PTC Mayor’s wife: My opinion is mine, not his

The wife of Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix is now defending a comment she made that she hoped the city’s new economic development director’s stay here is “short-lived.”

In a letter to the editor, Cathy Haddix insists that her comments, shared with Economic Development Coordinator Joey Grisham at the recent grand opening of The Fresh Market grocery store, represent her viewpoint and not that of her husband.

Mrs. Haddix admits that she told Grisham “I hope your tenure is short-lived.” That phrase was used at the beginning of the conversation on purpose, she added.

“This is an attention getter. It worked,” she wrote.

Mrs. Haddix in the letter painted Grisham as being supportive of “big box” regional stores and not being supportive of the city’s village concept, which among other features calls for each village to have its own shopping center.

Grisham told The Citizen that he wants all businesses to be successful regardless of their size.

“We want big business to succeed as we do small business. That is what the free market is all about,” Grisham said.

According to the most recent city survey, the most requested retailers were Kohl’s Department Store and Trader Joe’s, he added.

Grisham further said he supports the city’s village concept, but he thinks some of the city’s village retail centers would not have been built today “based on the changes in retail site location.”

Grisham also noted that there are “very few tracts of land” large enough to accommodate a new big box retailer.

Mrs. Haddix in her letter also accused City Council members Vanessa Fleisch, Kim Learnard and Eric Imker of having Grisham’s focus be solely on retail business in Peachtree City.

“That means we have no advocate or authority in Peachtree City seeking good-paying jobs,” Mrs. Haddix wrote.

Grisham said he will be working on retail projects along with office, medical and entertainment proposals. He noted that he has been working in concert with Fayette County Development Authority President and CEO Brandt Herndon.

They have already visited with more than 10 companies in the industrial park.

Another topic on which Mrs. Haddix rapped Grisham was his support of keeping the special use permit process, which requires city council permission and scrutiny for any new commercial building larger than 32,000 square feet, and any new shopping center totaling more than 150,000 square feet.

Mayor Don Haddix had supported replacing the SUP with a “retail size cap” ordinance that outlined maximum sizes for retailers depending on the type of store. That proposal was nixed earlier this month on a 4-1 vote of the City Council, with Mayor Haddix being the sole vote in favor.

Grisham, along with Community Development Director David Rast, both said they wanted to keep the SUP process intact as it exists currently.

Mrs. Haddix said she told Grisham she favors more rigid ordinances that don’t allow room for negotiations.

“I said having structured ordinances makes it more clear for whoever, builders and developers, to understand where things stand rather than dealing with personal negotiations. Why give up what would already be required should be the city stance.”

So far only one company has been granted a special use permit for a large shopping center, and that development never came to fruition since the permit expired after it went unused for two years. However, that special use permit had outlined further restrictions on the site than are required by city ordinance.

For example, city ordinance requires the replacement of dead, dying or diseased landscape material within two years of a development getting its certificate of occupancy. The Line Creek SUP required review and replacement of that landscaping also upon the third and fifth years following the certificate of occupancy being issued.

Also, the SUP called for additional landscape planting, a berm and fencing within the 50-foot undisturbed greenspace buffer between the shopping center and the adjacent Cardiff Park subdivision.

Mrs. Haddix said she regretted that her conversation with Grisham had ended abruptly when Mayor Haddix came to get him so Grisham could speak with Fresh Market executives. She had hoped instead to hear more of what he had to say regarding her opinions, she said.

“I would have wanted his take as to what was said prior regarding his direction and desires for Peachtree City,” Haddix said. “If in keeping with what makes us different — then good luck with the job.”

hospital1
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Sad Day in PTC

Mrs. Haddix, would you like to hear someone tell you "That dress you are wearing really makes you look fat" during a reception following a wedding? I am sure anyone would take offense to a comment such as this, even if the person followed up with just reasons to say this. A comment like that surly will grab someones attention, but is right?

There is a time and a place for voicing your opinions and sharing your "wealth of wisdom", but voicing your opinions at a public venue, welcoming a new business is not the correct time or place. Perhaps you would have introduced yourself and asked to schedule a meeting with this man at his office to voice your concerns would have been more appropriate.

A setting such as this would have allowed the man to be prepared for your valid concerns. I trust that our elected officials choose this man because he has unique ideas, has contacts to bring business to our community, or maybe he is just a political chrony of others that have differing opinions than your husband, the mayor. Time will tell. But give this man support.

My family and I moved to PTC because we like the village concept and though I agree with you that we need to bring in business other than retail, I know for a fact that in this economy, moving a business or starting a new business, is not that simple. Banks still aren't lending money and present landlords are bending over backwards to keep tenants from moving out. Step out of the "bubble" and you will realize this.

Perhaps the best thing to happen during this conversation was your husband pulling this man away from your barbs to meet our new guests.

