PTC Mayor Haddix faces almost certain censure from council

Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix (L) and Councilman Eric Imker. File photo.

A dispute over decorum will come to a head at the Peachtree City Council meeting Thursday night with an unprecedented vote to officially censure a sitting mayor.

That’s when council is expected to adopt a resolution formally reprimanding Mayor Don Haddix for criticizing current and former city employees, elected officials and appointed officials.

The resolution also raps Haddix for criticizing several governmental agencies, including the Fayette County Development Authority and the Atlanta Regional Commission, “which has damaged the city’s relationship with those and other agencies.”

The resolution also specifically admonishes Haddix “for comments and actions directed toward former Mayor Harold Logsdon and former employee Joey Grisham.”

Haddix is being sued for libel by Logsdon based on an email Haddix sent to economic development coordinator Joey Grisham in which Haddix claimed that Logsdon showed up “part drunk” to meetings.

Grisham, who started in January as the city’s first economic development coordinator, resigned in early May, and he later cited problems with Haddix as one of the chief reasons for his departure.

Haddix has said he will challenge the censure and “prove all their accusations false.”

Although the censure would be a symbolic gesture only, it also makes a significant statement about the rift between Haddix and council members Eric Imker, Vanessa Fleisch and Kim Learnard.

At the July 21 council meeting, all three said they were tired of apologizing for comments made by Haddix. Learnard specifically also said the city had a number of positive things going for it, and she was tired of the “18-month pattern of negativity.”

At that meeting, Haddix prevented a vote on the censure resolution by walking out of the meeting when he was not granted a postponement of the matter. The walk-out left council without a quorum to finish the remaining business left on the agenda: the censure vote and also executive (closed) session during which council typically discusses pending or threatened litigation and personnel matters.

During that discussion, Haddix said because the item was placed on the agenda the day prior to the meeting, he hadn’t had time to prepare a response to the censure. After a few minutes of give and take on the matter between Haddix and the rest of council, the mayor left council chambers, visibly frustrated that his fellow council members hadn’t acquiesced to his request.

Although it is a rare occurrence for the Peachtree City Council to formally criticize the mayor, it has happened at least once in city history. Back in July 1982, after a very lengthy hearing, council determined that then-Mayor Fred Brown interfered with the police department on two specific occasions: once when asking an officer to void a parking ticket and the other by interrupting the interrogation of a police suspect. Council also determined that Brown did not obstruct law enforcement, according to city records.

ptcrightnow
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Handling Don Haddix

It appears that everyone who posted here is correct. Whether you are for or against censure, everyone agrees that Haddix has behaved poorly. Even his supporters who post here.

Maybe Haddix will take notice and start to do the job we pay him to do, but if not, it doesn't matter. The 3 to 2 majority appears to want to move forward. Let Haddix throw his temper tantrums and write his editorials.

The 3 on council need to declare Haddix ineffective and useless to PTC government and move forward without him. Ignore his behavior the way a parent ignores a 5 year old when he/she mis-behaves.

Structure situations and decisions to be sure he can not be the spoiler that he has proven to be and stop apologizing to State and Regional officials and tell them he has been rendered useless.

He'll be voted out.

Spyglass
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I like it when some posts make perfect sense..

And to me, this one makes perfect sense.

Citizen_Steve
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Censure is a waste of taypayer resources

The adult thing to do, council members, is to grow backbones and get on with the city business. This censure motion is petty and is a stupid waste of our time and resources. As a taxpayer and citizen I feel mis-represented by the three sponsors. So the mayor is difficult to work with? Get over it and focus on the challenges that matter... if you can't do that then resign and give the opportunity to someone else.

Steve

dawgday
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Absolutely

It is absolutely a waste of time and effort, but no real resources involved as staff should not be involved in the event. However, Haddix has created an incredibly negative working relationship with numerous agencies that are critical to our well being. He has consistently "conducted himself in a manner which relates to and adversely affects the administration of his or her office and adversely affects the rights and interests of the public", thus validates a recall. We have a dysfunctional council due to his total lack of leadership and now a total breakdown of acceptable working standard between council members. Frankly, all should resign, but removing Haddix will greatly improve the odds of success.

