PTC survey says . . . No new taxes

86% want to keep same or lower rate; majority says no to Gathering Place expansion plans

Read their fingertips ... More than two-thirds of Peachtree City residents who took the online survey this year agreed that city taxes and service levels “should remain the same.”

To be exact, 71.5 percent of survey respondents agreed with that statement. Another 14.7 percent argued that taxes and services should be decreased, while 13.8 percent supported a tax and service increase.

That means an overwhelming 86.2 percent of residents responding to the survey don’t want to see a tax increase.

Well over 1,900 surveys were culled this year when the survey was available almost exclusively online only. Staff determined that 14 percent of all households in Peachtree City responded.

Notable was the fact that nearly two-thirds of those who bothered to take the survey were from households with no children present. The data show 62.8 percent of the survey-takers reported no children present in their households.

In addition, 27.2 percent of the respondents were age 65 or older, 54.2 percent were age 55 or older, and 80.2 percent were age 45 or older.

The survey is not like a Gallup or similar scientifically based survey, in which a truly random sample of persons of all ages is selected. The city survey is what is known as a non-probability sample, meaning that no one can guarantee with any statistical confidence that the results are representative of the larger population — in this case, the residents of Peachtree City — since those surveyed were self-selected and not randomly selected.

But while this is not a scientific survey, it does provide useful information for key decision makers, officials said.

The survey showed a lack of support among those responding for expanding the city’s Gathering Place senior citizen’s center. Some 55 percent of respondents opposed the expansion.

When the data was broken down, respondents who were “head of household” and older than 55, there was a marginal 52 percent in favor of the expansion, while the other category of “families with children” weighed heavily against the expansion with 62.9 percent against it.

The city’s most recent proposal to expand the Gathering Place would require an expenditure of about $850,000.

Survey data also revealed instances where clearing up misinformation can help the city, specifically when it comes to improving the use of curbside recycling.

Although each resident pays for curbside recycling as part of the garbage collection fees to their company of choice, only 62 percent of survey-takers actually use the service.

Of the remaining 38 percent, some 22 percent recycle elsewhere, but 18 percent believe it costs extra, which is not the case at all, city officials said.

Moreover, some 15 percent didn’t even know of the program, and 5 percent didn’t participate because they thought they had to sort out each recyclable item.

Each trash hauling company in Peachtree City has to offer single-stream recycling, which means there is no need for sorting the recyclable materials, said city spokesperson Betsy Tyler.

Feedback on the citizen survey also helped the city calculate some crucial data when it comes to usage of the city’s cart path system, officials said.

The path system removes more than 450,000 car trips from the road each year just for the 1,936 people that responded to the survey. If those figures can be extrapolated to the rest of the population, that means the path system is a major player in keeping cars off the road, city officials said.

Councilman Doug Sturbaum said that data is good information to support the city’s wishes for cart paths to be included in regional transportation funding through the proposed regional transportation sales tax that voters will consider next year.

The survey also gave some guidance on the future of the city’s winter pools at the Kedron Aquatic Center. Some 65 percent of survey-takers agreed having the pools open in the winter was either “very important” or “somewhat” important.

That was another question that skewed a bit based on demographics. Some 59.4 percent of those who were head of household 55 and over considered it very or somewhat important, but the number jumped to 75.7 percent for families with children, officials said.

The survey also asked respondents where they got the majority of their news about Peachtree City. Again this year, The Citizen print edition came in at number one with 63 percent saying they frequently read The Citizen and another 27 percent saying they sometimes read it. In second place at 59 percent (“frequently”) and 22 percent (“sometimes”) was the city’s own email Updates.

PTC Observer
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Voters -

Go to the polls, next time.

He is ours until then.

L.Sussberg
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Robert W Morgan / Mayor-Imker-Grisham

The name of the company was LOW TEMP.

One of the first rules of good leadership is to hire smart people who are experts in their fields then delegate responsiblity providing guidance, supervision and assistance.

Joey Grisham has the background and work experience so any relocating corporation should welcome the idea of a mayor introducing a qualified economic development manager to manage the process. That's assuming he's ready to go!

