Community Voices

Casey Cagle – The Guy Who Doesn’t ‘Get’ Government

Opinion from The Perspicacious Conservative – Jessica Szilagyi

In less than  14  7 days, Republicans across the state will know who ‘their guy’ is for Governor. The runoff election between Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp is the train we’ve all seen coming down the tracks for the last 8 years. And here we are – waiting for the tracks to split to tell us what kind of Governor we’ll have for the next four to eight years.

But one of those trains, though shiny with the prospect of jobs and reversible highway lanes, would place Georgia on a collision course with the most unforgiving, borderline malicious, principle-lacking, self-interested, beholden-to-me ways of Casey Cagle. And that’s truly frightening.

When Cagle was elected for the first time, I was just 8 years old. That was 22 years ago. By every definition of the word, he is a career politician and not the kind that serves his constituents well. His eye has always been on the gubernatorial prize and all of his decisions along the way have been with that in mind. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect the proverbial dots. Whether it was serving in the state senate, becoming Lieutenant Governor, campaigning for Governor until his campaign was plagued by scandal leading him to drop out, or to sit in holding until Deal’s tenure was up…Cagle has had one end goal in mind and he’s kept the throttle down while showcasing everything that is wrong with politics. Why? Because he uses elected office to appease special groups, reward donors, and advance himself.

Let’s back up that statement.

The Cagle team was recently emboldened enough to dig into the Senate voting records from 15 years ago to drum up perceived legislative screw ups by his opponent Brian Kemp -a procedural vote as a matter of fact – as if that somehow cancels out his years of blocking CBD oil legislation, restorative gun bills, and limited government initiatives on matters impacting Georgians in all corners of the state.

Why don’t we instead talk about Cagle’s history in the legislature – the years he spent demonstrating he has no comprehension of what government is in place to do. During his tenure as a state senator:

It’s Not Your Assessments That Will Increase Your Property Tax Bills…

It’s  entertaining watching politicians working overtime to protect us by focusing on (Pick One):

A)  Rising Property Valuations

OR

B)   Making sure they start the Property Tax discussions with the Roll-Back Millage Rate

Which do you feel is the most critical part of this upcoming issue regarding YOUR property taxes?


There has been nothing but finger-pointing over the Fulton County Property Tax debacle.  And rest assured it will get worse before it gets resolved.

It’s NOT the Tax Assessors that will raise your property taxes.    The property values of everyone in Johns Creek could rise by 300%.  Your taxes could stay approximately the same.

As a Johns Creek property owner, it’s these three government bodies that will decide to raise your property taxes or not, and NOT the Tax Assessor.  They are:

Your Fulton County Commissioners (Seven Members)

Your Fulton County School Board(Seven Members)

Your Johns Creek City Council(Seven Members) …

Letter to the Editor

Do you believe the citizens of Johns Creek realize what a drastic amount of Road improvements are about to happen due to the t-splost? In spite of having at least seven meetings around this area, only those who have actually gone to the City Council meetings and seen physically what is going to happen will anyone realize the catastrophic degradation of our way of life. I encourage everyone reading this to come to City Council meetings take a comment card and fill it out. I am Momma nature – I speak for the trees and I am sickened by the amount of devastation happening here. There should be nothing called clear-cutting happening here but it does and you know it. Where do you think these animals are going to go? These trees are giving us oxygen and in some cases shade. Do we protect them? I don’t think so. Our children are watching us to see if we have the intelligence to protect our environment. Air water and soil quality have been abused and taken for granted. Let’s wise up. Momma Nature Former master naturalist- resigned recently so I can focus on environmental degradation around me in Johns Creek.

-Carol Madan

A Development Authority for Johns Creek? Just Say No

Amazon is presently inviting US cities to outbid each other in a contest to host its “second headquarters”, waving the promise of 50,000 jobs and $5bn of investment in front of the winning applicant. Maryland offered $5bn of tax incentives – dollar for dollar the same as the pledged investment – for the company to opt for Montgomery County, while California offered between $300m and $1bn of breaks. New Jersey even promised $7bn of tax incentives – $2bn more than Amazon’s maximum investment. Whichever city wins, it seems likely that tax will influence its decision-making: the firm’s published criteria for bidders cites “a stable and business-friendly environment and tax structure” as a high priority.

