The Peachtree City Moms 2021 Election Guide | Peachtree City Moms

‏I’m so proud and honored to present The Peachtree City Moms 2021 Election Guide including a stellar list of Candidates, each very passionate about our great City. After many requests from our readers, this guide was created to help us all get to know each of the Candidates running for Mayor and City Council this year. In order to interview each Candidate in a fair and unbiased setting, I polled our audience to determine which questions were most important to our Moms. The TOP 6 questions, from the poll, were sent to each Candidate. Here are their responses! I am very thankful for the participation of ALL the candidates and to be able present this very comprehensive Election Guide. I hope you find it to be a great resource before heading to the polls on November 2nd, 2021.
Thank you to our Sponsors, Honda of Newnan and Peachtree City Golf Cars!

Mayoral Candidates:

Kim Learnard


Where are you from and tell us a little bit about yourself?

My husband and I relocated our family to Peachtree City in 1999 because we were tired of traffic congestion and overcrowded schools in our North Fulton neighborhood. We are a family that enjoys sports, natural areas and greenspaces, and Peachtree City offered a host of exciting outdoor recreation options. We raised our children through Huddleston Elementary, Booth MS, and McIntosh HS, and have enjoyed just about every recreation program in the city, from t-ball to cheerleading, softball to lacrosse. I am a distance runner who appreciates safe, clean, well- maintained paths; my husband is a member of the Peachtree City Tennis Center. 22 years in, we still love our Peachtree City amenities including parks, a quality library, concerts at The Fred, Line Creek Nature Center, locally owned restaurants, and a golf cart ride to any of them.
I served on City Council from 2010-2017. As an eight-year Council member, I worked to restore Lake Peachtree; establish a balanced, sustainable municipal budget; and launch a countywide collaboration focused on establishing a College and Career Academy partnership among business, government and educational leaders, to channel trained and ready graduates into local jobs. I am running for Mayor because I am committed to preserving our Peachtree City quality of life. I want my grandchildren to love Peachtree City as much as I do. My bio, qualifications, and platform are detailed at www.kimlearnardformayor.com.

Tell us about your career and why you feel you are most qualified for Mayor?
My background is very technical – I have an Electrical Engineering degree. I worked in Manufacturing for 25 years, first with General Motors installing robotic systems, then as a small- business owner, operating a technical documentation company of my own while my children were small. I ultimately returned to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Adult Education in 2007, then served as VP of Institutional Advancement at West Georgia Technical College until I semi-retired in 2018. I am now the Director of Friends of LINC, the non-profit that supports the new LINC multi-use path system in Newnan.
My collaboration skills are sharp, and I enjoy surrounding myself with people who are smarter
than I am so I can tap into their technical expertise. I strive to bring the right people to the table, to share goals and strategize a plan to meet the challenges at hand. I have decades-long, positive relationships with business, government, education, and non-profit leaders throughout both Fayette and Coweta counties. I am the best qualified candidate, and the only mom running for Mayor.

What are your thoughts on the 54/74 traffic issue and how can it be resolved?
It’s important to understand that while Peachtree City is mostly built-out, Coweta County to our immediate west is growing by leaps and bounds. The increase in traffic in Peachtree City’s west corridor over the recent years is due in large part to Coweta drivers who (in the mornings) actually wish to reach all points north and east of Peachtree City. I have already met with Coweta County District 4 Commissioner John Reidelbach, and we agree on the nature and the severity of the problem. We also agree that we can and we must work together to solve it. We envision construction of a northside bypass (Fisher/Minix/Dogwood Trail) that will help usher Coweta drivers to their intended destinations, without congesting the heart of our city. Subsequent to my meetings with the Coweta Commissioner, I researched the most recent Fayette County Comprehensive Transportation Plan (document dated November of 2019) and discovered that a northside bypass is exactly what was recommended. I have now met with the Mayor of Tyrone, the Fayette County Commissioner for District 3 Edge Gibbons, and our County Administrator Steve Rapson, and laid the groundwork for this solution. Unfortunately, none of the current City leadership has taken this on and we have lost years of opportunity. I will start the collaboration to relieve our traffic congestion problems on Day 1.

What are your opinions on multi-level housing vs. reinstating the moratorium?
Apartments: I became very concerned following the current City Council’s pursuit of an ARC Livable Centers Initiative study in the fall of 2020, resulting in a list of Peachtree City locations that “could” accommodate apartments. So I did a study of my own: The total number of apartment units in Peachtree City is 1,761, or 14% of the total number of households. The national average is 15%. My conclusion is that Peachtree City already has a reasonable number of apartments and we do not need to build more.
Moratorium: Peachtree City historically maintained a moratorium on those seeking a rezoning for the purpose of building multi-family housing. Over the years, City Councils would reinstate the moratorium each year as a perfunctory measure (I voted to reinstate the moratorium each of the eight years I served on Council), and when a Council actually wanted to consider multi- family, as in the case of Somerby or Hearthside, they would vote to lift the moratorium so they could proceed. Ultimately, the reason for having the moratorium at all got lost, as City Council has the authority to reject a rezoning request anyway. Add to that the fact that imposing a restriction disallowing people from seeking a rezoning of their own property could court a lawsuit, as each of us is entitled to seek best use of our own property and, accordingly, is afforded and entitled to a process, even if that process ultimately results in a Council “No” vote.
As Mayor, I will not build additional apartments; Peachtree City does not have a housing problem that isn’t reflective of current housing issues on a national scale.

What kind of change do you see for PTC? And what would you keep the same?
In addition to traffic flow solutions, my imperative for Peachtree City is threefold: 1) Redevelop the Huddleston Road corridor 2) Protect our greenspaces, and 3) Restore our outdoor recreation facilities. Peachtree City is ready for a forward-thinking, exciting redesign of Huddleston Road. We need a walkable, golf cart accessible, placemaking corridor focused on brew pubs, restaurants, boutique retail and outdoor gathering. With this project, Peachtree City has the opportunity to create night life, support small businesses, and attract a younger crowd, essential factors in the viability of our community.
I also plan to redevelop the former Kmart location in Braelinn Village, to a Krog Street Market type of upscale dining mall. I have a relationship with the Owner/Developer from my years on City Council and we have discussed this project at length. A Krog Street Market type of location will increase commerce and nightlife at Braelinn Village; it will also serve the growing work-from- home population who need a location to grab a coffee and conduct a small meeting in a public space.
We have seen an increase in clearing, cutting, dumping, and other forms of damage to greenspace citywide, all prohibited by ordinance. Greenspace is the hallmark of our city and it belongs to all of us. When I am Mayor, I will fiercely protect it. Part of the reason I am running for Mayor is because in 2020, City Council voted to sell the last pristine, beautiful little tract of greenspace on my street. That cannot be allowed.
In the last three years, Peachtree City recreation facilities have been sorely neglected. For starters, I will restore Riley Fields, eliminate fees at the splash pad, and remove credit card scanners now installed at tennis courts and ball fields citywide. I will return our recreational facilities to world class.

How will you support the Police Department?
Peachtree City is fortunate to have a Chief of Police, Chief Janet Moon, who listens and responds to feedback from the community. Peachtree City crime rates are 45% lower than the national average, and our violent crime rates are 87% lower than the national average. I support fully funding our police force. We have a current challenge in hiring that affects not only PD but also our Library, Recreation, and other departments; this is part of an unfortunate national employment trend.
As Mayor I will work with PD to improve public safety on the paths. We need an increased focus on enforcement to reduce speeding, passing, underage driving, and alcohol use on our paths, all with full support of Mayor and Council and with full knowledge of our renewed effort by the public.
www.kimlearnardformayor.com

Terry Ernst


Where are you from and tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Terry Ernst. I was born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. I am married to my wife Joan for 45 years now and we have lived in Peachtree City for 31 years. We have raised our son here and we have 3 wonderful Grandchildren who live here as well.