Senior management needs to be and stay involved...mayor, city manager, city planner but let the economic development manager do his job by being the point person!

mudcat
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This is a riot! Back to the stone age.

How terribly out of date our experienced mayor is. He is actually saying prospective companies relocating here will only want to work with him. This is too funny. I got out of real estate 20 years ago mostly because of those phony divas claiming the same thing. They all said - that is my customer. He will only work with me. He'll take his business to another company if I can't work with him. All lies, of course, but so transparent and so immature. And the wimpy brokers allowed them to get away with it.

Shortly after I left the business, the companies started wising up and changed their policies so that divas and their imaginary clients were not protected. Bullard Realty is the only one clinging to the old ways. Well, Bullard and now apparently the Chief who thinks he is onto something new. What a pitiful excuse of a mayor.

Maybe after a couple more missteps like Low Temp, someone on council will wise up and have the courage to contain this mayor. Can we just lock him in a closet and wheel him out twice a month for meetings?

Mike King
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Mudcat, RWM

It baffles me that even Doug elected not to voice concern over the mayor's indignation that a mere city employee could possibly do his job. Imker is absolutely correct in that Grisham should be allowed to take the ball and run with it. Anything short of this will only result in another Low Temps debacle simply because His Honor is in way over his head.

The sooner Peachtree City rids itself of WTBII (Worse than Brown II) and his cronies, the sooner the business atmosphere will improve. Notwithstanding is the fact that there will be fewer lawsuits dealing with tainted zoning decisions.

Glad to see all my fellow prison mates made it back in good spirits!

AtHomeGym
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Mike K & prison mates

Mike, I think there's still one missing!

Mike King
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Gym

You may be correct, as I thought the release was for us all. I kind of thought Bonker$ would remain on his own accord because he seemed to have a taste for prison food.

carbonunit52
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Welcome back Mr. King

Obviously your prior good behavior counted in your favor.

roundabout
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Advice to an elected Mayor!

Mayor Haddix was elected and until he violates his oath, or the law, he can take or ignore your, and others, advice!
I don't even know the Mayor, never met him, but like President Obama, he was elected for a reason.

It seems that much of the people of this earth are somewhat tired of personal possessions and favortism ruling over the needs of the majority of the people in general!
Even Georgia (Our state) was trying last week to raise the taxes of middle income people and lowering those of upper income people in order to balance a budget!

They may still get away with additional sales taxes, College tuitions, fees, etc., paid mostly by lower wage earners, that would have little effect on upper wage earners!

Good way for us to go the way of Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Gold Coast, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others!

Have you noticed the tax and fee raises Peachtree City has proposed very recently? (When we have an actual 15% UNEMPLOYMENT)

Have you noticed the price of foodstuffs increasing lately---not even counted in the inflation rate that the government issues?

The government can't be blamed for all of this. We still have people in our midst who think by deleting foreign aid, pensions of government employees, and the interest on our loans, we could balance the budget!
All of that combined is about 4% total!

They are afraid to mention what must be cut or what taxes may have to be increased to balance the budget!

By clipping free speech occasionally, another way which can be used to control other inights, we are treding on dangerous ground.

We have a President who is a Professor, highly intelligent, and unselfish who has some ideas to fix much of what we have destroyed, but I fear we are too dumb to allow it!

We came very close to total failure as a nation due to the last 20 years of paying attention to "stuff" instead of middle income people.

Not to mention hedging on our freedom of speech where speech is even allowed.

OnTheStreet
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Regional Transportation

I hear that is the plan and that the fayette delegation is pressing for a number reflecting fayette's contribution to be returned in projects here. However, it has two big challenges. First, will our projects be picked. Second, we could be outvoted by other communities even if our projects are not in the final plan. Avoiding those two risks would be a local splost instead, but that has been approached so poorly in the last proposal that I doubt it will pass again soon. Also the local splost approach has no chance of resolving challenges like the 74/I-85 interchange which really do require regional solutions and thereby regional funding options. Finally, even if our projects are not all included, there is a 15% piece of the pie that is "unrestricted" for local govenment to decide what to do with. This could entice, but we sure wouldn't want to contribute 85% to unimportant projects just to see a 15% return. I am willing to wait for the master plan of approved regional projects before deciding, but it looks uphill from here to me.

