Imker: Recreation and budget

Tue, 11/24/2009 - 4:28pm
By: Letters to the ...

Let me say thank you ahead of time to everyone who is going to vote on Dec 1. The city’s village concept will prevail in this election. I’d like to address two key areas in my final letter before the runoff election. They are recreation and managing the city’s budget and reserves in the future.

I volunteered to become one of the five recreation commissioners because of my heartfelt desire to see others enjoy all the opportunities this city has to offer. I will steadfastly ensure these opportunities remain for our citizens.

I have participated in and overseen many recreational activities throughout my life. Instead of listing them here, please see my website:

I use the facilities in Peachtree City and want to continue using them in the future. If elected I’d like to be the council’s representative to the recreation commission. I understand the desire of our citizens in their recreational endeavors and will unwaveringly protect them.

On budgeting:

1. My philosophy is simple: live within our means. We all have to do it with our personal lives, so let’s see that Peachtree City does the same.

2. Do not use city reserves for day-to-day city operations. This is destined to fail.

3. I abhor using taxes like the former SPLOST for day-to-day city operations. I understand the “shell” game politicians use to mix money and find ways to spend it on things believed to be of benefit. But as we can now clearly see, these types of funds can dry up, leaving us with shortfalls. (I voted NO on SPLOST; my opponent voted YES.)

4. Don’t plan a budget based on 100 percent of every single penny of “hoped” revenue. As we’ve seen again, the economy can be very tricky, so you need to be careful developing a budget.

5. Set aside a small contingency. If it’s not used, great, it goes into the reserves.

On city reserves:

1. Use them in emergencies. If a hurricane were to cause a million dollars of damage to city facilities, then that’s an emergency. Previous mismanaged budgets are not emergencies.

2. When reserves become high enough and using them will not lower the city’s AAA bond rating (the best possible), they should be considered for lowering debt on bonds issued in the past. We’re paying a higher interest rate on bonds than we receive in reserves sitting in a bank.

3. When reserves become high enough, let’s consider some of the projects citizens have been telling us they want. City Council received a list of 19 projects from the recreation department last summer that needed funding. Other departments have desires too. Most are on hold right now waiting for the economy to get better.

If I become your Post 1 council person, please understand I will research the issues and vote as you, the citizens, would expect me to vote. I will not be in a rush for the almighty dollar if it means sacrificing our village concept.

Eric Imker

Candidate for City Council Post 1

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