Tell us about your career and why you feel you are most qualified for Mayor? I did a 20 year career in the U S  Army and retired as a First Sergeant in 1993. I then went to work for the Peachtree City Police Department and did a second 20 year career retiring as a Captain in 2012. In 2013 I was elected to the City Council and I will be completing my second 4 year term at the end of this year.
I believe I am best qualified to become the next Mayor because I do love this community and want what is best for our citizens. We currently have a City Council that works well together and understands what our citizens want and how we can move forward to get there. My ideas are to listen to our citizens and work with our city staff to make the best decisions for our city.
What are your thoughts on the 54/74 traffic issue and how can it be resolved? The traffic issue at 74 and 54 is a situation that cannot be completely fixed. But it can be improved. GDOT has committed 10 million dollars to the improvement of that intersection  but unfortunately the timing is still a year away. But we have asked for some quick improvements that will help. For example, if you are traveling south on 74 and are turning right towards Coweta County at the light they install a “no right turn on red” sign. That will keep people from allowing cars to slip in and get others caught blocking the box. Also we need to make the Commerce Dr and 54 a right in, right out only. If we do that and extend the left turn lane to allow more cars to move over into the turn Lane going south on 74, it will keep both lanes open moving forward going west towards Newnan. There are other small improvements that can be made but it will take time. There is no right overnight answer. We need to work with our Coweta neighbors to make improvements on both sides.
What are your thoughts on multi-level housing vs. reinstating the moratorium? Reinstating the moratorium is not a good idea. Talk to any attorney that works in that field and I believe they would tell you we would lose any lawsuit.  As for multilevel housing, if you are talking about apartments my answer is no. I have never voted to approve apartments in our city and I never will.
What kind of change do you see for PTC? And what would you like to keep the same? Changes I would like to see is improving and upgrading our infrastructure. Look around the city and you can’t help but see homes remodeling and businesses upgrading and adding on. I would love to see our empty business spaces filled up and thriving. I am in favor of the village concept.
I want to see sewer installed on Huddleston Dr.
I do not feel we need to annex our borders any further than where we are now.
How will you support the Police Department? Public safety is my top priority. I support our police department 100%. We are currently short 8 police officers and we need to correct this situation. Our citizens need to understand that is going to cost money but it is going to be necessary.

Eric Imker


Where are you from and tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I went to San Jose State University, CA on an Air Force ROTC academic scholarship.  I have advanced degrees in Computer Systems and Program Management. On active duty I started doing Star Wars basic research and experiments for President Reagan at the Air Force Geophysics Laboratory in Massachusetts.  I concluded my military career at the Pentagon managing Space Shuttle Mission #39, STS Discovery, a Star Wars project and becoming the program manager of a $1B Star Wars satellite program.  I earned several awards including an Air Force Commendation Medal, two Air Force Meritorious Service Medals and a Defense Meritorious Service Medal. My next career was in the automotive industry at General Motors in Michigan for nine years.  While there I was a candidate for Dean of Engineering at Baker College.  Panasonic here in Peachtree City recognized my potential and hired me in 2003 to head up their General Motors product line for radios and rear seat entertainment. In 2008 I became a Recreation Commissioner here in Peachtree City and then became a City Councilmember, Post #1 in 2010. I voluntarily left the councilmember post having accomplished what I set out to do, i.e., help our city get out of the financial hole it was in from the depression that hit the country a year earlier.  

Tell us about your career and why you feel you are most qualified for Mayor?  Understanding the citizens’ needs is a vital component of being mayor.  I consider myself a great listener and have always had a desire to want to help.  My background includes pretty much all facets of experience including obtaining an education that allowed me to do those things I wanted to do.  Being experienced in project management, financials and budgeting, risk assessment, computer systems, contracting and most importantly personnel management is clearly an advantage for me. Whether it be policing, fire department operations, public works projects like road and cart path maintenance, protecting our village concept and of course needed traffic flow improvements, I have been there as a former city council member and know what it takes to work together to get things done. Watch this short video introducing Eric Imker to the citizens.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z30v1cBhtZM

What are your thoughts on the 54/74 traffic issue and how can it be resolved? First and foremost, the best we can do now is improve the situation. It cant be solved without a bypass solution. That is clearly long term from now.  A bypass solution needs to become serious now as it has been ignored for the last couple decades. I’ll reply with my position; as it was 8 years ago when I was on council and as stated on my website today. 8 years ago, the rest of council was unwilling to improve traffic flow. When they, (two of the other candidates for mayor right now) voted to add yet another traffic light on 54 west. I was the only one who voted NO knowing another traffic light would only make matters worse. First, you have to understand the problem. It’s not the N-S 74 traffic. Yes, it backs up but it’s mostly because of the 54 problem. So the $9M (now estimates are approaching $12M when/if done) of doing the “crossover lane change” snafu on 74 will be a total 100% waste. It will not solve the problems of the backups on 54 where the real problem is. I pity the city having to go through 2 years of construction at the busiest intersection of the city when the real problem is the E-W flow on 54. When one of those FIVE traffic lights west of 54/74 turns red, everything STOPS. You wind up with the mile long backups, and 15 light cycle waits, down to Lake Peachtree. I see it. You see it. How come the city council doesn’t see it?

We start (keeping it simple) by getting GDOT to turn off left turns at the Avenue/Market Place traffic light during rush hours or whenever the modeling says it’s causing long backups on 54 east of the 74/54 intersection. The Avenue and the road from Smokey Bones is private and should not drive traffic light cycle times to the detriment of those that use GA54 and GA74; especially during rush hour. That reminds me, about modeling. I asked GDOT to show me the modeling for their “crossover lane change” concept and they had NONE! How do you spend millions and millions of dollars and not have modeled it? It’s not that hard. They didn’t do a model because they know it won’t improve a darn thing. It will make work for engineers and road crews so they are all for it of course. Back to restricting left turns. Clearly, the light at the Avenue, when it turns red, causes nothing but turmoil during rush hour. If you disagree, stop reading now and write off Imker as a candidate. Consider all the traffic that wants to go west on 54 at the 74/54 intersection during rush hour. Traffic south bound on 74 will turn right onto 54 whenever there’s the slightest room to squeeze another car in. During rush hour that encourages “blocking the box.” We can and will put up a “No Turn on Red” there. Then, there’s the traffic on 54 from the east wanting to go straight through west bound. They can’t move because either the box is blocked or there’s no room on the other side of the light because everything is backed up because a light ahead has turned Red. Keep those lights Green and guess what? Traffic moves. Then, you have northbound traffic on 74 turning west onto 54. Now, moving on down 54 westbound. The light at Huddleston, being a city street, all we can do is reduce the green time for left turners from Huddleston and Best Buy onto 54. We will keep 54 traffic moving by keeping straight through traffic green as long as possible.Then, the light at Walmart and Planter…same thing as Huddleston. And the light at the Overlook…just like the Avenue, it’s only used for private commercial business. Keep it 100% green during rush hour for traffic on 54. Addressing MacDuff’s light should be done after the rest is implemented to see if any change in light timing is needed.

