OPINION — What makes Cyndi run?

Cal Beverly's picture

Really, what drives her decision-making process?

In the few instances where Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett actually owns up to her infamous support of selling city streets to enable a big-box developer to construct larger big boxes, she cites aesthetics — her personal notion of aesthetics, not anything in city planning or zoning documents.

She prefers big-box Kohl’s to — and this is her own term — “a 24-bay gas station.” Presumably the small amount of residents of nearby Cardiff Park also prefer Kohl’s to the gas station.

That’s her rationale: a Kohl’s with its acres of asphalt parking is better for the nearby residents than a gas station or some other horror that the developer would maliciously inflict on the commercial area if he were denied the enabling city streets (as if banks would finance projects built for spite instead of for profit).

The problem with her approach is that a group of volunteer citizens and city planning staff years before had carefully produced and the City Council had enacted as an ordinance a Highway 54 West “overlay” on the existing commercial zoning.

That “overlay” produced the commercial areas alongside the highway from Huddleston Drive west to the city-limit line. Like it or not, that result came about through the time-honored “Peachtree City way,” through careful planning and prolonged citizen input before the final vote.

That democratically produced result was scuttled by the Logsdon-Plunkett-Boone triumvirate in a vote that I called “the sell-out of Peachtree City.”

Logsdon and Boone are nearly bad history now, prime examples of an “anything but” voter reaction that preferred style and empty words over substance. With just weeks left in their terms, the damage those two did will extend far into Peachtree City’s second 50 years.

Let’s talk substance. Whatever a council member’s political or governing philosophy, probably 95 percent of all council votes don’t threaten the underpinnings of “the Peachtree City way of life.”

But from time to time, a few decisions before the council are game-changers; such were the West Village annexation and the Hwy. 54 West vote.

Such is the pending developers’ request for annexation on the city’s southside and the accompanying extension of city sewer service into the unsewered, unincorporated county.

Particularly in matters of annexation, rezoning, land use planning, development and re-development, I believe Plunkett’s philosophy of local governance is fundamentally at odds with a majority of residents when these game-changing issues face the council.

I think her flawed notions of her duty as a City Council member are extensions of her day job of being a mediator.

She most clearly demonstrated her proclivity for mediation in the sale of the city streets, her negotiations with the developer and her vote to put city weight behind a stalled developers’ request for an unneeded traffic light.

In her current campaign, Plunkett has bragged about her experience as a mediator and explicitly says she sees that as an important skill as mayor.

I think she could not be more mistaken.

There could not be a role more detrimental to the residents and taxpayers of Peachtree City than that of Mediator-in-Chief Plunkett.

Here’s a definition: “Mediation is a process in which a third-party neutral assists in resolving a dispute between two or more other parties. It is a non-adversarial approach to conflict resolution. The role of the mediator is to facilitate communication between the parties, assist them in focusing on the real issues of the dispute, and generate options that meet the interests or needs of all relevant parties in an effort to resolve the conflict” (from BeyondIntractability.org).

Just like in her day job, Cyndi took on the mediator’s role in the “dispute” between the developer and the spooked Cardiff Park residents.

She tried to get the best deal possible between the developer and that small subdivision, and she will tell you today that’s exactly what she did.

But that’s exactly what she should NOT have done.

The real dispute was between the developer and the existing rules of the entire city, those rules that protect ALL property values and ALL residents in ALL subdivisions, not just a few. The rest of Peachtree City suffered because her default response is to mediate rather than to umpire.

In these game-changers, she is NOT supposed to be a neutral third party; she is elected by the majority of us to represent the majority viewpoint. She is supposed to stand as the majority’s advocate (yes, even adversary) against all who would seek to change the written rules to give advantage to the few.

In the game-changing decisions, Cyndi prefers to be a mediator, but in these cases the majority elected her to be an umpire, calling the balls and strikes over a plate with predetermined dimensions — the existing land use plan, the existing zoning rules, the existing overlay, the existing setbacks, the existing city streets.

In other words, somebody who will say, “NO!”