L.Sussberg
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Spear Road Guy

You might want to go back into The Citizen archive to see if "I blew a gasket in the local newspaper" or if it was a private e-mail exchange. Also check what happened during that exchange and who sent the first e-mail.

Also, the planning commission is made up of dedicated volunteers and it was my pleasure to serve on it until I received the e-mail. That e-mail pertained to a specific re-zoning situation for which the city was later sued for. There is a lot more information you should review before drawing conclusions.

I would be more than happy to discuss it with you so that you have all of the facts, but please understand that this is old news and the mayor repeatedly uses this situation as a deflection. It should not be used as an excuse especially on new issues.

As for posting 5 times, that is no secret after I reported that on the blog, and I apologized, especially since it has done nothing to change the mayor's behavior which was and apparently continues to be in serious question.

Robert W. Morgan
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Hold on there Councilman Doug

Are you saying that you or the city or the council supports the upcoming transportation/sales tax referendum? Did the Chief approve that statement first? Does he support the sales tax too? A better question is are elected officials supposed to influence public opinion on issues that are to be decided by a referendum?

And the survey itself is loaded with useless information. 86% of older taxpayers want same or lower taxes - Duh!
And only 55% are smart enough to connect the $850,000 card room with higher taxes. You could get that info with 3 man on the street interviews.

I was surprised to see the high %'s for The Citizen readership. Good for them, but all the more reason elected officials should abstain from childish "look at me" blogging on the electronic version.

OnTheStreet
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3 Million golf cart trips

Actually, during the session, Councilman Imker took it on himself to equate that to over 3 million golf cart trips and that number was then deemed significant enough that if there is a transportation list, the path usage impact rated high enough that those projects should be included on it.

Robert W. Morgan
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Ah ha! So we be getting some of that 1% ARC tax back?

Is that the plan? Include Fayette County in the ARC, support the 1% regional sales tax and then ask for some of it back and hope that after it filters through the county commission PTC will get some money back to build cart paths with?

If that's the plan, why doesn't someone just come out and say that as clearly as I just did? If not, then what is the plan?

I guess the next logical question would be how many dollars are we sending up there and how many are we getting back? From the AJC this AM, it looks they have lots of big expensive ideas - rail to Lovejoy, MARTA to Gwinnett County.

secret squirrel
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One major issue with the "survey"

In order to fill out this survey, you had to supply your address. Anyone who has taken a basic psychology class can tell you that this alone will significantly skew the acquired data. It's the main reason I didn't answer it.

It's interesting that the demographics of the survey respondents seems to overlap the very demographic in America which draws from Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, and takes quick and annual advantage of tax breaks due to age and/or retirement income. But they don't want new taxes for the same services they readily avail themselves of. It's a broken record.

dar thompson
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What A Waste

of time. Next we should run a "survey on our survey." Using staff and tax-payers dollars to get permission from 1100 people who are 55 and older, with no kids, whom live in a city and county that is all about kids, is pointless. If the city has to run surveys to figure out how to govern...trust me we are in big trouble.

So, 86.2% do not want a tax increase but are willing to pay over $450,000.00 a year for a heated pool.

This city is declining much faster than you think. It's just sad that the powers to be can't see it.

TinCan
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Complaining about low / disproportionate survey response.

Hey, the survey is there for all to take. If you choose not to participate you live with what you get. Kind of like the voting process around here. Although I suspect little good comes from either of those activities.

PTC Observer
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TinCan - How

How can you say this?

Look what voting in a democracy has gotten us...... ;-)

Spear Road Guy
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Jealous Dar!!!

Dar is just mad because we didn't fund his private fitness facility on the taxpayer's dime.

Sore loser!!!

dar thompson
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Spear Road Guy

I can only assume you have ADD. The fitness facility in question was not part of the bond as I was paying 100% for the facility. It was not in my best interest to even offer another fitness facility to the public but it was requested by the city that the amenity be added. Again, 100% my expense...not the tax-payer(s). Do I have to draw you a picture.