The paragraph above shows you the end result of governments pursuing growth at any price. Cities attempt to outbid each other in an effort to secure a business that they want located in their city limits.

We’ve seen taxpayers on the hook for financing professional sports stadiums for the very same reasons: the promises of the positive economic impact.

Presently, the City  Johns Creek is discussing whether they should create a Development Authority.  It’s purpose would be to offer property tax abatements, financing and other incentives to locate here in Johns Creek.

Before we go further let me ask you this question,   “What was your incentive to locate to Johns Creek?”  Did you need property tax abatements, better financing options, or other offers to help you make the decision to locate here?

In past conversations regarding the Central Business District, I have consistently taken the stand that the private sector is the is best suited for determining what will be built on commercial properties. This would also include the scale for such buildings.

The decisions for the development of commercial properties should be left to the private sector.  Based upon their analysis on what their profitability will be given the market, their location, and the cost of their funds, they must decide whether or not they take the risk and start or relocate a business.

The proposed Development Authority, however, changes that equation.

A Development Authority can lead to a lower cost of funds for a business.  And while it’s hard for me to believe that any viable business could not get the funds they needed to open or relocate over the last 5-10 years with interest rates at artificially low levels, there are some on our City Council that want to work to get those businesses even lower rates.  Don’t you wish they were doing the same to get you lower rates on your home mortgage?

A Development Authority would offer tax abatements on said properties for ten years.  This abatement applies to local, county, and school taxes.  The first year the property taxes will be 50% of the appraised value.  The 2nd year it will be 55%.  This will continue through year ten.

We are told that this is never a loss in revenue because the new value of the property will generate more property tax revenue at 50% of the new value than it did at the old undeveloped value.

They cite this reason for treating new businesses with a cut in taxes, whereas currently established, loyal businesses would have more competition and not benefit from the tax break.

And here is what they are NOT telling you.  Our property tax valuations in Johns Creek, specifically commercial properties are so out of whack that they make no rational sense.   There’s a well discussed campus in Tech Park which is used as an example of how valuable it is to use a Development Authority to retain them. And maybe that has some merit.  But can someone explain why there are some acres on that campus that have the land valued at  $720,000 per acre and the adjoining parcel, which is used for parking, is valued at $60,000 per acre?

Some of our elected officials claim that we need the Development Authority to take some of the pressure of residential property taxes.   Perhaps we should start with having the commercial properties in Johns Creek fairly assessed.

Then, let’s make sure whatever tax decisions made are applied to all property owners and not just a select few.

Leave the development business to the private sector.

The City should provide a level playing field for everyone.  Anything less is wrong.

 

Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann to hold Town Hall Meeting to discuss 2018 Property Assessments

Assessment Notices will be mailed late May

Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann, District 1, will hold a Town Hall Meeting on April 24th at Chattahoochee High School to discuss 2018 Property Assessments in order to provide information and assistance to understanding how property is assessed. Assessment Notices will be mailed late May.

“It is my hope that homeowners will attend this important meeting,” states Commissioner Liz Hausmann. “I am holding this town hall to give them an opportunity to ask questions, learn how their property is assessed and to learn about the appeal process if they disagree with the assessed value of their property.”

On Tuesday, April 24th, Commissioner Hausmann, along with staff from the Tax Assessors’ Office, will be at:

Chattahoochee High School
5230 Taylor Road
Johns Creek, GA 30022

7:00pm – 9:00pm

Visit www.fultonassessor.org for more information about property assessments.


This is one of the biggest outstanding issues we face going forward.  We all know the issues we have had with the Tax Assessments here in Johns Creek and the rest of Fulton County.  Around 1/3 of this City’s revenue comes from property taxes.

We also have every reason to believe that valuations are going to rise much much faster than most are prepared for.  And we know the flaws we all face with such a system.

Our city, county and school officials can negate the major portion of this problem by agreeing to start at the “roll-back” rate every year.

