No tax rate hike expected for PTC

Mayor Haddix, Councilman Imker clash on differing budget philosophies

Peachtree City residents won’t see a property tax increase this year, as the city’s $27.7 million budget for 2011-2012 has been adjusted to eliminate a slight millage rate increase.

That reality means that some residents’ tax bills may go down, but all that is dependent on the value of each individual home.

The changes added by staff will also increase the end-of-year cash left over for the city’s reserves by some $261,183 to a total of $1.09 million.

At Monday’s workshop meeting of the City Council, Finance Director Paul Salvatore explained that city staff also have cut $50,000 from the projected expenditures for legal services to move it in line with what was spent this year, and also that one new police car was trimmed from the proposed fleet of 10 to purchase this year.

The budget changes from staff also included replacing a full-time employee at the Kedron Fieldhouse with three part-time workers.

The budget contains more than $250,000 in savings expected from further staff reorganization later in the fiscal year, Salvatore added.

Councilwoman Kim Learnard, said she was very impressed with what the city has been able to accomplish with the budget, the first one from new City Manager Jim Pennington.

“We’re not increasing taxes, we’re maintaining services, working harder and smarter and we’re adding to our general fund,” Learnard said. “I think this is a very, very positive result of Dr. Pennington and Paul Salvatore putting in hundreds of hours of work, and I know (Councilman) Eric (Imker) put in a few hundred hours himself. ... This is impressive. I am blown away.”

But if this year’s budget process has seemed a breeze compared to last year, you wouldn’t know it by some of the heated discussions among council members and Mayor Don Haddix at the meeting.

When talk turned to budget cuts, Haddix said he felt the city needed to look at moving to fee-based services for recreation and other city services to remove the necessity for so much tax funding. Councilwomen Vanessa Fleisch and Kim Learnard asked for the specifics of that proposal.

“Now’s the time,” agreed Councilman Eric Imker.

Haddix replied that every time he brings the matter up, it is not supported by the rest of council.

Imker then suggested that Haddix provide specific proposals for the rest of council to consider.

“Then we can make an informed decision about the impact on the budget,” Learnard added.

At the very beginning of the meeting, Haddix reminded council that it was only voting on the budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, and not on budgets for future years.

That touched off a philosophical discussion about the value of the city’s five-year budget modeling, which is used to show how future budgets are predicted to shake out and any potential need for a budget increase.

Learnard said while everyone agrees that the budget vote is only for this year, it was important for the city to look down the road five years to see where it’s going financially.

Haddix said the five-year plan, however, consisted of “projections” and that they did not lock the city into spending decisions, since any future council can take nearly any budgetary direction it wants.

A few minutes later, Learnard ended the discussion.

“Well, I’m going to tell you if we decide we are not here to plan then we deserve to go broke,” Learnard said.

Later in the meeting, Imker proposed several additional cuts for the budget, acknowledging that he might not have the support of his fellow council members for all of them. Among those cuts was a $100,000 trimming of the city’s plan for a one-time bonus for all city employees equivalent to 2 percent of their salary. That cut would bring the amount down from $240,000 to $140,000.

He also suggested another $162,000 in cuts, half of which would come from departmental contingency funds and the rest from reductions in volunteer firefighter stipends ($10,000), small tools and equipment ($24,000), the public improvement program contingency ($35,000), dues and fees ($8,000) and books and periodicals ($4,000).

Add all that to a projected savings from bond refinancing at $162,000 and the projected sale of a cul-de-sac on Newgate Road to a senior apartment development that completely surrounds it, and the total positive impact on this year’s budget would be $569,000.

Haddix said he wanted the details of how the cuts proposed would affect the city, especially in terms of road and cart path maintenance. Imker had proposed shrinking that figure from $2 million to $1.5 million, a figure that’s still more than the $1.2 million the city is projected to end this year in that category, he said.

“I’m not saying it’s bad to go from two to one and a half (million) on paths, ... but if we cut $500,000 can we still do our cart paths?” Haddix said. “... I want to see and understand the actual physical real impact of what it has on the city.”

At that point, Imker accused Haddix of not understanding what the budget is for.

The discussion then devolved into a heated exchange between the two. Haddix at one point asserted: “Just because we disagree doesn’t mean I don’t understand.”

