Clint Holland is a consultant in water and wastewater treatment who has lived with his wife Ann in Peachtree City since 2021. On his Facebook page, he lists several moves during the past few years since 2012: from Denver, Colo., to Buffalo, N.Y., to Augusta, Ga. (“my 8th corporate move,” he wrote on Facebook) in 2017, to Jonesboro, Ga. in 2019 and to Peachtree City in 2021.
Below are questions from The Citizen and the candidate’s answers following each question.
“I appreciate your concern with getting quality answers to many of our pressing issues that we as candidates are facing for the foreseeable future in Peachtree City. Here are my thoughtful answers to your questions:”
QUESTION 1: The City Council this year declined to roll back the millage rate for city property taxes even though we are experiencing the worst inflation in the last 40 years. The resulting surplus will be 50% of yearly expenditures rather than the required 31%. Do you agree with their vote? Why or why not?
ANSWER: Inflation is out of control, food prices are skyrocketing, gas at the pump is expensive, natural gas and electricity are increasing their prices, and we are in the worst inflationary period since the 1970s.
My stance is to give the taxpayers of Peachtree City a break on their taxes. The reserve fund is adequately funded so there is no reason to not roll back the millage rate so the PTC portion of property taxes is much lower. If elected to city council, I would vote to roll back the millage rate as soon as possible and lower the reserve fund from 50% to 30% over time to help reduce the PTC property tax being charged to our citizens.
QUESTION 2: The previous City Council voted to abolish a popular decades-long moratorium on constructing more multifamily housing, despite the fact that — without rezoning — the city is considered by many to be “built-out.” Give your position on the council eliminating the moratorium and explain your position on building more multifamily housing. Specifically, will you vote to build multi-story apartments in the city? Why or why not?
ANSWER: The moratorium should be reinstated as soon as possible. The elimination of the multifamily housing moratorium should never have happened. When elected I will fight to immediately reinstate a fully comprehensive moratorium that would include apartments, suburban mixed-use, and urban mixed-use housing anywhere in PTC.
I would absolutely vote to stop the spread of urbanization in our fair city. We already have adequate apartments for a city our size, as I have been told we have about 17% of housing in apartments in PTC. Other similar sized areas have only 14-15% apartment housing.
QUESTION 3: The City Council has voted for land zoned commercial, industrial, and office/institutional to be rezoned for residential zoning. Do you agree with that strategy? Why or why not?
ANSWER: Short answer: I would vote no on all rezoning of commercial, industrial, and office/institutional to residential.
We have many other problems in PTC with traffic, congestion on the roads, fixing/repaving roads and paths, finding/hiring very competent people to be city employees in all areas of our city government, and overspending on personal pet projects for some of the citizens but not all of the citizens. A no vote is an easy answer on this question.
QUESTION 4: A majority of the City Council recently approved changes to the city’s comprehensive plan that would allow developers an avenue to build more multifamily housing in mixed-use and stand-alone formats across the city. Do you agree with the changes to the comprehensive plan allowing more multifamily housing and why? If you do not agree, would you vote to remove the recent changes to the comprehensive plan? Why or why not?
ANSWER: As a candidate, this topic is a very sore point for me because this was the area that I most disagreed with and this topic drove me to run for City Council.
I was a member of the 2022 Comprehensive Plan Revision Committee. I fought to keep urbanization and mixed-use housing out of the plan. I witnessed a poorly designed and executed survey of PTC citizens. The survey set-up had no real input from the revision committee, so we received only 581 responses out of 38,000 people.
From that flawed data the committee made rash decisions that I was totally against. The committee told the citizens that urbanization and mixed use was wanted in PTC. When I questioned the survey and went through the data of the 581 responses, we were told that the committee had enough responses to get answers.
I taught mathematics at a university level. To get good statistical data at least 10% of the population is required for a 95% confidence level on the data. 581 responses are only 1.53%, thus it is insufficient data for any accurate conclusion.
I then took all the survey results, put them into a statistical binary form, and performed a statistical analysis on the data. A surprising answer appeared!
