Peachtree City mayor: It’s a village thing

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We first spotted a “Peachtree City is for Dreamers” sign early this summer in a neighbor’s yard. A few weeks later, “This Bubble is Magic” signs took over our morning walk on Hip Pocket Road. Eventually, we stopped speculating and asked Google what this charming advertising blitz was all about. Just a few days later, we found ourselves having lunch with the man behind the signs: Nick Ferrante, Peachtree City mayoral candidate.

Nick was born and raised in Peachtree City, and he exudes energetic, family-focused leadership. As parents of three young girls ourselves, this is the perspective we want to see at City Hall. With an average age of 67, everyone on City Council right now is a Baby Boomer.

Throughout his campaign, Nick has shown us his creativity, innovative style, and willingness to work hard for this town. It’s not just the award winning Fourth of July parade float or fun events such as rock painting at the Farmers Market; it’s the front yard gatherings all over town where Nick has put himself out there to connect with citizens and to listen and learn what people feel this town needs. It’s time for us to elect a new generation of leaders and dream about what Peachtree City can be.

Peachtree City was founded in 1959 as a forward-thinking, live-work community with a plan for five unique village centers. The convenience and community of our village centers has been eroded by big box stores on the perimeter of town. Nick’s platform includes revitalizing areas like Braelinn Village’s vacant Kmart by leveraging arts and entertainment as an economic engine. Reimagining existing commercial space as vibrant, multi-functional gathering spaces will bring the heart of our community back to the villages and alleviate strain on our infrastructure created by new development.

If you, too, believe in the magic of Peachtree City, show up and vote on or before Nov. 2, 2021. In 2017, only 24% of registered voters participated in Peachtree City’s municipal elections. Voting couldn’t be easier with early voting at Peachtree City City Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Tuesday, Oct. 12, and running through Friday, Oct. 29, including Saturdays. For more information on Nick’s platform visit www.Nick4Mayor2021.com.

Allison & Andy Powell

Peachtree City, Ga.

40 COMMENTS

  1. Nick is NOT the guy we want for Mayor. He is young and inexperienced and although he said he was a “life-long Republican” a few years ago when I met with him, he is now perches on the extreme far left. Nick idolizes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). You know her, the socialist congresswoman who created the Green New Deal (voted down in the senate without even one vote in favor), who believes in open borders and wants free college, free paychecks, free healthcare for everyone? Nick said AOC was “a unique voice in the conversation regarding the future of our country.” He likes her mostly because “she has a strong grasp of how to effectively utilize the power of the bully pulpit to push the conversation in a more progressive direction.” Ummm… pass.
    But, it isn”t that Nick would be dangerous as Mayor… the city structure doesn’t really give the Mayor any more power than a council person so he would be just one of five votes. The problem is, Nick would just be in the way. The Mayor’s seat is not an on-the-job training opportunity. As others have said, if Nick is so concerned about out city, let him show that by volunteering on one of the boards or committees in town. Learn a little about what is going on and then run for council. Nick has a very immature view of the world around him and is not ready for Prime Time.

      • Don you would argue with a pine cone. The system we use in Peachtree City is called the weak-mayor government form.
        “In a weak-mayor system, the mayor has no formal authority outside the council; the mayor cannot directly appoint or remove officials, and lacks veto power over council votes. As such, the mayor’s influence is solely based on personality in order to accomplish desired goals.” Wikipedia
        The most important business council does is approving new ordinances, allowing or disallowing variances, hiring city officials, etc which all require an up and down vote. Each council member and the mayor’s vote counts as 1. The mayor does get a closer parking spot to city hall and appears to get first pick on the chair they sit in during meetings.