He demonstrated his character at the last meeting by walking out. He can demonstrate true character by accepting the censure and demonstrating signs of leadership. However, if I were a betting sort, I would wager that he will be combative and deny his clearly documented failures. Let's wait and see!

cogitoergofay
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Steve: Correct on "Waste of Resources"

Citizen Steve is correct when he says that the city is wasting resources with the censure. The Council is obviously not spending its valuable, collective, executive time solving real problems with significant impact.

The City has more pressing issues upon it. The Budget? No, because that is handled annually in a most mundane manner, typical to most local governments. But, there are a number of time sensitive matters that are obviously being overlooked because of the censure. For example, Mr. Imker's declaration that a small number of local property owners would be forced to bear the half million dollars to fix a property problem caused by the city may likely end up in court. This and other pressing matters (e.g., recruiting businesses) are obviously being overlooked because of this circus environment. I also tend to agree with Scott Bradshaw, yet again.

bad_ptc
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cogitoergofay, please elaborate, I must have been sleeping

"Mr. Imker's declaration that a small number of local property owners would be forced to bear the half million dollars to fix a property problem caused by the city may likely end up in court."

Spyglass
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So you don't think our Mayor has sidetracked Council?

Derailed may be a more fitting description. He needs to be calmed down, muzzled, censured, whatever it takes to bring him somewhat back to normal.

I don't think "muzzling" is on the docket, so we have what we have.

cogitoergofay
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Spy: Perhaps Haddix has contributed

Spy: Perhaps Haddix has contributed to the dysfunction but there is important business not getting done. Local voters will feel the same way about Council that they do about Congress--- that the delay in addressing real economic issues is inexcusable. I will agree though--- blame for all on council and, thus, I agree with Bradshaw.

Concerned PTC Parent
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All are to blame

This is so tiring. I picked up the Citizen today to see the headline "Peachtree City Censures Mayor," and wanted to see the alleged negative blog posts and found my way here. Turns out 3 council members censured the mayor. I agree with you in that I feel the same way about our local government as I do about Congress. This censure is petty and it's time for these people to do their jobs or step down, all of them, so that the interests of the city are the first order of business.

NUK_1
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What economic issues should PTC be addressing?

What do you expect this Council to do about economic issues in Peachtree City? Seems like 4 of them are working pretty hard on budgeting issues while the 5th one sits around talking stupidly about how you can't plan more than a year at a time, which is insane.

As far as economics and attracting business, they hired an ED who got ran out of town quickly by the Haddix dynamic duo who are still whining about how the money should be given to DAPC. While I agree with funding DAPC back then and now, once the Council made the decision to not go that route, that was the time to be mature and go forward. Instead, it's more crap from Haddix who seems to have little respect for the majority or prides himself on being continuously on the losing end of 3-2 and sometimes 4-1 votes. At least it gives him something to whine about here and in his letters to the paper.

Spyglass
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How is it a waste of resources?

I'm going to hang up and listen.

ptcrightnow
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Citizen Steve

You're right.
The 3 have the majority vote.After the November election, they will probably have a 4 to 1 vote over the mayor, so he can shrivel away. Time to move on.

ptcrightnow
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Haddix Recall .. Dawgday

Thanks for the post.

There is a large group that has formed that is meeting this week! Ready to organize and go forward with a recall.

Action is based upon based on what Haddix does Thursday night! If there is no acceptance that he needs to change and its clear that PTC can expect more of the same...then the group is ready to move.

Actually need 7500 signatures within 45 days to force the recall.

Ball is in his court.

dawgday
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I win the bet

As expected. When is the meeting?

roundabout
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I hope the Mayor tells......

........those special people who irritate most of us, to go pound sand!

