PTC Council should re-hear DAPC funding plea

A couple of months ago, City Council members Eric Imker, Vanessa Fleisch and Kim Learnard voted against Mayor Haddix and Councilman Sturbaum’s proposal to increase DAPC’s annual budget funding from $35,000 to $150,000 and to eliminate all of DAPC’s funding.

Concerning the proposal to increase DAPC’s annual funding from $35,000 to $150,000, was DAPC accorded the opportunity by the City Council to publicly present what they would do with that increased funding before this vote was taken?

Concerning the vote to de-fund DAPC, was DAPC, and the businesses they serve, given the opportunity by the City Council to publicly provide their feedback on the existing and future DAPC activities before the vote to de-fund them occurred?

How could a proper decision have been made without having these activities done before these votes were taken?

How high on the priority list is new business development for Peachtree City according to its budget as approved by the City Council? How does this new business budget amount compare to other budget entities that have a similar objective?

Is there another entity of the Peachtree City budget that can be used for comparison with this new business development budget? I believe there is: the Convention and Visitors Bureau or CVB.

The CVB’s charter, as its namesake suggests, is to help generate convention business and visitor business (money to be spent) in Peachtree City.

This is similar to what businesses do: they cause money to be spent, via their employees in Peachtree City. Also, conventions, visitors and businesses, help generate tax revenues for Peachtree City. Yes, there are differences, but I believe they (CVB and new business development) are similar enough from a high level to be used for comparison with each other for budget comparison.

What is Peachtree City’s annual budget for the CVB? To quote from a recent article [The Citizen, Sept. 4 & 5 edition “Council unanimously approves CVB’s budget”], “Peachtree City Council unanimously approved the $532,021 for the city’s newly named Convention and Visitors Bureau.”

How much is currently budgeted by the City Council for new business development? Last year it was $35,000 for DAPC; this year it will be one economic coordinator.

I believe that the CVB is important to Peachtree City. I also believe that new business development is crucial to this city and its budget is underfunded.

DAPC, although not perfect, was doing a good job. Mayor Haddix’s proposal to increase its funding from $35,000 to $150,000 was valid and DAPC deserved the opportunity to officially present their proposal on what they would do with this funding to the City Council and the public before this City Council vote was taken. Unfortunately, that is not what happened.

Let me explain one of the reasons I am focused on new business jobs and revenue growth for Peachtree City. I believe that increasing the number of business jobs in Peachtree City will have a positive affect on our property values.

It is based upon the simple economic principle of supply and demand. Demand represents the number of people who want to buy properties in a given area and supply represents the amount of properties available in that given area.

Simply stated, the more a homeowner’s property is in demand, the higher the price for that property. What causes demand for a homeowner’s property? There are two main components: location of that property and the house that is on it. All things being equal, location is paramount.

What causes demand for a homeowner’s property location? People do. The more people who want to live in an area, the higher the demand for that area and the higher the price for the property values in that area. One of the biggest decision factors that goes into determining where people want to live is where they work.

The more businesses in an area, the more demand there is to live in and around that area especially, by those who work for those businesses. This, of course, has a positive effect on property values in that area. The other benefit of businesses in an area are the tax revenues they provide and the money spent by the businesses employees at local restaurants and retail shops in that area.

DAPC has been positively involved with new and existing business growth for Peachtree City for many years.

Before the votes were taken on whether or not to increase DAPC’s existing annual budget from $35,000 to $150,000 and before the vote was taken to completely de-fund DAPC’s annual funding, DAPC and the businesses they serve should have been given the opportunity to publicly present to the City Council and the public their proposal on what they would do with that increased $150,000 annual funding and what these businesses were getting from DAPC with their existing $35,000 annual budget.

You are supposed to have all the facts presented to you before you make a decision, not afterwards.

I recommend that the City Council reinstate the $35,000 annual budget to DAPC and allow DAPC to officially present to the City Council and the public what they would do with the increased annual funding of $150,000.

The new business development activities are just as important as, if not more important than, CVB’s activities for Peachtree City and our property values. Peachtree City’s budget needs to reflect this.

Stephen Allen

Peachtree City, Ga.

dawgday
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Defunded

After viewing the meeting that evening, the three Council members voted against the funding requested after DAPC failed to put together anything for the Council to see. Supposedly there was someting available the night of the vote, but it appeared that only Haddix and Sturbaum had any knowledge of it until just prior to the meeting. That was one of the major complaints of the Three, that DAPC had failed to provide anything until the 11th hour. The Three were working on an alternative plan, so the failure of DAPC to present a comprehensive plan added further credibility that program. The failure here was not that the Three cut the funding, but rather that the Two kept everything hidden from the Council as a whole, again demonstrating failed leadership. Somewhere in the middle was probably the best program, but with a dysfunctional Council, there will always be sides, never compromises.

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