Mayor: Outsourcing cost effective for PTC
Now that the bond and veto right issues with WASA have been resolved, I have called for advertising and interviews to fill two vacant board seats (resigned), one alternate (resigned) and one expiring term.
This is a time to consider who you want on the WASA board. As the recent issues have shown, it does matter, a great deal.
Now, regarding Mr. Bradshaw. He should really fact-check before he submits opinion pieces to The Citizen.
A reminder to all that Mr. Bradshaw is a real estate broker and developer. He owns property he wants annexed into Peachtree City, zoned for housing and for the city to build the main road for him.
Outsourcing has, in fact, proven very cost effective to Peachtree City.
Does anyone have any complaint about my pushing to go public/private on the Tennis Center to Cannongate? Has it not reduced expenses over $200K a year to the city?
How about pushing to get The Fred out of the traditional city government structure and hire an actual skilled amphitheater manager? That has saved over $300K a year.
Or, ending the Tourism Association and creating the independent Convention and Visitors Bureau to partner with for promotion of the city? The city cannot legally do that function on its own.
The CVB pays for the fireworks. It also provides a way for the hotel-motel tax to be collected, contributes over $100K to the city coffers a year and promotes functions and events to be held in Peachtree City. These activities generate income to local businesses and sales tax revenues.
Contrary to what Mr. Bradshaw says on landscaping, we received a lot of complaints when Peachtree City employed its own landscaping crew.
The annuals, etc., were discontinued in 2008 while they were still employed. The cost of annuals was far to high to justify continuing the practice. They looked pretty, but we could not afford them.
Nor could we keep paying to create fancy entries for individual developments. Especially when many were willingly taking care of their own.
We switched mowing of Ga. Highway 74 in 2008. No complaints.
Another simple fact is grass just does not grow as much during drought years. We cannot force grass to look better when brown, dry and wilted. Plain and simple.
The mowing cycle was reduced when we still employed our own. So, when more rain came along, of course the grass grew more while being mowed less. So we increased the number of mowings, but still had to do so within budget constraints.
We also found areas were being mowed that we should have never been mowing. In example, we don’t mow private property, but had been, at taxpayer expense. That stopped.
So, many of the issues were never about who was doing the mowing, but came from management errors, budget constraints, the amount of rain, etc.
That is one of those priority areas the Needs Assessment Committee will be asking your opinion.
As for the increase in the Public Works budget, that is easy to explain. We merged much of the grounds, building and other work being done under Recreation into Public Works. That saved money by decreasing management and streamlining work.
Regarding the eliminating of some personnel from Recreation, it has resulted in more efficiency, fewer complaints and less cost. The real issue here, for Mr. Bradshaw, is who was dismissed.
Now, for the true meat and potatoes of his article’s intention.
Scott Bradshaw definitely has a self interest, conflict of interest and financial motivation in this arena. Remember he is a real estate broker and developer with land.
Yep, outsourcing the Building Department inspections did save money. It stopped paying health, retirement and other benefits, long term.
As for SAFEbuilt getting 90 percent, that is very misleading. They received 90 percent for commercial and 80 percent for residential.
If you Internet search SAFEbuilt, you will see the 80/20 split is the norm across the nation.
On the city percentage, we still have city expenses in the Community Development Department relating to inspections, permits, etc.
Also not said was there was a year review time period placed on the agreement.
The year passed, it was reviewed, the old contract was canceled, a new one bid and SAFEbuilt won the contract, yet again, but this time with 70 percent across the board due to the review.
There was no foot dragging by City Council on following the law, as no law was broken. In fact, I never heard a word from Home Builders Association attorney.
So there was no pressure, caving or any other claimed reaction or reasoning by us in the new contract.
As for a cozy relationship between SAFEbuilt and me. Really? Since when? Who said that, Mr. Bradshaw? Was it because during the joint meeting of city and association (you sat next to me) where a certain council member accused SAFEbuilt of stealing windfall profit and was going to get it overturned?
Am I being accused because I intervened, saying there was no evidence of any such stealing, but would follow up and look into it?
I informed the rest of council of what was said, handled it, then we moved on because nothing was found amiss.
Are these the reasons I am being falsely accused, as in politically, yet again?
Cozy is a false accusation, period. This year, outside of SAFEbuilt showing up at random council meetings, I have been around them two times, total. Neither were private and both had other elected, city workers and others in attendance.
Staff researched and brought SAFEbuilt forward to us. There was no contact with them in any way until they did so.
Stooping low, there, Mr. Bradshaw.
Council spit in the face of local builders and their clients by the higher fees? Again, really?
As a councilman, when we revised the impact fees, Scott Bradshaw and others cried foul.
When reminded the fees were way too low and the property owners were absorbing the costs, the argument was it increased what they had to charge the homebuyer.
He didn’t really care about the property tax impact. It was all about building more homes and making money.
Same here with the inspection fees. The old structure didn’t cover the costs, but it was okay to come out of the taxpayer pockets.
So, when he notes they have increased and are more in line with other cities, that is correct. They are based on a nationally used formula that calculates a proper fee structure.
No, Mr. Bradshaw, we did not privatize Senior Services nor did Debbie Britt leaving Fayette Senior Services nullify the agreement. It is a public/private relationship.
Yes, we are updating the buildings, since we still own them. The need was already known and on the books for years. We first had to determine the end results before proceeding.
Mr. Bradshaw neglected to mention serious repairs and renovations are also occurring at the neighboring Fred box office and cast house.
You cannot name a single privatization that has occurred. Nothing has been sold to a private concern.
I also note you make the blanket statement council has again raised taxes.
Fact is it was a 3-2 both in 2010 and 2012 to raise taxes. In both cases Fleisch, Learnard and Imker voted in the increase.
Where is your comment about my objections and forming the Needs Assessment Committee because of how the majority has been doing millage and budgets? Why the blanket condemnation?
Simple, because you want people elected who will go back to the failed “Build it and they will come” mode of thinking and voting. Building so developers can make money.
Well, that thinking has given us over 1,400 new homes on the books already. Phase III of Cedarcroft is underway. I just signed the revised plat for the next set of homes to be built in Centennial. From the 2007 West Village Annexation we have about 1,400 homes already approved.
Now, we have another developer wanting to add 90 more homes near Wilshire.
You know I am for planned growth, meaning growth that actually fits a community’s needs and desires. So, we have very different outlooks on how to do development.
As for the statement we have an effective and efficient county government. Once more, really? Did you fail to note the five commissioners you just praised have all lost reelection bids by sizable margins? That they were extremely developer friendly?
Ah, yes, you did admit it by criticizing the new commissioners coming on board, who are not.
Your bias and agenda is showing.
Indeed, enough said!
Don Haddix, mayor
Peachtree City, Ga.