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Vanessa Fleisch

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Mayor Vanessa Fleisch was reelected to a second term in 2017. Her focus throughout both her term on the Peachtree City Council and as Mayor has been on infrastructure across the city. 

Years of neglect had taken its toll on facilities across the city, including buildings and even Lake Peachtree. The new spillway, currently under construction, is a much needed piece of infrastructure that will protect life and property for decades to come. The golf cart paths, streets and stormwater pipes across the city were also decaying and the landscaping across the city suffered. Under Mayor Fleisch, there has been a turnaround across the city and these structures are now getting the much needed maintenance that had been missing for years.

Underutilized assets like McIntosh Place and Drake Field have also been a part of her efforts. McIntosh Place and The Gathering Place are both operated by Fayette Senior Services for the benefit of senior population. Drake Field is at the start of its own renaissance as it is now being used as a much needed centralized meeting place for our community. The Night Market is the type of community event that was intended for this facility. 

The Mayor and her family have been residents of Peachtree City since 1991. She originally hails from Vineland, New Jersey. Mayor Fleisch graduated from The American University’s School of International Service with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Communications. She went on to become a producer for CNN and CNN International. Upon leaving CNN, she became a Realtor here in Peachtree City. She and her husband Michael, who is a Director for Turner Broadcasting, have two grown sons John and Christian.

Favorite things about Peachtree City:  I love the sense of community that is an intrinsic part of living in Peachtree City.

Gas Golf Carts vs. Electric Golf Carts
The presentation below reviews some of the information I discovered when the City was approached about a total ban on gasoline powered golf carts in early 2011.

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Vanessa's Take on...The Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

Early last week, while doing things in and around Peachtree City, I overheard a conversation between two women.  They were discussing the 9/11 remembrances going on across the country; the gist of the conversation was this: “that it was time to get over it.”

I was flabbergasted and couldn’t believe what I had heard, “get over it.”  As I watched the memorial service at ground zero Sunday morning I couldn’t get that conversation out of my mind as I watched the names of those who perished that day scroll across the TV screen.

Each name represented a life, and in this country life is precious.   My son once asked me what makes the United States different from other countries and I remember telling him, that among other things, it is the power of the individual that makes this country great.  That picture perfect September morning we lost almost three thousand individuals.

We are a country that was born out of ideas and ideals.  We do not share a common heritage or ethnicity but it is the power of those ideals that form the fabric of this country.  It is also tragic events like September 11th that remind us that we are one nation.

I grew up in an Italian family in New Jersey and I remember my grandfather telling me of his trips in his father’s horse and wagon going up to Ellis Island to pick up the relatives from Italy so that they could “live in the greatest country in the world.”  I thought about that as I watched all of the Italian names scrolling across the screen, many of whom were from New Jersey, and how each of them were descendents of immigrants who wanted to start a new life in this great country.

My grandfather would often say how privileged we were to live in New Jersey because it was so close to the history that made this country great.  As a result, my family would make frequent trips to Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia, always going to museums and historical places, imbuing me with a sense a history and national pride.

We saw national pride on display in the days after 9/11 as we were a country in a state of shock watching the stories unfold but knowing that collectively “we” would get through this somehow. 

Life here in the U.S. will never be the same as a result of what happened on 9/11.  My boys were 13 and 9 at the time and I remember President Bush saying that it would take a long time to defeat this enemy, maybe as long as 10 years.  I did the math.  It was pretty much the nightmare of any mother.

We all have stories of where we were and what we were doing that day and how this event, like other historical events, has led to the “loss of our innocence” as a nation as we continue 10 years later to still fight this cowardly, insidious enemy.

Much has changed as a result of that tragic day 10 years ago. Our lives have a clear date of demarcation, what life was like pre and post 9/11.  Quite honestly, I will never get over it, and never forget it, and I hope and pray that as a country, we won’t either.

Vanessa's Take On... recent accolades given to the City of Peachtree City

Peachtree City is such a great place to live, we all know it, and the rest of the country is learning it too!

