Leaders explain community visioning to PTC Council

Randy Weaver (L) and Trey Ragsdale made a brief presentation on the Vision Initiative to the Peachtree City Council. Photo/John Munford.

Representatives of the Fayette County Visioning Initiative made a presentation to the Peachtree City Council Thursday night to explain how they are working to create a countywide community development plan.

Co-chair Trey Ragsdale noted that such a procedure isn’t a new concept for Fayette, which underwent a similar review back in 1987 to create “Fayette ‘93.” One of the biggest results of that plan was to plant the seeds for what would later become Piedmont Fayette Hospital.

Now, at 20 years later, “It’s time to create a new visioning process, a new plan for Fayette County,” Ragsdale said.

The visioning process includes input and study from a consulting firm with a total projected cost of $150,000 and the group is hopeful to get contributions from local businesses and also local governments as well.

The visioning effort officially launches Dec. 9 with its first steering committee meeting featuring a diverse set of members representing the entire county, Ragsdale said.

The process will include interviews with leaders and residents along with focus groups and other ways of gathering input for the plan, Ragsdale noted.

A survey will also be conducted to get public opinion as they work to draft a plan “to create strategies and goals for the future of Fayette County,” Ragsdale added.

The plan is expected to be presented to the community in June and will then proceed to the implementation stage.

Randy Weaver said the process does not start with any preconceived notions.

The community survey is already available at www.fayettevision.org.

“This is not a Chamber of Commerce driven event,” Weaver said, noting that 150 people have joined the effort. So far $60,000 has been raised to complete the visioning effort.

Citizen Bob
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Vision & government plans

Several people have asked about the difference/similarity between the plan developed through the Fayette visioning process (deliverable in June), and county/city/town plans outlined in GA law. See the web site FAQ here: http://fayettevision.org/Fayette%20FAQs_12%2013%2013.pdf

Husband and Fat...
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Citizen Bob - Question

Who signed the contract and with what entity do they represent with Market Street?

SPQR
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mushroom

This thing just popped up like a mushroom in the front yard. So it is edible or toxic?

moelarrycurly
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Bob Ross-Thank you

for providing the link to more information. It answers some questions and clarifies some things. Please stay with us on this blog, as it may be helpful in getting more participation.

I have more questions and appreciate your time on this so far. For the sake of the holidays coming up, I will wait till after the new year if I have more to post on this. As we all on here continually question and comment, I think we do it out of a concern for our community, neighbors and family. Also, to open dialogue (some good, some not so good..I include myself in both) about what is going on around us and to us in our lives here. That, and to just vent and hopefully find a little humor or take umbrage with life in general.

My survey will be done soon. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Mr. Ross.

Citizen Bob
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Additional info available about Fayette visioning

You can now find responses to some additional questions about the process, organization, etc here: http://fayettevision.org/project_downloads.html

Husband and Fat...
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Citizen Bob - Appreciate the Update

One thing that was not addressed was whether or not the county was going to utilize this as part of their Comprehensive Plan that is to be updated by the end of June 2014.

If really appears this way since Fayette Visions committee report is scheduled to be completed by June 10, 2014, just in time for the county plan to be complete.

In addition, as a business professional, I would assume that the consultant, Market Street Services, would not start the work unless they were guaranteed payment in full and not rely on a client (Fayette Vision) paying as the donations arrive. Someone (County), appears to be wallet that this would fall back on should the fundraiser not be successful in time.

If the county plans to use this for their comprehensive plan, I have to commend them for taking this unique approach to financing this endeavor. However, something of this magnitude should be more transparent, if this is the case.

NeilSullivan
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H&F Consultant

Good Morning:

I thought about your post and realized that there are some red flags. First if the County or a city were to do this, a RFP process would be used. We would know not only the qualification of these consultants but there would be a path to know not only who was chosen but who was not. Why Market Street?

But better question that you touched on above. Who has made this contract with market street? What are the terms? The Scope? The deliverables? The timeline? Maybe Mr. Ross can publish the contract on his website.

But what kinda set off a flare in my mind was when I went onto the Market Street and looked at clients, Fayette Co GA is a client. Really? Was that voted on? Was there an RFP?

I had a friend go to a focus section and they bragged about the people in the room, the Tyrone people, Fayetteville people, homeschoolers, and from PTC the principal of Kedron and an insider parent. When I raised the fact that PTC as well as the major private schools were not proportionately represented, I was quickly told well maybe they were in a different session, but how many schools sessions were there? Better the big so whats that came out of this session, the schools don't all have the same things, we need a career academy and there isn't enough affordable housing. I wonder if a fair survey of Fayette County School parents would find the same things. Maybe yes, maybe no.

