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Councilman Bradberry Looks Forward to 2021

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The below article appeared in Preserve Johns Creek on January 10.

Well, 2021 has arrived with great anticipation and in Johns Creek there is much good news.

We have continued to be a standout community. Our reputation for excellent schools, public safety and quality of life continues. We did face some unprecedented challenges last year, from a change in Police Department leadership to the pandemic that continues to surge with large human and economic costs, but we are facing those challenges.

We have begun the search for a new leader of our community’s police department, integrating community involvement at each step in the process. The Council has demanded that this process be kept as transparent as possible. We should have a new chief hopefully in the next few months.

We have also recognized our need to improve and reform our police department in other meaningful ways. Although the Johns Creek Police Department is excellent, important opportunities to change became obvious in the areas of mental health and community policing. To these ends, we will have a dedicated mental health professional work full-time with our department to help victims and people in need. Also, we are pursuing a Police Explorers program for high school students to bridge between the department and the young people of our community.

As we look ahead in 2021, we must continue to recognize what has made Johns Creek a desirable place to live. Chief among these reasons is our high quality public schools. The challenge we face is how to maintain our schools’ quality and reputation. From a city perspective (since the school system is outside the city’s purview), this means maintaining Johns Creek as an attractive place for younger families to settle. To do this, we must protect and improve the quality of life for our residents.

What can we do as a city to add value to life in Johns Creek? Here are three examples that we can do while maintaining our lower property taxes.

Walkability and Mobility. Covid has highlighted parks and the desire to get outside for fresh air and relaxation. Building out our park, trail and sidewalk network should be a top priority. Optimizing the trails and sidewalks to serve a multi-modal function (walk, bike, cart) as a car alternative to get to nearby places is something we can and should do.

Vibrancy. Our residents have been clamoring for a town center. It is time that we get one started. This has the potential to be something very unique and special. It can be become a reality without a large outlay of city funds but facilitated by the city and executed by private investors. It can be done in such a way that will be to scale with our community and it’s character. It can be an amenity that all residents can enjoy and take pride in. A vibrant town center can help maintain a high demand for our residential real estate and help strengthen the local business environment, both important to our community’s long term health.

Invigorating our Community. Even before Covid but especially after, signs point to an environment where people want hyperlocal opportunities for socializing, working and playing. Throughout Johns Creek, shopping centers can be redeveloped as village community centers, making a win-win for businesses and their residential neighbors’ quality of life.

As the most diverse city in Georgia, we can demonstrate ourselves as a model of our national motto, E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One. Despite the many different backgrounds of our people, there are two things that are universal to us all. They are sports and cultural/performing arts. We have unique opportunities to leverage our existing strengths in these areas and to take them to the next level, providing greater enrichment for individuals and the community as a whole. In 2021, I hope to see us explore what is possible in these areas.

The world continues to be our oyster. The opportunities are there, we just to have to have the vision and determination to take advantage of them. As always, I gladly recognize that ultimately I am accountable to you the residents of Johns Creek. Feel free to share your thoughts with me.

Best of luck to you and your family for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021. Let’s make it a great year!

John Bradberry

Commintment to Johns Creek

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