Soon after, Imker mocked the mayor by taking his thick budget binder and placing it over his head, alleging that it was akin to “putting on blinders” and only looking at this budget year instead of trying to discern the impact this year’s budget would have on budgets in future years.

Haddix then accused Imker of making a personal attack, which led Imker to accuse the mayor of doing the same thing in providing “misinterpretation of data” from last year’s budgeting process in a recent newspaper letter.

“When you up and write letters like that, it irritates me to no end,” Imker said.

Haddix replied that even if his stance irritates Imker, both men are entitled to have their own ideas.

Councilman Doug Sturbaum said he also had a list of about $91,000 in cuts to have the city manager look at, including some travel expenses. Imker said he thought Sturbaum’s ideas, which were not discussed in detail, were good and that he felt he could support them.

Imker also recommended a number of long-term cuts, including potential changes to the city’s leave policy to make it easier to administer and also for a projected cost savings of $900,000 over five years. Imker claimed that a first-year city employee was eligible for up to 31 days off in their first year, but those figures were challenged after the meeting as not being completely accurate.

Other long-term cuts Imker recommended included getting rid of the city’s defined contribution plan in exchange for eliminating a $600 per employee increase in employee health insurance premiums that was implemented several years ago. That change would save a projected $250,000 over five years.

Imker also suggested that the city could save $900,000 over five years by revamping the employee evaluation system and changing it from a three-tier system to a two-tier system that has smaller merit salary increases.

In comments from the public, resident Steve Allen urged council to look at how to enhance revenue, just like businesses do every day. He urged council to focus on bringing new jobs to the community.

Resident Tim Lydell urged council to focus on the budget year round, in part by appointing a citizen committee to form recommendations to the city.

Lydell said he has had good experiences in interacting with city employees, and he feels badly about the budget cuts they have endured, because he knows it affects morale.

bad_ptc
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PTC & Fayette County Councils, work this into your budgets

20% Drop in Housing to Cause Recession in 2012, Says Gary Shilling
By Peter Gorenstein | Daily Ticker – Wed, Jul 13, 2011 12:14 PM EDT

“The problem with the real estate market remains excess inventory. Based on Shilling's research, there are 2 million to 2.5 million excess homes in the country -- a supply that will take 4-5 years to work-off. The result: Housing prices will fall another 20% and underwater mortgages will balloon from 23% to 40%, he says.”

“With housing slumping again, Shilling says recession is coming to a town near you in 2012.”

As per ‘Bloomberg Businessweek’, updated 7/14/2011 8:02:50 AM ET 2011-07-14T12:02:50

The housing slump is far worse than you think

“Key housing market statistics point to years of stagnation“

And the PTC and Fayette County govts. thought the hard part was behind them.

Wait until they try and collect those property taxes from the banks holding the notes on the foreclosed homes. Good luck with that one.

P.S. Mayor Haddix, you may want to work this into your 5 year projected budget process.

roundabout
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Yes, bad--many already knew this...

.........and that isn't even counting the over construction of the commercial buildings sitting empty.
Also, the banks own these empties, or will, and they will eventually have to write them off or down. When that happens many more will go kaput!

But go ahead and spend the reserves and contingencies and borrow more on bonds and keep her goin Fayette!

The feds are the only one who can get away with that!

We have already waited too long to lay-off and cut back--there is hell to pay.

Obama is trying to save us this, but we seem to want a depression real quick instead of slowly! He didn't build all those housing and commercial units, nor run the crooked banks.

PTClurker
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Way to go, Imker!

It's about time the Mayor got raked over the coals and exposed for his complete ineptitude regarding the budget. Glad to see the rest of the council, the entire budget staff, and folks present/watching from home were able to witness first hand how distorted and just plain wrong the Mayor's budget number-crunching was and how unbelievable his "let's not plan past 2012" budget philosophy is. Imker and Learnard are right... where was the Mayor's plan, ideas, or specifics for getting the budget under control? Just a lot of hand waiving and broad-speak from our Mayor.

Even if not all of his proposals pass through council, at least Imker has the guts to stick his neck out, get with the public, and propose actual, workable solutions. It's obvious he's put in a massively inordinate amount of time (for a council member) researching, formulating, gathering public input, and proposing solutions to this budget problem. Even if you don't agree with every single one of Imker's solutions (and who would?), you gotta admire a man who's doing his job and doing it far and above the council norm.

