Budget talk gets heated in PTC

Mayor attacked for not suggesting budget cuts

What should have been the routine approval of Peachtree City’s annual budget Thursday night turned into a cringeworthy event as council members attacked Mayor Don Haddix for not proposing specific budget cuts despite advocating for a property tax decrease.

Several audience members walked out of the room in clear disgust over the political theatrics, which were clearly designed to shame Haddix. Haddix was asked at least a dozen times by Councilmembers George Dienhart, Eric Imker and Kim Learnard to provide specific budget items he wishes to cut.

Haddix explained several times that he prefers seeking citizen input to determine service cuts, which can be used to guide “permanent budget cuts.” Determining service cuts is better than the “band-aid” approach of making budget cuts currently used by council, Haddix said, adding that his citizen committee to study the matter is set to begin meeting soon.

That explanation wasn’t good enough for council as they continued to push the issue at length. At one point the conversation got so heated that Haddix gaveled down Dienhart for interrupting him immediately after a warning not to do so.

After banging the gavel, Haddix briefly pointed the gavel at Dienhart, who sits to his right, and said “Shhh, stop!”

“Are you telling me to shut up Don or are you going to hit me?” Dienhart retorted.

Near the end of the discussion, Imker said he was puzzled why Haddix wouldn’t recommend specific budget cuts.

Learnard said she was “kind of disappointed” that Haddix didn’t propose any specific cuts to be debated by council during the budgeting process.

When all was said and done, Haddix was the only dissenting vote on the $28.6 million budget, which was approved 4-1. Dienhart said he was grudgingly going along with the budget though he wanted to see more budget cuts as well. Dienhart said in the future it may come down to cutting personnel.

Unlike their treatment of Haddix, council members did not demand that Dienhart reveal what parts of the budget he would prefer to cut.

The budget includes a millage rate increase to counteract a shortfall of approximately $600,000 that would have occurred due to shrinking property values. The budget also uses $503,000 in cash reserves, which has been planned to help “spend down” the stockpile of cash that has reached 38 percent of the city’s annual budget in recent years.

The budget includes a 2 percent of salary “bonus” for city employees instead of a raise at a cost of $280,000. The city is also adding six part-time employees for buildings and grounds maintenance and a civilian evidence custodian for the police department which will allow a sworn officer to be shifted back to the patrol division, said City Finance Director Paul Salvatore.

The tax increase will raise the millage rate by .372 for a total rate of 7.148 including the bond millage rate of .422.

istilldontknow
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BREAKING BUDGET NEWS - Police Chief Recommends Captain Cuts...

Dateline: Peachtree City, September 15, 2012

Peachtree City Police Chief H.C. "Skip" Clark is recommending the elimination of three captain positions, the hiring of two new patrol officers, and the reorganization of the Police Department, according to a memo released in advanced of the September 20 Peachtree City Council regular meeting. In the memo, Chief Clark recommends that the reduction in force will yield an annual budget savings of $330,000. The chief also recommended the addition of two patrol officers to the force at an estimated annual cost of $124,000 a year, bringing the estimated overall savings to approximately $206,000 annually.

The reorganization of the department is being done to maximize "the use of personnel employed to serve the community," according to Clark's memo. CALEA accreditation assessors reported to the department that Peachtree City was "more top heavy" than other departments they had assessed, based on the memo.

The reorganization will consolidate the patrol, Community Response Team (CRT) and the department's detectives (CID) command structure to report to a single captain, who will then report to the Assistant Chief. The department's professional services and support services groups will remain in separate reporting structures but will not have captains overseeing their operations. Each of the groups have a lieutenant position reporting to the assistant chief. The Professional Standards group will also have a direct line to the Police Chief as needed, based on the revised organization chart published on the City's website in the agenda packet for the September 20 meeting.

The reorganization measure was introduced prior to the FY2013 budget discussions by City Manager Jim Pennington, leading to a strong backlash in a public meeting by several members of the Police Department, including some of the captains who may be affected by the reduction in force. Pennington had remained quiet on the plan throughout the actual budget process, based on public meetings on the subject.

This reduction in force will be the third such reduction in the City in recent years, following on the elimination of positions in maintenance crews in Public Works and Recreation and the elimination of administrative positions in the Building and Recreation departments in previous years.

The Council will discuss and vote on the proposal in their next regular meeting, to be held at City Hall, 151 Willowbend Road, next to the Peachtree City Library. The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 20, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

-30-

NUK_1
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This I applaud, Skip

If hiring an assistant PD Chief and filling that vacant Major position with the asst. is a trade-off in eliminating 3 Captains and saving 200K/year, I completely agree. Now, please don't put the 2 new patrol officers in the medians sitting around all day or standing at roadblocks and I'll take back a lot of my criticisms of how you have operated the PD since taking over.

I hope Pennington sticks his neck out and gets behind this. It won't be wildly popular amongst the "I'm soooooo scared of everything and PUBLIC SAFETY PUBLIC SAFETY" crowd, but it's necessary. Over time, employees' salaries and levels rise to the point of diminishing returns and become an upside down ROI.

whome
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Really, Cut Until There is Nothing?

I always have to read these cut it all posts with a great deal of amusement. It seems there is a group of Peachtree City citizens that will not be happy until all the amenities that have made Peachtree City an outstanding place to live, work, and raise a family and play are gone. We have a saying that freedom is not free, well civilization and great communities like Peachtree City are not free either.

Maybe you would be happier in a place like Riverdale where all amenities have been reduced to near nothing not because they are not wanted, but because there is just not the population with the financial means to support it.

I think you would like Riverdale.

istilldontknow
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I agree...

I put my "cuts" example out there to prove a point - no one is really putting viable solutions out there. Notice only one blogger put anything else out there, and it was a catch-all "cut public safety" - it doesn't say what to cut there, just cut.

