The Mountain Comes to Flowery Branch

It looks like Commissioner Lutz reciprocated and paid a visit to his fan club, a.k.a. the Flowery Branch City Council, this past Thursday; but they didn’t seem too pleased to see him. Unlike when the club made the trip up to Gainesville and sat quietly in the audience, Commissioner Lutz choose to speak to the council and according to reports (Report 1, Report 2, and Report 3), he didn’t seem to be received with any Christmas goodwill. 

The mayor seemed to take particular offence claiming that Lutz, a former City Council member and current Commissioner, is “fighting us tooth-and-nail on everything we try and do. I think it’s sad that our citizens aren’t represented better than that.”  Far be it for me to try and understand the dynamic between the Mayor and Commissioner, but it seems like even when Lutz was on the council (example, example, and example), he was against the city being in the land speculation business. 

Now, it appears, the City of Flowery Branch has committed to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $325k of County Taxes and only $148k of City taxes to lay groundwork for…. something.  The only real reason given for the purchase was that, “City leaders were drawn to the purchase out of concerns that piecemeal acquisition by land speculators would ensue, and any development would be contrary to the city’s existing Old Town and commercial redevelopment plan created in 2007.” Huh?

While I hate to take sides in this conflict between the Mayor and the Commissioner, it seems to me that the Commissioner did a better job explaining the issues in his two minutes than the whole council (including the mayor) provided for reasons to make the purchase in their unlimited amount of time.  Nitin Nohria, Dean of the Harvard Business School, said; “When all other means of communication fail, try words.”  For the sake of Flowery Branch and Hall County, I would hope that the City and Commission would start a constructive dialog.  In this case, however, I would suggest that the City begin since they don’t appear to be saying anything constructive at all. 

Riled Up!

  3 comments for “The Mountain Comes to Flowery Branch

  1. Daisy
    December 10, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I have to disagree with this article. The Council has established good relationships with other elected officials, particularly those in the City Council of Gainesville. The Mayor himself has gone out of his way to maintain open relations with the city of Gainesville in particular. Example: For two years, the Mayor has given our local member of the Moral Majority, Councilman George Wangemann, ample time at Council meetings in Flowery Branch to make lengthy sermons on the critical need for a National Family Month proclamation. How could anyone be against family?

    There’s also the Mayor’s relationship with Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan. The Mayor has gone on air on WDUN to praise Mayor Dunagan and talk about the wager he and the Mayor made between the high school football teams during the playoffs. Gainesville High School lost so Mayor Dunagan was at the Council meeting on Thursday to drop the gavel and open the meeting for the Council in order to pay his friendly bet with the Mayor in Flowery Branch.

    Maybe Craig Lutz is the one with the problem here!! Given how the Mayor has bent over backward to support relationships with other elected officials. Some would say he has even been caught bending down to tie their shoes on occasion.

    • GT183
      December 19, 2012 at 1:52 am

      I can see that. Considering that the cities and county are fighting over money, there may be some foxhole buddy mentality going on. Let’s hope the only thing they are doing is helping to tie shoes 😉

  2. Jason Covert
    January 27, 2013 at 12:04 am

    The mayor and the council have done next to nothing to move this city forward. Along with Bill Andrews, the goal seems to be status quo except for to increase spending on items that are a big waste of taxpayer money. If we don’t get going on a comprehensive economic development plan, the city will never have the money to improve our community. The leadership of this town has no vision, and we are all going to pay the piper as the city starts to lose its luster from rapid growth in the 2000-2010 period. The competition is heating up amongst cities and we don’t have a fighting chance with the players that are in there today. There are ways to be innovative within a budget yet no one is even focused on moving the city forward. Its time to get a new group with the energy to do something. Right now, we have no action, corruption in the government, and a lack of transparency. That is a recipe for decline. Even worse, they all love to high five each other like everything is golden.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *