Hating candidates and ignoring the obvious

Cal Beverly's picture

On the occasion of my first-ever “blog” I’d like to congratulate every candidate who has put his and her heads on the public chopping block.

Even the most campaign-hardened candidate must reel in dismay at times from the verbal assaults that come their way.

Sometimes the assaults have some basis in fact, but often it’s just unmitigated personal dislike, even hatred.

Peachtree City Mayor Steve Brown is likely the most hated local candidate I’ve seen in more than 30 years. I can recall one more hated in nearby Griffin from three decades ago, but he is likely long dead and immune to our opinions.

The raw hatred of Brown by his opponents reflects most badly on those very opponents. There is just no justifiable reason for such public and private displays of bad manners and bad mouthing.

No lives are at stake here. No nation is going to war as a result of one PTC mayor’s decisions. The whole anti-Brown campaign is just ugly, ugly, ugly.

Is Brown so virtuous? No, he is a mouthy public figure in his own right, but he generally starts at some public policy position, rather than from a staring point of personal hatred.

Is he right often? That’s the rub: About the issues he has caught the most flak about, he generally is correct in his initial positions.

His mistakes have come from his too-ready mouth doing battle with other personalities.

Let’s review just one issue to begin with.

The Tennis Center and the old Development Authority of Peachtree City: Brown was right to blow the whistle on both.

The only defense of the old DAPC now amounts to this: They were a bunch of good old boys just trying to do good for the community. And the good old boys gave us a “world-class” tennis center. Let’s examine those two arguments.

Those community leaders ran the old DAPC out of their back pockets. They kept precious few records, despite being required to by state law. Several of them served on the board of directors of either a lending bank or a bidding contractor.

Assuming the absolute best of motives, the board did a bush-league job of keeping financial records and meeting minutes, despite knowing they should do better. If they had performed the same way on their day jobs, they would have been justifiably terminated.

There is no recorded vote on more than a million dollars in loans to the DAPC. There’s no paperwork financial trail to determine where that money went.

How can any reasonable person praise this old board? Their motives alone just don’t cut it.

So far, every person who wants the old way to return simply glosses over the very real failings of this old DAPC.

Folks, such glossing over the plain facts represents either stupidity or plain willful blindness to painfully obvious failures. Please, get some clues as to how real life and real business and real government is supposed to operate.

I have printed letters and Free Speech items lamenting the overthrow of the old DAPC. I have to wonder how otherwise supposedly intelligent people can be so ignorant of the facts clearly in front of them.

The good old boys’ motives are irrelevant — I repeat, irrelevant — in light of their patently obvious ineptness in running a governmental entity responsible to state law and the taxpayers.

They may be and may have been great individuals personally who excelled in business and other private ventures. But only an extremely foolish person would defend their record-keeping and financial astuteness in overseeing a public entity. Peachtree City government is well rid of the old DAPC.

And by the way, who asked for a world-class tennis center? Six hundred elite tennis club members? I never got to vote on that expenditure, and neither did you. That was decided in good old boy fashion.

The city had several decent public tennis courts before that center was dreamed of. I used to smack a few racquets at Pebblepocket and Glenloch before my belly began hiding my feet. The city would do well to spend some money keeping those facilities up to minimum standards instead of providing a publicly-financed exclusive country club for the elite few and some traveling tournaments.

If you argue in favor of the old DAPC, at least address the conflicts of interest, the abysmal record-keeping and the lack of minutes of supposedly public votes on more than a million dollars in loans. Have the intellectual honesty to address the obvious problems.

Should PTC taxpayers pay off those loans to the DAPC?

Five of the six mayoral candidates raise the “moral” issue and say, “Yes, we should.”

First of all, explain what you mean by “moral.”

If we want to start doing the “moral” thing in government, I have a few places to start before we get to a tennis center.

In view of our tight financial situation, please address how you will pay for “moral” obligation.

Will you raise taxes? Will you float a “bricks and mortar” loan, obligating tax revenues for years into the future? Will you ask the city voters to approve a bond referendum to repay the loan, which will also raise taxes?

How will you meet this “moral” obligation?

Way back when, I wrote a column that said, Yes, the loan should be repaid. But I think it should be repaid by the new DAPC, using part of the hotel-motel tax receipts, since this was the funding mechanism envisioned at the time for pay-off of the debt.

Will it take a long time? Yes, probably. The banks, which should have sought better record-keeping and more due diligence at the time they made the loans, should take what they can get. Maybe their current boards of directors will be a little more careful about potential conflicts of interest in the future.

And maybe Peachtree City government, including its authorities, will get more real about the differences between necessities and luxuries. We can but hope ...

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Submitted by Bonkers on Mon, 06/22/2009 - 8:37pm.

I think it is interesting from the standpoint of how little things have changed.

The sniping, the terrible tennis center mess, the fact that no one paid for the errors, and of course--the good old boy stuff that will always be around.

