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INTERVIEW WITH JOHN

What is your record of civic involvement in Johns Creek?

I will serve my full four-year term on Johns Creek City Council.  Before Council, I served as President of my HOA in both of my Johns Creek neighborhoods. It is through this experience that my concern about zoning and development issues led me to serve on the Johns Creek Community Council and eventually to start Preserve Johns Creek.  

My family has been in Johns Creek for almost 20 years. We attend Northpoint Community Church. My wife and I have always been members of the PTA. I am also a member of One Johns Creek, a coalition for mental health and substance abuse prevention. 

 

What is your view and track record on taxes in Johns Creek?

While I have been on Council, we have reduced the property tax millage rate from 4.360 to 3.986 with two cuts in between.  We have the lowest millage rate of any city in Fulton County.  I have always sought to be very upfront with the public when discussing budgeting and taxes. This is in sharp contrast to my opponent who promised never to vote for a tax increase but then did so soon after taking office.

Generally, I believe that the government should have the money that it needs but should not be given everything that it wants. I plan to maintain our millage rate while delivering the best city services possible at the best value to our taxpayers. 

What is your view and track record on developers and development in Johns Creek?

I started Preserve Johns Creek because I was concerned about the quality and quantity of development. Although I have fought high-density where I thought it would be detrimental to our community, I recognize that some density will be needed in the heart of the new town center to activate it.

As a rule, I do not accept campaign contributions from developers or from those that do business with the city. In fact, I returned a $2,800 contribution because it would have violated my own policy.   I want to avoid even an appearance of impropriety. Unfortunately, this too is in contrast with my opponent as has been noted in the media. 

Why is Johns Creek’s independence as a city important and how would you reinforce it?

We should not lose sight of why we originally incorporated which was primarily to achieve independence and local control. We have seen benefits of cityhood like having our own zoning, code enforcement, fire, police, and generally having a government closer to the people.  

It would be a shame if we allowed our hard fought independence to be surrendered to other outside parties. We must be careful when considering agreements with the federal government, GDOT, or even Fulton County and other counties and cities to make sure that they are good investments for our community. I will remain focused on protecting the rights and interests of our Johns Creek community.

What is your view and track record on traffic in general, and specifically the intersection at 141 and State Bridge and the widening of 141?

I’m proud of the work I did to stop 141 from becoming a six-lane highway through the middle of our community. That would have been detrimental to our community’s health and character and would have increased the traffic coming through Johns Creek. I’m concerned that my opponent would be ok with this widening. 

 

We have seen how our recommendations for improved light timing, fattening of intersections, and other strategic improvements can dramatically improve traffic without sacrificing our residential character and quality of life.

 

Our City has invested millions in our Intelligent Traffic System (ITS).  We were told that the system was the most advanced system available and would manage the lights very efficiently.  However, this was not the experience of our residents.  I probed into this disconnect until it was finally revealed that we really did not have anyone on our Staff that knew how to run the ITS.  It was like we had a race car but no one that knew how to drive it.  I held our Staff accountable for improved results until finally we got our first dedicated traffic-light engineer.  The addition of this expertise made a big difference in the optimization of city traffic lights.

Regarding the intersection at 141 and State Bridge, I was opposed to the Michigan Thru-U and to the latest effort to give the authority over the intersection improvement to GDOT. My opponent voted to pursue this arrangement with GDOT which would circumvent the residents of Johns Creek.

My recommendation has always been that the “intermediate” solution that was just recently constructed should be measured for its efficiency before a larger and experimental project is undertaken. 

What is your view of the City’s contract with Jacobs Engineering to outsource the Public Works Department personnel, and what if any changes would you make regarding it?

In our Public Works Department, we have made great strides in both approach and results.  However, despite this progress, I still think we owe it to ourselves to critically review our outsourcing model and the only provider we have ever had.  We need to assess our options for either putting the contract out for competitive bid or transitioning this function in-house.  At our Council retreat earlier this year, my opponent was opposed to re-examining our contract for our Public Works personnel.  

What is your history of advocacy for or against MARTA?