We were recognized by Family Circle magazine as the 2nd best place to live in the country for families. Of course, anyone who lives here knows that PTC should have come in 1st place!

Drop Dead Diva and other Film/TV productions continue to find their way to our area, and the SANY Corporation is still building its facility which means more jobs for our beautiful city.

There are good things happening across the city that sometimes get overlooked.

The city council and staff of Peachtree City have worked diligently to ensure a sound budget as we move into fiscal 2012.   Despite declining revenues, we are on our way to not having a tax increase this year.     

Under our new City Manager, Jim Pennington, there has been a new emphasis upon the maintenance of our buildings and our recreational amenities.  Citizens like me, who have lived here any length of time have noticed a decline in many of our public facilities.  Now with our newly instituted Public Facilities Authority the city will have the funds with which to do many of the major improvements that have been put on the back burner for so long. 

The recent reorganization of the Recreation Division has resulted in increased communication between multiple city departments.  Better communication will allow for an increase in the services provided to our citizens.  The streamlining process is moving forward and I think that we will all see some positive results soon.

Here are some other good things that are happening:  

  • Named in the Top 6 Most Patriotic Cities, Rand McNally/USA Today 2011 “Best of the Road” Rally
  • Once again in the running for Top 100 Best Places to Live in the U.S., CNN/Money Magazine
  • PTC Police earned 3rd Place in National Law Enforcement Challenge (International Association of Chiefs of Police recognition of the best overall traffic safety programs in the United States)
  • We’ve had over 600 requests for relocation information on PTC (April – July) from folks looking at moving to the Atlanta area
  • Official Welcome reception for SANY this spring
  • First ever Great PTC Path Cleanup
  • Earned Camera Ready Status
  • Hosted Georgia Planners Association convention drawing planning professionals from across the state to PTC
  • Peachtree City named as a test community for  AT&T/Panasonic “connected car” products and services
  • PTC named a host city for Fireball Run Adventurally and Race to Recover Mission Children
  • Hotel/Motel Tax revenues are up 11.5%.  Hotels across the city have booked 3,000 more rooms this year as compared to last year

In the past few years our country and city have been through very tough economic times but it is important to know that Peachtree City is weathering the storm better than most cities.  We have been vigilant in finding creative and economic ways to promote future growth for our city and will continue to look for new and creative ways to help Peachtree City become the #1 “Best Place to Raise a Family” in the country. 

Vanessa's Take On...Shopping Locally in Peachtree City
Shopping locally a subject that is close to my heart

Growing up in Vineland, New Jersey, my parents supported our family by running a local hardware store, and my sister, brother and I worked there from a very young age.  That experience gave me some first hand insight into the challenges that small businesses face, with low profit margins, lots of regulations, and competition for customers with the bigger chains. 

Owning a local business in those days meant you knew your customers.  We saw them across the backyard fence, sat with them in church, ran into them in the local grocery store and at my softball games.  That really hasn’t changed, even in today’s “global economy,” although the rise of the internet has made running a local business even more challenging.

The 1998 movie, “You’ve Got Mail,” with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks really illustrate the differences among local businesses, chains, and the internet.  In case someone has not seen it, Ryan runs a local children’s bookstore she inherited from her mother, with dedicated customers, weekly book readings, and that personal touch of a local neighborhood store.  A large chain bookstore opens across the street, eventually closing down her shop.  At the same time, she is corresponding with an online pen pal who, she only learns at the end of the movie, is the owner of the new store. 

The story certainly shows the struggle between the local store and the major chain, but both of those types of businesses contribute to the community, paying taxes, and providing local jobs.  The interesting part is the anonymous online relationship.  That portion of the plot really underscores the challenges in competing with online businesses, which have a much greater reach and may offer good pricing, but they have no local connection, no employees here, no taxes, and no personal interaction.

So, as you are shopping for holiday gifts this year, please keep these issues in mind before you start surfing the internet for deals.  Local businesses are owned by your friends and neighbors, they own or lease local real estate, pay local employees, and are really part of the community.  Let’s make an effort to support them by embracing the Shop PTC / Find it in Fayette! Philosophy