In most cases, you get what you pay for. If you stop paying, here's what you get:

- Dedicated employees choosing jobs elsewhere (and not always for more pay, sometimes just for security)
- Declining quality of life
- Citizen apathy, or worse, citizen discontent
- Ineffective, reactionary "politicians" like the ones we have in office now.

So....if you guys can't find anything to cut, suck it up and say we need to pay for it all, and keep it going.

Quality costs money.

whome
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I agree with you more than I thought!

Especially on two items:
1. "Infective, reactionary "politicians" like the ones we have in office now." They should be working on ideas to build an even greater 21st century community not how to disassemble the amenities that have made Peachtree City.

2. "Quality Costs Money" Yep, no way around that one. I wish there was something I could add, but this is so complete and accurate that it stands alone.

whome
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I Would Disagree about Kedron

Kedron and the facilities are national class and a great asset for the City. Everything does not have to result on a return on investment as in profit. That return is sometimes difficult to calculate. My daughter swam for SCAT for years. She went on to become a very good State quality swimmer. This type of facility might not be what you need or want, but I think the thousands of people that continue to use this facility would disagree with you. So do the ball fields and other recreational facilities. The families that are involved in these types of activities are exactly the kind of families that make for great communities. I am not trying to put a label on anyone. Go by there any time in the summer and see how much others support these types of facilities.

I do agree with your final statement: "Peachtree City is not for everybody...if you don't want to pay more for added value then maybe Peachtree City isn't for you"

dar thompson
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Kedron Field House

there's a way to save $700,000 per year. Furthermore there is a zero return on investment. People don't move to Peachtree City because we have Kedron Field House and Aquatic Center.

However, my vote is to increase taxes slightly....create added value to Peachtree City and you will continue to attract the demographic needed to keep the city's standards at a high level. Taxes, police, and amenities that are to low will attract people that don't spend money in restaurants or spend money shopping...simply because they don't have the means to do so. Ultimately, they contribute little or nothing to enhance the overall quality and value to our city.

Peachtree City is not for everybody...if you don't want to pay more for added value then maybe Peachtree City isn't for you.

ptctaxpayer
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Kedron--- the answer ain't Dar

Keep on beating that drum, Dar. I'll be damned if the City will sell it to you. One cesspool in the City is enough.

Yeah, you're in favor of increased taxes. That figures. "Just spend it".

dar thompson
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Yor Missing the Point

I'm not trying to buy the Kedron Fieldhouse....the math does not work. You woulod actually have to pay me $400,000.00 a year to take it...however, even under that business model we would still be saving the taxpayers $300,000 per year.

Your second comment regarding taxes is unclear.

PTC Observer
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Latitude 32 - Mr. Thompson

How is your restaurant venture going for you? I have eaten there three times, each time it gets better.

Let me know if you want my constructive comments posted here.

dar thompson
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Thank you

I appreciate your support....I feel it important that we support local businesses. Thank you for your kind words. Yes, it seems as though we are improving but still not at the level of atomsphere, service, and quality that I would like but we are getting there. These things take time, and as you, I feel we are improving weekly and moving the right direction.

The "club" upstairs is doing well and continues to grow in membership weekly...over 350 members in three-and-a-half months. We have special events for members and nusic every weekend...not o mention, 126 inch screens to watch your favorite college or pro teams.

PTC Observer
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Mr. Thompson - Restaurant

Some helpful, I hope, comments on your business:

1. Food very good to excellent depending on what you order. My personal favors are the hummus, the tuna nicoise, fried green beans, fish tacos, red snapper, and salmon. You should simply drop the Jambalaya, unless you get a chef from N.O.
2. Wait staff is good but needs an experienced mentor to teach them some basic skills at serving. Hint: If you have a business group in discussions, you don't need to interrupt discussions to provide service, wait until you think it appropriate to ask questions. The best restaurant wait staff is a server that provides service and is nearly unseen or unheard. I don't want to trash your staff, they are good, they just need some mentoring on how to do it.
3. The environment is not warm and inviting (decor that is), I am not an interior decorator but if you are trying for an upscale restaurant you are missing on this point.
4. The club upstairs is better (warmer in some way), the wine selection is good. I would provide some other benefits between the levels of club membership other than just bring in additional people. At the highest level, you could get things going by providing an exclusive time for hors d'oeuvres and complimentary wine tasting.
5. Dress, I would require a jacket for men and dress for ladies in the club after 6PM.
6. Wait staff should have aprons and bow ties on both levels.
7. Menus should be printed and not laminated, daily specials each day as spoken by the staff and the menu should be dated.

All of this above assumes you are going for an upscale look in your restaurant, your website sure looks like an upscale place goes with it. You have my complements on this site and its look.

As it stands, I would take my family to the restaurant but not business colleagues. Upstairs yes, I would take business colleagues there. The annual fees look reasonable for business expenditures and you have it divided nicely for meeting business socials, especially around sports events. Since the food comes from downstairs, I think this is a winner for you.

Good luck, I will be going back and soon.

dar thompson
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Yor Missing the Point

I'm not trying to buy the Kedron Fieldhouse....the math does not work. You woulod actually have to pay me $400,000.00 a year to take it...however, even under that business model we would still be saving the taxpayers $300,000 per year.

Your second comment regarding taxes is unclear.

dar thompson
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Yor Missing the Point

I'm not trying to buy the Kedron Fieldhouse....the math does not work. You woulod actually have to pay me $400,000.00 a year to take it...however, even under that business model we would still be saving the taxpayers $300,000 per year.

Your second comment regarding taxes is unclear.

dar thompson
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Yor Missing the Point

I'm not trying to buy the Kedron Fieldhouse....the math does not work. You woulod actually have to pay me $400,000.00 a year to take it...however, even under that business model we would still be saving the taxpayers $300,000 per year.

Your second comment regarding taxes is unclear.