We saw this with the closure redistricting committee. Even though the density of children was higher in PTC there were still parents calling for PTC schools on the closure list so PTC had skin in the game. It didn't matter some of the pTC schools were actually over capacity. A number of these same people were in the focus group.

Like I said before I do support this kind of initiative but there seems to be a lot in the shadows. I hope we get the facts as it seems there is an agenda that we need affordable housing (see Mr. Mumford's editorial) We need district voting so everyone has a candidate of their choice, I saw arts center a lot in the survey I guess we need one of those, transportation....

This all can be solved by comprehensive and complete communication. If these consultants know what they are doing they should know that.

Take Care and Merry Christmas

Neil

Husband and Fat...
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I support the initiative too, Neil

And you stated it better than I. Who holds the contract with Market Street?

Market Street has been in business 17 years, so perhaps the county has used them in the past. I don't know the answer, but it certainly has the appearance that we are seeing a county initiative being accomplished in the shadows.

Your absolutely right about a perceived agenda. And affordable housing is certainly being pushed. I absolutely am against it for no other reason than my property values will go down. We chose FC and PTC because it has a certain snob appeal and so did many others.

I'm afraid that Pinewood could be complaining that they want affordable housing for their people and pushing it on us.

An Art Center is great and we visit the High and other museums in ATL, but if we have something it needs to be small and used for local artists. We could never compete with the High Museum.

Transportation? It certainly looks like we need to widen Hwys 54 & 74 and also provide new access routes to the Interstate and neighboring counties.

Robert W. Morgan
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Affordable housing won't lower your property's value

Unless you are in a half-finished subdivision and someone comes in and builds houses for half price across the street, then maybe. Or if someone is asleep at the switch and some subsidized housing is allowed to creep in - then probably - witness Village Park next to Harmony Village.

But creating affordable housing for the previously stated purpose of attracting young tax-paying families in conjunction with job growth and business development - that's a winner for everyone. Like most things, this has to be managed properly and thought out ahead of time, but if that happens everyone's value will increase albeit only at pre-2000 levels.

Now if this initiative is being driven from the shadows by Pinewood and its benefactors for the sole purpose of providing just them with short-term rental housing and entertainment, I'm not happy. And the Arts Center is a stupid idea. We have tried several times over the past 20 years to do that and it has always failed at the fund-raising phase. If the idea is to sneak in an Arts Center with tax dollars, I'm off the bus. And I don't see much need for buses either.

NeilSullivan
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RWM Afforable Housing

You are right about the need for planning and long term planning for "affordable housing". I had the opportunity to spend a few years in that sector and there are many good options if they are planned and formulated correctly.

Apartments are one option and you can create a public private partnership where federal tax credits can offset private development costs. You can also offer subsidized and market rate units in the same community. If you look at the condos around Centennial Olympic Park that is one example of this type of project. Realize that you can attach strings to subsidy such as requiring all adults in a unit to have jobs or be in job training, drug testing, appearance and maintenence standards. This would all be under Section 8 of the HUD act.

Vouchers are another avenue under Section 8 where the same type of strings can be attached. In this environment, if done right, the tenant needs to come up with a % of the rent as typical rents in Fayette County are higher than the max voucher ( typically somewhere around $800).

Harmony Village and the other in PTC are PBRAs or Project based rental assistance where a Housing Authority contracts for a certain number of units ( new rules limit at 40%) for a period of years, typically 10. These can have the same strings but tend to concentrate poverty more than the above 2.

To be clear, a young couple with two children making less than 80k ( near that doing this off the top of my head for illustration) can qualify for Section 8. Or a fire fighter, a police officer... My point is it isn't just welfare recipients. If the program is run right, people with no ambition or effort usually wash out of Section 8 amd wind up in more traditional housing under section 9.

I can give you two examples of section 9, one is Grady Homes the other might be a senior community built with tax credits, these are usually 9. The one in PTC I would need to look at the docs but it smells like it. The only concern here and back to my point about long range planning, these tend to be 20 year deals. After that, the developer can continue to run or can turn over to the city as public housing. The tax credit program is 20+ yeasr old so there is not a lot of experience yet, but a few tax credit deals were turned over to Portland and they were the first to do it.

