Peachtree City’s election aftermath


What resulted in this month’s election for our hometown has hopefully placed us on an even-tempered and logical approach to the various issues facing our city.

Reality is, however, that as our normal sub-20 percent voter turnout has likely given us at least two additional years of what has become a 3-2 ideological impasse. Take for example the two City Council races.

The story behind the scenes of these two races is largely unknown to the public, namely that our mayor has played Machiavellian schemes and publicized false accusations, mostly about [Councilman Eric] Imker, as his way of promoting his own agenda. Unfortunately, Mr. Imker rose to the bait, and the public squabble made citizens appeal for peace and reconciliation on the council, but perhaps peace is not what is really needed.

The upside of having Mr. Imker reelected is obvious: he knows and understands the budgeting process perhaps as well as the city’s financial director.

Further, it appears that he has quieted his previously open disdain for our mayor, thus allowing the more eloquent and thoughtful [Councilwoman Kim] Learnard to intellectually correct the mayor at pretty much every turn.

In short, with the cooperation of Councilwoman [Vanessa] Fleisch, they now control the process by which all issues facing Peachtree City are to be handled. This in effect forces the mayoral position to that of a figurehead, censured for misbehavior, whose sole function at council meetings is to verify those three to two votes.

The downside to Mr. Imker’s reelection is that sooner or later his quieted disdain will naturally evaporate due to a frustrated mayor having recently lost his Development Authority, and thus the name-calling and shouting matches may return.

That is, until Ms Learnard decides it best to have her rolling pin present on the dais, then all bets are off.

It must be duly noted that few independent-minded individuals possess skin sufficiently thick enough to tolerate an individual like our mayor who never takes advice and considers himself the undisputed expert in all things Peachtree City.

There is an upside to having [Councilman-elect George] Dienhart elected to Post 2 unopposed. Even though he did not have an opponent to point out his inexperience and lack of anything new to be brought to the table, Dienhart actually did a pretty good job of exposing these flaws himself.

Take for example his championing of the mayor’s position on DAPC, which during the election was not only a done deal, but actually a non-issue. Further, he actually stated that Mr. Imker’s opponent, Mr. [Steve] Allen, would be a better choice than Imker for the two councilwomen to work with, a statement that won him the admonishment from the two women on council. I guess the Marine Corps provided a mind-reading course back in Sir George’s day.

The downside of electing Mr. Dienhart is of course his inexperience, which up until now I can only describe as an immature peacock flaunting his yet under-developed tail feathers.

Could it be that we have elected Peachtree City’s version of Jesse Jackson or the Reverend Al Sharpton whose constant self-promoting appearances during sensitive discussions of political issues only serve to raise the level of anxiety while offering nothing of substance to the debate? This bluster and political posturing is sure to maintain the soap opera mind set if left without remedy.

Surely, Mr Dienhart understands this and will focus on the issues facing our town, and when the time comes for action on his part he will do so with the honor and prestige that he held when wearing the uniform of a U.S. Marine.

If he does not, then it will be Sir George making those same self-promoting appearances offering bluster, pomp, and adding nothing of significance. One only can hope that he wakes up and acts like an adult.

At least we passed the Sunday sale of alcohol to ease the pain.

Michael L. King

Peachtree City, Ga.

[King was a candidate for a council post won by Doug Sturbaum in 2007.]