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Meet the candidates for Johns Creek mayor, council

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MAYOR’S RACE:

Bodker wants to ‘finish the job’

Bodker

Johns Creek has become the best place to live and work in Georgia, and it is not an accident, says incumbent Mayor Mike Bodker.

“Real results come from real leadership. As mayor, I have worked to provide strong, steady and consistent leadership to keep Johns Creek the best in Georgia,” he said. “In 2006, I led the effort to create the new city of Johns Creek and have served as mayor since. I knew back then we could serve our citizens better than Fulton County and not charge more to do it.”

In 11 years the city has:

  • Resurfaced roads
  • Improved public safety
  • Purchased new parkland
  • Increased transparency
  • Established responsiveness to citizens
  • Lived within its means

“I have been the steady force leading our team through good and hard times,” Bodker said. “We still must protect our premier residential character while attracting the right kind of retail and unique restaurants.

“We will continue work to create a much-needed and properly scaled town center and continue to create new parks and refresh the older ones.”

“I would like to finish the job. As mayor, I will continue to provide real leadership with real results.”

Marchetti says time for change

Marchetti

Corporate executive Alex Marchetti said he is running for the seat held by Mike Bodker, the city’s first and only mayor since its 2006 incorporation.

“My passion is to represent the residents with honest, open communications and accountable leadership,” Marchetti said.

“We are at a critical time in the growth and development of Johns Creek and I want to ensure the mayor and the City Council work together to advance the vision of its residents.”

Marchetti said he will lead the city with integrity, common sense and fiscal responsibility with a focus on:

  • Integrity
  • Implementation of term limits
  • Preserve land usage for parks and green space
  • Effective communication channels with residents and businesses
  • Common sense
  • Listen to residents for fresh, resident-driven perspectives
  • Control of high-density development
  • Traffic – finding collaborative solutions
  • Fiscal responsibility
  • Thorough review of all contracts
  • Responsible spending
  • Review of business taxes.

“My commitment to you is, I will listen and act on the wishes and needs of the residents of Johns Creek,” Marchetti said

POST 1:

Yang vows to tackle traffic, taxes, term limits

Yang

Issure Yang, both a lacrosse mom and an independent consultant, is running for City Council Post 1 to “make sure residents’ voices are heard.”

An area resident since 1989, Yang says she can bring a fresh perspective to the City Council.

“Three T’s plague our city today,” she said. “Traffic, taxes and term limits.”

Yang says traffic should be addressed taking advantage of the technology available instead of “forcing expensive solutions that may permanently change the appearance of the city.”

She will insist on no tax increases while looking for additional areas to save money. Yang said she wants to institute term limits also.

“It is my desire to serve the residents and not myself. Many times those who stay too long lose the vision of the residents and often serve themselves,” she said.

Other issues Yang wants to pursue include:

  • A moratorium on development to resolve traffic issues first
  • Ethics reform to guard against potential conflicts of interest
  • Improved communication between government and community with more community involvement

“Our city government needs better communication and increased community involvement,” she said. “Area residents must be informed of activities such as construction, public works projects that could affect them — optimally, prior to commencement, not after.”

Zaprowski geared up for second term

Zaprowski

Dr. Lenny Zaprowski will seek a second term for Johns Creek City Council Post 1 with the pledge he will not seek a third term.

He also pledges to vote in favor of term limits.

“When I decided to run four years ago, the City Council was in disarray. Since then, we have managed to improve our relationships among ourselves and with our sister cities,” Zaprowski said.

In the four years on City Council Zaprowski said many good things have occurred in the city:

  • Lowering of millage rates for the first time
  • Cutting the operating expenses every year and by over $1million the last two years
  • Transparency in government by streaming city meetings and implementing the Open Checkbook where residents can review all financial transactions
  • Purchase of 200 acres of park land/greenspace
  • Repaving neighborhood streets
  • 10-year financial plan helping to result in an AAA-plus bond rating
  • Rankings of safest city and exceptional place to live

“I listened to the voters and tried to get them involved in the city. I believe I have lived up to these promises,” he said.

POST 3:

Bradberry opposes over-development in city

Bradberry

Post 3 candidate John Bradberry said he is running for City Council to preserve Johns Creek and protect residents’ quality of life.

He said he founded the group Preserve Johns Creek to fight for the community and its traditional residential character.

“When we voted to incorporate Johns Creek, I believe we were not really voting to become a big city. What we wanted was to protect this community,” Bradberry said. “Returning Johns Creek to that simple vision of looking out for the residents of Johns Creek is my mission.”

Among his specific goals are:

  • Advocate for a residential community putting residents first
  • Saving the residential character of Johns Creek
  • Focus on traffic relief. Widening our roads should be the last resort, especially when it encourages using our community as a cut-through, damaging our residential character.
  • Protect property values, schools and safety
  • Term limits for all elected officials

“Johns Creek is at a critical juncture. If we are to remain a premier bedroom community, we need to return to our original vision for our community,” Bradberry said.

“This is why choosing a candidate with a strong track record of clearly stating his beliefs on these issues is so important.”

Holladay wants to attack city gridlock

Holladay

Trey Holladay, a Johns Creek entrepreneur and homeowners association president, says he opposes gridlock, and not just on streets.