Were officials to do this, then over the course of time(10 years for example) the impact to you and your property taxes should be as minimal as possible.  The average of your increases in the years where your property values went up would balance with the years where your property valuations stayed the same IF the roll-back rate was selected every year.

But of course, I cannot be sure I would trust officials to do this over the course of ten years and neither should you.  The temptation for a windfall in tax revenues is just too great for some elected officials.

We encourage you to attend this meeting.  Voice your concerns.  And be sure to ask why there are certain business properties that have also not been revalued for many years.

Only pressure from all of us will encourage a fair and reasonable system to be implemented for all of us.

-EJM

 

Letter To The Editor: Trusting the Messenger

The recent Johns Creek Herald article (10/25/17) about “trusting the messenger” is so full of malarkey I really don’t know where to begin. So let’s start at the top.

The first few paragraphs sound like Mr. Hurd just recently discovered the Internet and wants to warn folks that not everything on the net is true. And this warning seems particularly important since Mr. Hurd wants to conveniently confuse reader blog comments from other posted content. This, combined with his lecture on “sourcing” in the context of a comment blog makes you wonder if Mr. Hurd has ever visited modern online news sites like Yahoo or CBS News, among hundreds of others. If we could just go back to the days when print editors controlled reader feedback with very limited print space.

The second paragraph sounds like Mr. Hurd believes the Internet is the only place we have fake news. He says the “national media” is plagued by it on the Internet. Otherwise, Mr. Hurd apparently believes the “national media” (or is it “the system”) never contrives stories or references unnamed or anonymous sources and they always consider the motives of all anonymous sources. All of this is laughable so far!

Next, we move on to the Mayor defending the city’s openness. I’m not aware that anyone in JC is complaining about this. But there is a big difference between making city information available and keeping citizens informed. In the Mayor’s defense on this topic, a large part of Johns Creek residents don’t bother to be informed.

Next up are claims made by the Mayor against the JCP. As reported, these claims have very little detail. And, are we talking about reader blog comments? The same goes for the claims of Mr. Carrel with no reported investigation into his “friend” sources. And once again, is Mr. Carrel talking about reader blog comments? Is Mr. Carrel and his friends aware that comments don’t immediately appear on the JCP after they are submitted? I’ve seen many comments on the JCP that were entirely opposed to any apparent “narrative” and they were nearly ALWAYS posted by an anonymous source. What are these posters afraid of, busy city residents with families? Then the Mayor chimes in with how “he’s been told of several cases where comments were edited to change their meaning to further the Post’s narrative”. What about those sources, Mr. Hurd?

The Mayor doesn’t want to launch a (frivolous) lawsuit about this during his campaign but he is quite happy to discredit or smear some of his JCP detractors if he can. After all, they seem to be quickly growing in numbers and voting power, and this is very scary to the business, development, construction, consulting, and contracting community in JC. The first attempt at publicly discrediting the JCP backfired a few weeks ago with the involvement of an overzealous citizen who did more harm than good to the JCP smear effort. Mr. Hurd didn’t seem to want any part of this. What we have now is V2.0 of the smear effort and Mr. Hurd cooperated this time, less than two weeks prior to election day. But the big question is, can we trust the messenger?

By Zane Edge

Councilwoman Stephanie Endres Protect Us From Approving an Unseen $2 Million Lighting Design

In a recent work session, only Stephanie Endres kept the Johns Creek City Council from approving a $2 million lighting plan which no one has seen on Abbotts Bridge Road. Watch as she asks the hard questions on your behalf and keeps us from being forced to approve any plan on short notice.

Video Source: City of Johns Creek

Commentary: Ernest Moosa

What does Johns Creek, GA, and Houston, TX have in common?

Houston, TX is a very large city in the USA, now ranked #4 in population and size. So how could little Johns Creek have anything in common?  Recently we witnessed some horrific flooding in Houston from Hurricane Harvey, so….how does this apply to Johns Creek?

