A call for collaboration on discussions about our community’s future


Now that our recent Peachtree City Council election has passed, we can truly focus on the Christmas season where the message is as always, Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All. I wonder if we can carry that message past just this month and into the new year as we continue the discussions around how best to guide our community forward.

Former Mayor/Commissioner Brown rightly urges our new incoming council to “open it up and let the public in.” I would like to offer a clarification and hope he means all the public, even those who did not vote for the current council.

In a recent letter to the editor, I pointed out that on page 21 of our PTC 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.”

While there are many ideas, wishes, desires for our city’s future, there is no easy consensus, which leads to opportunity if we allow it to. Now some will say that I’m calling for the “C” word … compromise, but rather I will argue for collaboration.

I am living proof that not every idea is a good one. I always hope that one of my thoughts on these pages, or facts I present, may lead to someone else’s thought when added together with mine may present an opportunity for our community.

Unfortunately, in the current environment, any disagreement is perceived as an attack that must be responded to rather than the opportunity to exchange ideas with a neighbor who may have the same best intentions that we believe of ourselves. Worse to Former Mayor Brown’s point, some are so disdainful of other’s opinions that they seek to operate in the shadows avoiding scrutiny to “win” pyrrhic victories.

We are all too mindful of the “manifesto” of one of our runoff candidates. That candidate posted a second (and longer) campaign document late in the campaign. I wish they had sent the response to the editor because some of the thoughts presented were interesting and I would love to hear more. Hopefully, that person will choose to stay involved and contribute to our community’s conversation.

End of the day, we have an opportunity in Peachtree City / Fayette County to choose to remain to be a great community and believe in the good intentions of our neighbors, and listen before we disagree, and be thoughtful even when we do disagree.

Merry Christmas to all and I hope that we are all part of the conversation next year.

Neil Sullivan

Peachtree City, Ga.