Citizen challenges mayor's treatment of Imker
Peachtree City resident Steve Thaxton had hoped to provoke a response from Mayor Don Haddix at Thursday night’s council meeting.
Thaxton approached the microphone during the public comment portion of the meeting, challenging Haddix to halt his attacks on Councilman Eric Imker.
Thaxton said that Haddix had recently used his state of the city address and letters to the editor to criticize Imker.
“I’m not going to comment on public comment,” Haddix said.
“So there’s no response?” Thaxton replied.
“I’m not allowed to comment on public comment,” Haddix answered.
Councilman George Dienhart asked for clarification on the matter, and City Attorney Ted Meeker, after a few minutes of research, noted that city policy dictates that council will not “engage in dialog” with persons who are making public comments at the beginning of the meeting.
“I just don’t want any misunderstanding of evasion versus sticking with our policy rules,” Haddix said.
Although the dialog during public comment is prohibited by policy, Haddix declined to offer to speak with Thaxton later about the issue. And Thaxton chose not to seek out the mayor for a reply after the meeting had concluded.
The public comment portion of the meeting is considered separate from the normal comments typically allowed from citizens when council is either conducting a public hearing or considering any agenda item.
After the meeting, Thaxton said he felt the city policy would allow Haddix to address his concern, and he was upset that Haddix failed to do so.