Now, the extra solution that is needed is a turnabout between the Coweta County Line and Wynnmeade.  Just like every other direction from the 54/74 intersection, you have turnabouts to go the other direction. Consider south 74. Coming out of Arby’s or the Post Office. Guess what? You turn RIGHT, go down a bit and use the turnabout. Consider north 74. Same thing. Consider east 54, same thing. They all have turnabouts. There needs to be a turnabout between the Coweta County line and Wynnmeade Rd. This gives those few caught without a way to turn left a way to turn around and go the way they wanted. Just like the other three directions from 54/74. We also need to extend the left turn lane east on 54 turning left (south) onto 74. There is another entrance equal distance on 74 as there is on 54 to go into the Commerce Drive area. Make people use it. That’s why it’s there. Have you ever noticed the cluster when someone is coming out of Commerce Drive wanting to turn left on 54? Total insanity. That insane choice is removed, forcing more sane driving by going around. The tradeoff for keeping traffic moving on 54 far outweighs the need of the few that want to turn left out of Commerce Drive. These steps will not be that hard for GDOT to implement. We need a unified council going to the county commissioners and then with a unified statement from the city and county going to GDOT so we can implement improvements in traffic flow. The final statement for now, everything is 100% reversible if it all goes to heck. It won’t fail because you and I know keeping traffic moving and stopping the left turns is the key.

What are your opinions on multi-level housing vs. reinstating the moratorium?  Not only NO, but heck NO to more multi-level housingYes, to reinstating the moratorium. Bluntly, if you want to live on top of others, Atlanta is just up the road a little wayWhat were talking about with this question is Protecting Our Village Concept. Here are some of my positions. – No to rezoning Industrial to more Residential. – No to changing Drake Field, City Hall and the Tennis Center to low rent dense pack apartments and commercial. (I.e. That ridiculous LCI initiative last year council put in front of the citizens.) – Yes to more greenspace – Yes to village center enhancements Yes to promoting more indoor and outdoor recreation – Yes to controlled growth and reduced congestion – Yes to rewarding our Police and Fire Department workers with raises making them the best paid – Yes to ensuring our roads and cart paths are maintained properly. – Yes to ensuring larger lots the further you are away from village centers. – Yes to ensuring all areas of the city are assessable by golf carts. – Yes to enforcing cart path rules. 

What kind of change do you see for PTC? And what would you keep the same? My response is similar to the answer to question aboveAdditionally, I will be 100% transparent with our citizen’s tax money. We can easily implement a 0.5 property tax mill rate reduction with the funds in reserves and the future expected income which is always lowballed by at least $2M each year. The new tax rate can easily be implemented for 10 years and our reserves will still be well over 35%.New industry has stopped coming to Peachtree City because they see how easily our previous city council has raised the property tax rate each of the last 3 years.  Its still over 6 mills.  When you have our sister AAA credit rated cities like Alpharetta and Roswell with 4.7 and 4.9 mills. I dont blame industry for avoiding Peachtree City. Isnt it interesting during this election year, our ever observant city council decided not to raise taxes like they did the last three years. They must think our citizens are unawareOur tax rate should be about 5.5 mills accounting for our maintenance requirements for 100 of golf cart paths the other cities do not have.

How will you support the Police Department?  My vote is yes to rewarding our Police and Fire Department workers with raises making them the best paid…Yes to considering adding headcount to Police for cart path patrolling…Yes to considering adding headcount to Police to Criminal Investigative Division (CID)…Yes to listening to the police and fire department personnel who walk/ride the beat to hear and understand their needs. And then actually address them…Yes to supporting our police department at the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) recertification. I did. I noticed no other candidates bothered. Chief Moon personally thanked me…And finally, yes to ensuring our headcount at Fire/EMS department properly has minimum 2 people per equipment item (fire engines and ambulances). www.ericimker4ptc.com

 

Don Haddix

Where are you from and tell us a little bit about yourself? Born in Laporte, Indiana and grew up on a farm near Knox, Indiana. We have lived in Peachtree City for 34 years, been married 49 years and raised a son here.

Tell us about your career and why you feel you are most qualified for Mayor? I have had more and varied experience in areas relating to government than any of my opponents. Worked in Naval Intelligence with a top-secret, crypto and codeword clearance covering Vietnam, China and Russia. So I saw parts of our government very few have ever seen and thus am a very conservative independent. I’ve been a supervisor in a steel mill and a business owner. Been landscape chairman, board member and president in two HOA’s. Been a Boy Scout leader and the founder of a 4H program. Worked with engineers to help design portions of the initial stormwater program. Further, been a Councilman, Mayor, Board of Health member and state arbitrator. My ordinances helped stop businesses from building up against streets and highways and defeat Great Wolf. Ordinances that require berms, trees, landscaping and setbacks to separate homes from nonresidential use. Worked with our development authority until three councilmembers dissolved it thus stopping economic development in our fair city. My plan ended the push for the TDK extension.

What are your thoughts on the 54/74 traffic issue and how can it be resolved? That is a long-standing issue for which my opponents have no solution. Redesigning the 74/54 intersection does nothing about the traffic issues on the 74 and 54 corridors. Building a bypass is not going to happen and who would pay for it?. It requires the agreement of Tyrone and Coweta, who have already clearly said no. And after eight years saying they’re going to do more studies is fruitless. My answer will work if we can get GDOT on board. Convert the 54 median strip to 5TH lane and change the signals to a reversible lane set up. Use three or four lanes to go east in the morning and three or four lanes to go West in the afternoon rush-hour. Make the right only turn lane into a left and right turn by adding a turn signal. This doubles the traffic lanes for rush-hour without interfering with side-street access and egress. For Atlanta bound traffic from Coweta add ramps from Fischer Road to 85 near the fire station. GDOT already owns the property and no connecting Road is required.

What are your opinions on multi-level housing vs. reinstating the moratorium? I am in favor. Condominiums are not affected since they are a different housing classification. We have enough apartments already. Apartments, cluster homes and single-family homes are a different kind of living, they do not mix well.

What kind of change do you see for PTC? And what would you keep the same? Technology will bring about change, but the village concept can absorb those changes. The proposed changes to Huddleston are unneeded and unwanted. They are not village concept and they will do nothing but add traffic woes to 54. We need jobs, not more residential and retail.

How will you support the Police Department? As always, supporting new equipment and personnel when needed and representing them when certifications and other opportunities are presented. As well supporting retention efforts and needs. www.donhaddix.com

