Preserving our homes and businesses ‐ As Johns Creek's undeveloped land is less than 10%, any changes to the city's infrastructure or redevelopment adversely impact the property rights of our residents and established businesses and increases traffic congestion. Unfortunately, parties unconcerned with our residents and the character of our city are dictating the future of our city with their goals of maximizing the city's tax revenues and/or getting rich off of the developments. Our city is at risk by a number of these initiatives that are highlighted below.
Whether it is the TSPLOST‐based road widenings (namely, McGinnis Ferry, Jones Bridge, and Medlock Bridge) that are taking our properties from hundreds of homes and displacing some homes (aka eminent domain if they don't agree to be displaced), the upcoming creation of the Johns Creek Development Authority, the billboards violating our property rights, or the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) review to change three character areas to mixed‐use nodes, the push to force overdevelopment on us may seem overwhelming, but the citizens and Council must ensure that we fight these advancements with collaboration with city staff, citizen and business groups like Johns Creek Community Association, Preserve Johns Creek, active residents, etc. My goal is to fight to ensure that we won't destroy the character of the city by protecting the citizens and their properties from forced government intervention.
Reducing taxes by proper allocation of $160+ million in raised taxes ‐ As Johns Creek enters the stage of the biggest tax increases since its inception with a projected $130 million in revenue and $35 million in debt service, we need to ensure these funds are allocated appropriately and efficiently. If these taxes are used effectively, we can reduce general fund outlays where we can reduce both occupational and property taxes significantly.
Reducing wasteful spending ‐ Various city departments contract services, paying a vendor markup of approximately 70%, which amounts to millions of our taxpayer dollars going into the pockets of the vendor's executives. We need to renegotiate agreements or potentially bring departments internally to cut our spending. We also need to change our procurement process so that we utilize reverse bidding. Studies show that when governments use this bidding process, they save over 12% on their contracting. Utilizing this process could save taxpayers millions a year. These are just a couple examples of wasted expenditures and my goal is to eliminate about 10% of our outlays through efficiencies and cost‐benefit analyses.
Employing technology and novel ideas to reduce traffic congestion ‐ As Johns Creek has looked to ease traffic, the only idea being offered is raising taxes. Just this past November, an additional $90 million in taxpayer dollars over the next five years was approved. However, we need to think of methods to reduce traffic other than throwing tens of millions of dollars at the problem. Every single elected official in Johns Creek runs on traffic, but we still haven't been able to change it. That is why I attempted to form the Traffic Congestion Task Force with the city, but there was little interest to lead on the city's behalf. So, we, the community, have begun meeting independently to address these congestion concerns. If elected, I'd like to get the city involved in helping relieve traffic through innovative methods.
One such method is utilizing technology‐based solutions. Studies have shown that light synchronization systems that utilize artificial intelligence‐based real time data with algorithms can reduce traffic congestion by 30 to 40%! After discussing the issue with experts in the field, I learned we could install 4 to 6 lights around the State Bridge and Medlock Bridge intersection to reduce congestion by over 20% at a cost of $80k! Considering the city was once considering a Michigan U‐Turn at this intersection for $4 million, this would be much more effective in terms of cost and congestion. Also, we need to support House Bill 248 to allow for autonomous cars in Georgia and prepare for needed infrastructure related to these vehicles.
Other methods considered in the task force include working with Fulton County schools to increase walk to school programs and bus ridership, improving bus routes, working with the Chamber, residents, and businesses to facilitate work from home programs, staggered schedules, and compressed work weeks to reduce car volume in the interim.
First responders are first ‐ During the City's campaign to inform its populace about the Parks Bond referendum, there was mentioning that our public safety dollars were competing with our recreation and parks appropriations. While I recognize this may have been merely a marketing ploy to aid the passing of the Bond referendum, it is unacceptable and unfair to these departments' employees to support this type of messaging.