Mayor Haddix: ‘Which is the real Eric Imker?’

“’You ran on the premise of no tax increases,’ Posey said of Imker, ‘... And I think this is the time to rein in the belt, not spend, spend, spend.’”

“Imker later noted that he devised more than $2 million in budget cuts last year that were defeated on separate council votes. And because the city faced a severe projected budget shortfall, the other choice was to raise taxes, Imker said.”

In 2010 Imker said if he had not proposed and voted for the tax increase the state would have taken over because we failed to act. He blamed the rest of [City] Council for not backing his cuts due to lack of courage, guts and backbone, an accusation he repeated at the July 11 budget workshop to which he added hanging his budget binder over his head and making additional accusations.

Imker never had $2 million because many of his items that were not legal, feasible or doable, such as parking meters at the library. We would have continued the 2010 budget and been forced to do adjustments, without any tax increase.

“’The good news, though, is that in addition to avoiding a property tax increase this year, the city is on track to have a sustainable budget within the next several years, Imker said.’” This is semantics and spreadsheet smoke and mirrors.

Reducing contingency fund line item numbers makes the books look better during an election year but does not reduce the amount ultimately spent by even one penny.

His plan includes draining the reserves to the minimum 20 percent. Folks, when your spending exceeds your income do you spend your available savings or reduce your spending?

He also proposes more tax increases, just none in 2012, hence his qualified good news of no tax increase “this” year. Very misleading.

The number of police cars to be replaced has not been reduced from 10 to 9. We already pushed the vehicles to maximum service life on the last council.

Again Imker wants to spend SPLOST money on a non-SPLOST project, which we cannot do.

Using Imker’s projections in 2017, we will still be spending more than we take in after draining the reserves and three more tax increases. Taking out the smoke and mirrors entries makes it even worse. That is not a sustainable budget and does not address the real issue of spending more than we take in.

I told Imker he was trying to govern from spreadsheets and I needed to know the physical impact on services, etc. He actually tried to defend deciding from spreadsheets. All he sees is numbers while I see numbers, services and impacts. In the business world, you better believe impacts matter and there is a crystal clear understanding of differences between needs and wants.

So, just keep increasing taxes? Drive more people out of the city and make it less attractive for others to move here? Why buy in Peachtree City when one can enjoy Peachtree City at less cost by buying in unincorporated Fayette or Coweta?

My silence on the references to my wife, Cathy, is over. She is a private citizen but keeps getting dragged into articles due to her private conversation with then Economic Development Coordinator Joey Grisham.

Cathy, HOA presidents and some other citizens were very upset that Grisham had presented them with staunch pro-Big Box and anti-Village Concept stances. A lot of positive response has been given to her and to me to convey to her for what she said. Some have asked her to run for council, which is legal and will irritate those who tried to make hay of the incident by being 180 degrees from the effect they desired.

In a conversation Grisham and I had, he indeed stated big boxes were needed, in spite of all the research out there on their negative impacts with cities capping sizes, outright banning them and companies reducing box sizes due to these realities. Just look at Kohl’s at Fischer Crossings where they cut their size by half before even beginning construction.

He also said the Village Concept was a thing of the past and not viable. He said we needed a centralized shopping district.

All said in spite of the fact we are a model city and the focus of most cities is downtown restoration and revitalization and movement toward the Village Concept.

So, while Grisham can feel, believe, think and say what he wants, that kind of thinking just will not work in Peachtree City. After the feedback from citizens I think he realized that.

That leads into Imker running against big boxes and for the removal of the special use permit to allow big boxes in 2009. In 2011 he voted against replacing the SUP with caps. At a Planning Commission Meeting, he said he thought he could deliver three votes to approve the Trinity big box plan at Line Creek as long as there was no traffic light. There was a traffic light.

Imker said the attraction of new business by hiring another EDC would help the city. Since an EDC works to attract mainly retail that is really an exercise in futility. Our problem is not a lack of retail but a lack of jobs to generate disposable income and residency within Peachtree City to fill and keep those retail stores profitable.

We need an economic development effort. But that requires an entity with the tools and powers to proactively recruit good paying companies to locate here. We need our Development Authority funded with their own Development Director because they do have the legal ability and powers an EDC does not.

Yes, indeed, Imker ran on pro-DAPC in 2009 and then voted to de-fund them in 2010.

Imker said the Fayette County Development Authority “works to pursue large scale business prospects for the city’s industrial park ...” The FCDA is reactive, not proactive. It does not go out and “pursue” any potential companies. It works with companies brought to it. If Council member Imker wishes to challenge that reality I ask him to provide the name of any company the FCDA has proactively recruited.

The FCDA has never claimed to be proactive. In fact, Matt Forshee, the former FCDA president, made it clear when asked that they did not.

I oppose bleeding down the reserves, believe we must prioritize essential services and maintenance, fund our Development Authority and cannot balance the budget using ongoing tax increases.

We must be more fee-based for non-essential services, streamline the city operations and examine alternatives, such as public/private partnerships, that are proving successful in other cities. If all else fails then we will be forced to look at some service reductions in non-essential areas.

Big boxes, meaning category killers, are not beneficial. I do believe our Village Concept is the way of the future. Imker’s plans will hurt, not help, Peachtree City. Clearly, we disagree strongly on many things.

That leaves the big question, “Who is the real Eric Imker?”

• The 2009 Imker of no tax increases, cuts on spending, pro-DAPC, anti-big box and a one-term promise?

• The 2010 Imker of the 1.25 [mill] tax increase, increased spending and de-fund DAPC?

• Or, the 2011 Imker of a sustainable budget that is not sustainable, no tax increase but planned tax increases, pro-big box and giving every indication of running again?

Who is the real Eric Imker?

A lot to think about, ranging from what do you want Peachtree City to be, how do we get there, who will step up to run for Posts 1 and 2, with what vision, and who do you want sitting in Posts 1 and 2 after the election.

Hard times with hard decisions to make. But decisions that will determine our future.

Don Haddix, mayor

Peachtree City, Ga.

[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.]

madmike
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"The lady doth protest too much, methinks"

*

L.Sussberg
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Don Haddix:November Elections- My Opinion!

In My Opinion

I recently had an opportunity to re-read this editorial, I must tell you, I find it extremely insulting and rude. Political attack and trash!

The people of PTC should be horrified that they elected (hired) you as the mayor based on the behavior displayed in this editorial. You have no business attacking a fellow council member, which brings me to a very important point.

When you were elected to city council, you complained and fought with 3 council members, (all but Doug Sturbaum). Now, as the mayor, you are fighting with 3 council members, but these 3 are NEW. They are not the same 3 you were fighting with before.

What does that tell us about Don Haddix! If people don't agree with you and not allow you to do what you want, then you fight and attack them...It's fine to fight for a good cause, but you don't stop and create disfuntion! There is a time to stop and lead and you do not do that.

So, with the next election just around the corner, you have repeatedly said on this blog that this is an important election for PTC. Is code for "ELECT COUNCIL MEMBERS I CAN CONTROL TO GET WHAT I WANT"? I believe so is here is why (my opinion):

It appears that your first course of action was to write a FALSE editorial about Eric Imker since he is up for re-election and you are terribly threatened by him, then next was to find some one you could control which is Steve Allen to run against him.

Let's clear the air on a few points.

1-Your attacking comments on Eric Imker are false and mis-leading. We should be grateful that we have Eric on council to focus on the budget and develop workable solutions. In fact, your proposal to raise the mil tax by 0.50 was absurd and Eric's final recommendation and the 3 to 2 vote in favor of a 1.25 mil tax has allowed the city to get on the road to recovery along with the budget cuts that he continually looks for.

2-Regarding your attack on Grisham, now you say here that you were opposed to his ideas for big box stores. Don, have you ever done any corporate training before? You are the mayor and leader, where were you to set the tone for Grisham? In this editorial you blame him. Well, I blame YOU as the mayor for not setting the proper tone for him to operate.

For years now, I see is you blaming council members, staff members, county staff, FCDA, other mayors, etc. No where do I see you take any personal responsiblity.

Well, if PTC elects Steve Allen, then we can expect more of the same! Also, if PTC decides not to turn out for the election and Allen gets elected, we can expect more of the same...This election is a referendum on your leadership the same way the last congressional election was a referendum on Obama.

The question for this election is do we want more of the same or do we elect someone who is independent.

Thank you.

mthom5436
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Larry, do you and MadMike

Larry, do you and MadMike understand that Haddix is not up for re-election this November?

"It's fine to fight for a good cause, but you don't stop and create disfuntion!"

That statement kind of makes me think of you. This article is two months old. Why did you dig it up? In my opinion this is evidence that Haddix is improving because you had to go back two months just to find ammo for you bi-daily anti Haddix rant.

roundabout
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Da Mayor!

I didn't understand that comment by Sussberg either!

The Mayor is not up for re-election, Imker is!

Since Imker seems to want to work alone, and have budget meetings at the library, he could be causing some of the hubbub!

Just like Imker, I am also working on the budget. I have made many suggestions on here.
Mine didn't include a 1.4 mil tax increase though as did Imker's!

madmike
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Roundy: Not that Dumb

Now RAB, you aren't that dumb... you know the connection here.

