AJC Atlanta Voter Guide
City Council Post 1
Name: Donald F. Mitchell (i)
City Council Post 2
Name: Ben Burnett
Profession: Technology- Sales and Marketing
What experience will help you in office? I sat as the liaison the the AYSA on the recreation commission and I saw parents who wanted their kids to be active in athletics. Here I led a public/private partnership to get shade structures in place to protect patrons from the sun as well as foul balls. In 2016 I was asked by home owner friendly members of city council to consider joining the planning commission. There I built a record of always giving homeowners in alpharetta a seat at the table.
What issue got you into this race? I ran for city council because the density and traffic is choking the average homeowner who put a stake in the ground. Our comprehensive land use plan has been absolutely shredded over the last 6 years. 100,000 cars are coming to our roads from already approved developments. With $80 million in bond money to alleviate traffic approved we need to balance growth. There is no affordable technology solution that will overcome a fundamental lack of capacity. Commercial developers have flourished with subsidy after subsidy while homeowners best interest's have been left to pick up the pieces of broken promises.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Randall Pearson from "this is us". He fights the balance between loving his wife, raising his children, and trying to change the world. As a dad with an adopted child. I see his battle and I know his story. Advocacy beyond a twitter hashtag is rare. That show does so much for the foster care community in the United States. It's very authentic. So am I.
Name: Ben H. Easterling
Profession: Technology - Smart City
What experience will help you in office? Possessing the right skills learned firsthand by actively participating in; Alpharetta Rotary, Senior Services of North Fulton, YMCA and Leadership North Fulton.
Having 35 years of professional experience with Fortune 500 companies proving fiscal responsibility and extensive knowledge in smart city technology.
Holding leadership positions; 6 years chairman for Alpharetta Recreation and Parks commission, 9 years president for the Gainesville College Foundation Board and 5 years the Junior Achievement president.
My experience serving on city, civic and nonprofit boards, paired with relevant business acumen and demonstrated leadership validate I am the best qualified to represent Alpharetta.
What issue got you into this race? 1. Quality of life: I will ensure Alpharetta is properly managed and that density is controlled, preserving our quality of life maintaining the highest homestead exemption rate in Georgia, Rec & Parks and Arts.
- Technology: I will, with Smart City technology experience, work with local tech companies to reduce city operating expenses, and support sustainability through implementing smart information and communication technology.
- Traffic: I will address our traffic challenges via implementation of innovative solutions to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I wish I could really identify with one, but at the moment my interests are more aligned with following the world news as they unfold in such dramatic fashions and the approach our leaders are taking to address such events.
City Council Post 3
Name: Chris Owens (i)
Residence: Mid Broadwell Trace
Profession: Civil Engineer
What experience will help you in office? My 25 years of experience in civil engineering involves designing and managing infrastructure projects (roads, utilities, traffic signals, stormwater and pedestrian/cycling trails). I will use this knowledge to help Alpharetta improve traffic, build parks and maintain what we have. Over $80+ million in roadway and sidewalk projects, plus $24 million of parks and greenway projects will be built over the next 3-5 years. I will make sure that Alpharetta citizens see these projects delivered.
What issue got you into this race? I am running for reelection this year. My initial motivation to run for office was to become actively involved in my community. Alpharetta has a rich history that includes farming, being the County seat (Milton County) and more recently for living and working. We are now the destination for business, technology, shopping, education and recreation for the area. I would like to see Alpharetta maintain its high standard of living and quality of life.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs is very easy for me to identify with. I believe that hard working, skilled people make our community the greatest place to live today. Developing a strong work ethic and having an approach to education that includes lifelong learning are keys to success in life.
City Council Ward 2
Name: Joe Carn (i)
Name: Derrick Taylor
City Council Ward 4
Name: Stacie W. Alexander
Residence: Virgina Manor Subdivision
Profession: Retired - Communications Officer
What experience will help you in office? Fiteen years as a 911 Operator has helped me to HEAR the needs of my constituents in Ward 4 as well as the entire the City of College Park.
Ten years as the director of community outreach at Restoration Christian Fellowship Center in the City of College Park has helped me to UNDERSTAND the need in the City of College Park.
Five years as a union steward with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) while employed with BellSouth helped me to understand the art of negotiation and arbitration.
What issue got you into this race? The issue that got me into this race was the lack of forward progression in Ward 4. No real policy making has ensued within the last two years. Yes, aesthetics are good; however no economic development has happened in our ward, and that has to change. In Ward 4 we have an aging community that has to take priority, and in the last two years no real assistance with central issues such as homestead exemptions, or securing Naturally Aging Housing assistance for our aging community has taken place. The quality of work balance has to take place in Ward 4 ... [edited for length]
Which current television character do you identify most with? I identify most with the two sisters of “Queen Sugar.” Charley Bordelon because of her business savvy and go-get-it attitude. Nova Bordelon because of her constant community activism, trying to bring light and change to her community. I embody the heart of them both.
Website: No website
Facebook: Stacie W. Alexander
Name: Ronald (Ron) Fears
Residence: Ward 4
Profession: Retired - College Park Police Chief 2015
What experience will help you in office? I believe my 29 years of service with the City of College Park uniquely qualifies me for the position of Ward 4 Councilman. Having served as the city police chief from 2010 to 2015 has given me the necessary skill set to do the job and to perform with excellence. I am well aquainted with all city department heads and have worked well with our current mayor and council. I am well qualified.
What issue got you into this race? I agree with most of the Ward 4 residents that we need a major grocery store within a walkable community and restaurants that residents can frequent. Airport noise pollution is also a concern, and fair compensation within the flight path is something we should pursue. Exploring opportunities to bring a multipurpose senior center to Ward 4 is a challenge I'm excited about. Our city council needs to work in harmony, and I believe I bring the kind of cooperation to the table that will facilitate that need.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I've never really identified with any characters, I've always tried to walk my own path and be a role model to others when needed.
Name: Roderick Gay (i)
Residence: Ward 4
Profession: Health care administrator and enviromentalist
What experience will help you in office? 25 years occupational health care administrator and environmentalist.
Experience in low to moderate community revitalization, ageing and senior services, active school teacher. Gay is the incumbent who has solidified his constituents, and a planned 10 million dollar community center is planned for his community.
What issue got you into this race? Low economic development, poor community participation and community crime rate under Ron Fears police chief
Which current television character do you identify most with? The TV character that I most relate to is the late Bernie Mac. We both decided life can be better with laughter and like Mr. Mac, we aren’t scared of you. We are both successful men with strong identity, perhaps alpha males. We both had strict upbringing and our mothers had strong belief in our success. Like Bernie, our wives give us inspiration and keep us in check. His audience was the TV community and mine is the citizens and people of the community.
Website: Gay4CollegePark.com or RoderickGay.com
Name: Deana Holiday Ingraham
Residence: Lakeside Preserve
What experience will help you in office? I have almost two decades of public service experience as an attorney who advocated for seniors and children, a public administrator and a small business owner. As a council member, I have served as provisional mayor pro tem, Budget Committee and Human Resources Committee member, and a leader of national and state organizations. My experience as an effective advocate, manager and leader will enable me to champion continued progress of East Point as the 34th mayor.
What issue got you into this race? I want East Point to be the place people choose to live, work, learn and play. I believe that we can create an inviting, safe, clean, connected and strong community that works for us all. I’ll bring people together to establish partnerships that extend learning and playtime for children; expand green space for all residents to explore and enjoy; improve services for seniors; and create responsible developments that create local, good-paying jobs.
Which current television character do you identify most with? In the TV series “This is Us,” Beth Pearson (Randall’s wife) Is the character I most identify with. She builds consensus, delivers smart solutions while displaying compassion to everyone she encounters. She has the ability to motivate and inspire others to live their best life and achieve their goals.
