PTC’s 2 councilwomen, Learnard and Fleisch, come out for Imker
Incoming Councilman Dienhart criticized for ‘making assumptions’
Peachtree City Council members Vanessa Fleisch and Kim Learnard want voters to know they are indeed supporting the re-election of Eric Imker to the Post 1 council seat.
Both cited assumptions that could be drawn from comments made by incoming Councilman George Dienhart in an article published in Saturday’s Citizen about Dienhart’s endorsement of Imker’s opponent, political newcomer Steve Allen.
In that article, Dienhart said: “Everything I have seen and heard from the people I have talked to leads me to believe Eric is a big problem with the discord on the current City Council.”
To the contrary, Fleisch and Learnard said they both enjoy working with Imker and they appreciate his contributions to cost-saving initiatives.
Fleisch, in a letter to The Citizen, said that she enjoys working with Imker in part because he is “definitely not a politician.”
“Even though we do not see eye to eye on every issue, we have a wonderful working relationship and I look forward to that continuing,’ Fleisch wrote. “He is the kind of spirited person that you want to have in your corner no matter the situation.”
Fleisch further said that she knows Imker “to be an honest man with only the best interests of the city of Peachtree City at heart.”
Fleisch told The Citizen that she wrote the letter supporting Imker “to set the record straight” in light of Dienhart’s comments. She added that she is looking forward to working with Dienhart.
Learnard took umbrage to one specific statement from Dienhart in Saturday’s article, which said he felt Allen would be “a whole lot easier to work with for myself, council members Learnard and Fleisch and the mayor, than Eric Imker would be.”
“The only reason I wrote was because George Dienhart took it upon himself to speak for me,” Learnard said in an interview Monday. “I had planned to let these two men fight their own election battle but when I read George’s quote, I knew I had to clarify my own position. ... Mr. Dienhart has no idea who I will work well with.”
Both Learnard and Fleisch touted Imker’s positive effect on the city budget, which is one of the chief reasons they hope he is re-elected.
“If Mr. Imker wins re-election, Peachtree City will realize the fruits of his budget efforts to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars saved in streamlined services, reduced debt and better investment strategies in the coming four years,” Learnard wrote in her letter. “We work extremely well together and I hope to work with him for another term.”
As for Dienhart’s comments, Learnard noted that she has only met him once for a chat at Starbucks.
“He knows very little about me,” Learnard wrote. “And he has no grounds whatsoever for publicizing assumptions about which Post 1 candidate will be easier for me to work with.”
Learnard told The Citizen that she felt Dienhart can better assess the state of council at a later date.
“My position is Mr. Dienhart can make his assessment in two more months after he takes time to learn the ropes and earns a few stripes,” Learnard said.
The article in question focused on Dienhart’s endorsement of Imker’s opponent, political newcomer Steve Allen. In endorsing Allen and pinning much of the blame for council discord on Imker, some have charged that Dienhart is starting off on the wrong foot based on one of his core campaign promises: to restore harmony on council.
Dienhart, for his part, indicated that goal would be easier to accomplish if Allen were elected instead of Imker. Dienhart also placed some of the blame for council discord on Mayor Don Haddix, but said Haddix wasn’t responsible for all of those problems.