Just look at the owners of the local bank that just went kaput! I assume they were the owners since average people like me aren't offered any controlling interest upon organization and will not share ,normally, in the fortune made after five years upon sale to
bigger moneyed intersts. (could have had something to do with many of the big banks failure---buying junk from these original banks!)

Capitalism at its worst in the last few years!

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Mon, 06/22/2009 - 8:55pm.

that didn't have a link to some other website as a spammer. Thanks for breaking stereotype Boinkers!

Submitted by Bonkers on Tue, 06/23/2009 - 8:50am.

Link as a spammer? Whaaa?
Breaking sterotypes?

Not sure if critical or agreeing!

There are no rules by you to my knowledge!

Submitted by fran sheldon on Sun, 10/30/2005 - 10:02pm.

Thank you Mr. Beverly for being so clear. The Development Authority was a failure morally, economically and legally. And it was just a tool for that inner crowd. They never would straighten up and fly right. So they had to be forcibly removed. All of this DIRECTPAC nonsense is just loud noise to bully people. You are one of the only people who is not intimidated by those crooks. Good for you.

WatchDog's picture
Submitted by WatchDog on Sun, 10/30/2005 - 8:20pm.

Here is what I think you will read about on Wednesday: Council: Rapson and Gibbs. Mayor: Brown. Others care to chime in?

X factor's picture
Submitted by X factor on Sun, 10/30/2005 - 8:37pm.

I say Mr. Cal is going to support Rapson,Plunkett, and Dar

Submitted by Joe Swanson on Sun, 10/30/2005 - 8:44pm.

Cal will throw the first shovel of dirt on DIRECTPAC. Rest in Peace.

WatchDog's picture
Submitted by WatchDog on Sun, 10/30/2005 - 8:54pm.

Joe, exactly how does Cal bury Direct Pac?

Submitted by G-bug on Sun, 10/30/2005 - 4:46pm.

Cal Beverly is right- we are well to be rid of the old style Development Authority of Peachtree City. Why?

By now, even the DAPC fallen ones admit there were serious problems. But they say "Hey, we are good people...We are the chosen ones. We just get to do what we want." At no time did they apologize or offer to change. They were criticized publicly: no change. They were criticized privately by their own member Scott Bradshaw: no change. Then Bradshaw did the only thing he could do which was to resign and disclose the nightmare. Still, no apology and no change.

With an unrepentent board and an illegal funding scheme the whole mess had to be dismantled, again over their kicking and screaming.

Still no remorse. But plenty of nasty attack politics to divert attention away. This is wrong and should stop. Why is it that the Old Guard is so intent on attack politics instead of proudly presenting a candidate of merit ? Can it be that they could not find one?

Submitted by KoolPop on Sun, 10/30/2005 - 5:52pm.

Hey G-bug, do me a gigantic favor. How does the so called old guard possibly "proudly present a candidate of merit"??? If they did, they would be criticized and ridiculed no matter who their choice is and their guy is DOA. What an absurd comment to make---use your head.

Submitted by Investq on Sun, 10/30/2005 - 6:16pm.

Carefully analyze your comments and consider the logical conclusion. Following your logic, The Old Guard is participating in the debate for the exclusive purpose of being hateful.

If you are correct in your statement that the endorsement of a candidate by the "Old Guard" makes that candidate "dead on arrival", your conclusion must be premised on the fact that the Old Guard no longer has any political influence. Likewise, if they have no influence, then it follows syllogistically that the only motivation of the Old Guard is hatred and not influence on public opinion. Or is there any other possible motive ?

It is about time that everyone set a better example.

Submitted by wdd5885 on Thu, 10/27/2005 - 9:49am.

I contend Steve Brown created the "hatred" you describe by his actions. Hasn't Mayor Brown publicly called people names, criticized a deceased man who can no longer defend himself, as well as incite shouting matches at numerous city council meetings? The other candidates are simply pointing out the many flaws of our current mayor. I believe hatred is a poor word choice. They are passionate and upset becuase they think Mayor Brown has done a poor job and they can do better. I agree with one of them, and will vote accordingly.

Submitted by SandySue on Thu, 10/27/2005 - 11:18pm.

I see it more as vengeance between the old guard and Mayor Brown.
It seems to have all started when Brown and Weed won in the run off against old guard candidates in the elections. Shortly after that the infamous Secret Pac aka Direct Pac who claims to be a Political action committee but not an official one was formed.
If you can imagine who the members or Direct Pac are you will understand why it was formed. Not to support Peachtree City and look out for its best interests but to gain power back by puppets of the good old boys.
The attaches against Brown's every move are unjustified. Mayor Brown has done what most other elected officials would never do.
He does what is best for the majority, not what is best for his buddies.
I challenge you to find an alliance that Brown has with a special interest group or developer. You can not say that for the other candidates of for the members of Direct Pac.

Brown has opinions on issues that are not always popular. But why are his opinions not popular? Usually, because he knows more than is made public about the issues. When the public finds out why Brown has taken the stance he has, most intelligent citizens agree, but then there is Direct Pac, who disagree to disagree.

