FREE SPEECH for the week of Sept. 24 – Sept. 30

Free Speechers, here’s your “have at it” page again.

Post on topic or off topic or make up your own topic.

Here are some anonymous contributions that showed up in my email last week to get your pumps primed.

========================

I have some advice on how to fix our messed up schools and budget deficit. Don’t cut the teacher pay, but cut their extra supplement by 5%, start charging for school busses, collect all the money we are owed from the out of county kids who have been caught in our schools illegally and do NOT let them back in, quit letting kids go to different schools in the county with “special permission” as that is what messed up our schools to begin with, get rid of the senior tax exemption if they have grandkids living with them that are in our schools, and start charging the out of county teachers kids that go to our schools. Maybe even stop serving hot meals. Not popular decisions, but necessary to save our school system. There you have it, and the advice was free.

***

WOW,WOW,WOW. I just got put in the group that doesn’t pay federal income tax. The group that Romney says he doesn”t worry about because we expect the gov’t to take care us. My wife and I paid income tax until our retirement. Our retirement is not enough that we have to pay income tax. Mr. Romney, you really are out of touch with the lower middle class. I get nothing, natta, from the government; never have. Mr. Romney, you need to go into the cities and go to the poorer areas in the morning. You would see thousands of people going to work every morning on the subways and buses. Most of these folks go to jobs that do not pay a living wage. Mr. Romney, many of the folks clean homes, cars, offices, and have more than one generation living in a small apartment and they need government’s help. These folks furnish the young to fight our wars. How much is it worth to you, Mr. Romney, to have the poor kids to die in war so that you and the higher class won’t have to? You just lost our vote. — Senoia, Ga.

***

E-gad. Yet another, too lengthy, dissertation from that Mr Parker in Peachtee City. ENOUGH! Even the AJC limits letter, faxes and e-mails to so many words or less. His using The Citizen to hear himself talk (and voicing his political views among other things) is getting to be too much. Who made him king? I'm just about ready to just throw your paper in the trash when it shows up, because it is the same thing over and over (about the same stuff, from the same people). We are just WEARY of it. Must say, though, I love the editorial cartoons!

***

Thank you for the excellent article by Derek Wolter. It was superb. Kudos to you for giving us a good dose of thinking print.

========================

Free Speech is free for another week — have at it!

Spyglass
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Purple Scion wrecked Sunday around 1 AM on Fishers Luck..

You should slow down when driving through neighborhoods..you are lucky to be alive.. a part of your front end is still sitting by the tree you hit..
slow down and grow up.

moelarrycurly
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For Us Over 50 Falcons fans

Although Rise Up is okaaaay, I prefer a little more classic muzac.

http://youtu.be/Ri9kCb_gF58

Spyglass
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49 here....Go Falcons!

GATA

Get After their A$$

moelarrycurly
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.

.

moelarrycurly
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Neal Boortz, Pumpkin and Guns

Neal's last days on WSB radio are tomorrow and Friday. Listen to one of his very funny bits about Boo got shot.

http://youtu.be/wZM6z3M1h3g

Spyglass
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It was a LONG gun

RIP Royal Marshall

moelarrycurly
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Ditto on Royal

What was the banging noise in the background?

John Mrosek
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.

.

John Mrosek
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Judge McMillian appointed to Court of Appeals

We will certainly miss you. Good luck, Judge !!!

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/deal-puts-mcmillian-on-appeals-co...

moelarrycurly
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H. Norman Schwartzkopf, Jr., USA, Ret.

May you rest in peace.

PTC Observer
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MLC

Amen

meanoldconservatives
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Another tragedy has gotten overshadowed this weekend

Sec State Clinton has apparently suffered a "health emergency" that will prevent her from testifying as scheduled this Thursday before Congress about Benghazi. The poor thing had a stomach virus, fainted and hit her head, causing a concussion. It's a little unclear when this near-death experience occurred, but we can all rest assured that the relentless media is tripping all over themselves to uncover the timeline.

The State Department has graciously lined up a couple of her piss-boys to take her place at the hearing though, so the show can go on. Her doctors are so concerned with her precarious health situation that they have ordered her to stay away from the office and work from home this week, which lines up nicely with the upcoming Christmas break. The home confinement might even allow her ample time to complete her shopping online, God willing. Those cigars that Slick Willie prefers are supposedly pretty hard to find this time of year.

Current favorite for the next Sec State, John Kerry, was reportedly informed Saturday while polishing his service medals, and he "insisted" that she not appear at the hearing. Unconfirmed reports state that Uncle Joe Biden was also informed Saturday while combing the internet for good speeches to steal. He was reported to say "Most conservatives would have died from a fall like that. I know that old goat could kick my ass, and trust me, she has threatened to many times".

moelarrycurly
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FALCONS WIN!

Man, is this team bulletproof? How many ways have they found to win this year? EGG-zactly what Atlanta needed tonight.

stranger than f...
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Go Falcons!!

The Falcons seem to invent ways to win: the more unorthodox, the better. Best record in the NFL!!

NUK_1
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11-1 Falcons!

Whatever it takes. Love to see a deep post-season run this year and silence the skeptics who quickly point out how Mike Smith/Matt Ryan have yet to win a playoff game. OK, I also think about that too and all of the Braves' teams that couldn't get it done in the playoffs either.....whatever. Good job Falcons yet again finding ways to win.

kcchiefandy
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All the best, NUK...

...as I like what Mike Smith has done w/ the team, but lack of a real-threat running game will eventually catch up with them. Turner is just ok now, but not a break-away runner, and Rodgers is an easy tackle unless he has a lot of space. Teams are going to send lots of 4-5 man fronts at Ryan and make his arm beat them, IMHO.

