Friday, October 29, 1999
Perlman ignored PTC tree-save rules at his new office
It was President Lyndon B. Johnson who said, You know, doing what is right is easy. The problem is knowing what is right (The Johnson Years: The Difference He Made by R.L. Hardesty, p.181).
Most of us will agree that those are appropriate words for an election year. How many times have you read or heard a candidate say they will do whatever is in the best interest of the city. It can be applied to any and every issue. The phrase sounds wonderful but it means absolutely nothing. Please recall any local politician that you thought did a horrible job. I can most certainly assure you that the person you recalled promised to do whatever was in the best interest of the city while campaigning.
I had great doubts as to how Jim Pace, a commercial developer, would vote on commercial development/zoning issues when he was elected four years ago. Of course, we have witnessed many memorable votes, including the now famous yes, no and, the next day, I abstained vote on the proposed Mews development at Walt Banks and Ga. Highway 54. Most recently, Mr. Pace was the only councilman to vote against the Traffic Impact Ordinance.
In our current election, I have some reservations about Dr. Bruce Perlman. Dr. Perlman is scant on specifics and uses generalities like neighborhoods first. He stated, I am against any annexation unfavorable to Peachtree City (AJC, Oct. 21). What is his particular definition of unfavorable? Dan Tennant clearly stated, I say no to annexation (AJC, Oct. 21).
At the last city council meeting, Councilwoman Annie McMenamin went so far as to propose a moratorium on annexation (AJC, Oct.22). Annexation is a monumental issue for Peachtree City, and a definitive position from the candidates is imperative.
It was brought up that Dr. Perlman has received in excess of $80,000 in his position as the city physician and handling city workman's compensation cases (Peachtree Citizen Review, Oct. 22). The disturbing factor in all of this is how did he obtain the non-competitive position with the city and why does the city not bid these services out?
Candidate Melvin Ewing also stated that he is doing business with the city but stated that he would sever those relations if elected. Dr. Perlman asserted, I fail to see how my continuation of this work could be a conflict of interest or present an appearance of impropriety (AJC, Oct. 7).
A large portion of Dr. Pearlman's campaign funds appear to be coming from specialty practices that he refers to in Atlanta (Peachtree Citizen Review, Oct. 22). It appears that his business interests are certainly involved in his politics. If he were elected to the city council, could we ever bid those services?
What really raises skepticism is Dr. Perlman's constant reference to the Master Plan. His campaign mail-out contends, Bruce recognizes that growth in Peachtree City is inevitable, but he believes that following Peachtree City's Master Plan will protect our quality of life. The strict guidelines imposed by the Master Plan will ensure the protection of existing neighborhoods and preserve the character of our community.
The original Master Plan accounted for a population of approximately 70,000 citizens, skyscrapers and all sorts of wild things. It is obvious when you read the newspaper each week that we are having some planning difficulties. Absolutely sticking to what we have is not the best solution. The mayor recently had to create a task force in an attempt to straighten out our planning difficulties in the Hwy. 54 West corridor.
The research also showed that actions speak louder than words. There was a heated debate at the Aug. 24, 1998, Planning Commission meeting regarding Dr. Perlman's new building at the intersection of Prime Point and Petrol Point. Councilman Jim Pace's company, Group VI, was the contractor for the project.
Dr. Perlman and Group VI had agreed to tree-save areas in the conceptual site plan with the city. However, it was later discovered that virtually all of the trees designated to be saved had been removed without [City] Staff authorization or approval (planning commission minutes, Aug. 24). A revised plan on the commission's agenda Aug. 24 was not as extensive as the original [replacement plan]. City Planner David Rast said that the revised plan was done because the owner, Dr. Milton [Bruce] Perlman, and the contractor, Group VI, decided that the city had `no legal basis' under which to require that the trees be replaced (Citizen Review, Aug. 28, 1998).
This situation started a major debate in Peachtree City as to what needs to be done when an entity does not abide by the provisions of a city-approved site plan.
All this from the same candidate that promised the citizens strict adherence to developmental guidelines a definite contrast.
Please do your research and solve the problem of knowing what is right.