Sunday, January 11, 2009

Don Haddix: Why Am I Running for Mayor?

The 2007 election was a rejection of the direction Council had chosen over the prior two years. An incumbent was defeated and two Council Members were elected that promised to work to return Peachtree City to the Village Concept, as demanded by the Comprehensive Plan and the will of the Peachtree City residents. A message was clearly sent to the new Council as to what the citizens wanted.

While both Council Members, elected in 2007, have kept their promises, the message has been ignored by the remaining three. The actions and goals, of the prior two years, have been continued by the other members of Council.

There is a strong division of goals and visions on Council.

The 2009 election is where the voters will decide the direction of Peachtree City for the next four years and the tone of the years that follow. Do you wish to continue to see votes supporting Big Boxes, high density and annexation for growth purposes? Or, complete the change to the path of Smart Growth, versus any growth, and more open government versus less?

While the Mayor and Council Member offices are equal in legislative powers, the office of Mayor does hold many additional powers and advantages, such as some additional executive powers, chairing Meetings, having the only Council office at City Hall, greater contact and influence outside of Peachtree City, being able to control some information flow to Council Members, even though it is not supposed to, and being the accepted voice of Peachtree City.

These issues make it critical as to who holds that office.

With that in mind, I am announcing my candidacy for the office of Mayor of Peachtree City.

Why now, so early in the year? Because of the many contacts and requests to do so I have received, to say I am running and why and to give an alternative to the status quo.

So, why should I be elected as Mayor?
I keep my promises and hold to my goals. As promised, you can find the goals and promises of the 2007 election in the forum.
Peachtree City was founded on the Village Concept. This concept is being successfully moved to by an increasing number of other cities while, for the last three plus years, Peachtree City has been moving away from that vision.
The Comprehensive Plan, says all proposals must be economic, environment and traffic impact studied and be Village Concept. The Mayor is supposed to be the chief advocate for Peachtree City, not developers, on these issues.
Peachtree City needs employers, not more retail. I have worked with the Development Authority of Peachtree City in that goal as Council Liaison in 2008. It was on the shelf, when I took it on, but now it is working hard for Peachtree City. But this effort has been opposed. Mayor Logsdon has considered disbanding the DAPC, replacing their seat on the County Authority with the City Manager, cutting their funding, putting all functions through the Fayette County Development Authority and centralizing all efforts into Staff. His thinking has been wait for development to come to us, not seek it out, which normally means more retail development, which he views as very desirable. Further, redevelopment requires an active DAPC, since FCDA does not do redevelopment, business retention or seeking occupancy for empty stores.
Already serving on Council provides:
An understanding of the office of Mayor.
A knowledge of City Hall and working relationship with Staff.
Already developed working contacts and relationships with our State level representatives, Fayette County, other cities, agencies, organizations and so forth.
Already completed required minimum training plus advanced training.
No need to learn and grow from ground zero.
A known commodity with a known voting record and extremely clear positions. No surprises or guessing as to what the voters will get.

Peachtree City needs to move forward or be left behind. Moving to what is failing in the rest of the nation, and away from what was proving successful, will leave us far behind. The office of Mayor is critical in that effort.

If you agree with these goals and approve of my conduct as Councilman, please support my bid for the office of Mayor.

Thank you.

Don Haddix
Mayoral Candidate