There are also programs to help people with down payment asistance and home ownership where the family gets a voucher to help with mortgage for a set time. I had one client that went as far as offering residents the opportunity to put away a downpaymnet sinking fund with some sort of match. The same group also used some HOPE VI funds to build a little community where they sold the houses in a gentrfying area for a discount to people who qualified.

I do support the concept of creating opportunities for affordable housing for those who qualifying under strict and managed guidelines. But as I said we need to take our time, plan it out and carefully manage or I can give you many horror stories from those who had to do something fast.

Take Care,

Neil

Husband and Fat...
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Robert, please explain

Please explain to me how affordable housing will not hurt my home value? It surely won't help increase its value as it would if someone built a larger or more luxurious houses close by.

I am all for young families but lowering our standards (smaller lots, smaller homes) isn't the way to go

This is certainly a NIMBY issue.

Robert W. Morgan
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Happy to explain, Husband

First of all, the affordable housing I think we need in PTC is not anything on Neil's long list of mostly Federal or State subsidized programs. Those things could have an impact on value and crime if management is not diligent.

Smaller lots and smaller houses are not the only path to affordable housing. 3-level Townhomes with a small land footprint is one way. Tract built housing where every house is a near duplicate of its neighbor and built with borderline materials with semi-skilled labor is another. Redevelopment of older areas is another. Converting industrial land to residential also works. Not endorsing any of this - just explaining.

Nevertheless, your housing value is not going to change even though some cheaper housing is added somewhere in the city, provided that cheaper housing is built within its own area and not mixed in on the same streets with other more expensive housing.

Here's why. Don't know where you live, but just say Wickerhill a $250,000 Wieland subdivision off Cameron Trail. The value of your house is determined by 1 of 4 things - a resale, a refinance, a fire or an appraisal. In fact it is only one central thing - the appraisal if you ignore the very rare cash sale. So, how does the appraiser (or adjuster) determine value? The appraiser looks for previous sales of comparably priced homes (which would be right in Wickerhill or anywhere in a 3 mile radius) of about the same square footage. The appraiser can also and the adjuster definitely will calculate replacement cost which is some dollar amount per square foot times the actual square footage of the house and that dollar amount per square foot is for a comparable house - not a cheaper one.

In all cases the fact that Peachtree Walk (at $100,000 less in value) is literally across the street is not a consideration. Likewise Ridgelake, Village Park or the much maligned Harmony Village are not considered when evaluating a house in Wickerhill. The appraiser will go out of his way to find some other Wieland subdivision with previous sales and use them to determine value. And if for some reason Warren Buffet bought all the houses in Rockspray and tore them down and built $125,000 starter homes for his secretary and her extended family 2 months before your appraisal, that would have no effect on your value either. So don't worry about your housing value. You have already taken a hit because of the Bush/Obama oversight of Frank/Dodd and the recovery from that has begun. Just remember comparable sales - that's what matters. And there is no real Nimby argument in PTC. Everyone has a golf course or greenbelt in their back yard, except the easternmost Planterra homes and even there appraisers don't discount significantly for the industrial park or airport. Maybe Cardiff Park and Southern Trace could mount a Nimby argument too.

Now, the disclaimer. Everything I said is true for Peachtree City because we do have a diverse mix of housing values and we are fortunate to have a healthy number of resales for the last 30 years. That's the beauty of living in a planned community. So, your value is protected as much as it can be because you live here.

But, we cannot have the same conversation and make the same claims if the housing mix is different and there is minimal activity or no one wants to live there and bottom-feeding investors are the only buyers. Think Detroit, Clayton County, parts of DeKalb, Rockdale.

Husband and Fat...
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OK Robert

I see your thought process.

Let me throw this at you.

Someone builds $600K homes in the county. Each house is on 1 acre.

Surrounding these homes is woods or farmland and the landowner says he will build affordable housing on the land if the county will approve postage sized lots in lieu of the existing zoning.

Do you think these homeowners would want affordable housing surrounding their property? I don't think so. Don't you think the resale value of these nicer homes goes down due to the proximity of less expensive homes?

Would you invest money into a home and move close to the affordable mobile home park behind Publix or would you look further down Robinson Rd for a fixer upper?

Robert W. Morgan
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Ok Husband and Fat, I will try again

As I said before:
"Nevertheless, your housing value is not going to change even though some cheaper housing is added somewhere in the city, provided that cheaper housing is built within its own area and not mixed in on the same streets with other more expensive housing" Note please - "within its own area and not mixed with ......" your fancy $600k house

Besides the $600k homes on one acre are not going to be on sewer which means the surrounding land is not on sewer and the density needed for what you call "postage stamp lots" cannot be built without sewer. You are worried about something that is not going to happen.

