Most, if not all, know the problems with the State freezing assessed values for homes, as regards property tax, and then cutting off the Homestead Exemption while keeping the State tax in place to collect the funds that had been used for the exemption, which in reality is a form of double taxation on property. As well the State basically restricts city budget financing to Sales Tax, Property Tax and Fees. Even further the Feds and State have put mandates in place upon cities then left them in place when they cut funding plus other issues that benefit them at our expense locally.
Then there is the issues of Council majorities having said Peachtree City is a recession proof bubble and we can just build more retail to increase our income. Both said as a defense for not taking much needed actions sooner and both totally wrong.
It is all very frustrating and down right unbelievable at times.
But even with all of that, we need to never loose sight of the fact we live in a truly great city, being number 8 in both places to live and retire. We are a unique master planned community that is the model and envy of many all over the world.
I believe what we have and the desire to defend it is driving the majority of citizens to step up to the plate and say enough is enough, we want our city back. That stepping up is something we should all be proud of and see as an avenue that will take us back to the concepts that made Peachtree City great. It also says people moved here because they see Peachtree City as more than just another city.
This is Peachtree City's 50th anniversary. We are at build out and celebrating our past, which was full of rapid growth of new buildings on pristine land guided by our Comprehensive Plan and Village Concept. A past that had more successes than failures.
At the same time we are looking to our future, where we will not have growth that is rapid or heavily new, but redevelopment. A time to take what we have and make it better, a time to take what failed and make it a succeed and a time to reinvigorate our Villages to again be communities where shopping centers, recreation, parks and homes are a community, not separate and distinct areas, and all vital and thriving as Villages should be.
We have what it takes to succeed, meaning our citizens. I would never have run for office if I thought our Planned Community and its people where not worth fighting for or its citizens had no interest in fighting for what they have.
Sure, we have struggles in front of us. But we can overcome all of it with citizen centered Councils, Staffs, committees, authorities, commissions and well informed citizens.
In 2007 Cal Beverly said, “Haddix will bring some “regular citizen” perspective to the council, and will stand up for the regular homeowner.” I ran as a “regular citizen” and have conducted myself as such in office. I hope to be honored with being elected Mayor and see a “Regular Citizen Council” on the Dais beginning next year.
2010 begins the next 50 years. The next Council will set the tone for many years to come. Let us get it started right.