Mike King
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Dar

I will agree that Peachtree City isn't for everyone, but SHOULD a slight tax increase come to fruition it should be to repay the city's growing debt. Our city 'staff' is far too cumbersome as evidenced by PCPD idling along highway medians or parked tucked from view usually in pairs. Add to that a fire department that rolls each time a fender bender occurs. Wasn't it last week that our CVB reported purchasing a bus to take visitors(tourists) out to the various movie filming locales? You get my point.

Much of what makes PTC great is done by volunteers, care to comment on the KPTCB folks?

Our population is rapidly aging with very little new and young blood coming in. So it stands to reason that items such as Kedron Aquatic Center add little other than dead weight to our infrastructure. Without a significant influx of young families it won't be long before the baseball soccer complex on 74 south can be converted into a septuagenarian and older olympic type village.

A fellow blogger listed several items that sensibly established a framework for getting the city's finances in order, hopefully someone on Council is listening.

mudcat
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Mike, those very same points were made at One PTC

Those citizen focus groups pointed out those very facts - aging populations have different recreational needs and the CVB has excess funding that should be directed elsewhere. We were told that all this was going to be presented to city council and all the other relevant boards and commissions, but nothing yet. How do we get these people to listen to us? After all, the city itself organized and paid for One Peachtree City and collected tons of information - why not use it or at least listen to it? Might save some money on things like swimming pool covers in the future.

I would hope the Recreation Commission at least is taking an active role in looking at a realistic needs assessment 5 and 10 years into the future. I agree that there is a point at which some ballfields are going to be sold for something else or simply repurposed for seniors. it is pretty obvious that we will eventually have one or two closed schools in PTC that can convert to a senior's use.

I hope someone is planning ahead for all this. It is much more important than the trivia with Haddix and his - rather our - $10,000.

Mike King
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Mudcat

Granted, these are ideas that have surfaced prior, but they do make sense and would seem doable from at least my perspective. Getting a majority on Council to actually listen is another matter entirely. Kind of reminds one of the Simpson-Bowles Commission, doesn't it?

In my humble opinion it's well past time for Council to cease dealing with egos and retribution and to get on with the people's work. Planning ahead takes a back seat to bickering, one-upsmanship, and self posturing. I think it was my friend Garlock who spoke of service recently, and each on Council needs to access themselves in that regard. If they fall short, step down and allow the city to move forward.

Just an opinion.

Larry Sussberg
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Peachtree City-Aging Population-Budget

Unfortunately PTC wasted 2+ years over economic development and had this mayor compromised with council to the solution that now exists which is a dedicated person either working for the city or Fayette County Economic Development we would be further along in attracting new companies to town. Now we pay the price!

PTC needs young families and the solution is smart economic development.

Cutting " Convention & Rec" may not be the best move if we are to have a "young" and "corporate" future but may be necessary on the short term, hopefully not long term or made private.

Now, as for real budget cost cutting, the mayor committee is convened and let's see what comes out.

With an mayoral election coming up in 2013, let's see who is willing to stand up and make cuts or who folds because it may not seem the popular thing to do if one wants to run for mayor.

Surely the issue of budget cuts and cuts in services will come up before the next mayoral election.

IMHO

Robert W. Morgan
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Actually, we have wasted almost 12 years i.e. 3 mayors

Our last 3 one-term mayors have done virtually nothing for economic development. Brown of course started the whole chain of events by destroying a Development Authority without a single thought given to replacement since something like that might favor "developers", Logsdon did nothing except to have the good sense not to interfere or grandstand when the Sany discussions started, Haddix, well what can you say other than he was on the right side of many issues including this one, but his abrasive demeanor attracts opposition.

The momentum away from the young families moving into PTC is almost impossible to overcome at this point. Newnan has pretty much eaten our lunch. Compare their business and restaurant and shopping scene to ours. I don't mean downtown Newnan - I speak of the area by the bypass. Young families are attracted to things like that. Housing is perfect for them because during the years of PTC fighting "density" and other imagined evils, Newnan and Sharpsburg and Senoia were quietly building 3 and 4 BR houses on small lots which can now be bought in the $120's to the $150's and payments less than renting an apartment or they can just rent a house for about $700. Senoia also has a sewer system now that will facilitate even more growth. Did you know that?

Get used to the idea of an overtaxed senior's community in PTC. We are halfway there and there is no savior appearing as our next mayor that is going to change that.

dar thompson
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Robert, You never know

You never know...someone could step up and run for mayor. Someone who actually understands the program and more importantly is not affraid to do something about it. I agree with you it will be next to impossible to fix the problems that the last 3 mayor's and council has created.

Larry Sussberg
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RWM, Dar

In order to bring intelligence and real leadership back to the mayor's office, a large number of citizens will need to care, understand what's happening, and get involved by voting in 2013.

PTC has a lot to offer, a premium quality of life at affordable prices which is ideal for young families and young professionals. We can not be anti-developer, anti-growth, anti-Chamber, anti big, medium and small box. This "Anti" attitude and continued in-fighting is what's leading us down this path to increased taxes and service cuts.

All of this contributes to declining housing values and when the market recovers (which it will), our home values may not if PTC does not remain a desirable place to live.

There is a fine balance that PTC can find otherwise we can expect more Racetracs instead of Kohls. A 24 hour gas pumping eye sore lit up like a football field with a convenience store.

Let's get this budget balanced, cut back on selected services to soften the blow of a tax roll up and move on to assisting FCDA in finding more new business for PTC.

AND get the voter turn out to elect a mayoral leader if the current mayor doesn't change his act! November 2013 mayoral election is just around the corner.

Dar, kudos for continuing to invest in new business ventures in Peachtree City.

GeorgeDienhart
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Larry

"Let's get this budget balanced, cut back on selected services to soften the blow of a tax roll up and move on to assisting FCDA in finding more new business for PTC."

