I pray that people are paying attention to the local elections this year, especially in Peachtree City. If we fail to pay attention, there is a price to pay in future years.
Some issues are beyond our control, such as what happens in the state legislature or in neighboring counties. However, there are some serious matters of local origin that require a solid response from local officials.
The Peachtree City Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) situation has gone from being a sore thumb to an out-and-out debacle.
First, not working out a deal where the town of Tyrone could pay to use some excess capacity from WASA, a fortuitous opportunity, is an unequivocal failure of leadership from both parties which will be looked upon in hindsight as a crucial financial blunder.
The second critical factor with WASA is allowing sewer capacity to cross the border into Coweta County, sewer capacity that represents real dollars in the market place, sewer infrastructure that Peachtree City residents paid a significant sum to build and maintain.
Allowing our excess sewage capacity to grow sizeable amounts of property and sales tax revenue for another county, particularly from direct competition to our local businesses, and increasing traffic congestion in Peachtree City from sewer-driven dense residential development from Coweta County is a guaranteed recipe for failure.
Time is running out on transitioning the power over WASA from the authority to the city. The bonding agreement mandating the city’s right of refusal on sewer extension is gone in less than nine years.
What are the current mayor and council members doing on this critical matter? Virtually nothing.
The next major issue is the colossal traffic nightmare at the intersection of Georgia highways 74 and 54.
There is an intersection plan that was created impromptu by the Georgia Department of Transportation and the city government has supported its implementation. Unfortunately, the GDOT proposal is a heavily budget constrained project that in no way is a medium or long-term solution.
Let’s not forget the purposeful development decisions of local leadership that exacerbated the traffic congestion problem.
Who is driving the movement to bring about a long-term engineered solution and its execution? No one that I can see.
Sitting on hands and staying silent are not the traits we want from our local leaders.
If the leadership is unwilling to address our most important local issues and offer significant solutions, then significant changes in leadership are required. It makes no sense to go speeding down a road that we know dead-ends in a steep cliff.
Regardless of how nice your favorite local elected official might be, if he or she cannot run on a campaign of certain, definitive action on critical issues, we need to vote for someone else.
The fact that leadership currently in office for multiple years has had no definitive direction on WASA or the infuriating intersection is indefensible. Uncertainty and delaying fundamental decisions is unacceptable.
Take control of your future. Make sure to get out of your home and vote.
Steve Brown, Commissioner
Fayette County Board of Commissioners
Peachtree City, Ga.