City: More info about PTC ‘waste’

The Jan. 9, 2013, issue of The Citizen contained a letter to the editor from Mr. Josh Bloom, who was concerned about what he perceived to be government waste exemplified by a construction roll-off dumpster full of what he described as “office furniture, presumably from the recreation building, ... (with) absolutely nothing wrong with any of it.”

Mr. Bloom suggested several options for getting rid of these items that were preferable to disposal, including redistribution to other city departments, sale of the items, or donation of the items to charities for sale or use.

The city’s Purchasing Regulation allows for the first two options, but not the final one. While the city may donate items to other governmental agencies, neither state law nor city ordinances and policies allow donations to non-profit agencies or third parties without some type of compensation.

As Mr. Bloom noted, the city had a dumpster in place at the Recreation Administration Building on McIntosh Trail due to the renovation of the facility. The bid specifications for the project, which officially commenced on Monday, Jan. 7, included the “proper removal and disposal of all debris and/or waste” in the building. However, the contractor did not place those items in the dumpster.

Prior to the beginning of the contractor’s work this week, several members of city staff spent the weekend at the facility. One employee was performing on-site shredding of documents that contained any personal information. Others were removing the remaining useful items to offsite storage locations.

Simultaneously, several remaining pieces of furniture damaged in the June 2012 arson fire at Kedron Fieldhouse (by smoke, water, or accelerant, and replaced by the city’s property insurance policy) were brought to McIntosh Trail and placed in the dumpster.

Some of the items that were left in the building remained after a public sale the city held in March of 2012.

The city periodically holds public sales for surplus items, which includes the use of whenever appropriate. The Purchasing Agent oversees this process. The steps she and other members of city staff take leading up to a sale, whether online or a live event, are:

Notify all departments of the impending sale and ask that any additional surplus items be sent to the holding area for inclusion;

Ask all departments to inspect the surplus items to see if they can be used in another area (and reallocated to that department);

Organize and catalog the remaining items for sale;

Advertise the sale event; and

Hold the sale event.

All of these steps were followed for the March surplus sale.

The city’s regulations allow the Purchasing Agent to determine the most advantageous disposition of excess, surplus, or obsolete materials. The policy further states that such items may be “refurbished or reconditioned, transferred, traded in on new equipment, sold by auction or sealed bid, or simply thrown out, if their value is so minimal that the cost of disposal exceeds any revenue that may be generated by other means.”

That last portion of the policy is what is most applicable in this case. For the March sale, the city spent approximately $3,000 in staff labor for the organization and cataloging the items, and in staffing the event itself. The merchandise that sold only brought in $1,200. The unwanted remains, along with the fire/smoke/accelerant-damaged furniture from Kedron, are what finally went into the dumpster.

Ultimately, city staff took all the steps available to dispose of the public’s property in a fiscally responsible manner. At some point, throwing items away becomes the last legal option in serving the public’s best interests.

If you have questions or concerns about something you see in your local government, you are always welcome to contact City staff for more information. Email me at, and if I cannot answer your question, I can put you in touch with the department or staff member who can.

Betsy Tyler

Public Information Officer/City Clerk

City of Peachtree City

Peachtree City, Ga.

WLVROCKS's picture
Joined: 02/13/2012
BS from Betsy

The public is not as stupid as you may believe nor as gullible as you wish we were. Nice try, but we are not buying.

NUK_1's picture
Joined: 12/17/2007
Betsy Tyler isn't a problem...

...she's a real positive to the city. She's been around since the days of Bob Lenox til present, so obviously she DOES suffer fools lightly :) She's about as professional as they come and has always provided me with information rapidly when I have requested,is a pleasure to deal with, and represents the City very well.

The vast majority of city employees do a helluva job and shouldn't have the deserved ire at some of our "leaders" or "directors" heaped upon them.

MYTMITE's picture
Joined: 02/14/2008
WLVR's post is indicative of the reason people do not wish to

serve in any capacity in Peachtree City; there is always someone ready to tear them down. I have always found Ms. Tyler to do her best to answer our questions. If you have proof of any wrongdoing then why not go through proper channels and register a complaint? Why is there always this negativity with whatever someone does? I wish all these people with all the answers would put themselves in these positions and make themselves subject to the same kind of remarks they are always ready to make against others. But then, it is always easier to sit back in your easy chair and criticize others, isn't it?
DISCLAIMER: I am not Betsy Tyler, and to the best of my knowledge I am neither related to Ms. Tyler nor have I ever had the pleasure of meeting this lady. Just in case anyone is ready to make assumptions.

tgarlock's picture
Joined: 10/26/2005
MTM, you are right, Betsy Tyler is an asset to PTC

Here's how I see the problem. Cal allows participants the flexibility to use a pseudonym (1) to protect themselves from crazies and (2) so people in an official capacity can opine whereas using their own name and title they could not.

Unfortunately, too many abuse the anonymity privilege - they do not assume the responsibility to conduct themselves with the same decorum they would face to face, or using their own name. Rather, in juvenile fashion they use ridicule and cheap shots like throwing rocks from hiding behind a bush. Not everyone places value on acting honorably with common courtesy even when nobody is looking (or knows who you are). And it is too bad.

I am a frequent critic of govt waste, too many layers, ever expanding, but in the case of this criticism of trash disposal for Pete's sake let them get rid of the junk and get on with their jobs. We're wasting city employee time having to respond to the criticism. You and I can apologize to Betsy for the lowbrow behavior of some among us, but it seems so long as there is anonymity some will behave in ways they wouldn't be proud of if their children were looking over their shoulder as they type.

Terry Garlock

Spyglass's picture
Joined: 01/28/2008
Betsy Tyler does a good job.

Do not run her down here, she does not deserve it. Do not shoot the messenger.

Thanks for the info Betsy.

rolling stone
rolling stone's picture
Joined: 07/08/2012
This isn't the waste you're looking for

several remaining pieces of furniture damaged in the June 2012 arson fire at Kedron Fieldhouse (by smoke, water, or accelerant, and replaced by the city’s property insurance policy) were brought to McIntosh Trail and placed in the dumpster.

The city was compensated for these items and they were compromised; it would be a liability to pass on contaminated items. The rest had already cost the city $1800 and that stuff was the leftovers from leftovers. The only real waste was the wasted space in the dumpster that was a result of not breaking down the furniture.

abeautifulday4us's picture
Joined: 11/29/2005
Bloom Correct: Tyler Wrong It

Bloom Correct: Tyler Wrong

It is interesting how the City can blanket us with pretty little brochures and emails but can't simply offer discarded furniture to the City as a whole or to charities in particular. You had a sale, yes, but you did not offer to let anyone pick it up before your threw it away.

Justification: "We followed policy".

I am with Bloom. This whole story is indicative of City Hall's arrogance.

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