Name: Clyde K. Mitchell
Residence: Windsor Forest
What experience will help you in office? I have been provisional mayor, first time ever mayor pro tempore (held the office twice) and I served my community as Ward D councilman. During my tenure in those roles I demonstrated leadership ability by sometimes making the unpoplar vote in the best interest of my constituents on key decisions; however, I continuously worked collaboratively with my colleagues on council to bring new opportunities to East Point. I brought millions of dollars in growth and economic development to the city by building relationships with business leaders. As a financial professional, fiscal responsibility is important to me ... [edited for length]
What issue got you into this race? My love for the City of East Point and her citizens, especially a focus on relief from high utility bills, is of significant importance to me. Since I left council, I never stopped taking calls from residents and meeting with current elected officials to discuss ways in which the utility bills can be lowered. As I have walked door-to-door this summer I have met with senior citizens who are sitting in the dark with windows open because they cannot afford to pay their bills. I will fight for seniors who have to make a decision between eating and paying their bills.
Which current television character do you identify most with? My television personality twin is Chief Olivia Benson of “Law & Order SVU.” Her ability to make tough potentially life changing decisions, delegate, and immerse herself fully into investigations are the foundations of what makes a great leader. Olivia remains cool during moments of great adversity and danger, which is never a challenge for her despite her sincere passion for adults and youth who are hurting and need protection. I consider myself a strong advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves, and I always go the extra mile and answer the call for assistance every time my phone rings .... [edited for length]
Facebook: electclydekmitchell @clydekmitchell4mayor
Name: Marcel L. Reed
Residence: Oak Knoll
Profession: Retired - Law Enforcement
What experience will help you in office? All of my career I have led by example and have worked with people to create solutions for everyday problems. Thirty-four years of government experience (Atlanta), eight years as East Point city councilman, two as mayor pro-tempore, two as provisional mayor, eight years on East Point Finance Committee, two years as Finance chairman, four years on East Point Ethics Committee , current chairman of East Point Building Authority Committee.
What issue got you into this race? Upon listening to the cries of so many East Point citizens concerning the high electric utility, no one from government would speak up to offer any type of relief or solutions . I have chosen to rise up to offer my service as mayor to work with City Council for a resolution to this problem affecting our citizens. I will be the only mayoral candidate who will be available full time while in office.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Columbo
Twitter: @Reed4East Point
Council Member Ward A - At Large
Name: Sharon D. Shropshire (i)
Council Member Ward B - At Large
Name: Karen Rene' (i)
Residence: Jefferson Park
Profession: Business developer
What experience will help you in office? For the last three and a half years, I have been a member of the East Point City Council. I have full knowledge of both the challenges and promises of East Point. As a business developer/government relations for the Atlanta Job Corps Center, I understand how to leverage government relationships to accomplish our city goals.
What issue got you into this race? The prohibitive cost of utilities, quality of life (particularly for seniors), affordable housing, attracting business and commerce, and efficient and customer friendly government. East Point is undergoing a renaissance in our city. Under the right leadership and community engagement, we can continue to help transform into the Jewel of Georgia.
Which current television character do you identify most with? President Bartlett (”The West Wing”). His pragmatic approach to addressing problems that, at first blush, appear to be insurmountable is inspiring.
Facebook: Karen Rene
Name: Marie T. William
Council Member Ward C - At Large
Name: Colbert L. Lovett
Residence: Meadow Lark subdivision
Profession: Educator and businessman
What experience will help you in office? I’m an experienced educator, businessman, military veteran, church and community leader, and family man. My skills include accounting, marketing, management, training and organizational development, and leadership. My vision for a more vibrant East Point is informed by my years in business and education and my volunteer experiences as a commissioner of the East Point Housing Authority, chair of the East Point Community and Economic Development Corporation, member of the East Point Downtown Architectural Review Board (DARB), and FY 2013 citizens’ representative on the East Point City Council Budget Committee.
What issue got you into this race? Concerns about communication and customer service, safety and security, a desire for more efficient government services, and improved quality of life for every East Point resident. Citizens want to be kept informed by their elected representatives and city administrators, particularly as it relates to service delivery and anticipated budgetary decisions. The duty to keep citizens informed of business matters before the council starts with our city council representative. We need visionary leadership to help meet the challenges of maintaining a safe city while streamlining processes for efficiency and, at the same time, bolstering quality of life services and facilities ... [edited for length]
Which current television character do you identify most with? None… I mostly watch news and sports programing
Name: Earnestine D. Pittman
Residence: Arrowood Drive
Profession: Retired educator, former mayor and council member
What experience will help you in office? I served nine years and eight months on the council as a council member and mayor. I also served seven years on the Budget Committee. The financial knowledge concerning the cost of operations and maintenance for each department proved to be extremely important when planning the city budget. As a former president of South Fulton Municipal Association, I was able to work with other cities' council members and mayors to help lay the foundation for legislation that resulted in Fulton County T-SPLOST; and negotiated with them for LOST funding. I have been a community activist for more than forty years ... [edited for length]
What issue got you into this race? East Point was hard hit by the 2008 recession. Now that property tax assessments are rising astronomically, residents will find it more difficult to pay their taxes. East Point has more single female homeowners than married couples and they will definitely need help. We must reform our property tax code to help homeowners retain their homes. We must also reform our electric utility to ease the burden on residential users. We can no longer use the electric utility to subsidize the general fund. These are the two most pressing issues facing our residents and the city.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Rachel Maddox , anchor of the “Rachel Maddox Show” on on MSNBC. Rachel and I believe in documented information based on facts and telling it like it is.
Name: Nanette Saucier (i)
Residence: Oak Forrest
Profession: Council member Ward C At-Large and account executive
What experience will help you in office? The accomplishments I’ve made during my first term in office demonstrate I have the experience needed for the office I currently hold. Among our many accomplishments, this administration’s responsible management of the city’s finances resulted in a first for East Point - a Bond Rating of A! The progress made during my first term has positioned East Point for a prosperous future. I’m proud to have been an integral part of the processes that initiated positive change and growth in East Point.
What issue got you into this race? I’m running for re-election to ensure this city continues to move in the right direction - forward! I will continue to work for positive development and prosperity. I want to continue my service to the community of East Point. I’ve proven I can do the work needed and with the support of the voters, I will continue to be a positive representative for East Point.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I can't say I identify with any current television character. They would have to create a new show that showcases all of the hard work I do successfully making East Point better every day! A new series that showcases the operations of East Point's local government would be a great new show!
Council Member Ward D - At Large
Name: Joshua B. Butler IV
Profession: Legislative manager
What experience will help you in office? For the past five years I’ve served as legislative manager to state Representative Dexter Sharper. Here I’ve had opportunity to work with both Democrats and Republicans to solve state issues. Appointed by Fulton County Commissioner Marvin Arrington to the county’s medical task force where we worked to fight the HIV epidemic. Appointed by both East Point city councilwomen Deana Holiday-Ingram and Stephanie Gordon to East Point’s Comprehensive Plan Committee to shape the city’s future.
What issue got you into this race? I was asked to run for office by several influential East Point residents and community activists because of my keen analytical abilities, intrinsic leadership skills, trailblazing spirit, diplomatic and compassionate nature. I truly believe “people matter” and that we all deserve a government that solves problems no matter how difficult. Creating livable communities for seniors and providing an excellent education for our children are the issues for which I am passionate.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise is a character for which I closely identify. An explorer at heart, Jean-Luc balances strength with compassion as he leads his team to victory despite grave odds. His personal pursuit of excellence and his love for all are traits we both share.