Could it be that this group is also TEAS ? Act like them! Disrupters with impossible and illegal actions.

dawgday
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Perfect

It was my understanding you need 100 signatures to file the paperwork to the election board and receive the petition. Then the 45 days and 30% (sadly, more than actually voted) to achieve the recall. But, I shall leave it up to those in the know. Look forward to attending and participating. I am quite certain Haddix will not back down. In fact, I anticipate a circus at the meeting with the five supporters he has stepping up after he opens the event up to the public. That of course will be after he "counters" the documented missteps and misrepresentations that got him here.

dawgday
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Recall

Per Ga. Code §21-4 : 'Grounds for recall' means: (A) That the official has, while holding public office, conducted himself or herself in a manner which relates to and adversely affects the administration of his or her office and adversely affects the rights and interests of the public; and (B) That the official: (i) Has committed an act or acts of malfeasance while in office; (ii) Has violated his or her oath of office; (iii) Has committed an act of misconduct in office; (iv) Is guilty of a failure to perform duties prescribed by law; or (v) Has willfully misused, converted, or misappropriated, without authority, public property or public funds entrusted to or associated with the elective office to which the official has been elected or appointed. Discretionary performance of a lawful act or a prescribed duty shall not constitute a ground for recall of an elected public official.

The number of official sponsors necessary to file an application for a recall petition must be equal in number to at least 100 electors or equal in number to at least 10 percent of the number of electors who were registered to vote at the last preceding election for any of the candidates offering for the office held by the public official sought to be recalled, whichever is smaller.

In the case of a local officer, the number of electors necessary to petition the recall of the officer shall be equal to at least 30 percent of the number of electors registered and qualified to vote at the last preceding election for any candidate offering for the office held by the officer.

Haddix certainly qualifies repeatedly for conducting himself in a manner which adversely affects the administration of his office and the rights and interest of the public. Only take 100 signatures to start.

More detail at: http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/gacode/Default.asp

Robert W. Morgan
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Recall: 2 out of 3 isn't bad

Haddix has certainly done his part to create the need for a recall.
100 signatures is a piece of cake, might get that many after the meeting tonite.
That leaves the 30% or 7500 signatures to force the recall. I think that means 7500 signatures gets you a recall election - the results of which kick him out or leave him in.
That last one is a tall, tall mountain to climb given the voter apathy that has been bred into this city.
Maybe the censure and the beginning of a recall effort will be enough to muzzle him. A couple of years of 4-1 votes and no hope whatsoever of a second term effectively neuters him.

bad_ptc
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Haddix recall not needed

Current council just has to censure him; that will be a 3-1-1 vote as Doug will abstain.

What needs to be made clear to Haddix privately, off the record, out or earshot and one at a time by the other council members is that for the remainder of his tenure he will be out-voted on everything he votes on if it's not a 5 - 0 vote.

It should be made clear to him that he will go down in flames as the biggest 3 - 2 looser in history.

If he acts up again, council could and should censure him again.

Once he understands that he will never be on the winning side of a 3 - 2 vote he may just take his ball and go home for good.

Haddix has already shown he has no problem with quiting when the going gets tough.

P.S. IT department; don't let anything short of an act of God interfere with tonights live video feed.

bad_ptc
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Well I blew it on the Doug vote

I got home just in time to only see the actual vote via web broadcast. Not having to wade through the Haddix rebuttal was probably a Godsend in disguise.

Doug has no intentions of ever running again so I don't feel to bad.

roundabout
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bad

I think council votes should be according to what is best for PTC, not vindictive against a MAYOR!

The Video needs to be cut off so that idiots can't be involved in personnel matters!

ptcrightnow
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Censure

Its ashame because instead of learning from it, Haddix will ignore and continue what he is doing. He might be the worst mayor in the city's history, clearly the most disrruptive, egotistic and dumbiest!

One thing he is good though is getting lots of headlines and attention here in PTC and across the State of Georgia.

Curious where Sturbaum will stand...maybe he'll grow a pair tomorrow night and vote in favor which he should do....nana

MajorMike
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ptcrightnow - Censure

You pretty much hit the nail on the head. The Mayor is not going to change his way of doing things and neither is the "gang of three". I personally would be against censure because it leaves EVERYONE with egg on their face.

