OPINION: In this world of uncertainty, one thing is for sure, the campaigns of Tamara Moore and Victor Painter are imploding in the 2023 Peachtree City election. The fake Facebook account posters and anonymous commenters are going to have to put it in overdrive to spin this one.
A new revelation exposed the truth about Moore and Painter. You deserve to know what happened.
What we already knew
I had previously written about the two candidates campaigning as a team. I noted both candidates refused to answer any questions from The Citizen on major issues facing the city. I reminded the readers that neither of the team’s candidates provided any position on any issue of consequence, and only provided snippets of vague verbiage amounting to naught after they were criticized for not replying to The Citizen questions (see the questions here: https://thecitizen.com/2023/10/05/questions-for-peachtree-city-council-candidates-from-the-citizen/).
I also showed both candidates were aligned with a local political action committee, Plan for PTC, advocating for constructing more stacked apartment complexes across the city. In fact, Tamara Moore was a founding member of Plan for PTC (something she never mentions in her campaign posts).
Additionally, I provided examples of ethical dilemmas that could occur with Victor Painter being in leadership at a local bank and being an elected official, approving annexations, rezonings, and variances for bank account holders and major development loan clients. (See the full explanation: https://thecitizen.com/2023/10/16/opinion-what-candidates-tamara-moore-and-vic-painter-are-hoping-you-dont-discover/).
Frustrated, Moore commented The Citizen’s simple “questions were already biased against myself and Painter.” Could she consider the questions “biased” because neither Moore nor Painter wanted to admit they supported Plan for PTC’s construction of dense stacked multi-family complexes and large annexations for residential use, draining our city services and creating the need for continued tax increases?
Well, Moore gave us the answer on Wednesday, it’s “yes.”
A boost gone bust for the Moore and Painter team
Moore collaborated with local resident Stephanie Wagner who apparently works in some sort of planning capacity for another jurisdiction to boost Moore and Painter’s desire for more apartments and mixed-used complexes. Wagner was to submit a letter to the editor espousing the virtues of packing multi-family complexes across the city in addition to the multitude that currently exist.
Wagner wrote a dry endorsement paper echoing Plan for PTC’s goals of putting apartments and mixed-use multi-family complexes in the city limits as cover for Moore and Painter. Unfortunately, Wagner described Peachtree City’s comprehensive plan changes as “the same as every other update that I have been part of,” and she attempts to create some boogeymen saying, “some local and vocal commentary seems to want to sow distrust of the plan and truly maligning the process and people involved.”
Maybe Wagner is intentionally lying, or she is ignorant of the facts but our Planning Director Robin Cailloux refused to release the collected data to the Comprehensive Plan Committee until Suzanne Brown (now a candidate for Post 2) forced it out by filing an open records request under state law. Cailloux had already written changes before the committee ever considered any changes.
Wagner might be surprised that the city council passed a significant rezoning at Cailloux’s recommendation based on comprehensive plan changes that had yet to be submitted to the city council for public comment and approval. It is an amazing coincidence that the applicant for the rezoning was a campaign fundraiser for Mayor Kim Learnard. You cannot make this stuff up! (See: https://thecitizen.com/2022/09/12/mayor-was-deciding-vote-to-ok-rezoning-for-unreported-campaign-contributor/).
Wagner’s piece de resistance was trying to explain why she moved to Peachtree City if so much radical transformation is needed, and she flopped miserably. Likewise, I often wonder why our Planning Director Cailloux wants to urbanize Peachtree City so badly, yet she lives in the eco-yuppie paradise of Serenbe.
Wagner proudly sent a copy of her letter to the editor to all the candidates for city council.
Moore was extremely pleased with the land planning propaganda piece saying, “It truly is a great article.” Moore then shared a moment of truthfulness with Wagner, giving her honest thoughts and opinions from the heart of the Tamara Moore and Victor Painter team supporting the apartments and dense mixed-use, and then accidentally pressed the “reply all” button, sending her true sentiments to all the other candidates. Ouch!
The real Moore and Painter
In her intimate reply to her accomplice, Moore spilled the beans.
Moore pointed out that she and Painter really wanted urbanization, the apartments, and putting dense mixed-use developments into our community.
Knowing Learnard needs their two votes to create a majority vote on forcing the urbanization projects and thwarting our traditional award-winning planning, Moore explained to Wagner, “I need to get in and so does Vic or this city is in big trouble.” The translation is no urbanization means “big trouble.”
The pomposity grew stronger as Moore shared with her accomplice, “The council with the mild exception of the Mayor are so narrow minded and judgmental we have become the laughing stock of the metro area.”
Moore and Painter massacred their creating harmony on the city council rhetoric with that bitter pill. Similarly, I think you can clearly see how they intend to treat Councilmen Frank Destadio and Clint Holland, the only two on the current city council who stand up for the citizenry and against the urbanization plans.
Moore let Wagner know that the drastic change would be possible with the “right council.” She also mimicked former Democrat Socialist candidate for mayor Nick Ferrante’s mixed-use “entertainment center” theme. You will remember Ferrante campaigned on open-container alcohol in all the city’s village centers and wanted operating hours extended well after midnight.