I'll just say it...

Imker is single-handily saving this city with respect to getting its budget under control.

NUK_1
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Hmmm..Imker and Sturbaum up for re-election....

..and they both showed up ready to trim the budget with some ideas/proposals. No matter the motivation, I like it a lot better than SURVEY SAYS!!! and sitting around wondering when all these great high paying jobs are suddenly going to materialize in PTC. Talking about it and wishing it to happen isn't reality when the fact is that PTC is indeed a great place to live but maybe not too high on your list as a place to locate your business that brings those high paying jobs to town, especially when the present Mayor and some of his ilk nad others that share the same mindset have spent quite a while detracting from and embarrassing PTC.

della
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Sturbaum a joke on budget

Really? Sturbaum brought something to the table? What, let's reduce education and travel budget? Oh yea, that's going to save the city million upon million of bucks. There weren't even any numbers provided - that's because there was none to be saved. I think when he realized he was getting a whooping he had to say something. Imker was light years ahead of Haddix and Sturbaum on the budget, so much so it was embarrassing. Next time Haddix and Sturbaum (the do nothing dual) actually need to prepare something of value to be shared. There was no proposal by Sturbaum or Haddix. They had nothing to offer. Why are they even there?

They offered us bankruptcy last year with not voting for Imker's $2M in proposed reductions at last year's budget. All then they wanted a .5 mil increase that would have driven the city into bankruptcy in 2013. They ignored the future budgets and they were doing it again Monday evening. They still don't get it. The mayor never will get it because now that he's cornered himself into a "let's only look at the next year" mentality, he's got no way out.

Thank God we have Imker on council to straighten this financial mess out. Please, PLEASE, PLEASE Mr. Imker, run again. We can't afford Haddix, his obvious non budget background (20 years in business (what business was it?) he says - I'll have to look that up and get back to you), his ineptness, his getting the city sued, his screwing up business deals coming into the city because HE'S THE MAYOR and they must bow before the 'don' (what an ego), his pushing a bowling alley into an area where the citizens didn't want it and the citizens had an agreement with the city not to do that, his getting himself sued, his disrespecting the county's development authority, and the list goes on and on and on and on and on. Remember, everything the mayor does, Sturbaum is with him. Please, Please, PLEASE Mr. Sturbaum, don't run again. (I think you already know you have no chance anyway.)

Don Haddix
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Haddix: $2 million

Didn't exist. Some on Council and Staff informed Imker he had a lot of proposals that were illegal, already tried and/or not doable.

Plus spin away. I said we use five years projects to give us an idea of where we were going based on the current and proposed next year Budgets. Our CFO and City Manager agreed and supported that statement. We do not nor ever have voted on a 5 year Budget or Millage Rates. We cannot because everything changes almost daily.

We do things in the present that we have the authority to do now. Those things affect the future but most can be changed in the future, just as we made changes to the 2010 Budget developed under a different majority on the last Council.

That is the reality we work under. Ideal? No? But reality because we cannot do anything more than a one year Budget and Millage Rate by law.

I am done here.

NUK_1
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Best words to come out of Haddix's mouth EVER!

"I am done here."

Unfortunately, he's said that before and it took about a day or two for him to immediately go back on that claim, but maybe we'll be more fortunate this time.

PTC Observer
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Nuk_1 - I read

Your subject line and I thought he had resigned.....

Imagine my disappointment. ;-)

Mike King
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Mayor, For Goodness Sakes...

...haven't you shown yourself to be enough of an embarrassment already? I, for one, thought you had learned your lesson concerning your ramblings on this site. You do remember the denial of your wife's involvement in the DAPC fiasco among others? Last nights discovery of your fiscal ineptitude concerning budgets should have embarrassed even you, but I guess you will continue chasing windmills.

roundabout
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MIKE

I'll just betthat the mayor knows more about budgets than I do! And the way I figure it---you also.

Budgets are for political consumption-----detailed but always overspent and pretty useless.

Doesn't Washington have them?

Doesn't the Pentagon have them? Talk about shuttling money around from pillar to post!