Not a sore loser as it doesn't effect me one way or the other.I actually come out better by not having a fitness center in that location. Nothing but upside for me. Next time you may want to consider doing your homework before you make post you know nothing about!

ptctaxpayer
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Actually yer a bit exposed there, Dar,

Actually yer a bit exposed there, Dar, when you trash on the public swimming pool. Could it be because you own a crappy health club pool? Little bit of self-interest there. That's all that motivates anyone who votes on a survey--- self interest.

dar thompson
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No Self Interest

at all. People pay to come to the pool at the gym....so i'm not sure it's as crappy as you say. The difference is, PTC taxpayers pay for a pool at Kedron that is used greatly by people who don't even live in Peachtree City. The biggest problem with your arguement is this; the pool at the gym produces a profit while the Kedron pool cost the taxpayers over $450,000.00 per year. Based over 10 year model the cost to the taxpayer is over 5,000,000 (five-million dollars) when you include interest. The Kedron Field House with the pool will cost the taxpayers about 7.5 million dollars over the next 10 years. I would say I'm not the one being exposed.

PTC Observer
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Mr. Thompson - PTC

needs to get out of the swimming pool business and let private enterprise provide this service to those that want it.

If you don't clean up your pool at your gym, you will lose business. If we don't have a heated pool run by PTC, then we just raise taxes on those that don't use the pool so we can heat the pool.

I favor you competing with other businesses that want to provide pools to the public.

Someone that uses a service should pay for it.

MYTMITE
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Believe me that pool at the health club is nothing to brag about

and the hot tub is usually out of order or so nasty you don't want to go in. Wonder how often the health dept checks it out.

dar thompson
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MYTMITE

First of all, you hide behind a made up name. I can only assume you don't have the guts or conviction to use your real name which would already tell me much about who you are. Every time you are on this blog you complain about the club and the pool. If it is so bad why do you continue to be a member year after year? I'll be happy to let you leave anytime you like...the sooner the better.

hutch866
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Gotta love the Politicians

Failed and successful, who come on here, knowing the rules, or customs, and then while they use this forum for their own self gain, and or ego, complain how the other people won't use their real names. Funny how you all do it, and most of you are from PTC, is it some kind of requirement?

MYTMITE
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I do not use my name because I have seen what happens to people

here when someone is vindictive and sets out to ruin someone who has posted something they did not like--truth or not. I have stopped going to the pool after complaining about it time after time and after getting rashes and ear infections every time I went.

dar thompson
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MYTMITE

that is exactly my point, your words "when someone is vindictive and sets out to ruin someone who has posted something they did not like--truth or not." Do you think your comments are positive?

And, you miss the point. It has nothing to do with the quality of the Kedron pool. It's not even a pool issue, it's a tax issue. All the Peachtree City taxpayers (100%) are paying $450,000.00 per year for a pool that less than 10% of the citizens use. Thirty percent of the usage is from people who don't even live in this county, much less the city.

bad_ptc
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Dar, if I'm not mistaken

The Kedron pool was voted in via referendum by the citizens.

That it's a "hole in the ground in to which we all pour money", is another issue altogether.

Was it a sales/snow job when proposed, you bet. Similar to a hockey rink someone wanted us to pay for.

PTC Observer
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bad_ptc - pool referendum

Taking someone's property through force (referendum) is a crime.

People who want or need a pool should pay for it, not those that don't want it or need it.

So, what do we do now? We set up an appropriate user fee for "our" pool and make certain that the user fee covers the cost, including any bonds left to payoff.

What! You say. Actually charge people for the services that they use? Yes, that is what we should do. If the pool can't stay open, then it should be sold to private enterprise and the proceeds should go into the public treasury. If private interests don't want it, then it should be shuttered.

PTC needs to be out of the swimming pool business.

MYTMITE
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Dar, think you need to get out your Funk and Wagnall or Webster,

or whatever dictionary you may have handy. My posts are neither spiteful, revengeful or retaliatory; they are indicative of what I have experienced. Since you are either too obtuse to see this or too stubborn to admit it I see no reason to continue this back and forth dialogue. There are too many on here now who continuously beat a "dead horse", I am not one of them. I will say I do believe in free speech or freedom to express here what my views are and will continue to do so.

dar thompson
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MYTMITE

You may want to take the time to read your own words as you seem to be speaking about yourself.

