Learnard chides Haddix over blog comment

Peachtree City Councilwoman Kim Learnard took Mayor Don Haddix to task at Thursday night’s council meeting for a statement he made in a recent blog.

The dispute stems from a joint meeting between the Development Authority of Peachtree City and the city council days after Learnard and council members Eric Imker and Vanessa Fleisch voted to withdraw the authority’s $35,000 funding in the 2010-2011 budget.

Learnard said she wanted to make it clear that although Haddix and fellow councilman Doug Sturbaum had schedule conflicts with the date for the joint DAPC-Council meeting, the remainder of council didn’t proceed in an attempt to “leave them out” of the discussion.

Haddix said his comment in his blog simply said the meeting “could have been rescheduled” but did not say that any council member had indeed tried to reschedule the meeting.

Learnard noted that Haddix needed to attend two important meetings that same night including a regional transportation meeting, and she also knew that Sturbaum had several schedule conflicts that she didn’t envy, though she reached out to him to come for one hour if he thought he could swing it.

“It came down to Doug and I bailed out because we had reasons and the other three made the decision to proceed, that’s all I was saying,” Haddix said.

The Learnard-Imker-Fleisch trio also voted for the city to hire an economic development coordinator who would work with DAPC but be hired as a contract employee of the city as a member of the city’s community development department. Haddix and Sturbaum fought for the city to instead increase DAPC funding from $35,000 to $150,000 in part to allow DAPC to hire its own economic development coordinator.

Learnard also noted that Haddix has blogged that a legal opinion on the city hiring an economic development coordinator is being sought from the state. She questioned Haddix which agency’s counsel was sought, but Haddix refused to say.

Haddix instead that each individual council member is empowered to seek any legal information as they wish on their own and then bring results to the rest of council.

“That’s where that is,” Haddix said.

Fleisch piped up that an economic development meeting is being scheduled for all local governments in the county with the presentations made by Georgia Power, which has an economic development department of its own.

Fleisch also said the city needs to look at doing something to help the DAPC in its mission to help the city’s shopping centers at least through Christmas as the city waits to hire the economic development coordinator.

That program of helping retailers at the city’s shopping centers had been directed by volunteer DAPC member Grey Durham, who recently resigned after council defunded the authority.

The defunding of the authority also was notable because the move was not vetted in advance by city staff, instead sprung as a surprise, effectively preventing the public from having any input on the proposal.

Councilman Eric Imker previously has said the authority would be able to secure funding for some of its programs but they would have to secure approval from the city council first. Imker also said he didn’t trust the authority with the money because according to Georgia law the authority could choose to spend it however it wishes.

Imker has not accused the DAPC nor any of its individual members of mishandling money.

GAltant's picture
Joined: 04/19/2009
Leadership - The Mayor & City Council

Listed below is an interesting book that the mayor and/or city council should read:


Our mayor needs to take a leadership role. On more than one ocassion I have heard him define leadership as following one's beliefs and sticking to those beliefs. That is not leadership!

Read this book...a leader in city hall needs to facilitate and motivate his/her team by establishing a vision and goals to succeed.

Clearly these are steps any leader in any organization should follow for success.

When I e-mailed the mayor last time on this topic, I was told that city government was not like a business organization...it was more complicated.
Not true!

Someone needs to "lead" Peachtree City and its the mayor's role.

Please read this book.`

Robert W. Morgan
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Joined: 10/26/2005
Leader? What leader?

W haven't had a leader in this city since Fred Brown. Or in this country since Ronald Reagan. I was trying to remember a real leader on county commission and could not. I do know it has been a real long time for city, county or nation that authentic leadership has been evident in any of our elected officials. All we get is a bunch of narcisisitic fools who talk about their principals or beliefs and then vote for more spending or to cut viable programs. Not sure which is worse.

I find it very telling that the dude that wrote the book you mentioned felt compelled to do an update of his 1994 effort. Wonder if the antics of Steve Brown, Greg Dunn and the lady in Tyrone inspired him.

Hopefully this is as bad as it will get at all levels and we begin our rebound in November. As they say, it takes a Carter to get a Reagan, so we are obviously halfway there.

Robert W. Morgan
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Joined: 10/26/2005
double post

don't know how that happens

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Joined: 11/29/2006
Is It Just Me...

...Or does anyone else sense that the Mayor is becoming more and more defensive? Fellow Councilmembers chiding him for his blogs, remaining on the losing side of 3-2 votes, embarrassing the City by losing his temper when confronted by another fellow Councilmember, as well as other incidents throughout this spring and summer are now commonplace.

Have we put Steve Brown II in office?

borntorun's picture
Joined: 11/28/2005
Hey, Mike!

Think you are right, Mike. Donnie seems to be getting more and more defensive and frustrated every week. Hey, here's a thought. With the movie industry booming in GA, perhaps they will remake Grumpy Old Men and film it here. Got two folks here in PTC who would be perfect for the leading roles...Don Haddix as Max Goldman and Eric Imker as John Gustafson. Oh and throw in Doug Sturbaum as Max Goldman's son Jacob Goldman for good measure and you have the perfect cast!

MYTMITE's picture
Joined: 02/14/2008
Yeah, Mike, I think it is just you. You never miss an

opportunity to vent your bad feelings about Mayor Haddix. If I remember correctly, Mayor Haddix was on the losing side of many 3-2 votes with the last council and can you honestly say that those passing votes helped our community in any way?
I really think you should run for Mayor or at least councilman and show us all how it should be done--
This is something I have thought and expressed my whole adult life; whether it was something I was doing or someone else was doing, if someone was super critical I always suggested in all honesty that they take over and show the correct way it should be done.

Courthouserules's picture
Joined: 07/02/2010

There have been several Mayors since I came here: Brown #1, Lenox, Brown #2, That last one, I forget, and current one.
I may have left out one, I don't know. I knew some of the old dudes also, Jones, Cowan.

Is there one of them that you feel has done anything worth wile so far?

It is going to make it awfully hard on you when you get elected.
Maybe we will be in a tremendous growth pattern with -5% unemployment---importing Mexicans and Europeans to work, when that happens.

Doug's picture
Joined: 09/07/2006
He's just a complainer and not a doer

Courthouserules, I already got on to Mike under the bypass article. Some people think Mike is full of sour grapes because he can't get elected himself. I think he's just a negative person. There's nothing inspirational in what he says and he gives up on big issues at the drop of a hat.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Joined: 04/23/2007

This doesn't give you a whole lot of confidence in our council's leadership abilities does it?

borntorun's picture
Joined: 11/28/2005
Council Confidence

No, it doesnt PTC Observer. But then again, they haven't done anything to give me confidence in their leadership abilities. There doesn't seem to be any communication between anyone except between Haddix and Sturbaum. Well, let me rephrase that...Haddix doesn't listen to anyone else....he speaks....Sturbaum meekly follows along. As for the others, Imker refuses to listen to anyone other than his oversized ego. Fleisch...bless her heart....when she finally gets her hair and makeup in place, she manages to utter such innocuous statements, you just have to shake your head. Kim Learnard is the only adult on this council who seems to have a clue about things. I would say it is fun to watch this council for the sheer "gee what will they say or do next" entertainment value but the sad fact is they are doing incredible damage to the city's reputation and infrastructure.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Joined: 04/23/2007

not to mention our wallets.

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