Nick Ferrante

Where are you from and tell us a little bit about yourself?
As far as I know, I am Peachtree City’s first home grown mayoral candidate. I was brought home from the hospital to a blue house on Van Ness off Battery Way in 1984. I spent the rest of my childhood living in or right outside of Peachtree City until I finished high school. I love living in Peachtree City because it’s my home. Even when I lived in other places, this magical bubble always felt like home and no matter where my journey might eventually take me, this will always be my hometown.I’ve been married to my wife, Joni who moved to Peachtree City when she was in fourth grade, for 12 years. We have two beautiful daughters, Olivia who is almost 8 and Thea who is almost 5.We moved back to Peachtree City 7 years ago to give our girls the same magical childhood that we both experienced growing up in this place.
Tell us about your career and why you feel you are most qualified for Mayor?
I graduated from a small bible college with a degree in Biblical Studies and Organizational Leadership in 2008. At that point, I thought I was going to be a pastor and possibly even start a church but the financial crisis of 2009 reduced the average giving at the church I was working at resulting in making the tough choice to start a side business. Lawn care kind of fell into my lap since my brother had an existing small business that he left behind when he followed his high school sweetheart to Biloxi, MS. It felt serendipitous since I wanted to make as much money as possible in the shortest time possible, so that I could still serve in a pastoral capacity at my church. My business grew both locally and regionally. Eventually, one of my largest clients offered me an exclusive contract to take over a major territory in southwest Washington state. We moved there, expanding our operations from Georgia and Alabama to include Washington. As time passed, my business reached the point where I would need to invest in another full rig including truck, trailer, and equipment. My wife and I discussed that choice at length. I was honestly tired of the seasonal nature of the business, but it really came down to the fact that I never intended to grow such a large lawncare and landscaping business. It was just a means to an end but eventually it took over all my time. We decided that we wanted to come back to Georgia to be closer to family as we began planning our future to include children. I wound down our multistate operation, focusing all our efforts on Washington state. My top crew leader expressed interest in keeping the business open even if I didn’t live locally. We ended up working out a deal where he would become the owner of the business after 1 year of him managing all the physical operations while I continued handling the logistics and business side of things. During that time, he was able to learn all that he needed to know to continue the business while I bridged the gap to a career in the corporate world.

I’ve been in the insurance claims industry for many years now and have enjoyed growing my experience from the low man on a team of outside salespeople to becoming a leader who is trained and certified in management coaching and emotional intelligence. Today, I work for a company based in Burbank, California where I am a leader on our sales team, provide coaching to my peers and client-centric consulting to Fortune 50 companies across this nation. My boss is excited for me to add “Peachtree City Mayor” to my email signature. My journey hasn’t always been linear, but I can confidently say that the education, experience, skills, and qualifications that I’ve gained over my career has excellently prepared me to be the courageous leader this city needs for a time like this.
What are your thoughts on the 54/74 traffic issue and how can it be resolved?
I completely understand why the traffic at 54/74 is such a big issue to all the voters. I can vividly remember when the intersection only had one corner with any development. I’ve often sat in traffic there wondering how our planned, little magical city, built around the idea of decentralized village shopping, ended up with so much density located at one place. The best-case answer to the traffic problems there begin and end with Peachtree City having the best relationship with GDOT and our municipal neighbors possible. I believe that we need to be better at communally lobbying GDOT for more proactive solutions that match the needs of our community.
I also believe Peachtree City needs to also do everything within their power to mitigate traffic as it exists today including;
1. Removing the speed tables from McDuff Parkway so we have a more functional bypass to 54/74.
2. Adding directional signage pointing out best practices for movement around the intersection, ie. a sign explaining when heading south on Highway 74 that the best entrance to The Avenue is not taking a right onto Highway 54 followed by an immediate left into The Avenue, but rather straight through the intersection followed by the first right into the bottom of the Avenue. Is this singular sign going to fix the problem? No. But every car we can move through 54/74 in a more organized fashion makes a meaningful difference. There are several other places where this type of signage could help reduce the total number of cars moving through 54/74.
3. We need to better champion the golf cart lifestyle to the residents of Peachtree City. We have miles and miles of paths that allow for wonderful access to almost every part of our city. I personally try not to get into the 54/74 intersection especially during major traffic hours when my errand can take place on a golf cart instead of my car.

None of these options is going to fix our traffic woes but all of them in conjunction can work together to reduce the headache and stress that we all experience as a community.

What are your opinions on multi-level housing vs. reinstating the moratorium?  My parents divorced when I was two years old. My mom wanted to continue raising my brother and me in Peachtree City, so we moved to Gables Court off Steven’s Entry. We lived there for several years before she could afford to purchase a condominium in Cobblestone Creek in the Pinegate neighborhood. I grew up in Peachtree City’s multi-family housing and I’m unwilling to belittle the hard work my mother put in to give us a great, safe childhood just to make other people happy. The multi-family options that existed then weren’t filled with bad people or “transients”, and neither are they now. Almost all our apartments have months long waiting list and an average 1-bedroom apartment rents for close to $1500/month, which is likely more than many homeowners are paying for their mortgages. In addition, our condominium housing availability is also at an all-time low while also having some of the highest prices ever seen.

The most interesting part of this entire conversation centers around a different issue entirely; the city literally doesn’t have the open acreage to even build the kind of large footprint apartments that are consistently demonized by some of our past city leaders. We’re facing an even bigger issue as a city; we have an ever-growing portion of our most expensive homes no longer generating full school taxes because the owners are over the age of 65 and are taking the Senior Tax Abatement. I’ve met with thousands of residents since I announced my intention to run for mayor and our low housing availability consistently comes up, especially with our seniors. Those seniors have continually expressed how they no longer want the responsibility of a 4,000 square foot home with a full acre lot but they also don’t want to leave the city, they call home. It is in the best interest of the city to figure out a way to keep those passionate residents local while also backfilling those square foot, high price point homes with new families who will pay the full school board taxes. The only way to accomplish both is by allowing the construction of homes that meet not only the needs of those seniors.

This is just one example of why unilaterally shutting down the construction of multi-family housing doesn’t make sense for the overall strength and wellbeing of Peachtree City.


What kind of change do you see for PTC? And what would you keep the same? Peachtree City has some of the greatest foundations to build upon. It was one of the earliest and best planned cities in America. In fact, many modern planned cities look to our magical little bubble for inspiration on how to best build out an accessible community with plenty of amenities for those who live there. We’ve seen plenty of unmanaged growth over the last twenty years and the last thing we need to do is lean into that. As an example, we don’t need to redevelop Huddleston Road further increasing the total number cars in and round the 54/74 intersection.

What we do need to do is simple; go back to the plan and get back to the basics that made Peachtree City such an attractive home in the first place. We need to revitalize our village center concept by updating our municipal code to allow for Arts and Entertainment districts overlaid on the existing village footprints.

This simple and business friendly code change has been proven to work in cities all over the country that don’t even have the same kind of foundations to work with that Peachtree City has. This would allow for beautiful mood lighting and live music both before and after 10pm. It would also allow for adults to have walking alcoholic drinks while they are within the village centers. All these updates would strengthen the village concept and return them to their original identity of being community gathering places where people come, gather, play and stay.

How will you support the Police Department?
Chief Moon is one of the best hires this city has ever made. She has helped to refocus our police department in ways that add so much value and quality of life to our residents. She’s done such an incredible job that she has been recognized and elected by her peers to be the President of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, GACP. I trust Chief Moon and the team she has around her. I support and will continue to champion their incredible efforts to make sure our city is safe for as long as I am able to do so. http://www.nick4mayor2021.com/

 


City Council Post 3 

Kevin Madden


Where are you from and tell us a little bit about yourself? 
My wife Kim and our 3 boys moved to Peachtree City in 1997 from Ft. Lauderdale FL where I served as our Home Owners Assn president for 6 years, while working in the air cargo industry.  Kim has taught at Rising Starr Middle school for over 15 years and our sons were Huddleston “Hounds”, JC Booth “Warriors” and Macintosh “Chiefs”. We celebrated our 39th  wedding anniversary on July 3rd and I also serve as a lector and Eucharist minister at my HOLY TRINITY CHURCH.