You are exactly right.

Robert W. Morgan
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No dar, I don't know for sure, but I think we are done

as a first-class community with a strong cadre of involved citizens committed to excellence. It is deeper than just the pathetic leadership, the roots of which came out of the Brown II regime - the contention that being mayor was a full-time job, the total alienation of the "old guard" of the city, the disrespect for civic organizations like Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce, the contention that growth was bad, everyone was an evil "developer" and of course the junk yard dog style of personal political attacks - all that discourages quality people from seeking elected office. Probably discourages some people from even voting.

And whether it is a by-product of the Browns and the Haddixs and their ilk or not, the fact remains that we used to have a lot of things that we don't have anymore, namely;

-A strong Recreation Commission with a responsive staff and good programming
-Grass that got cut before it grew knee-high
-An active developer with a marketing budget and staff
-A cultural component - what ever happened to the Valentine Ball and the Arts group that was close to getting a performing arts center here?
-An active and visible YMCA
-Peachtree City 101 - best new resident orientation ever
-New Neighbors welcome wagon
-Trailers at the schools - a good thing because we were growing as a community
-Strong local support for Friday and Saturday shows at The Fred
-A strong and visible Development Authority
-An Air Show in the fall
-Harry's, Harris Teeter, Macoroni Grill, Maxwell's, The Hunt Club, a movie theater, etc., etc., etc.
-Seniors unafraid to ride or walk the cart paths to Kroger on Wednesday
-Delta Airlines merging with another every few years bring thousands of new residents to PTC
-Community pride - license plates that said "Live, work, play" or "PTC - Plan to Stay"
-Peaceful walks or golf cart rides without a skateboard or a boom box anywhere
-A dock on Lake Peachtree from which you could fish
-Floy Farr, Paul Heard, Dan Lakly, Howard Morgan, Tom Farr, Jane Miller, Stan Neely, Jerry Stapleton, Pat Shepard ---who in the world is filling those shoes now?
-Fewer lawyers and hardly any lawsuits that involved elected officials
-Insignificant amount for legal fees in the city's budget
-Signs depicting each village and a population that knew which village it lived in
-No guns, home invasions or murders

I'm not being negative here, just missing what Peachtree City used to be. And yes, I do realize the economy and the passage of time and the aging of the population all contribute to these things as well. Not all change is good.

Spyglass
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Things are never as bad

nor as good as one thinks.

We need to get rid of our Clown that we elected Mayor for a fresh start.

Robert W. Morgan
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All true, spy, very true. Remove clown first, then proceed

but at that point a full 12 years of misery and whoever the new mayor is will be digging out from under a huge pile of manure. And, as I have pointed out, other communities aren't as dumb as we are - they have been taking care of business over the last 12 years and most are not considered laughingstocks at the state level as we are - just ask the DOT guy who lives here. In fact several new communities have been created - Sandy Springs, John's Creek, Chattahoochee Hills and their best and brightest have been elected to lead.

As I asked who is replacing our deceased leaders? Dan Lakly and Paul Heard are now Matt Ramsey and Ronnie Chance? That's borderline acceptable and Betsy Tyler does a great job at the city - as did Jane Miller, but after that? Show mw a leader? Where?

bringinabroom
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What about Lenox ? When

What about Lenox ? When President Bush and Fayette Commish Chair Dunn were REDUCING taxes, ole Bobby raised them here, even as he was still sucking down development fees. And he saddled us to the most obscene purchase in local history--- $26 million for a broken down sewer system. The excess and wasteful spending habits we acquired in the '80s and '90s are why our taxes HAVE to go up.

MajorMike
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bringinabroom - Excesses

Yes, we paid $26M for the sewer system but first we turned it down for virtually ............ free. Mayor "King Bob" Lenox publicly stated that we "do not want to be in the sewer business". PCDC then spent $8M upgrading and repairing the system and ultimately putting it on the market for $26M. Lenox and council then decided that PTC must have control of it's own sewer system and spent the $26M (no discounts).

Check out the valve cover shed at the dam on lake Peachtree. Once known as the "Taj Mahal", it cost $23K.

mudcat
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Ah, Lenox. I think the discussion was on economic development

and under Lenox things were quite good. PCDC and Group VI were actually driving that train and Jim Williams was the only one at the city even paying attention, but times were good back then.

But the sewer thing was indeed a huge mistake, not just the expense, but the lack of some kind of warranty. That system was poorly built, parts of it using an experimental pipe - a version of polybutelene, that of course had to be replaced. And yes our taxes are going to go up for many reasons. When the average house price is $220,000 and the annual taxes are $6,000 (or $500 per month) that will be the tipping point for many - especially seniors and we will be having some real serious problems.

fay79isus
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The Lenox Tennis Center---

The Lenox Tennis Center--- let's not forget about that. Replete with a leaky roof, our "World Class Tennis Center" was a den of iniquity, government meeting violations and corruption. These recreational boondoogles (see swimming pool with half million dollar plastic bubble) are a big indication of the wasteful spending that put us where we are.

ptctaxpayer
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"Economic Development" ??? Ha

"Economic Development" ??? Ha ! Lenox and Pace on Council just cared about their own economic development. Jim Williams was their ho in the planning process as Pace rammed through a bunch of church projects with Williams riding shotgun. Remember Lenox tried ramming a referendum throught to build himself a "Fred" ? That got roundly defeated. Mudcat/Morgan admitting "Oh, yeah, well the sewer deal sucked" is kinda like saying "Well, other than that Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the show?

Larry Sussberg
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12 years wasted-PTC economic development

RWM
Still hopeful that in 2013 we can get strong voter turn out to elect a sane and stable mayor who has leadership skills and spends her/his time on economic development rather than fighting with council and voters on the blog.

Meanwhile, let's hope that the mayor's new committee that convened last week will come to the table with REAL budget and service cuts to roll back and/or adjust the new tax increase. Cut services now and add back later.