BTW, where is your $600k house and what is around you? I can do a mini appraisal in 15 minutes if I have an address or even a subdivision.

And no, I would not move anywhere near Jan Trammel's mobile home situation even though that is on sewer thanks to someone named Doug taking his eye off the ball. That's what I mean by not managing things properly. Doug and Jan had a special relationship. He got something, she got sewer - allegedly, from what I hear, second-hand, Heresay, I think.

And yes indeed on the fixer upper. Anywhere in PTC. The best thing a young family could do right now is to set down stakes in the PTC school system - north or south. Any old house with a good school is better than a new preppy house with granite and stainless. I would move to Wynmeade before I would stay in Clayton, Fulton or Coweta if I had young kids again. No, I wouldn't cheat like the family next to me that enables their illegal grandkids, I would actually move.And nothing is better than buying an old house and fixing it up. Love it.

Husband and Fat...
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Ok Robert, you win

I don't live in a $600k house. Wish I did, lol. Just a white collar suit who goes to work each day.

I didn't figure sewer vs septic, but I still would rather have high end nice sized property homes than adjust our zoning for "affordable" family homes.

The easiest way to tackle the young family issue is to market to them. Push the realtors to speak highly of FC. Run ads in Atlanta Magazine. There lots of ways to market our county besides changing our zoning rules.

Robert W. Morgan
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Realtors don't market property, they simply market themselves

The Realtors (and non-Realtor real estate agents) are not the answer to anything. They simply insert themselves into a transaction whenever possible and always take the path of least resistance. And when you try to guide them or push them they are quick to tell you that they are "independent contractors".

Marketing is a great idea and PTC should use some more of that hotel/motel tax revenue to market the city to potential businesses to locate here. Yes I know Mr. Brown and Haddix, it is supposedly illegal to use those funds for that, but all you have to do is be creative when you are marketing to visitors and tourists, which is perfectly fine. You might want to see how other communities do this very same thing and attract much business.

Marketing directly to the young families when we lack housing in their price range or even jobs would be a waste of time. I am confident the mostly new city council under Vanessa's leadership will address the issue of job growth and business development far better than the previous administration.

tgarlock
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Every one of you on these blogs, whether thoughtful . . .

. . . critic or just rock-thrower, should take the time to complete the Fayette Visioning questionnaire. I myself am a more natural critic than I am a promoter and have my own rocks to throw, but I did express my serious opinion on the questionnaire, including that I refused to identify myself by race, a troublesome question in my view.

I named two priorities for Fayette County - establish a quality College and Career Academy to augment our high school system, and find a way for city and county economic development resources to work TOGETHER to attract quality jobs to our community. Your priorities will probably differ, but none of you should let the opportunity pass to make your serious side heard along with a number of other people. You could even spread the word on completing the survey to your local friends by email, and I hope you will.

Here's the link www.fayettevision.org

Terry Garlock

PTC Observer
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Mr. Garlock - Indeed

There is way too much suspicion of this initiative on these pages, there is a group of concerned citizens attempting to make our county a better place to live. There's no force of law here only designing a plan for the future.

I applaud Bob Ross for his efforts on our community's behalf.

For those that are dissatisfied, get involved, and at the very least fill out the survey.

Husband and Fat...
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We do need a vision and plan

I finally completed the 15 minute questionnaire, but it took me a lot longer. Guess I am too slow to be involved, lol

I think it's great that people are doing this. We need clear direction so no one is surprised with roads to nowhere and monstrous hangers built in farmlands once touted as one of the counties great assets in terms of slow growth by politicians only 1 year ago.

Therefore, like others, I think this select club needs to be completely honest about itself, how it developed, who the financial supporters are, and how, once complete, it will be enacted if this is not run by a govt entity or the chamber of commerce. Did Bob or Trey have an epiphany over breakfast one morning and start contacting their committee? How did this committee evolve before announcing to the public? Someone made a good point that there are no committee members without company's they represent behind their names. What about our retirees, farmers, homemakers? Students, athletic supporters, GDOT, and what about state dept of commerce that can surely assist with trends they see?

The Vision people make believe that they want citizen involvement, but other than a survey or an invitation to sit in on a meeting in the middle of the day and announced only a few days prior, what ways are they really permitting or wanting input they will take seriously?