 Tell us about your career and why you feel you are most qualified for City Council seat Post 3? I started my own business (GLOBAL AIRLIFT SERVICES INC) in 1998 and we’ve been located in PTC for over 10 years and I remain its president.  In my 40 plus years in the air cargo industry I have managed many multi-million dollars budgets and staff. I have been honored to serve as your council member for the past 4 years. If you like the way our beautiful city looks please give me another term to make it even better.

What are your thoughts on the 54/74 traffic issue and how can it be resolved? As your councilman and  the representative from Peachtree City on the FAYETTE COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE I’m very familiar with this issue. In the fall of 2022 GDOT (Ga. Dept of Transportation) will begin construction at this intersection of DLTs (displaced left turn lanes) with the $10 million in highway funds (Federal & State) obtained by our Mayor Fleisch. These will be located on the north & south sides of GA74 and will help alleviate some of this congestion. A comprehensive plan for a north & south BYPASS of this intersection for the 36,000 vehicles that pass through it every morning & evening is the only real solution… as GA-54 is the singular main east-west thoroughfare on the south side of Atlanta.

 What are your opinions on multi-level housing vs. reinstating the moratorium? The “moratorium” is unconstitutional and would not stand up in any court. It is the task of every PTC Council to be ever vigilant against ANY rezoning requests from developers that include apartments. I don’t believe the good people of Peachtree City want any more apartment buildings and neither do I…during my term NO new apartments were approved.

What kind of change do you see for PTC? And what would you keep the same? Our village concept is a good one and should remain our “guiding light”. We wanted a place where our whole community could gather so we created DRAKE FIELD and the Pavilion where all the villages could come together and listen to music, watch a film or just admire the vistas along our Lake Peachtree. Change is inevitable and now we’re seeing our children coming back to PTC to raise their children. It is imperative that we maintain the quality of our recreational facilities, adapt with new venues (splash, skate parks & pickleball courts) and continue to keep our city looking great!

How will you support the Police Department? All our first responders deserve the most modern equipment to keep us (and them)  safe and to secure our property. We have replaced over 60 police vehicles and numerous fire/EMT trucks during my tenure and we have included pay raises for our personnel to retain the best trained and qualified workers. Our citizens demand we provide high quality services from all our departments. I promise to continue to work to keep our most desirable city the special place we’re proud to call home. Visit www.madden4ptc.com.

Gretchen Caola

Where are you from and tell us a little bit about yourself? I was born and raised in Canada. I graduated from Wilfred Laurier University (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) and briefly worked in Human Resources and sales before becoming a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines. Joe and I have been married for 27 years and have two children . Our girls went to Peeples , Rising Starr & Starr’s Mill. They are now just finishing up college and starting their careers . We have lived in Fayette County since June 2001, moving to PTC April 2019.

Tell us about your career and why you feel you are most qualified for City Council Post 3? My career was short lived as we knew it would be better for our family if I stayed home and raised the girls. Joe was flying and although it could have been done, having both of us flying would mean that we wouldn’t have a great deal of family time and the girls would need overnight care. I have stayed home since 1996. I was actively involved with the PTO at Peeples including room mom, VP President , & advisor. I have been a member of the Quilters Guild of the Southern Crescent for 20 years. I have served as the President, VP, membership chair, charity quilt, auction quilt maker, and Quilt of Valor. Although I haven’t worked for money outside of the home I have been a volunteer in some capacity every year. It is my desire to serve on city council as a continuation of my volunteer duties . I am hoping that I will make PTC a community where everyone feels included and invested in the well being of our town. We have to do a better job sharing information and encouraging citizen input.
What are your thoughts on the 54/74 traffic issue and how can it be resolved? 54/74 is a mess. Those are both state roads as such  it’s really up to GDOT to “fix” them. I have attended the county transportation meetings and it is my understanding that a left turn lane will be bid on and installed sometime in 2022. That won’t be a perfect solution. Personally, I try to time my trips through that intersection at off peak times or take my golf cart if possible. I would be very interested in locating a new road that takes people north and avoids that intersection all together. TDK would only improve the time 2-3 minutes and for the cost it doesn’t seem beneficial. The result would be more traffic on Crosstown which is currently a single lane in each direction. On the surface that doesn’t appear to be the solution.
What are your opinions on multi-level housing vs. reinstating the moratorium? My understanding is that a moratorium is something the council votes in and out as they see fit. I am not in favor of additional dense housing. PTC has about 14% of its housing as apartments.  I am in favor of encouraging revitalization of our original homes. My husband and I renovated a home in the center of town and love it here!
What kind of change do you see for PTC? And what would you keep the same? Initially I was inspired to run for city council for two main reasons , the LCI from 2020 and golf cart safety. The LCI wasn’t widely known about and very few citizens had input. That is something that needs to change. PTC can do a better job sharing information and being transparent. I would hope to have monthly open mic nights . An opportunity for residents to share their concerns and ask questions.
Golf cart safety is my other priority. We need better signage, path center line markings, rocks or something similar on the drop off areas, speed limits, and enforcement of dangerous driving… body surfing on the top of the cart, skateboarding while holding on and standing up. Pedestrians, bikers, runners and strollers all have to share the space. Basic curtesy in many cases needs to be improved.
How will you support the Police Department? I am in full support of the police department. We are currently 8 officers short. My understanding is that they are leaving for higher paying or more interesting opportunities. We certainly can do something about the pay rates. They need to be higher than the surrounding areas. PTC has 22 city openings. A closer look at compensation for all city employees needs to be done. This is a great place to live and work , we have to make sure the city employees feel the same way. Anonymous surveys
(given to city council and the mayor… not HR or the city manager ) from all departments would give some insight as to what we can do better in the way of retention and hiring. www.caolaforptccouncil.com

City Council Post 4

Dr. Phil Crane

Where are you from and tell us a little bit about yourself? I am actually from Peachtree City originally.  I was born in the Pinegate neighborhood in 1990.  My family moved to South Carolina then to New Jersey.  We returned to Peachtree City in August of 2004, 10 days before my freshman year of high school at Mcintosh.  I’ve considered Peachtree City my home ever since. VoteForCrane.com

Tell us about your career and why you feel you are most qualified for City Council Post 4? My wife Gillian and I are Chiropractors at our office in West Park Walk. As Chiropractors, we work with and serve the community every day.   The majority of my patients live in Peachtree City.  During my workdays, most conversations turn to various issues in and around town giving me additional insight into what is important to them. It was late last year that I discussed running for council with Gillian and we decided that I would run.  Since then, I have spent my time learning not just the current issues but researching backstories to gain a broader understanding.  I see areas where there is a generational sameness of thinking.  That has worked well in the past, but as the world and technology advance, it is time to begin a generational change.  I think change works best when the agent of change possesses a balance between enthusiasm and respect.  I’m most qualified for Post 4 because I represent what PTC seeks:  a young local business owner who is dedicated to preserving Peachtree City for his future and family.

What are your thoughts on the 54/74 traffic issue and how can it be resolved? I’m not positive there is a true resolution for 54/74.  In a recent GDOT study, 60% of the traffic is transient.  This same study showed how little the TDK extension would help.  TDK would reduce the traffic at 54/74 by 11% during peak hours WITHOUT the development of the ~3000 acres in east Coweta County.  It would also destroy crosstown and Oak Grove Elementary with the traffic. Feasible solutions, in addition to the current DLT project, to be considered are a northern reliever route and a grade separation. A northern reliever route would go through Senoia Road or McDuff into Fischer/Minix road.  I haven’t found a GDOT study on either of those routes yet, but I am still looking.  A grade separation making 54/74 have no traffic lights has been studied and I’m waiting for that study to be sent to me.  The price tag for the grade separation is significantly higher than the current DLT project. Other smaller changes would be restricting the entrances into the commercial areas just west of 54/74 to be Right-in Right-Out only.  Again, if this has been studied by GDOT, I haven’t been able to get my hands on the study yet.

