A Republican voter since 1980, I’m voting for Kim Learnard for mayor


In the race for Peachtree City Mayor, I know both candidates well. I worked on Eric Imker’s election team when he ran for city council. I was privileged to get to know Kim Learnard over the eight years she was on city council.

I have lived in Peachtree City for over 45 years and only want what is best for our community. I led the effort against the Great Wolf Lodge locating here, formed a committee called “Haddit with Haddix” to prevent Don Haddix’s reelection as Mayor and organized a prayer vigil for the wife of the then police chief after she was shot and in critical condition in the hospital.

At one time I was the Chairman of the PTC Ethics Committee. Most recently I served on the SPLOST citizen team. I have never had any political aspirations. I support candidates for office that I know have the best interest of the city and its citizens as their first and only objective.

I am also a Republican having voted for the party’s candidate in every national and state election except in 1980 when I was 18 years old and too young and dumb to know any better; I voted for Jimmy Carter.

I have heard the accusations from the Imker camp regarding Kim’s political affiliation, and I have seen Eric’s campaign page post of the “sample ballot” that was edited to erroneously indicate that party affiliation was listed on the ballot (that deceitful action alone might be enough to turn you in the other direction).

I have had friends ask me why I support Kim for Mayor. The short answer is this: any accusations from the Imker camp about her background, experience or voting record are offset exponentially by the actual traits and experience she brings to the office, especially when compared to what Eric would drag in with him.

There is a reason that these local elections are non-partisan: one’s position on issues that are divided with strict lines of political party affiliation in National and State elections don’t have any play in local politics. They simply aren’t relevant.

Kim brings with her skills that our city needs; namely the ability to get things done by working with council and city manager rather than against them. Additionally Kim has established relationships in every level of government including both Fayette and Coweta counties. On a state level she was part of the group in Newnan that somehow managed to construct a bicycle and walking bridge over interstate 85.

If traffic at 54/74 is the key issue we are facing right now as a city, and many believe that it is, we will need strong working relationships with Coweta County and Georgia’s DOT. Kim already has those established relationships in her back pocket.

On the other hand, Eric struggles building and maintaining these important relationships due to his “my way or the highway” domineering attitude.

Kim gets things done without worrying about who gets credit; Eric works on getting credit, showing who’s boss, and maintaining a power position first while letting the objectives of what is best for Peachtree City become secondary.

When Eric and I were both on the Citizen SPLOST Team just a few years ago, this brazen attitude and inability to work with others was on display. In the second meeting, Eric took control of the projector, plugged in his laptop and proceeded to show the group of both council members and the citizen team how it was, exactly what we needed to do, and how we were supposed to do it.

Eric apparently thought we would all stand up and say “glad that’s been solved,” pack up our belongings and shut down the group. Instead, the group pushed back and told Eric we would proceed as designed and make determinations as a group.

I think Eric attended one more meeting after that, leaving the neighborhoods situated around Flat Creek Golf Club unrepresented. Eric didn’t get his way so he took his marbles and went home.

We have had that type of leadership before in our city and it doesn’t work. If we elect Eric as Mayor, we will be trading effective government action derived through healthy and respectful debate for a lot of hot air, public displays of dissent and lots of whining letters to the editor. Haven’t we had enough of that? Please elect Kim Learnard for our next Mayor.

Mike LaTella

Peachtree City, Ga.


  1. Mike, I did live here and I agree with all the points you lay out, but I know it takes two to tango and the row the two of you engaged in…totally off topic (cart path safety and noise)…was a waste of vowels and consonants IMHO.

    I am sure you are a fine man, but that exchange stuck with me.

    • Hi Hometown:

      I appreciate your perspective. Sometimes I get in arguments with DH and don’t even remember what the point is. At that moment you are right, it is a waste of keystrokes. Thanks for reminding me how that looks.


  2. Mike, your back-and-forth name-calling and mudslinging with Don Haddix a few months ago was fairly shameful. Not sure I will be using you as a political compass for this election. Hope you guys figure out what a bowling alley is.

    • Hi Hometown:
      Maybe you weren’t here when he was Mayor but Don Haddix represents by far the biggest disaster we have ever had in this city in terms of elected officials. If it hadn’t been for the high expense for having a special election to replace him, Don would have certainly been impeached and thrown out of office. Don still holds the record for receiving the fewest percentage of votes any mayor in the state has had when running as an incumbent: less than 6%.
      Haddix was sued for libel for running his mouth about the drinking habits of a former Mayor in a city email. The former mayor kindly offered to accept a public apology so as to avoid any legal repercussions. Don decided that uttering those two words “I’m sorry” was too big of a burden so he refused. The former Mayor did everything he could to sue the mayor personally so as to avoid taking from taxpayer funds, but Don found a way to make his blunder a part of his official city business and used taxpayer funds to defend himself. When this activity resulted in a citizen filing an ethics violation against him for misuse of funds,
      Don found the most expensive attorneys available (including a former state attorney general) and threatened to clean out the taxpayer coffers with his defense.
      Don was appointed and then subsequently kicked-off the regional transportation board for his asinine ideas and argumentative nature during meetings. He was the only mayor in our city’s history to be censured by his peers. His pay was docked in an effort to recoup some of the taxpayer money used for his legal expenses. Council meetings were a circus as both citizens and council members would walk out mid-stream in disgust. Don made Peachtree City the laughing stock of the state.
      Thus, I make no apologies for making sure Don Haddix’s attempts at public service never see the light of day again. It is unfortunate but impossible to have an adult conversation or discussion with Don; he has “out-of-touch” and errant visions of grandeur, firmly believes his own lies and self-promotion and would gladly argue with pine straw if given the chance. There isn’t any way to converse with him except with the same antagonism and vile that he quickly throws out the minute someone disagrees with him.