PTC’s reserves too high, should be used now

Tue, 10/20/2009 - 4:25pm
By: Letters to the ...

We frequently criticize politicians for twisting words to gain support for a particular view or policy. Steve Brown is trying this with the use of the word “pilfer” in his opinion piece on the candidates in PTC.

This is a loaded word intended to convey the thought that use of the city reserves is inherently wrong.

I argued before the City Council during public hearings on the budget that the city reserves were too high, over $4 million above the 20 percent suggested (note, that is suggested, not required) by the city’s operating rules.

The majority of the council agreed and voted to use $450,000 (2 percentage points) of the bloated reserve to balance the 2010 budget.

I believe this was a reasonable move in this economy. Steve Brown appears to agree with Don Haddix and Beth Pullias (who also addressed the council on this issue) that we should have raised property taxes to maintain spending levels and to give city employees a pay raise.

Using the excess city reserves is not pilfering. It is a prudent use of funds built up over many years of over-taxation and fee collection by the city government.

If you would not use the reserves now, when would you?

Robert Brown

Peachtree City, Ga.

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Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 10/20/2009 - 5:35pm.

As stated by Accounting, the Sales Tax income had already slipped again, so the total dip into the Reserves was closer to $700,000, not $450,000.

I stated the income would continue to slide, and it has, so we are looking at a $800,000 dip at least now.

Further, I stated we would be using the Reserves so the tax was to soften the impact to allow us to get through this bad economy with no more tax increases.

The majority passed the budget conditioned upon their stated belief we would get the SPLOST, a belief I do not share, and would use the debt reduction portion as an offset. They also believed the economy was going to turn around soon, which is a non reality.

As well, Pullias and my positions are very different. She wants no use of the Reserves plus taxes to cover what is needed. I never said that.

And the pay raise. It was COLA, not a straight pay raise. And what is COLA now? Zero?

All I ask is you state all the facts, not some, and be clear on them. Don't imply things that are not factual.

The tax did not pass and now we are have to look forward to the 2011 Budget, where I made it clear that upon knowing the fate of SPLOST, more economic realities and so forth we can seek citizen desires and input, which, by the way, for 2010, supported the .250 and COLA.

Don Haddix
Candidate for Mayor

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