PTC — Out of business

Citing conflicting personalities, competing political agendas, city’s economic coordinator resigns

Peachtree City’s embattled economic development coordinator tendered his resignation — effective immediately — April 29.

Joey Grisham, charged with recruiting new businesses, said Tuesday that the decision was based on what was best for his family, which had remained in Texas with plans to relocate here at the end of the school year.

Also factoring into Grisham’s departure was the uncertainty of his position, he said.

“I think probably the best thing for me to say is there was some support for economic development, but there was just too much dissension in the air and I got beat up from day one,” Grisham said.

“If economic development gets caught up in the political world, it just doesn’t work, and that’s what really caused me to feel the way I did. It was just too controversial and really economic development is about trying to recruit businesses and help the tax base. I just felt there were too many personal agendas and too many personalities to make this work right now.”

Grisham was signed in December to a 1-year contract as the city’s first economic development coordinator. He started in January but drew criticism in public from the wife of Mayor Don Haddix, who told Grisham at the March grand opening of the Fresh Market grocery store, “I hope your tenure is short-lived.”

That line was used to start the conversation as a way to get Grisham’s attention, and Cathy Haddix said in a subsequent letter to the editor that she made it clear to Grisham that the conversation was her own opinion and not that of her husband’s.

But that was not how Grisham recalled the exchange.

Grisham is going back to consulting on economic development matters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

He said he feels some solid groundwork has been laid for his replacement and that he will make himself available to the city by phone as needed.

And one of his main concerns for the city is the continued likelihood that the new Fischer Crossing shopping center just across the city limits in Coweta County will draw existing retail stores away from Peachtree City.

“If retail leaves the city that can be a big tax base problem,” Grisham said. “And I suspect more retail will follow once Kohl’s is built there. ... People from Peachtree City and Fayette County are going to shop there every day despite what some people say ... and they are pulling tons of people from Fayette County.”

Although he made the decision to leave, Grisham said he will be “a cheerleader for the city,” which remains a nice place to live.

Spyglass
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I'm shocked Don or his Wife hasn't chimed in...

SHOCKED......

I know you are too. :)

Mike King
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Our Mayor

Perhaps it's because Don can only deal with one act of contrition at a time. I'm awaiting his upcoming article.

Spyglass
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any hints...

What has Dandy Don done now?

ptccpa
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No business sense on Council

Coweta County is laughing all the way to the bank!

citizenal
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Coweta can have their bank

I would not want to live in their county. PTC is a much better place to live without the dense commercial districts.

However, we certainly do lack strategic sense and the point made this week could not be better said. Why don't we identify business we want and court them. This 'business development' guy seems no loss. He didn't bring anything to the table but a desire to court any who could pay.

Citizen_Steve
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Ok with Me

It was unfortunate the way Mr. Grisham was welcomed, and also that he was apparently brought on with expectations that were not realistic. I don't know the details but I imagine it is a difficult task to find a suitable fit for an economic development coordinator in our unique city.

I'm content having the shopping centers NIMBY and across the creek in Coweta. They're all new and shiny now but before long the area will look as bad as N. Glynn. And most residents I know work out of the county because there are not the kind of jobs here that can support the life at home they want and no amount of shopping center development will change that fact. The opposite is likely true - succumb to the easy temptation of economic mis-management and the short term gains in commercial tax will be offset by larger long term losses in property values and tax revenues.

It's too bad Mr. Grisham couldn't have kept his PTC residence and worked in Coweta. He might have done a lot of good for all of us.

Steve

Robert W. Morgan
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Unrealistic expectations, you got it Citizen Steve

They somehow equated economic development with filling up empty shopping center space. While some would say that creates jobs, it doesn't. It shifts low-paying jobs from one retailer to another. At best it gives a job to someone marginally in the workforce. Actual economic development creates lots of full-time jobs by attracting industry or businesses - by definition large companies from other locations. They may bring a few employees with them, but mostly they hire locally and that has a huge ripple effect on a local economy. Step one is understanding that and then step two is hiring someone qualified and leaving them alone. Mr. Haddix's assertion that big companies will want to talk to him directly instead of Grisham, was a wonderful example of what not to do.

