Below are some questions I’ve answered while on the campaign trail!

Gwinnett Daily Post

Why are you running for office, or what inspired you to run for office?
Peachtree Corners is a young city that is just coming into its own. I believe I bring a unique perspective to the city council with my engineering and management background, and my analytical and data-driven approach to city policy. Now is the time to carefully consider our collective vision for our city’s future. I have worked as a community leader in the school system, on homeowners’ boards, and through scouting and youth sports. I believe the city council post is the next step in serving my community.

What do you see as the most pressing need for the city or Post 2 that you feel needs to be addressed?
I see open communication as one of the biggest issues as the City works through the next phase of growth. Open communication and dialogue on a personal level is needed to ensure that all citizens understand the decisions to be made by the city council and the city staff, and that all citizens voices are heard in planning for the future. I will work to improve the communications between the community and the city, by having town hall meetings in the neighborhoods, and more electronic communications such as e-mails and social media, as well as good, old-fashioned conversation.

What would you like to do as a councilman, if elected?
As the newest member of the city council, I will work with both residents and businesses to improve our city.
– I will enhance communications via electronic media and neighborhood town halls so that we can focus projects toward areas of need and interest without going over budget.
– I am excited about planning for green space and the trail system to enhance our city walkability and pedestrian connectivity. This public amenity is in high demand by both residents and businesses looking for competitiveness in the Atlanta market.
– I support economic development for attracting new businesses and small startups.
– I will work for improvements for the Holcomb Bridge and Winters Chapel corridors.
There are a lot of good ideas for city improvement that are in the planning stages. I will follow through to make sure that these projects come to fruition.

League of Women Voters

Full guide on their website

What experience do you bring to the job to set policy for your city and what is your motivation to serve?
I will bring an engineering, analytical, and data driven approach to city policy. I am a Senior Operations manager for AT&T, including the planning, design, construction, operations, and maintenance. I am Responsible for a $10 million annual operations and maintenance budget and manages $5-10 million in capital construction contracts each year. Peachtree Corners has been my home, along with my family, for almost 30 years. I have worked as a community leader in the school system, on homeowners’ boards, and through scouting and youth sports. The city council post is the next step in serving my community.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest budget issue facing your city and how, if elected would you propose to address it?
Prioritization of projects is the biggest budget issue for Peachtree Corners. Communications from the community to the city, and from the city back to the community are in need of improvement. A lack of consensus with the city staff on prioritizing projects is creating discord. I will work to enhance communications via electronic media and neighborhood town halls so that we can focus projects toward areas of need an interest without going over the budget.

How should your city address the issues of lobbyist gifts, ethical behavior, and transparency in government?
Peachtree Corners has earned the City of Ethics designation by adopting and adhering to the “City of Peachtree Corners City of Ethics Ordinance.” The city needs to apply for recertification every 4 years, and the city officials are regularly reminded of their ethical obligations as individuals and as a governing body. I plan to support the City of Ethics ordinance.

Foreign-born Georgia Citizens own 31% of the business in our state. Legal Permanent Residents and naturalized citizens contribute approximately 1.8 billion dollars in state and local taxes each year. How will you help ensure your city is a welcoming place for foreign born entrepreneurs and their families?
Peachtree Corners is home to a number of international businesses. The city web site has a list of resources to assist businesses located outside of the United States that may want to move to or establish an office or business in Peachtree Corners. The city is also partnering with Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) to launch a business incubator program. This will help foreign born and domestic entrepreneurs start a business and support it during the early years. The city is also working to have a stock of affordable housing at all cost levels to accommodate individuals and families of all backgrounds. My Georgia Tech connection and my engineering background will help me provide a sound foundation and create a positive environment for the growth of diverse business opportunities.

Cities across the country are embracing aggressive goals to reduce carbon pollution. What do you believe your municipality should do to support cleaner air?
The city of Peachtree Corners has several studies (both complete and in progress) to improve traffic in and through the city. I believe that improving traffic flow will support cleaner air by reducing the time that cars must spend in transit. I support the walkability features and the multi-use trail system planning that the city of Peachtree Corners has introduced. I plan to implement and expand these initiatives to encourage alternatives to driving. I will work to preserve green space environments with an abundance of trees. A single mature tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.

Peachtree Corners Ballot Committee

City officials now admit there is no such thing as a 'city lite' even though they sold that very idea to voters back in 2011. What do you think the city can/ should do to try and live up to the spirit of that idea?
According to Georgia law every city must provide a full set of services. A ‘city-lite’ must directly provide a minimum of 3 services with all other services provided by some government entity. Peachtree Corners directly provides only 3 services: 1) planning and zoning, 2) code enforcement, and 3) solid waste management. The other services are provided by inter-governmental agreements (IGAs) with other government entities. The service of public works is provided by Johns Creek and the remaining services are provided by Gwinnett County. Peachtree Corners is ‘city-lite’ and directly provides services that allow the residents to have the greatest local control (planning and zoning) while keeping costs low by taking advantage of existing county services.

See this post for more information

What is your position on the pedestrian bridge over 141?
I believe more communications from the city to the community, and feedback from the community back to the city needs to happen. There seems to be too much misinformation circulating in the community about this issue. I have seen polls for and against the bridge. I need to know not just what the community in general wants but what do Post 2 residents want.  I hear the community asking about more information on a tunnel instead of a bridge.  I’ve heard requests for a referendum vote.  Furthermore, we need to move the discussion of the pedestrian bridge into the context of the plan for walkability and pedestrian connectivity. It is not just a way to cross the street from the Forum to the new town center, it is part of the larger multi-use trail system for all of Peachtree Corners.

Do you think that the city has handled the 'roll-out' of the bridge proposal well? If so, how? If not, how?
I think the city made a good faith attempt to communicate the bridge proposal to the residents through the January UPCCA meeting. However, I think that the size of the response after the UPCCA meeting and the emotion involved was unanticipated. The second meeting in March was another attempt to get information from the community, but there were complaints about the format and the questions. I have heard that the city plans to have additional meetings for community input, but do not see anything planned on the city calendar. At this point, the city should publish the dates for these additional meetings and reviews.

Recent town halls have revealed a strong sentiment among residents that the city is not doing a good job communicating with them. What would you do, or do differently, to address these concerns.
The city has a number of ways they communicate: through the website, the printed and e-newsletter, press releases, and city council minutes. But we need to utilize these communication channels in a better way. I will promote to folks in Post 2 to take advantage of these.  Alex Wright has a monthly e-mail on Post 3, and I plan to do this in Post 2.  Some of the council members have had town hall meetings, and I’ve attended one recently in Post 2, and in Post 3.  I think we should do more town hall meetings especially in neighborhoods that are interested in having one.  I’ve recently been reading the more than 400 posts on just one topic on Nextdoor, as well as posts on other topics.  I’ve responded to many resident questions thru Nextdoor and will continue to utilize social media as a communication tool.

The city has more than $20 million in cash on hand due to accumulation of franchise, permit, business license, and other fees and fines. What do you think is the best use of these dollars?
The city should have a reserve and/or a minimum level of cash on hand for unexpected expenses, litigation, and emergencies, just like individuals. Once our reserves have been reached the next area of focus should be the studies and projects. When they are prioritized I will work with my fellow council members to allocate funding and ensure their successful and efficient implementation.