Instead, rather than represent the majority that elected her and abide by existing rules of the game, Plunkett became the “neutral” mediator to assist the only two parties she recognized as relevant — the developer and the small subdivision — to arrive at a “win-win” resolution, a win-win exclusive to the two special interests. She ignored the existing rules and the rest of us, setting awful precedents for future councils to navigate.

As a mediator, she joined with Logsdon and Boone to change the rules to make them fit the special interests of the two parties. Exactly like Logsdon, Cyndi simply doesn’t listen to the rest of us non-relevant rabble. I think she views existing zoning rules as barriers to resolving “disputes.”

As a mediator instead of an umpire, she arbitrarily widened the plate and enlarged the strike zone to accommodate the two special interests.

And that’s how she will respond as mayor: as mediator-in-chief, looking for any possible ways to accommodate those who want to change the rules of the game to provide a win-win outcome for narrow, special interests.

Developers and the big-bucks boys will line up to utilize her game-changing mediation talents: Win-win for the special interests and lose-lose for Peachtree City.

I will say this: If you liked Logsdon, you’ll love Plunkett.

The runoff is this coming Tuesday. I believe the top vote-getter Dec. 1, Don Haddix, as mayor will be a good and fair umpire — never a mediator! — who will listen to the majority of Peachtree City residents.

I believe he will never vote to change the rules of the game to give advantage to the few over the many.

He won’t view the mayor’s office as the next check-mark toward a higher office.

He will deal with fiscal reality, not ignore it or mislead about its implications.

And, I firmly believe, whatever else he does or does not do, at any time in the future, he will NOT be selling any city streets or changing any city rules to enable more or bigger big boxes for any developer.

You would be wrong to underestimate the importance to our city of that last sentence.

login to post comments | Cal Beverly's blog

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
PTCspyglass's picture
Submitted by PTCspyglass on Mon, 11/30/2009 - 9:08pm.

Cal Beverly - I will give you a STANDING OVATION for this article! and many of my neighbors do too.

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Mon, 11/30/2009 - 10:52am.

Just a little observation here. Coincidence or not? Gov. Perdue, Sen. Isaakson and assorted state reps. will be here in about an hour at NCR in PTC for a grand opening ceremony.

Should we consider it a coincidence that the Bridge To Nowhere final construction starts the same day? That the continued widening of Hwy 74 (South) from Cooper Circle on down just started less than 2 weeks ago?

Than our federal transportation tax dollars, to the tune of 16.9 million dollars (U.S., that is) are being spent on this 3.9 mile section of road. A cost of around 4.3 million per mile. Or, $814. per FOOT. (oh, but that includes a bridge, let's not forget!!) Imagine that figure. Glorious, isn't it? Being installed by the same inept state agency, GDOT, that just finished the other section, TAKING OVER 3 YEARS. Better, yet, using the same contractor, CW Matthews, that was used before. The same contractor that let this stretch of highway look like a weed infested desert from from the time the widened road opened last December till late this fall to sign off upkeep to Peachtree City?

The same contractor that MOANED about the state owing them over a million dollars for this project in arrears and they REFUSED TO complete the final punch list till they got paid? Even though CW Matthews admitted they have been doing business for the GDOT for over 60 years? Think they didn't know this big ribbon cutting day wasn't coming up just after they signed off on this?

How much you bet there will be an announcement within the week that the rights of way for the Paschall Rd./Hwy 74 tunnel will be finalized?

Boy, things sure move fast when the big shots are around, don't they? How many photo ops will Cyndi and Harry get with the Governor today? Oh, just in time for OUR election tomorrow.

Welcome to Peachtree City, Governor and company. Come back soon, ya'll hear now?

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Sat, 11/28/2009 - 5:18pm.

Hey, Cal...it's your paper and your website so you can publish whatever the hell you wanna publish but what an absolute stupid commentary. I'm not for rampant development but at the same time if the city isnt growing then it will soon die. Personally, I like the fact I don't have to drive 15 miles to Newnan or Fayetteville to shop. I like supporting ALL businesses in PTC. The comments below are spot on...watch all of those PTC residents who bitch about development get in their cars and drive over the Fayette/Coweta line to spend their money with Coweta reaping the tax benefits. Or worse hypocrits like Haddix who gets on his blog stump espousing the evils of big boxes but has no problem shopping at them. Sorta like the politician who is against drugs but sees no problem in smoking a little weed on the side. The fact is sometimes politics is compromise whether or not you want to accept that. Politicians like "Just Say No Haddix" do nothing but invite lawsuits the city can't legally defend. Haddix is probably gonna win...but mark my words...his tenure will be a disaster for the city.

Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Tue, 12/01/2009 - 10:02pm.

You're a loser!!! Your girl didn't win.

Go move to Coweta.

Vote Republican

PTCspyglass's picture
Submitted by PTCspyglass on Mon, 11/30/2009 - 9:42pm.

Why that's easy - Shopping at Kohl's and all the Big Boxes make her run!! She will bring them all to PTC so we can all have more traffic and crime!! Hey get out of the way you PTC residents and let all the out of town people drive thru PTC!!!! One day we will become just like Riverdale, Ga!!! Take a drive over there one day to see the planned Riverdale, Ga community!!!

ptctaxpayer's picture
Submitted by ptctaxpayer on Sun, 11/29/2009 - 4:56pm.

We need "Just Say No" Haddix. Beverly is right--- we don't need a Mayor who will advocate for the developers like Logsdon did. Logsdon was such a mental lightweight he was afraid to come down off his roof to debate Brown. Another four years of a Logsdon clone will benefit the local banks sucking wind and kill us taxpayers.

And that same old crap Borntorun and developers say that people like Haddix "do nothing but invite lawsuits the city can't legally defend."
It's clowns like you that fork over a million to the bank on the illegal development authority loans to bail out the local boys rather than challenging those protitutes in court for one tenth that amount of money.

That's why Logsdon ain't got the money for grass seed for the soccer fields. Stand up and say "NO" once in a while.

Submitted by GAltant on Sat, 11/28/2009 - 6:47pm.

There is a solution...turn out to vote on Tuesday and call everyone you know...just get out the vote for Plunkett!

By the way, today's editorial on the front page attacking Plunkett and the one a few weeks ago are disgusting....that kind of yellow journalism in this town does more harm than big boxes...

Meanwhile..one very important question to ask is if the editor/owner is such a big supporter of Peachtree City, then why is his company located in Fayetteville and not Peachtree City!!!! hmmmmm

He may live here but his business is outside of PTC...and yet he is bullying and trying to influence the mayor's race.

Submitted by batman7732 on Sun, 11/29/2009 - 7:49pm.

I would like to correct an error . The Citizen may not be located in PTC but, the owner does have a large Publishing Company(FC&A)in PTC. As for the newspaper it was already located in F'ville when it was purchased. Know your facts please. Regardless, I WILL be voting for PLUNKETT.

Submitted by GAltant on Sun, 11/29/2009 - 8:33pm.

Thank you..I stand corrected.

Submitted by MYTMITE on Sat, 11/28/2009 - 7:41pm.

call the nasty postcards sent out by Plunkett? What do you call the lies and half-truths she has come out with? Or is it different when it is a friend of yours? Maybe, since Mr. Beverly lives in PTC, he feels it is his right and duty to say what he feels is right--just as you feel it is yours? You do live in Peachtree City, don't you?

Submitted by GAltant on Sun, 11/29/2009 - 10:07am.

Yes, I live in town, I own a business in town that contributes tax dollars too..that's in Peachtree City not Fayetteville, and finally I chose to do volunteer work in this town as well.

Actually, I know both candidates, and based upon that experience and interaction I have selected my choice....again..I made that selection based upon my involvement, attending over 95% of council meetings, speaking with both candidates and being actively involved in Peachtree City...not based upon what I have read in the Citizen or whether or not one of the candidates has answered one of my e-mails which you harp on in your posts!

Do you live in Peachtree City and pay real estate taxes? Do you own a business here and pay sales tax from that business? How many commissions do you volunteer for? What's your contribution to this community...do tell!