I'd blog about my Chiefs, but it'd either be a long rant or nothing to say; word from home is they're looking at taking UGA's Murray in the 1st round. We've GOT to get rid of Cassell. :(

NUK_1
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kc: Cassell is AWESOME!

OK, not!

I think the Falcs need to up their game or face a first round exit as Ryan has shown that he's getting a little skittish lately and the run D looks pretty woeful. This is a flawed team but no team that won the SB isn't for that matter. Time for them to step it up and Ryan especially. And Roddy White.

Spyglass
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Cal, a suggestion...re Free Speech

How about a monthly link? Would that work.

moelarrycurly
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ACCIDENT at Peachtree Pkwy and Walt Banks Rd.

I just went thru there and there is a car in the woods on the NW corner of the interection. The passenger front end hit a tree next to the cart path there, and the rest of the car is on the cart path. You can see it from the southbound lane of Peachtree Pkwy. The car against the tree was facing northbound. No one was near that car, so I hope they got out. Looks like at least 2 other vehicles involved at the intersection. Those people were standing there, on their cell phones. Police were just getting there (passed 4 cruisers on the way).
I have never looked over to see a car on a path from an accident on the road. Hope everyone is OK. Getting that car out of there will take some work. Golf carters need to be aware of the slim possibility of a road accident coming over onto a nearby path. Scary stuff.

Cyclist
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Accident at Walt Banks

Good Gawd!!! Could it be that IDRIVEFASTSOWHAT is driving again????

http://archive.thecitizen.com/node/18517

Voted the number one post for 2007. A must read.

Robert W. Morgan
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Be a good time to check on Jeremy Liles - 5 yr. anniv.

This young scholar would be 28 years old now and it would be good to see how he overcame the police brutality and the biased press coverage to get on with his life. So whats up Jeremy? West Point graduate and on the fast track to promotion? Bond trader on Wall Street? Prosperous software engineer? State Dept. official recently promoted to fill one of the 4 who were "fired" by Prezbo? Inquiring minds want to know.

BTW, when you get a Scion to go 75 mph on Walt Banks Road, we really can't call it an "accident", can we?

moelarrycurly
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Cy- a real

Rhodes scholar, wasn't he?

Cyclist
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moe,

Not hardly. But we sure had fun!!!

Cyclist
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Wishing all a wonderful Thanksgiving...

and please be safe during your holiday travels.

Cy

PTC Observer
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Cyclist - No

No matter what we always post on this blog, we all have a lot to be thankful for in our country.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

moelarrycurly
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Senoia Apocalypse Alert!

Also known as Woodbury, in The Walking Dead world. Just came back from there. They are filming there and it looks like hell on earth.

Come in from Rockaway Rd. and see the walled off city. Drive thru the back alley behind Zac Browns Southern Ground Social Club and then come down around where The Senoia Coffee Co. is and look over toward the gazebo/train cars. You can drive behind Hollberg's, too. Downtown is a huge film set. Just don't go after dark...who knows what you might run into, if you get my drift. Sign says they will be there till Tuesday.

Cyclist
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Hey Gym, do I have a deal for you!!!!!

If you have $65,000 laying around......then spend it on this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Beechcraft-Twin-Bonanza-AIRSTAIR-D50-MANY...

Unfortunately, it will not burn autogas only that $6 gallon 100LL stuff.

AtHomeGym
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Cy & Deal

Yeah, it probably is a good deal but I'm not in the mkt right now, having just bought a new car in March. Hey if you're still thinking about St Auggy, the Inn at Camachee Harbor now givesyou bkft coupons for the Grill next door. And not just a biscuit & coffee--french toast or pancakes wbacon or sausage too. Pancakes are awesome!

Davids mom
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Veterans

We are so indebted to you throughout the generations. May God continue to bless you and your families .

Cyclist
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To all Veterans

Thank you for your service and God bless you all.

PTC Observer
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Cyclist - Thanks

as a veteran, but you know I very rarely think about the fact that I am a veteran. I think more about all the friends that never made it home or those whose lives have been changed forever by their wounds. I think about some that died many years later as a result of their wounds, heroes that were taken from us but not immediately on the field of battle. Forgotten by most but family and friends for what they were, heroes.

In our youth we believed in the American ideal, we looked to the day when we could return home and live out our lives unencumbered and undisturbed. I for one wanted to forget it all and forge something meaningful and better with my life, many others felt the same.

Then I think about wasted sacrifices and the profound sadness of it all. Preserving a government that has the propensity to suppress human action and individual freedom is not what I and most of my fellow veterans served to do.

Indeed, I have come to accept the inevitability of it all, but I will never forget those that served beside me and the honor of that moment in time. The honor of serving with my brothers in arms, they never betrayed me. I only wish I could say the same about my government.

tgarlock
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PTCO, well said

Some people get tired of me talking about the virtue of our troops, but I suspect our own White House and Pentagon and the politics that motivates decisions that may spend their lives. We send them to wars we do not have to fight, we impose rules of engagement that get them killed in order to protect civilians, we give them impossible goals like turning a 7th century stinkhole into a stable democracy friendly to the west, we have them fight for world opinion instead of victory, and we send them on repeated deployments that tear their families apart while we at home do nothing.

If only our government had the honor of those who fill the boots.

Terry Garlock

MYTMITE
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PTO,cyclist, Mr. Garlock---All i can say is my heartfelt thanks

to you and to all who serve or have served. And Amen to what you all had to say. I think our service personnel have not received the thanks and recognition they have earned and so well deserve since World War II. It breaks my heart to see so many come home broken in body and mind and to see what it does to the families they had to leave for so long. No matter how much we may do for them it will never be enough and we have not even scratched the surface of what we should be doing as a nation for our armed forces. A shame.