FCDA appears to be working with their recent announcement of 3 new companies to PTC inspite of the bad press our current mayor rains on us. I suspect we are not very popular, possibly shunned by state level economic development managers afraid to bring proposals to town based upon this behavior.

We can be hopeful its not too late, maybe a little painful as we have to cut services to avoid tax increases. Maybe that pain will wake up the citizens to vote for sanity, leadership and a path to avoid heavy doses of Geritol.

Meanwhile, Geritol doesn't taste so bad, I got my bottles last week.

Robert W. Morgan
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No question we are shunned at the State level

Again, 12 years and 3 mayors pretty much cements a city's image in the minds of those recruiting businesses to the State of Georgia. What is totally lost on these silly and childish mayors is that the state level economic developers work for the entire state and all they care about is getting something to locate inside the borders of Georgia. If the mayor of let's say, Smyrna, for example is much more knowledgable and professional than the mayor of Peachtree City - well of course the state guy is going to schedule a presentation to the client in Smyrna first and Peachtree City, well maybe never. 12 years of that pattern is hard to break. Once in that 12 years a Chinese company had specific rail, highway and airport needs along with their needs for an appropriately zoned parcel and we were the obvious (and perhaps only) answer to their quest. Like I said, Harold Logsdon had the sense to play along and follow the state's lead and we got Sany. I do remember some racist (or perhaps provincialist) comments from one of Logsdon's city council members that could have interfered with the process, but that guy was quickly silenced.

Having FCDA front for us may be a good thing because they are in fact professional and full-time and they can emphasize Fayette County and deemphasize PTC and keep clients from interacting with our mayor and council. It is really a shame that in 12 short years we have fallen so far image-wise. Could have been prevented.

Yes Larry, I will try to share your hope that our next mayor will be sane and stable (in itself a huge improvement) and if his or her focus is on economic development, I will certainly support them and their efforts, but I do fear we have let our bright shining city on the hill fall into the murky mist of misdirection, malfeasance and some other bad word that starts with "m" - can't think of one now.

pandora
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More "M"s for Morgan

misdirected (all 5)
mudslinging (incessently)
myopic (when it comes to sticking it to each other instead of conducting the City's business)
mulish
mercurial
maddening
maladroit
maladjusted
middle-schoolish
marginal

Robert W. Morgan
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Zowie, pandora a home run for you!

Mulish is by far my favorite. Actually, all apply to this silly little man, but mulish stands out. Maladjusted and maddening are a close second. Mudslinging is just redundant.

Thanks pandora

If George or Kimmy runs for mayor will you help me do campaign ads and signs and slogans?

How about these fine people? ---Scott Bradshaw or Mike King or Dar Thompson or Russ Heil or Cyndi Plunkett or Scott Rowland or Bob Truitt Jill Good Truitt or Mike Amos or Lynn Amos or Arnie Geiger or Terry Garlock or Jimmy Booth or Jim Basinger or Tim Hudson (he used to live here) or Bill MacDonald or Jim Webb or Tim Kaigler or Bobby Vassey or Bob Brooks or Gordon Fleming or Mike Carroll or Mike Smith or Jim Fulton or Jim Pace or Mike Rossetti or David Rossetti or any Rossetti kids or grandkids or Jim Royal or Marilyn Royal or Wendy Farr or Sandra Jungers or Mark Jungers or Jim Messer (has a great car) or Rick Viall or Jim Strickland or Linda Strickland or Todd Strickland or Jim Steinbach or Jim Coles or Marsha Coles or Mary Chapman or Sam Chapman or Fred Brown ( the last great mayor) or Dale Geeslin or Nancy Price or Ron Price or Rick Price (scratch that) or Jeff Carter (wife is opposed, but she will come around) or Rick Mendenhall or Donna Turner or Donna O' Kelley or many others.

Will you do signs and slogans for them as well? I am sure you will because they are all far better than what we have now.

pandora
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RWM - Long List

Glad to help on the long list (although we'd have to get a couple of them to move back inside the city limits), but have to abstain from anyone currently serving -- they're all adding to the problem instead of overcoming it at this point. That's where the middle-schoolishness comes in. Maybe we can start with J's today. Juvenile is my first submission.

MYTMITE
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Or Robert Morgan--------

Go ahead, put your name on the top of the list. You have such great ideas it would be a shame for you not to put them all into practice.

Robert W. Morgan
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Can't run when dead. Can vote though

especially in places with no voter ID. Did you see where that woman in Maryland or someplace voted in her state and again in Florida. The excuse was she registered in FL to help a friend who was running for office there and just got into the habit of voting twice. What made that noteworthy is she was actually running for Congress when she was outed. Oh well.

pandora
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Strike "marginal" - too complimentary

Strike "marginal" - too complimentary

GeorgeDienhart
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Robert

Some of us actually have good relationships with other public officials.

Robert W. Morgan
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Yes George, that is true, it is also not enough

While it is always a good idea to maintain good relationships as opposed to the burning of all bridges approach that some take, with all due respect to you and your office - that doesn't count for much at the state level. Both ARC and DOT are used to dealing with county commission chairs and mayors on the often (but not always) correct assumption that the political leaders speak for the entire government body and even all the people.

Individual city councilpersons and individual county commissioners don't really have the clout at the state level - especially if the county chair or the mayor is a butt and at odds with the others. They don't like disarray and they don't care about political spats. They want one responsible and knowledgable (and yes sane) person to represent their city or county and to have all the answers and be someone who has the authority to speak for the entire government body. This also applies at Department of Industry and Trade (where Sany and many others came from), although with them the political leaders usually back off and let the Development Authority employees do their job.