Cal keep telling the citizens the truth! We will all always be better off with the truth even if it might hurt someone’s feelings a little bit.
SandySue from SouthernShore

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Fri, 10/28/2005 - 5:34am.

2 points, Sandy Sue
1. Direct PAC was formed and properly registered as a PAC and the major reason it was formed was to provide some order and structure to what was fast becoming an angry group of regular citizens and yes, good old boys. These people were doing, saying and proposing crazy things and it was felt that order and discipline was called for. Believe me as bad as some of what Direct PAC says and does it would be 10 times worse if the lunatic fringe were left to their own devices - sort of like the Democrats and Republicans.
2. And yes, the good old boys have connections and special interests. Heve you ever heard of the 80/20 rule where 20% of any group wind up doing all the work? In this city it is more like 90/10 and those 10% are involved in everything, so of course there are connections and special interests - and special interest are not all bad if controlled. Soccer, Rotary, swim teams, Southern Conservation Trust, golf groups - even tennis groups - all special interest groups - although I agree with Cal, the handful of tennis fanatics definitely wins the prize for the most money spent by the city on their hobby, but even that is not terrible since it is a facility that is open to all and when properly manged is an amenity for everyone in the city.

In Brown's case he has no friends, no job, no connections and therefore no conflicts. He also lacks both life and business experience and has no self-control over his mouth and obviously no one to advise and contain him. He is in fact right on many issues, but since no one listens to his positions - only his rhetoric and attacks - he is not effective. That is not what we need in a leader.

Submitted by SandySue on Sun, 10/30/2005 - 9:49pm.

Well Mr Morgan, this is Cass Poolman aka SandySue of SouthernShore.

I know first hand how Direct Pac is against regular citizens. My husband has experienced it. Heaven forbid that a "regular" citizen with over 20 year experience working in the Public Sector as second in command for periods of time might not be qualified to serve on City Council? Direct Pac was on a mission to make sure he was not put in office and they did not even know him??? Nice people don't you think? Ah yes, only the best for Peachtree City!

By the way I have searched all the Political Action Committee registrations in the State of Georgia and have not found where or when Direct Pac was registered. Can you please let us all know when and with whom this PAC is registered. Maybe it is in another State?

Oh and please give us some examples of what "These people were doing, saying and proposing crazy things and it was felt that order and discipline was called for" also who are these people?
I guess you wish Brown had no friends, it would be easier to pick on him that way.

I also want to share one more thing with you, the Mayor job for a city the size of PTC is fulltime. Maybe it is not 9 -5 but it is 40 hours a week. Just ask my sister-in-law how many hours my brother John Fretti spends as Mayor of Valdosta. He has a regular full time job running two small companies and has another full time job spending over 40 hours a week attending to Valdosta City items. Anyone who thinks being Mayor is not full time should think again!

Why would we want someone in office who thinks the top job in our City is part time?

Have a wonderful week!

Submitted by slbradley on Fri, 10/28/2005 - 1:02pm.

Well said...while the Mayor may start with good ideas and intentions, he's proven himself incapable of building, only of tearing down and getting publicity. His style of launching personal attacks on anyone who disagrees with his position has cost him what little support he has, and I say this as someone who voted for him! As for the DAPC, Mr. Beverly's on target. Good motives, most likely, but sloppy practices. The entity that is now enjoying the use of those facilities should pay off whatever settlement is negotiated, and the banks should be happy to get what they can.

scruffy's picture
Submitted by scruffy on Fri, 10/28/2005 - 1:57pm.

Ain't going to be no stinkin' settlement, dude. It will be a court order by a judge and the city will be forced to comply, most probably for 100% of the borrowed amount plus interest and penalties. The time to negotiate was a year ago back when it was possible and before our grandstanding mayor decided to dig his heels in on an issue that didn't need to an issue. Hope somebody figures out how much this one stupid stunt by Brown cost the taxpayers.

WatchDog's picture
Submitted by WatchDog on Fri, 10/28/2005 - 2:03pm.

Scruffy, you are almost more opinionated than me, but we agree here. Brown blew his chance to be reasonable, and the grandstanding will probably cost us dearly. The 4 VC's (viable candidates excluding Brown of course) are all in agreement that it should be repaid, yet Brown just had to be stubborn and stupid.

H. Hamster's picture
Submitted by H. Hamster on Fri, 10/28/2005 - 9:24am.

I am not a big fan of Direct Pac, but I know most of what Robert writes is true. There were some very angry people after the 2001 election. The part describing Brown is right on as we saw at and after the council meeting last week. He has got to go.

WatchDog's picture
Submitted by WatchDog on Fri, 10/28/2005 - 6:27am.

Hey Cal, you may be the editor and you may be Big Brother here, but you have always been fair. I sent a response to your blog, and you've seen fit not to post it? What gives?

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