Name: Mark Fields
Residence: Ward D
Profession: Flight attendant/Instructor
What experience will help you in office? My combined 8 years as president of the Washington Road Neighbors Association allowed me to get to know the people of East Point well. Having a clear understanding of what each ward requires from council is paramount to getting it right for our residents. My experience working with the FAA interpreting regulations to flight attendants and helping them to do that in a customer-friendly way will guide how I contribute to council. [edited for length]
What issue got you into this race? No single issue made me get into the race. I'm in the race because of the exciting things going on in East Point. Our new municipal building and our downtown is being renovated and I want to help continue the positive growth for our city. I am presently on the East Point Building Authority; we refinanced our sewer and water bonds, saving the city about $ 6 million, and I want to continue to help council bring financial security to our great city. Many municipalities are faced with the challenge of recruiting and retaining our first responders. [edited for length]
Which current television character do you identify most with? While he may not be current, his leadership skills are timeless. I like Captain Kirk from the Enterprise. He was able to manage a diverse group of people. He allowed each person to grow in their respective strengths and then he would utilize them to the advantage of the team. No one person dominated because it was a team effort. I believe working on council will require each of us to offer our best skills for East Point and work together to keep East Point moving in a positive direction.
Facebook: Mark Fields 4 East Point
(vote yes or no)
Shall Congress direct the Federal Aviation Administration to promulgate new noise exposure regulations and authorize federal funding for new noise insulation for those residences measured to be significantly impacted by recent changes to the air traffic control system, regardless of whether those residences were previously insulated for aircraft noise?
Name: Elizabeth Carr-Hurst
City Council At Large (Vote for Three)
Name: Andy Anderson
Name: Chuck Cusumano
Residence: Rivertown Road
Profession: Excutive business consultant/coach
What experience will help you in office? 20-plus years as a business excutive. 10 years as a leadership coach and trainer. Numerous civic, professional and church leadership positions. USAF Veteran. I consult with organizational leaders every day to help them become more efficient and effective with leading their teams.
What issue got you into this race? To help develop the economic growth of Fairburn. As Atlanta has seen strong economic recovery in the metropolitan area, Fairburn has lagged in its overall growth as compared with the metro area as a whole. I would like the council to promote and support the professional full-time running of the city by the city administrator/manager.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Capt. James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise - All characters are now current TV characters with Netflix, Amazon etc..
Facebook: Citizens For Cusumano
Name: Alex Health (i)
Residence: Mehaffey Drive
Profession: Retired mortgage banker/ retired police officer
What experience will help you in office? My real estate and my mortgage banking plus law enforcement experience. With my many years as a real estate agent and with mortgage banking experience, I dealt with financial issues and how to resolve a lot of issues that were just simple things to do. I have worked in the construction and rehab industry for many years as well.
I served as a police officer for a period of 24 years. I served with Fairburn Police Dept., Union City Police Dept. and as well MARTA Police Dept. during the Olympics. I have dealt with many issues in each jurisdiction.
What issue got you into this race? When I first had the idea of running for councilman, it was in 2009, I was determined to bring jobs and industry to Fairburn. I wanted Duncan Park opened with the pool in working order. I saw while living here that there was not an outlet for young people to do anything in our city. I knew there was a need for that plus jobs.
I knew from my experience in the real estate Industry that bringing jobs to our area would not only revitalize our job market, but would cause our housing demand to grow.
[edited for length]
Which current television character do you identify most with? Rick, from "The Walking Dead." The reason I selected Rick is, that he continues to watch after his community , family and friends. He tries to give his community the best that life has to offer no matter what is going on.
Although there are setbacks at times, he still has the best intentions for his community and the people that he cares about at all times!
Name: Audrey Horn
Name: Hattie Portis-Jones (i)
Name: Orlando King
Name: Jenell McCrory
Residence: Meadow Glen Subdivision
Profession: Accounts payable specialist
What experience will help you in office? I am excellent in collaborating and managing change. I am committed to being a voice for the people. I owned and operated a business that provided jobs for the disenfranchised. I understand the importance of programs that provide a presence for the local business and the tenacity it takes to maintain "good" business practices. I've raised three children in a community where parents and teachers have the same agenda, which is to prepare our future leaders.
What issue got you into this race? There is an economic disparity within our community. One side of Fairburn maintains a clean engaged community whereas the other side of Fairburn suffers from high crime, potholes, and garbage debris. Building stronger relationships with our police department and economic development would provide practical ways to keep our community safe and clean. An immediate plan is needed to accommodate the active trucking companies, new developments, increased traffic and trash located on our roadsides.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) in the movie “Twister.”
Name: Shelby Phillips
Name: Ulysses Smallwood
Name: James Sumners
Residence: Shannon Chase
Profession: System administrator
What experience will help you in office? My work in open source software projects requires the ability to work with others to accomplish common goals. This experience will translate directly to working in concert with other council members to conduct the business of Fairburn.
What issue got you into this race? I want to try to improve the quality of service provided by the city to its citizens.
Which current television character do you identify most with? ...
Councilman at Large
Name: Travis Ryan Horsley
Residence: Azalea Park Neighborhood Association
Profession: IT business analyst
What experience will help you in office? My education from Georgia Tech with both a bachelors and masters degree in public policy, as well as an understanding of the inner workings of the public sphere, lead me to believe that I can solve many issues that we face in the City of Hapeville. With one of our main issues being overspending, I hope to focus on reining in spending as a means to re-invest savings in public safety.
What issue got you into this race? I constantly think about the future, and believe that although the City of Hapeville has a vision of where it sees itself in the future, it lacks consistent execution. It is not one issue that got me into this race, rather a multitude of 'low-hanging fruits' and simple fixes that I think need to be made to push the envelope toward progress. Spending. Public safety. Sustainable development. Transparent government.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Sheldon Cooper “The Big Bang Theory”
Name: Rod Mack
Residence: King Arnold
Profession: Pres/CEO Rod-Air Logistics
What experience will help you in office? My experience in business, human resources, activisim, and 30 years in public service will help me bridge a gap between our citizens and city government ... I look forward to sustainability, transparency, and managing a $30M budget in the City Of Hapeville ... Currently as a Board Of Appeals member I further welcome the chanllenges of maintaining compliance of commercial and residential in our 7500 small city ... A vote for Rod Mack Councilman At Large November 7, 2017 Tuesday will unleash a new, fresh, and exciting city government ... Thank you all for your support and may God bless the City Of Hapeville
What issue got you into this race? The issue(s) that got me into the race were 1. A history of no diversity in the city for 125 years ... 2. No code enforcement of multi-unit landlords ... 3. Maintaining police, fire, and EMT personnel with competitive compensation ... 4. $1M Library funds promised by the Fulco COO from the $7M T-Splost Funds (On Video) BTW...
Which current television character do you identify most with? Judge Judy ... She was ruthless and tenacious at getting to the truth ... For fairness, honesty, and justice for individuals ... She didn't care if your feelings were hurt ... And she solved most issues in less than one hour ... lol
Facebook: Rod Mack
Name: John C. Stalvey
Residence: Azalea Park
Profession: Building manager
What experience will help you in office? I worked 10 years for Chick-fil-a managing multimillion-dollar budgets and now mange large budgets in the medical real estate field. I spend alot of my time away from work now volunteering in the city. I have built playgrounds for kids, gardens for the local community, and painted homes for those not able to do so for themselves. I want to bring this type of involvement to our city council to help rebuild the connection between the citizens and thier elected officials
What issue got you into this race? There was not one particular issue. I was drawn by a love of my city and a passion to serve my neighbors.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Eric Taylor
Councilman Ward 1
Name: Mark C. Adams
Name: Brendan Dalton
Residence: Virginia Park
What experience will help you in office? The job of councilperson is a legislative position. A legislator has to be able to understand the laws being considered and communicate how they're going to vote and why. I can. That hasn't happened recently in Hapeville.