Submitted by MYTMITE on Sun, 11/29/2009 - 4:56pm.

years. I am a home owner of many years and certainly do pay real estate taxes. I am not a business owner but do try to do business with as many local merchants as possible. I, too, volunteer within my community. Perhaps we have on occasion served on the same committees. I do not base my choice for a candidate on what is written in The Citizen but do read all the papers and whatever else I can to get a fair picture. I "harp" (as you put it) on the fact that I have heard from one of the council members-and candidates for mayor- and not from the other because I think it is important that someone representing me should at least be interested enough to respond to or at least acknowledge my inquiry--all during the year, not only at election time. I am sure you want the best for the place that you have chosen to call home as I do. I happen to feel that the best thing for Peachtree City at this time is Don Haddix for mayor. He has not changed his positions and has not skewed the truth--therefore I will vote for him. I hope that many, many other residents see their way to do so also as I think he is the better qualified candidate at this time.

Submitted by GAltant on Sun, 11/29/2009 - 7:42pm.

Its too bad that you did not attend the city council meetings in person to see Haddix at work.....as for "harping", over the past few years I personally picked up the phone and called each council member and the mayor, and guess what they either answered or returned my calls...and this is before I got involved so I was just a local citizen making a call.....not sure what your problem was but they have all been very responsive.

As for Haddix, what I experienced was someone who did nothing while on council. He sat there quietly then the next day posted on his blog or the Citizen. It was clear to me that he was running for mayor the first day he sat down on city council.

What will be very interesting is with Fleisch, Leonard and Pullias on city council..all of whom are intelligent and will work well as a team...if Mr. Haddix is elected mayor..and the votes go 3 to 2 against Mr. Haddix as I suspect they will, will he continue to have his temper tantrums on his blog and the Citizen as the mayor with a council that works well excluding him!

As for you...MYTMITE...I suggest you start attending council meeting and see for yourself..Frankly I don't believe you are involved and clueless to the real facts! You will find me in the back row near the windows facing 54....Also I said "commissions" not "committees"!

Submitted by MYTMITE on Sun, 11/29/2009 - 11:41pm.

council meetings---were you taking attendance? And what gives you the right to call me a liar regarding my involvement in my community? That is, what other than lack of class. I do not have to prove myself to you just as you do not have to prove yourself to me. The difference is I would not stoop to doubt your veracity. I will not be looking for you in the back row or anywhere else. You do not appear to be someone I would want to engage in conversation in person. You come off as being a very self-centered, egotistical bag of wind, who is very taken with himself. I just hope for the good of our community that the best person for the position wins the election. I don't think there is the necessity to say more.

Submitted by GAltant on Mon, 11/30/2009 - 7:40am.

So now maybe you will stop stalking people on the blogs, picking fighting believing that only your opinions count. Clearly you have done that when it comes to this election and I have seen you do it to others regarding different topics.

Your response is just so predictable....

Submitted by MYTMITE on Mon, 11/30/2009 - 12:29pm.

major attributes. First of all, nothing you could ever say to me would come close to being a 'dose' of anything. As for harping---there YOU go again with that stalking bit---by your definition anyone who replies to anyone else's blog on here is a stalker. And just what is "picking fighting"? I believe my opinion counts as much as the next person's. Evidently you feel your opinion counts also or you would not be espousing it on this site. Anybody I have bantered back and forth with has been strong enough and smart enough to recognize it for what it was--sorry you do not lack that same ability. If my posts bother you that much I have a suggestion for you--do not read them. Your blogs are as opinionated and, as Wedge said, as shrill as anyone else who posts. So get off your high horse.

Submitted by GAltant on Mon, 11/30/2009 - 7:30pm.


time for you to move on a pick on someone else...was it Bad PTC last week? It was someone who you wrote a nasty note to...

Bye bye

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Mon, 11/30/2009 - 8:07am.

think that you came off any better on here than Mytimite? You seem as shrill and agenda driven as the next poster. So what. I imagine that Clayton County had these same kind of discussions 15 years ago. What is the best way to grow and develop our county? In addition to big boxes, they chose high density housing. They chose the quick buck over manageable and sustained growth. So far we have gotten high density as far as acreage. I see more of it in PTC's future. By voting for what he have gotten, we get to speed that future up.

Submitted by GAltant on Mon, 11/30/2009 - 12:27pm.

Thanks..actually I don't think that at all....