  2. Since I wrote a letter to Citizen about the mayoral candidates, I’d like to comment on this letter also. As I’ve been campaigning for Ms. Learnard, Mr. Destadio, and Mr. Madden, I’ve talked with my neighbors. A young couple with young children (so roughly Mr. Ferrante’s family’s age) remarked that his campaign’s ideas seem pretty good, which I agree with, but they commented that behind the ideas there isn’t much substance. Also, on Mr. Ferrante’s website, his qualifications aren’t listed. How do we know what he’s accomplished that would lend credibility to being able to get the job done? I’ve also seen comments on how being an entrepreneur is some magic bullet to being mayor and getting things done. I agree with being able to identify with business owners and their concerns and having a pro-small business outlook is helpful in our community, but the mayor-council-city manager model means that even if the mayor wants to do something, he needs two others on council to agree. This is more like a corporate board of directors model and, therefore, consensus building is important. Again, can Mr. Ferrante do this? When Peachtree City was founded, Mr. Cowan was young mayor, but Peachtree City was nothing like it is today; to say it was a few paved roads and a lot of dirt roads would not be inaccurate. I’ve only been here 20 years, and I remember when Kedron was much smaller, Wilshire shopping center didn’t exist (Holly Grove Road didn’t go through to 74), there was no Avenue, Walmart or Home Depot. Rush hour traffic at 74-54 has always been terrible. Finally, I don’t know that growing up here qualifies Mr. Ferrante any more than someone who moved here at 30. As a 52 year-old dad of 20 and 22 year-old boys, I tell them how the city works. I make them research candidates and vote in elections. I talk to them about local news. I don’t think many parents do this. In other words, just living in PTC and being politically aware while living here are two different things. I think a good place for Mr. Ferrante to start is on Planning Commission- the committee that could discuss, vet, and review his ideas on the Village Concept.

    Paul Schultz

    • Paul, thanks for reading. We have different perspectives on a few things here, but I won’t belabor those points. I’m encouraged to see a robust and respectable campaign from Kim and her team. She’s a strong candidate, but I disagree with elements of her platform — most significantly, I believe we should focus on our villages rather than Huddleston Rd redevelopment. I imagine that she wouldn’t position that as a trade-off, but with limited resources it’s hard to see how we can do both.

    • Paul,

      Do you support Marta coming to PTC? One of the candidates you commented that your supporting knocked on my door years ago asking me to sign a petition to bring Marta to PTC. My suggestions for everyone in this election is get to know these candidates. Walking along Hip Pocket I too saw the Bubble is Magic sign in his yard I also saw other political signs that disturb me with the current state of our country. I also have huge issues with the some of the other candidates who are on city council. I’m not sure who’s pulling the strings behind the scene’s in Peachtree City today. I would ask each candidate do you work for us or do you work for someone else’s agenda?

    • My issue with Kim is she’s had just under 10 years already on council, and another 4 years isn’t going to result in much since the position is almost exactly the same.

      Couple that with her desire to put more development on Huddleston and its a full-stop no go. More development on Huddleston, a baseball throw away from our worst intersection, is a terribly short-sighted suggestion and its worrisome she would even propose it.

      How she came up with the idea is beyond me, but hanging out in an Industrial Park next to a pile of fertilizer while I watch golf-cart trailers being unloaded isn’t my idea of food & entertainment. It’s just a terrible idea.

      • Lever Up

        I can tell you this about Kim. She doesn’t pull ideas out of the sky; every action she makes is well thought out and workable. Kim listens, thinks and plans. We are fortunate that she put her name in the hat for Mayor.
        You started your reply with “My issue with Kim is she’s had just under 10 years already on council, and another 4 years isn’t going to result in much…” huh? I am not sure what your reasoning is in that statement. Kim was an excellent city council member and was easily elected to a second term. She showed class and restraint during some of the toughest years at city hall. She was the class of council when we had Don Haddix as Mayor who made city operations look like an ever-changing circus act and the laughing stock of the state.