My statistical analysis showed that 57% of the people of PTC did not want suburban mixed use, urban mixed use, or any urbanization of our city. When presented to the city it was ignored by staff and some city council members. Only Franks Destadio stood for redoing the comprehensive plan survey.
I firmly agree that we must “redo” the 2022 Comprehensive Plan to get a full representation of all of our citizens, and not just 581 responses. We should not let 581 or 1.53% of our population dictate the future growth and development of our city.
In summary, I would vote to remove the “mixed use” development parts of the 2022 Comprehensive Plan and redo the entire plan with the “will of the citizens” response from a brand new professionally done set of survey questions.
QUESTION 5: Many residents have spoken out against the concept of “mixed use” developments — defined as multi-story buildings with retail on the ground floor and multi-family or condos on second- and even third-story buildings. Would you vote for that concept? Why or why not?
ANSWER: Another short answer: I am against any mixed-use developments, either suburban-style or urban-style along with any urbanization in PTC. As I’ve said many times during this campaign, we have many other more pressing issues that take care of our citizens than expanding more housing in PTC. Remember that PTC has been a nationwide award-winning planned community for about 45 years. In my mind, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it!
QUESTION 6: Do you foresee the need to build any new government facilities in the city? If yes, what would you like to see built, and explain how you would fund the construction and the annual maintenance and operations?
At this time there may be a need to update, remodel, or build new for the police and fire stations. Our “first- responders” need the very best and latest technology and equipment to continue their excellent service to our community. The construction funding, I believe, has been a part of the proposed new police and fire capital budget, and new equipment and technology is part of the 2023 SPLOST for PTC. As always, maintenance was funded in the new proposed budget.
QUESTION 7: Will you support annexations to increase the size of the city? Why or why not?
ANSWER: Annexation is a double edge sword, as it cut both ways. If we annex, the addition of unincorporated Fayette County could be used to help alleviate traffic flows through our city, either on the north side or south side.
Additionally, if there is annexed land zoned industrial, there are some excellent companies in PTC that need space to expand their operations, maybe the annexed land for traffic control can also be used for our current PTC businesses so they stay in our city and not move elsewhere for business expansion. The use of this potentially annexed land would be used for the above purposes only, and not for more residential housing.
On the other hand, annexation will cost the city in its services of water, sewer, utilities, police and fire protection, etc. to take care of this expanded area. Obviously, the funding of this service will come from property taxes paid by businesses and people living in the annex area, and by fees/taxes on the expanded businesses.
Lastly, it’s been 8 plus years since the 2014 annexation plan has been updated. I support getting the annexation plan updated as soon as practical to determine if it would help or harm PTC.
QUESTION 8: The City Council has been criticized for restricting citizen comments in council public meetings, both the limited time allowed for each speaker (twice less than 55 seconds per speaker) and the limited number of people allowed to speak. The council divided the allotted 20 minutes by the number of speakers, rather than extending the 20-minute limit. Where exactly do you stand on allowing citizens who make an effort to attend a public meeting to be able to comment? Would you vote to extend the time allotted for the public to speak rather than cut each speaker’s time to fit within the limit? Why or why not?
ANSWER: This is an easy one for me. My pledge to PTC: I will listen to the citizens who want to speak.
Yes, pontification and extremely long speeches will be frowned upon, but perhaps a compromise of 3 minutes per speaker would be adequate.
Typically, most speakers can get their points across in 3 minutes. Truly, points and feelings by speakers don’t take that long, and the allotted time I suggest will allow everyone to get their feelings and specific points heard.
Remember, city council represents the citizens, and we need to listen to the citizens in order to do our job correctly for the entire city’s best interest.
I would therefore vote to have a 3-minute per speaker allowance during city council meetings. I would not reduce the time of each speaker based on the number of speakers.
QUESTION 9: Have you read the city charter and ordinances for Peachtree City? Why or why not?
ANSWER: I have read the entire city charter for Peachtree City. I felt it was necessary to understand the form and formation of both government and governmental rules for Peachtree City, thus reading the entire charter gives me the knowledge of the how, what, where, who, and the when of city government.