I believe MARTA in Johns Creek would add to traffic rather than reduce it. We don’t need more empty buses filling our roads. I am interested in innovative transportation improvements that are individual customer-centric. I have been disappointed in my opponent’s advocacy of MARTA. 

Please list your accomplishments that benefited Johns Creek in which you played a key role.

  1. When the residents were faced with skyrocketing assessments coupled with the following year’s state-mandated floating homestead exemption, it put everyone in a precarious situation. The 30-40% increases in assessments would have resulted in a huge tax increase on our residents. But, if we had reduced the millage rate to offset the assessment increase, the City would have been left with an unrealistically low budget the following year when the assessments were reversed by the floating homestead exemption. To bridge this situation, I crafted innovative legislation that was adopted by the Council to pair the two years together so that neither the City nor the taxpayers would experience wild fluctuations. Taxpayers and the City both saw their finances remain stable without the disruption or tax increases seen in other cities.
  2. Led the effort to change the contract for maintenance of our public medians and right-of-way.  The quality of service of the City was not meeting the high standards we had established.  This is an example of “inspect what you expect” keeping our community looking good and holding vendors accountable.
  3. Started the i❤️Johns Creek Steering Committee.
  4. Stopped the widening of 141.
  5. Saved the character of our residential neighborhoods by stopping road projects that would have been damaging to our neighborhood character causing them to either be abandoned or redesigned to mitigate the damage to these said residential neighborhoods.
  6. In partnership with Council Member Zaprowski, arranged for fields and an additional staff position so that we can close the gaps in the K-5 youth sports programming.
  7. Led the effort to turf the baseball fields at Ocee Park.
  8. Stopped the roundabout on Buice Rd to preserve the character of the area and helped pursue a less destructive alternative to mitigate the road safety issue.
  9. Initiated and facilitated the collaboration with Roswell to make sidewalks along Nesbit Ferry a priority of our two cities.
  10. Led the effort for the re-weighting of the sidewalk matrix to prioritize areas with no existing sidewalk. This re-weighting will get sidewalks and trails to areas like Shakerag near Cauley Creek Park that are in desperate need of pedestrian options.
  11. Led the effort, along with Mayor Bodker, to bring about the original vape shop restrictions.  This was important for the health of our youth and also to reduce the proliferation of vape shops in Johns Creek.
  12. Successfully steered the Tsplost II project list towards sidewalks and trails as the largest component of the program.
  13. Arranged for city protection and maintenance for the historic Macedonia African Methodist Church Cemetery.
  14. Was the original voice advocating for a stormwater utility as a means to address stormwater issues. I negotiated the compromise legislation that was ultimately passed by the City Council.
  15. Facilitated the collaboration between the city, the county, and the Water Authority to re-design the trail along Buice road. The new design is now a much more aesthetically appealing continuous ribbon of concrete that will result in a cost savings of over $300k.
  16. Facilitated Nell’s Produce permit so they could stay in Johns Creek.
  17. Obtained donations for all of the concrete and landscape trees and shrubs for the completion of the Wall that Heals in the Johns Creek Veterans Memorial Walk.
  18.  Crafted the compromise legislation that was needed to finally pass the Covid relief business grants.  Simply voting for this legislation has been heralded by my opponent as one of his accomplishments.  

What is your view on a potential Town Center in Johns Creek?

I look forward to making the new town center a reality. I will work to make it vibrant and unique, but also to scale and fitting with the character of our existing community. 

The town center I envision will be mindful of health and wellness. There will be a community center with a performance hall, a multi-use open space, and a town green for things like high school football games or professional cricket matches.  This same town green can also serve as a festival field and an area for expanded viewing and enjoyment of concerts, movies, and broadcasts.

I’d like to see us eventually have a large jumboTron that would magnify the live-action entertainment to those outside on the green.  It could also play movies and sports broadcasts like the Georgia Bulldogs, the Atlanta Falcons, the Atlanta Braves, etc.  It will be a place where residents can enjoy a slice of pizza or experience fine dining,  watch the kids play, and/or just hang out and relax.  

The possibilities are endless and will be enjoyed for decades as long as we are careful not to go too far with over-density. I don’t want this wonderful improvement to our community to become a threat to our infrastructure and start negatively impacting our quality of life in other areas.  To accomplish this vision, we have to have capable, creative leadership that is determined to make it happen.  I look forward to doing just that. 