$500 toilet seats, and $250 adjustable wrenches.

Hospitals have $12 Tylenols. $15 bandaids. Budgets!!!!!!

Income is all that is important---and loans.

Mike King
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Well Swami...

...Other than the fact that your comment pertaining to our mayor's knowledge of budgets is beyond stupid, what else do you have to offer?

Past time for your meds.

roundabout
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MIKE

Well, it so happens that I have designed many budgets for ventures--all dotted with possible crippling factors---hardly ever a factor that would make the budget low!

Yet, I know nothing of political budgets and that is what a city has.

Spend all you can get!

della
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Haddix Lies Lies and more Lies

You sir, are simply a lier extrodinaire.
Now your trying to defend your lies.

Now your back to being Mr. 'Lawyer' Mayor. Please let the city attorney give the legal advice. You are not a lawyer despite ALL the 1 hour classes, symposiums and conferences you've taken at tax payer expense in lush meetings throughout the state.

Please be specific and tell us what staff told Imker was illegal? Be careful not to say that they were going to check with the city attorney to determine if 'A LOT' of proposals were illegal. You said STAFF informed Imker. Were you there? Were you listening from behind a wall?

"A LOT" implies, what more than 3. A couple is 2 so "A LOT" must be at least four. So tell us, what 4 things are illegal without getting yourself sued again.

Don't include anything about employee benefits because we already know everthing has to be checked with the city attorney first. Things affecting new employees are always up for negoitation. But I'm sure you can share with us 4 things "STAFF INFORMED Imker" in the budget that are are not benefit related that are illegal. Spin away with another lie about it somehow.

Again your making it sound like only you know that budgets are voted on one year at a time. Why are you trying to misrepresent what Imker knows? Of course he knows that. We all know that.

Mr. Mayor,
In case you haven't gotten the point. I am so disgusted with you and especially your calling the former mayor a drunk years after the fact when that mayor withdrew from political life because he had cancer. Do you hear me. HE HAD CANCER and withdrew from politics. But NOooooo, you have to dig something up as dispictable as that and try to use it for some freakish political point. Then, at first you try to say he was a political figure so it was OK to call the former mayor, who had withdrawn from politics BECAUSE HE HAD CANCER, a drunk. Rest assured, everytime you blog, I'll be there to YELL out your lies so everyone knows.

roundabout
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Della: this is interesting.....

.......but frankly I can't follow it.

First I don't know what a lier is.
What has the Mayor's back got to do with his lies?
staff told Imker was illegal--how was that?
I suppose a lot of illegals would be more than several! If that is important!
I didn't know employees were negoitation after they are affected with something!
I don't know how one gets in a budget either. One can get in a car!
Budgets are voted on once a year, but projected budgets are not.
Does cancer prevent one from being "a drunk?"

Maybe you can make it more clear as to your point?

bad_ptc
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What was not offered by staff or Council

was a line item justification for each and every dime spent.

Adding $20,000 for this and $200,000 for that tells me that staff and Council have no idea where the money is going.

Imker's inability to figure out where a 2% pay increase for city employees came from was a joke. It was based entirely on what WASA employees received.

Just for fun I attempted to look up, via the city web site, what was allocated for the 4th of July fireworks for the past few years. It's not there. It may be buried in some Rec. budget but the city eventually pays the bills.

What we should demand from Council is a line item, per commission/authority, of every last dime they think they need. Then I want to see a written justification for each and every one of them.

This SWAG budgeting method is going to run us into the ground.

Lets try bottom us budgeting. You start with nothing and justify each and every expenditure starting at 0 dollars.

If you want the money then you better be able to justify the need.

roundabout
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bad-PTC

It would take staff fourteen years to prepare a budget explaining every "dime" to be spent. Can't afford that. (would you want to know the menus ordered for the expensed meals).

"This and "that" do have separate costs usually.

I understand WASA is the benchmark---does that apply to the City Manager?

Bottom "us" budgeting doesn't work either.

You don't need to see such numbers, nor do I, but the Council sure does, I Agree with that much.

roundabout
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bad: swag BUDGET?

I know what WAG is (Wild-Assed-Guess) but can't remember the "S".