Remember that Houston is the fastest growing city in Texas over the last 5 to 7 years with a 23% increase in population and housing.  Who is the fastest growing city in North Fulton County measured by density? Johns Creek is more DENSE per square mile than Roswell and Marietta.
Houston is much bigger in land mass and millions of people live there, how can we have any issue similar?  Let’s explore a historical problem that the current leadership in Johns Creek really doesn’t want to address. Storm Water management, what is that?  All of your highways, roads, parking lots, schools have storm drains which capture the rainwater and send it on its way. So why should I care?  Where does it go?
– 
As we continue to develop, build, expand more buildings, roads, highways, parking lots we create less and less land that naturally absorbs rainwater. The compounding effect is much GREATER volume and much GREATER velocity (speed) of water that is no longer absorbed by the undeveloped land.
 –
The current stormwater management system was put in place by Fulton County and the state via (GDOT). The low lying area’s within Johns Creek have retention ponds with earth dams designed to catch the stormwater runoff and slowly release the excess into the Johns Creek or tributaries that lead to Johns Creek or the Chattahoochee River.
The financial structure of this arrangement is that by law the subdivisions or neighborhoods that have these detention ponds must maintain the condition of them at their expense. This costly burden on the homeowner associations benefits the whole City including visitors who travel our roads, and highways safely whenever we have a rain storm. Is this a fair and equitable arrangement created by government?
– 
When Johns Creek became a City, those of us aware of this problem were excited we would get the better attention and solutions to our problem, but after 11 years, it has been ignored.
 –
Allow me to take you through a bit of history and show you the “dirty underbelly” of aggressive growth and high density. The picture below was taken in 2000, this is a backyard in Stonehaven that the Johns Creek river splits the owner’s yard in half. The bridge was built in 1993 the width of the creek/river was 35 feet wide. The water never reached within three feet of the bridge ever. 

In 2009 in the same backyard during the flood, in the middle of the picture below is a locked sewer cap and raw sewerage is coming out. This is NOT in the creek/river but as you can see somehow the sewer system becomes pressurized during the flood. 

The tool shed sitting on a 6-inch concrete pad was 40 feet from the creek bank.

In the 2013 Flood, note the fallen tree that is crashing into that very bridge. While in 2009 was only three years after the city was formed you can see what growth and development can do to a small little creek.

The development of all the property adjacent to the Standard Club on Medlock Bridge Rd, the Mixed-Use Development “Johns Creek Walk”, the Catholic Church and Jewish Temple on Parsons Rd, Emory Hospital also added more development and hardscape. You MUST develop greater infrastructure to deal with these stormwater events BEFORE you widen roads or develop the land. 

Is this the only location in Johns Creek with this issue?

NO, according to the City Manager Warren Hutmacher there are over 110 similar issues regarding stormwater and retention ponds.

Does the city provide any financial assistance to the subdivisions who have these retention ponds that capture all the stormwater runoff and silt from the roadways, parking lots, schools that contribute to this problem? NO.

This is a historical problem that is only growing worse.

The creators of these issues are the state of GA in the form of (GDOT), Fulton County and now for 11 years, the City of Johns Creek. The erosion continues and that sleepy little creek has gone from 35 feet wide to about 55 feet wide. Over 13 trees were lost in the 2013 flood and the shed with about 800 lbs of tools floated away. Fortunately, the shed was stuck between some trees so the owner was able to salvage some tools. A 700 lbs covered swing was swept away.

So as you can see this is very dramatic, yet more development is planned as we discuss this. I have brought up this subject many. many times to the Mayor and City Council and most recently the other night to the Planning Commission. The only thing I can say from my observation is we just might be trying to become the next Houston, TX which would really be sad.

The irony of it all, we form a new city called “Johns Creek” yet we abuse this small body of water which is our namesake? WE NEED T-SPLASH NOT T-Splost first before you actually harm people. This is a safety issue if we continue the “Ostrich” approach of ignoring the issue as the current leadership has done.

Since we’ve become a City 11 years ago what has been done to improve our stormwater management? Absolutely NOTHING…..why? Who in our local government has been here the whole time?

Tom Corrigan

An Open Letter to the Johns Creek City Council: Are you Listening? 