1. Imker is running for reelection
2. Mayor Haddix, in this article, attacks Imker's record and his abilities regarding the budget
3. Said article by the Mayor is an attempt to discredit Imker so he doesn't get reelected.
4. Larry points out the fallacies in the article to mitigate these attempts by the Mayor

By the way Roundy, how do you construe having budget meetings for citizen input to help shape the budget as Imker's desire to work alone? Would such meetings be evidence of just the opposite?

mthom5436
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.

.

L.Sussberg
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Mthom5436

Yes, I know.
Feel free to ignore the information presented, or feel free to post your thoughts to the contrary, but as Haddix says, this November 8 election, which is only a few weeks away is important.

Improving???? Just go to last week, and read what Haddix wrote, I just dug out the most offensive and recent pertaining to the November 8 election.

Thanks

mthom5436
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Larry

I don't disagree with a lot of what you say but I don't see how you're daily rants accomplish anything positive. You talk about Haddix being an egomaniac but aren't you that guy that re-posted the same comment multiple times per day for about a week because your opinion is so important. You talk about him wanting to fight/argue all the time and not let things go. Here you are resurrecting one of his many mistakes from two months ago. I think you have criticized his blogging before. Many feel it embarrassing for the city. But then you go and engage him basically throwing fuel on the fire so he says more stupid stuff. How does that help? I understand that you are upset that Haddix pushed you out but move on. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities out there.

Look, look, I said something bad about the mayor. Does that prove I'm not on his payroll?

madmike
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MTHOM

If Larry's "daily rants" help inform the citizens of the poor direction we are headed if this PTC Mayor has his way, then they have been worth it.
It is funny that I seldom see anyone support the Mayor without hiding behind a moniker. I have to question how many of you "so-called" supporters are part of Donnie's family. There has been talk on here that Roundabout is his wife, Cathy Haddix. Funny.

Mike LaTella

mthom5436
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LaTella

Not liking the daily rants doesn't make me a Haddix supporter. You must have missed the email I sent you declaring my discontent with the Mayor. I will make sure to do it publicly tomorrow.

madmike
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Mthom5436 and Email

Sorry Mthom5436, but I can't always match real people I may know whom I correspond with via email or otherwise, with the monikers they use on these blogs.

L.Sussberg
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Mthom5436

Thank you for your comments.

Move on? This has nothing to do with being pushed out. That was years ago and has no meaning on the real issue. Sorry you believe that.

The difference here is Haddix was elected and should know better, I am a private citizen. Not only a citizen but also a business owner within the city limits. I believe Haddix is bad for PTC and bad for my business in PTC as well.

I have no plans to run for office. I also post under my real name and bear the heat from anonymous bloggers who take shots which is also fine, especially if you support free speech. What's interesting, there are more who e-mail me or call me on the phone in support than those who complain.

Feel free to ignore what I post, take "shots", or respond with a different viewpoint. I'm a big boy and can take it.

But...I will use the blogs the same way our mayor does with the hopes that people realize that we need a change.

I promise, no "ego" situation here, too old and moving into retirement anyway. Just want the truth to get out, and more importantly to get citizens to realize we should expect more.

Fire away..it's ok.

As for relevance..there is an election for city council on November 8. That's very soon. Oct 24 is the candidates' forum. Please attend and please vote.

Thanks

mthom5436
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Larry

I apologize if I have been disrespectful to you. It does take some balls to post your real name the way the you do. I don't have time to continue our conversation but maybe tomorrow.

L.Sussberg
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Mthom5436

no apologies needed with me, ever!
I know I can be a pain on this topic.
Thanks

moelarrycurly
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Mancrush? Or a paid hack for

someone? Seems to be one or the other.

mthom5436
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Darn it, I forgot to make my

Darn it, I forgot to make my 3 daily anti Haddix statements now everyone is going to think I'm on his team. I just hope a mob of angry pitch-fork wielding townsfolk doesn't show up at my home tonight.

Spyglass
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It's no use..

comment removed by author.

L.Sussberg
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DON HADDIX - stop it already and do your job!

Clearly Mr. Imker was getting too much press and like any 7th grade bully, Haddix had to step in and write another famous editorial.

WHO (not "which") IS THE REAL DON HADDIX....first he blogs that he supports the city council's decision to hire Grisham, now he says he was a poor fit.

Don, it must be frustrating to try to remember your lies.

Meanwhile, the city is facing many serious issues and you are wasting our time and taxpayer money, playing political games instead of doing your job. Citizens are growing tired of these games.

You keep finger pointing at others but you are the mayor and you are accountable to the citizens...so make it work, do the job you were elected to do and stop blaming others for your inability to get along with council.