“Gridlock is too pervasive in Johns Creek. It is found on our roads and in the way our local government operates,” said Holladay. “It’s time to stop the political bickering that bogs down progress.

“By working together, we can implement real, meaningful solutions to our challenges, while protecting the unique charm of our community.”

In addition to announcing his campaign, Trey started to roll out an aggressive agenda to remove the gridlock from Johns Creek. Other goals are:

  • Support road projects that alleviate traffic but protect residential charm
  • Develop an intelligent, deliberate, planned growth policy
  • Control spending, oppose tax increases
  • Quit playing political games, start solving problems
  • Support term limits to ensure fresh perspectives on the City Council

His community service includes being a member of the Abbotts Hill Elementary School Governance Council.

He serves as president of the Hillbrooke Neighborhood Homeowners Association and is a member of the Johns Creek United Methodist Church Recreation Committee, coach for youth soccer and basketball. He volunteers and raises money for children with special needs.

Horton vows to protect Johns Creek

Horton

Business owner Vicki Horton says her 25 years’ experience in community and economic development will help the City of Johns Creek successfully address the important issues: traffic, overdevelopment, protection of property values, and preservation of green space.

“I have worked with many communities across the country and have a clear idea how effective city councils work” she said.

“In Johns Creek, we need to find a better way to involve the community, improve communication and build trust in our local government. Right now people are frustrated and feel their concerns are not being heard.”

She said the more transparent government is, the more people will engage in the process of creating a unified vision for Johns Creek.

“Then we can work together on strategic, effective solutions that are sustainable for the long run.”

For Horton that means:

  • Finding low impact, effective solutions that improve the traffic flow before widening the roads
  • Preserving city green spaces by investing parks bond money to serve the best interests of all residents
  • Cutting wasteful government spending and eliminating unnecessary taxes for residents and businesses
  • Opposing overdevelopment in the community

“In short, we need to protect our assets while preparing for the future,” Horton said.

Venco seeks to engage residents

Venco

Citizens Advisory Committee member and former J.C.C.A. board member, Mark Venco, announced his candidacy for City Council – Post 3.

As a Republican, Venco says he believes in lower taxes and limited government meant to serve the community.

With 25 years of corporate management experience, Venco’s focus is to move away from the “rhetoric talk” and create dialogue with residents at a “residential node” level addressing specific issues in homeowners’ backyards.

“Residents are frustrated, having no voice regarding projects in their local area,” he said. “We need to change the process. Other candidates talk in generalities but rarely come up with specific ideas. I was taught if you bring up a problem bring a solution.”

Venco said he wants to drill down on local issues.

“It makes little sense that a person living in St. Ives could affect a project in Shakerag or Newtown,” he said. “My proposal is to geographically break down the city into 11 residential nodes. Each is represented by a committee of homeowners and a City Council member, allowing homeowners a greater voice regarding issues in their backyards. This is Project Management 101, a piecemeal approach with individual teams, with a vested interest, achieving better results.”

Venco says by changing the city’s approach, homeowners are involved and affect changes that residents desire within their backyards.

POST 5:

Jackson seeks end to council divisiveness

Jackson

Business owner Chris Jackson has announced his candidacy for Johns Creek City Council Post 5 calling for greater cooperation among council members to solve city problems.

Jackson is owner of a local staffing firm that focuses on permanent placement to the travel and hospitality technology industries. He and his wife are the parents of five children who range in age from 8 to 21.

He said he is running to focus on five major areas of concern for the city:

  • Traffic, traffic and traffic
  • Enhance parks and greenspaces
  • Develop a smart growth plan
  • Remove impediments to attracting and retaining businesses
  • Alleviate the tax burden on homeowners
  • Protect the character of the community
  • Keep a check on spending

Jackson said Johns Creek is at a critical maturation point.

“To deal with that, we need leaders who can work together to solve the problems that we currently face,” he said. “And, like so many, I’ve had enough with the divisiveness on the council that has seeped into our communities.

“I know how to work with people and get my point across without being negative. Most importantly, I know can get the job done.”

Endres vows vigilance on taxes, spending

Endres

Incumbent Post 5 Councilwoman Stephanie Endres will seek re-election vowing to keep a close eye on taxes and spending.

“I kept my promises to reduce the millage rate, streamline business taxes, increase transparency of financial data, address traffic congestion, and effectively advocate for the residents’ desire to preserve our premier residential bedroom community,” said Endres, a certified public accountant.

Among her accomplishments Endres:

  • Co-led the effort to reduce the millage rate – the first reduction in the city’s history
  • Led the effort to provide citywide support to the Fulton County Commission to roll back the 2017 residential property assessments to 2016 levels
  • Brought residents and city staff together for better engagement and communication related to individual resident concerns, neighborhood/HOA concerns and overall citywide issues

If re-elected, Endres said she will continue to advocate for all residents to preserve the residential community, reform taxes for equitable solutions and continue to work on well planned congestion relief.

“The campaign has strong volunteer support, is well funded and I am excited to start knocking on doors again. The best part of the campaign is connecting with my neighbors,” Endres said.


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