What are your opinions on multi-level housing vs. reinstating the moratorium? In general, I’m against more multi-family housing being built in the town.  Townhouses are possible, but only for owner-occupied, not rentals.  The moratorium is more complicated.  It will only prevent the rezoning of the property to allow for multi-family housing.  The moratorium does not prevent the construction of multi-family housing on land that is already zoned for it.  Many people don’t realize that there are still pieces of property in PTC that have the old, original General Commercial zoning that allows for multi-family housing.  With no need for a zoning request, council would be powerless to stop apartments from being built.  I am in favor of temporarily reinstating the moratorium while looking at updating the ordinances to help deter more of this unwanted development.

What kind of change do you see for PTC? And what would you keep the same? Peachtree City has always been somewhat of a bedroom community.  We have attractive amenities like the Path System and abundant recreation facilities.  I think these are aspects that have drawn many of us to town.   We need to keep the Path System safe.  One of the many fond memories I have from high school is the freedom of being able to drive through town on a golf cart at 15.  This is only possible if our Path System remains as safe as possible.  Low crime is a must for Peachtree City. I want families moving into town to be able to have the same experience my family and I had 15 years ago. One change that I will explore is the possibility of getting true Fiber Internet to the town.  The type of speed that Fiber provides will allow many work-from-home employees to settle in Peachtree City.  I believe the introduction of true Fiber Internet could be transformative to allowing the high-earning jobs every community desires while minimizing traffic impact.

How will you support the Police Department? I believe in funding the police, not defunding the police. Currently, our police department is down 8 full-time positions.  The number of applications PTCPD receives per year has been declining over the last half-decade.  This decline coupled with the current political climate has made hiring quality officers difficult.  At the last council meeting, August 19th, there was a presentation with ideas on how to help hiring.  Financial incentives help, but the surrounding Towns/counties facing the same issues will eventually erode the effectiveness of these incentives.  The overall national trend for police applications is down 60%. We are fortunate to have such a strong leader in Chief Moon.  We will not be able to solve our policing challenges through funding alone.  I am aware of the crucial role that policing and low crime rates play in our community.  In order to change the current downward trends, there needs to be a mindset shift on a national level.  We can start that shift in Peachtree City by creating programs that further integrate the officers into our town.  If we can show potential applicants that they will be both well respected and well-compensated when working in this town, then I think we’ll have better luck attracting quality officers. www.voteforcrane.com

