As a candidate for City Council, Post 3 I believe it is important for me to offer my perspectives on the Mayoral investigation and the just issued Interim Report.
First, I wish to point out that I am an independent candidate not aligned with either faction into which the City Council has devolved. I believe I can work well with both Mayoral candidates, and with all the other council members and candidates. This is because my focus is on serving the interests of the citizens of Johns Creek, not on being a devoted ally of any particular councilperson or member of a “clique.”
Having carefully read the 28-page report, my evaluation is that it does not reflect $90,000 and five months worth of effort. The authors admit that it lacks citations and attachments, and seem to acknowledge that it is more a status report than anything else. In the interest of openness and transparency in our government, this status report should have been issued back on September 3rd, with or without the cooperation of the Mayor, to make the allegations known to the community. It is not clear to me that the information being sought by the investigators from the Mayor will prove or disprove any of the allegations.
What is important now is what positive actions can we take as a community as a result of this report. A lesson we can learn, as a community, is that it is very important for voters to enforce term limits to stop insider dealing, favoritism, and power hunger taking root in our city council. I believe that no city council member should serve for more than two terms. This will ensure that many more people have the opportunity to serve the community instead of a limited few serving their own interests.
Another lesson that we should learn is that all the members of city council have set themselves up for ethics concerns as alleged in this report. It is well worth the effort to visit the state campaign finance disclosure website to study who has and is contributing to the council members and candidates. Claims that integrity is unaffected by favors and money are somewhat naïve. For this reason, I have chosen not to accept campaign contributions and build up obligations to individuals and businesses. It should not require tens of thousands of dollars in a campaign chest to be elected to serve in city government. http://media.ethics.ga.gov/search/Campaign/Campaign_ByName.aspx
My final point, is that despite this focus on who said what to whom at what time and for what purpose, the citizens of Johns Creek still do not have a light at the intersection of Brumbelow Road and Nesbit Ferry, and the community is still sorely lacking for park space. The voters finally have the opportunity to view the allegations against the Mayor, and with their vote on November 5th will express their choices for whom they wish to see serve as Mayor and as council members. We will need to respect the voters’ choices and move forward. It may well be worth restarting the city charter revision effort, which came to a disappointing end in Spring of this year.