With election campaigning now getting underway, I wanted to take this opportunity to address our City Council in order to make some points for your consideration as you prepare to ask me and my family for our support and our votes.  I’ll preface my statements by saying that the perspectives and opinions I’m expressing are my own and that I don’t claim to speak for others – though I will say that I’m aware that many others share some of my viewpoints.  I’ll let others speak for themselves.  In the midst of our collective voices, are you listening?

My family and I moved to what is now Johns Creek twenty years ago.  We chose this area because of the suburban residential character of the community, solid schools, and accessibility to Atlanta.  We could have chosen to focus our search on more established, in-town, and more highly urbanized neighborhoods, but that wasn’t the environment we wanted for our family.  We’ve made our lives and raised our two daughters here, and for the most part, have been happy with our choice.

Half way through our residential tenure, I strongly supported the efforts to incorporate the City of Johns Creek.  The hope was that we would realize increased local control over the substantial tax dollars collected in unincorporated Fulton County and that decisions affecting our community would be better aligned to our residents’ desires under local leadership. 

As we approach almost eleven years since incorporation as the City of Johns Creek, my sense is that we are seeing the increasing distance between what our residents desire for our community and the vision that our City Council seems intent on driving.  That disconnect can be summarized as a steady march toward increased urbanization and ever higher density, accompanied by the resulting traffic congestion and push to pave our way out of the problems of our own making.

I must ask why our City Council seems so intent on changing the fundamental identity of Johns Creek, an area that has been established as a suburban residential community?  Does anybody benefit by taking the city in a direction that is so drastically different from the character upon which it was based? 

As I consider those questions, I must start at the top of our City Council’s leadership – Mayor Mike Bodker.  Mayor Bodker has been relatively consistently on the side of development, whether that’s championing The District (a widely criticized proposal to create a city center, mostly within privately promoted Technology Park), promoting the benefits of T-SPLOST while assuring residents that any project would be publicly vetted before moving forward, and then insisting that by voting to approve T-SPLOST, that residents had “approved” those same projects, promoting road widening projects over the objections of affected homeowners, or signing an Inter-Governmental Agreement that allows unaccountable officials in Forsyth County to exercise Eminent Domain seizures of private property in Johns Creek.

Another concern was delegating the negotiation of a billboard settlement to Councilwoman Davenport, in spite of a seeming conflict of interest in that Ms. Davenport and one of the billboard principal owners are neighbors and friends.  The outcome of those negotiations may be up for debate, but there is a fair amount of sentiment among some residents that Johns Creek ceded far too much ground without a great deal to show in return. 

Adding further shadows of doubt to the situation, it has been noted and acknowledged that, in his private employment capacity, Mayor Bodker works for a company owned by the Davenports.  While that may be entirely legitimate, the perception that it creates is potentially troublesome.  When a question about this professional relationship was posed at a City Town Hall Meeting, the reaction back to the questioning resident appeared to be out of proportion to a completely legitimate question. Again, in whose interest are our politicians working?

This is a track record that stands in stark contrast to the direction I would like to see Johns Creek pursue.  And so I must question: does Mayor Mike Bodker have the best interests of Johns Creek in mind as he conducts the business of our city?  Are you listening?

Mayor Bodker has stated several times that his elected position as Mayor of Johns Creek is not his primary source of employment or income.  His primary employment is a Partner of nexDimension, a consulting firm that serves the financial, business, and technology industries, and co-founder of the firm’s Government Services practice.  According to nexDimension’s website, some of Mayor Bodker’s accomplishments and qualifications include the founding of the North Fulton Municipal Association, Metro Atlanta Mayor’s Association, and Board Member and Chair of the Revenue & Finance Committee for the Georgia Municipal Association. 

Bodker is cited as a “proven thought leader in topics related to local government and now uses this knowledge to help local governments improve using performance management techniques.”  So again, I have to ask, does Mayor Bodker have the best interests of the residents of Johns Creek at heart, or is his role as Mayor serve as a key qualifying credential to further his personal career, and also provide him the platform from which he can build his private firm’s business?  I would hope for the former, but actions seem to indicate the latter.  Those who recall the last Mayoral election campaign may remember the allegations of bribery and abuse of power that haunted the Mayor through the process.

