Honest Government

I support Dar Thompson for mayor. This is why...but first, something I thought was funny...I was talking to a friend of mine about all this election stuff, and he said "Steve Brown's 'honesty' is kinda like telling your wife she looks fat in that dress".

Truth and honesty are definitely admirable qualities to have. So is discretion, compassion, mercy and understanding. Those who fight for principles only for the sake of principles often have only a narrow focus and, therefore, cannot understand the larger picture. Something to consider when you head to the polls tomorrow.

I do not support Mr. Brown's reelection because of his polarizing attitude (right or wrong) and his penchant for headline grabbing. It's time for someone to build the city, not try to break it down. If there's a problem, handle it WITHOUT putting it on channel 5 or the front page of the newspaper. If Dar Thompson is true to his word, we'll only see him at Council meetings and the occassional ribbon cutting or photo op, and that's alright with me.

I also believe that no candidate except for Thompson has provided ANY concrete examples or concepts to put more money into PTC coffers. This election isn't about moral obligations, it's about the next four years and how the government will continue and expand its services to the community.

The City is now in a maintenance mode, having to pay for items formally provided by developers as they built subdivisions and associated infrastructures. We don't get that anymore. To continue paving roads and paths, providing top-tier public safety and recreation, and keeping the water we drink and bathe in safe and clean all costs money.

It's a shame that taxes will go up, but please understand...THEY WILL HAVE TO. Cutting "the fat" is simply an exercise in futility. The City of Peachtree City has fewer government employees per capita than any city its size in the Atlanta area. For a town of nearly 36,000, there are only about 250 employees. That's one employee for every 144 people. I don't know about you, but that seems like PTC does pretty well for what it has.

The high standards the citizens have set for having quality recreation options cannot be reduced without consequences. So if we can't cut employees (and more appropriate, can't continue to recruit and hire good municipal employees and pay them a living wage), can't cut services and have to pay for repairs we haven't had to before (path rebuilding, stormwater mandates, etc.), how do we go on?

This is now a critical point in the City's history, as buildout on the residential side reaches its apex. The focus of this government should be to encourage industry and business to move in. The current mayor spoke, almost with glee, of the the loss of "low paying jobs" at Photocircuits and the opportunities to bring in better companies. Well, that may be the case, and that's admirable, but that's better than the multitude of FOR SALE signs you see as you drive down Dividend Drive (and, more importantly, in the neighborhoods in town). I think we shouldn't be too restrictive when an industry is looking to stay or move in the area, unless it is just egregiously harmful to the environment - and say what you will about Photocircuits, it do not believe it was that harmful. We need the tax base, plain and simple.

I hope that people look through the Development Authority issue and other "smokescreens" to the stark economic realities facing this area, especially as Coweta, Tyrone and Fairburn continue to grow. The people will be coming to live there, but they'll be coming to PTC to shop, to dine, to be entertained...they'll be putting stress on our roads and paths, trash in our facilities. The City MUST do everything it can to keep money coming in, and quite simply that means raising revenue every way we can.

It's time to stop the infighting and move forward. I believe that Dar Thompson can do that, which is why I will be voting for him tomorrow.

Please criticize my ideas; I appreciate the debate. But if you do it, please provide substantiation for it - baseless accusations and name calling have no more place in this forum.

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Submitted by dkinser on Mon, 11/07/2005 - 7:42am.

Maybe you should change your id to ireallydoknow. I feel that you have thought this out very well. I agree with your assessment on the city staff and areas that other candidates are claiming they will cut.

It is a cold hard fact of life that we will always pay taxes. It is our duty to monitor how our tax money is spent and we need to make the decision of taxes over quality of life. We don't want to pay rampant taxes, but our demands on the city are high and they come at a price. Everyone also needs to remember that the city's portion of the tax bill is the lowest. We get alot of value for the amount of money paid to the city.

Again, you are correct, Dar Thompson is the only candidate that has published ideas on how to achieve a stabilized tax base. We need new sources of revenue that help us build value in this community. This includes the annexation issue and revitalizing areas of the city that are showing their age.

I'm 44 years old, and while I have not seen it all, I have seen alot. During elections we hear the same rhetoric over and over with different faces chanting the same thing; "I'm going to cut taxes and gleen the budget for fat". How many times have you heard that from a politician, but more importantly; how many times have they ever delivered?