I would be happy and proud for you to be mayor and represent us at the state level. Sooner would be better than later. Never too early to think about campaign slogans. How about " I'm not a crook, not a kook, not a crock!" Catchy isn't it? Of course anybody could use that. But you will probably take the high road in a campaign and never once mention your opponent - except as Clint Eastwood so famously said "If the CEO is not doing his job, we should fire him and get someone else"

GeorgeDienhart
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You are right

Just wanted to point out that all is not lost. Thanks for the kind words.

whome
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Absolutely!

If you plan and budget for a senior community that is what you will get.

"PTC needs young families and the solution is smart economic development.

Cutting " Convention & Rec" may not be the best move if we are to have a "young" and "corporate" future but may be necessary on the short term, hopefully not long term or made private." It is not necessary in the short term. Once cut, the momentum will never return. Look around at other communities. Seniors alone cannot support a vibrant community like Peachtree City.

These families like just about any are not spending right now. They will in the future and they will stay and come back if the amenities they want are maintained and new ones developed. There are a lot of older economic communities around that did not plan to keep and attract young families. I am thinking College Park, East Point, Fairburn, and South Fulton. Everyone grew old and the young families came South to Peachtree City and Coweta Co. We need to do what is necessary to keep the young families we have and continue planning to attract new ones.

NUK_1
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whome: Agree

It doesn't help when you have Mayors like a Brown or Haddix who openly advocate for PTC to become a more "senior" community because it means less cars on the road(don't believe that actually)and less kids in the school system. If I wanted to live in a retirement community, I'd move to Florida or Arizona.

I think PTC will start to turn around some on the demographics once the economy improves a bit. The amenities here, the school system(if it doesn't go totally broke) and low crime rates are magnets for people starting a family or those with young children.

Competition with Coweta makes it tougher because they have abundant access to the interstate with multiple points of entry/exit and you can get a lot more house and land for the money. Still, Coweta's school system isn't up to FC's yet, their crime rate is slightly higher,taxes a little higher, and they don't have near the amenities. What coweta does have is a lot more forward thinking in their elected officials and a strong desire to improve. They are also in high growth mode which brings in the tax dollars to make improvements happen.

A significant part of PTC has houses that are really showing their age. These are going to be the kind of houses that younger people buy and then renovate. Areas like Glenloch that are ancient and pretty run down are very affordable for those who don't mind investing into their house in order to get the goodies that come along with living in PTC. Wynmeade may have a crappy reputation from years ago, but it's better now than years ago too. Another opportunity for those who want to be in FC/PTC. There are plenty of other neighborhoods in similar conditions(Clover Reach etc).

With the recreation and community activities that FC and PTC have to offer, it's only a matter of time before things pick back up unless you have your leaders openly advocating for them to stay away. Forget just the covered Kedron pool...look at what else is out there: great scouting program, excellent athletics at all levels in about every sport, golf cart path system, ponds/lakes, schools, low crime etc. etc. It's a great place to raise a family and we should expect our leaders to trumpet that constantly. fill up the schools again and use all the amenities that are already here. I'm all for that and I'll even pay a few more bucks on property taxes to keep things going right now when there isn't an influx of new families moving in rather than shuttering everything. If we give up now, it won't happen and we will have pissed away everything that made us move here in the first place.

mudcat
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You are 100% right, whome. Just a bit late.

Many of us have been beating that drum for 15 years or more when it was obvious the developer - PCDC, was on its way out and that they were not going to have staff or a marketing budget for economic development. The old guard of PTC - also the social elite "A"-listers including Group VI and Peachtree National Bank tried to set up a funding mechanism with the Development Authority to replace the PCDC program. Unfortunately it was proven to be somewhat illegal - structurally that is, no theft or fraud or any bad behavior - but then Steve Brown attacked it with such a vengeance for his own political ambitions and no one has done anything serious to replace it. The Grisham hire was an ill-conceived half-measure as its focus was on retail instead of industrial and office. The job-sharing with Fayette County may or may not produce something, but it is much too late to expect a turn-around in the middle of a recession. Besides, all the seniors can't sell their houses now, so like it or not - we are here to stay.

Had PTC been serious about real economic development during the Brown II and Logsdon administrations when the economy was good, we would be in much better shape as a city. Only thing that happened during those 8 years was Sany which was a gift from the State (no Mr. Haddix, you didn't build that). What we needed was growth like we had under the real mayor Brown and Lenox. Those guys and a lot of private citizens like Doug Warner and of course the developer worked together very effectively (this is called leadership and teamwork if you recently moved here and have seen neither at city hall) and we then welcomed Cooper, National Weather Service, FAA and much expansion in the office market. There's where your young families come from.

In other words, that train already left the station. Too late to undo the damage of the past. Now the city has to react to the new reality. What do you think our average age is? What was it 10 years ago? 20 years ago? See a trend? You can also count kids in school and see that same trend. Hope our leadership is up to speed on all this and is equipped to deal with it.

dawgday
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Behavior

I am not fan of Mr. Haddix. He has failed to demonstrate any type of leadership, violated if not ethics, at the very least acceptable values of the office. His complete lack of a recommendation for the budget after a multi-month budgeting process shows his ineptitude for the job. However, the fabulous three of Imker,Dienhart and Learnard are now clearly showing the backsides. The chronic theatics that these three put on (I would suggest highly planned and orchestrated) do show Mr. Haddix's deficiencies, but demonstrates why they should be replaced as well. Mr Haddix has been made ineffective, something a number of us wanted (short of his resignation), so why beat a dead horse? The answer appears to be politics and the fact that we have elected three (OK, actually two - Dienhart volunteered since he was unopposed) who prefer conflict over sensible leadership. Maybe we can be the first city to push for en-masse resignation.

Robert W. Morgan
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Haddix deficiencies are well known by now

so now, George, Eric and Kimmy - it is time to back off and just govern without beating that brain-dead horse's butt. I hope you have called his bluff on the Mike Bower's threat, but aside from that - just ignore Haddix and continue to oversee the city government. You passed a budget which is about the most major of your functions - so good. Congratulations. Now get on with governing and leave the Haddix-bashing to us professionals. Actually he does such a good job himself, we might be able to take some time off.

