‘The chickens have come home to roost, folks’

Don Haddix's picture

On Friday, July 1, we held our second Facilities Authority (FA) meeting.

What in the world is that, you ask? Like other authorities, the FA can get better bond rates than the city. So it is a funding mechanism for city projects to be paid over some period of time. Fancy words for getting loans at the best interest rates.

What it is not is a council function or meeting. No council discussion or decisions can be made. That is added because the FA membership is the mayor and four council members.

In 2007 and 2009 I campaigned in part on neglected infrastructure. In 2009 my statement was, “The can is no longer being kicked down the road, it has been kicked off the cliff.”

The chickens have come home to roost, folks. We have tennis courts with sink holes — canyons, not little cracks — and stormwater issues. The Fred Cast House is literally falling apart. It might have to be torn down and rebuilt. There are places in the city where metal is rusted so badly it will require sandblasting to be able to repaint.

Contrary to the reporting about sealing the library, the $100,000 is for a crack in the lower level floor and wall, made worse by finding when built the brick was not anchored to the substructure. Plus hundreds of more things, small to large.

That obviously leads back to the issue of paying for it. In turn that demands prioritization.

For me the top demands are infrastructure and safety. Of course, both of these must be done in the most cost-effective manner possible to deliver the needed service levels.

Second is Public Works. In addition to meeting basic needed services, this is where infrastructure demands will be dealt with in the main.

Recreation and parks are important to Peachtree City. How to pay for them are the questions. Should fees and/or taxes increase to pay for it all?

Should there be service cuts rather than tax increases? Yes, I have been pounding on that question because it is the real and central issue at the heart of all of these budget decisions.

A historical quote fits where we are today so well, “Let them eat cake.” When many people are short of bread (money) should they eat (pay for) cake (with taxes)? Honest question for which 86.2 percent in our 2011 Survey said give them the bread.

This is more than a one-year issue, especially with an already projected 1 mill tax increase for 2013.

Being an election year but having heard of no formal declarations to run, all we have are rumors. I have heard of three thinking about running. Two say eat cake. One goes for bread. One has been heard more than once, over several years, saying if you cannot afford to pay the taxes needed to live in Peachtree City you should move. Really?

There is a lot on the menu this year. How much one can afford to order is one question. Cash or plastic is the other.

[Don Haddix was elected mayor of Peachtree City in 2009. Previously, he had served two years as a council member. His email is dhaddix@peachtree-city.org.]

NUK_1
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Public Safety was never #1 with me, still isn't

I don't take it for granted and wouldn't move into a "high crime area," especially in terms of the amount of violent crimes committed, but I didn't move to PTC 20+ years ago and live in PTC because of public safety. It was mainly due to the schools in the area, recreational opportunities, and public works. Public safety might have been 4th at the most. The fact that it is starting to consume a lot of budgetary dollars in proportion to the overall city operation is an issue.

PTC Observer
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Mr. Mayor

I have no idea what you did before you became mayor, but if I were you I would get ready to do it again.

We live in a terrific community here, we have problems just like all other cities. The question is a question of leadership. A notion that seems to be foreign to your nature.

Leadership means that you forumlate a plan for achieving goals that you think the citizens want, you know being a representative of the citizens that elected you.

What's your goals for our city Mr. Mayor?
What's your plan for achieving them?

You don't need to go out and conduct a survey, you need to show some leadership.

The fact that I have to write this, is an example of what's wrong with our city's "leadership". Lead, follow, or get the heck out of the way!

Robert W. Morgan
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Before he was mayor he was a councilman

so we don't want him going back to that, do we. Apparently he was observant enough on council to detect that (in his opinion) Mayor Logsdon came to meetings drunk and now he has progressed to blabbing about it and he's getting sued as a result of his big mouth.

Yes, back to being retired is what he needs. Of course we can also refer to him as "the defendant" if the libel case is still going on. I'm fascinated with that in the sense that no one can prove or disprove that Logsdon was drunk or not 2 years after the supposed fact - can they? Short of a blood test taken on the night in question, it is all conjecture and supposition.

PTC Observer
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RWM - You're right

of course, I meant before he was a public "servant". A job which he has proven incapable of doing, what did he do before he retired? Was he a bureaucrat? Seems he’s pretty good at this type of work.

As to your question, I personally think they are both pouring money down a rat hole. Haddix will get off because Logsdon was a public figure and Logsdon will have his name and reputation pulled through the mud and grime of all his past sins. If he's smart he will just drop it and stop wasting money. My prediction, they will "settle" out of court.

roundabout
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Morgan

So it doesn't matter if he drank at meetings or not? He was just trying to tell that one new guy what had been happening. The new guy was canned and he blabbed!

Let me ask you: Is it your knowledge that that group and others drank a lot, before and after, meetings or not?

Don't tell me it is none of our business, it is.

roundabout
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PT^CO

You want the plans of a politician, I'll tell you what they are:

A chicken in every pot.
Family Values for all.
Balanced budget, if possible.
Communication with all citizens.
Family Values.
Better schools.
More public safety
Cooperation.
Efficiency.
The pleasures of public service.
Family Values
Judeo-Christian principles--except in New York and Philly.
Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman type leadership (pick one).

Mike King
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Cash Or Plastic, Mayor?

How about freezing the millage rate right where it is, and Council begin to prioritize what is really necessary? Too tough for you, then get out of the way. Back yet another tax increase, and odds are you're done. Except, of course, for those extra years you get to spend on the Facilities Authority which we both know to be yet another mechanism to dig our town deeper into debt.

Use a little common sense and cut your budget by ten percent annually for ten years and you will have the monies required to alleviate the infrastructure dilemma.

roundabout
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MIKE

IS 10% CUTS EVERY YEAR FOR TEN YEARS SOMETHING LIKE THE HALF LIFE OF URANIUM? You know that is actually a 20% cut since costs normally go up 10% per year?
Or did you mean to use the 2011 budget as a base and cut that one 10% every year?
How much would the expenses be after ten 10% cuts?

Let X be the amount left!

Mike King
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Swami

Ten percent is the 'pie in the sky' for the out years, get it done for the first, second, and perhaps third years before the percentage of cuts are reduced below the 10% goal and you'll learn quickly of what is really necessary. Anyone other than local government employees should be those that decide what the priorities are and where they draw the line on what is optional.

I cannot remember any period whereby the size and scope of government has been reduced permanently. Currently, cuts and cost savings are taken away from one area and added to another all the while no one individual will take responsibility for the increase in the overall cost of governance.

Take for example the city manager's proposed budget which shows $27M in revenue for the current year and grows to $32M in the out years. Last I looked we are not in a 10% inflation spiral, yet.

roundabout
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Here are the answers

A 10% cut off the present budget (27,000,000) for ten years would produce a budget ten years from now of $20,000,300. You can calculate the average savings!

If you meant a budget every year 10% less than the preceding year, you would end up with a budget ten years from now of $9,414, 318!

Mike King
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Here Is Your Question

Are you saying it would be impossible to run PTC for $9.5M?

Quite drastic, highly improbable, but the point is if we had to make it work, we could.

roundabout
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Mike

Well, you got me! I think it could be done providing we don't consider inflation---which there is a ton coming, We allow the Sheriff to do crime and Fayetteville to do Fire. (Free).

isn't that about what (9 million) those two cost?

We would need another bubble by then, new drain pipes all over town, a new police station, (for Fayetteville), all new cart paths (or close them), a new holding yard with a roof and facilities for rioters!

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