        Your characterization of Huddleston Road as an Industrial Park is off the mark. By definition an industrial park has factories, manufacturing, large warehouses for distribution, chemical plants and the like. Huddleston road is populated with at least four retail golf cart dealers, two restaurants, the ever popular Line Creek Brewery, a couple of dog grooming places, a hair salon, a retail printer, uniform and mattress store, furniture and accessory retailer and two or three automotive repair shops. There isn’t any open real estate on Huddleston so your statement that this would be “more development” is also inaccurate: It would be different development. Kim is thinking about the same kind of arrangement at the “several years empty” Kmart and both of these ideas are good ones. If you don’t understand the need for this type of entertainment sections, perhaps it is you that is being short-sited. It is exactly what we need.
        We are missing the boat in getting young professionals who are “married and soon to start families” bracket and this is what lures them to settle in a community. I know because I have three sons, two of which are in this bracket. One is married recently and one is engaged. They both grew up in Peachtree City but bought houses in north Atlanta within walking distance of city-established open-carry sections where beer gardens and specialty breweries have taken over decrepit office buildings and warehouses. These “kids” are buying houses in these areas that would make all but the most expensive homes in Peachtree City very affordable for them. They have great two-income lifestyles and they spend money. Attracting them is essential to the sustainability of our city.
        You stated that this type of development wasn’t what you would consider to be an enjoyable place for food and entertainment. You got that one right. The idea wasn’t meant to attract you (or me). It is meant to attract a population that is graduating from McIntosh high school, heading off to college, getting degrees that demand six-figure salaries within the first few years of their career but never return to live in the town they grew up in because we don’t have an offering that attracts them.
        Go take a look at what Kim was able to accomplish in Coweta as the director of the development of The Linc system friendsoflinc.org. Looks at the corporate sponsors, the bridge over interstate 85, the constant fund raising events they do. It speaks volumes of what Kim can accomplish. No, she didn’t do it all herself – and that is the point – Kim is a leader who treats people kindly and motivates them to do their best. She is a leader and has characteristics sorely needed in Peachtree City today. Kim has friends and working partners in Fayette, Coweta and under the gold dome in Atlanta.
        If this was an appointed position and the individual or committee that was interviewing and hiring compared the education, experience, qualifications, personality, and leadership qualities of all of the candidates, no one except Kim would get the second interview. She is heads and shoulders above the rest of the field in every category.

        Mike

        • Huddleston is zoned industrial. It does not matter what she did in Coweta, they have already said they had no desire to cooperate with us for traffic. She is a Democrat.

          As for your comments being, relevant, I call attention to that you used to be the chairman of the ethics committee but found me guilty of a lie with no hearing ever taken place. That resulted in the disbanding and replacement of the ethics committee.

          Please read the citizen article on this issue.

          Huddleston is zoned industrial. It does not matter what she did in Coweta, they have already said they had no desire to cooperate with us for traffic. She is a Democrat.

          As for your comments being, relevant, I call attention to that you used to be the chairman of the ethics committee but found me guilty of a lie with no hearing ever taken place. That resulted in the disbanding and replacement of the ethics committee.

          Please read the citizen article on this issue.

          Huddleston is zoned industrial. It does not matter what she did in Coweta, they have already said they had no desire to cooperate with us for traffic. She is a Democrat.

          As for your comments being, relevant, I call attention to that you used to be the chairman of the ethics committee but found me guilty of a lie with no hearing ever taken place. That resulted in the disbanding and replacement of the ethics committee.

          Please read the citizen article on this issue.
          https://thecitizen dot com/2014/02/26/ptc-revamps-ethics-rules-ditches-citizen-involvement/

          PTC revamps ethics rules, ditches citizen involvement – The Citizen
          By unanimous vote, the Peachtree City Council approved sweeping changes to its ethics ordinance Feb. 20, including the replacement of a citizen ethics board with an attorney from outside the …
          thecitizen.com

          This is for Mike LaTella who keeps trying to reinvent history.

          He was the chairman of the old ethics committee and found me guilty before any meeting had taken place and never took place.

          • Don:

            Anyone that cares to read the article you tried to link above can easily ascertain why the ethics committee format had to be changed. It had nothing to do with anything going on with the committee and everything to do with you finding a loophole and threatening to drain the city coffers by having tax payers fund your defense, even though Logsdon sued you as a private citizen and not as mayor.

            From the article: Pennington in his memo about the proposed ordinance referred to the ethics complaint filed against former mayor Don Haddix in 2012 over Haddix’s use of city funds to pay for legal representation against a libel suit filed by previous mayor Harold Logsdon. City resident Steve Thaxton, who filed the complaint, dropped it before it could proceed to a hearing after Haddix declined a request to avoid city-funded legal representation at a future ethics hearing.

            You ended up losing the lawsuit, having to pay Logsdon an “undisclosed amount” and offer a public apology to him.