Cyclist
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PTC O

I do understand and again thank you.

NUK_1
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Thank you, PTCO

Thanks to all of those who have served and those still serving. You made a lot of sacrifices for the "rest of us" that often goes unappreciated unless you come back in a body-bag or permanently damaged. As Cyclist aptly stated, God bless you all. You are not ignored for what you have done and do.

AtHomeGym
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PTC-O & Vets Day

I agree with the majority of your sentiment here. As a vet of 21 yrs active duty, I rarely think about vet status. One thing--I am very cautious about using the word 'hero' and think many use it too freely. I have no problem with 'brave,fearless warriors',and some other descriptors but I reserve hero' for special people in special situations.

PTC Observer
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Hero - AHG

I agree.

moelarrycurly
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Gen. Petraeus resigns

Try putting these words together...

Petraeus..2 days after election...Benghazi..timeline CIA gave Congress last week on Benghazi...Biden...Congressional hearings next week on Benghazi (under oath)...Hillary Clinton...State Dept....Vince Foster...Axelrod...Chicago scumsuckers...POTUS does NOT refuse resignation...Sen. Feinstein-Democrat..angry that resignation WAS accepted...Benghazi...Benghazi...
Payback...blackmail...

We are so screwed for the next 4 years.

Larry Sussberg
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moelarrycurly & Petraeus

Talk about jumping to wild conclusions.
America has lost a true patriot and a genius that has kept us safe

However, I don't think this is about us being so "screwed" for the next 4 years!

Cyclist
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Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk

to avoid a school bus’.....

It's time for some fun stuff!!!!

See the news story and run the video. Just when you thought you have seen it all.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/woman-wear-idiot-sign-traffic-g...

moelarrycurly
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Idiot on sidewalk

Jeesh...she better be careful where she stands while wearing that idiot sign...might get run over by a moving vehicle....

Quallacherokee
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Driving on the sidewalk

I really, wished Judges would do more of these sentences.
1st time caught shoplifting as a youth (under 21) you have to stand in front of the store you stole from with a Sign telling the World You were Caught Stealing.
Get a DUI, now ya get to spend a Saturday at the Old Court House with a Sign
County Commissioner caught smoking pot? Yup you get to wear a sign too...

Cyclist
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House Fire

On Church Street right behind the water tower in Fayetteville. I hope everyone is safe.

rolling stone
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Message from Kevin King

I received a text from Kevin with the following message:

"Butt hole razored off my Obama-Biden sticker(included photo of the truck where the sticker was). You can tell these free speech haters that there are more where that came from. God help them if I catch them."

MYTMITE
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RS, make sure Kevin is kept informed about the next coffee. ALL

of us would love to see him.

rolling stone
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Correction

It was not the truck it was his golf cart that was vandalized.

AtHomeGym
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Msg to KK

You ought to be ashamed of yourself to put ANY kind of sticker on that truck (if it's the one from your Daddy)!

rolling stone
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KK to AHG

Kevin wants you to give him a call. The truck is safe.

AtHomeGym
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Rolling Rock & Phone Call

I don't have a number to call--but he's got mine--or did have.

MYTMITE
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AHG, I have his number but do not know how to get it to you.

I am sure he will probably contact you when he sees you do not have his no. if not let me know how to get it to you.

Joe Kawfi
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Message for Hack

or Diva, or whatever he is calling himself these days.

Obama supporters (thugs) are much worse. They are the most hateful, destructive, vile people on the planet. A lot of them are threatening riots or causing harm to Republican candidates if Obama loses. So much for free speech, Jaggoff.

Vandal Keys ‘Obama’ Into 2 Cars In Alta Loma

Someone keyed the word “Obama” into two cars and slashed seats in another outside a residence that had Mitt Romney campaign signs.

NUK_1
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Anyone for a Romney-Biden administration?

It could actually happen and doing the math on the states/electoral college numbers, it isn't that crazy of a possibility. A 269-269 tie in the electoral college and the House then picks the Prez and Senate picks the vice-president.

Biden would rack up some serious frequent flyer miles as he'd be about everywhere except DC. "Looks like a 20 year old great grandson of the nephew of the King died....u need to make that funeral, Joe."

Robert W. Morgan
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The Senate could pick someone who wasn't in Wizard of OZ

Biden actually reminds me of all of those male characters from that movie. Had to pick one it would be Straw Man.

The Senate would probably pick Hilary, but there are many better choices. They don't have to pick one of their own, but they probably would. Lieberman, McConnell, Kerry, Reid, Snowe, Collins - they would all get nominated. Hey, they could even pick Obama - he was a Senator for a few weeks, wasn't he?

NUK_1
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Gremlin Growlers-PTC

I salute them! Was in the Peachtree Crossings shopping center today and stopped by there and got a couple of 320z growlers, Jailhouse Summer Wheat and Red Hare IPA. I'll get to the Red Hare tomorrow but I can say the Jailhouse wheat is really damn good.

Talked with one of the owners(Glen) there and he's a super nice guy. I wish them well and hope people will patronize the place because they carry some good brews that you can't even get at a place like World Beverage in Tyrone that has about everything else.

AtHomeGym
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Nuk & Beer

You're still missing the boat if you don't visit Johnny's Pizza on Thursdays and get 16oz Jailhouse Mugshot IPA for 2.95! And their thin crust pizza is pretty damngood too!