To this ave joe, it appears that this group was formed clandestically by county commission. Mr. Ross has a long history supporting them. The Vision people have requested funds from PTC. So if our tax dollars are requested to fund this, then the Vision people need to answer public questions and be transparent before any tax dollars are approved. Perhaps Mr. Rapson can tell us what the county has completed or is in the works to fulfill the obligation to complete the updated comprehensive plan by the end of June.

Don't mistake my questions as being against the agenda. It's not. We need this. We just need this completed with complete transparency. The same thing our politicians rallied around to get elected.

suggarfoot
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the Keibler elves at work

No one appreciated Bob Ross and his robot phone calls and sign waiving in Tyrone. When several of us told him so, his response was Pota was the best candidate (never mind he doesn't live in Tyrone!) Then, when pressed harder, as to why stick his nose into our election, each person he spoke with, including me, were called racist and that was suppose to end the conversation. It didn't, we are still talking among ourselves and it isn't very flattering of Bob Ross. Trogan horse

Husband and Fat...
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Bobs decisions only helped support the naacp

Mr. Ross called himself an expert during a discussion with the NAACP earlier this year, and offered his service to any minority in the next election to prove that a capable minority could win in FC. I'm sure Mr. Ross thought he was the answer and could get a win to somehow stave off the pending judicial redistricting.

Unfortunately / Fortunatley Ms. Cota lost (depending on who you ask). This loss only went to support the judges findings. Surely a smart guy like Bob did his homework, interviewed and felt she was the better candidate and with his self proclaimed expertise and support, everyone would follow the pied piper and he would guarantee a win for the betterment of FC. Ms. Cota and Bob worked tirelessly to get her elected. Of course Bobs only recourse is to call everyone bigots if you didn't agree with him. It can't be him or his candidate.

Now you bigots in Tyrone have to put up with his arrogance as the self appointed? Co-leader of a group wanting to tell you what to do with future planning.

suggarfoot
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that whole deal

was a seriously bad mistake by the tea party. It was extremely insulting to the people of Tyrone that he wanted to tilt our elections in the direction he felt it should go.

He didn't do his homework. It hasn't been ten years since there was a grass roots effort to throw out everyone that was handing our area over to the developers on a silver platter. We got a new mayor, city manager, and an all new town council. We made the evening news. We don't do well as guinea pigs, or on silver platters.

moelarrycurly
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Dribs and drabs will not cut it

Making public the details in this way is not the way to go about this. Mr. Weaver offers the comment above that infers that 150 people potentially have contributed to the $60k raised. Either that, or the article was written in a way that hints at that. Yet, he does not share where the money originated. Then, The Citizen offers in a later article, that Mr. Ross said EMC contributed a large portion of that 60k. If you consider that $50k of that 60k is from EMC, I would call that a large amount. Why not just say so, Mr. Ross?

So, I would like to hear where the remaining 10k has come from so far. I cannot think of a reason why anyone would not want their name listed as a contributor. My concern lies with the eventuality that money will be requested from our tax dollars in all of this. That is where all of us should want to have a full explanation from Mr. Ross and Mr. Ragsdale about how this was started, who set it up, who decided the leaders, the firm hired to run this, etc.

This is not a Chamber driven event, Mr. Weaver says. Yet 2 of the 3 contacts on the web page link in the article above list as contacts 2 FC C of C members or employees (not sure which).

H&F and Mr. Sullivan have very valid comments and I would like to add to them. The timing of all of this is not coincidental to Pinewood coming here. For those chosen or asked to be on this committee, there are those who were denied a seat on this committee, also. I would like to have an explanation of the selection process.

A cooperative effort is welcomed, just make sure the cooperation comes from all sectors of the population here. Putting the survey out there as a response that all are included does not justify the exclusion of some sectors from the actual committee decision makers. What is not specified in the survey is the cost of the wants of the survey participants.

Everyone would like to have the best of the best for Fayette County. Best trained and skilled work force, best school system, best, best, best. Who would answer otherwise? I do not see on the committee anyone listed with the title "retiree" after their name. Nor do I see "college student". Nor "stay at home mom or dad". Leaders come in all forms, not just from those with capital letter titles after their names and a business or government or political entity attached.

SPQR
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EMC

EMC contributed? What leeway does the EMC have with members money?

moelarrycurly
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SPQR

Better yet, what leeway does the Fayette Visioning Committee have with $10,000. of our tax money?

Time will tell how much money they are going to request from the the county, from Tyrone, from Woolsey, from Brooks and from Fayetteville. You know, tax dollars?