May I suggest you contact Mr. Grisham and schedule a face to face private meeting to voice your opinions? I am sure he would rather listen to you in a private setting than reading about this in the public venue. The same venue business read when researching for new places to locate.

pumpkin
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AMEN

Best comment I've read totally. Also glad to see the paper is not going to smear this front page for days on end.

Robert W. Morgan
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Right you are Mrs. Haddix

When you say "“That means we have no advocate or authority in Peachtree City seeking good-paying jobs,” Mrs. Haddix wrote. - you are correct. You are entitled to that opinion as a private citizen. I too have that same opinion.
It is a shame the Chief interrupted your conversation before you got to that part. But live and learn. Maybe next time you should just get to the point of your remarks up front and forego the personal (attention-getting according to you) attacks. That's not classy.

And focusing Grisham on retail is indeed foolish, but that pales in comparison to expecting Fayette County Economic Development to help create jobs in PTC. Last time they seriously supported us, John Boothby was in charge and Bob Lenox was mayor - and the first Gulf War was starting, just to set timeframe. Then starting with Brown's annoying the county and the state, that support went away and has not yet come back. We need our own economic development person - with a budget and no political oversight. Follow Fayette County's model. Who hired him? Who supervises him? How is he funded? And why is it we can't do that?

My God, you people are such amateurs on city council and your leader/chief isn't helping.

Looks like they have scheduled a few minutes at 10:30 Friday AM to discuss this during the council retreat. Go check it out. See government in action.

GAltant
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.

.

GAltant
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Even worse....

If Haddix has his way, he will run out the economic development manager which is now a non-political job and re-start the DAPC. A group of part time volunteers whose last budget proposal was full of silly items including tickets to the Fred for entertainment. Grisham presented a professional budget that gets right to business, as a full time employee seeking opportunities, attending trade shows, meeting with people about re-locating here. When would any member of the DAPC have time to do this?

Oh, I forgot, they want to hire a full time person, reporting to the volunteers instead of the the professionals inside city hall.

Yet, remember our mayor has all of the answers based upon his 20 years of business experience.

dawgday
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Support

If we could only get someone who could work with the Fayette Economic Development, ARC and every other entity in the region, maybe we can get the support we require. Dandy Don is not the guy. He has successfully put PTC in a no fly zone - the one accomplishment he actually did! Maybe Mr Grisham can bring us back into the mix. Most likely PTC will have to elect the clowns out before we get to play in the sand box again, although we have shown little intellect in choosing our "leaders".

dar thompson
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Who

would be willing to run for office with the current mid-set of the citizens of Peachtree City. We continue to elect (all elections)officials that have never accomplished success in the private sector and then complain when nothing gets accomplished at the government level. The question is, will it ever change?

roundabout
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Dar

How is the ize rank goin?

I have really never known just what is meant by the phrase: "accomplished success in the private sector." Could you define it for me?

Then, what does the question, "will IT ever change," mean?

Does it mean "big hat--no cattle?"

G35 Dude
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Roundabout really?

Are you just trying to be obstinate again or worse yet do you really need these terms defined for you? Why are you being so disrespectful to someone that posted a decent post?

roundabout
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Dar and Dude

Now you see you made my point!

Success for Dar is "making mllions," from scratch, I assume. No inherited help.

Dude thinks that you have done that and owe nothing, as you say, and he agrees.

I don't think John Kennedy ever did that! Alcohol monoply and banking by Father did that.

Abe Lincoln......well, I don't know.

Whole raft full of Generals and Admirals had success (if volumes of death is success)and then got rich after retirement by friends.

I could go on and on, but my point is that the definition is different for someone like Mother Teresia.

Was Ali, Vick, Holifield, etc., successful? Make good Mayors?

It is just that some don't play well with others, isn't it? You know, Patton, Hitler, Rockefeller, Morgan, South Carolina politicians!

dar thompson
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roundabout

I assume that success has different meaning for different people. What I am suggesting is someone who was in charge of their own company(s) and made them successful and valuable. Taking 100 k and turning into millions is what I would consider success in the "private sector".

"Will it ever change" means that people will continue to vote for people who tell them what they want to hear...not the truth, or not what they may need to hear. It's mostly due to the fact that so many don't grasp something better...they think of only how bad it is and who's to blame.

The ice rink is moving forward...if we can make it happen it will be a great asset to our city.

Robert W. Morgan
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Actually Brown put us in the no-fly zone

Logsdon didn't fight it too much and Haddix is simply making it worse. Grisham may indeed be the guy, but he needs his JD changed and needs to be funded.

PTC Observer
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Mrs. Haddix - Please

Please run for office perhaps you can do a better job than your husband.

In the meantime keep your public comments about public employees private.

Show some decorum, your husband is doing quite well at getting un-elected without your public pronouncements.

However, maybe that’s your plan……?

GAltant
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Dear Citizen Newspaper

Please keep publishing everything that Don and Cathy write to you.
He is imploding, destroying any chance for re-election.

Thank you.

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