What issue got you into this race? Too much business done in closed executive session. I will not vote to go into closed session.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Larry David
Name: Josh Powell (i)
Residence: Azalea Park
Profession: Special education teacher
What experience will help you in office? I am currently finishing up my first term as councilman, Ward 1 and am running for a second term. I have received hundreds of hours of training in municipal government from the Georgia Municipal Association. I am an outside-of-the-box thinker and have used this to make many things possible in Hapeville, for example the LocalMotion festival, ability for Beer Girl to serve pints, creation of shipping container galleries.
What issue got you into this race? One of the main reasons I ran four years ago was the current financial situation of the city, and I felt a balanced budget was essential and ran on this platform. In 2013, the city was utilizing $9xxK annually from the reserves, which was not sustainable ,and the end of my first year in office I had successfully had a balanced budget and putting money into our reserves! The city has come a long way in the last four years I have been in office from the building of the Solis Hotel (only one in America) to allowing alcoholic ...[edited for length]
Which current television character do you identify most with? Well, to be honest I don’t watch much TV as I do not have cable. My family has referred to me as MacGyver as I’m always tinkering on something in my backyard, considered to be resourceful and not afraid to fail.
Councilman Ward 2
Name: Chloe Alexander
Profession: Math teacher
What experience will help you in office? Grant writing and community outreach.
What issue got you into this race? Questions about financial transparency.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Trevor Noah from “The Daily Show”
Councilman Ward 2
Name: Christian Z. Phillips
Name: Mike Bodker (i)
Residence: Estates at Wellington
What experience will help you in office? Your mayor needs to be experienced. This is a tough job requiring leadership, executive, and financial management skills. It also requires strong relationships with civic, business and elected leaders. I have the experience and relationships to deliver real results. I have been working for Johns Creek since before it’s creation, and today our city is widely recognized as the premier residential community in Georgia, as well as the safest city in the state.
What issue got you into this race? I will focus on protecting our premier residential character while partnering with our community to design our TSPLOST and parks bond projects. Equally important is the completion of our comprehensive plan. Finally, I want to ensure that our city continues building on the solid foundation that we have begun especially focused on conservative fiscal policies. Under my leadership as mayor, Johns Creek is one of 199 cities in the US with a triple-A bond rating.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Captain James T. Kirk as we have boldly gone where men have not before
Name: Alex Marchetti
Photo: Steve Glass
Profession: Business executive
What experience will help you in office? MBA, financial licenses, QMS auditor - I am a Fortune 50 executive, managed startups, acquisitions, and budgets of more than $100M, while building high performance teams capable of running effective and profitable businesses lines.
What issue got you into this race? Term Limits - for 11 years our mayor has mismanaged traffic, high-density development, contract administration and taken us down a road without vision.
Our residents are frustrated, disappointed and want a new Mayor who can get us back on course.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Harvey - “Suits”
City Council Post 1
Name: Issure C. Yang
Residence: Country Club of the South
Profession: Independent business consultant
What experience will help you in office? I am a small business owner with strong entrepreneur abilities. I have experienced some tremendous failures and some wonderful successes. Handling the failures has helped motivate me build on my abilities and experience successes. As part of my business, I work in client and vendor relationships. It is important for me to listen, identify issues and provide solutions. I have been team leader, team mom, team manager: I know how to work well with others and have a proven track record of providing solutions.
What issue got you into this race? Traffic. Residents want to improve their quality of life and traffic is their number one complaint. Traffic has gotten worse in the past four years. Our density and population has increased but traffic solutions have not been discussed. Our schools and roads have become overcrowded as a result. I want to fix traffic by ensuring we have proper traffic light coordination, add pressure plates, repurpose existing lanes and use technology to resolve traffic flow.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I love “This is Us.” Randall is my favorite character. He is family oriented, he is smart, he is caring but he is also vulnerable. Like Randall, I feel a lot of pressure and the drive to succeed in life, to provide for the family and to be a perfect parent. It is okay to be imperfect.
Name: Leonard "Lenny" Zaprowski (i)
Residence: Haynes Cove
What experience will help you in office? My experience in serving our community on City Council over the last four years and the positive results we have achieved will allow me to continue improving our great city. I have worked hard to reduce the operating expenses over a million dollars each of the last two years while also lowering the millage rate and maintaining our acclaimed police and fire department. My ability to work with everyone is a huge asset.
What issue got you into this race? Four years ago, I ran for city council to end the dysfunction dividing the council. I am running to continue our positive work. My priorities are to find solutions for the traffic congestion; to implement our strategic park plan including developing our pocket parks, our linear park, our 200-acre park, and our trail system; to update our Comprehensive Land Use Plan to ensure we remain the premier bedroom community. I pledge to continue being fiscally conservative, transparent, and independent.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I see myself somewhere between Steve Urkel and Superman. While I would like see myself as a super hero, I probably fall more on the quirky side of Steve Urkel. I'll let you decide where I fall on that spectrum.
Facebook: Lenny Zaprowski Johns Creek City Council Post 1
City Council Post 3
Name: John Bradberry
Residence: Kingston Crossing
Profession: business owner
What experience will help you in office? * Founder of Preserve Johns Creek
* Successful business owner
* Former president of two different HOAs in Johns Creek
* Former United States Marine
* I am the only candidate in this race with a strong proven track record of advocating for Johns Creek residents, who has not just identified the problems we face, but who has also put forth alternative solutions to things like the widening of Medlock Bridge Road and traffic generally.
What issue got you into this race? I love Johns Creek but we have serious work to do. I want us to get back to basics like improving traffic and preserving Johns Creek as a great place to live and raise a family. As a voter, it’s important to choose a candidate whose focus is not on commercial development or pursuing tax revenue over quality of life. I want to preserve Johns Creek as a lower-density bedroom community that puts residents first.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Either Rick Grimes from “The Walking Dead” or Jefferson Smith/Jimmy Stewart from “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Rick Grimes is because he just keeps on keepin’ on and trying to make things better. Jefferson Smith because he is a romantic idealist but still tough enough to fight the good fight!
Name: Vicki Horton
Residence: Shakerag Community
Profession: Business Owner
What experience will help you in office? I am running for Johns Creek City Council because I know I can help us transition Johns Creek from a startup city to a mature city. I have a very unique set of skills, and those skill sets are directly related to the requirements of a city council member and the issues facing Johns Creek now and in the future. I have helped community leadership, residents and businesses for 25 years navigate and find solutions to the same issues we face:
- Residential involvement and inclusion
- Land use planning
- Economic base development
- Mayor and Council education, coaching and facilitation
What issue got you into this race? It's not about the issues that brought me to this race. I have over 25 years experience working in economic development, bringing together communities, counties, states, and private industry to benefit the people. This broad experience will help me lead the City of Johns Creek forward as a member of City Council.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I don't really watch TV, except for sports. I identify with the principals of the Book “The Go Giver - A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea” written by Bob Burg.
Name: Mark Venco
Residence: St. Ives Country Club
Profession: Corporate management
What experience will help you in office? City/Community Experience Counts
- City of Johns Creek Citizens Advisory Council – (20 yr. Comp. Plan)
- 2016/17 Johns Creek Community Association Board member
- City of Johns Creek Noise Ordinance Committee
- 25-plus years of mid to senior corporate management experience within Fortune 100 Companies
- Financial accountability for revenue, P&L and budgets up to $190M.
- Engineering, project/product management, business development and sales
What issue got you into this race? The lack of communication in engaging Johns Creek residents.
I firmly believe in my proposal for what I refer to as “residential nodes”. Residents in one “node” should have a greater say-so on the development that surrounds their homes. Bringing subdivisions together, through a local Residential Node Committee, made up of homeowners and a city council member, would allow local residents to discuss issues of concern that would be brought back to city staff/council.
