Imker plans to reduce tax rate

I am running for mayor of Peachtree City.

The following are some of my goals for the next four years:

1. Reduce the tax rate by at least one mill.

Given recent fair market value increases, property taxes need to be lowered by at least 1 mill. The recently passed SPLOST has more than enough contingency money built in to easily allow us to execute 100 percent of all road and cart path maintenance projects without the need for that extra 1 mill.

One mill equals about $2 million dollars in revenue. I insist the money be left in your hands. I believe that you know how to spend your money better than any politician does.

2. Reduce stormwater bills, return to one bill per year.

It can be done. We’re now paying this bill twice a year and at a higher cost. It can be returned to one bill per year at a lower cost. Budgetary discipline will be the hallmark of the new City Council after the election.

3. Reduce WASA bills, transfer sewer to city Public Works.

I’ve been aware of this issue for seven years now. The solution is simple. Bring sewer under our Public Works. The city does not need to waste money to do yet another study ($70,000 of our tax money was wasted on a traffic study; $40,000 on a salary study). No more wasting money like this. WASA money would be kept in a separate account, separate from our General Fund, like we do stormwater and the amphitheater. Save $1 million a year.

4. 100 percent support for police and fire departments.

Of course! Continued citizen involvement will be encouraged.

5. 100 percent oversight and communication about SPLOST money.

Over the next six years, $45 million will be spent on projects. We will ensure cart paths and roads are properly maintained. Being an experienced professional program manager, I know how to oversee the SPLOST and will communicate to you the citizens, regularly, on how we’re doing. I believe this to be one of my most powerful strengths.

6. No more traffic lights in PTC; improve Ga. Highway 54 traffic flow.

Enough said.

7. Control city employee salary raises.

We will stop using tax increases and using city cash reserves to pay for salary increases. Rational assessments will be used. We have the best-paid city employees compared to neighboring counties, in which 85 percent of our employees live. Two years ago a reasonable raise was proposed but the majority on council changed it, awarding an outrageous and unsustainable pay raise.

8. Honor community/HOA/annexation agreements.

An agreement was made by City Council in 2007 that there would be no more new homes occupied along the MacDuff Parkway corridor until the bridge over the railroad track is complete. This agreement was broken in May 2014 by a City Council that allowed hundreds of more new homes and naively believed the developer claiming the bridge would be completed by November 2015.

The developer was responsible the MacDuff/Hwy. 54 intersection improvement. This was changed by City Council and now we, the taxpayers, are paying the cost. Changing this agreement has cost us $715,000 needlessly.

9. Fight against companies like Great Wolf asking for variances.

A couple of years ago a developer nearly won the support of enough council members to create this project. It was the wrong business in the wrong location. That must not happen again.

10. Protect current industrial zoning.

Bizarre rezoning of our money-making industrial districts will no longer be converted into residential districts creating a bonanza for Realtors. We lost our way a couple years ago but rational thinking will once again prevail.

I will decisively bring pragmatic thinking and smart budgetary decision-making to our city. I have kept my promises when previously on council and will do so in the future. Looking out for you and what is best for Peachtree City is my primary goal. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you ever want to discuss anything regarding the city.

Eric Imker
Candidate for mayor
Peachtree City, Ga.