We have hundreds of people who use the pool every week with no issues.

MYTMITE
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No, Dar, I am not speaking of myself. I wrote what I myself

have seen and experienced. I speak of the person who ruined a very good and decent person's work reputation and caused him to lose a job where he impacted many young people's lives. The person who did this lied and contacted this man's employers and did everything they could to discredit this person. I am not lying, as I said before I have been there and experienced myself that things were not as they should be. I have only responded when you have come on this site talking about pools and the proposed Kedron site.

L.Sussberg
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Dar

You are in good company!

This guy called me a "liberal" the other day. I've been called many things in my life but not a "liberal" before. Spear Road Guy comes through the blogs every so often, and under a fake name (doesn't use his real name), he vomits all over peoples blogs.

Don't pay attention to this guy whoever he is!

Spear Road Guy
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Larry And Dar

No apology to Dar because we the taxpayers were going to build the facility to house Dar's sweat shop.

Larry, you've got to be a liberal. Only a liberal can be so irritating as to post the same letter FIVE times for crying out loud!!! Bit of a hypocrite too complaining about Haddix's relationships after you blow a gasket in the local newspaper and then storm out quitting the planning commission when the mayor won't play by your rules. Shame, shame, shame!!!

PTC Observer
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Survey

Old people took the survey - check
Old people use golf carts - check
Old people don't want to fund the gathering place - check
Old people like to swim in a heated pool - check
Old people don't recycle - check
Old people don't want their taxes increased - check

Very useful information here.

TinCan
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PTCO half right

Before you jump to conclusions:
took survey - yep
use golf cart - nope
no funding - yep
swim at pool - nope
don't recycle - nope
no tax increase - yep

PTC Observer
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TinCan

Well, I am old and I didn't ever take the survey. But I do know other people that are old, does that count?

TinCan
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PTCO

If you want it to.

TinCan
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Ooops, finger twitch

duplicate

intheknow
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Survey Says......

I think they left out one important survey answer, being "keep the same level of service with a slight tax increase". As there is no way in h@&& you can "keep the same level of service" as costs continually rise to deliver those services, some real estate assessments go down or remain flat and sales taxes don't have a substantial increase.
I only see further degradation to the city and it's infrastructure in our future and more kicking the can down the can down the road.

NUK_1
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intheknow is 100% right

An inherent problem with this survey and many other very unscientific polls of a very limited range of people is the questions are overly-simplistic so the results are difficult to measure. A lot of scenarios are left out of the survey, leaving a few simple choices that are black-and-white yes/no answers.

The attitude reflected by the respondents of this survey tend to mirror the overall US voter mentality pretty accurately, however. People want lots of services and they don't think they should have to pay more for them now or in the future regardless of inflation, personnel costs, insurance, and other economic realities. They tend to feel it's a birthright that the level of services provided remains high but the costs stay flat over time. That is incredibly stupid but the distorted reality to a lot of ignorant people. They also howl "CUT SPENDING" and when politicians propose doing that they immediately scream "DON'T CUT THAT! WAIT...I DIDN'T REALLY MEAN CUT SPENDING!"

dar thompson
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Correct

You are 100% correct...it's exactly what I've been saying for years. For a $2.00 per month increase in taxes you can enhance your quality of life and increase home values.

The taxpayers and government use the same logic...it's like not changing the oil in your engine because it cost money (look how much I'm saving)which is only a fraction of what it will cost when the engine blows up. But, look how much money you saved along the way.

secret squirrel
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Be careful there, intheknow.

The use of common sense and intelligence will get you banned from this website and greatly reduce your chances of ever being elected to office.

Robert W. Morgan
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Big Red Flag. Grisham/Haddix/Imker clash at Retreat

For some reason this story is not on this website, but it is sure on page 1 of The Citizen newspaper.
Headline "Haddix, Imker disagree on prospect handling" Seems as though Mr. Grisham gave a presentation at the Retreat last Friday and it was professional and Mr. Imker said Mr. Grisham should be the point person and coordinator for business prospects coming into the city. Makes good common sense. Right?

