Have you ever thought about the future of our city? What it will look like in 20 years? If you had the opportunity to help shape the future of the city you live in, would you?
Happy New Year to all! While it is cliché, time really does seem to fly. I can hardly believe my two oldest are entering their teenage years, and that my youngest is rapidly closing in on two years old. I also think back to the beginning of our City in 2006, and as I am about to be sworn into my fourth term in office, I feel as though I have been running in an 11-year track meet. So much has happened not only within our exceptional city, but also in surrounding cities and counties as well. At times it can be tough to catch my breath.
As we prepare to close out another great year in the City of Johns Creek, I want to be sure you are aware of an exciting new event we have added to the calendar. The City will host its first ever International Festival on Saturday April, 21 across from the Atlanta Athletic Club which is the same location as our annual Arts Festival.
Johns Creek recently received another two notable accolades being named as one of the most successful cities in Georgia, and for the second consecutive year, recognized as the fourth best city to live in America. As impressive as the two accolades are on their own, it is even more remarkable when reflecting on the many superlative lists Johns Creek has been recognized in over the past couple of years www.johnscreekga.gov/live-work-play. From the safest city and tops in education to premier residential living, Johns Creek continues to be a highly sought out community in which to live, work, and play.
It’s time once again when we close out the Fiscal Year and move forward with the next year’s budget, which was developed with an eye toward the future of our exceptional City. As announced following the vote, the Johns Creek City Council unanimously approved a $54.3 million General Fund budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2018, beginning Oct. 1.
As 2017 continues to move along at a seemingly rapid pace, the City Council and staff continue to push forward with decisions and plans designed to transform Johns Creek’s future into an even more exceptional premier residential community than what we have become in our first ten years.
This time of year reminds me of the commercial where the child is dragging his feet in the school supplies aisle while the parent is joyously riding on their shopping cart. It’s a funny take on, Back to School Time.
I am very pleased with the City Council’s decision last month to move forward with the process of developing construction documents on four of the City’s five new parks. The City Council’s action represents a big step forward in what is shaping up to be a transformational year in Johns Creek. The addition of these beautiful green spaces and what they will mean to our residents they serve is very exciting.
As we gear up for the warm summer months and all that the season brings, I want to take the opportunity to remind you to take a moment to review all the City has to offer for you and your family.
As Mayor, I get a lot of questions that I am more than willing and able to answer on a number of topics related to our City. But, one question I would like to pose to you is, what method or means can we put forth that would motivate you to become more engaged with your local government?
The first quarter of our transformational calendar year is in the books, and the City Council and City Staff are eager to engage with you more as planning and actions on our strategic goals are either underway, just on the horizon, or in need of additional input.
Each year, events held by the City of Johns Creek’s draw thousands of people to our exceptional community. Some live here, some are returning, and some are joining us for the first time. Our events are an important and unique way for us to meet, entertain, educate, and spend time together as a community.
We are starting the New Year on strong footing, so look out 2017! While 2016 concentrated on our planning and long term goals, we are now excited to begin implementing those plans starting this year. I’d like to share with you some of the highlights of what we have to look forward to in hopes that you will be as proud as I am on what we’ve set forth thus far.
2016 was an exciting and historic year for Johns Creek. It marked our 10th year as an incorporated city, and it was arguably one of the busiest years in our brief history. As we prepare for 2017 and all the promise a New Year holds, let’s review the highlights of what was accomplished this past year to better put in perspective what lays ahead for our city.
With the elections behind us my hope is that we can now turn our attention to the opportunities that await us as a result of the November ballot initiatives.
Every four years we are faced with the same critical decision of who to elect as the President of the United States. We the people are provided the power to select the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. When you consider what this truly means it is really very awe inspiring.
In last month’s message I provided information regarding one of the two referenda for you to consider on this year’s general election ballot on Nov. 8, which is the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or TSPLOST. As you may recall, the TSPLOST is designed to provide a funding mechanism to accelerate much needed congestion relief and other transportation related projects.
Since the City’s inception in 2006, consistently the #1 issue raised by our residents is traffic congestion. We have watched this issue become more challenging over the past decade with the explosive growth that we see continuing today in Forsyth County and other surrounding municipalities.
As we head into another school year, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to our school administrators, educators, staff, and parents for all their hard work and dedication throughout each year to provide the best educational and extracurricular opportunities possible for the students of Johns Creek.
As you drive around our city, I am sure have taken notice of new billboards beginning to pop up. As a matter of history, this issue predates Johns Creek as an incorporated city. Originally, a number of billboard companies applied to Fulton County for 75 billboard sign permits and each were denied. The companies then began the process of suing Fulton County for the right to erect billboards. Johns Creek joined the lawsuit after it was incorporated in 2006.
Summer time in Johns Creek is in full effect. The temperatures are warming, neighborhood pools are opening, and kids are celebrating the end of the school year. Whether visiting one of our parks or enjoying a meal at one of Johns Creek’s award winning restaurants, people are out and about enjoying the warm air and sunshine. Luckily for Johns Creek residents there is no shortage of fun activities offered by the city this summer including concerts, movies, new athletic classes, a Farmers Market, and more!
2016 marks a special milestone in the history of Johns Creek as nearly ten years ago our referendum was approved by over 70 percent of the voters to become a City. And since that time, we have walked this path together. We shared a common goal to meet our fate and create what would be the ultimate in self-determination. We have evolved into a city where we made our own rules to follow and set goals that set us apart.
The City of Johns Creek is facing an increasingly competitive environment for recruiting new businesses and retaining existing ones. Each city is jockeying for an advantage, trying to attract similar businesses and industries. Up until now, Johns Creek lacked a strategic economic vision for the types of businesses to attract, clarity on our economic strengths and weaknesses, and a focused plan to maintain the character of the city throughout this process.
Once the weather warms, the Johns Creek Public Works Department will kick off our second year of repaving the City’s neighborhood streets. This multi-year initiative is the fulfillment of a promise made when the City was formed in 2006. Quality neighborhood streets protect property values and improve everyone’s quality of life...
Many of you may not be aware of a proposed tax increase to support a MARTA expansion further north on GA 400. Conventional wisdom might suggest such an expansion will significantly reduce traffic congestion and therefore is a no brainer...
As I reflect on 2015, I am filled with pride at our accomplishments. I proclaimed 2015 as “The Year of Public Works” and we kept to that ideal. We delivered a year of marked improvements, procedural advancements, and community discussion, introspection, and looking ahead...
I am excited about the proposed 10-year Recreation and Parks strategic plan which was recently presented to the City Council for review and discussion, and I want to take this opportunity to provide a quick update of where we are in this process...
After considerable discussion, community input, and refinement, the Johns Creek City Council approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Operating Budget of $60.4 million with a unanimous vote. The City Council also committed more than 75 percent of its estimated $54 million in reserves...