PTC Council bitterness a cancer spreading into county

The constant bitterness surrounding the City Council in Peachtree City looks to be a cancer spreading into the rest of the county.

Now that there is no [former mayor] to constantly berate, it appears Councilwoman Learnard is looking for other targets. Unfortunately for the Fayette Board of Commissioners, they appear to be the next target of her wrath.

The commissioners say a prayer before their meetings and I know Learnard had such acts of faith removed from their meetings.

The commissioners open up their meetings for citizens to speak on issues throughout the meeting without time limits and they don’t do that in Peachtree City.

The commissioners are winning awards for government collaboration and we are still wondering whether Learnard and her council can collaborate at all.

The insensitivity of the councilwoman’s remarks toward the county government seem to be political in nature and many of us don’t appreciate the important issues in Fayette County being used as pawns in someone’s personal chess game.

When the police and fire departments in Peachtree City were beset with sexual harassment cases, you didn’t see anyone from the Board of Commissioners publicly announcing in their meetings or writing letters in the newspapers saying the City Council should be embarrassed for not knowing all of that atrocious activity was going on under their very noses.

The facts are, as they have been clearly written in the local newspapers, that both the commission chairman and the county administrator told the development authority leadership on two occasions early in 2013 that the Board of Commissioners wanted to be able to review any deals related to tax abatements, so they could protect the taxpayers from any kind of harmful agreements. That’s just plain good old governance.

Regrettably, the development authority went ahead with several big deals and failed to tell the Board of Commissioners about it. That shouldn’t make the taxpayers in Fayette County feel comfortable at all.

The Board of Commissioners didn’t want to have to be babysitters, so they brought in some new personnel whom they thought would do the job and report to the county as requested. That’s called “accountability.”

Apparently, Learnard doesn’t believe the Board of Commissioners and the taxpayers are due any accountability.

It’s also clear that Learnard never called any of the county commissioners to discuss the development authority matter.

I have to agree with former Peachtree City Councilman George Dienhart when he stated that the City Council appointing Councilman Mike King to the county development authority instead of citizen appointee is a sign they want the same accountability that Learnard was criticizing the Board of Commissioners for seeking.

If Councilwoman Learnard had any confidence in the development authority they would have appointed a citizen to the spot. This is the pot calling the kettle black.

When the Board of Commissioners chose to file an appeal in the district voting lawsuit, Councilwoman Learnard wrote in the newspapers that they were insane.

Now this is odd because she was never part of any of the private executive session legal discussions held by the commissioners. She never called any of the commissioners to discuss the lawsuit. She called them insane, based on third-hand knowledge, at best. Why would anyone do that?

We have seen remarkably good things happening in our county over the past year or so. Please let’s not allow the bitter in-fighting within the City Council in Peachtree City to spill out to other jurisdictions because we need the positive momentum to continue.

Ginga Smithfield
Fayetteville, Ga.