Haddix: Will hold town halls on budget

Tue, 11/10/2009 - 3:36pm
By: Letters to the ...

Now there are two and the race goes on.

I have already said so much detail on my positions it is hard to find a fresh way to restate issues. But I will try while pointing you to donhaddix.com/elect for links to my past letters to the editor and more detailed information.

Scott Rowland and I shared the same agendas on getting back to the village concept, stopping big boxes, no annexation just to grow the city and more. So we divided the 71 percent of the voters who held those issues as important.

Obviously, we differed on a few other points, but our differences were nowhere near those with Cyndi Plunkett.

Even in the runoff with Plunkett, we share some common points, such as safety and recreation being important to Peachtree City. Our big difference is in the funding and management of recreation.

I pushed to get new management models into the Tennis Center, The Fred, Kedron, etc., which to the extent they have been successfully implemented has saved the taxpayers over a million dollars a year without reducing services. In fact, in some areas services have actually increased.

Cyndi Plunkett believes that these facilities should remain under more direct political control even if it costs the extra money.

We both supported SPLOST.

On the budget, I have laid out in detail what I would do if the SPLOST was or was not approved while the economy continued to decline. Cyndi Plunkett couched all her statements in terms of the SPLOST passing with an economic turnaround soon.

Again, briefly, I will call for a town hall meeting where all the budget issues will be laid out to show how much money we are collecting, how much is being spent, how much is in the reserves, our bond rating impact and what we lost in SPLOST. At this point I can say the loss is around $2.25 million a year under the current SPLOST that will expire in March.

While having the spreadsheets there, the information will also be stated in basic terms to allow for bottom line understanding of where we are. Then there will be input and Q&A from the citizens attending followed by a survey to see what you want to do, since it is your property taxpayer money and your services at stake.

I have no idea what Cyndi Plunkett proposes since the SPLOST failed and the economy is still sliding. I do know she said a town hall is a nice idea but it would not be representative of the whole city.

Plunkett said she would consider such input, but never said she would initiate a town hall or a survey while saying she would vote what she felt appropriate.

Let me just add here the 25 percent response she rejected as being non-representative is good enough to get one elected to office, so it should be good enough to pay attention to.

We differ greatly on the meaning of village concept, since she includes big boxes, which are regional stores, not community stores. Plunkett believes they are good and contribute to Peachtree City while I disagree and have posted materials supporting my position.

We have also differed on lifting the multi-family moratorium on the 88 Wieland acres in Wilksmoor to enable developing a proposal for rezoning industrial to high density residential. She voted for it and I opposed on the grounds we do not need more homes and we really do not want such high density, especially in the heavily congested Wilksmoor Village.

On the Doug McMurrain CCD Highway 54 West Shopping Center, McMurrain said he needed the roads sold to him to be able to build a larger development with big boxes. Plunkett voted for it, and I not only opposed it, but cited state law and case law that said it was illegal to enable a developer.

Contrary to what was said, if the roads were left in place, it would have greatly reduced the square footage that could have been built and it would have been impossible to build a big box.

As well, McMurrain said he needed the special use permit to build big boxes and a larger than allowed shopping center. Plunkett voted for and I opposed it. Contrary to what was said, there was no legal reason demanding he receive the permit.

Then McMurrain said he needed another traffic light or he could not build the development. Plunkett voted for and I opposed. Contrary to what has been said, Peachtree City did submit the request after CCD had tried twice and been rejected both times.

Nor was there any part of the special use permit agreement that required Peachtree City submit the permit request, only that we could not oppose CCD if they submitted a request, which, as stated, they did twice.

Communications are important. No one on City Council can make a claim to being more open or responsive to the citizens than I have been. Those of you who emailed me know I respond. My website forum has allowed anyone to ask me a question or make a statement for the last two years.

If elected on Dec. 1, on Dec. 2 staff will be getting an email saying to get a forum/bulletin board and televised meetings plan ready to present to council, an effort I tried in 2008 but lost 3-2.

Per the Peachtree City Charter, the mayor is the supervisor of the city. When a complaint about staff is received it is the mayor’s job to investigate the claim. Even simple things like placing a stop sign in the middle of the frontage of a home instead of to the side. Or more complex issues such as a citizen mowing an adjoining lot for eight years and wanting to know why the owners were not being forced to mow it.

I have handled both these example issues and more, in fact, as councilman. Why? Because they could not get a response elsewhere and turned to me.

Quality of life in Peachtree City is not only about the big things. It is also about the little things that affect a single home.

Doug Sturbuam and I have worked to resolved league issues on our sports fields. I have looked for ways to protect and promote recreation, so when someone tells you I do not care about recreation, as a former adult Boy Scout leader and creator of a very successful 4-H program, all I can say is that it isn’t true.

This election is not about making developers and other special interests happy. It is about the citizens in their everyday life. There are crystal clear differences between Cyndi Plunkett and me.

Please vote. Do not assume an outcome or you may be surprised. Make the strongest statement possible about what you want for the future of Peachtree City.

This is also an opportunity to send a message to two county commissioners who do not live in Peachtree City that what they support is not what the majority of Peachtree City, or the county, in fact, supports.

They should have already realized that Peachtree City voters are also voters in county elections while they are not voters in Peachtree City elections. Yet, they contributed to Plunkett and held a fund-raiser for her.

Please vote. The future direction of Peachtree City is the referendum before the voters.

Don Haddix

Candidate for mayor

Peachtree City, Ga.

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Submitted by PTC Observer on Wed, 11/11/2009 - 3:21pm.

Well done, thank you for your feedback.

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