Today is the first day of early voting in the 2021 municipal election. Peachtree City will vote to decide who will serve on City Council as Mayor, and as Post 4 and Post 3 Council members, for the next four years.
At stake is nothing less than our Peachtree City quality of life. Traffic issues, protection of our greenspace, the condition of our recreation facilities, our ability to attract young families, and our relationships with surrounding communities, businesses and non-profits certainly hang in the balance.
As a candidate for Mayor who brings eight years of Council experience and decades-long relationships to the table, I have thoroughly enjoyed the months of campaigning.
I have had the opportunity to revisit the issues, meet one-on-one with Peachtree City residents, and sit down and talk with entire neighborhoods at a time. My dozens of public gatherings and neighborhood meet-and-greets, especially, have been very gratifying, as attendance ranged from 35 to six and every group had a unique set of questions and concerns. Citizen interest in this year’s campaign has been tremendous; we all seem to agree we are at a crossroads.
Highlights on the campaign trail started with a book club of young moms who pointed out that the exciting splash pad I had helped to approve years ago now requires a fee, and the fee must be paid in cash. Wow.
I got an earful when I rejoined the PTC Running Club and learned that the Riley Fields running track that hosts hundreds of people in running groups, cheerleading clinics, children’s teams and visitors has fallen into total disrepair.
Our pickleball players are grateful for six new courts, but still wishing for the basic amenities of benches, sun shades, and signage. And although our Tennis Center hosts dozens of regional tournaments and conference championships every year, few among us know about these events or feel they have the resources they need to stay informed.
Speaking at Fayette Senior Services and Somerby have taught me that most of our seniors are more tech savvy than I am; they often rely on our paths to get around town, and they are using the bicycle GPS to navigate.
We are all concerned about the growing traffic problem on Highway 54. We are all equally concerned about protecting our greenspaces. Most of us seem to agree that we need to attract young families, and that establishing some kind of nightlife in community-driven gathering spaces may do the trick.
I was surprised to learn about the high level of alarm about safety on our paths; I’m glad to see that City Council has convened a citizen committee in recent weeks to get a handle on the nature of the problem and what can be done. If I am Mayor, this work will certainly continue.
I surprised many on the campaign trail with the fact that municipal elections in the state of Georgia are non-partisan; there are no Republicans or Democrats in the race, and no R’s or D’s on the ballot. In my view, this is a gift – we have the luxury of just doing what’s best for our community regardless of partisanship. This is something we can all appreciate right now.
I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of citizens who have helped me advance this campaign. I am grateful for your continued encouragement and generosity.
Peachtree City citizens are engaged and knowledgeable, and share my belief that while we must hold fast to all that we love about our city, we must also plan responsibly for a bright and better future.
Now let’s take that belief to the polls. Early voting starts today, October 12, and runs through October 29. Election Day is Tuesday, November 2. Get out and vote!
Kim Learnard, mayoral candidate
Peachtree City, Ga.