Brown’s critique of Thompson challenged

Tue, 09/22/2009 - 3:21pm
By: Letters to the ...

Several months ago I wrote an article in The Citizen in which I used a business model and some analogies to explain my position on local government and how it should operate.

The general summation of the article was that local/city government should be run like a business whereas the citizens take on the role much like that of a stockholder in a company.

The fact is that local taxes are unlike any other taxes we pay as citizens in this country. Local taxes are the only taxes we pay, as citizens, which can benefit us directly and immediately. Handled with knowledge and responsibility our local/city taxes can positively affect our quality of life and can have an immediate effect on us financially, for example, by an increase in home values.

Unlike our federal or state taxes, local taxes impact us in ways we can actually see and feel, immediately. In fact I think there should be a different name for city paid taxes because it really isn’t a tax in the true sense of the word. Under the right type of leadership it is nothing short of an investment for a better quality of life.

In regards to my previous article I received numerous phone calls, compliments from many of my health club members, and even two letters in the mail. All were very positive and in agreement with my intended message. I state this for the simple reason that the positive feedback was short-lived.

In a matter of days I was rebutted in The Citizen by our former mayor, Mr. Steve Brown, which in many ways is a compliment, especially in the fact that we don’t seem to agree on too many of the local issues.

When Mr. Brown was the sitting mayor, he as an incumbent, running for re-election in 2005, received only 22 percent of the vote. This is not unlike the CEO of a company being voted out by over 78 percent of its stockholders. Can you imagine that scenario?

As a matter of fact, the sports complex which Mr. Brown so diligently criticized and opposed was a bond referendum issue in the previous election and received over 5,200 more votes than Mr. Brown received in his bid for re-election.

The fact of the matter is simply this: Mr. Brown, you are disingenuous, you speak of things you know nothing of, and you mislead the citizens of Peachtree City with untrue statements. Mr. Brown, as the saying goes, “You are entitled to your own set of opinions, but not to your own set of facts.”

In regards to the foregoing quote, in your article you state the following: “I am worried about your sincerity, Mr. Thompson, when you try to buy our tennis center at a fraction of its value for your personal benefit.”

Mr. Brown, where do you get your information? This is where you are disingenuous and misleading. I have never tried to buy the Tennis Center and have zero interest in doing so. But I’ll play along for now. Over the years you have contend that the tennis center loses money. Allow me to offer you a simple business lesson, Mr. Brown: If a business loses money it is not worth anything.

You later state, “Your sincerity also comes into question when you say our ‘taxes [are] too low to support the quality we all wanted and paid for when we moved here,’ but you push for a referendum to build even more expensive facilities including an ice skating rink and fitness center for your personal financial profit.”

Again you mislead our citizens. Allow me to remind you yet again, this referendum received approximately 5,200 more votes than you received for re-election bid as mayor.

I often feel like I’m trying to explain high school algebra to someone who is doing third grade math; you don’t seem to get it. I had zero financial interest in the ice and sports complex (other than an immediate increase in my home value along with the other residents of Peachtree City).

The issue here is simple: you somehow believe that someone who has worked hard over many years and has been fortunate enough to have some financial success can’t do anything out of the goodness of their heart. It is my personal belief that there are many things in life much more rewarding than money.

The fitness center was not part of the referendum, so don’t muddy the waters with that argument either. Furthermore, I’m not sure it would qualify as a fitness center. The last discussions centered on a 5,000-square-foot complex (my current club is 30,000 square feet) with very limited equipment. The intent was to allow parents to have an option to be physically active while their children were on site.

The city wanted the guaranteed revenue and thought that it would be of service to the community as parents would save both time and money. Practically, with all sports for our children being at one location, the gas savings alone would far outweigh the cost, not to mention the value, in the time saved driving to only one location.

I find it interesting that somehow you think that it’s okay for the taxpayer to spend almost twice the annual cost of the sports complex referendum on an aquatic center that brings in no revenue, and has no economic impact, which you allowed to take place on your watch. But then again I guess that is an example of your business sense coming out once again.

Mr. Brown, you continue by saying that, “then-candidate Dar Thompson said, ‘The only difference is that I’m the only candidate who has come up with ideas to help fund these areas without going into your, the taxpayers’, pocket.’”

Again, you are being disingenuous and you obfuscate the truth. Don’t mix apples and oranges. Mr. Brown, I will grudgingly give you limited credit as a political huckster, but a business man you will never be.