Well, no, according to Mr. Haddix who said that some prospects may contact him directly (possible) and will want to continue to work directly with him and only him (unlikely) and would abandon any idea of locating to PTC if he attempted to turn the prospect over to Grisham (ludicrous). The parenthentical comments are mine.

Not only does this display a new level of arrogance previously unseen in any other mayor - including Brown II, but you will recall that Haddix already auditioned for this job and failed miserably with the manufacturing company from Jonesboro by doing the exact opposite of what a professional like Mr. Grisham would do - specifically getting all involved agencies to sign off on a deal before publicizing it.

I thought I was upset by the mayor's silly postings on here and felt that they would deter business from locating or even looking here, but this crap is 100 times worse. People who are relocating businesses are by definition successful business people and they are used to dealing with professionals. Indeed some may want to "start at the top" by contacting the mayor, but what happens when they meet him and he actually starts talking? My God! Does anyone see anything good about this?

And welcome back Mike King. Jump right in.

Spyglass
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And this surprises you why?

I just read the article over a nice breakfast and almost broke out laughing at the Mayors comments. I too thought of Lo Temp...and that disaster.

PS...thanks to the one who freed me from jail.

borntorun
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Welcome Back Spyglass

Good to have you and Mike King back. How often do you have to check into your parole officer...I mean Cal? lol

Robert W. Morgan
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Not surprised, spyguy -- and Welcome Back!

How was jail?
Here again we have a situation that hurts the city and for no reason other than one individual being difficult. Usually not a problem, but when the individual is also the mayor - bad vibes. Bad PR.

borntorun
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Hey, Robert W.....Sound Like Anyone In PTC Govt?

From the Merriam Webster dictionary....

Megalomania:

1: a mania for great or grandiose performance
2: a delusional mental disorder that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur

Bertrand Russell the British philosopher said the difference between a megalomaniac and a narcissist is: "The megalomaniac differs from the narcissist by the fact that he wishes to be powerful rather than charming, and seeks to be feared rather than loved."

PTC Observer
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borntorun - ?

Isn't this the profile of all politicians?

I suppose the last politician that ran for office that may not have suffered from megalomania was George Washington. However, there is some question even about him. After all he led an army, as President, into Pennsylvania to put down a citizen revolt against a Hamiltonian tax on whiskey.

PTC Observer
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Responses #51 thru #56

These are all excellent posts and show the true value of a board like The Citizen.

Now, we all need to practice what we preach and start paying attention. I think we all know the city council and it's members better than most voters. It is up to us to talk about this with other city residents when we have a chance. It is up to us as citizens to begin to take an active role and educate others. After all, if we don't do it who will and if we don't start now, when?

Thanks again for these great posts.

Robert W. Morgan
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Talk it up with city residents - Good idea

I was at a gathering last night of about 100 people including a former mayor and city councilperson, some former candidates and some that were on planning commission or DAPC and I assure you our shoddy leadership, embarrassing gaffes and the Grisham situation (actually the larger situation regarding proper economic development) is in the forefront of almost everyone's mind. And the reason is that everyone there is very proud of Peachtree City and knows it will get better and better with strong leadership. All who have met the city manager seem impressed. Same with Kim and Vanessa, less so Imker. Of course this was a group of involved old timers, so I agree there is much to do education-wise with the newer arrivals.

I predict the election this fall will rival that of the Brown unseating 6 or 8 years ago. Hope we get some good people running.

L.Sussberg
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RWM - Imker

Robert,

Please remember that Eric Imker focused intensely on the 2009 budget and the city's financial problems.

Before anyone passes judgement on his role, let's see where the city is on a fiscal basis when the new 2010 budget is released.

Do not underestimate his focus on the financial problems, which more than I can see for our friends in Washington DC.

NUK_1
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RWM: That's encouraging

It's great to hear that some brave souls are willing to risk their careers, reputation, and peace of mind to perform a job that pays little and yet generates an avalanche of headaches.

It would be outstanding to have really solid candidates and choices this fall and in 2012. Races like Haddix-Plunkett, Smith-Brown and McCarty-Maxwell are not the kind of choices or candidates FC needs at all when selecting their local leaders.

moelarrycurly
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rah rah

sis boom bah...go team go

borntorun
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Agree PTC Observer!

