Ideas presented to help shape PTC’s future

Last summer, more than 60 residents rolled up their sleeves and got involved, answering the city’s call for volunteers to help imagine a better future for Peachtree City.

Part of the city’s comprehensive planning process, the One PTC program resulted in a myriad of ideas to improve and enhance the city. Some suggested more community-wide events with a non-athletic bent. Others suggested a need to better advertise volunteer opportunities and the various community events that are already hosted in the city.

City Planner David Rast, briefing the city council at a workshop meeting Tuesday night, said the one thing that truly struck him through the whole process was the willingness of the participants to help.

“One of the main things I took from this was the tremendous desire to give back, at least the folks on the roundtable seemed willing to want to give back to the community however they could,” Rast said.

Rast also noted that many of the participants in the various roundtables have lived in the city for a long time, which also was very helpful during discussions. While the city had hoped to have a larger amount of participants, the quality of the feedback was very gratifying, Rast said.

“We did get a lot of great feedback,” Rast said. “It was a great opportunity to sit across the table and talk with folks about what their take of life is here and the things they would like to see.”

One of the suggestions from the various roundtable meetings was to have the city host a “meet the volunteers” day where residents can meet the representatives on the various boards and commissions so they can learn what they do and perhaps decide to become involved themselves, Rast said.

Much of the discussion among the residents was aimed at making sure the city maintains its buffers and greenspace that the city has become known for, Rast said.

It was also noted that one of the hot-button topics discussed during the process was that of annexation and whether it is necessary to protect the city’s boundaries.

While one resident Tuesday argued strongly in favor of annexation to accomplish that goal, another noted that each annexation just moves the city’s border out further and creates another area that will abut against other jurisdictions without accomplishing much.

One PTC participants also participated in a hands-on exercise in which they got 20 pennies and were asked to spend them on the city services they would like to see, or spend the virtual money on city savings in the form of a tax cut.

The average of all three sessions had participants spending 27 percent on community aesthetics (compared to 17 percent of the city’s 2011 budget), 26 percent on quality of life (14 percent in the 2011 budget), 26 percent on public safety (55 percent of the 2011 budget), 19 percent on growth and development (14 percent of the 2011 budget) and 2 percent on a tax cut.

The One PTC summary document is quite lengthy because it contains a record of nearly all the comments and feedback received during the open house and roundtable sessions.

Longtime City Clerk Frances Meaders, who participated in the roundtable process, mentioned that the issue of communication about city wide events might be solved with a central website for them to be advertised. So many people say they weren’t aware of certain events, she noted.

Tuesday night, resident Tricia Stearns asked council to make sure the document isn’t put away and disregarded because there are many good ideas in it.

“A lot of these people are saying the same thing, and we owe it to them to really digest it and take from it ... because it is overwhelming,” Stearns said.