NUK_1
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AHG: Love their pizza

gonna have to mark that on my calendar. Usually on Thursdays, I'm hitting the Half Shell in Newnan for half price oysters and half price beer. A real win all-around!

Aurelius
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Can anyone help decipher PTC Building Code Variances?

Specifically: Article XII, 1204, 1205, 1206
Regarding: Required Documents for Variances

It is my understanding, after corresponding with City personnel, that the PTC variation application form does not indicate, which supporting documents are required for each type of variance, specifically..... supporting documents from neighbors that are affected by the variance.
I cannot find any information in the PTC code/ordinances/meetings that support the lack of neighbor input for 1204 administrative variances.

Can someone please indicate where this is located or referenced? Or are there no references?
There is a grey area here, that is not defined for the public, at least that I can see.

When I have read (and re-read) the application form and related ordinances, it was clear to me, at that time, that ALL of the documents were required for each type variance that the form describes. (there are boxes to be checked off, before the application form will be accepted)
Now, the recent information is that no neighbor input is needed to bring administrative variances to fruition.

What is needed for the form to be considered complete? Is it a subjective analysis of each variance application that determines the required documents?
Hopefully some of you can understand where this becomes unclear to me and why I am asking the specific question about the supposed required documents.
Lets remember the old saying....."Rules are Rules"

I also would like to point out the Article XII,1204 loophole here......If a 2012 homeowner was to build an oversized shed and place it in the encroachment area, without a permit, then sell the house, the next 2013 homeowner could apply for the same 1204 admin. variance, if caught, and get it approved.....
Most people do not question the exactness of the codes, that I know of and like to see construction since it raises the general property values.......
Your input is greatly appreciated and respected.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Variance

Maybe I can help some, since I sit on all the levels of variances.

We want to see your neighbors letters of approval for what you want to do. If they don't like it, that is a big problem.

We want to see your HOA approval, if you have one. We do not override HOA Declarations and By-Laws.

When we look at a variance, we look at your lot, what you want, how it fits, has similar variances been granted or denied in the past, what are the details of the plat for your development, deed, etc.

If it sets a precedence, it is almost guaranteed to be denied.

Now, as for your example, that is not accurate. We have required structures built without permits by prior owners to be removed, including parts of homes.

Building to build or increase a home value is not a reason, alone, to allow anything.

Does it make the property non conforming to surrounding homes? Then a no.

Does it improve enjoyment and value without violating wetlands, green space, the value of neighbors homes or the enjoyment of their property? Then a maybe yes.

The codes give guidelines, targets and goals, not exacting lines of detail to cover each individual request, which is impossible.

At the end of the process the decision can be a very clear yes or no. Rarely is it subjective.

Hope that helps.

Aurelius
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Can the neighbor's input be ignored by the City or

is it a requirement for each variance type to include all of the neighbor's input before a determination is reached by the city?
Is there a possible scenario, that would exclude this input parameter? The cloudy area to me, is what exactly is required for the administrative variance? Can there be documents excluded? Who makes that call, if possible? I cannot find this information in any PTC codes/ordinances or past council meeting minutes. The codes and corresponding variance application form seem very clear to me, but the information from City Hall does not support the rules.(i.e. no neighbor input required for 1204 variance)
I appreciate your knowledgeable opinion and I will agree with you, that neighbor input is quite vital to any variance process, since it affects them directly.
Thank you for your guidance.

Larry Sussberg
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Subjective & Annexation

In all fairness to the mayor's backhanded slam to the 3 council members regarding annexation.
Look at the recent podcasts where city staff presented their findings.

Then ask yourself, are you better off 4 years ago when the mayor wanted to put Low Temp on that property and annex it as industrial near a shopping center, schools and ball fields or are you better off today annexing it as institutional and residential.

You can google Low Temp and Peachtree City and see the facts of what he was trying to accomplish.
It's all there for people to research and read. Unfortunately in today's political environment you need to fact check and there is now enough material available to check the facts.

Yes, its very subjective.
And time for this mayor to act like a leader instead of slapping city council around of which he is a member.

GeorgeDienhart
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Fot the record...

I would not have voted to annex the property for Low Temp, either.

Larry Sussberg
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George Dienhart & Development

I am glad to hear that you would not have voted for Low Temp in that 77 acre location.

This might not be the right forum to ask this since the mayor politically attacks you every time you post here but I would like to hear your thoughts on building/annexation development and economic development.

New retailers are opening in Coweta and instead of getting a Kohls, HomeGoods and TJ Maxx on the west side on Highway 54 we are getting a huge 24 hour gas station with convenience store (aka robbery central).

Our villages have been renewed thanks to the shopping center developers at Peachtree Crossing and Braelin but what has happened on the west side with a RACETRAC is a real shame and needs to be avoided in the future.

Meanwhile, our city is not growing, population is aging, taxes are rising due to increasing costs and declining revenues. School enrollment is dropping and for 3 years we are burdened with no clear leadership or plan to grow.

So, if you were to run and become our elected mayor in 2013 how would you handle economic growth, as well as housing, instutitional and retail growth and annexation.

Also, how would you begin to repair and/or build our reputation in Atlanta with economic developers, many who may live here.

Maybe this is not the right place to ask you.

mudcat
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Um, Larry. Mr. Dienhart voted against the annexation

and hasn't explained why he did - and you are suggesting he run for mayor? I don't think so. We just had a 3-2 vote for what most agree was a good move annexation to protect Peachtree City from uncertainty. Since the 2 no votes were Councilman Dienhart and you know who, I don't think it is time to start promoting him for mayor. Sure, he should have a chance to explain his no vote, but he hasn't. I'd love to hear about economic development as well, but he can speak as just plain old councilman Dienhart for now.