Most if not all politicos suffer from megalomania to a certain degree. After all how could one think you have all the answers to the problems facing your constituents and not have a touch of megalomania? The danger arises when the disease takes over to such a degree that one refuses to even listen to and consider dissenting points of view and then seeks retribution and vengeance on those offering those dissenting views, something that has happened frequently in the past couple of years by certain sitting local politicos. What our current Council Clowns fail to understand is politics is compromise. Always has been and always will be if govt is to function and serve the citizens as it should. There is way too much "I know best" thinking going currently at city hall with certain elected officials.

OnTheStreet
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Voters want know-it-all candidates, so they get ..

Voters don't want to hear a candidate say he will compromise. Voters elect the person who claims to have the answers, claims to be smarter than everybody currently elected, and smarter than the professions who hold staff positions. Candidates who suggest compromise, working with staff, or even respect for currently elected officials are seen as weak and obviously don't receive the support of critics of the current administration. And frankly, the local newspaper seems to do the same in its criticism and endorsements, so we end up with ...... Which is probably good because then we can immediately attach those who are elected and not feel any remorse, even when we know it runs off more qualified candidates.

Robert W. Morgan
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True enough, Onthestreet

That is indeed the problem, but many clear-thinking people anticipated this by creating a form of government that has checks and balances (federal and state) or one that relegates elected officials to oversight or supervisory roles (county, city, school boards). The latter type allows and encourages regular citizens to serve part-time in a mostly ceremonial capacity for token pay and leaves the day-to-day operations with a full-time professional to whom all the staff reports. That way regular people with other full-time jobs and responsibilities can easily serve the community for a term or two and then disappear back into their private lives. More importantly, the full-time professional can provide continuity and institutional memory over several or many terms of the elected officials.

The know-it-all politician is the danger to that system. He (almost always a he) comes in and figures he is going to "fix" things. As discussed before, the know-it-all usually gets a dose of reality when he finds out how government actually works - specifically the art of compromise that is foreign to the egomaniac's personality. Then he does what he can to stifle dissent, fire people that stand up to him and worst of all, annoy citizens with his know-it-all act. This results in other know-it-all candidates running for office with a promise to "fix" everything the current "know-it-all" politician has broken. Vicious cycle begins.

Our cycle in PTC started with Lenox, Brooks, Pace and that horribly expensive sewer deal that outraged so many including the king of know-it-alls, Steve Brown. The rest is history. The old city manager was a nice enough guy and a capable administrator, but not a champion of the city charter and he decided it was easier to just be friends with Harold. Brown of course hired him and he left just as Haddix started his "know-it-all" act. The new city manager seems to understand the city charter and has the ability and tenure to tolerate Haddix who will be irrelevant after Doug and possibly Imker are replaced in November. We have hit bottom for sure. Recovery may be just around the corner.

NUK_1
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OnTheStreet: Agree

You definitely summed-up the state of local politics around Fayette and the kind of candidates that this environment has attracted into office.

The main problem that most of these arrogant boneheads have is that they fail to realize that they are elected to govern, not run their mouth off non-stop against all of their alleged enemies or spout on and on about why they are RIGHT and anyone opposed is so so so wrong.

It's a toxic environment in FC politics right now and I am not holding my breath that the people most qualified to govern are going to have any interest in governing. Between the newspaper, the screeching minority of people who hate everything and need to demonize those they disagree with, and a few of the past and present elected leaders that have poisoned the well, I don't see a lot of hope for anything besides more immature, petty egomaniacs who in some way think they are experts on every issue because they went to a training class for two days and used Google a few times.

The term "leadership" is not one I would use to describe most of our local politicians who'd rather have a whizzing contest with each other than a discussion of differing viewpoints.

mudcat
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That is really the problem, isn't it? Street and NUK

The voters are mostly uninformed, but sometimes misinformed on specific hot button (to them) issues. When they hear a misinformed or devious politician saying he will specifically do something about their hot button issue - they blindly vote for him or her. Stopping the WFB comes to mind.