Economists use the WAG method using their secret rules.
Also the FOX network.

roundabout
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bad ptc

You can not sell ZERO based budgeting here (Starting at 0 dollars), for instance the fire department and police department would want to start at say 90 heads and need 10% more, every year. Start office personnel at "o"and justify each and every head! no way.

The only way budgeting will be done here is to see just how much money can be collected and then plan to spend it all.

intheknow
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31 days for a first year employee?

Lets see, one week vacation after first year of employment (5 Days), ok, holidays something like 8 or 9 days - maybe make employees work them if they want to get paid, one hour a month for perfect attendance, that's 12 hours in a year, a couple other incidentals where small amounts of time can be earned - where's he coming up with 31, same math he used for the rest of his presentation I'm guessing?
You Imker fans better look for someone else to rally behind, I'm thinking he might be related to Bonkers.
BTW, you have to have the Merit system actually awarding pay raises to be able to cut it and create savings, can't cut what isn't there. Also, it's already been cut a few years ago, going from a two-tier system with larger increments which it had for many years, to the present three-tier system we now have. That was done six or seven years ago by City Manager McMullen, to put more employees into lower increment increases to save the city money, and it even reduced the highest performers potential - more proposed cuts on the employees backs - NICE.

della
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Inthe Don't know

Try speaking when you have the facts instead of assuming something and spreading it as if it were gospel unless you want to make an ass of yourself. Numbers below are days for ave employee ...
personal time 5 - ok, earned the first year but given on the 366th day.
vacation time 9
birthday time 1
sick time 12
safety time 2
perfect attendance 2 - Really? what the heck is this?
There you go, 31 days.

Imker's point was not that its 31 days but that the system needs to be revamped. Get over it.

They can accumulate and get paid for up to 60 days sick when they leave.
Oh, don't forget they can get paid for up to an additional 60 days for more sick time after they earn the first 60 days. So that's 120 days they can get paid just for sick time when they leave. Of course they'd have to have worked 10 years to accumulate this. Then its just a few more years to early retirement on the backs of all of us.

Do you really want to discuss merit pay? Oh, boo hoo, they didn't get it the last 2 years. Well good grief, maybe they'd prefer joining the 9%+ looking for a job that have no benefits at all. Then you assume larger increments you're making an ass of yourself again.

Imker's numbers are right on. I like the idea that he's proposed a budget that can acheive financial stability for the city forever. Were you even there at the meeting or on-line or are you just a Haddix supporter that can't get over the fact that your man is a total imbecile and failure?

Stop pretending to be in the know when you haven't a clue. You sound like the mayor.

intheknow
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Della

Now Della, You've proved to be a Bonkers family member as well! ITS YOU WHO HASN'T A CLUE

5 Days "Personal Time - What's that - WE DON"T HAVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9 Days Vacation time - ITS FIVE (5) DAYS AFTER ONE YEAR OF EMPLOYMENT.
Birthday - YES- You get Eight Hours - ONE DAY.
What's the Sick TIme "12" - YOU EARN 8 HOURS EACH MONTH TOWARDS BANKED Sick Leave - ARE YOU DOING THE SAME MATH (12 MONTHS X 8 EQUALS EIGHT DAYS, NOT YOU'RE 12).
Safety Time - If no lost time injury or chargeable accident occurs you earn 4 HOURS EACH QUARTER of Time Off or Pay - OK two days for a Monday through Friday employee, or 2/3rd of a shift for Firefighters
Perfect Attendance - ONE HOUR EARNED EACH MONTH, IF NOT OUT SICK, LETS SEE THATS WHAT - 12 HOURS, A DAY AND A HALF FOR MANY EMPLOYEES, OR A HALF A SHIFT A YEAR FOR US AT THE FD.

As far as your statements about the build up of sick leave your wrong again. There is regular Sick Leave and Catastrophic sick leave, which can only be used under specific conditions and is ONLY accumulated once you've reached the maximum in regular sick leave. Upon retirement (not just separation) , if you were loyal, and didn't use up your sick leave, you can collect ONE HALF of ONLY your Regular Sick Leave - NOT ALL OF IT AND NOT ALL OF THE REGULAR SICK LEAVE - HALF OF ONE.