            In terms of my finding you guilty before a hearing – that doesn’t even make sense. How can I find you guilty without a hearing? Plus, I didn’t act unilaterally on anything… finding you guilty would have taken a majority vote by the commission and it never came to a vote because Steve had the decency and love for the city not to take us down a financial rat hole after you promised to make taxpayers pay a hefty pric for your defense.

          • “The process of handling that particular ethics complaint “revealed that local political involvement could lead to allegations of prejudice in deciding claims against an elected official,” Pennington wrote.” That means you.

  3. I have one huge question, what was his position on the Affordable Income Housing Project that was proposed, involving property at Huddleston Rd and Tennis Center. If he was anything other than 100% against that disaster of an idea, he is a no for me.

    • I don’t speak for Nick, but personally I don’t support the idea for two reasons: First, I want to see our energy focused on revitalizing the existing villages. Second, I value the tennis center as an important amenity in the city.

    • Nick had this to say in the comments section of an interview he did with South Atlanta Magazine: “On my policy position, I’m not in favor of large footprint, high volume apartment complexes. Not because of the “type of people” who live there but simply because the scaled economics required for upkeep and upgrades becomes a massive fiscal hurdle that is hard to get over.”

      I had an opportunity to speak with Nick, and he had some really good ideas that would make it affordable for both young families and working professionals to live in Peachtree City, none of which involved apartments or section 8 housing. I think we can all agree that we need to making housing affordable if we don’t want to stop losing young families to other parts of Atlanta.

      southatlantamagazine[dot]com/2021/07/08/outtogether/

        • Did it occur to you that forcing people to commute to Peachtree City from Fairburn, Newnan, Fayetteville, and Sharpsburg might be a key driver of the traffic problem? This is the same crowd that would happily walk or bike to work using the multiuse path system.

          We do need more affordable housing. Either we encourage them in the city, or we will not be able to stop them from going up on the edge of town.

  4. Agreed. And Ferrante needs to start out on a volunteer board or commission, not jump directly into the mayor’s role. Gain some experience first and find out how things work – and work your way up. You’d never hire an outsider to run a Fortune 500 company…..don’t hire a complete outsider to run our successful city.

      • Correct. But they didn’t start out heading up a billion dollar company. Early on Jobs, Gates, et. al were not CEO’s. They were the designer and salesman and tech support and R&D and janitor all rolled into one. And they didn’t start out as successful companies. They worked their way up to it from nothing.

    • Thanks for reading our letter. I can appreciate your perspective, though I have a different point of view. My background as an entrepreneur doesn’t lend me to place the same emphasis on the “work your way up” approach.

      Peachtree City, while important to all of us, differs significantly from a Fortune 500 company. It’s much smaller: the city operates on a budget of roughly $40M per year. We also have a very capable full-time City Manager who leads the day-to-day operation of the city.

      I don’t think you meant it in this way, but I wouldn’t characterize Nick as an outsider. He grew up here, and is very invested in our city’s success.

      I’d like to see our next mayor bring vision (particularly around the village concept), community, new energy, and hard work to Peachtree City. Of the candidates running, I believe Nick is best suited to deliver that.

    • Have you ever read about the founding of Peachtree City? Joel H. Cowan was a college student and in his 20’s when he helped found the city and become its first mayor. While people might have told him at the time that he was too young or needed more experience, look at his legacy now. The original residents and founders of PTC weren’t scared of youth, why should we be that way now?

      • Lol Dellicious…. I knew Joel Cowan and knew him well. Nick Ferrante is no Joel Cowan for sure. Joel Cowan was a polite, compassionate and brilliant man who was highly ethical and moral. Nick is mouthy and immature and delights in belittling others on social media. He will take a message sent privately to him and post it publicly if it serves his needs. I’ve seen him do it. No comparison whatsoever.

  5. Key emphasis here is “family focused”. Peachtree City is a community, and yet we have a cadre of establishmentarian politicians who want to treat it as a business. Somewhere between their ineffectual leadership and their attempts to repeat the failed ideas of the past, the one thing they have accomplished is instilling apathy in residents. I know quite a few people who grew up here, and they lament the crass commercialization which has taken over. We need more people like Nick Ferrante who are willing to get engaged, bring new energy, new solutions, and a strong desire to restore the Peachtree City that was.