Under my platform, when I ran for mayor, the city would now have brought in approximately $1.3 million more than they have received over the last four years and there would not have been a single individual laid-off at City Hall, period.

Unlike some local politicians (past and present), I am not concerned with next Wednesday’s paper or getting re-elected; I am more concerned with doing what is right. You cannot be a part of the solution if you are part of the problem.

In closing, Mr. Brown, you state, “But if people started canceling gym memberships at your facilities, you would, according to your logic, keep everything exactly as is and increase the remaining gym membership fees to maintain the same level of service. Right, Mr. Thompson?”

Mr. Brown, you are wrong yet again, and you have simply, by your commentary, validated my argument. Because I have run my business responsibly and with a long-term plan, cancellations would not affect my business model whatsoever. I don’t have to entertain that issue because thoughtful people will always pay more for quality and value.

We are the highest priced fitness-center in all of Fayette and Cowetta counties. However, our members are more than satisfied, happy because they get what they pay for. Our clubs have consistently ranked in the top 3 percent of health clubs in the United States. My clubs are and continue to be financially strong and we have not released any employees, even during this current ongoing economic downturn.

To address your question more directly, unlike City Hall, I have planned well ahead for such events. So the answer is, no, I would not increase membership fees.

Mr. Brown, you continue to try and move forward while continually looking in the rear-view mirror. You are simply being negatively reactive instead of positively pro-active. I simply don’t understand you.

If, in your opinion, Peachtree City is such a terrible place, why don’t you simply pack up and move to a different community? You are the true politician. You are not solution-based, you are fear-based. You want to make everyone uncomfortable and afraid by telling them what is wrong and who is to blame.

Leaders are solution-based: how can we fix it, how can we make it better? This is not unlike a small hole in a boat that is slowly sinking. You are more concerned with who caused the hole than in finding the person who can fix it.

When I think of the former Mayor Steve Brown I am often reminded of the movie with Michael Douglas, “An American President.”

The scene to which I refer is where Michael J. Fox says, “Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.”

Michael Douglas, playing the part of President Andrew Shepherd, replies: “Lewis, we’ve had presidents who were beloved, who couldn’t find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don’t drink the sand because they’re thirsty. They drink the sand because they don’t know the difference.” Mr. Brown, stop drinking the sand.

In summary, allow me to align myself with a quote of Thomas Jefferson, “The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies.”

It would behoove you, Mr. Brown, to take the words of Thomas Jefferson to heart. When communicating with the residents of Peachtree City. They deserve no less!

Dar Thompson

Peachtree City, Ga.

[Fitness center owner Thompson has run twice for City Council posts: for mayor against Steve Brown in 2005, and for Post 2 in 2007.]

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Submitted by jevank on Fri, 09/25/2009 - 7:51am.

Mr. Thompson says:
"Mr. Brown, where do you get your information? This is where you are disingenuous and misleading. I have never tried to buy the Tennis Center and have zero interest in doing so. But I’ll play along for now. Over the years you have contend that the tennis center loses money. Allow me to offer you a simple business lesson, Mr. Brown: If a business loses money it is not worth anything."

An article by John Munford on Tue, 02/10/2009 - 5:51pm quotes the following:

Plunkett and Logsdon both said they had never seen the million-dollar offer to purchase the tennis center that Haddix has referred to. Haddix insisted that his fellow council members turned down the offer after he brought it to them.
“The three of you did. It was at a workshop,” Haddix said.
“But you said there was a million-dollar offer and none of us saw that,” Logsdon said. “... I want to see it.”
“I don’t recall ever hearing about an offer,” Plunkett said.
Haddix said that Dar Thompson approached him and Councilman Doug Sturbaum and City Manager Bernie McMullen.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Fri, 09/25/2009 - 11:53am.

Where is that email or documentation? Apparently, the offer was made only to Haddix or Sturbaum? The other councilmembers deny ever seeing it and there's no proof of any offer ever made that I'm aware of.

Did Dar totally contradict himself recently by saying he had zero interest when emails state very clearly he is was in fact interested? Sure he did. Are him and Brown going to have a race to the bottom, whether it's over this issue, the rink/fitness center, or anything else? Sure they are.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Fri, 09/25/2009 - 8:52am.

Here is a copy of Dar's initial email. A string of emails followed that was addressed to all of Council, including by Plunkett and Staff.

Other emails got into some of the dollars involved but the issue was shut down by the majority because they had no interest in pursuing it further.

