Craig: Balance budget by cutting costs first; stay out of city reserves

Tue, 09/29/2009 - 3:00pm
By: Letters to the ...

My name is David Craig, and I am a candidate for Peachtree City Council Post 1. When my wife and I decided to move to Peachtree City eight years ago, it was based on the quality of life that my family was looking for: quality education, small-town feel, and controlled growth.

During the last several years, it has become apparent that the current makeup of our city government is not adhering to the core values that I believe most residents desire. As such, I felt compelled to participate in the process which steers the direction of our town. If the voters of Peachtree City humble me with their votes, I will work hard to restore their faith in our government.

The key issues that will need to be addressed by the upcoming council are development and city finances. Let me address the hottest of these key issues first.

I do not agree with all of the annexes, zoning changes, and proposed developments that past councils have approved or are considering.

While any city must adapt as time goes by, there must always be a steady plan guiding development. The core plan set forth by the founders has proven to be successful during the past 50 years. Property values have continued to increase (albeit for the current economic challenges) due to constrained growth and limited retail development (big box stores).

I believe that we need to continue following the master plan that limits large stores and work with developers to better utilize current allocated retail space vs. approving additional development.

In addition, the council needs to work with the county and state leaders to bring additional industry to our underutilized business zone.

The city budget has been a hot topic due to the challenges of reduced funding. While many changes have been proposed, the current council was still unable to balance the budget without using city reserves.

I feel that each year the budget must be balanced without using city reserves while ensuring that the tax burden does not increase to our residents.

Cost cutting is always the first and most controversial option taken; however, I believe the council has yet to tap into the underutilized resources the city owns.

The PTC recreation department has significant, underutilized assets which have yet to be managed in a sufficient manner to provide maximum benefit. Privatizing these assets does not allow the city to achieve maximum benefit since the city should be able to manage these assets without losing the profit potential to a third party.

I also believe the council needs to challenge the current city leadership to simplify our processes and methods of providing services which will lead to long-term cost reduction. Fiscal responsibility should be a foundation that is never compromised.

While the challenges facing our city are hard to condense to a short column, they are not insurmountable. I firmly believe that with effective communication and always asking, “Why?” we can develop win-win solutions.

I look forward to meeting and talking with the great people who call Peachtree City home.

David Craig

Peachtree City Council Post 1 candidate

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mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Tue, 09/29/2009 - 6:58pm.

Maybe we can do better

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