If you have read any of my comments, you will see that I have not voiced my opinion regarding development issues..but I have responded recently to the nasty politics and Mytimite's attacks on others throughout this blog.....That's really pissing me off.

Here are my views, so feel free to have it them.

I believe that we need to stick to the plan, but things have become vague which has allowed for recent variances. I am glad to see that planning commission and council are working on a new comprehensive plan and I hope the new council and planning commission will follow that plan.

As for density, the plan called for over 50,000 people..alot more densier than we currently are and hopefully we will never get there because past plans called for much more multi-unit housing.

Personally, I have no problem with current West 54 development, which was outlined in the plan. Actually, most of that development was by other councils and mayors, not the current administration...its like we are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic...others created the mess and now we are angry at the finalization of what was started. The traffic light and abandoned road issues.

There are Cardiff Park residents on the planning commission and at a recent meeting involving a change in the new shopping center plans (to allow for Kohl's) Cardiff Park residents were at the meeting and they and voiced their opinions..including that they are fine with the current plan, but not changes.

It is also encouraging that city council refused to expand the sewer lines towards Fayetteville on 54 East and that planning commission voted down expansion of the sewer lines south of the city to the proposed shopping center down by Starrs Mill.

Not happy with the West Village concept, the silly proposal to build at the end of the runway in the industrial park...and other issues...I don't think we will ever get like Clayton...ever.

So, feel free to have at it!...correct any of my timelines or misfacts, feel free to critize my viewpoints (politely)....

In the end, my only issue is we need good leaders with clear ideas running council and as mayor....people who will work together,and follow the plans/rules.

Thanks for listening!

S. Lindsey's picture
Submitted by S. Lindsey on Mon, 11/30/2009 - 9:19am.

I know duh right?

I have lived in several PTC sized cities..all over the East Coast The one thing I always hear is Growth is bad.. Why?

Every city needs JOBS and a source for Consumers to SPEND THEIR MONEY locally. You cannot live off taxes forever.. If you choose to limit each then the results are predictable..

One such city a place called Wetumpka.. For years the "Wealthy" Established Blue Bloods keep out sources of Revenue and would not allow Small Business/Med Business to expand.. and would not allow ANY forms of "Big Box" stores to come in.. Results EVERYONE spent their money across the River.

Today they live in harmony with the "Big Box stores.. Many smaller business opened up with them to take advantage of the traffic.. No real harm came to the locally established stores and all have prospered. People got jobs and new avenues to spend their money.

They have Casino as well and now many new Businesses who are re-locating to Wetumpka.. Oh their budget that has run red for years? Well now they are flush with cash and City employees have enjoyed raises far exceeding the area norm..

Seems to me rather simple.. You can stay the course... Keep the city like it was 20, 30 and even 40 years ago or adapt..

""The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." " Thomas Jefferson

Submitted by GAltant on Sat, 11/28/2009 - 9:09am.

By Golly you are right Cal
The next city council needs to fix all of this..what were they thinking..all of them, year after year..why did they let this city grow!
Let's start by getting rid of The Avenues. The PTC Development Authority needs to find another slaughter house to move back in that spot. Then they need to get rid of Walmart, Home Depot, Office Depot, Best Buy, all of those big boxes. In fact who let K-Mart in here!
People from Peachtree City don't shop there! Only people from other areas who drive in to use those stores...we don't need those stores here..We need to go back to the good old days. People need to drive to Fayetteville and elsewhere for stuff..We must have the good old days back again...
As for PTC services....that new council better not cut any recreational services,police and fire and those golf cart paths better be perfect....and while they are at it we need those landscape crews back, the bushes are a mess! That's the PTC way of life!
And no damn SPLOTS either!
Council needs to raise the real estate taxes to pay for these services and they better balance that budget too...Raise our real estate taxes...whatever it takes $500, $1000, $2000 per house....just raise it so things can go back to be the way there were!
Finally, we need to take the land use plan and have it etched in stone (like in BedRock where the Flintstones live) because no one should ever stray from that plan. Council needs to make sure that Coweta, Fayette and the Atlanta Regional Commission know this too because as they make changes in their plans they better not mess with us! We don't want see shopping centers, office parks are industrial centers on our borders either.

