Assessing the Elected Officials of Peachtree City
After the voters "cleaned house" in the last election, I was very, very happy with the results. We got rid of Boone, Plunkett and Logsdon, and installed Haddix, Fleisch, Learned and Imker. First time in a very long time that every single candidate I had voted for won their respective race!
I felt that at long last we had an "A-Team" in the city government.
Then reality set in.
We appear now to have 5 individuals with 5 separate agendas who have yet to learn to work well with each other. We're seeing some petty tit-for-tat in the letter pages of the Citizen and some unseemly and unnecessary brinksmanship and posturing at city council meetings.
The biggest disappointment to me personally so far has been Eric Imker. He seemed to have all the qualifications on paper to be an effective city councilman, yet it has become quite apparent lately that he lacks the temperament and self-control needed to govern effectively.
Vanessa Fleisch is something of a cipher to me, and it pains me to say that as I've met and talked with Vanessa several times in the past two years. She seems unable to clearly articulate the "why" of her position many times.
Kim Learned is a strong leader and I am baffled as to why Mayor Haddix and Kim seem to bump heads so often. Sometimes I wish Kim hadn't run for city council, I feel she'd be much, much more effective on the dysfunctional Board of Education (although if memory serves me, she lives in Marion Key's district, which would do nothing to lessen the power of the "gang of three").
I've never met Don Haddix but I feel like I know the guy from reading his opines here on the Citizen. He's a WYSIWYG kinda guy, always ready to proffer an opinion whether you've asked him or not. He's got a thick skin (which you need to have in order to be mayor) and I've taken him to task before about his near pathological need to get the last word in!!
Overall, I'd give the current city council a grade of B-. They've had some tough choices to make in a down economy, but they've made them. They've alienated a few folks, but that's to be expected.
Personally, I wish that they'd be a bit more hands-on in reining in the amorphous entity known as "staff" that seems to pervade each and every aspect of city life. We've also got a fire chief who seems to want to gold-plate his entire department and a new-ish police chief who seems to want to make the Guiness book of records for writing traffic citations (or at least beat the speedtrap known as the city of Tyrone).
We live in interesting times....I feel we have some good pieces in place, and I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll see some good things out of our elected officials once they get these little interpersonal relationship kinks worked out!