Which current television character do you identify most with? MacGyver. I am a problem solver and coming up with creative solutions is one of my biggest strengths that differentiates me from my opponents
City Council Post 5
Name: Stephanie Endres (i)
Residence: River Knoll
Profession: Accounting/finance - certified public accountant
What experience will help you in office? As a CPA with over 25 years experience in financial reporting and analysis in the private sector, I can review, recommend and implement financial tools that will assist in prioritization of costs and evaluate appropriate taxation levels. Also, I have strong leadership skills to assist in organization, communication and evaluation of policies posed to the City Council for legislative action.
What issue got you into this race? Resident engagement is a passion of mine and in the last 18 months, residents are now part of the discussion of projects and topics at the city, neighborhood and resident levels. Strong leadership is needed to continue to involve residents and ensure that their role is solidified in the process for years to come.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I do not have time to follow television shows on a regular basis so I do not know any character that I identify with. Time is precious and I prefer to engage with my family when not working.
Name: Chris Jackson
Name: Joe Lockwood (i)
Name: Laura Rencher
Residence: Birmingham Corners
What experience will help you in office? My professional experience as a psychologist will help me to listen and understand the community members’ concerns. It also has helped me identify a number of process-level changes that can decrease the contentious nature of decision-making. In addition, my understanding of land use and of preservation is critical to my ability to help decrease growth and shape the city in the direction of preservation. Milton was founded on the vision of preserving horse farms and the rural feel of the city. It is critical to our city's future success that we pursue this vision.
What issue got you into this race? For four years, I have been leading an organization that has tried to educate and encourage land conversation tools in the city. These tools protect land from development and protect the natural attributes. They have tremendous potential to help our city with preservation and moderating growth. If I become mayor, I will assertively institute programs that will help balance development with preservation. This would be a tremendous contrast to the out of control rapid growth our city has experienced over the past 4 years.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Honestly, I don't watch that much TV.
Facebook: Laura for MIlton
City Council District 1, Post 1
Name: Peyton Jamison
City Council District 2, Post 1
Name: Laura Bentley
Residence: Bethany Hall Farm
Profession: Milton Senior Center assistant manager
What experience will help you in office? Throughout my life whether in my career or as a community leader, working with various stakeholders to find common sense solutions that achieve stated objectives is a skill that I am able to bring to the citizens of Milton
What issue got you into this race? Milton is a unique community which has a very special rural heritage, which our citizens value a great deal. For the past 24 months, our city has been under intense pressure to be overdeveloped and become a place that I do not feel is representative of what most citizens want. Approval of high-density rezoning applications which impact the quality of life of our residents has been my primary motivation for running for city council.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I cannot honesty answer this because I don't watch television. I watch a lot of Netflix!
Name: Bill Lusk (i)
Residence: Summit Road
What experience will help you in office? I was on the City Formation Committee. Have been on Council since 2006. Registered civil engineer; Business owner for 30 years. Vietnam veteran.
What issue got you into this race? I want to complete a few of the initiatives that I have started - road and intersection improvements; extension of trail system; help to make our property tax equitable.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Bill O'Reilly
Facebook: Lusk for Milton
City Council District 3, Post 1
Name: Joseph Longoria (i)
Photo: Steve Glass
Residence: Crooked Creek
Profession: Software engineer
What experience will help you in office? I am a software engineer by trade. This experience has allowed me to develop an ability to understand and evaluate difficult and complex issues. My experience in the financial industry has had direct relevance to my City Council work as well. The lessons learned at the Georgia Municipal Association's training program for elected officials have further honed my governmental management skills. This training and experience are critical elements and differentiate me from other candidates.
What issue got you into this race? I have enjoyed the opportunity and responsibility of serving the citizens of Milton and making the strategic decisions required of the City Council. Working with the City Manager and our engaged citizens, I have been part of the great things we have accomplished during the 8 years of my tenure. I know that I can continue to contribute to our city. Because of these factors, I decided to seek a final term as council member.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I enjoy television as a medium and do have some favorite shows that I watch on regular basis. I tend to favor comedies, but enjoy several non-comedy series such as “Poldark” and “Sherlock.” If I had to pick a current television character that I could identify with, I would choose Leonard Hofstadter from “The Big Bang Theory.” Leonard enjoys his work, his friends, and is unafraid to criticize himself in order to solve life’s challenges.
Name: Lori Henry
Residence: Townsend Place
Profession: Small business owner
What experience will help you in office? We are beginning a new era in Roswell’s political life, and I have unique skills and experience that would best serve Roswell. I served on Roswell’s City Council between 2001-2009, and since 2010, I have gained a fresh perspective from my time in the private sector, where I took care of my family, started a small business. Re-elected in 2017, my over eight years in government prepares me to lead the city from day one.
What issue got you into this race? A renewed understanding of what was happening in Roswell and specifically within city hall. In January, our longest serving council members will have two years under their belt, there will be 4 new council members, a new city administrator, a new mayor. I have the most experience and best understanding and knowledge of city operations. I know Roswell’s past and can be trusted with our future. I will lead the city with respect and collaboration.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I am more a book reader than TV watcher. A character I like is Hermione Granger. She never strays off the path, she always keeps her attention focused on the job that must be done. Logical, smart, level-headed, loyal – we are both roll-up-your-sleeves, get-the-job-done leaders.
Name: Donald J. Horton
Residence: North Point
Profession: Financial consultant
What experience will help you in office? I have spent 30 years working with some of the top companies in the financial services industry, so I bring a business mind to governance. I’ve been president of my HOA, on numerous community boards, worked as the city’s budget liaison and spent the last two years serving Roswell as a member of the City Council.
What issue got you into this race? I wouldn’t say there is one issue, but rather one group … my family. My wife Gayle and I raised our children in Roswell and now they are raising our grandchildren here. This community has given my family so much, and I believe I can repay that debt with the leadership and relationships I have developed over a lifetime of work and service in Roswell and our neighboring cities.
Which current television character do you identify most with? MacGyver, his resourcefulness is something that I relate to. When faced with a challenge I try to look at the whole picture, know the ins and outs of the issue, and use whatever is at my disposal to reach the best outcome.
Name: Lee Jenkins
Residence: River Falls
What experience will help you in office? Roswell is at a crossroads. On one hand, we have career politicians who continue to work for special interest groups. As a consensus builder, I am uniquely qualified to preserve our community’s charm while bringing together the hardworking taxpayers who make our city great to implement common sense solutions to the problems facing Roswell
What issue got you into this race? Unfortunately, our city, like many, is plagued by career politicians who are more interested in offering catchy sound bites and catering to special interests than to solving the real issues facing average homeowners. Never one to back down from a challenge, I decided to seek elected office to help bring together Roswellians in an effort to tackle the challenges impacting our quality of life. I am running because I know together, we can achieve greatness.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Chip and Joanna Gaines: “Fixer Upper” On HGTV.
I identify with them because they have vision, teamwork, problem-solving skills, and they also know how to have fun while they work! I am an organizational fixer upper! I enjoy starting organizations from scratch and seeing them grow. I also enjoy coming into chaotic situations and bringing order and process. The Gaines’ entrepreneurial spirit inspires me!
Name: Michael Litten
Residence: Martin's Landing
Profession: Certified health and exercise coach
What experience will help you in office? I have had an almost 40 year career in sales, marketing, management, and negotiating, with a myriad of different and diverse companies, both startups and Fortune 500 in one of the most difficult markets to sell in, health care. I will apply that acumen to Roswell’s leadership role. I believe the chief business of Roswell's “CEO” is to bring high paying jobs to Roswell, so we can live, work, and play in the city we love. Cheers to a #healthyRosWELLGA
What issue got you into this race? I will bring a “think different,” to use the brilliant Steve Jobs expression, approach to the leadership role of Roswell. My decision not to use yard signs but instead, seed paper to get my message out is one example. Germinating flowers rather than litter for landfills. I embody the words of George Bernard Shaw, immortalized by Bobby Kennedy, “Some men see things as they are and say, why? I dream of things that never were and say, why not?"