So what we get is clueless politicians that promised the moon to clueless voters taking over and finding out they can't do anything they envisioned. Sadly this ah-ha moment comes during that government course in Athens before they even take their oath of office.

Then of the voters complain for 4 years and somebody else comes along and promises them the moon, the voters forgot about their failed savior from 4 years ago and they vote for the new guy - and the cycle begins again. Yes indeed, we truly get what we deserve. Never was that more true than last election.

borntorun
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Mud/NUK/Street: Voters' Remorse

I suspect most folks spend more time watching American Idol or DWTS than researching a candidate's positions. So running on a single hot button issue is often the deciding factor on most folks' vote. Studies show people don't necessarily vote "for" a candidate or issue so much as "against" someone or something, i.e., Haddix/Developers and BrownII/WFB. And like you say, Mudcat, so what happens is we get these anti-whatever candidates like Haddix and BrownII who espouse a pseudo-populist agenda when campaigning but realize after being elected what they ran on clashes with reality. Throw the power grabbing, megalomania/narcistic tendencies and maybe even a touch of a Napoleonic complex into the mix and what we have here is recipe for failure and damage to the reputation of Fayette County and PTC that may take years to repair. Gotta feel sorry for Joey Grisham trying to attract businesses with this kind of leadership at the city and county level. Wondering if he's got buyer's remorse and already put his resume out there for something else. Wouldn't blame him if he has.

L.Sussberg
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Good Leaders - Imker,Learnard,Fleisch

Let's look at some on the postives; we elected Imker, Learnard and Fleisch. They are smart, flexible and show good judgement on key issues.

Imker has focused on our financial mess. He pushed for ways to lower costs in every area of the last budget.

Imker,Fleisch,Learnard showed real leadership, voting for a tax increase that hurt BUT was probably necessary to get our finances in order instead of "kicking the can down the road". The results of that tax increase should be public soon with the new budget. Let's see who was right, these 3 or the Haddix/Sturbaum proposal which was less painful but good for re-elections.

Learnard, looking for improved ways to bring new business to PTC did the research and when she discovered that the main role of a development authority was in GA was to raise bonds, she spoke with other cities to see what was working. The result, these 3 proposed a "full time, professional trained" business development manager.

Working with city staff, Fleisch, Learnard & Imker prepared the job description, identified the appropriate salary/benefit and oversaw a professional search to find an experienced candidate. We now have an executive who is part of city staff with accountable performance measures reporting to city planner, not an independent authority (of part-timers) reporting to the political side of city hall. At no additional cost.

These are just 2 examples of what these 3 have acomplished. And why was there a knock-down drag out fight over these 2 ideas? Why were they taken to task by the mayor in blogging and editorials for proposing new ideas? Isn't part of good governance to look for new ways to improve and make tough decisions? And if the decisions proved to be wrong, why not thrash them out at the next election instead of the next day in the blogs? NO MORE POLITICS!

Imker, Learnard & Fleisch are well educated, highly trained professionals who have been successful in their professional careers. They bring those experiences to city council. We need to look at RESULTS.

Every organizaion must have performance standards, if its required for city staff, why not require them for elected officials? What are those standards? and what measures do we use to evaluate them? We decide with each election. This November there is another election, its an important election! We need people who have great skills and/or proven results.

Busy Bee
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Buyer's Remorse

I'm thinking that if I just started a new job and I met my boss's wife for the first time at a social event and the first words out of her mouth were "I hope your tenure is short" that I would totally agree with her and start sending out resumes ASAP.

Robert W. Morgan
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True professionals see through shallow people

I suspect Mr. Grisham knows more about the mayor (now his wife) and the councilpeople than the rest of us do. Before he interviewed he knew when everyone's term expired and where the real power is in city hall. Haddix may not know how the city charter works, but Grisham and the new city manager do - thank God.

Comments above on Imker/Learnerd/Fleisch are perfectly valid. If we keep economic development on the front burner, fund it, recognize that the industrial park is part of it and eventually replace Doug and later Haddix, we may be ok.

Busy Bee
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Good points RWM and LS

The bright side is that we have 3 good leaders. As long as the grownups can control the show we'll do all right

Busy Bee
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Duplicate post.

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