But ..... is he the worst Mayor in the City's history? No, not by a long shot. Logsdon was a disaster, Lenox was/is a great guy but was a really lousy Mayor. Even the now sainted Fred " developer's buddy" Brown was nothing to brag about. He did exactly what he was told to do and then let others take the heat when things went south on him.

Sturbaum will probably vote against this childishness and consequentially be accused of being Haddix's lap dog.

Spyglass
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I disagree on the "not the worst mayor"

Opinions vary.

I as a City resident think Haddix should learn from this, but I'm afraid he won't.

MajorMike
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Spyglass - "Opinions vary"

I love that quote. Patrick Swayze - Road House 1989. Here's another one for you: Dalton: Nobody ever wins a fight.

I fear you are correct in that; "Haddix should learn from this, but I'm afraid he won't". And THAT is in part why I oppose the censure thingy - "Nobody ever wins a fight". There's going to be plenty of egg for all faces concerned.

NUK_1
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Mayor rankings

From my time in PTC, I'd rank them as follows from "best" to worst":

1)Fred Brown (impact fees helped a LOT)
2)King Bob Lenox.impact fees helped and the city staff was at its best then too). His first term was 10x better than his second and the Dev and Airport Authorities ran amok.
3)Harold Logsdon-kind of a dud but nothing as atrocious as the next two
4)Steve Brown
5)Don Haddix

Censuring Haddix just sends a message to everyone else that at least 3(majority) of Council is open to adult discussion and something resembling professionalism, whether that is in dealing with other political entities or the business community. Or city staff, several of whom think Haddix is awful and far worse than Brown or Logsdon and are also in management, and that was well before the Rec reorganization.

Sturbaum used to vote the same as Haddix, but has disagreed on a few votes in the past few months. He got the rep as lapdog more from Haddix constantly posting here numerous times stating "me and Sturbaum.. me and Sturbaum" instead of letting Sturbaum either comment or not comment on his own and at his own choosing, not Don's.

Robert W. Morgan
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Mayor ranking. Right on NUK

I have Frady during my time here and I'd put him in the middle with Logsdon - both sort of place sitters. Citizen Steve is wrong about the censure wasting city resources - what resources? Its a regular meeting tonite and everyone's there and the lights are on anyway. Now Haddix walking out of the last meeting and losing the quorum? That could be considered a waste of resources.

And just because Haddix is the worst mayor we have ever had does not mean the whole council and staff needs to be dragged down to his level for 4 years. That's what the censure is all about - a strong message to outsiders to work around the mayor, tolerate him the way you do your drunken uncle at Thanksgiving (bless his heart!) and to clearly state the rest of council is indeed conducting business for the benefit of all Peachtree City residents. Tonight, tonight! Can't wait. Haddix's predictable response where he will lash out at the others on council will be both amusing and embarrassing and will verify that censure was indeed called for.

cogitoergofay
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Morgan right and Morgan wrong about censure and resources

Morgan is right when he says "everyone's there and the lights are on anyway." Morgan is wrong when he says that the city is not wasting resources with the censure. The Council is obviously not spending its valuable, collective, executive time solving real problems with significant impact.

The City has more pressing issues upon it. The Budget? No, because that is handled annually in a most mundane manner, typical to most local governments. But, there are a number of time sensitive matters that are obviously being overlooked because of the censure. For example, Mr. Imker's declaration that a small number of local property owners would be forced to bear the half million dollars to fix a property problem caused by the city may likely end up in court. This and other pressing matters (e.g., recruiting businesses) are obviously being overlooked because of this circus environment. I tend to agree with Scott Bradshaw, yet again.

Citizen_Steve
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hmm

hmm

Robert W. Morgan
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You may need a quorum to censure

and you will have it if Doug doesn't walk out. But there is no requirement for a response from Haddix and I see no point in allowing one. Why let him open his mouth again? What good has ever come from that?

Good job grownups on council. Very important step on the way to restoring the city's tarnished image. Some of you think a clown like Haddix is just an amusing side show, but in reality the things he says and does cost the city (and us taxpayers) a lot of money and lost opportunities.

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