Answers from Scott Rowland, candidate for mayor, Peachtree City

Tue, 10/27/2009 - 5:27pm
By: Scott Rowland

Questions for Peachtree City candidates

1. Based on current zoning, there are roughly 1,400 more homes to be built before running out of virgin residential-zoned space. Do you see any need for the city to expand its borders through annexation for any zoning category? Why or why not? Please explain what type of development — if any — the city needs more of, how it will be paid for and where you think such annexation makes the most sense.

2. Do you support the rezoning of industrial-zoned property to any residential use? Also tell us specifically whether you support or oppose the Callula Hill project that would convert land in the city’s industrial park into an upscale “lake view” subdivision, and if so, tell us why or why not. Also, spell out whether this proposal does or does not represent spot zoning.

3. This has been one of the most painful budget years in the city’s history. Grade the City Council on personnel cutbacks and how it handled the funding shortfall. Explain exactly what you would have done differently.

4. If the city had to cut another $1 million out of the coming year’s budget, what specific actions would you take to balance the budget?

5. Under what conditions — if any — would you support an increase in the city property tax?

6. What is your opinion about Peachtree City selling city streets to a developer so as to enable a much larger shopping center to be built on Ga. Highway 54 West?

7. What will you vote to do to insure that the city’s existing village centers remain economically viable?

8. Will you vote for or against the countywide SPLOST renewal? Why or why not?

9. Describe your general political philosophy, particularly regarding local government.

Answers from Scott Rowland (candidate for mayor)

1. At this time I see no reason for the city to expand its borders. There may come a time that an area adjacent to our city is about to be developed in such a way as to be detrimental to Peachtree City. In that case, annexation for protection could be considered. The city has industrial land that can be developed. The most pressing need now is to fill those industrial and commercial spaces left empty by the current economic downturn.

2. NO! I can not imagine any reason to rezone industrial to commercial. The Callula Hill project is something I will certainly vote against if elected. This is spot rezoning and in no way complies with the comprehensive land use plan that I strongly support.

3. With the anticipated revenue down 12 percent for the year, there was going to be a budget shortfall. The mayor and City Council must stress and make each department realize that the budget shortfall is real and that real cuts will be made. Each department must be made to operate without any budget increase.

The citizens of Peachtree City have come to expect a high quality of life. The first round of cuts on maintenance crews, while saving money, is affecting the quality of our surroundings. You do notice a visible difference in the appearance of the city.

4. Simplifying as many budget items as possible will have to be the continuing practice of all future councils.

5. There are essential services in Peachtree City, and then there is everything else. The essential services include police, fire and EMS. It is the everything else that makes Peachtree City the special place it is and reason why all of us moved here. I will vote for a tax increase if public safety was being affected by a shortfall.

6. I believe with this transaction the writing is clearly on the wall. I, along with many other residents, will never understand how we can put our trust with people who we vote into office that are supposed to look after the best interest of the city and its citizens and not the developers. Bigger big boxes, more traffic lights, where will it end?

7. I will vote to follow our current city’s comprehensive plan. In today’s market, there are going to be some vacancies. If the investor chooses not to update, maintain and manage their property, I feel that the market will correct itself with time.

8. I will vote for the SPLOST. Peachtree City has a unique opportunity to allow those who visit or pass through our great city to ease our budget burdens. SPLOST represents an increase in city services. In the transportation SPLOST for 2005, additional projects were able to be completed that may not have otherwise been completed. These funds are used for specific projects and have greater restrictions on government spending of tax-payer dollars as compared to money from the General Fund.

9. The purpose of government is to ensure that the rights of the individual are protected, and at the same time the government must restrict its activities to providing only the services that individuals cannot provide alone: fire, police, EMS.

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