Frank Destadio

Where are you from and tell us a little bit about yourself? Well, while we were originally from Connecticut, I was in the USAF for approximately 30 years and when we decided to retire in September 2000, I asked mywife where she would like to live now.  Atlanta was one of the areas.  As most military friends do, I called a close friend of mine, who lived in Peachtree City, and we came to stay with him and his wife while I interviewed for positions with engineering firms in Atlanta. We selected one of the several opportunities with a large firm named Parsons Corporation, and the offer was in Norcross, GA.  By the time we had accepted the offer, myself, my wife and youngest daughter had fallen in love with Peachtree City. So I made the decision to commute to Norcross just as I did while stationed in the Pentagon. I graduated in 4 years from the University of Connecticut with a BS in Civil Engineering (5 year program) and later, while on active duty, I continued my education and received an MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.  I retired as a full Colonel and was the Command Engineer for all engineers in the PacificTheater and then again for Air Combat Command engineers (largest Command in the USAF). My wife and I have been married for 51 years but we have been together through two more years of high school and three years of college, so all together she has been my sweetheart for 56 years.  We have 4 daughters. We had one at our first duty station in New York State and then a set of twins in Hawaii several years later.  We waited for 10 years before we tried for a son, but no go.  We had a 10 pound baby girl.  Having our children this far apart has been great.  It is like having two families.  When the first three where teenagers and in high school the youngest was still looking for Easter eggs and could not wait for Christmas.  I have always been very close to my daughters, as I suppose most fathers are.  They are all married now with children, so my wife, Sandi, and I are blessed with 7 grandchildren. Five of them are grandsons so I have boys around anyway.  Three of our daughters live in the greater Atlanta area so we are very fortunate to see them, and 5 of our grandchildren often.  One of the twins lives in South Carolina with the other two kids.  We go as often as we can, but she loves to come here so she can see her sisters and the kids their cousins.  We are fortunate as well by getting together for a family vacation every two years.My wife sings in our church choir and in a local Choral group called Music Alive and I help out by carrying their equipment. I am a Life Member of the Knights of Columbus and I’ve been in the American Legion Post 50 here in PTC for 15 years.  But after getting settled in my civilian position, I wanted to get more involved in our community using my degrees. I volunteered for the City Planning Commission and was selected in 2010.  I also volunteered for the Fayette County Water Committee following full retirement in 2016.
Tell us about your career and why you feel you are most qualified for City Councel Post 4?
I feel very qualified for the Council position for several reasons.As you can see from the info above, I have been on the planning commission for over 10 years.  That in itself is special since most individuals only serve one or maybe two terms.  I was the Chairman for the past 6 years. I decided not to accept re-nomination since I did not feel it proper to run for City Council from the Chairman’sposition, but I am still an active Planning Commissioner. I am one of only a few engineers who have been on the Planning Commission in the past 10 years.  Having an engineer and an architect were priorities of mine while serving as Chairman, so I actively recruited an architect whenever one departed.  I met with the City Planner weekly, if they could meet with me, and visited each and every construction site, making sure all aspects of the applicant’s proposal met all city ordinances and design standards.  I would not accept a request for a variance unless there was absolutely no way around the issue.  As far as I am concerned, design mistakes are the developer’s problems not the City’s.
As the Chairman, the City Council often asked me to participate in the reviews and or re-writing of the City’s plans. Other citizens were as well, but few participated. The Comprehensive Land Use Plan, updated every 5 years, is one that I assisted with, and now very familiar with.  I was also asked to participate on the “CORE” team review of the Livable Centers Initiative (LCI).  While the LCI was not at all acceptable to me or to the citizens at large, it did leave us with a good Market Analysis.  A plan we should use wisely as we look ahead for our City. My career as a Command Engineer required that I have the skills to manage large staffs and large budgets.  I am completely familiar with reviewing and managing large budgets and will make sure that as a Council member I will not accept the city staff or City Manager’s opinion without a thorough review for myself.  I live hereas well and want all of us to understand what is in the City Budget and will always meet with anyone to answer and explain your concerns before we vote whenever possible. My wife and I have lived in PTC for 21 years and believe I know it well.  Some of our closest friends are the Conner’s, and the Koon’s.  Chip Conner was the 2nd Mayor of PTC and Ed Koon was the City Engineer and City Manager.  I have spent years with these gentleman hearing stories about PTC way back in the 70’s with the “whyand how things were done.  Very close and wonderful friends and fantastic leaders.  What they taught me, through their friendship, was what it means to be a PTC citizen.  PTC is more than a concept, it is a way of life and one we cannot and will not lose if I can help it. You have to know PTC to fight for it.  I believe I know what we are and how we want to live.
What are your thoughts on the 54/74 traffic issue and how can it be solved?
As a civil engineer I can tell you more than you want about this nightmare, but to keep it as short as possible.  Any candidate that tells you he or she can fix it for you is not telling you the truth.  The City obviously has limited funds for such a major project and besides, these are State roads that requires State approval.  If we did attempt to put funding into a fix it would be an 80/20 split with State money. But that does seem like we should be able to fund something.  The problem is the State has given the City a fix that is supposed to start in 2022.  That is the ridiculous continuous right turn lanes solution.  It has an estimated $12 million dollar project cost and the State did not ask for an 80/20 split.  Regardless of the fact that I believe it will not solve the “volume” problem (i.e. we will continue to have 32,000 + vehicles travel through the city), it could reduce the queuingproblem by allowing more cars to make a right hand turn, if that is their intent.  Because the State has just funded this “fix” they certainly will not be very agreeable to fund anything else in the near future.  So what can the City do?
As you know and we all have heard, “This is not the City’s problem alone.”  Well I actually agree with that, but there is a lot we can do about the traffic with a City Mayor and Council that actually work together and with the County Commissioners. I believe the current Council is somewhat together.  Certainly better than many in the past, but they again do not have the best relationship with our County Commissioners.  As I stated above, the LCI Market Analysis ultimately suggested several ideas for internal roads that need to be expanded and fleshed out, because in this civil engineers opinion the only short term, practical solution will be with internal lateral roads.  Let me be clear, I DO NOT support opening TDK Blvd.  One thing I would do, is to work with the County Commissioners for increasing of the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) funding for Peachtree City. From my time working with Fayette County, as one of theEngineers of Record for the Water Dept., I attendedthe County Commissioners Meetings, and became known to the County Manager (Steve Rapson), and all but the newest Commissioners.  They all would be willing to work with me, and with any of us who honestly reach out to them.  I do not see that much now.  Any additional LOST funding could be used for additional road projects if they are within the City’s funded project listing.  This could certainly help our traffic problems.  Standing around complaining about it, and stating it is not our problem, will not solve it.  At least fund a traffic study to see the options.  We have to think outside of the box for solutions.  I will do that for all of us.
What are your opinions on multi-level housing vs. reinstating the moratorium?
Well, first we need to understand “multi-level housing.  Peachtree City has had multi-level housing for many years. They have not just come about following lifting of the moratorium, which I vehemently opposed.  Thiscategory includes the townhomes that are individually owned. They are normally maintained by the developer or by a homeowners association. 
While I am clearly against additional rental apartments, and we have many of them now along Peachtree Parkway, Stevens Entry, and Wisdom Road, I can understand why so many younger families, and others, want to purchase town homes.  I am not completely against town homes, what I am completely against is trying to construct them along Hwy 54 or in our industrial zones or our retail areas. While on the Planning Commission I have voted against any development that wants to construct townhomes in these areas in PTC and will continue to do so if elected. Like I did for the ones behind the Pit Stop Station/Convenience Store on Hwy 74.  These townhomes were recently approved by the City Council, again over the recommendation of the Planning Commission, and are in prime industrial zoning. Industrial zoning the City truly needs. Also, I just cannot believe anyone would want to see townhomes or multi-use developments along Hwy 54,as have been proposed more than once.One of my biggest complaints, while serving as the Planning Chairman, was developers asking for variances and or requesting to change our zoning for their projects.  I have a record of asking our City Planning and Development Department to stop allowing developers to “chip away” at our ordinances and or zoning areas, and will continue to fight to stop them.
As for reinstalling the multi-level moratorium, that quickly becomes a legal question.  I would vote to reinstall one if legally we could as a City. To be completely honest I believe it is not a simple vote yes or no and has significant legal ramifications.  That being said, if it was possible, as I stated, I would vote to reinstate it.
What kind of change do you see for PTC? And what would you keep the same?
This is really a great question and in my opinion gets right to the heart of the election. As I stated, my wife and I have lived here in PTC since 2000, and loved it from the beginning.  From the relations with Chip Conner and Ed Koons (see above) the City is much different from what it started out as in the late 1960’s.  As you know we maintained much of the original charm of the initial development concept.  Individual villages, each with its own shopping areas, recreational facilities and elementary schools. But we have also grown with the times.  Past City Councils allowed developers to take industrial zones and build residential areas such as Planterra Ridge. They also allowed the Overlook Shopping Area and now Cresswind – An active adult Community.  Are these areas wrong?  Some say yes, some say no, it is just growth.
I personally see that any City, and certainly ours,needs to grow with the times but hopefully in the way,and speed that the majority of its citizens want and accept. Whoever expected to see pickle ball courts instead of the tennis courts that were so dominate when I moved here?  But that was a change the significant majority came to the City Council for, and they finally received several older courts upgraded.  I remember the old movie theater, and was sad when it left town. But I am thrilled to see the new bowling lanes in Aberdeen Village instead of the housing that was proposed not long ago.
So my point is that I see the City continuing to grow in areas like housing, retail, recreational and hopefully industrial. We absolutely need more industrial opportunities and with some of the government funding expected to come to us, maybe the City Council can use it to fix some infrastructure and expand the utilities in the industrial zones (if they stop giving them away) to entice additional opportunities for us.
I absolutely want to maintain the village concept as much as we can.  Certainly that depends on several factors.  Remember the original concept included their own shopping areas, recreational facilities and elementary schools.  We cannot afford for the school board to close schools or build schools where they don’t make sense.  The Mayor and Council should do all they can to influence them.  Additionally, we can’t afford to lose another Stein Mart or Kmart.  Not only does it impact our retail space and revenue. But it impacts the individual village concept.  While these are independent corporations with individual owners, and the City Council realistically has little influence over them, we should be able to meet with them and work with the Economic Development Committee of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce to try and fill these facilities.  The City used to have its own EconomicDevelopment group but gave it up to use the County’s.  In my time here that has not been a fair relationshipwith us.  Maybe we should bring it back!!
How will you support the Police Department?
If elected the Police Department will receive 150% support from me, my wife and our family!!!
My father was a Military Police Officer for over 20 years.  He as passed away.
My father in law, who is 94 years old, and a WW II veteran,  was a New Haven, Connecticut Police Officer and a Connecticut State Police Officer for over 30 years. Our youngest daughter who graduated from McIntosh HS, is married to a Georgia Police Officer. He has served in DeKalb County., the City of Dunwoody and is currently a Sergeant on the MARTA Police Department. We have, and always, will donated to the local police and fire groupsAnd my wife proudly carries a “Blue Line” purse.  www.frankdestadioforcouncil.com

Alan Livsey

Where are you from and tell us a little bit about yourself? I was born in Dekalb County and grew up in Lithonia. After graduating from high school, I joined the Georgia Army National Guard and served 6 years. I started working for AT&T in Atlanta when I was just 18, eventually attending Georgia State University and graduating from the University of Maryland after moving to Washington, D.C. My family and I moved to Peachtree City in 2006, where we immediately fell in love with the unique driving concepts and culture of our community. I jumped into the high-paced field of youth sports, leaning on my experience from when my kids were extremely young. Over time, I worked my way up to my current position as League Coordinator of PTC’s Youth Basketball Association; through careful work and consistent quality, we’ve reached well over 1000 players each year.