If the no vote is a product of a campaign promise that is along the lines of "All annexation is bad and I will never vote for one" then I'm concerned about his or anyone's ability to function as a councilperson. We need people who can process new ideas and see the big picture rather than the rabid anti-growth mentality which gets us lower uses - such as RACETRAC and occasionally some lawsuits. That's the last thing Peachtree City needs - some activist judge telling us how me must zone our property.

Anybody that says that all annexation is bad or all annexation is good is a fool, IMHO and not worthy of serving in elected or appointed office. We want thinking people who can evaluate each proposed annexation or rezoning or variance professionally and without political rancor or being aggressive and rude to the applicant or other members of council. That applies even when provoked by those who can't play by those rules, by the way. Is that too much to ask?

GeorgeDienhart
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Larry and Mudcat

Some interesting questions have been asked of me. This post will serve as both a council update and an answer to constituent questions.
First up, some have wondered if I am "anti-developer". The answer is no. I reposted a newspaper column I had published at the Fayette Daily News in Dec of 2010 (http://dienhartforptc.blogspot.com/2012/10/line-creek-and-kohls-1210.html). I was for the Kohl's development at Line Creek. In short, that annexation would have made sense because it benefited the people of Peachtree City. I urge you to read my reasoning, above.
The question that begs to be answered. Why no to the airport adjacent property? The were numerous smaller issues, but the two main issues boiled down to timing.
The development has a chance to be a beautiful place to live. My concerns were not with the developers- they did an excellent job in designing the community and the perks to the city. I have no problem with the city annexing land to control what is on our borders. This was also a good move, I agree with my fellow council members on both of these points.
I have stated many times that I believe we are headed into a double dip recession. The country's economic policy is not working. Economic growth has already ground into a near halt. If the President is reelected, we get four more years of failed domestic policies. If Governor Romney is elected, it's going to take at least two years to fix the economy. That means more problems in the housing market. More housing problems means more developers going out of business. Failed developers bring incomplete housing developments- near ghost towns of undeveloped and half developed lots. Will this happen here? I don't know.
The second issue was schools. The much heralded analysis by Dr. Bearden was based on the school boundaries as they exist today. Before we close 5 schools. The school closings will completely eliminate the "extra room" at Peeples Elementary and Rising Starr Middle school. This analysis was as useless as the paper it was printed on- it did not in anyway analyze what the situation will be like when these homes are actually built.
To me, these two things added up to a hold on developing this land. The only way to stop the development was a no vote. So I voted no. It could have just as easily been a yes vote after the school situation and economy are resolved.
So- the short answer is that I am not anti- developer. I am pro common sense development. This could very well turn out to be a wonderful addition to our city- it looks that way on paper. I just hope outside influences don't hinder the site in any way.
Another question recently posed to me was "If you were to run and become our elected mayor in 2013 how would you handle economic growth, as well as housing, institutional and retail growth and annexation."
I'll say that this has been coming up more and more lately. I don't know what I will do in regards to the mayoral election. It's still early. I do hear those of you that have asked me to run, and I am considering it, as promised.
Let's breakdown the answer into pieces.
General Economic Growth.

General economic Growth is a four legged stool. The first leg is a well managed city. We have the pieces in place- but we are not there yet. I have been working with staff to ensure that council gets the type of information that we need to make good decisions. There has been massive improvement in this area. I expect the improvements to continue. This leads to the second leg. The Budget. The days of Peachtree City's budget being driven by a constant influx of new property development are over. We are now entering a redevelopment phase. We need to find our way to balanced, no frills budget that will not break the back of Joe the Taxpayer. We do that by eliminating that which we do not need, and which the citizens do not desire. That may mean a smaller, leaner government It may also mean an end to popular perks, like the vehicle take home policy. The third leg is leadership. The political (and therefore accountable) component of our city government needs to lead from the front- not hide in the rear. Some of us are willing to do that, others are not. This is a problem that can be corrected by the electorate. I believe it will be. The fourth leg is redevelopment. We need to think outside the box to give tax breaks to those willing to redevelop older properties. Industrial, retail, or even a homeowner. If we take sitting properties give business tax breaks for new or innovative uses, everyone wins. We gain the benefit of their goods or services, and some taxes, even if some is refunded. Some will say this can't be done- I urge them to work with me, instead of giving up before we even try. We need to use every tool at our disposal to fill empty commercial space. I would also like to great tax breaks to those that buy an empty home in order to turn it into an owner occupied space. We need to help those who would move here and become part of our vibrant community.

Annexation

I am all for annexing land to protect our borders and development- when it makes sense and passes the criteria I laid out above. Every development is different, and must undergo it's own analysis. After council gets the facts, I would continue to vote for what is best for Peachtree City.

The Graying of Peachtree City

This is a major issue. We must continue to provide support to the older demographic, while we try to attract younger families. This new development will actually help in that regard, as will the Wilksmoor Villiage developments. I would be careful in where we cut the budget- trying to ensure we have enough in the budget to provide services for both of these important demographics. One way I would try to save is to privatize Kedron Pool. It is very expensive to operate and serves many people outside of our border.

Robert W. Morgan
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Right you are George, how right you are

except on the recent annexation. Let the school board worry about the classrooms and the bankers and the builders worry about the housing market and/or the recession. A no vote for that reason is as dumb as a yes vote just to collect some impact fees. But we can agree to disagree and move on because you are spot on correct about everything else.