Adults on council need to address this departure for the serious setback it is and fund an economic development position properly and move quickly to fill it.

roundabout
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Grisham

The man worked for the mayor just as does the Chief of Police, Fire Department, and City Manager!

The Mayor is elected, others are not.

Elections have consequences---ask some who used to work for the Sheriff!

moelarrycurly
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Citizen_Steve

Well said.

roundabout
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MOE, Citizen Steve

If you don't want any taxpayers here (big boxes) but want all of the good stuff that cost money, then go ahead and pay for it yourself.
The city will accept your big check and refuse to bring any of them in!

ssidenative
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The PTC conundrum...

No one wants development, or the hated 'big boxes,' but everyone wants services, quality of life, and lower taxes...

Too bad all the NIMBY's (not in my backyard) in PTC didn't haul themselves down to the Coweta County courthouse and tell those yahoos not to allow that dastardly Fischer Crossing development to foul their utopia.

Wait, as it turns out, those Coweta folks apparently really know what they're doing, and have guided creation of a community-friendly development that will create jobs, add to the tax base, and benefit Coweta citizens.

And to think, PTC could have had that Kohl's and related development - and the tax money and jobs it brings - if they'd only listened to...Harold Logsdon.

Stew in your own soup, NIMBY's. And please know you're more than welcome to visit our theater, shop Fischer Crossing stores, and pay Coweta County sales taxes at Sam's, Kohl's or wherever, anytime you want.

Spyglass
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I don't see it as a contest myself..

And frankly, I wish neither area had as much big national retail...but it is what it is.

That said, the wrong person in PTC resigned.

mudcat
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No, certainly not a contest, spyglass

More of a survival move for good old Peachtree City.
Can we just get a little common sense going here and stop with the chip on our shoulder nonsense and try a bit to create a business-friendly zone where we can create some jobs and get some tax dollars in the till? Can we do that please? Can we stop with the posturing and seeing who has the biggest stick in the house?

Robert W. Morgan
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The NIMBY conundrum is what it is

The only way politicians (or even regular people) can get elected in PTC is by swearing allegiance to the Land Use Plan and by extension declaring a visceral hatred of big boxes, big business and all of that. The mantra seems to be - we are a planned community and everything needs to be in its preplanned place and if Joel Cowan didn't think of it 50 years ago - we don't need it.

The fact that this is wildly impractical and flies in the face of property rights is totally ignored and anyone who speaks up against the mantra is declared evil or a developer and is certainly never going to be elected to anything.

So, we are left with the people who do get elected by spewing absolute rubbish to a small portion of the population who are tree-huggers and idealists and since they are the only ones who bother to vote - we get what we deserve. Lenox was the last elected official who had any common sense with the spine to stand up to people who were just plain wrong.

The business of PTC used to be growth and the fuel for that engine used to be development fees, impact fees and the like. We have, of course run out of fuel and need to look at other alternatives. Current leadership is clearly not up to the task. Sadly, I don't think we are going to see any future electable candidates up to the task either. Lenox may have been our Donald Trump and he was not perfect, but my God, look at who and what we have leading the city - and the county for that matter.

dar thompson
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Could Not

Agree More. Well Said

mudcat
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Mostly dips, my man. Mostly dips.

So sorry chaps, but PTC is under the control of a clueless Neville Chamberlin. You know him as the "Peace in our time" dip/dope/tool/fool who came back from a meeting with Hitler and said all was copesetic. Sort of like Steve Brown meeting with John Wieland - although he didn't actually get in to see him in person.

Speaking of Hitler, did you see the You Tube thing when Hitler found out Osama Bin Ladin was toast? Or fish food? Priceless. See it.

Anyhow, Peachtree City, get your gear on and let's pony up for a big scrum at election time in the next few fortnights. Shall we? Let's do with some bangers and mash. What? What?

roundabout
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MUD

I actual seen a poll terday on TV whbut sed tha 61% of mericans actual thought bin laden wuz in hell this vary moment, already! Thu wurld is ful uf hevy thinkers, huh? Thet mene he spirits wont be woke up on jedgement day by the trumpets! Ore is hit armegggeddin?

61%, wow!

Sheep sausage and burnt taters is hit fer you?