Seriously people, raise the level of decorum a couple of notches. This city is going to have some new businesses come to town very soon - let's not embarrass ourselves.

George, you and Vanessa are not yet damaged goods on this. Suggest one of you take the lead on the path back to civility and get the others to contain their emotions. I think you made a campaign promise along those lines.

PTC Observer
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Respect

Is earned, that is why Mr. Haddix is treated this way, but the council is making matters worse. Some one on this council needs to show some leadership.

Larry Sussberg
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PTC Observer & Respect
PTC Observer wrote:

Is earned, that is why Mr. Haddix is treated this way, but the council is making matters worse. Some one on this council needs to show some leadership.

One could argue that there should be respect for the office of mayor, even if it is not earned. The display we see is a result of 3 years of disrespect by this mayor for each and every member of council including Mr. Diehart who is new and heavily promoted by the mayor in the last election.

All of this is unfortunate but lets remember why and whom it all comes from.

Larry Sussberg
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PTC Council Information & George Dienhart

Sometimes when things don't go the mayor's way, a scathing Letter to The Editor is usually issued and published.We have all read them and learned how politically biased they can be at times.

Someone copied me on this blogspot and I think its interesting to read. To my knowledge, George is the only councilmember offering such a tool.

I signed up to receive communication from Mr. Dienhart. Here it is

http://dienhartforptc.blogspot.com/

Terriers88
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This Council...

I need to bring my son to a council meeting for a Scout Requirement, but I can't manage to bring myself to expose him to the childishness and ineptitude that is now our local government. I absolutely will not use this group as an example of government.

Husband and Fat...
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Leadership

Mr. Mayor, the citizens are looking for leadership. Your citizen input committee is a day late and a dollar short. This should've happened a long time ago and should be a yearly poll. The tax increases or service cuts are not new issues that came out of nowhere. The other council members have all come to the table with suggestions, (good and bad )but we have yet, Mr. Mayor, to see you lay your cards on the table. Part of the duties of being the chief executive is making tough decisions. You are pushing these decisions off to your hand-picked committee so that you won't feel like you're the bad guy. However we all know that you will take all the credit when any of the committees suggestions are approved. Now tell pumpkin to get dressed and take her out to breakfast

Larry Sussberg
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Mayor and City Council Budget Action

Mr. Mayor, stop playing games by not participating then writing Letters to The Editor to look good in your bid for re-election.

All 5 should vote in favor of temporarily increasing the taxes until the Mayor's committee is convened and the report is given with action taken by mayor and council.

All 5 are accountable for raising taxes on a temporary basis...not 4 or 3, which is the coward's way if anyone is seeking re-election because he or she can stand up and say I VOTED NOT TO INCREASE TAXES. We all know that game!

Then, when the committee decides on what to cut, all 5 vote again to cut.

Anyone remember what happened to the Simpson-Bowles Commission?

Convene the committee, make the recommendation on service cuts and city council agree to vote 5 to 0 on them!

No political voting and gamesmenship, Mr. Mayor...it's truly time for you to participate and stop the Letters to The Editor complaining after the fact. This game you have played for 5 years has gotten old for council and city staff and the citizens are beginning to wake up to it.

Citizens, trying reading some of the blogspots out there to get the rest of news. Here's one to try to at least get another viewpoint.

http://dienhartforptc.blogspot.com/

istilldontknow
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Juveniles

That's what we seem to have elected in Peachtree City. I watched the "discussion" online, and it sure does look like they were trying to bait the mayor.

Kim Learnard, Vanessa Fleisch, George Dienhart and Eric Imker need to take a deep breath, look in the mirror and realize that they don't need to do any of this.

All they need to do, on every vote, is vote what they think is best for Peachtree City.

Instead of making things about "leadership", they should show leadership by quite simply making decisions on the matters that come before them.

When any of them (including the Mayor) come up for reelection, I will look for alternate candidates to support. Please, let there be some.

This council, and the management of the City, is broken. To fix it, they need to all shut up, develop a strategic plan (shocker, the Mayor was right), then follow it.

Otherwise, they're just selling newspaper advertising for Cal.

Larry Sussberg
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istilldontknow & City Council criticism!

I believe you may have totally missing the point!

Our budget is now at a point where services need to be cut and public input is needed. Per the city's charter only the mayor can convene a committee to get citizen input. Council asked and the mayor agreed to convene this committee.

I'm not sure how long you have been following the city council saga but ever since this mayor was elected to city council (as a council member and now as the mayor), if anyone on council moves on any position, or takes control, the mayor quietly sits then writes the most horrible Letters to The Editor either taking credit for the work done or blasting the council member for the decision taken.

A few examples:
1-Vanessa Fleisch worked hard on the senior program with Fayette County. The mayor takes credit when everyone knws Vanessa did the work. A great leader recognizes great people around him/her.
2-Eric Imker with the budget continually works hard with city staff to find cuts, and cost savings including issuing new bonds at lower rates. When it comes time to vote the budget which does have a milage increase, the mayor votes "no" which is his right having offered nothing to the budget process, but then moves to Letters to Editor, critizing Mr. Imker. I call that politics not leadership.

Go back and read the mayor's famous letters. Strong attacks on the individual council members.

Reality is the mayor is always campaigning for election and re-election and its an attack "any and all possible opponent" style. Its easier to sit back for the past 5 years, offer little, then attack other by quoting municipality rules and codes learned at the different conferences he attends.

Now, city council, realizing service cuts are needed to balance the budget and avoid tax increases is asking the mayor to move forward with this committee.

