Mayor Haddix: Errors by The Citizen and Imker
I had no intention of writing a column until I read the Jan. 22-23 edition of “The Citizen.” Several points have to be made.
I will begin with the simple one. Concerning the Hotel/Motel Tax increase, John Munford wrote, “Haddix, however, joined Fleisch in voting against the increase of the tax from 6 to 7 percent.” Councilman Sturbaum and I voted against the increase. Councilwoman Fleisch voted for the increase.
Moving on to “Imker raps mayor over tax stats,” John wrote, “... Imker blasted Mayor Don Haddix for getting his facts wrong on the level of a proposed tax increase for each of the next four years.” “Imker noted the projected tax increase is .231 for the next several years, not the .5 Haddix has referred to on several locations.” ‘It upsets me greatly to see this misrepresented and mischaracterized,’ Imker said. ‘I take great exception to seeing this over and over again, written multiple times.’”
He said these things after putting up a chart supposedly shown at past budget meetings that included his plan and my plan. Mine included an initial .5 increase with far larger ones following each year.
In response Councilman Sturbaum and I immediately reacted by saying we never saw that chart before. Then, when Councilman Imker finished his presentation, I notified him what he declared to be my tax plan was never proposed by me. My plan was .5 the first year with no tax increases following. I was looking elsewhere to resolve budget issues.
As for misrepresenting his proposal, I will simply quote the 8-19-10 Council Meeting minutes reporting of what Councilman Imker said, “He continued that after the 1.25 mill increase for 2010, the millage rate would increase 0.5 every year, solving the budget crisis by 2015.”
Yes, he said if something got better his tax increase plan could be reduced. But, as well, it could be increased if things didn’t turn around.
I note as well this was the meeting where the millage rate was voted in on a 3-2 [vote]. Since then, several times, it has been said by those who voted it in that a plan had been put into place that solves the budget crisis. This is their plan that solves the budget crisis.
As well, not knowing who will be on Council in 2012, after the elections, is a factor. This “plan” to solve the budget crisis requires the councils of 2012 and 2013 and of 2014 and 2015 to continue to vote for the increases.
I would urge Councilman Imker to ensure his facts are correct before saying he didn’t say or propose something he actually did. I especially urge him to not accuse others of doing something they did not do.
Writing to the paper is something I began doing in early 2007. It is my way of communicating with Peachtree City residents from time to time. I will continue to do so.
Finally, a voting record is transparent. Whether on the winning or losing side each person on council is responsible for explaining their vote. If one’s vote becomes a negative issue for them, it is still their vote and their responsibility.
[Don Haddix was elected mayor of Peachtree City in 2009. Previously, he had served two years as a council member. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.]