First, thank you to former Councilman Imker and candidates Johnson and Brown for showing their respect for the Peachtree City community by taking the time to answer the questions posed. I am sad that candidates Moore and Painter chose not to participate. I have enjoyed the discourse in The Citizen regarding the coming Peachtree City Council race.
Our Mayor, Kim Learnard, and other supporters have tried to represent the missing two candidates seemingly assuring us we have to vote for them to find out what they think.
The focus of Peachtree City isn’t about Learnard, Moore, Painter, Stearns, Beverly, Brown, or even me, it should be about us as a collective. The city’s own comprehensive strategic plan recognizes that we are a community with strong diverse opinions about our community, how we think our city should (or even if) evolve, and what our priorities should be.
It’s common for each side to think they are the sole arbiters of truth, but consensus and even progress is made when the sides meet on common ground. When we formed a Citizens group for the ESPLOST, our team was diverse and represented many different views. We found common ground and respected differences. As the chairman, I represented our committee on the forums, in my own name, which was sometimes more fun than others.
The mayor’s disdain for this paper and its readers is sad. In her message to Councilman Holland, she states, “In any given week, one or two vile, disgusting liars use The Citizen as a platform to make false and outrageous accusations about me (Learnard) that would make any family or business considering moving to Peachtree City turn elsewhere.”
While I recognize that the mayor has her own point of view, I would encourage her to engage and correct the record and communicate with the public on these pages. She would find that there are many thoughtful individuals on these pages who also care about our city even if they disagree with her views. Many have proven that we can disagree, agreeably.
Similarly, the Mayor’s treatment of Councilman Holland who was elected in the same process as herself and is one of five people who should represent all of Peachtree City. Her continuing aggressive discourse began when Councilman Holland sent a letter to this publication supporting Candidate Suzanne Brown against the Mayor’s preferred candidate Vic Painter.
Councilman Holland was scolded for sending a letter at all, and reminded that any communication should be communicated through official city channels The Mayor admonishes, ”and if it isn’t legitimate enough for them to share through city channels, it doesn’t belong in print…”. While sometimes less is more, why would we want unelected city employees deciding what we hear from our elected leaders?
Peachtree City is at a crossroads, and we need to develop a plan. To achieve this will take leadership and the ability to listen to people who don’t necessarily agree with your point of view.
Unfortunately, the Mayor/Stearns/Moore have shown an aggressive distain for the readers of this paper and their point of view, as well as its editor who has been a fixture in our community for nearly 30 years. The Citizen is hardly a fly by night podcast Facebook Page, or a TikTok influencer and has been part of the Peachtree City community for a very long time.
Even when we disagree, I appreciate everyone who interacts on this platform.
Peaachtree City, Ga.