If you really believe we need to clean house,and if you want to believe that ALL are guilty without digging into the facts start with the next election which is THE MAYOR!
It will be an interesting campaign based on facts.

istilldontknow
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Larry - I agree with the politics, but...

The leadership boat sailed on Don Haddix long ago. The fact that the other members of Council keep pushing him is now just ridiculous.

The best thing they can do is let it all go. It's way too late now. They tried with the censure - that didn't work. They tried with taking the mayor's salary after the Logsdon lawsuit - it's not working and will cost the City even more.

Quite simply, the "leadership" I need to see is the Council moving forward. Sadly, they won't do that.

Larry Sussberg
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Istilldontknow

I don't disagree with your viewpoint but in order to cut services now with citizen input, he needs to run his committee and makes recommendations.
We can't blame the others for what the mayor needs to do.

Otherwise, service cuts will have to abitrary which no one wants.

istilldontknow
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An open letter to the Citizens of Peachtree City

Larry:

I think it's time that folks stop the grandstanding. Eric Imker had no problem holding meetings in Council chambers to hear input from citizens on the budget. Vanessa Fleisch had no problem setting up the "senior solution". Kim Learnard takes initiative on educational opportunities to help train students for real world jobs. These folks can do that, they can get over the fact that Don Haddix doesn't "lead".

What's to stop each Council member from going out individually, soliciting feedback and presenting service cuts, discussing and voting on those. This "committee" concept is cute, but it's not binding to anyone.

The council, ultimately, MAKES the decision. They decide what to fund and what to not fund. If four of them want to make decisions, then GO TO WORK. That's representative government - we don't need any more convolution to this process.

If they want citizen participation, here's how simple it is.

ATTENTION PEACHTREE CITY CITIZENS
---------------------------------

We, the City Council, collectively have no backbone. We think it best to continue infighting and playing games instead of forging ahead to actually make tough service cuts. We hide behind discussing "leadership" without actually showing any. We blather on about "compromise" and making token cuts when we're hemorrhaging cash, and it's time we cut services and programs permanently to keep our tax rate (not amount collected) static, because we clearly don't understand that it's not the percentage, but the amounts of revenues and expenses that matter.

We want to blame you, the citizens, when we make cuts, because we want to be loved and possibly reelected. So here, in this forum, we want you to go ahead and list specific cuts you see as citizens that need to generate savings, not just shift costs. You don't have to show your work - we'll investigate these ideas and have staff determine if there is actual savings involved.

So, we leave it to you, citizens. What do you want cut?

SINCERELY,
THE INEFFECTIVE CITY COUNCIL OF PEACHTREE CITY

-------------------------------------------------------------

Here's what I say, and it will hurt a few folks' feelings, I'm sure:

1. Privatize the Finance and HR departments. These are services that can take economies of scale, like the recent IT department consolidation. Some personnel will still need to be on site, but most of the functions (payroll, benefits, etc.) can be handled by third parties. Make sure it's less than what we pay now for a Finance Director, an assistant Finance Director, an accounting manager, a budget analyst, a payroll specialist, a purchasing agent, two HR specialists and an HR/Risk Management "director".

2. Close the Glenloch Rec Center and bring all Rec programming into Kedron. Keep it open until 10 or 11 each night and keep the building busy. Eliminate the positions that are at Glenloch now and shutter that building permanently.

3. Sell some baseball/softball/soccer fields. We don't need BSC and Meade and Braelinn park. Sell Meade for industrial use, and sell/lease Braelinn/Blue Smoke land for cell towers that are needed in that part of the town.

4. Cut top administration positions (directors and senior management) salary by 10% across the board permanently.

5. Cut adult athletics; facilitate volunteer-led organizations like the youth athletic activities. That position stays on to assist with the other operations at Kedron.

6. Close all City administrative offices and Library on Fridays, but leave City admin offices open until 7 on Monday through Thursday (exception Kedron Fieldhouse for Recreation - see below). Saves money on utilities and keeps full time staff working 40 hour weeks.

7. Close Kedron Fieldhouse from 9am to noon everyday. Make it open 12 noon until 10pm Monday through Thursday, Friday through Sunday 9am until 8pm. Staff reports at 10:30 during the week to prepare the facility, and 7:30am on the weekends.

8. Consolidate the City's phone systems and cross train library staff, PD and Fire admin staff, City Hall customer service and recreation staff to answer questions from citizens, so when other facilities aren't open, citizens can still get assistance.

9. Set all thermostats at City facilities to 78 degrees in the summer and 65 in the winter to save on energy costs. No exceptions, no fans, no space heaters allowed.

10. Consolidate police cars and associated technology by 25%.

So, that's 10 things to look at right there. Are you saying other citizens don't have other opinions?

Here's an idea - let's help the Council find cuts. RIGHT HERE. List three things (services) that could use a cut, in your mind. Post it here. Try not to duplicate others.

Why in the world do we need meetings in 2012, when the Internet lets us provide information. Put it out there so folks can see it.

Council members - hop online and review what we put in. See what it will do to staff morale, productivity and effectiveness.

Come on, everybody! Quit giving these bums excuses - tell them what you want cut, RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW.

Citizen_Steve
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ISDK

Great post! My tops would be a 10% cut to the PD & FD, or perhaps 15% PD cut, 5% FD cut. Let's not sell any city property.

Steve

mudcat
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If they approved the budget, why do we need cuts

It says they approved a $28.6 million budget. Surely that budget has a bunch of line items included that total $28.6 million. It also has a bunch of things not included. It raises the millage rate and uses some cash reserves and is presumably balance - although the article does not say that.

So why all the drama? They voted on a budget, so the items not in the budget that are in the last budget have to be cut. Right? Am I missing something?

And why attack the mayor? I thought we agreed to shun him and just run the city as if he were not there. Let's stick with the program. If any of you on council think you are running for mayor and Haddix-bashing is your way to get there - forget it. You just run the city and we'll comment on your performance.

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