The final days of summer have all but passed and September is upon us. The early part of fall in Johns Creek is a time filled with new plans and activities. Whether that’s back to school gatherings, a return of local high school sporting events, or thoughts of crisp fall days ahead, many of us embrace the coming of autumn and the changing colors it brings.
August allows us to squeeze out the remaining weekends of summer, finish our vacations, work in the garden, prepare to return to school, or soak up precious outdoor moments in a park.
The Independence Day celebration in the City of Johns Creek remains one of our most beloved and community-centered annual traditions.
Summertime, and the living is…exceptional. At least it is in Johns Creek. For me, summertime conjures up memories of swim teams, baseball, parades, cookouts and vacations. I trust summertime means much of the same for most Johns Creek residents today as it did when I was young.
Johns Creek is the exception to the everyday! And that is certainly evident in the summer as the city comes to life with events, activities, improvements, and celebrations! From Movies at Newtown Park, to Walk With A Doc events, Summer Concert Series, Touch-A-Truck event, Independence Day celebration – the summertime in Johns Creek is brimming with activity.
Spring blossoms, spring break, spring forward, spring awakening, spring in your step...There are numerous clichés and adages about this time of year and most all point to rebirth, new beginnings and welcomed change. What’s exceptional is that Johns Creek is blooming this spring as well. Starting with city projects and plans to the city moving into its new City Hall, we are all in store for improvements and new beginnings.
We consistently tout Johns Creek as an exceptional city. Even our tagline asks residents, businesses and visitors to “be the exception.” On a monthly basis we share exceptional projects and stories which demonstrate all that is happening within our city. This month, and I relish the pun, is no exception. As we enter the final month of the first quarter, allow me to detail an aspect of our city which I feel best promotes our city when compared to our regional municipal neighbors: our city’s parks and natural resources.
As we look out over the 32-plus square miles of Johns Creek, there’s an energy. It’s almost electric. You can feel the hum, the rhythm of a city on the move. It’s only the second month of 2019 and things in Johns Creek are buzzing.
Happy New Year and welcome to 2019! As the calendar turns, we are offered a new beginning, a chance to be exceptional. Our city is filled with a renewed sense of possibilities as we embark into 2019. This year is an opportunity for new beginnings and further establishing our home, a unique sense of place that is wholly Johns Creek.
As we embark on colder weather, holiday celebrations, and special time with family and friends, we are also provided with a time to pause and reflect on the past year. Let’s take a brief look back at the exceptional accomplishments, achievements, and celebrations we in the City of Johns Creek experienced in 2018 and what they mean for our community.
It’s hard to believe 10 years have passed since the adoption of the 2008 Comprehensive Plan. While the City has grown and changed during that time, it’s clear to me that one thing has remained the same: your continuous commitment to making this community a great place to live, work, and play.
The fall is on us, the leaves are changing, and at the risk of jinxing us all, the Georgia humidity should finally be behind us. In general, it’s a great time to be out and about and enjoying the community at one of our City events, or in one of our parks and on the trails.
How many of you can identify the name of the group that sang the line, “Saturday, in the park. I think it was the fourth of July.?” And, for bonus points and without looking online, do you know the next verse following “People talking, really smiling, __________?”
I don’t know who first said, “Sending the kids back-to-school makes me want to cry…tears of joy,” but I find myself relating well to this thought the first week in August each year. Don’t get me wrong, I love my two teenagers and the precious time we have to spend together. However, I also love my two teenagers back in school.
From the unofficial kick off of the summer season during Memorial Day Weekend to the celebration of our nation’s independence each July 4, I have always viewed this time of year with great fondness.
Much like the famous Napoleon Bonaparte quote, “an army marches on its stomach,” which describes a lesser known but nonetheless critical component of what makes it strong, a city’s streets are critical to its strength. Streets are not something that immediately jump to mind when many think of strong and healthy cities. More natural thoughts are of well-manicured lawns and medians, clean parks, impressive signage, or well-maintained homes and office buildings. It is sometimes more about what you see ahead of and around you, as opposed to what is directly under your feet.
As our warmer and normal spring-time temperatures have finally overcome the winter chill, it’s that time of year to take our active lifestyles outside again and enjoy all that our City has to offer.
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of talent we have in our relatively small city of 83,000. From Jeff Foxworthy, Usher, and Angelica Hale, and prominent news anchors such as Karyn Greer and Russ Spencer, to Olympic medalists, CEOs and other senior-level corporate executives, and top-tier educators.
Each year, the City of Johns Creek hosts events that draw thousands of people to our exceptional community. Many attendees live here, many are return visitors, and many are joining us for the first time. Our events are an integral and unique way for us to meet, educate, entertain, and spend time together as a community.
Have you ever thought about the future of our city? What it will look like in 20 years? If you had the opportunity to help shape the future of the city you live in, would you?
Happy New Year to all! While it is cliché, time really does seem to fly. I can hardly believe my two oldest are entering their teenage years, and that my youngest is rapidly closing in on two years old. I also think back to the beginning of our City in 2006, and as I am about to be sworn into my fourth term in office, I feel as though I have been running in an 11-year track meet. So much has happened not only within our exceptional city, but also in surrounding cities and counties as well. At times it can be tough to catch my breath.
As we prepare to close out another great year in the City of Johns Creek, I want to be sure you are aware of an exciting new event we have added to the calendar. The City will host its first ever International Festival on Saturday April, 21 across from the Atlanta Athletic Club which is the same location as our annual Arts Festival.
Johns Creek recently received another two notable accolades being named as one of the most successful cities in Georgia, and for the second consecutive year, recognized as the fourth best city to live in America. As impressive as the two accolades are on their own, it is even more remarkable when reflecting on the many superlative lists Johns Creek has been recognized in over the past couple of years www.johnscreekga.gov/live-work-play. From the safest city and tops in education to premier residential living, Johns Creek continues to be a highly sought out community in which to live, work, and play.