Which current television character do you identify most with? None, I don't watch much TV. However, I am deeply saddened by the humanitarian disaster my friends on Virgin Gorda are facing and the passing of Tom Petty.
Name: Sandra Sidhom
City Council Post 4
Name: Andrew Leonardi
Name: Meg M. McClanahan
Residence: Roswell Farms
Profession: Client relationship manager
What experience will help you in office? I've long been involved in the communities where I've lived, especially after becoming a mom to three children. I am a senior officer on a large PTA Board and participate in local politics. I'm also an employee of a small business. These experiences position me well to understand our residents' struggles and desires, and to work with Roswell's stakeholders, government and civic, to find solutions to the issues that most concern the city's families, businesses, and employees.
What issue got you into this race? Many issues have contributed to my run for Council. Protecting our neighborhoods and keeping Roswell a place where families new and old are proud to call it home. We have a distinct character that should be protected, our historic district is one of a kind and is a valued asset. Recent high-density projects have threatened these areas. I will work toward responsible and thoughtful development.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Olivia Benson from “Law & Order: SVU”
Name: Marie Willsey
Residence: Horseshoe Bend
What experience will help you in office? As a Roswell resident for 24 years, I bring many years of experience in working with the city as an advocate for our community. As president of Horseshoe Bend Community Association, representing almost 1,300 homes, I've had an opportunity to work with every city department and to work through issues with neighbors who have differing viewpoints. I've also served the city as a member of Roswell Planning Commission and on the board of Roswell Arts Fund. Throughout, I've built strong relationships and learned the value of conversation and collaboration.
What issue got you into this race? Roswell needs leadership that finds the right balance between growth and preservation. Our commercial corridors need revitalization and redevelopment that's guided by a vision that reflects our character. By encouraging economic development, attracting the right kinds of businesses, and broadening our tax base, we will be able to avoid property tax increases and maintain our home values. I’m also committed to investing in traffic improvements, public safety, and other city services that preserve our quality of life.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Meredith Grey
City Council Post 5
Name: Keith Goeke
Profession: Founder and owner of One2Connect, a leading provider of communications technology solutions.
What experience will help you in office? I am a 20-year resident of Hollyberry, having lived in both East and West Roswell. Since 2012, I have served as HOA president, managing zoning, development, and traffic issues affecting my neighborhood’s character and the residents’ quality of life. I believe it is possible to grow, yet maintain, Roswell’s suburban charm and character. I will provide transparency and work to unite the many voices of Roswell.
What issue got you into this race? Protecting and enhancing Roswell’s character and quality of life is a top priority. The zoning codes have to reflect and protect our city’s suburban character. We need business alliances that share the vision of responsible growth. Mindless high-density development adds to the traffic congestion already choking our city. Unused retail buildings, like the previous Kohl’s location, need to be redeveloped to fill community needs while stimulating the economy.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (”NCIS”). We are both veterans with a strong sense of honor and respect for the military. We are both disciplined, dedicated, and trustworthy. Our word is our bond. We also share a hobby of woodworking, although I’ve never built a boat in my basement.
Name: Matthew C. Tyser
Residence: Providence of Roswell
Profession: Chief operating officer
What experience will help you in office? During my 35-year career I have had real world experience as a certified public accountant, a chief operating officer and a chief financial officer for multimillion-dollar complex businesses. I believe that at least one member of City Council should have a strong and deep financial background to protect taxpayers’ money and use it in the most careful and efficient ways. I have the experience to cut waste and make government more efficient.
What issue got you into this race? This past spring, like many homeowners in our area I received my property tax bill. It had nearly doubled. I felt that I could sit by and watch or I could get involved and use the experience that I have, apply it to to our government and truly be the taxpayer's friend. I knew I could use my experience to make government more efficient and to cut waste. Last year taxpayers approved TSplost transportation funds to help us solve our traffic problems and I want to use ensure Roswell gets its fair share and that we use them effectively.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I have often been compared to Radar O'Rielly on “M*A*S*H.” One step ahead and anticipating what needs to be done next to meet the needs of the organization.
Facebook: Matthew Tyser
City Council Post 6
Name: Gus Hadorn
Residence: Pine Valley
Profession: Retired high school teacher
What experience will help you in office? For 30 years I have been an activist in Roswell bringing people of different political persuasions together to achieve community goals. I have raised my family here. My perspective comes from observing change over time. I have ten years experience as a construction manager. For five of those years I worked for a major corporation planning and building large communities. More recently as a high school teacher I worked to empower students from the various socioeconomic backgrounds that make up our city.
What issue got you into this race? It wasn't an issue but an opportunity that brought to the race. Our cities offer our best arenas for change. We must seize all the opportunities that allow us to move forward. This work allows me the opportunity to encourage citizens to come together to consider and solve problems that effect our lives and define our community, to be apart of democracy at its best.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I identify with David Haller, a super-mutant in a Marvel comic strip world. This character doesn't fit in. He's trying to figure out his role in a world driven by a government conspiracy. I like the notion of not knowing the real enemy but nevertheless sticking with principles in spite of opposition.
Facebook: gus hadorn for roswell city council
Name: Matt Judy
Residence: Stillwater Shade, Roswell,GA
Profession: Co-Founder and Executive VP of Blue Giraffe Sports
What experience will help you in office? Being a native of Roswell gives me a unique perspective on where we have come from and where we are going. My Undergraduate Management degree from Georgia Tech and Law Degree from Mercer University gives me a strong background to draw from while dealing with many aspects of a Council Member's job. I founded and have run a Sports management, marketing and consultation business for the last 14 years which has allowed me to negotiate and interact with World Class Athletes and Fortune 500 companies.The experience gained in my profession is invaluable in dealing with the world-class companies, individuals and opportunities Roswell will encounter over the coming years. Founding and running a company gives me the foundation and experience to best serve the citizens of Roswell.
What issue got you into this race? My run for Council fulfills a life long dream to serve my Hometown. My wife and I are raising a 5 year old much like my parents did 35 years ago in Roswell and my "why" is to make sure Roswell is a place where he will want to raise a family some day! This election will impact many generations of "Roswellians" to come and we must make sure we not only look right in front of us, but down the road many for years to come in everything we do.
Which current television character do you identify most with?
Spencer Strasmore- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson from the HBO series Ballers. While a bit dramatized, the show allows a glimpse inside the life of professional athletes and the people around them that try to help them navigate their lives at home and in the game.
Name: Karen Parrish
Residence: Willow Run
What experience will help you in office? In my previous corporate career, I have always been tapped as the person to work with the most difficult customers, leadership and coworkers. The personalities make it interesting. I love creative solutions and helping others. My position involved supporting the CEO and the executive leadership team of a company with over 110,000 employees worldwide and earnings in excess of $5 billion. Other responsibilities included recruiting, training and leading a team of qualified employees, streamlining processes, managing budgets for groups as well as projects, coordinating large-scale communications projects and support for the leadership/executive team and more. [edited for length]
What issue got you into this race? As a concerned citizen, I believe we are at a critical juncture in the future of Roswell and we need to get this right. As identified in Roswell's latest strategic economic study, to maintain our amazing quality of life for our residents, we will need to create high quality business space to house jobs in the technology, health care, financial and other industries. Unfortunately, what we are seeing is a lot of zoning requests to change land designated for office park to high-density housing. ... [edited for length]
Which current television character do you identify most with? So sorry, I don't watch much television and what little I do watch, well let's just say that no one comes to mind.
