3 council members flipped on DAPC


Last Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, the week after the Nov. 8, 2011 City Council elections, council members Imker, Learnard and Fleisch voted to dissolve our Development Authority of Peachtree City (DAPC).

It is worth noting that just four weeks ago, during the Oct. 25, 2011 candidate’s forum for the Peachtree City Council election, Eric Imker stated that he supported DAPC (The Citizen, Oct. 26, 2011, “Candidates face the public in PTC forum”):

“In regard to the city’s development authority, Imker said he supported continuation of the seven-member volunteer group in its mission to help retail areas by encouraging new business and renovations.”

What about Kim Learnard and Vanessa Fleisch and their DAPC campaign statements?

Kim Learnard in The Citizen, Oct. 27, 2009 (“Answers from Kim Learnard, candidate for Post 3, Peachtree City”):

“I am an engineer with 25 years of experience in manufacturing; I provide workforce training in these kinds of businesses and industries. I have a healthy appreciation of the importance of these types of projects in our community, and I’m looking forward to working with our Development Authority as we continue to work to attract these businesses and industries to Peachtree City.”

Vanessa Fleisch in The Citizen, Oct. 27, 2009 (“Answers from Vanessa Fleisch, candidate for Post 4, Peachtree City”):

“My votes will be to encourage the continued use and redevelopment of our existing areas, not encourage building of big boxes that will destroy our village concept. The renewal of Braelinn Shopping Center is an example of the type of re-investment I want to see in Peachtree City. The Peachtree City Development Authority has been wonderful in working with the different village centers to retain and attract new merchants.”

Compare these campaign promises with Imker’s, Learnard’s and Fleisch’s actions once the elections are over. Quite revealing to say the least.

Because they are beneficial, many cities have their own development authorities; some cities even have more than one development authority.

DAPC was Peachtree City’s business development asset that was 100 percent focused on Peachtree City’s redevelopment, our businesses and retailers, our industrial park redevelopment and had the ability to work on residential redevelopment.

DAPC provided Peachtree City with a public/private entity that worked in cooperation with our city to do things that our city government cannot do, does not want to do or, both. DAPC was a key partner and asset for us.

This action taken by council members Learnard, Fleisch and Imker leaves a gaping hole in Peachtree City’s ability to control our own destiny with regards to having all the necessary development authority assets in place that other cities have in order to maximize our business competitiveness.

Let’s net it out: This vote to kill DAPC was nothing but a political power play by council members Learnard, Fleisch and Imker because Mayor Haddix supported DAPC and they did not like that.

No matter how you try to use flowery words to mask it, the dissolution of DAPC will have negative consequences for Peachtree City and our Sustainable Village Plan and Model.

Steve Allen

Peachtree City, Ga.

[Allen lost to Imker in the Nov. 8 city election for Post 1.]