It’s time once again when we close out the Fiscal Year and move forward with the next year’s budget, which was developed with an eye toward the future of our exceptional City. As announced following the vote, the Johns Creek City Council unanimously approved a $54.3 million General Fund budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2018, beginning Oct. 1.
As 2017 continues to move along at a seemingly rapid pace, the City Council and staff continue to push forward with decisions and plans designed to transform Johns Creek’s future into an even more exceptional premier residential community than what we have become in our first ten years.
This time of year reminds me of the commercial where the child is dragging his feet in the school supplies aisle while the parent is joyously riding on their shopping cart. It’s a funny take on, Back to School Time.
I am very pleased with the City Council’s decision last month to move forward with the process of developing construction documents on four of the City’s five new parks. The City Council’s action represents a big step forward in what is shaping up to be a transformational year in Johns Creek. The addition of these beautiful green spaces and what they will mean to our residents they serve is very exciting.
As we gear up for the warm summer months and all that the season brings, I want to take the opportunity to remind you to take a moment to review all the City has to offer for you and your family.
As Mayor, I get a lot of questions that I am more than willing and able to answer on a number of topics related to our City. But, one question I would like to pose to you is, what method or means can we put forth that would motivate you to become more engaged with your local government?
The first quarter of our transformational calendar year is in the books, and the City Council and City Staff are eager to engage with you more as planning and actions on our strategic goals are either underway, just on the horizon, or in need of additional input.
Each year, events held by the City of Johns Creek’s draw thousands of people to our exceptional community. Some live here, some are returning, and some are joining us for the first time. Our events are an important and unique way for us to meet, entertain, educate, and spend time together as a community.
We are starting the New Year on strong footing, so look out 2017! While 2016 concentrated on our planning and long term goals, we are now excited to begin implementing those plans starting this year. I’d like to share with you some of the highlights of what we have to look forward to in hopes that you will be as proud as I am on what we’ve set forth thus far.
2016 was an exciting and historic year for Johns Creek. It marked our 10th year as an incorporated city, and it was arguably one of the busiest years in our brief history. As we prepare for 2017 and all the promise a New Year holds, let’s review the highlights of what was accomplished this past year to better put in perspective what lays ahead for our city.
With the elections behind us my hope is that we can now turn our attention to the opportunities that await us as a result of the November ballot initiatives.
Every four years we are faced with the same critical decision of who to elect as the President of the United States. We the people are provided the power to select the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. When you consider what this truly means it is really very awe inspiring.
In last month’s message I provided information regarding one of the two referenda for you to consider on this year’s general election ballot on Nov. 8, which is the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or TSPLOST. As you may recall, the TSPLOST is designed to provide a funding mechanism to accelerate much needed congestion relief and other transportation related projects.
Since the City’s inception in 2006, consistently the #1 issue raised by our residents is traffic congestion. We have watched this issue become more challenging over the past decade with the explosive growth that we see continuing today in Forsyth County and other surrounding municipalities.
As we head into another school year, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to our school administrators, educators, staff, and parents for all their hard work and dedication throughout each year to provide the best educational and extracurricular opportunities possible for the students of Johns Creek.
As you drive around our city, I am sure have taken notice of new billboards beginning to pop up. As a matter of history, this issue predates Johns Creek as an incorporated city. Originally, a number of billboard companies applied to Fulton County for 75 billboard sign permits and each were denied. The companies then began the process of suing Fulton County for the right to erect billboards. Johns Creek joined the lawsuit after it was incorporated in 2006.
Summer time in Johns Creek is in full effect. The temperatures are warming, neighborhood pools are opening, and kids are celebrating the end of the school year. Whether visiting one of our parks or enjoying a meal at one of Johns Creek’s award winning restaurants, people are out and about enjoying the warm air and sunshine. Luckily for Johns Creek residents there is no shortage of fun activities offered by the city this summer including concerts, movies, new athletic classes, a Farmers Market, and more!
2016 marks a special milestone in the history of Johns Creek as nearly ten years ago our referendum was approved by over 70 percent of the voters to become a City. And since that time, we have walked this path together. We shared a common goal to meet our fate and create what would be the ultimate in self-determination. We have evolved into a city where we made our own rules to follow and set goals that set us apart.
The City of Johns Creek is facing an increasingly competitive environment for recruiting new businesses and retaining existing ones. Each city is jockeying for an advantage, trying to attract similar businesses and industries. Up until now, Johns Creek lacked a strategic economic vision for the types of businesses to attract, clarity on our economic strengths and weaknesses, and a focused plan to maintain the character of the city throughout this process.
Once the weather warms, the Johns Creek Public Works Department will kick off our second year of repaving the City’s neighborhood streets. This multi-year initiative is the fulfillment of a promise made when the City was formed in 2006. Quality neighborhood streets protect property values and improve everyone’s quality of life...
Many of you may not be aware of a proposed tax increase to support a MARTA expansion further north on GA 400. Conventional wisdom might suggest such an expansion will significantly reduce traffic congestion and therefore is a no brainer...
As I reflect on 2015, I am filled with pride at our accomplishments. I proclaimed 2015 as “The Year of Public Works” and we kept to that ideal. We delivered a year of marked improvements, procedural advancements, and community discussion, introspection, and looking ahead...
I am excited about the proposed 10-year Recreation and Parks strategic plan which was recently presented to the City Council for review and discussion, and I want to take this opportunity to provide a quick update of where we are in this process...
After considerable discussion, community input, and refinement, the Johns Creek City Council approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Operating Budget of $60.4 million with a unanimous vote. The City Council also committed more than 75 percent of its estimated $54 million in reserves...