Nowe ye nowe bin laden dubble wuz helicopterede into thet house, thin shot, an helikoptered oute agin sose weuns cud do more bad stuf in Pakkistand and git away wif hit.
They realy founded him in thet cave wif his papers and stuf. Thet sistr of hisin wuz a merican spie.

Air ye a talkin bout the president bein scrumed at lection time or thu mayor?

lexveritas
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No Surprise At All

Is anyone really surprise by this turn of events? No, I don't think so. Peachtree City's treatment of its professional staff has ALWAYS been abominable, disgraceful, and inexcusable. The "bigwigs" make professional staff the "enemy", and nearly always blame them for their own goofs, gaffes, and stupid mistakes. Grisham did the right thing - he got out before the "bigwigs", both appointed and elected (and you know who you are) could ruin his career too.

wheeljc
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NOT GOOD NEWS FOR JOB CREATION!

Are we so arrogant in our thinking that we 'assume' jobs will come to Fayette and PTC because we are so 'wonderful'? The economic development coordinator may be gone, but the question now is: WHAT IS THE PTC GOVERNING BODY DOING TO PRODUCE JOBS FOR PTC AND FAYETTE COUNTY? A growing number of citizens are going to start asking that question!

Have we not yet learned that being egotistically loquacious in our words, deeds, and actions can be extremely costly? The problem is, other innocents in the radius of damage are injured!

We have a lot of competition to our west, and we best wake up and realize it!! Just compare the tax base comparison from 15 years ago!!

Citizen_Steve
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New Deal

Yeah right, we need a new deal, don't we? Our local gov'ment has really fallen down on the job. Why don't they recognize their constitutional responsibility to support our pursuit of happiness via gainful employment?

They should create a task force to focus on the job situation. And create work projects for earning opportunities for citizens. It could be overseen by a works projects administration... wait, make that a works progress administration, that sounds better. We can all get out there and widen that cart bridge. The city can issue bonds to pay us. It'll be great. It's worked before.

Sheesh, it seriously pains me when folks complain that the gov'ment hasn't provided them enough opportunities. Why not get off your own lazy ..... [censored].

Steve

citizenal
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Good thought

This is what citizens used to think.

NUK_1
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Not good news for PTC economic dev efforts

Who would want to come work in PTC when this whole ugly episode made it clear that indeed there is a total lack of leadership as well anything resembling professionalism. No vision at all as 3 Councilmembers feel one way pn economic development and Haddix cannot accept that whatsoever even though he was simply outvoted, so it's all conflict.

mudcat
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I wonder if Mr. Plunkett would have done the same thing

dissing Mr. Grisham, I mean. No, I don't think so. Cyndi would have been a better choice. And yes indeed elections have consequences. Why can't we get it right in Peachtree City? This kind of stuff hurts us all.

PTC Observer
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Elections

Elections have consequence…this story proves this point.

borntorun
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Haddix: Joey Grisham

Out running some errands this afternoon, I drove by city hall this afternoon and noticed a huge banner hanging outside that said:

"MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"
Don and Cathy Haddix

Was wondering what it was referencing....now I know!

Robert W. Morgan
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A little late, but here it is - Grisham bails out

Not a surprise of course, but now someone at the city must take a business-like approach to the issue of industrial recruitment, creating or attracting jobs and expanding the tax base. We certainly know who does not need to be involved, so Kim,Vanessa, Eric one of you needs to take a leadership role on this important issue. How about it?

roundabout
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Business-like approaches don't fly!

Results fly. Buying ads and wanting more money produced nothing nor will it.

dar thompson
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Roundabout

If the citizen's pay higher taxes all of this would be a mute point. The problem with PTC is simple. People want to drive a "Rolls Royce" but only want to pay for the price of a Pinto.

You just can't have it both ways...if you want it you have to pay for it. More retail means lower taxes, less retail means higher taxes. Just pick one.

Robert W. Morgan
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A little late, but here it is - Grisham bails out

Not a surprise of course, but now someone at the city must take a business-like approach to the issue of industrial recruitment, creating or attracting jobs and expanding the tax base. We certainly know who does not need to be involved, so Kim,Vanessa, Eric one of you needs to take a leadership role on this important issue. How about it?

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