Tell us about your career and why you feel you are most qualified for City Council Post 4? I worked for AT&T for 30 years in various Operations, Sales and Marketing positions in Atlanta, Washington, DC, New York and New Jersey. While in our nation’s capital, I was responsible for the entire Department of Defense and everything it encompasses, so I’m deeply familiar with the process of bidding, negotiating, and winning government contracts. A few other roles that prepared me to be the next Post 4 City Councilman include hosting Fortune 100 CEOs at major sporting events like the US Open, PGA Championship and Pebble Beach Tournaments. My final job before retiring from AT&T was as a National Account Manager for a brutally demanding $125M account. I take a strictly pragmatic approach to problem solving. I’m a staunch believer that common sense and logic are the best approach to any issue and they ought to cut out any bias.

What are your thoughts on the 54/74 traffic issue and how can it be resolved? First of all, the unfortunate truth is there is no easy fix. Action can and should be taken to improve this issue, but for years the problem has been neglected. I’m still familiarizing myself with the small details of the Department of Transportation’s multi-year proposal, but I’ve determined that it could potentially alleviate some congestion. However, settling for the DOT plan only would be a terrible mistake. The sole remaining solution is one that many previous candidates and council members have been either too hesitant to pursue, too fearful to fail, or too timid to even try. While I’m willing to hear out any alternative proposals, the first step toward ending the traffic is to initiate negotiations with Coweta and Fayette Counties as well as the Cities of Newnan and Fayetteville. I know how to play hardball with government actors and the reward will be the betterment of our Peachtree City.

What are your opinions on multi-level housing vs. reinstating the moratorium? My beliefs in regard to multi-level housing are simple. I am committed to maintaining the family oriented Peachtree City that my wife, Adrienne, and I love and raised our children in because Joel Cowan had a grand vision — one that can evolve over time without sacrificing any of the charm that you can see if you just look out a window. I oppose building additional multi-level housing in the foreseeable future.

What kind of change do you see for PTC? And what would you keep the same? When I moved to Peachtree City almost two decades ago, one of the factors that made the Bubble so attractive was the seemingly endless greenspace, community centers, and recreational opportunities. We can always improve our parks and roads and golf cart paths, and for every dollar spent on infrastructure we will see up to $1.50 in economic activity throughout our community and beyond. We must invest in our community, not leave it neglected. Through that one investment, we can simultaneously boost our own city’s economic strength as well as ensure the magic of our community does not fade.

How will you support the Police Department? Some of my best friends in Peachtree City are police officers. I know firsthand the integrity and courage it takes to serve one’s community in a blue uniform. I have great respect for the Peachtree City Police and Fire Departments. Increasingly over the past few years, surrounding municipalities have increased benefits for police officers, drawing in skilled candidates to their city and away from ours. Despite fear of being too bold, I must admit: I do not agree with the policy of maintaining the status quo, surrendering opportunities for countless fine candidates to serve in our own police force. We have already lost innumerable talented individuals to other cities, and I cannot bear to settle for anything other than the best in our officers. If we, the citizens of Peachtree City, want the best for our city, our community, and our children, we cannot refuse to carry that enthusiasm to our First Responders. They’re the people who protect and serve, and they ought to be compensated as such. We need to remember that, and ensure our Police and Fire Department have all the funding and support from the City Council they require. www.livseyforptc.com

Rick Bryant

Where are you from and tell us a little bit about yourself? I am from Atlanta, GA. I’ve lived in the Metro Atlanta area my entire life. I even graduated from Georgia State University. I have the privilege of being married to my lovely wife of 13 years. We have two amazing children, seven and four. I have lived in PTC for eight years.

Tell us about your career and why you feel you are most qualified for City Council Post 4? Currently, I am a minister. My church is located in Tucker, GA. Prior to going into ministry full time, I acquired 30 years of experience from large corporations in the areas of finance, technology and organizational transformation. At 27 yrs old, I managed $500,000,000 in managed assets for Wachovia Bank. My rainey day fund was $50,000,000 which exceed PTC’s annual budget of $42,000,000. I know how to handle, account for and appropriate large sums of money. My ability to balance the budget is second to none. I worked for Bank of America for 3.5 years. I was responsible for BOA’s e-commerce platform (online banking). In my 3.5 year tenure, that website never went down (0.0% downtime). At the time, BOA was designated as 1 of 7 essential financial institutions in the world. If the website went down, Wall Street shook. I have management consulting experience with Accenture, one of the world’s largest consulting firms. As a consultant, you are required to know your domain and to be an expert. Companies don’t pay you to come in with questions. They hire you to resolve problems. I had a successful run with one of Accenture’s top clients, on their highest priority, confidential initiative for three years. My team successfully delivered a global solutions that is still in existence today. I managed software and database development for a couple financial services firms. I did, what I affectionately call “hard time”, in Bentonville, AR. I implemented global technology solutions for the worlds largest company (Walmart). When the world’s largest company taps you on your shoulder and asks you to come play in their sandbox, if you care about expanding your horizons, putting your talents up against some of the best in the world and growing your skill set, you pack up your toys and go play in their sandbox. That being said, I will leverage my talents from a well rounded corporate career, combined with my passion for helping to make people’s lives better (ministry) to help PTC have a brighter future. I am well versed in organizational transformation. These are the skills we need in the future leaders of PTC. We need strategic  leaders that possess vision, strong leadership skills and a wealth of business acumen to resolve current issues, plan for our future and to mitigate risks BEFORE they become issues. I very clearly embody all of the necessary skills to help our community have a brighter future. There isn’t another candidate running for the same seat that has big business experience. They all have small business experience. There is a world of difference between running a small business vs a city. We need leaders that have experience in several large companies that can draw on past successes and failures to resolve issues that impact a municipality.
What are your thoughts on the 54/74 traffic issue and how can it be resolved?
My answer is fluid in that I don’t believe the best answer for resolving the 54/74 issues has been conceived. The city/county has already approved the Displaced Left Turn Lanes. This project has been funded and assigned.  It’s not wise to have a solution that does not account for the work produced or the money spent on this project.  I think the best thing to do is to see how the DLTs pans out and then truly assess our needs after that.  If the DTLs are a silver bullet, then we lucked out.  If the are not a silver bullet, then we have accurate data about their shortcoming and can plan to supplement them with another solution. I am sure every other candidate has a definite solution.  However, if it doesn’t account for the DLTs, their plans are flawed from the very beginning.  Those plans could be invalid as well, depending on the solution.  Additionally, the DOT will not work on two projects in close proximity, at the same time, nor do we have the money to work on simultaneous projects, so we will have to wait until the DTLs are complete before we start a secondary project anyway.  Therefore, we may as well wait and see how much relief the DTLs provide and evaluate our needs from there.
What are your opinions on multi-level housing vs. reinstating the moratorium?
I personally would not like to build additional multi-level housing. However, it is vital to the long term health of PTC that we attract young families to our city. Unfortunately, they cannot afford to buy in many of the current neighborhoods. Therefore, we have to provide housing younger families can afford as they work their way to being established in their careers. I would like to see smaller single family homes or luxury townhomes that start at $300,000. I believe with the proper housing available, we can attract young families that share our values and appreciate our culture.
What kind of change do you see for PTC? And what would you keep the same?
I would like to see young familes that share our values and appreciate our culture to come to our city. I would also like to develop a centralized entertainment area where you can choose from several sitdown restaurants, watch your kids play and carry your adult beverage from place to place within that confined area. I would like PTC’s character and culture to remain intact. I will fiercly oppose any new development that does not align with our current character and culture.
How will you support the Police Department?
I am a huge proponent of the Police Department. I would support pay raises, additional training and a city-wide recognition day for all of our emergency services personnel.

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