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.