Council was arguing over the costs of the Tennis Center. Cyndi always argues Rec costs money. An offer of outsourcing management had been made and shot down. Then this issue arose after a conversation I had with Dar at his initiation. That pushed Council into going back and considering outsourcing management instead because it was becoming too public via me on how much money was being spent every year.

If you want further confirmation ask Doug Sturbaum.

Things like this are yet another reason I declared for Mayor. Has to end and we have to have honest government that is fiscally responsible. No one can point to anywhere Sturbaum or I have lied to or misled anyone.


From: Dar Thompson []
Sent: Thu 7/3/2008 12:25 PM
To: Bernard McMullen;
Cc: Cyndi Plunkett; Don Haddix; Doug Sturbaum; Harold Logsdon; Steve Boone
Subject: purchase -tennis center

certain council members and some city officials have asked me if i had an interest in purchasing the tennis center.

the answer is yes.

can you please provide me with all loan amounts owed on facility and current monthly expenses. I would also, need to know what the city's asking price for this facility.

please fwd info as soon as possible as i would like to move forward on this project as soon as possible.




Don Haddix
Candidate for Mayor

Submitted by Spyglass on Fri, 09/25/2009 - 9:01am.

You may or may not want my advice, I would let this issue go. It's dead and gone. Canongate is running the Center now, and hopefully, everyone will be pleased.

The email you have copied here is very vague...did you provide him with all the numbers he requested? Did he get with you on a written offer for the purchase of the Center? If so, where is it? Even if you have it, who cares? Like I said above, it is a dead horse.

Submitted by jevank on Fri, 09/25/2009 - 9:40am.

The tennis center isn’t the issue here. Dar Thompson wrote a letter to this paper in which a blatant lie was told. Unfortunately, this resulted in the dreaded tennis center article that Don Haddix thought was over being resurrected.

Mr. Haddix spent a lot of time answering my post, and I appreciate it. but don’t undermine what the original issue is. Mr. Thompson still owes an explanation to John Munford, who wrote the quoted article; The Citizen, who published the article; the bloggers, for dragging us into the petty argument he has going with Mr. Brown; and the voting public, for trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

Submitted by Spyglass on Fri, 09/25/2009 - 2:09pm.

As far as Brown's and Thompson's comments...let them have their petty argument. I really don't care.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Fri, 09/25/2009 - 9:16am.

That was my one and only comment on this issue and was done so as to keep Plunkett or one of them from trying to resurrect the old liar accusation against me. Nothing more.

If I wanted to do more by posting all the email string it would have exceeded the posting limit of one or more posts, just to give you an idea how much communications there was on this. But I had no interest in doing more.

Yep, Canongate is running it now. I do hope all are pleased and I am personally tired of all the resistance encountered on getting Rec run more economically.

Thanks for the advice. I agree.

I am more concerned now with having more grass cutting next year than was done this year.

Don Haddix
Candidate for Mayor

Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Tue, 09/22/2009 - 11:55pm.

Is Dar on some kind of medication???

Maybe the bad economy is getting to him and causing all the psycho babble. Get a grip Dar!!!

Vote Republican

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Tue, 09/22/2009 - 8:20pm.

He sure does start smelling like a dirty evil Democrat, doesn't he?

Why does Cal give him the space in the paper?

I think brown is a typical Democrat in the sense that he has never run a business, had to meet a payroll and to my knowledge has never actually had a real job in the private sector - but he knows how to regulate and control the rest of us who have actually done all those things.

Good description of the worst mayor we have ever had.

Go get 'em Dar!!!

birdman's picture
Submitted by birdman on Fri, 09/25/2009 - 1:37pm.

Wow....Brown a "typical Democrat" now that's an INSULT! Democrats have been called a lot of things, especially by Ann, Sean, Rush, Glen, and many people here. But saying Brown is a typical Democrat is really hitting below the belt. Brown isn't typical anything, he is just a delusional ego-centric bipolar schitzoid.

But as you said, good description by Dar.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Fri, 09/25/2009 - 6:22pm.

I like your description ----"he is just a delusional ego-centric bipolar schitzoid" but it doesn't go far enough. My old friend scruffy nailed it, but Cal banned him for life, so I won't repeat it here.

I guess I was using Democrat as an insult and that's not really fair. There are some reasonable Democrats - like you, my friend, but generally they are whackos - at least on the far left. The insult to the brown clown was to point out his lack of integrity and his self-centered attitude towards everything.

And you have to admit the Democrats in DC now telling us how to run our lives do not have real life experience - especially in business. Nor does the bownie - hence the comparison. Don't be offended birdman. You don't suck; brown does.

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