Dana Kinser

Submitted by Investq on Mon, 11/07/2005 - 9:21am.

Finance Plan: Keep the Focus Fundamentals -- not smoke and mirrors

Dar’s supporter frighteningly suggests that we need to be less than honest in our affairs. He calls that modified standard of disclosure “Discretion”. Darryl Thompson favors annexation. He is for paying the DAPC debt. He wants to increase revenue by additional forced taxes on the sale of all homes. Mr. Thompson’s proposal is an untested one. It is likely to be problematic at best; disastrous at worst. It is truly nothing more than a political “Hail Mary pass.” I am concerned that if Mr. Thompson has such bitter litigation problems with his business partners it portends a future for city hall leadership that is far worse and will only tell us what they think we need to know. I wonder what his business partners’ view of “Dar Discretion” might be. We don’t need Hollywood glitz; we need basics.

Our best strategy is to continue to focus on the fundamentals of finance. For the first time ever, PTC has received an award for excellence in financial accounting. Our tax base will be healthy if we continue to attract new businesses to our industrial areas to take some taxation pressure from our homeowners. Homeowners are a big drain on the budget. Businesses are contributors. Keep up with roads, water and sewer and work with the state agencies to get business here. Dana K is right--- we need new sources of revenue. The new sources of revenue should be to continue the success in the industrial area. Look at the businesses that have chosen PTC; it is an impressive legacy. And the planners years ago provided a platform for even more industrial growth. We need more Cooper Lighting and Panansonic ribbon cuttings. By invoking a solution that extracts even more taxes on homes, all we do is overburden an already overtaxed base. We need to continue with the plan that is in motion to expand the base and we need to expand it into the commercial and industrial fields.

Submitted by dar on Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:43pm.

Thank you for your letter and comments. Bringing comments and ideas out into the open is the only way that we can move forward and be proactive in our approach. We will never be able to move forward by always looking in the rearview mirror.

I am at a loss to what you are referring to,"less than honest in our affairs". Pleas explain with facts.

Yes, I favor annexation, please visit my website www.joindar.com and you will have the opportunity to review three pages concerning this topic and the reasoning that I feel it is of great importance to our community.

Regarding, repayment of the Developement Authority loan: For the last four months I have never said I am in favor of paying back the loans. I said there are solutions to paying these loans which would and could have little or no affect to the taxpayer. I currently have verbal agreements that the four major tournaments will return to the tennis center if I am elected. I have done the math and under my plan there will be an additional 1.3 million dollars in economic impact annually through the tennis center that we are not currently receiveing. Not to offend Mr. Tennant, but the idea of selling the tennis center to a private party simply will not work. This is not a revelation, I thought of the idea six months ago. All one has to do is sharpen their pencil and do very little math to figure a sale will not work, not unless a developer purchases the property...when there is talk of selling the tennis center we need to be very very careful. Im sure that the Direct Pac is not happy with me either, in my answers to their questionnare I stated that the PTC Developement Authority should no longer exist. I guess Direct Pac didn't like my answer as I received no endorsement from them.

Regarding "Real Estate Transfer Fee", this is not a tax. And , it has been tried, it has been tested, and yes it works...call the city of Hilton Head. This idea is simply economics and business 101 and creates additional cash flow for our city. Under this plan there is greater potential for a decrease in taxes for our current citizens while increasing overall revenue for the city. Read the plan, it's on my website www.joindar.com. You are attempting to mislead citizens of PTC implying they will be taxed when that is just the opposite of what this plan provides for our citizens..it will save thenm money.

"Bitter litigation with business partners"...I am not now or have I ever been in any litigation with my business partners. I have attempted to buyout their interest by offering a very handsome return on their investment. Not one has taken the offer. I wonder why? Please e-mail me and i will have them contact you so that you may ask them questions for yourself. It is inflamatory that you could or would make such accusations that have absolutely no merit.

Concerning business growth, I believe you and I to be are on the same page. Again, I have presented a business model on my website if you would like to review.

I appreciate you obvious passion and concern regarding the upcoming election tomorrow. I believe the only way we can move forward is to debate,together find answers and solutions. I'm sure there are many great ideas out there on how we can improve our city and I am always open to listing to the ideas that you may wish to offer.

Oh, by the way, My name is spelled Darrell...so obviously you were misinformed on the spelling of my name, among other things.

