Monday, July 6, 2009

July Election Update

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July with family and friends. My great neighbor Nancy drove her golf cart on my behalf in the parade with her grand kids throwing out the candy. I would like to thank and say how much I appreciated all those watching the parade that yelled, gave thumbs up and otherwise showed their support for me.

Last week Cyndi Plunkett declared for Mayor and Steve Boone and Les Dyer declared for Council Posts. This slate has been known to some since at least April. Its purpose is to maintain the current majority thinking on Council.

Les Dyer is a friend of Boone's and acquaintance of Plunkett and Logsdon. They talk at Council Meetings and Dyer complimented Logsdon as Mayor in PTC 101. As noted in the online announcement on The Citizen, his wife works for Home Source. What was not noted was Home Source is a division of Pathways and she works in the new homes division and could very well be an on site sales rep for Callula Hills.

Obviously and understandably Plunkett, my opponent for Mayor, does not want to be elected to a minority voting position. Obviously and understandably I don't want to be elected to an ongoing minority position as well.

Therefore I say these things to be consistent with my many times stated position that this election is not only about who is elected Mayor, but what thinking and positions hold the majority on Council. This is not about persons or personalities. This is about positions and realities.

Now clear cut choices are available to the voters. If you want continuity of the majority of the last four years, you have candidates to vote for. If you want to change back to the Village Concept and Comprehensive Plan and like Smart Growth over any growth, which the minority has fought for the last two years, you have candidates who have declared that goal running for Mayor and all the Council positions.

Regarding the Mayoral election, since the election is four months away, I will only make brief comments at this time. Just enough to give voters things to think about and questions to ask.

For Scott Rowland I have nothing to comment on at this time because he has taken no positions on anything.

For Cyndi Plunkett I will be contrasting our positions and voting records on such as voting to lift the MultiFamily Moratorium for John Wieland Homes, rezoning to allow a near 60' tall hotel, the Special Use Permit being in the General Commercial Ordinance, abandoning the Line Creek roads to enable a Big Box development, approving a Big Box and Big Shopping Center and approving the 54 W traffic light application. She supported and I opposed on these votes.

While we are near build out there is still several hundred acres that are not built and more in need of redevelopment and improvement, not to mention the ability to annex more land to allow even more building. So, this is not now nor ever will be a dead issue in the future for any Council or the citizens of Peachtree City. In fact we have a Step One Annexation on the agenda now.

I agree with Plunkett we need more police and fire, so a moot issue between us. I agree on the need for experience carry over on Council. But I would add the omitted fact Doug Sturbaum has experience and will be on Council at least two more years and has been my fellow Councilman on the two side of the 3-2 votes. So, the difference is in what each of us carry over, meaning more of the same with Plunkett and back to the Village Concept with me. I agree Rec is important to Peachtree City, but the difference is in how we pay for it and how much burden is to be put on all tax payers.

Team work is important. But, as GMA (Georgia Municipal Association) says, full team work and cooperation is the ideal goal, but it should never be at the expense of one's conscience or promises to their constituents. That means on issues such as the 54 W proposal, no team work was possible since it would have required the minority to abandon its conscience and promises. So, when the majority told the minority, publicly, we needed to forget the campaign promises, were part of Council now and needed to get behind the majority, that was not going to happen.

As Plunkett said when she voted against the Moratorium on commercial development I proposed to allow time to get our ordinances updated to protected Peachtree City, she didn't want to send the wrong message to the developers. My position was she was sending the wrong message to the citizens of Peachtree City. That was followed by the first 3-2 loss to the majority. That resulted in Walgreens snapping up property and getting plan approvals three years prior to taking control and negotiations with developers to add 'improvements' to proposals in return for concessions that could have been avoided by simply having had changed the ordinances first.

Ask questions and demand answers. Candidates that give answers such as they will talk about it later or will consider each proposal independently are telling you they will vote to approve what they know is not wanted. That dice roll has been done before and we have paid dearly for it.

This election truly will determine the path Peachtree City takes for the future.

Don Haddix
Mayoral Candidate