In my opinion the PTC ordinances are a moving target as new ones are added regularly. I have reviewed all of them during this campaign and know the rudimentary information contained in the ordinances. If I have any question once elected to city council I will defer to the city attorney for clarification, explanation, and expansion of the meanings, laws, and statutes of Peachtree City, State of Georgia, and the United States.
QUESTION 10: Have you read the Georgia Open Records law and the Georgia Open Meetings law? Why or why not?
ANSWER: I have read both of these Georgia Laws during my campaign for city council. Both are simple to understand and both are logical in their approach.
The Georgia Open Records law surrounds requests for open records, what are open or closed records, who can request, how to request, and many more details for securing open records in the state of Georgia for any open meetings, document, email, etc. The website for an Open Records Request is https://www.sos.ga.gov/form/open-records-request. It is simple to fill out and send in. The turn around should be done in 3 business days unless there is extensive search required. Obviously, there is a cost for the request that is the person’s requesting responsibility.
The Georgia laws for Open Meetings are clear and common sense. The website is here if you would like to read the entire contents of this law: https://law.georgia.gov/key-issues/open-government/law.
In short, if there is a meeting quorum of a governing body it is an open meeting unless otherwise noted as a closed meeting. The meetings may or may not allow a citizen to speak unless there is a portion of the agenda to do so, and they are signed up beforehand to speak. Open Meetings in Georgia must post notification at least 24 hours in advance for compliance. There are many other requirements that govern how, where, when, and topics covered, along with the requirements for citizen involvement, so go to the website above for more info.
Updated Sunshine Act passed in 2017 made the open government concept simpler and more open. The Sunshine Act now provides that all final votes must be taken in public, allows emergency meetings done by teleconference, clarifies how a government office must respond to a request, and many other such changes to open up government making is more accessible to the citizens and more responsive to those same citizens.
QUESTION 11: Do you have any comments on your positions on issues facing the city?
ANSWER: The following are ideas and proposals that I would make or support if elected to city council:
Route 74/Route 54 Interchange needs a permanent fix, not the proposed “Band-Aid” from GA DOT. I would propose re-doing or maybe halting the current band aid approach and go for a more permanent fix of the interchange with the help and coordination of GA DOT engineers. I would personally enjoy doing this project when elected to serve on city council.
Let’s not forget our neighbors/friends in Planterra. We need to fix their traffic issues to protect all of our children.
“Repurposing” recreational venues: We love recreation here in PTC, but spending money must be done wisely.
I propose that we do a “repurposing” of the old, abandoned, and unused recreational venues for other more currently active sports. This reuse of the old facilities, with a new facelift, will be a lot less expensive than building new facilities. For example, convert tennis courts to pickleball court at a fraction of the cost of new pickleball courts.
Teen center for our high school children: we as a city council need to take action for the teens in PTC. The demographics are changing and more young families are moving to PTC who have teenage children, additionally, many older residents have teenage grandchildren either living with them or visiting who would use a teen facility. Today, teens in PTC have very limited places to go to meet their friends and socialize, so I propose we as the city council discuss a teen center for valuable teen group of citizens.
I fully support ADA Accessibility for all PTC venues, both public and business, for our many disabled citizens. PTC is still working toward full compliance with section 508 of the Federal ADA Law passed in 1990. We all should work in getting our disable citizen back into the mainstream of this wonderful city of ours by providing full access to our sports venues, parks, pools, tennis, and pickleball courts, and all city events and activities.
I would allow voting on the PTC Planning Commission. It was wrong for prior city council to take voting away from the Planning Commission. After all, the city council needs to know how strongly they support or reject items they review. The Planning Commission is a valuable resource for the council and needs a true voice by allowing them to vote on issues before the commission.
Supporting an ordinance restricting urbanization and mixed-use zoning in PTC is something I’m fully behind.
I’d work to remedy as quickly as possible the new middle school road and traffic issues. This may require another multi-use path tunnel (not a bridge) under Route 54 to safely convey student to/from both the middle school and can also be used by the high school.
Update and place PTC village signs: we have some but not all placed as you enter the different PTC villages.
Work with city council to put in place ordinances to control or restrict Short Term Rental Properties in PTC.
Support a referendum for the citizen’s opinion on updating/repairing recreational facilities at the tennis and aquatic centers.