Facebook: Karen Parrish for Roswell City Council
City Council Post 3
Name: Hanny Alexander
Name: Bassem Fakhoury
Residence: Business owner
What experience will help you in office? I have experience as senior project manager in the corporate world, as a small business owner, and as a bridge-builder in the interfaith community. This combination makes me uniquely qualified to bring the same enthusiasm and problem-solving skills to the city of Roswell. I have the ability to bring more diverse citizens into the decision-making process and to come up with more innovative solution to the issues. If you agree, vote for me.
What issue got you into this race? We moved to Roswell 10 years ago because we fell in love with the schools, parks and historic character. Unfortunately, I feel we lost this edge over the years and we are paying the price. Home values are down, schools are not as competitive and it is hard to attract new businesses that enhance the city’s image. Working together, I think we can make Roswell strong and prosperous again. I am ready to serve.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I like Robert Herjavec, from “Shark Tank.” I see him as a millionaire businessman who treats everyone fairly, guided by strong core values from his modest beginning. I hope to reach the same level of success and still be able to serve humbly and selflessly.
Name: Sean A. Groer
What experience will help you in office? I started "Link Analytics" in 2010 with no income or funding. We grew the company very quickly, won the award for the "most promising big data company" and sold it to KPMG in 2013. I spent three years integrating the business and retired in March 2017. I am now focused on family and community. My experience in the tech sector will help bring high paying jobs to Roswell and fix our tax ratios.
What issue got you into this race? We need people on council with innovative ideas who provide modern solutions to our biggest problems - traffic and jobs. I am passionate about preserving Roswell's charm and want generations to return home. I feel that we must modernize the thinking in Roswell, get serious about using analytics to fix traffic, and building an innovation district to attract high-tech jobs. We also need representation for the families with young children in Roswell.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Robert Herjavec from "Shark tank" - Able to see unique value in innovative ideas and is entrepreneurial in spirit. Visionary in thinking and able to manage fast paced growth while not losing focus on what makes a company special.
Name: Mike Nyden
Residence: Lake Charles
Profession: Business owner
What experience will help you in office? My ability to gain the understanding of the voters on issues. What is the vision voters have for our city? What are solutions for traffic that best fit the viewpoint of the voters? And the experience to bring people together for a common goal, for instance, fighting the installation of the first cell tower on residential property in Roswell. And finally, an understanding of the importance of transparency to make sure elected officials are accountable.
What issue got you into this race? The new direction chosen by the voters in 2015 and earlier in 2017, and the terrific work undertaken by the new council people in 2016 to protect our neighborhoods and defend the history of our special downtown area. The opportunity that has been provided by voters makes me so optimistic about Roswell’s future. I foresee high-paying jobs in Roswell’s future, and Quality Campus Office, Class A, and mixed use area growth. Growth opportunities abound.
Which current television character do you identify most with? “Game of Thrones” Jon Snow. Appears he’s been compelled to serve, and I understand that. He cares about people, is loyal, and though flawed, tries to do what is right. He treats people, even those he doesn’t like, with respect. Each of these is a trait to which I aspire.
Name: Joe Piontek
Residence: Historic Roswell
Profession: Small business owner
What experience will help you in office? I have served on the board and as president of my homeowner’s association for 10 years as well as the Local School Advisory Council and foundation board. I have attended most council meetings, work sessions and community meetings over the years and I served as a Roswell planning commissioner for three years. I currently serve as on the board of trustees for the Atlanta Fulton County Public Library System.
What issue got you into this race? Lately, I've seen a polarization in the politics of the city that has been very negatively perceived by the business community, causing businesses to dismiss even attempting to open in Roswell. This is leading to a serious long-term imbalance in the city's revenue stream and will eventually lead to much higher taxes on our residents. I believe I have the appropriate skill set to restore the balance on council and provide leadership going forward.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I really don't have an answer for this.
Name: George Vail
Residence: Historic Mill Village
What experience will help you in office? I have over 20 years of experience working on complex projects in planning and transportation for cities just like Roswell. During my career, I’ve had the unique experience of helping start up the cities of Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Milton and Chattahoochee Hill Country. While my financial and budgetary experience includes being a former director of a consulting company where I had direct P&L responsibilities of managing a $30M budget and staff oversight of over 150 people.
What issue got you into this race? I have felt for some time that our city leadership has not been working well together, which has distracted them from focusing on the right problems and priorities. We need to revise the UDC to protect our Historic District and residential neighborhoods, focus economic development on blighted areas and aging shopping centers, and most importantly address traffic congestion to keep Roswell moving. Our town needs to be better managed, planned and ultimately cared for with respect to the people who live, work and own businesses here.
Which current television character do you identify most with? The television character I relate most to would be Phil Dunphy from “Modern Family.” He is a sensitive guy, a bit nerdy, makes mistakes and willing to admit them, has a strong interest in technology and is an endearing family man.
City Council District 4
Name: Le'Dor Milteer
Residence: Sandy Springs
Profession: V.P. of Broadcast for the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists and serve as the volunteer executive producer of the public affairs TV show “iN Contact.”
What experience will help you in office? Working in the field of communication, I have perfected the skills of listening. I want to be the voice for our community, and I will listen to ensure community concerns are proactively addressed by the city council.
What issue got you into this race? I am running to bring a fresh point of view to Sandy Springs District 4 concerning traffic planning, public safety, walkability/livability and responsible building. Our community needs strong leadership on the City Council to ensure we get positive results in the coming years.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Clair Huxtable played by Phylicia Rashad, she embodied the role of being a great mother while still having a successful career as a lawyer. She showed me that having it all was possible. The only limitation is believing in your abilities to make your vision a reality.
Name: Jody Reichel
Residence: Mt Vernon Woods
Profession: Real estate investor
What experience will help you in office? Sandy Springs has been my home for 25 years. I am very active in the 4th district of Sandy Springs where I serve as the treasurer of my neighborhood’s HOA. I run a real estate investment business, former president of the North Springs PTO, volunteered with Sandy Springs Education Force, and Family Promise, assisting homeless individuals. For the past year I have attended city council meetings and have educated myself about the issues facing our district.
What issue got you into this race? Sandy Springs has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past decades, and with that growth comes traffic challenges. The six North Fulton cities are working together to develop comprehensive, regional solutions. We must also work with neighboring East Cobb and Dunwoody, the source of much of our daily traffic. Projects to reduce traffic are underway but we must act proactively with a commitment to thoughtful growth and redevelopment.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Olivia Benson on the show “Law and Order SVU.” I considered being in law enforcement as a young adult and I respect the challenging profession today. Olivia is a strong role model for our children, she is loyal, has a solid work ethic and fights crime and is a loving mom.
Fulton County Commissioner Chairperson, At Large
Name: Robb Pitts (Democrat)
Residence: Chastain Park neighborhood
Profession: Financial representative and international business consultant
What experience will help you in office? I have served the people of Fulton County and Atlanta as a member of the Atlanta City Council, where I chaired the Finance and Community Development Committees. I also served as president of the Atlanta City Council and presided over an 18-member body. Additionally, I served as a member on the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. Because of these three elected positions, as well as my business acumen and international and domestic experience, I am uniquely qualified to lead and be the face of the Fulton County Commission.
What issue got you into this race? There is no specific issue, but I believe that Fulton County must play a prominent role in the development and growth of the metro Atlanta region and the state, especially with the change in leadership in the city of Atlanta. The fact that the county, state and region are growing in population and stature make experience and leadership in the Chair especially important at this time.
Which current television character do you identify most with? N/A
Facebook: Robb Pitts for Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Fulton County
Name: Gabriel Sterling (Republican)
Residence: Brandon Mill Farms
Profession: President, SSH, Inc.
