“How can we ALL be engaged? — is the question our little group is asking every day,” came the tweet they offered from the Well Red coffee and wine shop in Auburn, Alabama.
“They” are, in reality, a very secretive political action committee (PAC) called Plan for PTC. They profess to be, “Neighbors of Peachtree City working together for the strategic direction and betterment of our vibrant community to sustain and enhance our way of life,” (Twitter page, @PlanforPTC). That sounds fantastic, but only certain “neighbors” are allowed.
The PAC’s Facebook page is strictly confidential, almost clandestine, and if you favor the current master planning that makes us one of the top-tier communities in the southeastern United States for the past two decades, you cannot be a member.
However, if you believe in rubbing out the old and becoming more like the metro area to the north of us with all their problems and pro-apartment construction, the gates to their Facebook page will most likely unlock.
The primary purpose of a PAC is to encourage the election of a candidate and the defeat of other candidates, special interests creating a pool of funds to overpower the will of the taxpayers to promote their ideology.
At a time when other top-tier cities in metro Atlanta are trying to emulate the feel of our successful community, city of Milton approved a $25 million bond to purchase greenspace and create paths and city of Alpharetta is designing their own “greenway” system of paths, etc., we keep getting jammed with proposals to build in-fill apartment complexes on our prime greenspaces and indispensable industrial zoned land.
Be very careful when people affiliated with the real estate development community and the Chamber of Commerce begin howling that we need a new strategic direction.
The PAC wants to play kingmaker behind the scenes by raising $30,000 to push their chosen candidates and their agenda across the finish line on Election Day. Of course, that kind of financial support comes with heavy strings attached like following the real estate development whims of the PAC and people they are fronting.
I must applaud the PAC’s boldness in that they are soliciting financial contributions from gullible citizens based on vague, feel-good statements and without telling the contributors which candidates they will be carrying with their substantial war chest.
At least one of the five PAC originators has a government voting track record, former City Council Member Cyndi Plunkett, and it causes a great deal of anxiety and distress.
In Plunkett’s failed attempt at a run for mayor, The Citizen Editor Cal Beverly makes it quite clear why she was defeated, “Particularly in matters of annexation, rezoning, land use planning, development and re-development, I believe Plunkett’s philosophy of local governance is fundamentally at odds with a majority of residents when these game-changing issues face the council.”
The traffic went from bad to worse on the Highway 54-west corridor due to the Mayor Harold Logsdon, Councilman Steve Boone and Plunkett voting clique, rezoning valuable industrial land to large traffic-laden commercial and residential lots.
“She [Plunkett] most clearly demonstrated her proclivity for mediation in the sale of the city streets, her negotiations with the developer and her vote to put city weight behind a stalled developers’ request for an unneeded traffic light [on Highway 54-west],” said Beverly. “Exactly like Logsdon, Cyndi simply doesn’t listen to the rest of us non-relevant rabble. I think she views existing zoning rules as barriers to resolving ‘disputes.’”
The prevailing thought behind her election loss according the Beverly was, “Developers and the big-bucks boys will line up to utilize her [Plunkett] game-changing mediation talents: Win-win for the special interests and lose-lose for Peachtree City,” (https://archive.thecitizen.com/node/40801.html).
If you were paying attention to the recent appalling Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) development proposal from the city calling for thousands of new multi-family units, you are aware of the need to elect candidates who will actually abide by the city’s land use plans (https://thecitizen.com/2020/11/01/lci-meeting-insult-to-peachtree-city-residents/).
Time-and-time-again, the local citizen taxpayers have pleaded with our sidetracked mayor and council members to follow the land plan and zoning that has set our community apart.
At the time of this writing, the “Plan for PTC” PAC does not show up on the mandated list of the state’s Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website, (https://media.ethics.ga.gov/search/campaign/Campaign_ByName.aspx). The PAC is required to officially list the contributions received. Stay tuned.
People constantly ask me why we keep getting threatened with the large apartment complexes and why there is never any focus on resolving the traffic congestion at the intersection of Highways 74 and 54. The answer is simply it’s the people who are elected to represent us. The elected leadership ignores the taxpayers who pay the bills, but constantly favors built-it-and-run real estate developers who could care less about our planned community.
The corporations that build the large apartment complexes drop the buildings, take the profits, and run to the next city. They do not give a darn about the long-term viability and quality of life of our community.
We the voters should decide who our elected leaders will be, not the PAC.
Peachtree City, Ga
[Brown is a former mayor of Peachtree City and served two terms on the Fayette County commission.]