Economic Development. Well, that stool needs to grow a few legs somehow, but you are correct. Most people combine 1 and 2 and have a 3-legged stool on the assumption that a well-managed city does know how to budget properly. I have been preaching the demise of the developer, loss of impact fees and becoming leaner and meaner for years. Hasn't been seriously addressed and ignoring it for a while longer is not a good option. And what can I say about redevelopment except that no one on council or staff seems serious about that. I would think that doing a needs assessment (One PTC comes to mind) solely focused on what areas need to be redeveloped and/or what new uses are needed would be a sensible start.

Annexation. Yep. 100% right.

Graying of PTC. Yep. Fewer kids, more seniors. Recreation needs and priorities are changing and some areas might have to be redeveloped with a new use and focus. Kedron pool is a great place to start because change of ownership and/or management is indeed a for of redevelopment. So is an aggressive user-fee program. Let's pay attention and keep up.

Larry Sussberg
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George Dienhart

Not sure I agree with you on the current annexation since we already had 2 failed attempts to develop that property over the past 4 years, one was the ill-conceived LOW TEMP plan and the other a shopping center.

As for outsourcing the pool. The jury is out on the long term benefits of outsourcing...sure it moves an item off the expense side of government but private industry wants to profit as well. Companies will "low bid" a government project with the hopes of getting their foot in the door and/or raising fees over time. All outsourcing should be studied carefully over a 5 to 7 year period to be sure it stays financially benefical.

2 questions, which are crucial to PTC's future.
Should you run and get elected mayor:

1-what's your view on building consensus and a team approach vs digging in and fighting?

2-If you were to run and become mayor, would you view yourself as a member of city council or not? and do you see them as a political enemy to continually battle with including letters to the editor? (sorry, 2 part question)

GeorgeDienhart
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Larry

I don't want to outsource it, as much as I want to sell it. That would get us off the hook. I think the new owner should be eligible for some of the tax breaks I mentioned as well. This would not be done without analysis.

Consensus is always the way to go. It's how things are supposed to run on council. Most members of council understand this, and are willing to let the vote decide the issue without holding a grudge.

The mayor is a part of council- there is no disputing that. I don't feel any of us should have enemies on council. We all need to work together. Sometimes we will agree, sometimes we won't. After the vote it is time to move along to the next thing. An example is the vote on the annexation. I disagreed with the 3 of my peers, and we have all moved on. I even supported Kim when she came out for the ESPLOST. No grudge there, either way.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: What is Council

The best way to clarify the roles of Mayor, Mayor and Council, Council and Council Members is to read the Charter:
http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=11414
Subpart A - CHARTER
ARTICLE II. - GOVERNING BODY; DEPARTMENTS; APPOINTIVE OFFICERS

Mayor - Is not a Councilmember, has all the power and duties of the Councilmembers plus a lot more. Some include authority over Councilmembers.
Councilmember - There are four, not five.
Council - the four Councilmembers only.
Mayor and Council - can be collectively called "Council."

That is where it gets understandably confusing. If the full meaning, Council is only Councilmembers. In the collective meaning, which only regards issues we all have powers and duties over, it means Mayor and Council. Where it is Mayor only authority, It is solely Councilmembers, not Mayor.

It all depends on how the word is being used as to if the Mayor is included in, or separate from, Council.

GeorgeDienhart
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The other school of thought is

Per the Georgia Municipal Association website: Under the council-manager form of government, typically the mayor is primarily a councilmember who is first among equals and who serves as ceremonial leader of the city. In the weak mayor--council form, the mayor has some administrative tasks but is primarily involved as a member of the council.

We have a hybrid of the two- granting the mayor 13 additional duties:
(1)To preside at all meetings of the city council;
(2)To see that all meetings are conducted in a parliamentary manner;
(3)To preserve order and decorum in such meetings;
(4)To inflict such punishment upon any person guilty of contempt before said council as may be authorized by municipal ordinances;
(5)To see that all laws, ordinances, rules, regulations and resolutions of the city council of said city are faithfully executed and enforced;
(6)To appoint and be an ex officio member of all committees;
(7)To see that all funds are properly accounted for and that all revenues are properly and promptly collected;
(8)To inform the council from time to time of the general condition of said city and its affairs and recommend such measures as he may deem necessary or expedient for the welfare of said city;
(9)To inspect or cause to be inspected by one or more of the councilmembers of said city the records and books of accounts of the city and see that they are properly and correctly kept to require such reports to be made by such city staff and given to the council;
(10)To see that order is maintained in said city and that its property and effects are preserved;
(11)To convene the council in extra session as frequently as he may deem proper;
(12)To bind said city by signing any contract, obligation or other matter entered into and authorized by ordinance or resolution of the council of said city, properly passed in accordance with the provisions of this act; and
(13)To do acts and things as may be proper and necessary in the proper conduct of the affairs of said city and as may be hereinafter authorized.

None of these duties precludes the mayor from being part of council.

Additionally, our charter states:
The mayor and councilmembers of said city shall collectively be known as "Council of Peachtree City" (hereinafter sometimes referred to as "city council" or "council" and when so referred to shall be construed to mean the Council of Peachtree City), in which all legislative powers of said city shall be vested. (Sec 2.1c at http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=11414)

Don Haddix
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Haddix: No Councilman

GMA only says a first among equals for the Weak Mayor where they often rotate the Chair between Councilmembers, like the County Commission or our Committess, Boards and Authorities. They recognize their is a wide spread of government types in Georgia.

We elect the Mayor and are a hybrid of the Counci/Manager and Strong Mayor, not Weak Mayor.

In a true Weak Mayor system the Councilmembers usually serve as Department Directors due in small communities that cannot afford a City Manager.

There are 3 forms of government, not two. Those being Weak Mayor, Council/Manager and Strong Mayor. All have Councils and a Mayor.

Your list is not complete, either. The Mayor is also exclusively the CEO and Supervisor of the City. As such the City Manager reports to that office primarily.

Now, go back and read the whole Charter, where you see distinctions of offices. Note the words you posted, as in "sometimes" when referring to legislative powers. Sometimes is not all the time.

Council is the Legislative body, which is an area where we share authority and responsibility. But, you do not share CEO, Supervisor, and many other authorities and duties in that list with the office of Mayor.

So, no, the Mayor is not part of Council in every circumstance. In your areas of duties we are always Council. But in my area of duties we are not always Council.

mudcat
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Yes Mr. mayor, it is confusing, I agree. We'll get someone to

read it and explain it. Don't you worry about all that. George is not going to mount a palace coup and take away your authority or control. The voters do that next year. Just put the charter down, walk slowly away. After all it is almost time for Happy Hour.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: mudcat and confusion

Never said Councilman Dienhart was trying to do so.

But, that is not a reason to not give some clarity to the real facts.

A lot of people have decisions to make next year. Councilmembers Fleisch and Learnard also are end of term. The rumors are already flying both plus Imker are planning to run for Mayor. Dienhart said he is thinking about it as well.

As well, rumors are flying madmike and Randy Boyett are going to run for Council Posts.

Terry Ernst also said he is thinking about it. That was in the news.

Others are talking about running as well, for Council Posts.

For me, I have not made up my mind yet. Could run again and once more disappoint a few bloggers by yet again getting elected after being pronounced politically dead the last two elections.

Could run for something else.

Been a lot of requests to run for one, the other or one of two.

Next year will prove to be very interesting. On that I think we can both agree.

But until then, don't place any bets on outcomes. You and some others did that before and lost.

Enjoy Happy Hour.

Larry Sussberg
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Haddix announces run for re-election

I thought it appropriate to reference back to this post where you were lecturing us on the fact that mayor is not part of city council and that you have many options coming into the new year 2013 to run for different offices.

So, you have decided to run for re-election! Congratulations!

Are you being endorsed by the Republican Party, Tea Party of Democratic Party? Curious to see which party will endorse you in light of the $12,000 funds you took from the taxpayers.

Regarding your debate on our form of government posted here, if each council member is elected AT LARGE, which means they are elected by the entire population of the city as the mayor, does that mean when something is voted and agreed upon by majority rule in council that this represents the true majority for the city?

If so (and that is my question), does that mean that after council elected to defund DAPC and hire Joey Grisham, you actively engaged in the disruption of our government under majority rule and proceeded to undermine those decisions which resulted in Mr. Grisham resigning. Also, going into the next council election, when you resurrected DAPC, after majority rule defunded it, you turning it into an issue again then actively participate in a disruptive way to sway the election to your hand picked candidates that supported you also interupted in our form of government.

All of these events occurred over a 2 1/2 to 3 year period while you were mayor and it had a negitive effect on the city preventing any positive movement of economic development.

I guess re-worded:

You decided to push your miniority opinion to actively disrupt the majority rule of government on the issue of execution of the economic development policy of Peachtree City and did so for the majority of your time as mayor of Peachtree City.

Am I connecting the dots correctly?

If so, this election needs to be about issues/policy, not about popularity or mis-information. If I am not correct here, please let me know. If I am, and I may be wrong, this is a major issue for consideration going into November elections.

Robert W. Morgan
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Zowie, Mr. Mayor -sock it to them - all 6 of them

So far you may be tied with Steve Brown as the worst mayor PTC ever had, but you are looking good on opponents - from your own post . Here they are:

Fleisch
Learnard
Dienhart
Madmike
Boyett
Ernst

6 of them - same as the Brown Clown had. Good deal. Any one of them are 10 times more qualified and much more mature than you. Hope they all run. What in the world are you thinking when you even imply that you are going to run again - before the $12k is paid back to the city? Or will it be paid back by then?

And "run for something else"? Please, please, please do.

And since you are an illiterate fool, I must post the quote of the day:
"Been a lot of requests to run for one, the other or one of two." This one mystifies me, it implies that more than just one pumpkin person wants you to run again or even for something else. Wow! Don't guess you would consider listing the names of your supporters on here, would you?

Hint, Hint

Bike
Diesel
Activeman

Larry Sussberg
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RWM

Lets hope for a large number of candidates for mayor in the 2013 election.
I'm hoping to see at least 6 candidates this time around.

This time, PTC citizens need more choices. It also makes it more expensive to run so candidates will need to raise funds.
Candidates will have to be truly motivated and offer true leadership.
Raising the funds for support should not be a problem in the first round and then in the run off.

mudcat
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Haddix won't be eligible for a second term

Imker and the others will expand the ban that people who owe back taxes to the city can't qualify for elected office. While it just addresses unpaid taxes now, the plan is to include unpaid reimbursements to the city for illegally diverted funds. I think it will pass 4-1. But even with that, I too would like to see many candidates step forward to replace the mayor.

PTC Observer
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Mr. Haddix
Don Haddix wrote:

For me, I have not made up my mind yet. Could run again and once more disappoint a few bloggers by yet again getting elected after being pronounced politically dead the last two elections.

You can never underestimate the stupidity of the electorate.

Spyglass
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I like the annexation

Myself.

Robert W. Morgan
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Me too. Annexation good. Thanks council

It protects us from the evil-doers that would put a Racetrack or a manufacturing facility on our southern "gateway" entrance. We even get a big sign out of the deal. What's not to like?