Have they provided a budget and goals to PTC to justify this request? This 10 thousand is the beginning and who knows how much more will be needed. Their website says implementation of the plan will be over the course of the next 5 years. Where is the money coming from in years 2 thru 5? And what, pray tell, is going to be implemented? Someone has an idea on what is going to be implemented, but I have yet to see it. Have you?

To answer your question, well, I guess this is some of what leeway EMC has:

http://www.utility.org/myCommunity/localChambers_copy2.aspx

I think we all are justified in asking for more detail, more information on this initiative before taxpayer dollars are used to support it.

AtHomeGym
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MLC & Dribs & Drabs

Wonder why--on their website, they identify Steve Rapson as a member of the Fayette County Commission. That's false. He is the County Administrator NOT a Commission member. I mean when you don't know who your own committee members REALLY are, what should citizenry expections be?

moelarrycurly
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AHG-Guess some of it isn't dribbing

or drabbing, when it comes to money. Just got the PTC City Council agenda for next Thursday and see the Visioning Committee is on the docket asking for $10,000. UNbudgeted tax dollars from PTC Council.

Better check the other Fayette city and county meeting agendas coming up to see how much they are being asked to contribute up front, too. Tyrone, Fayetteville, Brooks, Fayette County. Although, I don't think the county has to get approval from BOC, if the dollar amount limit is high enough, Mr. Rapson I do believe might have the authority to sign a check for $10,000 (or more?) without it coming public.

The chatter is about the trip to Williamson County, Tn. that was undertaken this past summer. I have a tingly feeling this has Fleisch and Learnard written ALL over it. No question there.

The last time I remember this type of "community involvement" being spread around was the big push for the ARC T-SPLOST that was defeated in July of last year. They held multiple phone call town halls where you could call in, get on a queue to add your comments, but only AFTER you told the moderator in advance what you wanted to say. You were pre-screened, so guess what, there was not one negative comment call taken from those on the queue. Funny how everyone was just so FOR the tax on the calls, and yet it was defeated at the polls.

Here we have Peachtree City, just said no to the SPLOST, have a minimal amount of money allocated for next year for road and bridge and path repairs, and no money left for much needed paving. Roads crumbling. Headline on front page of The Citizen the other day says "Budget Crunch Looms for New Mayor". So what does happen? Someone convinces the city manager to get this on the agenda before the new Council is seated. A $10,000 expense to put above and beyond any other need this city has financially, right before the holidays and before a new Council and Mayor are seated? I smell something, and it isn't burning yule logs.

Gym, you are right. My question would be if the FC BOC authorized him to serve on the committee on their behalf. If they did, then just as others representing PTC, Fayetteville, Brooks and Tyrone are listed as members.

NeilSullivan
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H&F-agree

I respect many of the people involved but I have expressed to more than one that I am concerned as this initiative is being driven in the shadows.

The article above expressly assures us it is not a chmaber initiative. Why is that important for it not to be a or b. I think it is great someone cares.

This group came together how? It is great that I see a number of ribbon cutting attendees on the list but why aren't some of the meetings at night or on weekends so "regular" residents have more chance to attend? To be honest it is as likely as no one new will show but..

The survey hits transportation & career academy not directly but you can see them in the questions. What exactly is the agenda and who is paying?

I have taken the survey and like that some citizens are taking initiative but when we say say it is a vision for the direction of the county who decides who is involved and what is the direction?

You and I have tangled together on the last ESPLOST. In both campaigns, we responded only in writing and would not take calls so we were clear in what we had to say. When people will not put things in writing I worry.

Take Care,

Neil

Husband and Fat...
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A straight shooter

Neil your absolutely right. They have a lot of good people on the committee, and the more transparent they are, the more likely they will get more community input. Having meetings during the week (mid day) make it hard for many people to make the meetings. I work in Buckhead. I don't have time to spend 2 hrs in the car plus a long meeting, especially when they announce these meetings just a week ahead of time.

A straight shooter would be nice for once. Tell us who or what govt entity, or firms are sponsoring this. I don't understand why it has to be a secret.

This could result in some great happenings for the county if done right. Lets keep everything transparent and I could see a lot more people getting involved pulling the community together. Secrecy will only result in more of the same complacency we've experienced in the past.

Citizen Bob
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Responses...

Some good questions, which Trey, others who are close to the process, and I attempt to address through our weekly update in the local newspapers.

Feel free to call me when I miss something (404-644-1666)!

Bob

Husband and Fat...
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Citizen Bob, lets cut to the chase

And stop the cutesy / coy remarks asking people to call you so you can put your verbal spin on what ever you don't want made public. Either your a stand up guy or your not.

