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, Monday, Sept. 16, Patch presents Q&As for the two candidates running for the mayor's seat. Each candidate was asked the same set of questions.
Name, age: Bev Miller, 58
How long have you lived in the city: 19 Years
Occupation: Director of Community Relations, Emory Johns Creek Hospital
What experience in your background do you think has best prepared you for serving as Mayor for the City of Johns Creek?
I was one of the original founders of Johns Creek, a city council member since 2006 and have had the honor of being elected by the Council as Mayor Pro Tem from the very beginning of our city. As Mayor Pro Tem for the past seven years, I have been acting Mayor on numerous occasions including work sessions, council meetings, community functions and public recognition events. I understand both the position of being a Council member and Mayor. I further realize the importance of recognizing that each Council member brings something valuable to the table and when we work as a team, great things happen for Johns Creek. As Mayor, I will foster a cooperative environment on our council and staff and bring back the teamwork we once had.
Second, my occupation as Community Relations Director in the city places me in the unique position to be an integral part of the business community, giving me that valuable business perspective. For instance, I Chair the Convention and visitors Bureau and serve as a Board Member of the Johns Creek Business Association. My educational background in accounting and tax provide the foundation for tackling finance issues.
Lastly, having founded, chaired, and worked with several community and school PTA and Local School Councils over the past 19 years with integrity, honesty, and openness, I hope I have earned the faith, confidence, and most importantly, the trust of resident taxpayers.
My husband and I have raised our family in Johns Creek and I have a passion for making this city great.
Tell Johns Creek readers about your vision for the city and how you would accomplish it?
We have built a solid city that has been recognized both locally and nationally for our accomplishments, with more to do. My vision is to work with and listen to the community, every member of council and staff leadership, to take Johns Creek to an even higher level. Where the vast majority of our citizens feel that our city is a great place to live, to work, to play, and to be openly proud of.
Under my leadership, Johns Creek will continue to be a premier residential community, with initiatives to maintain and improve our quality of life. This includes sidewalks, intersection and road improvements, and zoning decisions that are true to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
I will look to grow our business community and tax base, working with Johns Creek Advantage to ensure our city government has the mechanisms in place that will attract businesses to our city.
Johns Creek still struggles with an identity and a sense of community, which is so important to this premier residential community. I am excited by the branding study that has been initiated by Council. I would like to be at the helm as we map a plan for a town center; but it has to be reasonable, affordable, and fitting for this community. I envision it as an evolving task, and with a viable plan, as a community we’ll be able to see and realize our vision together.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing Johns Creek, and how would you approach it?
This election is about character, integrity, and leadership. Our greatest challenge right now is the discourse that exists between Council and the Mayor. It’s simply time for a new style and new leadership. I will lead based on following Council’s decisions, taking responsibility for my actions, being accountable for results, and taking ownership of issues. I believe I am the candidate that brings experience, openness, honesty, and authenticity to the Mayor’s seat – all elements that are critical for moving our great city forward together.
Do you have any suggestions for increasing city revenue and/or reducing expenses?
It is important for us to attract new businesses in order for our economy to grow. Our tax base is roughly 85%/15% residential/business, and I’d like to see us work towards a 75/25 ratio, which would reduce the residential tax burden. Again, collaboration with Johns Creek Advantage will play a critical role.
Address an issue you think is important to the City of Johns Creek.
Our subdivision roads have been long neglected, and residents have spoken loud and clear that this issue is a priority. The study is complete, and the city has the data on which the paving schedule will be based. I am not in favor of raising taxes in order to pay for it. Like our home mortgages, this can be accomplished over time by borrowing, but only if we can service the debt through the existing operations budget.