In addition to the Mayor’s seat, this year’s election will include City Council Posts 1, 3, and 5.  Posts 1 and 5 will see incumbents seeking re-election (Councilman Lenny Zaprowski and Councilwoman Stephanie Endres).

Our charge as residents is to carefully vet our candidates and elect those we feel best prepared to represent us on our City Council.  A review of those residents who have stepped forward to present their case for our votes reveals a very clear, consistent set of messages:
    •    Address traffic congestion
    •    Do not jump to the conclusion that adding pavement will fix our traffic problems
    •    Stop high-density development
    •    Listen to the residents and act in THEIR interests, not YOURS
    •    Be ethical and trustworthy, do NOT allow yourselves to be in compromising situations

The consistency across our candidates means something. Regardless of political party affiliation, they all see the same issues and concerns. Are you listening? 

I know that some of you are listening – I won’t use this letter to make any endorsements, but I do know that we do have some representatives on City Council who are taking their responsibilities seriously, who are listening to the residents, who are putting the interests of Johns Creek residents first and foremost.  I believe that the special election earlier this year was a warning shot across the bow for the others and that our residents are becoming more engaged in the conduct of our city.  While I’m concerned about the direction current leadership seems intent on taking our city, I must also look at the positive outcome that has resulted as residents are first enraged, and then engaged.

This election may be a watershed event for Johns Creek. I wrote this letter because I want to see Johns Creek remain a premier, desirable, suburban residential community. I want our representatives to do what we elected them to do: represent us, and not use a seat on our City Council as a political career launching pad, a personal resume enhancing business development opportunity or a vehicle for personal enrichment. I want our City Council, and our candidates, to be prepared to do the job they are asking us award to them with our votes.

Are you listening? 


Sincerely,
Ed Thompson
Johns Creek, GA

The Property Tax Model is Broken Beyond Repair

Let’s be honest. The system of collecting taxes for county, city, and school taxes is broken. And the larger the area dependent on funding from property taxes, the more broken it becomes. North Fulton County residents pay tremendously more for the same county services than South Fulton residents.  Why?

Here are three reasons it needs to be scrapped:

  1. There is no correlation between the amount of taxes you pay and the amount of “services” you receive.

A family of six living in a $500,000 home and a family of two living in a $500,000 home, pay the same property taxes if they live in the same community.  Why?  What makes us feel its fair to collect three times as much tax on a per capita basis from one family than another?  What if the family of two lives in a home worth one million?  What makes it right to collect six times as much for the very same levels of services?  Should I mention that the family of six likely creates more demand for services than the family of two as well?

When property values are high, and tax rates are high, this can have the effect of driving out empty nester residents to avoid the high levels of taxes relative to the services they receive for those tax dollars.

2.  Property values rising(and falling) should have no impact on how much tax revenue is needed to run your county, cities, and schools.

We’ve seen property values fall during recessions and rise during better times.  This should have nothing to do with how many dollars are needed to provide services in your community.  Yet we have made the tax digest the first step in the taxation process, followed by each government agency voting on the millage rate to be applied to that tax digest.  Elected officials vote far more often on how much they will tax you than you have a chance to vote on whether or not they should remain in office.

Let’s add to that the huge infrastructure we now have in place at the Tax Assessor’s office to track every piece of property, every structure, and every improvement you make to your home, all in the effort to make sure every $ of real estate(real or imagined) is taxed.

Why on earth should you owe the government more dollars because you decided to finish your basement or add a deck?

The perverseness of this likely discourages residents from making improvements to their properties.

How much time and energy is used by the Tax Assessor’s office to gather all of this information?  How accurate is it?  Is it worth it?  Who is really benefitting?

3.  How many hours of effort will the Public spend appealing these assessments?

If 1/4 of the households in Johns Creek appeal, that could be as high as 7,000 homes.  Spend five hours on this process, and cumulatively we will have spent 35,000 hours fighting our high assessments.