Unless your calculator is really messed up, that's 9.5 days a year, earned during or most after, your first year employment with the city. OK if you want to throw in the Sick Leave into this (many of us rarely sick out) that would add an additional 8 days, for a GRAND TOTAL OF 17.5 DAYS - YOUR AN IDIOT - Imkers numbers are not "right on" and by your posting it's YOU WHO HASN'T A CLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm really just insulted as a city employee that you as a citizen and Imker as an elected leader of this city thinks we have all these things that we really don't.

roundabout
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intheknow: calculations

I think I would shut up if I were you!

8 hours sick leave earned a month X 12 months = 96 hours a year.

96/8 hour shift = 12 days sick leave! Can't you also "borrow sick leave?

Did you go to school in Atlanta?

intheknow
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Roundabout - You're Right

Just was frustrated and threw the sick leave on last minute, as it's not like it's "vacation days" or something as some seem to be alluding to, and still isn't anywhere near the totals some seem to be coming up with.
Many of us rarely even use sick leave, I have on maybe three or four occasions in like 20 years. Usually though I just use vacation time mostly, including once for most of my lost time on a fire injury from a structural collapse and once for a surgery from lifting some heavy fire equipment that wasn't even claimed as an on-the-job. I used my other accumulated time, saving my SL in case I'm ever really "sick".
Someone's told me not to write or send things out if I'm angry when writing, sit on it and look it over first before sending.

roundabout
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intheknow

Admission of simple errors shows character.

I just wish you folks didn't need to constantly have to fight to keep all the positions you have---it indicates maybe you do protest too much!

Everyone appreciates firemen, it is the quantity, efficiency and cost that get in the way.

intheknow
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Roundabout

It's continual attacks on what we do have, the fact that I'm not only an employee but a resident as well and ultimately I guess my passion for the job and our department, that keeps me "fighting".
As far as "quantity", in Peachtree City, not unlike some other local area FD's we run basically two-man companies, where industry standards dictate four, five or six personnel should be.
As far as "efficiency" and "cost", NO department around delivers Fire & EMS as effectively or efficiently as PCFD. For example, a recent comparison analysis of Fire & EMS service delivery shows that for an average $260k house in Peachtree City, $158.60 a year in taxes goes towards Peachtree City Fire & EMS services.
By comparison, for unincorporated Fayette County (Fayette County Fire & Emergency Services), those same services come out to about $260.00 a year per house in taxes, and are going up to around $290.00 a year - almost twice the price, guess that might make us a little more "efficient".
More on "efficiency", the Inservice Services Office (I.S.O.) which rates communities for the insurance industry, which insurance companies then base premiums on, rated Peachtree City as an I.S.O. Class 3 a couple years ago. Even Councilman Imker related at a council meeting it saved him something like $115 a year with his homeowners policy, from the previous I.S.O. Class 4 we had.
In unincorporated Fayette County (including Tyrone), residents have an I.S.O. Class 4/9 rating, not as good as PCFD and on average more expensive on homeowners policies. That Class 3 rating we recieved put PCFD in the top 6% of all departments nation-wide, and reduced premiums for many residents.
The rating comes from much data, including Communications (dispatch center and radios), water system (including mains, sources and hydrants) and the largest portion the Fire Department. Points are given on coverage area's (stations with-in 1 1/2 mile driving distances of all structures), apparatus & equipment, training and inspections/pre-planning and the biggest portion of the grading scale being personnel (they give most points for six OR more personnel on each truck). We have to make up most of the points in area's other than personnel, since we have so many less than are required.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Della

We have agreed to examine the policy on off time accumulation. Remains to be seen what will be decided.

On Merit Pay intheknow is correct, we are not paying Merit Pay so Imker's $400K savings claim is false. I called him on it and he still tried to claim it was true.