The idea is good, don't get me wrong. But if you want us average folks to buy into your idea of community involvement, than you need to share more information.

1. Whose idea was it to start this "club"?
2. Who or what firm has sponsor money invested?
3. Who made you and Mr. Ragsdale Co-chairs? Was there a vote and if so, by whom?
4. Who chose the committee and who volunteered and were left off?
5. Is this going to be used as the county's comprehensive plan?

Seems that a lot of people think that your idea of community involvement is similar to some of the people you rallied against in the past? When will you be accepting resumes from people in the community who volunteer in other venues than government and are just as worthy? When will you schedule meetings that can actually be attended by the working man? When you make announcements, how about providing enough time for people to put this on their calendars. One week or shorter notice doesn't sound like you want people in the community to attend.

Man up Citizen Bob and tell us the truth without the spin.

Husband and Fat...
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Can someone explain

Who is sponsoring this (not chamber of commerce)? And how it is to be implemented following the presentation in June? Is there some type of government (county) behind this?

How will it be implemented without governing approval?

I'm so confused.

Robert W. Morgan
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Take the survey, then all will be clear to you

The survey, which I took earlier this week, is pretty good. It enables a lot of feedback instead of yes or no type questions. I think the purpose is to give politicians and other policy-makers a document that shows "this is what the people want" in other words - political cover for actions that may not appear to be prudent to the uninvolved and uninformed voters of Fayette County. If done properly and used correctly, the survey results could morph into a valuable planning document for future decisions on zoning, annexation, sewer, etc. - sort of like the land use plan in PTC.

This survey seems to be similar to the process last year in PTC called One PTC that compiled a lot of valuable information and then the council and planning commission ignored it. Maybe that can be dusted off under the new leadership. And that leads to the answer to your question about government's role in this. Answer is that it is vital that county commission and the various city council's pay attention to these results and make decisions based upon what people really want instead of some egomaniac's personal views - Exhibit A is Haddix (and others) declaring that PTC is getting older, so we need to deemphasize and outsource recreation. Hopefully this survey's results will give citizens a club with which one can use to beat some sense into renegade politicians.

In addition to governing officials, the EMC, the school board, developers, other people who have to plan ahead and look into the future will find the survey results valuable. But, in order to be valuable, we need to have more than just 5% of the residents take the survey. Otherwise the results will have very little meaning from such a small sample. Of course anything that gets done around here is always the result of that same 5 or 10% of the population that is truly involved in the community and cares about it's future. This committee is certainly part of that group and I hope they get good results.

Husband and Fat...
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I already started the survey

Sure takes a lot longer than the 15 minutes though.

I don't disagree that it's a good thing. If you go back and read my posts on the PTC survey, I thought the survey was good thing, but didn't approve of the approach.

What I believe is happening, and I may be extremely off base, is that the county may not have the funds or resources to complete the updated Comprehensive Plan due in June of 2014. I have a feeling commission is behind this and if so, just be transparent about it.

For example, the group is publicly stating that they have $60K pledged, thus far. They have also hired a consultant to do a lot of the legwork, and this will cost more than what they claim has been raised. There must be more money backing this (govt) otherwise, the consultant probably wouldn't sign the contract.

Robert W. Morgan
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We might see some creative public/private funding here

Like I said, you only see a small number of people willing to do things for the long term good of the city or county and some are willing to put up their own money. Fine with me. It is sort of like the good old days when Tom Farr helped to finance things that were good for the city at the request of the movers and the shakers until a certain gadfly mucked up the works and raised the alarm about some technical legality. I was reminded of that when I read that some lawyer with too much time on his hands was looking for Cobb County taxpayers to anonymously join a lawsuit to prevent the Braves from moving to Cobb. Such a waste of time and resources.

For all I know the same type of thing could be going on here. Be interesting to see how some of the main characters from the late 1990's act today vs. the way they did then. Some have new jobs, some still have their old jobs.

Husband and Fat...
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RWM

The vision is a good thing. I am glad they are publicizing for help, but I really wonder how much they offer the working stiff off the street who wants to help. I hope to ask someone tonight who went to the kickoff meeting.

I just wish the backers to this would step up and claim ownership. If its the commissioners, they need to be transparent about this. What's the point in making this so secretive?

Mr. Ross was kind of enough to respond last night, but his coy/cute response to call him just makes me wonder why he can't be a straight shooter.

moelarrycurly
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One individual

ponied up half the money for this. I do not know who. Maybe a reporter could provide that...hint, hint.

If you read the article, they are going to ask for money from the government(s).