Instead, why don’t we take a moment and consider a different system?  We do not tax each resident within an HOA a variable amount do we?  It’s a flat rate per household.  While not necessarily the same on a per capita basis, it is a fairer system than taxing each household based upon the value of their property.

What would a fixed property tax collected per residence look like?  First, it would treat all of us as equally as possible.

We would not need an army of government employees tracking our properties, needing to know everything about the inside and outside of our homes.

We would never have to appeal property taxes in the future.

Our governments would be accountable to us directly for the rate of taxation we face, and there would be no finger-pointing as to who is to blame.

The current system of taxation has more expensive property owners subsidizing the less expensive property owners.  In a society where wealth redistribution is frowned upon by most of us, it is curious to me why we are so willing to allow tax redistribution with property taxes, where the level of services received are so far removed from what the property owner pays in taxes.

Johns Creek could lead the way to a better model of taxation for its residents.  It’s time we slay the beast that taxation based on property values has become.   Taxation should not be unfair or onerous.

It’s time for a change.  Contact your locally elected officials and tell them you want a different system.  Tell them you want a better, more equitable system.

 

Johns Creek: Second Best Suburb(and Now City) in Georgia(And Here’s Why)

Recently, Johns Creek was named the second best suburb(and Now City) in Georgia to live.  Coming in second to Decatur, I was curious as to what makes up that ranking (and what role might our local government take in that ranking.  Interestingly enough, other communities are omitted from the suburb category, but are some of the best cities in Georgia to live in.  (It seems that given enough rankings, we can all be winners)

The largest contributor to our ranking is the educational level of adults living in Johns Creek, of course.  We know we are well educated, and that category is 15% of the weighting.

Now which factors are because of our local government?

Property taxes show up in the Housing Grade category, with a ten % weighting.  The effect of Johns Creek on this category might be 1-2% points of that category.

Crime and safety is another category.  With a 5% rating, we will give ½ the credit to the police and fire, and ½ credit to the well-educated public, who should know better than to misbehave.  That brings us up to 3 ½ to 4 ½ %.

The last category Johns Creek contributes to is Outdoor. One-third of that 5% is from having access to parks.  Since this is not limited to parks within your city limits, but all parks including National Parks within a large distance, we will score this category as a 1% contribution from the City of Johns Creek.

In total, that would suggest that 4 ½ to 5 ½ % of our overall score our City Government could take credit for.

The majority of the success for Johns Creek belongs to you.  Yes you.

Well educated, high income earners demanding great homes, working to keep the schools great through property and sales taxes, welcoming to people of all diversities, behaving in the eyes of the law, taking care of your health and the health of your families contributed the most to Johns Creek’s selection as the Second Best Suburb in Georgia.

Go ahead and pat yourself on the back.  You deserve it!

Factors Considered

Factor Description Source Weight
Higher Education Rate Percentage of residents who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher. U.S. Census 15.0%
Cost of Living Grade Based on the consumer price index and access to affordable housing. Niche 10.0%
Housing Grade Based on home values, property taxes, housing costs, local schools, and more. Niche 10.0%
Public Schools Grade Based on the average Niche K-12 Overall Grade for every public school serving the area, where each school is weighted by the number of students it serves. Niche 10.0%
Diversity Grade Based on ethnic, generational and economic diversity. Niche 7.5%
Shortest Commute Grade Based on typical commute times and methods. Niche 7.5%
Composite Overall Score Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding the overall experience of the place. Self-reported by Niche users 5.0%
Crime & Safety Grade Based on violent and property crime rates. Niche 5.0%
Family Grade Based on school quality, safety, and family-friendly living. Niche 5.0%
Health & Fitness Grade Based on community health statistics and access to healthcare. Niche 5.0%
Jobs Grade Based on employment rates, job and economic growth, and cost of living. Niche 5.0%
Nightlife Grade Based on access to bars, restaurants, theaters, and other attractions. Niche 5.0%
Outdoor Activities Grade Based on weather, air quality, and access to parks and other recreational opportunities. Niche 5.0%
Weather Grade Based on number of sunny days, precipitation, and average temperatures in an area. Niche 5.0%

https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/rankings/suburbs/best-suburbs/methodology/