Answers from Steve Boone (incumbent), candidate for Post 3, Peachtree City

Tue, 10/27/2009 - 5:37pm
By: Steve Boone

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 Steve Boone (incumbent), candidate for Post 3

1. Peachtree City is a planned community. With the current residential zonings, and the Wilksmore annexations in the works, that brings Peachtree City close to about 40,000; that is residential build-out. I don’t see any need for any more annexations. However, if annexations are presented to the council in the future, we will review them and treat them in a fair and just manner. Annexation should only be considered if it is a true benefit to the city and strong support from the citizens.

2. I have heard a lot about the Callula Hill project, but it never came before City Council. I am not willing to commit either way on this project until I see what they are asking for. Right now, I have serious reservations about revising the land use plan in that area, as spot zoning would be an issue.

However, rezoning from industrial to residential is not a new idea. All of Planterra Ridge was originally zoned and land-used as industrial. Furthermore, the FAA must concur if anything goes into the area, either residential and business park offices.

3. I give the council an A-plus. They did exactly what needed to be done in this area. Furthermore, the city department staff worked diligently to cut programs to the bare minimum or deferring purchases prior to bringing the budget to Council. There was major work and deliberation for all department services to provide the best for Peachtree City citizens.

4. Generally, there are only two areas left to cut: recreation and public safety, and public safety is not an option. Of all the services that the city provides, public safety is the most essential. However, every other aspect of city government would have to be looked at in serious detail.

I would ask the city staff to look at all areas of the budget to include additional use of cash reserves. The city has about 34 percent of the reserve fund left. The balanced budget can include some reserve and a minimal millage increase. It remains my position that raising property taxes should be a last resort.

5. To avoid significant cuts in public safety and to protect our quality of life. In four years I have not voted for a millage increase, though I would consider this option if needed to avoid my stated comments.

6. The land was already zoned commercial, and it is the responsibility of the government to get the best product for the city. If the city had retained possession of the streets in this case, it would only have allowed the developer to build a less-quality development. It would have also resulted in the city paying to maintain streets for what essential serve only on developer/property owner, something we do not do for other commercial developments. I feel this was the right thing to do in order to get higher quality stores.

This development and the red light on Hwy. 54 are all in keeping with the Local Community Initiative (LCI) overlay district that was designed by the previous administration.

7. It is the government’s responsibility to create an environment through free market and free enterprise in which businesses can succeed.

8. As a sitting council member, I cannot promote the SPLOST. Nevertheless, I can give you some advantages and positive outcomes of renewing the SPLOST. Continuing the SPLOST will enable the city to improve and expand the golf cart path system, and enable the city to much more easily deal with budget challenges. It has also helped surface miles of roads in the city the last four years.

9. My philosophy is less government in our lives and promoting free market free enterprise that has worked for America for over 200 years.

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