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Residents raise questions about Peachtree Corners budget

PEACHTREE CORNERS -- Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason addressed the standing-room-only crowd packed into a small room at the Robert Fowler YMCA on Tuesday night, prefacing discussion about the city's proposed inaugural budget with one message.

That message: The feasibility study conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia -- the one necessitated by law to assess a potential city's economic viability -- was not intended to set a budget for Peachtree Corners. The study's finding that the city would be viable with expenditures totalling just $760,917, he said, was not meant as a suggestion.

"I think there's a perception the recommendation was for a specific dollar amount," Mason said, "and that's not the case at all.

"It was the level of revenue at which the city is feasible," he added. "It didn't recommend a specific dollar expense budget for the first year. If you do the math on $760,000, that's 0.4 mills (collected through property taxes). They didn't recommend 0.4 mills, they recommended 1 mill."

After Mason's precursor, five members of the public spoke at the city council's first public hearing on the proposed budget of nearly $3 million. The millage rate factored into that budget is 1 mill.

"I'm asking you all to please look at these line items, to maybe not go with the Vinson study, but to please cut this and not go with the 1 mill," resident Mary Beth Stickney said. "I'm asking you to really look at what we are as a limited city, and to please set the stage for what we are."

Said resident Gary Shell: "The 1 mill is clearly more than we expected to spend ... The thing that worries me about it is the moral hazard of having more money than we know what to do with."

Resident Jimmy Neese said spending was already "getting out of hand."

"We talk about one thing and we end up doing another," he said.

Mason, meanwhile, pointed to several one-time purchases in the proposed budget, like furniture, a $30,000 relocation fee for the eventual city manager and funds used for consultants to help get the city started.

He urged residents to turn their attention toward the budget itself, not the initial Carl Vinson feasibility study, while offering critiques.

"Focus on the budget, the line items, what's there," Mason said. "That's what's important."

Another public hearing on the budget will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Comments

R 1 year, 10 months ago

Mayor meet first rock...

30k to relocate? Might try fishing closer to home...

Voters expected half mil and you go to 1mil out of the shoot, this will be fun as the rose faded pretty quick.

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HonestIngine 1 year, 10 months ago

As the music group "Chicago" would sing...."Only the beginning".....

The residents of Peachtree Corners within 5 years will be paying the highest Millage rate in the State. The LIMITED, and to quote the stand up comedian, "TOM RICE" , City Lite, will be costing the residents of Peachtree Corners much more. We have no one to blame except the leaders who LIED to us when they pitched this "City Lite" concept... It HAS NEVER BEEN DONE IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA, according to Tom Rice...

Keep in mind it may be 1 mil, but that value can and will change. $33.00/ mil in 2012 may be $50.00/ mil in 2017. The value of the mil is set by the council. So much for the self determination, BS, Tom Rice push down our throats...As you can tell I am not a fan of Mr. Saturday Night......

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 10 months ago

Trust me - more government will be better, right? Not to mention that PTC gave up two of the best run agencies in the country, the zoning guys and the enforcement group. The primary goals were a power base and keeping the "wrong kind" out. The moral is to be careful what you ask for.

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HonestIngine 1 year, 10 months ago

Yea, I heard some of the people at the UPPCA meeting making similar, comments, "keeping others out" of our area... Was taken back by that, thought I was back in the 50's... was looking for Lester and his axe handle...lol

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 10 months ago

That's right. They were pretty upset when their half million dollar homes were being bought for less than half that, by "certain people" that were previously unable to afford them. Personally, I thought those neighborhoods had moved up a notch (and into the 1960's) in the process, but some of those in da PTC hood didn't seem to think so. They reacted by creating a city to make their own rules - already ruined a few new businesses when the licensing moratorium was put in place, which will cost them even more. Perhaps they're thinking (thinking - a little humor there) that higher taxes (with vastly less capable contracted zoning enforcement) will keep "those people" away. My dad used to call that being dumb as a stump.

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CD 1 year, 10 months ago

The only thing city "lite" in Peachtree Corners will be the taxpayer's wallets. It's time to pay the Gluttonous Heathens their due and render upon Caesar what is Caesar's. Good luck with that.

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