Liferfrom65's picture
Submitted by Liferfrom65 on Sat, 11/28/2009 - 1:15pm.

"By Golly-You're Right Cal!
Submitted by GAltant on Sat, 11/28/2009 - 9:09am.
By Golly you are right Cal
The next city council needs to fix all of this..what were they thinking..all of them, year after year..why did they let this city grow!
Let's start by getting rid of The Avenues. The PTC Development Authority needs to find another slaughter house to move back in that spot. Then they need to get rid of Walmart, Home Depot, Office Depot, Best Buy, all of those big boxes. In fact who let K-Mart in here!
People from Peachtree City don't shop there! Only people from other areas who drive in to use those stores...we don't need those stores here..We need to go back to the good old days. People need to drive to Fayetteville and elsewhere for stuff..We must have the good old days back again..."

BTW...it was a meat packing plant, not a slaughter house.

Submitted by ptcjenn on Fri, 11/27/2009 - 8:56pm.

::: standing and clapping :::

Submitted by batman7732 on Fri, 11/27/2009 - 8:06pm.

The usual Peachtree City Attitude against Big Box stores. Watch them run across the border to Coweta when the Sam's Club and Movie Theater comes to town. I love how you can have 20+ Churches and 5+ Liquor stores in PTC but, Heaven forbid a Kohl's or Lowes come to town...

ahavah_lachaim's picture
Submitted by ahavah_lachaim on Sat, 11/28/2009 - 12:02am.

While I certainly don't want to see another gas station in PTC, I can't help but wonder at the lack of a movie theater. There must be thousands of dollars in revenue draining into Newnan's two theatres or (for those willing to brave the horror stories about Tinseltown) Fayeteville that could be benefiting PTC.

I also marvel at how Mr. Beverly's opinion pieces always make the web front page, while everyone elses are relegated to sidebar afterthoughts.


"Despite treason after treason, and sabatoge after sabatoge, God's empire of light never falls into total eclipse. Satan wages a futile war."

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Sat, 11/28/2009 - 12:59pm.

We had a theater. It went out of business.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Sat, 11/28/2009 - 10:32am.

I also marvel at how Mr. Beverly's opinion pieces always make the web front page, while everyone elses are relegated to sidebar afterthoughts.

That's an easy one. He's the editor and we're not. The only other options are either to feature everyone's opinions in the way that staff columns are featured, which would be as silly as it would be impossible, or to take an absurdly egalitarian approach and dispense with editorials altogether--here and in hard copy.

Submitted by Bonkers on Sat, 11/28/2009 - 7:05am.

Well sir, movie theaters are like cattle pens any more. Humans gather there to stink up and foul the place beyond human habitation.

About once a year the health department finally requires them to close, take out the seats and fire hose down the place with lye soap and pressure.

On top of that the use of cell phones, talking and shouting, and other sundry things would disturb a hornets nest 200 feet up a tree!

Nasty, ignorant foul teenagers and young adults with no human training frequent the places and let their urine run down between the rows--washing the butter popcorn as it goes. Hardened chewing gum is on everything, not just on the seat bottoms.

The food must be as nasty due to the atmosphere! Yet it costs a week's wages for little.

On top of that what movie nowadays is worth watching? 2012 maybe? Vampire 43 maybe? Mechanical creatures destroying everything, maybe?

Does serve as a baby sitter however for some.

Submitted by Angry Taxpayer on Fri, 11/27/2009 - 7:51pm.

This should "light up" the website for a little while...

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Sat, 11/28/2009 - 7:23am.

This is the kind of column we need more often. A reasonable explanation of someone's behavior.

The street sale never made any sense to me and why council was micromanaging Kohl's was a mystery as well. Now that I discover (for the first time) that Cyndi is a mediator and proud of it, it all makes sense. A mediator is supposed to be a disinterested 3rd party and that is fine for settling disputes, but our mayor, probably any mayor anywhere, should not be disinterested; instead he or she should be very interesed in what is going on and have the courage to say NO! and tell the dueling parties to take it outside or totally away - like to another city.

I can't change my vote, but if Cyndi wins I can sure watch her more closely. Thanks Cal.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.