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Dirty Pool ... We Are Better Than This

With 19 days to go the debate over whether to incorporate has become heated and some people are going over the line. Its time to rachet things back down to a dull roar.

Greetings,

For those of you who follow politics and especially political campaigns you know that as an election gets closer and closer the intensity of the campaigning seems to increase by orders of magnitude. 

It almost becomes a chess match where each side makes a move followed by a counter move to respond to a move by the other side and so on until the election finally arrives. 

In cases where an election is especially heated there are instances where rhetoric can become personal, baseless accusations can be made and ‘dirty tricks’ are not uncommon. 

Up until about a month or so ago our cityhood initiative did not have any of the signs of being a particularly nasty contest.  There certainly were opponents to the city that would show up at various town halls and HOA meetings to state their views and occasionally there were letters written to local news outlets that stated opposition to the city. 

And of course there was the “occasional” no city comment left on pro-city articles written in the Patch. However, the contest had all the appearances of maintaining the type of above board behavior that one would expect for an area like Peachtree Corners. 

Now just 19 days out from the election it appears that even our area is not immune to unsavory political tactics after all. 

Let’s take a look at recent activities and comments that most people should find concerning….

The exerpts below are pulled directly off the Peachtree Corners Ballot Committee’s webpage.  In case you are not aware the Peachtree Corners Ballott Committee is the main opposition group to a city being formed.  Now there are plenty of harsh comments submitted by individuals on this facebook page but I decided to pull just the official views of the Ballot Committee.  Here are a few for you to check out…

Vote "NO" To The City Of Peachtree Corners

What amazes me most, Is there are people who will still vote for this city, with these type of people in charge... go figure.. THIS IS NOT THE TYPE OF CITY LEADERSHIP WE DESERVE OR EXPECT. IF IT IS THEN YOUR CLEAR VOTE IS "NO" JUST ON YOUR PERSONAL MORALS AND VALUES.....

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Share · Tuesday at 9:46am

Vote "NO" To The City Of Peachtree Corners This is a sign of the times, for Peachtree Corners... Vote "NO" ...and be heard... we do not need these type of people in our neighborhoods. At least with a Gang, you know what to expect. They are no different than the type of people they want to keep out.. Yea, "Keep others out" We heard that reference at the Town Hall meeting...

Tuesday at 10:35am · 1 personLoading...

Vote "NO" To The City Of Peachtree Corners

Let's all be at the meeting tonight at 7:30 and ask our questions, and watch them buckle with more BS than a Chicago Ship Yard.

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Share · Tuesday at 9:51am

Now I don’t know about you but I’m not sure what the point of questioning people’s “personal morals and values” is in regards to this cityhood vote.  As we are not even a city yet we have no idea who will be running for office so I'm not really sure how attacks can be made on city leadership. 

Nor do I understand the assertions of calling pro-city people a “gang” or making a reference to “BS.”  This is the OFFICIAL website for the opposition group. This is not some random person out there stating these things. 

When I saw some of the things being posted on their facebook page I decided to post some pro-city comments.  My comments either focused on the math used on their flawed financial analysis or I asked people to back up their assertions that criminal activity was taking place or that people on the “Yes” side were somehow immoral or lacked values. 

Instead of beginning a debate, all of my posts were either hidden or deleted and I was banned from their facebook page. Not to give up so easily I created another facebook page and returned.  Once again my posts were deleted and I was banned.  So, I returned yet a third time and once again my posts were hidden or deleted and I was banned. 

Some people might say “where is your proof”?  Of course I would have a hard time making my case since all my posts were hidden or deleted.  How do I prove I wrote anything.  Luckily an individual who appeared to be visiting their site (he appeared to be a supporter or was thinking of being a supporter) noted that several of my posts had been deleted and he called them on it. 

The Ballot Committee denied knowing what he was talking about.  Read the interesting exchange below……

PERSON X - I did not delete anything and I find it troubling that a moderator or someone else may have. Can someone explain please? If I don't get a valid explanation by the end of the day, I'll be unliking the group and removing my posts as well. Complete BS.

5 hours ago

PERSON X - That's no different than destroying or removing signs from the road side.

5 hours ago

Vote "NO" To The City Of Peachtree Corners  PERSON X, What are you referring to? What was deleted? Please let me know thanks.

2 hours ago

PERSON X - Alex has replied to my original post the other night. It was his long response as to why we should vote yes. This morning it was gone and there was another post from Alex asking what happened and asking if I had deleted it. My post above was in response to his inquiry. His second response is now gone so I don't know if he removed it or someone else deleted his post for a second time.

2 hours ago

PERSON X - You'll note that it says there are 14 comments (15 with this one) but only 10 are visible.

2 hours ago

PERSON X - I also noted above where my FB friend PERSON Y thanked Alex for some information but Alex's post is not there. Perhaps he left after getting unfairly censored?

2 hours ago

Now I don’t know about you but when if I feel I have a strong position I welcome debate.  Why would I want to suppress opposing views if I feel I have the superior position?  The Ballot Committee on three different occasions not only suppressed all my posts but banned me as well. 

And to top it all off when they were called on their actions by a potential supporter they acted like they didn’t know what he was talking about even though he not only had seen my posts earlier but he pointed out that some of the posts by other people alluded to posts I had made.  Seems like someone has been caught in a lie here.

If you remember in some of my earlier articles I had taken the Ballot Committee’s financial analysis to task because their numbers simply did not match their assertions of a $350 to $450 tax increase.  When we broke the numbers down using the example provided by the Ballot Committee itself the numbers showed that it was going to require someone to have between $475k and $750k in CAR VALUES to be taxed to come up the amount in new taxes they were claiming!!! 

