On November 5, 2013 the city of Johns Creek will hold a municipal election to elect a mayor and three city council members. This week Patch will run Q&As for all eight candidates.
Today, Thursday, Sept. 19, Patch presents Q&As for the third of three candidates running for the Post 3 council seat. Each candidate was asked the same set of questions.
Name, age: Nancy Reinecke, 61
How long lived in the city: I have lived in the Ocee/Warsaw area in what is now Johns Creek for 27 years. Prior to that I lived for seven years abutting what is now the Newtown area of Johns Creek. In that time I have seen and been a participant in the transformation of the area from rural to a major city.
Occupation/Profession: Dietitian/Nutritionist, MS Emory University, BS UMASS Amherst
What experience in your background do you think has best prepared you for serving on the Johns Creek City Council?
I see the primary requirements for serving on city council to be a good listener, to work well with others, and to have a passion for the best interests of the city. I raised two beautiful and intelligent daughters through Fulton County schools including Dolvin Elementary, Medlock Bridge Crossing Elementary, Taylor Road Middle School, and Chattahoochee High School. I was an active participant in school activities including reading, Project Self-Esteem, environmental classes, Odyssey of the Mind, and Academic Bowl team coach. I served for seven years as a substitute teacher in Johns Creek middle and high schools.
I was an active participant in the development of the Comprehensive Land Use plan for the area, including when the area was under Fulton County and after it was incorporated into the city of John Creek. I also participated in the development of the John Creek Transportation Plan, and in proposed revisions to the John Creek City Charter. I have worked to organize residents to present their views on various zoning cases including before the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and the Johns Creek City Council.
All of these experiences have taught me to be a good listener and work well with others. They also demonstrate my passion in working for the best interests of the city of Johns Creek.
Tell Johns Creek Patch readers about your vision for the city and how you would accomplish it?
My vision for the city is one in which residents and businesses participate actively in our city government to protect and enhance a very desirable quality of life. This desirable quality of life will be achieved through supporting excellence in our schools, parks/ green space, and neighborhoods; convenient access to businesses to meet the work and service needs of the community; and beautification efforts throughout the city.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing Johns Creek, and how would you approach it?
The City of Johns Creek will face many significant challenges, known and unknown at this time. The key to meeting all of these challenges is for members of the City Council to actively seek out the ideas and concerns of residents and businesses, and to build consensus before a decision is made. It is also important to discuss with residents and businesses how their ideas and concerns have been addressed in any decision that is made.
Instead of expecting residents and businesses to bring issues and concerns to me, I would actively seek their input through frequent participation in meetings sponsored by homeowner and business organizations. I would also prepare weekly communications to reach out to the community and promote discussion on issues of interest.
Do you have any suggestions for increasing city revenue and/or reducing expenses?
Johns Creek has an operations and maintenance budget of about $50 million, and a capital improvements budget of about $7 million for a total budget of approximately $57 million. For the 79,000 residents and 26,000 households in Johns Creek this represents an annual expenditure of about $730 for every man, woman and child living in Johns Creek, or $2,200 per household.
The negotiations over the allocation of the Local Option Sales Tax revenues between the cities and Fulton County have resulted in a $1.9 million increase in revenues to the city starting January 2014. This would allow for a 60% increase in the Johns Creek contribution to its capital improvements budget. The impact of this significant revenue increase on the city budget needs to be carefully assessed. It would be wise to save some of this money in a rainy day fund, and to allocate some of the money for upkeep of the physical improvements the city is making.
I see it as a responsibility of a councilperson to actively seek the input of residents and businesses to determine whether this level of spending is too little, too much, or just right. An objective of mine would be to ensure that funding for parks, green space, and beautification would receive an equal hearing with other priority issues for the city.
Address an issue you think is important to the City of Johns Creek.
Our founding city council members are to be commended for putting the city on its feet, but now that the city is seven years old, it is appropriate to expand the circle of people honored to serve on the city council. George Washington set an example for our nation by declining to serve for more than eight years. New council members will bring a fresh perspective, independently validate prior decisions, and demonstrate that our city transcends the service of any one individual. I am certain that past council members, to ensure their experience and unfulfilled ideas are carried forward, will be more than willing to mentor new council persons.