Please add any additional thoughts you would like to communicate to Johns Creek constituents.

The goal was never for Johns Creek to become a big city. My goal is a great community. That will be my focus – to make fully realized the original dream that was The City of Johns Creek. Simply put, I’m running because this is our home and I want to make it the best that it can be.

My three priorities are Safety First, Building Greater Community, and Forward Together.

  • Safety/Security First:

Public safety is my top priority.  Johns Creek has a reputation as a safe city. The question is will it remain that way?  I say it has to because without safety, all other issues will pale by comparison. 

Scenes like this one {inset video clip of donuts} shouldn’t be happening in Johns Creek. I will not let the problems in ther crime ridden cities come to our city. We all chose Johns Creek as a safe place to raise our families and I am committed to keeping it that way.

We have the best police force and fire department in the state. But morale is always challenging and it is getting more difficult to fill open positions. That needs to change. JCPD and the JCFD put their lives on the line every day and I think we’ve got to have their backs. I will innovate, but I am never going to play politics with either department. We have to ensure that they are able to carry out their jobs to enforce law and order and do their jobs without procedural interference.  

  1. Building Greater Community:

You can have a city that is not a community, just like you can have a house that is not a home.  I am excited about turning Johns Creek into a truly great community. I would like to see it happen physically, socially, economically, utilizing our human capital, and of course, the realization of our town center.  

Physically, I want to build a network of sidewalks and trails to create connectivity between neighborhoods, parks, and even shopping centers.  Socially, I want to see us hosting many more culturally diverse events that engage more of our community and are held in locations throughout the city.   

Economically, our shopping centers are dated. I  will encourage shopping centers to bring us their best proposals for redevelopment.  I’ll make clear that I am open and flexible to innovative plans that create a more experiential retail experience that improves our economy and makes the property more like a mini-community center for the benefit of our residents.

On a human capital level, we are a prosperous community with well-educated citizens. I want to tap into that potential to capitalize on the expertise that exists in our community for task forces, commissions, and committees.  Just take public art, wouldn’t it be great if we had a competition between our high school art departments to design public art?  Can you imagine the pride and sense of community that we could build in our students if they could see their creativity on public display in our city?

The last major building block for greater community is of course the Town Center.  The Town Center will create a greater sense of place and identity.  Our community needs a place to gather for major events and socializing as a community.  I will be the Mayor that makes the Town Center a reality.  I want to do it in a way that is unique, vibrant but also in step with the character and scale of Johns Creek.  It will take leadership to make this something special that will add to the quality of life in our city.  I am looking forward to working with you to make it happen!

  1. Forward Together:

Forward Together is the foundational principle of my campaign.  When some politicians or different folks in the media seem intent on dividing us or pitting us against one another, I reject that.  

We are a beautifully diverse community.  We are literally the most diverse city in Georgia, and yet we are all basically here for the same reasons.  We all want our kids to get a great education, for our families to live in safety, and for us to have a high quality of life.  These are noble pursuits and they are what unites us regardless of background.

As a community of many different people, we can celebrate the various rich cultures represented in Johns Creek.  Likewise, all parts of our community should be actively engaged in developing the shared aspects of our community life.

We should be united, never divided.  We are one people, one community.  I know that if we focus on this, that we will be much more effective at tackling any issue and achieving our common community goals.

This is what I believe in.  This is the kind of leadership I will provide as Mayor.  

In conclusion, together, we can disagree. But as neighbors and fellow community members, we should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.  We will be more productive and effective at solving problems and working through difficult issues for our mutual benefit when we keep this in mind.

We will continue to be a city of good schools, safety, and beautiful neighborhoods with lots of green space. But I believe we can also have more vibrancy and become an extraordinary community!

The next four years will be full of challenges, but also a time of fun, excitement, and progress for all of our community.  I want to be the Mayor who unites us, brings people together, and who brings everyone along through the decision-making process.  With your help, BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER the election, we will move our community “Forward Together”!  

Commitment to Johns Creek

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Paid for by Friends of John Bradberry