Use the link provided and there are 2 contacts you can get in touch with. Or try Co-Chair Bob Ross 404-644-1666.

Here's a tidbit on the web. I am sure there is more you can find if you look.

http://www.thecrier.net/news/local_news/article_13d0d5cd-7c24-5df7-811e-...

That's all I know.

borntorun
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Fayette Vision Sponsor

If there is truly only one person putting up the money for this, when I look at the list of committee members, my money would be on Jim Pace. Not only does he have the money but the end game for this initiative would fit nicely with Group VI. Have to chuckle though....Lynn West-moron is on the committee? Seriously? My mailbox has a bigger brain than this idiot. Maybe he was added to bring some comic relief to the meetings.

Husband and Fat...
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borntorun - Vision sponsors

First off, I think this initiative is a positive thing. We need a vision, goals, and certainly accountability.

But there is too much secrecy with this group and for someone who works downtown, taking time off to make these meetings is difficult.

The group needs to be forthright. All sponsors and donations must be published. Otherwise, there will be questions of impropriety.

The county website states that the county commissioners will be at these forums. Mr. Ross is also a close friend to the county commission. What relationship does this group have with the county? If its not sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce or the County, who is?

I'm not against this at all. In fact its needed with the changes that are about to happen. But we need to know the true sponsors and if this is related to the countys comprehensive plan due to be updated in June of 2014.

borntorun
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HF2 - Fayette Vision

I have no problem with it either. Growth is inevitable and I'd rather see this type of planning that includes input from citizens in the process. Looking at the committee members, outside of West-moron, most seem to be old timers here in PTC and have been part of the city's past growth. My comment was only about who was sponsoring the initiative. And if my guess is correct, I have no problem with Jim Pace being the sponsor. Group VI does a nice job with its development and has been a big part of the "look" of PTC. I'm sure in time more about the initiative will come out but I'm sure if you picked up the phone and called any of the committee members they could answer your questions. Now if they refuse....yeah....then we should get concerned.

Husband and Fat...
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btr

I didn't refer to any particular business and I certainly understand that something like this costs money. All I am saying is they need to be transparent about the sponsors and their relationship with our local governments.

In the past, I am sure Mr. Brown would have asked for the same information. Of course, that was before he was pulling the strings. Is this a precursor to the county's plan due in June?

The committee certainly has a lot of the movers and shakers and it must have the support of commission. Otherwise, we would have a debacle like the former PTC mayors group.

borntorun
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H&F2: Fayette Vision Sponsor

Well, H&F2, here's a partial answer to your question...from an article in yesterdays Citizen: "To date the initiative has raised approximately $60,000, according to steering committee co-chair Bob Ross. A large portion of that amount came from Coweta-Fayette EMC, Ross said Monday."

Husband and Fat...
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I saw that BTR

EMC is the right type of sponsor.

Now my only question is who placed Mr. Ross and Ragsdale as co-chairs? (Not that I have a problem with either). Did one of them wake up one morning and think "I need to help Fayette with a Vision?" or did someone ask them to chair? And if so, what person or group? And is this part of the countys comprehensive planning? If it is, then its not transparent.

The COC says its not them. The FCBOC isn't claiming ownership either, but they were at the kickoff meeting and seem to support it.

Just an inquiring mind that wants to understand.

Husband and Fat...
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Fayette Vision

If it is true that one individual is ponying up half the funds, than I think the identity of the person/company should be known. Otherwise, the Fayette vision steering committee, is opening itself up to questioning if this "steering committee" heads into a direction that will benefit this benefactor. Just sayin.

I think the visioning idea is the right way to go. A county, city, ect.. needs a plan and measurable goals.

My mind keeps going back to the county's comprehensive plan. Our county website states that the next update is due June 30 2014.

This makes me think that Fayette Vision is or will be a government sponsored precursor to the county's comprehensive plan.

Citizen_Steve
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I envision

I envision making a bundle by getting in early on the WFB strip mall development.

Steve

Husband and Fat...
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Citizen Steve, I was thinking

I was thinking ownership in 5 shops outside Pinewood.

A liquor store
A 24 hr restaurant
A massage parlor
An adult store
A convenience store.

(Just kidding, lol)

moelarrycurly
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I was thinking

Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher have their goodies flown in. Maybe on the Millenium Falcon.

Husband and Fat...
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The every day guy

Someone like Jose, who needs to unwind after a hard day, would be my target. A pack of smokes or rolling papers, a case of beer, a novelty, and a massage, followed by some good cheap food.

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