Larry Sussberg
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Duplicate

.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Input

Yes. We want to know the neighbors' thoughts unless there is very good reason to ignore them.

The Variance Committee, which is the City Planner, City Manager and myself makes the final call.

Glad to help.

Aurelius
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"good" is a relative and subjective term.....don't you think?

What my understanding is, at this point, is that the variance committee has the authority to override(or not even ask) all of the neighbor's comments, if they deem that they should be ignored.
In my opinion, the lack of clear, objective rules and processes, sets up a perfect opportunity for collusion to set in, depending upon "who" applies for the variance and "tells the story" first.
As an example, if there are 3-4 neighbors, that are affected by a variance, they would not be able to provide their thoughts, within this scenario.
It is then the person who applies for the variance, who gets their side of the story "heard", irregardless of the other comments that the other neighbors may have.
Wow....appears to be a slightly slanted and jaded process to me......comments welcome from everyone please.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Subjective

Yes, it is subjective. But, when anyone gets into government you learn very quickly that not all things can be reduced to a set of rules.

Zoning, variances, annexations and similar decisions are always subjective. That is why people are elected to make such decisions and why the electorate need to pay attention to who gets elected.

I always ask about the HOA and neighbors. When I first came on Council that was not the policy to do so, but I pushed it and now it is.

We have continued variances to get neighbors, HOA, etc. positions.

Even on an administrative variance it is required and we do not hold the meetings until that information is provided.

Look at the recent annexation that passed 3-2. I didn't hear one good reason to vote for it and the use of declining available property demands being job creation focused, for me. The member that pushed it hard sells real estate for a living. Another wants income, so the one times fees look good and another centered his objections around impact on schools. The other never really gave a clear reason to support it other than they liked this design.

Arguments of retail on septic were non starters. I am a Board of Health member and spray fields are not allowed in the County, so that was a fear tactic. Nor can you build anything of any density without sewer, else it would have been developed years ago.

So, yes, subjective, collusion and poor judgement are always risks. That will never end.

Aurelius
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Big Blind Special........

Thank you for all of your comments and insight to how the variance process is used in PTC. I understand the difficult and subjective part of government issues and that all scenarios cannot be black and white....
But I will maintain that the PTC codes/ordinances/rules that have been instituted should be adhered too, without individual subjective interpretation even being considered (i.e. required documents on a PTC variance application form).
I would also like to commend you on upholding the importance of HOA's and neighbor's input to ALL variances. This should always stand true, since the "old time" residents truly care about this city and want to keep it that way for as long as possible (this is why we have the codes/rules/etc....)
The PTC system is in serious danger, if people decide to subjectively apply the rules, as they see fit, on a case by case basis, ignoring statutes and ordinances.
I appreciate your statement "Even on an administrative variance it is required and we do not hold the meetings until that information is provided."
As I understand the ordinances/codes, the City Manager, Planning Admin and yourself (and/or a council member) need agree to the admin. variance at a variance meeting.

Now for the big blind special....
Would it surprise anyone that I have an interesting official document from our PTC City Hall that approves a 1204 variance without a date for a variance hearing or the signatures of all the variance committee members?
A very obvious attempt at skirting the PTC system without hearing ALL sides of the story before determining the outcome......If you are truly interested in the document, let me know and I will setup a Google Docs site for everyone......"How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it."
Marcus Aurelius

Aurelius
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Crickets?

The lack of interest and action regarding the enforcement/application of the PTC codes and ordinances, as they have been defined by previous PTC "councils" has driven another nail into the coffin of my confidence in this city upholding its long tradition of higher standards. We cannot even execute the simplest of statutes......without collusion and side-stepping being the norm.
The interest in how this city operates is obviously not a concern, for most of you, since most Americans live in their own isolationist world and apply the basic thought "if it doesn't affect you....why give a hoot" attitude.......how sad it is to think that the people in this once great country, who use to come together under many different issues(not some partisan backed crapola) and rallied against the government to force them to execute the laws, as they were originally written, have turned away from basic common sense.

It is also a tragedy that the majority of Americans have slowly turned into a self-serving bunch of hypocrites......only concerned with who they can "blame" for the specific scenario at hand. (thanks mass media ;)

Just in case, you may find yourselves, in a similar situation, I will inform you of the following criteria, used to define misconduct by a public official:

-The offender was a public servant.
-The purpose of the act is to obtain a benefit for himself or another or to injure or to deprive another of a benefit.
-The act related to the public servant’s office.
-The act was not authorized, and knowingly performed without permission.
-The act can also include the non-commission of an act or a duty that the servant knowingly failed to perform and which he or she was obligated to perform under law.

"I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others."
Marcus Aurelius

NUK_1
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Post it up, Aurelius

I have a feeling I know what variance you are talking about but want to make sure before I cast further aspersions upon this public official.

PTC Observer
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I agree, Aurelius -

post it up, let us know what you have found.

If you don't want crickets, then give us some information.

Aurelius
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No access at the moment,,,,,,,

I apologize for not having access to the files...
The Google Docs site is set up and will be loaded tomorrow.

The emails and official determination document are on my laptop at work and my mobile will not go back more than 1000 emails, so I cannot email to my home pc the information that is dated September 21 and earlier.

Update to follow tomorrow...hope all is well

PTC Observer
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Aurelius - Time?

Can you give us a time range when this will be available tomorrow?

Thanks

PTCO

Aurelius
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Google Docs Site

Have at it!
Took longer to due to family obligations......sorry

Anyone can view or search this zip file......

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bz12KIBdeFd9N2k3aUxXVmppbG8

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