The issues surrounding this year's Commission election have been time consuming, complex and demanding. A very careful and well studied consideration is necessary by anyone thinking of running for either of the two Posts up for election.

 

DonHaddixlgHaving done this effort and after receiving positive encouragement, I hereby declare my candidacy for Commission Post 3.

 

Right off the bat I want to get some issues I fully expect to be brought up off the table. I do not want others yet again attempting to define me instead of the facts speaking for themselves.

 

As the Peachtree City Manager pointed out, all the legal issues and all the accusations made against me were political in origin, not factual. All charges were dropped, the Council had to retract all of their accusations and all of my pay was restored. Every participant, every step of the way, was either a candidate or a surrogate of a candidate or another elected official.

 

Bottom line is the legal issues are gone and I am and have always been innocent on all counts. One settlement declared I could state I was innocent and another retracted all accusations.

 

Lesson learned here is it does not matter if a legal policy prohibits the distribution of communications by an employee. They can violate the policy, resulting in false accusations, claims and political attacks.

 

Steve Brown also has had his share of accusations. He has multiple lawsuits and Ethics Charges, some of which he has been found guilty on and others are pending. If someone else makes them an issue, Steve Brown will have to answer for himself. I want to focus on the function of the office of Commissioner.

 

Emails should be answered or forwarded to the correct member of Staff, with a carbon copy to the County Administrator.

 

As for blogging, it used to be a good place for discussion and sharing. It provided an opportunity to correct misinformation and misconceptions. But no more, so I stopped blogging last year.

 

On Letter writing, the Commission is not the Council. On Council all five are from the same District, so to speak. On the Commission, now, each District has only one Commissioner. So, while all will vote on County matters, the whole County will not have elected me. Only the District 3 portion of Peachtree City will have, if they choose to do so. So, Letters to the Editor will be to the residents I represent, explaining my votes, thoughts and positions. That kind of transparency and information is owed to the constituents of any elected.

 

The Commissioners of the other four Districts will have to explain and answer to their respective constituents.

Sharing and discussion with other Commissioners is a must. Failure to do so is a recipe for problems, from simple misunderstandings to creating factions within the Commission.

 

Transparency and clarity are essential to good leadership.

 

I still believe good paying jobs with Fayette County are the best solution to commuting and other problems. The County has the Fayette County Development Authority, which is critical in bringing success to this goal.

 

Regarding the Budget, the County constituents are conservative, as am I and Commissioners representing them. They do not look to tax and debt increases as the first response for what they want and the County needs. They realize needs must be met and wants have to be justified before funding. We share a common view on fiscal matters.

 

When employee and other legal situations arise, there should be no public comments other than we are aware and it is appropriately being handled. There is no discussion with the opposing parties unless absolutely necessary and only with the appropriate Staff present to advise. Following proper procedure is essential in achieving the best outcome possible.

 

For resolving legal issues, let the Administrator, Attorney and Human Resources do their jobs. Ask questions properly in Executive Session and other appropriate meetings. Then let the proper legal party make the final decision. If a Commission vote is required, it must be based on facts and proper recommendations with no added commentary.

 

Why is that important? Because misinformation misleads the public and can potentially cause, or enhance, an EEOC lawsuit. It increases the cost to the taxpayers and can be damaging to employee morale.

 

On one hand it can result in less than optimum results, such as someone who should be dismissed having to be retained or reinstated with little or no consequences to them. On the other it can result in an employee being falsely accused.

 

Always gather the facts and data before proposing, promoting or talking about plans, projects etc. Get the engineering reports, opinions from Staff and constituent thoughts, if appropriate. Ensure there is no double-taxation, legally or de facto. Ensure you are not benefiting private property at taxpayer expense. Make sure when adding private property to County property you understand the long term costs, consequences and that there is a provable benefit to the taxpayers.

 

My awareness of these points comes from six years experience, training and communications with elected from other governments and entities, such as the Carl Vinson Institute. Putting them into practice comes from a willingness to learn, think and apply the right course of action, even when the temptation is to do otherwise.

 

Having covered many issues I see as needful, but frequently not applied, for good leadership, the remaining question is if I am qualified or not? I believe the following demonstrate the knowledge and experience that will enable me to be an effective Commissioner:

  • Peachtree City Councilman

  • Mayor of Peachtree City

  • Georgia Annexation Arbitrator for annexation disputes between Counties and Cities since 2009

  • Member Fayette County Board of Health

  • Worked with ARC, GDOT and the State on various issues, including Transportation, TSPLOST Projects, Legislation and more

  • HOA officer, including President, of two association

  • Boy Scout leader

  • 4-H Program creator, administrator and coach

  • Member American Legion Post 50

I welcome the challenge of working with my fellow Commissioners to preserve the lifestyle that I moved here for 27 years ago while accommodating changes that come with time and growth.

 

It would be an honor to serve you on the Commission. Your support would be appreciated.

 

Please visit me at donhaddix.com to read more and get involved. Or, call me at 770-487-4749.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you and serving as your Commissioner.

 

Don Haddix

 

More information can be found in the links in the upper right hand corner of the page.

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