Just over fifteen years ago, I submitted my first letter to the editor of this publication. The letter was the first of many advocating for the implementation of the ESPLOST penny sales tax to benefit our excellent and quality Fayette County Schools.
Other initiatives had failed, and I had been warned that this opinion wasn’t going to be popular. Given that the motto of The Citizen was “have your say,” I decided to submit my letter.
Within an hour, I received a reply from the editor asking, “what axe I had to grind,” in other words, what was my point of view. He published that letter word for word, with some help for grammar and spelling. When he published the letter, there were two opinion writers, former Commissioner Brown, and local economist Claude Paquin presenting the side against the ESPLOST.
While the debate can be lively at times and sometimes you need to ignore ignorance, I found a great exchange among neighbors and not the Hellscape described by Candidate Moore and Ms. Tricia Stearns.
Point of view is so important as we proceed in this election. Two candidates, Moore and Painter, have chosen not to have their say, publicly. But I submit, they have said a lot by saying nothing.
Our Mayor has tried to clarify for her candidates by saying no candidate for PTC Council supported apartments even though an email from candidate Moore supporting such an analysis was in a nearby article.
The mayor has chosen to label any disagreement to her vision or dictation as “misinformation.” She has shared that the “comprehensive plan” of PTC would be used for future planning.
First, city planning is far from my usual financial wheelhouse, but I saw nothing in the 76-page document nor in the appendices that would deter a determined Mayor and allied Council from imposing their will. The points of view in these pages and elsewhere suggest there is a diverse set of opinions on what to do in redevelopment of Peachtree City.
In fact, on page 21 of the comprehensive plan, the plan states, “Collectively, these comments identify the desire from the community to address changes in how the city has developed or is developing. While some residents want more and different types of housing options, others expressed a conflicting opinion. In the same vein, while some residents wanted all growth to stop completely, others expressed a desire for walkable mixed-use centers with places for families to gather.”
That’s hardly a mandate for action nor is it a prohibition. That’s why it’s important to know where a candidate stands, or “what axe they have to grind.” Candidate Moore was the treasurer for a shadowy and exclusive group called “Plan for PTC.” What are they planning? Who had input?
While I believe that all candidates mean well in their way, and that everyone is entitled to their opinion, Sister Mary Frances taught us in school that “misinformation” by omission was the same as “misinformation” and should be frowned upon.
Unfortunately, candidates Moore and Painter have chosen the path of omission by choosing not to engage with the public in this traditional venue.
Peachtree City, Ga.