What experience will help you in office? Nearly all of Fulton is in one of the 15 cities. Fulton will be the first county in Georgia to be out of the city services business. This new role will require a chairman who can approach governing differently than has been done in the past. Being a Sandy Springs councilman, and operating in a more modern way has made us a trailblazer, that gives me the experience to change the way Fulton does business.
What issue got you into this race? The property tax fiasco earlier this year was a strong impetus to get in and fix that going forward. Also, truly reforming the county where I grew up, bringing term limits, right-sizing government, focusing on the core items of service delivery. The chance to make a historically dysfunctional government work effectively while cutting taxes, protecting homeowners, bringing traffic solutions, and serving those in need is too great an opportunity to pass up.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Matt Murdock from Marvel's “Daredevil” because he fights for the little guy in all of his roles in life.
Name: Keisha Sean Waites (Democrat)
Residence: Sylvan Hills
Profession: Emergency manager and former state representative
What experience will help you in office? I served three terms in the Georgia House of Representatives, championing working families and small business owners while ensuring seniors could age in place and improved the quality of education for our youth. As an emergency response consultant for FEMA, I have over a decade of experience in providing management oversight in response to national and international disasters, including the Flint water crisis, BP Oil Spill, Haiti earthquake, Hurricanes’ Katrina, Sandy, Matthew and currently Harvey.
What issue got you into this race? Upon being sworn in, I look forward to partnering with the state legislature and my colleagues to craft a permanent solution to providing property tax relief so that taxpayers will not have to deal with "sticker shock" when they receive their tax bills. I further pledge to hold town hall meetings countywide to keep taxpayers fully engaged in the process so they will not have to turn to the local news for updates on this critical issue.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Nova Bordelon of “Queen Sugar” — Nova is both a champion for her community and family. She is multi-dimensional and is willing to tackle tough issues while others remain silent. I believe these qualities along with my legislative experience and background of public service make me the best candidate for the job.
Fulton County Commissioner From District No. 4
Name: Eddie Lee Brewster
Name: Kathryn Flowers
Residence: Old Fourth Ward
What experience will help you in office? I have an MBA in finance, worked in banking; the communications industry, Showtime Networks in sales/finance; served on multiple boards - Fulton County Personnel, Special Olympics Georgia, Hammonds House Museum, and am currently a Realtor. My perspective on the issues impacting Fulton County is based on my long-term involvement in the various neighborhood organizations and boards; and through the diverse relationships I’ve developed over the years with people from all walks of life in our community.
What issue got you into this race? I am running for office because I have a sincere interest in solving the issues that impact my community. Specifically addressing property taxes, affordable housing, promoting substantive economic development, and working to expand services for our senior citizens.
Which current television character do you identify most with? One of my favorite shows is “NCIS New Orleans” and I most identify with Dwayne Pride. In the show he is dedicated to protecting the interest of the city's residents, concerned about the development of his team, and committed to the city which he serves.
Name: Natalie Hall
Residence: Old 4th Ward
Profession: Chief of staff to the late Fulton County Commissioner Joan P. Garner
What experience will help you in office? For the past six years, I had the honor of working as chief of staff to the late District 4 Fulton County Commissioner Joan P. Garner. I have more than 25 years of public and private management experience with over 21 years of county and municipal government experience. I delivered assistance, services, and programs to address the key concerns of District 4 citizens. Some of those issues include: fair and accurate property tax assessments, services for the homeless, employment opportunities, access to adequate health care, a balanced budget that serves all of Fulton County, grant opportunities to nonprofits ... [edited for length]
What issue got you into this race? Service is the overall issue that got me into this race. District 4 Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner was more than just my commissioner and boss over the past six years. She was my friend and neighbor for the past 18 years. Our community suffered a great loss with her passing. As an experienced public servant advocating for all people, I am committed to continuing the work that she and I started together. I understand the seriousness of completing the remainder of this term because the district 4 constituents deserve a servant-Leader who already has county government experience ... [edited for length]
Which current television character do you identify most with? None. I don't watch a lot of shows with characters. I read a lot.
Name: Steven D. Lee
Residence: Collier Heights
Profession: NPO executive director
What experience will help you in office? Serving elected office of Atlanta Board of Education for four years, Managing budget of 1.1 billion dollars; Serving as executive director of NPO focusing on programs and services for the at-risk,and serving on several community and city boards.
What issue got you into this race? The need for a government to provide quality services to ALL, with transparency and fiscal accountability
Which current television character do you identify most with? McGarrett on “Hawaii Five O”
Facebook: Steven Lee 4 Fulton County Commissioner District 4
Name: Reese McCranie
Profession: Director of Policy and Communications, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
What experience will help you in office?
I’ve lived in Atlanta for almost 20 years and love this city. My passion for Atlanta and progressive policies have guided me in my career. Currently, I serve as director of policy and communications for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. At the world’s busiest and most efficient airport, I lead a team of communications professionals, and am responsible for all media relations, external and internal communications, social media engagement and crisis communications. Additionally, I advise senior leadership on the $6 billion capital improvement plan, aviation security, lease agreements, passenger and air cargo growth, and business development.
In 2008, I worked for President Barack Obama’s historic election campaign in Georgia. And in 2012, I was elected as a delegate representing Georgia’s 5th congressional district for President Obama's re-election. In 2011, I was accepted into the Truman National Security Project as a Truman Political Partner and recently was accepted as a member of the Georgia Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. For many years, I served on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Atlanta Steering Committee. I am a board member of the Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone, Treasurer for the Democratic Party of Georgia’s LGBT Caucus, and I am a former board member and governor of Red Clay Democrats, a statewide organization tasked with promoting Democratic policies and electing progressives.
As a 2015 graduate of Leadership Atlanta, I have doubled down on my civic engagement and re-focused my efforts on working to improve the lives of our residents. Last year I was recognized as one of Atlanta’s 40 Under 40 from the Atlanta Business Chronicle and recently graduated from the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute. In 2013, I earned a Global Executive MBA from Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business.
I’m running for Fulton County Commission because I want to continue working for our residents, improve county services for all of our communities and ensure that our government is ethical, responsive and financially sound.
What issue got you into this race?
In recent years, we have taken great strides toward fairness, justice and opportunity for all of our residents, but I believe there’s more to do. First and foremost, we must address and fix our broken property tax system in a way that is fair and equitable to residents and schools. Fulton County has been kicking the can down the road long enough and it’s time we increase transparency around property assessments and engage a third-party, independent firm to audit the tax digest.
Additionally, I believe we need to build more affordable housing; fight for our diverse communities and seniors across the county; increase funding for public health outreach and Grady Hospital; focus on drastically reducing the rising HIV infection rates; push for greater investment in MARTA; and expand transit options for our citizens.
Which current television character do you identify most with?
Probably a cross between Jon Snow from Game of Thrones and Jack from Will & Grace.
Name: Josh McNair
Residence: West End
Profession: Health care sales executive
What experience will help you in office? As a neighborhood leader, I have firsthand knowledge of the everyday challenges that face our district. I have worked hand-in-hand with leaders at all levels of government to implement change in our community. I have proven myself capable of tackling tough issues head on with impactful results that improve people’s lives.
What issue got you into this race? The election of Donald Trump was very troubling for me. I knew I had to step up and join the resistance and fight for policies that impact people’s lives on the local level. I am committed to fighting for equality for all Fulton County residents, including quality and affordable health care, a fair justice system, and equitable and fair tax assessments to ensure citizens remain in their homes.
Which current television character do you identify most with?
I identify with Dre from “Black-ish.” Dre lives in a world that is reminiscent of our country as a whole. He is often the only voice in the room with his experiences and his character’s honesty allows him to speak frankly about the issues of his community.