Tue, 06/13/2006 - 4:18pm
By: The Citizen

Our community is blessed to have Piedmont Fayette Hospital along with its caring staff of doctors and nurses, and it is a shame that our insurance company, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, is not going to include the Piedmont system in their coverage as of July 1. As for me and my family, we will be changing insurance companies at the first possible opportunity so that we can stay with Piedmont Fayette. We have top-notch quality healthcare in Fayette County, with excellent doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and facilities, and we are not going to let an insurance company tell us where we can and cannot go for care. We choose Piedmont Fayette.

Why is a former teacher at McIntosh High School allowed to keep her children in Fayette County’s school system when she is no longer a county school employee and her residence is in Coweta County? That is our tax dollar that is being spent on two children that are not legal to attend our schools. Those children are being allowed to stay for one of two reasons: a wink and a nod by the McIntosh principal to not enforce county rules for friends, or state School Superintendent Kathy Cox (the new employer of this person) is once again lording her power over the county she resides in by making the Fayette County Board of Education ignore their own rules. Calls and questions to the school and school board about this matter have been ignored. Make your voice heard and start pushing the issue. Those of us that pay taxes in Fayette County do not deserve to have to underwrite the education of non-county students so political favors can be handed out.

Check your facts before indicting the officers who arrested the city manager in PTC for DUI. They have been working the “extra duty” jobs at The Fred for many years and did not just choose that particular evening to set up the city manager. Also, you need to remember that Mr. McMullen registered .104 on the meter when .08 is intoxicated. Did the officers drink that wine for him? Instead of persecuting the police, you should praise them for doing what they are hired to do despite the position of the violator.

Just a few comments about Bernard (AKA “Bernie”) McMullen and his recent DUI arrest. For starters, this crazy/intoxicating event gives new meaning to “Weekend At Bernie’s.” Drink up, cowboy. Next, did I hear Harold (the mayor) say, “This is an unfortunate incident”? Harold this is an unfortunate incident and you could seem to care less. “Hey Bernie, I got your back.” Last but not least, if nothing else, the Peachtree City Police Department has proven that they do not play favorites. Let’s just say that he (Bernie) was seen driving drunk and the police just let it slide. That would be bad and unfair. But, my goodness. Actually arresting a person who violates the law (more importantly a well-known city ordinance that governs all people in Peachtree City including the city manager) becomes either a conspiracy or a joke. You people around here are a joke. When the law is broken, the police MUST act. Now it is time for Bernie to act professional and relinquish his duties. Fulton County will accept you back, Bernie, but I do believe that Peachtree City (and its citizens) has a little higher standards. Bernie, you were “riding dirty.”

In the real Mayberry the city manager (Otis?)would have either had a key to the town’s lockup, so he could sleep off his “impairment” under the watchful eye of Barney, or Andy would have given him a ride home in the patrol car. End of story, no need for bail.

Conspiracy theorists, unite. Has this city gone completely insane or is it just a few bored citizens that watch too many movies? How is it that our city manager was targeted? Did police force him to drive? How do you explain the .104 on the breath machine? Was that rigged too? Maybe Major Dupree and Captain Pye are the ones that fired the magic bullet at JFK so many years ago. Before you vent your obvious mistrust of the police, take a minute to think logically. I for one am glad to see that our police have the sense of right and wrong that they do. Most cities would have let any politician or employee go because that’s how it has always been done. Bad timing happens to all of us once in a while; it does not mean that the government is listening to your thoughts or spying on your phone calls. You’re not that important. Our police do a pretty good job and for that we reward them with negative comments and salary cuts. Here comes Riverdale.

Only in Peachtree City would the captain of the Police Department write in a report, “He was obviously intoxicated to the point his once clean polo shirt was in complete disarray.” We are in trouble when the police don’t realize that after sitting outside in the rain, heat and humidity for close to three hours that the entire audience looked no different than the city manager did upon exiting the amphitheater after The Temptations’ concert. We were all in complete disarray and for a trained law enforcement officer to conclude that someone is intoxicated because their polo shirt is wet and soggy is scary. Personally, I am more concerned about the actions of Major Dupree and Captain Pye that night than I am about the actions of the city manager. It’s very disconcerting to continually hear about exaggerated police reports and malfunctioning police car videos in Peachtree City.

