It’s time to demand accountability

Steve Brown's picture

The citizens of Fayette County need a moment of introspection in order to figure out where they want the county to be in the next 10 years. The days of resting on our laurels are long gone.

Pathway pulled the dreadful Callula Hill project from the City Council agenda in Peachtree City. Rest assured, the project will probably come back in some altered form.

The Pathway people will claim they have seriously considered the complaints from the locals and created a new and improved plan — i.e., one that still violates the city’s comprehensive land use plan, creates housing at the end of a runway and looks nothing like the village concept — and three of the council members just might like it.

Mayor Logsdon said of Pathway mess, “I don’t know what they were thinking. But they know there was a lot of public opposition to this,” (, 06/19/2009). Speaking of “I don’t know what they were thinking,” how in the world did the Planning Commission pass the wretched development plan on a 3-2 vote?

The primary function of the Planning Commission is to enforce the city’s planning ordinances and ensure compliance with the city’s planning guidelines, none of which occurred with Callula Hill. In fact, the most disturbing transgression within the Planning Commission, probably within the last 10 years, is the commission chairman’s persistent enthusiasm for working outside the city’s normal planning structure.

I say this with all sincerity: if Planning Commission Chairman Patrick Staples feels the job of working within our planning system’s boundaries and following land plans composed over decades by numerous city councils, planning commissions and citizen stakeholders, is too tedious, then I suggest he resign and pursue more exciting endeavors elsewhere.

A “thank you” goes to commission members Lynda Wojcik and Larry Sussberg for not drinking the developer Kool-Aid, and voting in opposition.

In addition, please pay attention to which candidates in the November election are daring to speak up on such important issues.

Fayette Countians need to figure out why the Fayette Board of Commissioners is proceeding with a very expensive bypass (later renamed “parkway” to give the project some marketing appeal) when the project cannot be justified.

In fact, the only certain consequence from building the West Fayetteville Bypass-Parkway is the project will open the way for new residential development on what was previously hard-to-access land. How will that improve our future?

A great number of citizens would like to see the commissioners produce an official statement on why they are proceeding with the expensive road project based on faulty traffic data.

We have already watched in disbelief when the Board of Education cried wolf and built multi-million-dollar schools for students who did not exist. So, commissioners, please tell us why you are bent on building this bypass.

It is not very reassuring to know that the Fayette Board of Education has passed yet another budget with a zero reserve fund balance.

The Smith, Smola and Wright era of emotional budgeting and fuzzy management has left a once unassailable school system to limp into another school year. Once the envy of other districts, our board is now the target of whispering campaigns across the state and the word “broke” is frequently used.

People ask me what is going to happen to our beloved Peachtree City in the future. My answer is always, “It depends.”

For example, if Mayor Logsdon gets his way and further depletes the reserve funds to correct another year of deficit spending in 2010, we are in trouble. Also, if we continue to sell city assets as short-term financial fixes, we are in trouble.

As city service levels decrease and taxes and fees continue to increase at record levels, the ability to maintain the status of old diminishes.

The additional big box shopping center on Ga. Highway 54 West, once built, will kill our traffic capacity levels. Even now, the police have to post electronic signs telling people not to block the intersection of Ga. highways 54 and 74.

The traffic solutions available to counter such horrible land planning decisions are very expensive and will further destroy the look and feel of Peachtree City.

Are you ready to make an informed vote in November?

Certain special interests are using some of our local leaders for their own gain. These selfish individuals in our community will label you as “divisive” if you question the wisdom of our local leaders’ deficit spending, poor land use decisions and inadequate administrative attitudes.

It’s about time we all got a little more divisive and moved to preserve what we love about Fayette County.

[Steve Brown is the former mayor of Peachtree City. He can be reached at]

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DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Tue, 06/30/2009 - 1:43pm.

If divisive means I am dead set aginst what this bone-headed council deems a good thing, then call me divisive. I pointed out in detail how the spending of the reserves was killing this city. However, this did not even slow the council up when they fired 28 people. They just do not care! Now Logston thinks that he is a viable canidate for state insurance commisioner. I think not. If he thought that I was a loud mouth when he wanted to fire employees, he ain't seen nothing yet. He is in no way qualified to fill John Oxendine's shoes. The only good thing about it is that this bid will remove him from the council! And absoutly no one on the council would make a good mayor for the next term. I have heard a lot of lip service from the council but nothing that shows that they know (or even care) what the people want. Calulla Hills is the biggest screw up to ever be proposed to the people of Peachtree City. I have begged for, screamed for, and even pleaded for accountability from this council and there is non coming, nor do I ever expect there to be any from this council. I am eager to hear form all of the canidates for all of the posts.

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