PTC Mayor Haddix foresees more 2-to-3 votes ahead
Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix, who hasn’t shied away from controversy by chiming in to local bloggers via TheCitizen.com, is venturing into new territory this week.
In a letter to the editor on Page A4, Haddix is now criticizing fellow Councilman Eric Imker for bringing up a matter at a council meeting which Haddix was already working on behind the scenes.
In this case Haddix is upset that Imker discussed at last week’s council meeting the possibility of renegotiating the city’s take of the 2004 special purpose local option sales tax for transportation.
Imker “approached it as if it were his original idea with Councilwoman (Vanessa) Fleisch speaking as if that were fact,” Haddix wrote. “... They knew I had already begun contacts with other mayors, which is the mayor’s job, not council members. They knew I wanted to appropriately keep the discussions low key until the appropriate time to move forward.”
Haddix also said Imker wants to take part in his discussions on the matter with other mayors.
“My answer was and remains no,” Haddix wrote. “It is my job, not theirs.”
Haddix also chided Imker, who admitted last week that he had lost his temper at the Aug. 18 council meeting when he voted with council members Vanessa Fleisch and Kim Learnard to reduce the Development Authority of Peachtree City’s funding from $35,000 to zero.
“When in positions of responsibility you don’t make decisions by getting fed up and mad and working to circumvent law, authority and those who disagree with you,” Haddix wrote in the letter. “You make sure you get it right, whether you like the answer or not.”
Haddix also said Imker’s suggestion of having DAPC come to council for funding of individual projects may turn out to be illegal, and an answer on the issue is being sought from state officials.
Meanwhile, Haddix has not let go of being on the losing end of a 3-2 vote that allows the city to hire an economic development coordinator as a contract city employee who will work under the developmental services division. Haddix and fellow Councilman Doug Sturbaum wanted the DAPC to be able to hire and have complete oversight of that employee. Haddix has contended a city employee in that role will be unable to offer the appropriate tax incentives.
In his letter Haddix quotes an email to council from City Attorney Ted Meeker that favors Haddix’s position.
Haddix quoted Meeker as follows: “From a legal standpoint, being employed by the DAPC may provide some additional flexibility due to the broader powers that the DAPC has in promoting commerce, industry and trade.”
The conclusion drawn by Haddix is that “a city coordinator cannot do everything a DAPC director can do.”