Law enforcement 101: A police officer must have probable cause to make an arrest. (See fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution) Sgt. Williams of the PTCPD arrested the city manager even though he did not personally witness the city manager in his golf cart or with an open container. These alleged violations of law were reportedly witnessed by Major DuPree and Captain Pye. According to the police report Sgt. Williams arrived at the amphitheater parking lot at approximately 11:14 p.m. after he was requested to do so by Captain Pye. The absolute, most critical evidence needed for the city manager’s defense is the audio portion of the police car video. The audio portion would prove what was communicated or not communicated to the arresting officer when he arrived on the scene. Remember, Sgt. Williams did not witness any violation of law. Conveniently for the PTCPD, but unfortunately for the city manager, the audio portion of the police car video did not “pick-up” that night (or was it just that encounter?). Regardless, the charges should be dropped solely on the absence of the audio portion of the police car video because the audio portion is needed to prove or disprove what the arresting officer knew at the moment he stripped the city manager of his freedom.

Having Harold Logsdon seize the power over the Police Department is a reckless and totally irresponsible idea. The more you know about this guy the less you should trust him. He abolished the opening prayer at the council meetings. Next, he lied about building a new Rockaway Road. He never worked on the project before putting it on the Airport Authority’s back; he openly admits it. He led on those poor people who live on the west side of town by promising them an exit road at the southern end of Kedron Drive. However, he watched the railroad build a bypass track on the same spot and waited six months to complain (wonder why?). But you can bet that he still wants to annex all that land and pile it full of houses. The mayor promised the hard-working men and women in our Fire Department better coverage capacity and now he’s whiffle-waffling on that one too. To make matters worse, he’s cutting our cost of living increase too. His record on public safety is very poor and his budget reflects a decline in services. Too bad Logsdon doesn’t spend as much time on the big issues as he does “watering down” at the Y Knot. His title should be changed to The Great Pretender.

We need to keep a serious eye on Mayor Logsdon. This power-hungry expansionist is on the verge of controlling the police department which is definite cause for worry. The mayor is doing the bidding of the development community and this looks like their attempt to usher in a “yes” man at the city manager’s position. Logsdon would love nothing more than giving the current city manager the boot in order to ease his annexation and sewer expansion plans.

We’re now paying for Mayor Logsdon’s erroneous claim to be a financial whiz. Isn’t this the same Harold Logsdon that crowed he could’ve reduced the current year’s budget by a significant margin? Isn’t he the same guy that demanded the previous council roll back the millage rate? Instead of financial accountability, he’s bleeding the reserve funds. He wants the taxpayers to hemorrhage more by paying off the economic development authority’s (otherwise known as his support base) offenses. Why shouldn’t the authority members be responsible for their own mess? The mayor won our trust and he has delivered a lot of doubt in return. Don’t raise our taxes and cut our public services to pay back a bunch of crooks. Take care of the taxpayers first.

What a coincidence, the “only way” for Centennial to now gain direct access to Ga. Highway 74 is to annex all the property between Peachtree City and Tyrone to build a bridge. We are being hoodwinked by Mayor Logsdon on an annexation plan he has promoted since January. The city knew about the railroad construction back when it started. Logsdon needed a reason to justify his massive annexation plans and sealing off the link with the Wieland property was it. Having the railcars and tankers parked at the entrance of the city will ruin the beauty of the city and hurt our property values. Many people died recently in South Carolina because of ruptured tanker cars near their homes. The phony outrage over the rail construction after it was too late to do anything was nothing but a sham. Logsdon is trying to force our hand by neglecting his duty to the current residents in favor of his housing developer buddies. Look at how he fought to feed our sewer into Senoia only to give ground to a council that has wised up lately. I enjoyed reading the direct quotes on the sewer discussion in the newspaper.

OK, it’s time that the higher-ups in Peachtree City come down on the D.O.T. They and their contractor on the Ga. Highway 54 widening are making us look like fools. Here we are, stuck in that traffic on a daily basis, while only a handful of workers pretend they’re actually working. I have counted less than five workers there on any given day, and virtually no machinery running many other days. The asphalt machine has not moved for days at a time. Anybody remember The Citizen article in December talking about the completion being just weeks away? They were right: 26 weeks since then, with no end in sight. Obviously the contractor has moved on to “greener” pastures, green as in money, of course. Where are the lawsuits when you need them?

More traffic for Peachtree City. I was reading the Atlanta Business Chronicle and it seems we should brace for more traffic. Yup, like we do not have enough traffic. Levitt has plans for Waterstone at Seven Hills, a 514-home complex for the west side of Peachtree City.

