Referendum on mayor, politics of meanness

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One of the primary reasons my family and I love Peachtree City is the friendly and kind atmosphere. So why don’t we want and expect the same from our elected officials?

Although the Nov.8, 2011 election is for two city council seats, this election is very much a referendum on our mayor, and it is clear that Mayor Haddix is behind the scenes pushing his politics of meanness at one council member who is running for re-election, Eric Imker.

If you go back to Mr. Haddix’s scathing editorial attack on Eric Imker published in July, then fast forward to Steve Allen’s recent two editorials, you will see almost identical language.

Unfortunately, politicians resort to the lowest common denominator which is personal attacks when they have nothing to contribute or run scared if the opponent has accomplishments that can be presented to the voters. Eric Imker has such accomplishments and Mayor Haddix and Steve Allen are both running scared, so they are now have turned our election into a mudslinging message of meanness.

Eric Imker’s recent editorial laying out his accomplishments since joining City Council is accurate and well presented. Nowhere in that editorial does he take complete and total credit. City staff and other council members were involved and worked hard, but let’s face the fact that Mr. Imker ran on the campaign issue that he would work closely on the budget.

Past mayors and city councils attempted to balance the budgets providing all of the city services without asking and working with city departments to look deep and try to reduce. The city reserves were used to cover expenses.

Those past councils include Mayor Haddix who served on City Council for two years and is now mayor for [nearly two] years. Where was our mayor during those years? Never before has a council member focused so intently on the budget and it was needed and long overdue.

Mayor Haddix has repeatedly told PTC through his editorials that this Nov. 8 election is very important. Actually it’s more important for him because he is attempting to engineer a 3 to 2 vote in his favor so he can execute his vision for the city. That vision is also shared by all of the council members but Mayor Haddix, who is not a team player, wants to execute it in his way with no opposition. Time and time again, projects that the mayor has attempted without working as a team player with other council members have failed. We all remember Low Temp and the bowling alley.

What is becoming clear in this election is that Mayor Haddix is obsessed with the Development Authority of Peachtree City. Everything centers on whether we have a DAPC or a full-time economic development manager with no compromise.

Both can accomplish the same but not in Haddix’s view. The city has actually been hurt by this mayor when we hired someone for the full-time position and he was later sabotaged. Again, we all remember the Fresh Market opening and the “mean” comment made, “I hope your tenure in Peachtree City is short-lived”.

This election is about giving Don Haddix the control by electing Steve Allen or keeping an independent City Council by electing Eric Imker again, which will keep a check and balance on the entire council.

You want proof, then just follow the path of editorials mentioned above and draw your own conclusions. Also, remember, Peachtree City is a wonderful place with kind people. Why do we want to allow meanness in our government?

Larry Sussberg

Peachtree City, Ga.

[Sussberg is a former member of the Peachtree City Planning Commission. He was appointed to the volunteer position by the City Council in October 2008 and resigned in August 2010.]