Thank you for your letter. I look forward to hearing from you.

Dar (Darrell) Thompson

Submitted by SandySue on Mon, 11/07/2005 - 11:23pm.

I am very familiar with Hilton Head's Real Estate Transfer fee. I have had to pay it! I did not like it then and I would not like it when I purchase a new house in PTC! Do you really want to mirror Hilton Heads 150+ mils tax rate? Please tell me you are joking when you compare PTC to the resort communities of Hilton Head. This is not a resort community this is a place average citizen’s call home. PTC residents please do not vote for increased taxes!

Cass Poolman

Submitted by dar on Tue, 11/08/2005 - 8:55am.

Cass, thank you for your letter.

I said nothing about millage rate(s). Under my plan there will be a greater chance of limiting the tax burden on our citizens.

Without trying to sound arrogant, if you didn't like the "transfer fee" then why did you pay for the transfer fee? I'm assuming because you preferred to live in Hilton Head because of the amenities and added value. I'd be willing to guess that the value of your property went up substantually between the time you bought and sold.

Under my plan, there is much greater chance of a decrease in your taxes as these monies have to be used for specific needs, which are now coming out of the general fund.

We may not be Hilton Head but we are a planned community and we do offer offer many of the ammenities that are only found in resort type enviroments.

I would be interested to know the increase in value between the time you bought and sold your home.

Thanks again for your letter and look forward to hearing from you.

Dar Thompson

Submitted by dkinser on Mon, 11/07/2005 - 11:26pm.

A new blogger. Yeah.

Cass, I don't mean to reply for Dar, but what he has proposed has nothing to do with Hilton Heads millage rate. He is simply proposing that new home sales be assessed a Real Estate Transfer Fee. That amounts to the new home owner paying the equivalent to an impact fee which every owner of a house built within the last 10 years has had to pay. It is a one time fee payable at the purchase of the house and not an ongoing tax.

Dana Kinser

Submitted by SandySue on Mon, 11/07/2005 - 11:29pm.

I understand what a transfer fee is,as i have said I have paid it, but one thing leads to another and before you know it you have the millage rate of Hilton Head to go along with it.
Cass Poolman

Submitted by Reality Bytes on Mon, 11/07/2005 - 12:23pm.

Sorry, couldn't resist the alliteration Smiling

I have to correct something that was stated by Investq that is not correct.

"For the first time ever, PTC has received an award for excellence in financial accounting"

The City has won awards for its financial reporting since AT LEAST 2001 (as I can see in Council minutes available on their website).

And as for "discretion" equating to less than honest, I would relate the old example of yelling fire in a crowded theater. True or not, you better expect to be trampled after you do it Smiling

Submitted by dkinser on Mon, 11/07/2005 - 10:42am.


Maybe we read different stories, but I don't recall seeing where idontknow even remotely suggested "that we need to be less than honest in our affairs". I would like you to clarify that. Unfounded accusations are nothing but inflamatory. I await your response on this one.

Secondly, at least Mr. Thompson is looking outside the box to generate revenue. As has been pounded over and over again, for this city to provide the quality of life as we demand, there is a high price to pay. We can all pay in the form of higher taxes, or we can look for alternate methods of generating revenue. I feel that if this program passes, you'll see nearly every city in Georgia implement a similar fee.

In this blog, I have always tried to keep baseless charges and accusations out of my commentary. I have followed the ongoings of the candidates and no where have I seen a reference to "bitter litigation problems with his business partners". Again, this has the appearance of pure inflamatory commentary. Unless Mr. Thompson's business partners are writing to complain, why should you?

Now, I agree with the second portion of your dialogue. Focusing on the fundamentals is good for the city, but a basic fundamental is generating revenue. That is what Mr. Thompson is proposing. I haven't seen another candidate offer anything along this line.

I have stated before that by all appearances, our industrial development appears to be slowly dying. Any city has limited impact on drawing new industrial clients as the state gets first shot at these types of clients. Therefore, maybe and I repeat maybe; we could look at incorporating a high quality commercial development within the industrial sites that could bring restaurants for the employees to eat at. A commercial development will not provide as much revenue as an industrial one, but it does bring revenue versus a vacant lot. Just a thought.

At any rate, I have to agree and disagree with your commentary.

Dana Kinser

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