On the 2013 Budget and on some facts are true and Imker is wrong:
1.This Council has no vote on the 2013 and on Budget or Millage rates.
2. We do not know what money will be needed for paths in 2013. Inspections and evaluations are done every three years. From those results the next three years of costs and needs will be determined. This is an inspection year. So my challenge to Imker was correct. We have no idea what money will be needed. If $1 million, great! That is $500K lower than his projection. If $2 million, then he is under by $500K. But either way he is using this to claim a $2 million savings due to his efforts, which is nonsense. By the way, there were other items included in the Staff projections, such as potential reductions in LOST income, so putting it on the paths only was a false claim.
3. Taking from Contingency Funds to spend elsewhere in 2012 is a bookkeeping maneuver to make numbers look better. Problem is when those projects and needs arise next year or later we have to go back and dip into the Reserves to pay for them. That is double dipping the reserves.
4. His plan rapidly drains the Reserves down to the minimum 20% by 2016 latest. Then what?
5. His plan contains more tax increases.
6. His plan does not achieve stability forever. No one's proposals can do that. Even more so even in his number we are still spending more than comes in at the end of 5 years. So what then in 2017, yet more tax increases?

We have to look at alternatives the current majority refuses to consider.

OK, you guys have fun. I have made my comments.

della
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Haddix Continued Misrepresentation - Lies

Hey Mr. Haddix,

I see your back sticking your nose into stuff you have no clue about.
Of course everyone knows council votes on only the next years budget. But you seem to not want to look or think ahead.

What the heck are you talking about with paths? We're you not there last year when the plan was to increase the funds to roads/paths to 1.5m. 1.5m was way more than being spent the last 2 years. Imker pointed out that staff added into an extra 500k in contingency for each of the years 13-16. That's 2m. Don't make it look like Imker said saves 2m a year. You lie.

What the heck are you talking about with LOST? Another lie. Staff put in 500k in each of the years 13-16 to cover a potential decrease in sales tax. Imker said it at most would be 200k. He was willing to keep 250k to be conservative. You're misrepresenting data again Mr. Mayor. Keep lying.

Double dipping in reserves? What the heck are you talking about. What contingency funds are being added to 2012? I see the 2012 budget about the same as the city managers 2012 proposal. Yet another misleading lie. You really haven't a clue do you. Your expertise in lying has already been proven. In case you didn't know it, a budget is a plan based on reality. Not something for your political twisting.

Drawing down reserves was the plan, now you're lying about it. No surprise about you lying there. Were you not there when it was discussed? There was a 20m problem and we had over 30% in reserves. The city's policy is to have 20%. So your plan is to not use reserves and make everyone pay for every service they use in the city. Playgrounds, park tennis courts, using Drake field, how about parking at city hall? Nice lie with an attempt to disguise the truth.

More tax increases. Opps, yep, 0.197 in 2014. OK, now that Imker's plan has not only zeroed out the 0.213 increases booked in 2012 and 2013 form last year with the statement they could be managed out, now you;re insinuating that in 3 years 0.197 is going to be a big issue. Just another misleading lie. And don't forget your lie about 2017. Imker's plan showed essentially not using any more reserves beginning 2016 (148k is chump change looking 4 years down the road.) Why do you insist on lying?

The last lie is most reprehensiable. Spending more in 5 years than we do now? Wow. What a joke ... I mean a misleading lie with intent to decieve. Of course the budget will rise. The city is now paying 6m in cart/road work between 13-16 for that was previously paid by another source. Just one of many examples. So by, nature the amount to be spent 5 years from now will of course be higher. But don't tell the whole story Mr. Mayor. You only want the readers to see your scewed side to make a political point. Imker was right when he said you misrepresent facts by only telling one side of the story.

You've been outed and everyone knows it. Please STOP the misrepresentation and lies. Can you do that?

MajorMike
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della

Even for one of the "dirty dozen" you appear to be having a bad hair day.

della
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Haddix Lies Continue

I forgot to address your lie about merit pay. Imker acknowledged it wasn't paid the last two years. But he said in the future when it does start again the city would save money if the system was restructured.

Why the continued deceptive lies Mr. Mayor?

Spyglass
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It was 29K

and worth every penny to this PTC resident. 8 folks came to my house from the Northside of the ATL to watch. 6 of them ate at a restaurant...2 of them stayed in hotel rooms. One car bought gas, ALL of them brought food from the local Kroger/Fresh Market to be prepared. All in all, good times.

Honestly, we could take a look at the Hotel books and see how the occupancy stacks up against non firework holidays. :)

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Fireworks

And not paid by the City, but the CVB.

bad_ptc
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Mayor Haddix, not according to city documentation it wasn't

First we had:
As per: BUDGET AMENDMENT, 11 008, January 11, 2011
"To increase both revenue and expenditures in the General Fund to cover the cost of fireworks and related 4th of July costs and to budget for the transfer from the CVB to cover those costs."