Does anyone know whether or not our town council and mayor instructed our town manager in any way what kind of budget he was to come up with for presentation back to the council? That is, in dollars? It appears they told him that it was all right to increase the dollar spending so that the council then could cut it somewhat and everybody look good. It would seem to me that budgets should have been cut a little due to the number of fixed income people in town, plus the Delta people, who aren’t hurting that much, but nevertheless, have had their quality of life reduced. The council and mayor have that right to advise the manager of such things and he should have the right to decide where to cut as a recommendation, and then the council and mayor can take the blame for the increases, not the manager. Let us face it, if it weren’t for all the jobs the local government furnishes, we could do with much, much less and still survive.

As an employee of this city I find it very discouraging that our managers would like to decrease our merit increases (evaluations and cost of living). We work very hard. We often do more with less. We’re short-staffed across the board and the thanks we get are to take away or cut in half the raises we look forward to every calendar year. With economy being the way it is, not being able to get our regular raises brings hardships to our homes. Gas prices are through the roof and 90 percent of the employees don’t live in Peachtree City. Only managers and supervisors can afford to. We’re just trying to maintain what we have. It’s hilarious to think of the new merit system: 1.5 percent for those who meet expectations, 2.5 percent for those who exceed expectations and 4.5 percent for employees rated exceptional. The reason there were so many outstanding evaluations is because we work hard for the citizens and for our managers. To tell an employee that he or she can’t get an exceptional evaluation because they’ve gone over the top 25 percent is ridiculous. Morale is already low and it will only get worse. The salary survey that was done sometime ago I heard was a joke. Comparing the city to a small town in Florida. Hello, we live in the Atlanta metro area. I love working for the city, but those in City Hall can support their families but the other just above minimum wage workers look forward to every penny we used to have coming to us. Don’t punish us for exceptional work. We give a darn about our work and home away from home; actually we’re proud of our home away from home.

Peachtree City residents, listen up. It seems we’re being sold down the river (or should I say train track?). Reading the letters from residents in the newspapers and speaking with neighbors, people are very upset by what is developing here in the northern section of Peachtree City. How could the closing of South Kedron Drive, by the railroad, come as a surprise to our leaders? Shouldn’t the railroad have been contacted and questions asked as soon as all the progress was taking place at that location? The proposed annex road for the neighborhoods of Centennial Park and CedarCroft at this site was the best solution for this end of town. A desired traffic light, for the people trying to cross over Ga. Highway 74 safely from the Pinegate area, was a necessity. Now, instead an extension of MacDuff Parkway is being proposed for North Kedron Drive and the once tranquil and safe exits from those neighborhoods will be ruined. People will find it very difficult to make a left turn out of their subdivisions. Every Coweta County driver will want to use this bypass to avoid the traffic hell in front of Wal-Mart and at the intersection of hwys. 54 and 74. The traffic in this town and especially at this intersection has gotten to a very dangerous level. Road rage is increasing due to the frustration of the drivers. Someone made the comment in the paper last year that the Coweta County drivers would not use this annex to bypass the other roads. What planet does he live on? And wait until the new shopping center opens. City Council members, we don’t want it. We are tired of all the developers’ “wants” being more important than the residents “wants.” Developers come here and are allowed to build on every single inch of vacant land, add more traffic to our already over-crowded and treacherous highways, over-populate our schools which are already bursting at the seams, and leave town with their pockets full. Why are our leaders allowing this to happen? The Planterra Ridge subdivision is a good example of residents’ concerns not being addressed. They asked for a gate to be put at their entrance to keep their neighborhood from being used as a bypass to get to the south end of town. Sure, these are public streets, but anyone wanting to go into Planterra could easily use the other entrance. I feel badly for the homeowners who live there and have their home values deteriorating due to the speeding and heavy traffic. What is being done to help these folks? Residents of Peachtree City, it is time to try to get our wonderful city back before the standard of living we all moved here for is completely destroyed. Call, write, visit, or e-mail City Hall and request a public town hall meeting where all residents are invited to attend and let their feelings and concerns be known and answered. If you don’t agree with this letter, that’s OK. You can let that be known, also. The citizens deserve no less than honest answers and solutions. If there was ever a time to get involved with your city, it is now or never.

It’s a good thing the developers have made it next to impossible to get golf carts into the new Kedron Target shopping center. The reserved parking spaces they promised to provide for carts are too tiny for a child’s bike.

Wouldn’t it have seemed fair and balanced reporting if Chairman Dunn had given Kevin Duffy all the facts about porn? He failed to tell him when he was slamming the sheriff over drug money expenditures that the Board of Commissioners had fired a high ranking engineer on the county staff for viewing porn, repeatedly, while working on county time, taxpayer dollars, in the county complex. Kevin, you might want to check with Dunn on that one.

Sam Chapman’s political signs are as massive as his ego.