Not the family-oriented community we love, for sure.
Moore ended her tragically misrouted email agreeing with the apartment complexes and mixed-use complexes cited in Wagner’s letter, saying, “I liked it” and “I think the educated voter would just chime in to say well done.”
She asked Wagner to “Keep me posted” on whether they got the propaganda piece slipped onto The Citizen website or not. (See the real thoughts behind the Moore and Painter campaign here: https://thecitizen.com/2023/10/19/candidate-moore-calls-peachtree-city-council-narrow-minded-and-judgmental-says-she-and-candidate-painter-will-save-city-from-big-trouble/).
So, what exactly are you doing?
In the name of all things good, I truly hope you are not planning on voting for either of these two candidates.
If we wanted to live in Sandy Springs, Buckhead, or Decatur, we would have moved there. Don’t allow a handful of people who hide their true agendas, controlled by a political action committee, to ruin our great quality of life city.
If truth and accuracy are important to you, believe what Tamara Moore is saying in private when she thinks no one is looking.
Apologies to Johnson, Imker, and Brown
The developers’ Plan for PTC candidates (Moore and Painter) pose such a dangerous threat that exposing them has taken most of the attention from the other candidates. I apologize for the lack of coverage on their campaigns.
Candidates Laura Johnson, Eric Imker, and Suzanne Brown (no relation) starkly contrast Moore and Painter’s urbanization agenda. Johnson, Imker, and Brown were not afraid to answer The Citizen’s questions because they had nothing to hide. Unlike Moore and Painter, none of the other three favor the radical land planning changes of the urbanization model sponsored by Plan for PTC.
As a former city councilman, Eric Imker is the only candidate in the city election who has an actual voting record on city affairs. Imker’s focus has traditionally been on city budgets.
Here is the link for Imker’s responses to the candidate questions: https://thecitizen.com/2023/10/13/eric-imker-answers-candidate-questions-from-the-citizen/
Laura Plauche Johnson is a political newbie who strongly desires to keep Peachtree City in its award-winning village format. Johnson would have to learn as she goes, but her intentions seem to be pure.
Here is the link for Johnson’s responses to the candidate questions:
Suzanne Brown is the most effective and compelling citizen advocate our city has seen in the last decade. For years, she has been actively attending all city meetings, actively involved, and speaking out on issues that could have a negative impact on our community.
Here is the link for Brown’s responses to the candidate questions:
Candidates Laura Johnson, Eric Imker, and Suzanne Brown have run honest campaigns and have not avoided any questions on any issue. They deserve your consideration.
More hostility from the mayor
Councilman Clint Holland wrote a letter of endorsement for candidate Suzanne Brown. It was a polite letter and offered some distinct points where Brown has set herself apart (see: https://thecitizen.com/2023/10/17/letter-councilman-holland-endorses-suzanne-brown-for-peachtree-city-council-post-2/).
Mayor Kim Learnard does not support Suzanne Brown and berated Holland for offering his support. Learnard even accused Holland of lying. I know for a fact that the few things listed in Holland’s letter are factual and can be backed up (over 6,200 readers know the truth: https://thecitizen.com/2020/11/01/lci-meeting-insult-to-peachtree-city-residents/).
Anyone who has dealt with Mayor Learnard will not be surprised at the irony of her scolding council members for offering letters of endorsement. That’s all letters of endorsement except the ones for Learnard’s candidacy; she loves those (see: https://thecitizen.com/2021/11/18/councilman-mike-king-lets-set-the-record-straight/).
Yes, in her letter to the editor (of the evil newspaper that publishes all her letters), mayoral candidate Learnard said, “I am endorsed by three current City Council members and a long list of community leaders across the political spectrum.” How ironic with Learnard citing council member endorsements in her own letter to the editor while chiding Holland for his.
Learnard endorsing a candidate appears to be a valid exception to her self-made rules as well (see: https://thecitizen.com/2011/11/02/ptcs-2-councilwomen-learnard-and-fleisch-come-out-imker/).
As a former councilwoman and now as mayor, Learnard has had no problem drafting critical letters against the County Board of Commissioners and her colleagues on the city council. It’s just that no one is ever allowed to disagree with Learnard lest they be verbally beaten into submission.
Learnard’s campaign letter to the editor reported, “To me, debating issues is more important than attacking people. I believe that a mayor is someone who leads by example, works well with others, champions community events, shares a positive spirit, and exudes maturity. I believe the middle still matters, and that civility has an important place in our local government.” Did she ever miss the mark on that campaign pledge (Letter from Kim Learnard: Mayoral election not about partisan division, November 28, 2021)?
Don’t allow the negative Kims of this world to steal our openness and community harmony. When we lose harmony, we lose our sense of place and quality of life.
[Brown is a former mayor of Peachtree City and served two terms on the Fayette County Board of Commissioners. You can read all his columns by clicking on his photo below.]