate entirely and is what they fear from privatizing.

Doug Sturbaum and I have brainstormed every potential answer we could come up with. None work to keep them fully open all the time.

See the problem? Those wanting to have one facility open full scale are willing to have the other sacrifice, as you suggested here for the Tennis Center.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

CarDealer's picture
Submitted by CarDealer on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 3:45pm.

I have been reading all these posts with all the bantering back and forth. So much so I will say this to that... Businesses fall into one of two categories, they are either a "source of profit or a source of aggravation." That being said, whatever or whomever may hold the blame is of no consequence. If it is now found to be a money pit close the damn thing. Open the Aquatic Center only during the summer months, when it has a higher probability to turn a profit. Tennis Center the same. If at this time none of our facilities cannot get out of the red ink then close the facility until there is a demand for it, as it can always be reopened, like maybe when the economy comes back around. How tough is this?? We base business decisions on the welfare of the billfold or in this case the city budget. Period. We cut and trim as best we can and when that does not do it we do what is necessary to stop the bleeding. Will some folks be pissed? Yep, but not the majority. Tough times make for tough decisions, not a bunch of whiners that are to scared to act! Good Day.

I'm just say'n...

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 5:51pm.

The cops are coming for you car dealer. You are going down car dealer.

Using common sense and a buisness plan that works,(ie, in the black not red) to run a city government without going bankrupt???

You have some nerve.

So if the illegal tennis center, the winter bubble for the kedron pool and the Fred can't make money for the upkeep we should close them?? Wow what an idea. It's almost like you have run a successful buisness or two.

Are you aware of the fact that using common sense while managing a government buisness could get you 20-life in the federal pen?

Good Job!!

This is exactly what many people have been saying. If the user fees don't cover the operation of the facility close it, tear it down, or sell it. This really isn't rocket science.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:00pm.

Why was it that last Friday evening, as cold as it was, the courts were all lit up at the Tennis Center with no one playing at all? Puzzled

Guess I better shut up before Haddix tells me to mind my own business again because I'm not a PTC resident.

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:05pm.

don't give a flying hang and neither does our drunk city management team! That's why!

PS: good job not minding your own buisness Git, you rock!!

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:10pm.

Is everyone's business. Eye-wink

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:13pm.

Good job!

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:03pm.

Gym in 45 mins.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:07pm.

Trying to figure out where this sore back came from. Shocked

Maybe tomorrow. After that I'll be checking out the gyms at hotels for the rest of the week making it back Saturday. I hate biz travel.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:13pm.

Got to love it.

BTW. Don't drink out of those glass cups. You don't know how that towel was used before it was used to dry them. Yuk.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:20pm.

Ick Again! Shocked

I won't even use the coffee makers in the room any more after I heard someone bragging that they urinated in one to get back at a co-worker.

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:11pm.

4 out of 5 Drs. said that sanding and priming cabinets was good for sore backs. I'm just saying.....

How many of your friends have offered to help you? Not many...but ol sky always has your to speak.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:17pm.

Where did this come from? Guess it's time to let ole Gary Davis pop my bones. Then I'll be good for another year....

Sky.... I'm allergic to sand paper dust. Carbon says it contributes to Global Warming, depletion of the rain forest, and it causes me to have violent convulsions at the thought of hearing that swishing sound.

carbonunit52's picture
Submitted by carbonunit52 on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 7:36pm.

You forgot one: sanding wood finishes releases formaldehyde, but three out of four ain't bad.

"I can't wait until tomorrow, because I become more lovable every day."

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:20pm.

Hard work never killed anyone.....but it would be nice for some our politicians to give it a try....lets see what happens. If they don't survive I don't think they would be missed.

Have a good week traveling.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:22pm.

Let's go to Hickory!

Submitted by Nitpickers on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 5:33pm.

Well, first you would have to transfer the management into the town budget. They don't want it--too much like work.

What help are you going to find with the folks who only work for the items you mentioned who would only work three months?

Going to hire new every year? I don't know what the amphitheater and Tennis people do now in foul weather.

But your thoughts are meaningful--especially if we do have the 25% unemployment and the banks go broke!

Towns aren't run like a business. They don't have to do so. They won't likely go broke or layoff many people.

Submitted by Spyglass on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 4:50pm.

Just close everything. Brilliant!! That will do wonders for PTC.

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