Three reasons to vote for Eric Maxwell: 1. It is silly to hold the sheriff accountable for taxpayers’ dollars. He is an elected official and should not be responsible to the citizens on how he spends our tax dollars or drug money. He has the money; let him be. 2. We need to be able to have signs and billboards just like Gwinnett County. It is our right to have as many signs and size signs we want and Eric will see to it that we have a sign ordinance which permits unlimited numbers of signs like what exists in Gwinnett County or Riverdale. 3. We should not have to worry about protection of the environment, green space or the control of growth. As a lawyer and judge, Eric knows what is best for Fayette County. Property rights after all trump community rights. Land use plans are a waste of time and money.

Drive down Hwy. 74 South in PTC and notice that the international companies fly their flag and the American flag. Go to Willowbend Shopping Center in PTC and see the Mexican grocery store which has expanded to an additional store. They have only the Mexican flag.

This is in regards to the person who wrote about the 10 people on the police blotter with Hispanic surnames being arrested. First of all, how do you know these people are not already American citizens? Having a Hispanic surname and driving without a license does not mean you are here illegally. What about the 62 without Hispanic surnames? These people you assume are American citizens because they have non-Hispanic surnames have a right to live in our country and they also drive without licenses, pass bad checks, beat their wives, criminal trespass, violate probation, sell drugs, obstruct a police officer, abandon a child, etc. That is okay though because their surname is not Hispanic. You know not everyone here illegally has a Hispanic surname. There are people from many different countries here illegally. I hope they do send all of “those Hispanics” without papers back to their countries. Who will build your fancy house, landscape your yard, clean your house, cook your food when you go out to eat? Yeah, I see a lot of non-Hispanic surname American citizens lining up. Most of these people work for peanuts and are hard workers. For the record, I have a Hispanic surname. My great-great-great-great-great grandparents came to this country just as yours did, I am sure. My last name isn’t Jones or Smith and I don’t have blue eyes and blond hair, but I am just as American as you are. When events like this come to light in our country, true colors come out.

Thumbs up to members of Congress who fully understand that Los Estados Unidos is not Mexico, and that El Norte has a culture, history and expectations particular to itself. Please call your congressman and say that the illegal apologists may say, “Si se puede,” but we citizens are saying, ”Enforce before handing out guest passes.”

Thumbs down to those who claim that a fence at the border will not stop illegal immigration. Of course a fence will not stop ALL illegal immigration. It will stop MOST of it with the added benefit of slowing illegal drug smuggling to a trickle. Only in fairy tales is there ever just one magic solution to any problem. We don’t jettison laws against bank robbery, because people still rob banks..

Inquiring minds wonder if 1 million illegals enter our nation yearly, how come the media always reports that there are 11 million illegals here? Either millions are disappearing, or the media are just stuck on auto pilot. Since the Department of Education reports that the number of English language learners in our schools grew by 105 percent in the last decade, while the general school population grew by 12 percent, it seems possible that the media are stuck on old-data-auto-pilot.

Thumbs down to those in positions of trust and authority who participate in the criminal neglect of our children. How? In the 1994-2004 decade, Limited English Proficient student population in Georgia increased by 397.8 percent. There is considerable cost associated with meeting the needs of these students. If they were legal immigrants that would be one thing, but the fact that many are illegal aliens makes it a criminal neglect of our own children and leaders who stay silent participate in that neglect. Shame!

We are helping Iraq to create a government of laws. Many believe that we still have such a government here. But it is becoming the hollow remains of what our forefathers left to us. Immigration “laws” are a perfect example. They are made and then neither funded nor enforced.

Isn’t our president special? His war in Iraq is going badly, the red ink is flowing, the stock market (upon which he was basing his privatized Social Security plan) is tanking, and his poll numbers are toxic. So what does he do? He goes back and sticks his gay marriage ban in our faces. Use the old red herring to distract us from his lousy job performance. Heck of a job, W.

Why is gas in PTC at least 15 cents a gallon higher than in Fayetteville or Newnan? Anyone care to comment?

To the jerk who accused my son of using spray paint to write graffiti on the cart path, not every teenager is a bad kid. If you would have let him explain instead of wasting the Police Department’s valuable time, you would have found out that it was a smiley face written with a piece of chalk.

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Submitted by Vernon on Fri, 06/23/2006 - 10:37am.

A hospital is not useful if it always diverts patients to places out of the county. The ER staff gets a little busy and freaks out and starts diverting to other Atlanta area hospitals. The staff there needs to work a year or so in a real ER that is always busy and then they could handle the ER at Piedmont Fayette.

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