"When the City s budget was originally approved the expenditures associated with the fireworks were eliminated It is necessary to budget those costs in the City s General Fund as the City will actually purchase the fireworks due to insurance purposes already covered by the City s policy."

"This budget amendment corrects that situation and also covers costs in addition to the fireworks for the 4th of July."

Then we have:
ANNUAL BUDGET
City of Peachtree City, Georgia
For Fiscal Year Ending
September 30, 2011
GENERAL FUND, RECREATION

Significant Expenditure and Staffing Changes

"Professional Services have been reduced by approximately $80,000. This is due to moving the cost of the 4th of July fireworks of $29,000 to the Convention and Visitors Bureau, a component unit of the City; a reduction of approximately $26,000 in landscaping services; and over $6,000 in brochure printing costs, along with miscellaneous other reductions."

My point being there was NO LINE ITEM of $29,000 for fireworks anywhere in the budget. It wasn’t listed under recreation or the general fund expenses.

Now under the CITY OF PEACHTREE CITY, FY 2012 BUDGET, MANAGER’S PROPOSED July 7, 2011 there’s no listing for “fireworks” anywhere in the document.

Is PTC not going to have a fireworks display in 2012? If so, will it be paid from the general fund or recreation or some other account?

I’m only picking on this issue because it’s several thousand dollars and it’s NOT accounted for anywhere in the budget.

WHY NOT?????

If we’re going to pay $29,000 for fireworks then put a line item in the budget and say so.

WE MUST LINE ITEM ACCOUNTIABILITY IN THE CITY BUDGET!

I’ve commented earlier that both personnel and professional services account for large chunks of the budget yet there is no breakdown of what those expenditures are for.

As per the main article, “Councilman Doug Sturbaum said he also had a list of about $91,000 in cuts to have the city manager look at, including some travel expenses”.

Great, now when are we going to see an itemized listing of all proposed travel expenses where some $91,000 could possibly be saved? Is the entire council planning multiple trips to China for 2012? If we could save $91,000 on travel expenses just how much money is currently budgeting for travel?

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Fireworks - bad_ptc

It was an approved city cost and Budget item. The CVB took over the cost. So, it had to appear in the 2011 Budget as a City cost reimbursed by the CVB.

For 2012 it was never proposed as part of the City Budget so it never had to appear as line item. It was always a CVB item and is carried on their books.

Authorities are not part of the City, but are independent corporate entities acting as agents for the City. So they have their books and we have ours.

As for breakdowns, contact City Hall via info@peachtree-city.org.

By the way, those travel expenses are mainly for employee costs, not Council. I know I only get reimbursed for mileage when I have to go out of the city using my car on City business. Most months are $20-30 and I have to travel more than Council Members.

It was a good and fair question so I answered.

roundabout
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CVB makes no money.....

.......their money is TAX money. So the fireworks were put on by TAX money. Accounting papers have no credibility anymore.

(Please don't mention other town pay that tax--so do we when we go there)

della
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Fireworks and Haddix Taking Credit

Here I am again Mr. Mayor.
You will never again have the last word on a blog.
That's gotta kill you emotionally.

So the CVB paid for the fireworks. Who's idea was that? I bet it wasn't yours. And I bet it was Imker's.

Waiting for your carefully spun lie in response.

L.Sussberg
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Della/Haddix

Haddix lies all the time...not sure if he does it not knowing any better and believes his own bull, or he assumes that most people never check the facts and he can get away with it.

Either way, its not professional, but you knew that.....luckily there are only about 4 who do.

L.Sussberg
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Read between the lines!

Read between the lines! We have a mayor who does not know how to read a budget.

Imker and Sturnbaum put real cuts on the table...the mayor babbled about golf cart paths and showed no sign of understanding the numbers and how they work. I don't think he actually read the budget!

Regarding the individual department contigency budgets maybe they should be eliminated or atleast rolled up under Dr. Pennington, then each department needs to make the request to Dr. Pennington and council or an assigned council member with written justification and cost/benefit analysis. In these tough times, department heads need to stop putting pads/contigencies in their budgets.

Bad_PTC, you are on to something as well!

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