When I pointed this out on their facebook page you know what happened?  Well, instead of engaging me in a debate to explain their numbers they simply deleted my posts.  Why?  Because they can’t back up the numbers but they don’t want people to know they can’t be backed up. They want the scare tactic of a big tax increase to stay out there unopposed even though facts don’t back it up. 

So, we have on the Ballot Committee’s official webpage 1) insinuations of criminal activity, no morals, no values, gang like behavior 2) suppression of opposing views on their facebook page 3) denial of suppressing opposing views even when caught red handed 4) a financial analysis so flawed that when its gross shortcomings are pointed out the comments pointing out the flaws are suppressed. 

I am not a lawyer but I think if I was in a court of law trying to make a case I could easily show a pattern of behavior that most people would find dishonest and borderline distasteful. 

So let’s move on to some accusations made by the Ballot Committee recently.  On their facebook page you will find pictures of two ripped up NO signs that supposedly were found on East Jones Bridge Road. 

The Ballot Committee is using these two ripped up signs as an indication that the YES crowd will do anything and everything to win including ripping up two signs.  They insinuate that the YES crowd is the equivalent of a gang, criminals, the “radical left”, immoral and without values. 

Now these accusations are coming from an organization that suppresses opposing views and lies about it.  From an organization that produces grossly flawed financial analysis to scare people and then suppresses people who point out its flaws.  From an organization that makes harsh personal attacks on the leaders of the YES crowd. 

I hate to say this but as far as I am concerned the credability of this organization has reached a nadir and I would propose to the readers that this tearing up of the two signs was nothing but a bush league political trick to convince people that the YES people did this. 

Not that I am in the business of suppressing people or their ideas (read any of my articles and unlike the Ballot Committee you will find an open forum where NO posts are deleted or suppressed), BUT IF I WAS, I certainly wouldn’t leave the evidence in full view! 

Logically you would take the signs and destroy them out of view.  The point of taking the signs away is so people won’t see the message.  Leaving the signs ripped up gives the appearance of vandalism by one side.  Let’s be serious.  There are probably 10 times as many Yes signs as No signs.  There is nothing to be gained by destroying TWO signs and leaving them on the ground. 

The motive is so transparent it is almost comical.  Check out the Peachtree Corners YES page.  Do you see hateful vicious attacks on people for their views?  Do you see evidence of suppressed views?  No, you see links to fact based articles about why we should become a city.  You see notifications of when there are going to presentations by the YES people about their views.

That doesn’t seem like a group that wants to suppress people or their ideas.  Instead they are openly stating where their meetings will be held and inviting ALL to attend. Check out the facebook pages of the two primary organizations representing each side of this debate and do a compare and contrast.  Based on what you see and the things I am pointing out to you what organization seems the more credible and believable?

One other incident I would like to mention that is probably the most disturbing of all.  A supporter of the YES side of this debate recently received a letter in the mail with no return address.  When the envelope was opened it contained a letter that contained very vicious personal attacks on this individual because of the person’s support of the city and contained some vague physical threats as well.  The letter has been handed over to the appropriate authorities for investigation. 

Now let me be clear about this letter. No one knows who it is from so I am not drawing conclusions about its origins. However, it would seem clear that someone who is against the city has done this considering the content of the letter’s message. Hopefully it is a lone sick person who does not know the bounds of common decency.  This is not Chicago ward politics.  This is Peachtree Corners where I think 99.99 percent of us expect and demand better. 

We have 19 days to go. When this election is over, whether we have a city or not, we will still be neighbors. I hope in these remaining days the debate can return to something more fact based instead of degenerating into some more akin to playground behavior with name calling and other dirty tricks. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mim Harris October 25, 2011 at 04:08 PM
Tony, Although taxes are an important issue it is also the creating of more government that I am opposed too. Most of my services will remain with the county and I have no problem with the current zoning and coding and trash pickup so therefore do not see the need to create a city to give me 3 services that I am currently receiving. Basically I do not see the value add. This is my main reason. If you would like to review more information from those opposed to the city iniative you can get information from: http://www.facebook.com/#!/voteNOtoPeachtreeCorners and from there you can see 2 other blogs or you can check out : https://sites.google.com/site/peachtreecornersballotcomm/ Hope this helps answer your question.
Alex J. Wright October 25, 2011 at 04:43 PM
Mim, I'm assuming since you are posting links to the Ballot Committee's websites that you must be on the committee or at least in contact with whoever is running the committee. Since you are using this article to try and drive people over to read the NO sides's viewpoint I was wondering if you could get the Ballott Committee's facebook admin to unhide my comments I left on their site and also unban me so everyone can read both sides over on that site as well. There certainly can't be any harm in letting people read both sides, right?
Mim Harris October 25, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Alex, I was simply answering a question from Tony Dwiggins. I am not on the Ballot Committe and have not attended any meetings so I have no say in what they do. I believe in democracy and would have given Tony the address of the UPCCA website had he asked to have information for the YES side. His request was for the No voters to explain their side and I was giving him the resources I am familiar with. FYI...I made my decision when I read the charter, reviewed the feasibility study and saw the new city boundaries which was well before any Ballot Committe or No facebook page.
Tony Dwiggins October 25, 2011 at 09:30 PM
Mim, thanks for the references. After reading there, I am more convinced now than before of the YES vote that I will cast on November 8.
Mim Harris October 25, 2011 at 10:02 PM
Tony, Glad to be of service. I thought your question was genuine and missed the sarcasm. Silly me.

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