Imker: Council race would be futile, but Peachtree City is in deep trouble

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Eric Imker (R) at the City Council dais next to then-council member Kim Learnard, now mayor.
Eric Imker (R) at the City Council dais next to then-council member Kim Learnard, now mayor. File photo from November 2015.

I have decided not to run for open City Council Post #3 at this time.

Why?

It seems futile right now with the cabal of Learnard, King and Prebor acting as the majority on city council. They are on a path to destroy the village concept of Peachtree City and more (see below) and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

My voice on council, along with Council member Destadio, would be mute, as Mr. Destadio has already learned.

The current city council is in total disarray with one member having left, another under an ethics violation and two others just waiting for their terms to end as it seems they are bored of doing the citizens’ work and just “go along” with the mayor (apparently prearranged outside of council meetings) on issues of the day. There is no accountability or transparency. This is deeply discouraging.

There is no good news from this council after being installed in January.

You, the voters, had your chance last November and this is what you’re getting:

• Wanton destruction of our village concept

• Higher taxes to the extreme (totally avoidable — see below)

• No relief on traffic (Zero, nada, nothing — in fact it’s getting worse)

• Paying more for sewer and stormwater

• More development being approved along traffic corridors which will only add to the traffic problems

• A request for another SPLOST when they WON’T TELL US how they’ve spent an extra $11M+ above expected from the current SPLOST (That’s 100% true – do your own open records request)

• City cash reserves $13 million more than our own city ordinances require.

The citizens’ money seems to mean nothing to elected officials. AND they think they can hide the use of the money from us. I have to admit — they’re doing a darn good job of hiding it and the true costs of the projects. So wrong. But it seems Nobody Cares. SMH

That’s more than $25 million cash just sitting there above the budget requirement and yet they raised taxes! Remember, the entire year’s budget is less than $43 million. Good grief.

The list goes on and on.

Oh, and let’s not forget about those 26 speed bumps on the cart path along the east side of Lake Peachtree. What a wonderful idea. NOT! Council had to have given head nod approval. No city manager in his right mind would direct that without approval from council, especially the mayor.

Next year maybe we can elect 2 folks who will join Councilmember Destadio and will represent us the way we should be represented.

I will consider running next year for my old Post #1 that is being vacated by term-limited Mr. Prebor. If we can get another village concept advocate to run for Post #2, we can stop the mayor from paying back her political donors for the last election and put our city on the right path again.

In my opinion, the obvious payoff for a vote on council by the mayor is essentially the essence of the ethics violation being adjudicated right now. The attorney hearing the case can remove the mayor for major/serious ethics violations, rule a substantial fine be issued, or send it back to our city council where the whole matter would be swept under the rug.

If the mayor is removed, I hope the person who came in second in the mayor’s race last year becomes the new mayor.

Just a quick reminder of a post on my Facebook timeline about me a little while ago when I considered running for Post #3 at this time, “Here’s the thing. No one is going to agree on every issue. But there is no one who more genuinely would put the interests of the citizens first than you. One thing I’ve learned is that you are incorruptible. Your ideas and solutions have always been with the citizens’ best interest at heart, not yourself nor councils.”

Incorruptible is 100% right. I cannot be bought. That’s why I have NEVER accepted a campaign contribution. I know money and politics don’t mix. Remember, I was even going to donate my salary back to the city if elected.

My entire political career has only been 6 years, 2010-2015. I made the hard decisions and never backed down from doing the right thing. The citizens came first, ALWAYS. The budget was a total cluster when I started. We were extremely close to having the State take over our city finances because it was that bad when I took office. When I left we had a balanced budget, and no tax increases or use of city cash reserves in the 5-year future model.

Being a career politician is not for me so I voluntarily stepped aside. I did not run for reelection because it was time for another citizen to have the honor and privilege of being a council member. Imagine sitting council members doing that today. Unfortunately, it will never happen. We have a wannabe career liberal politician right now wanting 16 years on council. So wrong.

Eric Imker

Peachtree City, Ga.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I voted for you Eric and I would again. You DID listen to the citizens of PTC and stayed true to the Village concept and were anti condo/apt. I had high hopes for a Kim as our Mayor even though I didn’t vote for her. The pending ethics violation is very troubling. IMO Kim has sent out mixed messages on the rezoning for condos and apartments. She’s said in some communications to me that she does NOT support rezoning to allow for condo etc but now I wonder. I think it’s obvious the great majority of PTC citizens don’t want it. But yet it’s allowed for in the Comprehensive Plan. It’s very disappointing.

  2. Eric:

    You running would be futile because you wouldn’t win. “You voluntarily stepped aside” and since then have run in every election. The only difference between you and Kim Learnard is she wins when she runs. As far as SPLOST is concerned, you should have your right to speak on the matter forever forfeited. You had a chance to impact the decisions made on SPLOST as an appointment on the citizen’s panel, and when you didn’t get your way you went home and never came to another meeting. Do your neighbors realize that your area of town never had representation for where those SPLOSTS dollar went? I know you don’t get along with anyone currently serving on council, but tell me who you ever got along with… when you served or on any council assembled since then? Name one person.