Do your job and stop whining. Sit down with the other council members and come up with real solutions to solve the problems (as a team) otherwise you will be held responsible and will be voted out of office.

Actually your wife might want to consider running for mayor instead of a council seat to replace you (if you don't start doing your job).

DO YOUR JOB - The citizen are paying you to do it - KNOCK IT OFF.

roundabout
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Let's put those parking meters....

.......at the Police Station, The Avenue, and at Restaurants!

AtHomeGym
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Parking Meters

Just spent 3 weeks in Bozeman, Montana, a city of just under 40,000, with a reasonably vibrant downtown area. NOT ONE PARKING METER OR ANY OTHER PAID PARKING! No state sales tax either, but costs for some svcs are higher than here. For example, here I pay $11.00 for a haircut (military price), there I paid 14.50; for a car wash, here I pay $19.00--for a similar svc there, I paid $22.50.

roundabout
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GYM

Is property tax and the federal government grants all they use, or have hotels rooms got $10.00 tax a night, like FL?

AtHomeGym
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Occupation Tax

Yes, there is a "room tax"--think it's 9%--but that's obviously a user fee.

roundabout
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Of course.of course...

Fees are not taxes, are they?

If one doesn't care to have water run-off, have a telephone, have 911, have a TV, use gasoline, stay in hotels, and simply just live---then he can avoid user fees!

I just get tired of half-truths told by politics!

Robert W. Morgan
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So, Grisham was a poor fit for PTC

First I'm hearing that we hired a big box advocate who thought the village concept was out of date, but if true (and consider the source), but if true - who hired him and doncha think maybe those beliefs would come out during the initial interview and maybe disqualify him from working here. Just askin.

It is good that hizzhonor has finally picked up on my decades old contention that we don't need to grow retail, instead we need to grow jobs by attracting industry and businesses to PTC. Not that I think he truly gets it or will do anything about it, but at least he is on record with one sensible thought.

It is going to be important to make this petty little man a true back-bencher after the election this November. With some common-sense voting we can put him on the losing end of lot's of 4-1 votes and Kim and possibly Eric will be the ones actually running he city.

PTClurker
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Haddix in panic mode

My oh my, how our mayor is panicking.

He knows Imker absolutely dominated the budget talks with actual concrete ideas and solutions to the city's budget problem. Imker alone devised a plan to actually balance the budget and Haddix knows it. Smoke and mirrors? Not at all.

And Haddix? Absolutely nothing. No preparation. No comprehension of what a budget is for. And no long term plan. ...unless you count last ditch efforts like this to try to undermine actual progress a plan.

Mayor Haddix, your efforts to try to mask actual sound budget models and deceive the public in the name of your political future will not work. Your embarrassing actions (and budgetary incompetence) over the past year and a half have spoke volumes. When it comes to the budget, forgive me if I side with the guy who's actually come up with solutions and SHOWED them to the public for all to scrutinize, details and all, over a nay-saying bag of air who understands budgeting about as much as how to avoid getting sued.

I hope for the city's sake Imker decides to run again, block Haddix from doing any more damage, and continues his transparent, no-nonsense methods and solutions with regards to the budget.

Mike King
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We Have Indeed Elected A Fool

That's right Don, be foolish and denigrate the FCDA. After all, they only secured companies like Panasonic, Gerisheimer, TDK, NCR, and Sany for us, and you failed to get Low Temps with whom you even claimed friendship with the owner. Like it or not, Imker is making headway with the budget, something that last week you proved to be beyond your comprehension level, and you simply can not stand the fact that he's right. Tell us again about the orgins of the Facilities Authority.

Go ahead and place your wife on the ballot so Peachtree City will know who the mayor actually is.

roundabout
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MIKE

Except for SANY (that we gave the city away to get), all of the others were here when Adam & Eve started looking for some work to do! (The snake was in the garden!)
Actually Cain sent Sany over from Nod.

All these DA's are good for is to spend money without a vote! (Tennis Center) and yet we pay for them eventually.

NUK_1
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"Fool" is way too kind for Haddix

How about a whiny and very pathetic little "man" who seemingly has a humongous yet fragile ego despite having the intellect of a rock and absolutely zero clue about anything resembling common sense? Seriously, Haddix is way beyond Brown in terms of being a disgrace and an utter embarrassment to PTC. Yep, he is long surpassed Steve Brown and seems to also suffer from delusion too.

I really do think now that Cynthia Plunkett would have been a better choice than this loser, and Plunkett was a BAD choice.

Ninja Guy
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Gosh, Has Hizzoner

suffered some sort of traumatic brain injury? Anyone up for a a 5150?

Go Braves! Catch Those Phillies!

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