Category Archives: Ernest Moosa

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

Fake Outrage Sweeps Johns Creek

It’s an election year, and nothing works better for politicians than generating fake outrage at non-issues if it keeps residents from talking about real issues.

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%

Letter to Editor: Chris Coughlin’s Victory Can Be a Very Positive Change for Johns Creek

Congratulations Chris Coughlin.  While I know that you cannot of your own accord change the direction of the City Council, I do know that you can move the conversation into the directions we need it to proceed. 

While the majority does still lie with the FOUR who endorsed Coughlin’s opponent, the Council conversations during the Work Sessions and City Council meetings are in the eyes of the Public.  I hope that the right questions are asked so that we can get the answers on the record before us.  We will be watching. One of the FOUR, if they are listening to the points of view presented, will hopefully change their perspective and vote accordingly. 

I look forward to the discussions on traffic, our so called Intelligent Traffic Lights, actual traffic data, why we cannot work to improve the performance of underperforming intersections, as well as other opportunities within the world of transportation and commuting in and around Johns Creek.  

I look forward to an honest and frank discussion on business taxes, and the reduction of taxes for ALL Johns Creek businesses, as well as the reduction in regulations that do not add anything but challenges to business operations.  This is a conversation Coughlin started in 2015 and unfortunately, has not gone very far without Coughlin, despite the efforts of Council Member Endres. 

Johns Creek is indeed a great City, and I know Coughlin believes this.  Coughlin’s  approach to problem solving is not a product of Group Think, but a product of Critical Thinking.  I look forward to seeing the results of that Critical Thinking because defining the problems first and then pursuing the best solutions will yield better solutions than what we have been doing in the past: Starting with a solution preferred by a few on the Council and then working backwards to justify it. 

To the Four that endorsed Coughlin’s opponent- Are you listening?  You represent the same electorate that overwhelmingly voted Chris Coughlin to join you on the Council.  Coughlin did  not run a negative campaign.  Coughlin ran on the issues and offered solutions. Coughlin’s policies and principles for good governance were stated and discussed. Solving traffic issues, protecting the residents against higher density developments, reducing business taxes for all businesses, and doing it at the lowest possible cost to residents(even if they could afford to pay more) are the types of Council decisions we seek. 

What are you going to do with that information the voters have just provided to you?  Work against Coughlin’s clearly successful campaign based on ideas and supported by the voters of Johns Creek?  Or join with him and others and help keep Johns Creek the great city it is for the residents of Johns Creek?  I encourage you to each take a step back, and truly listen to the conversations and discussions that we will see occur during the work sessions and the City Council meetings.  Challenge your own beliefs on what is going on in Johns Creek and where we are heading. 

If you can have your beliefs challenged and at the end of the conversation, you still believe that is what best, then so be it.  But if you have your beliefs challenged and discover a better way, then I hope you take that opportunity and change your mind.  By doing so, all of Johns Creek will benefit, including yourselves.  

The choice is yours.  We are watching.

Ernest Moosa: Videotorials

Ernest Moosa compares and contrasts the City Council Candidates: Chris Coughlin & John Flores, from the JCCA debate.

Video Editorial on Traffic

Video Editorial on Business Taxes


Video Editorial on Property Taxes: Millage Rate

This Is Why We Are Frustrated With Traffic (In 90 Seconds)

In less than 90 seconds,  anyone should be able to clearly understand why we are frustrated with traffic and why we think that there are improvements that can be made without paving six lanes the entire length of 141.

While I took this video in Peachtree Corners, it was only because I saw it as an example of what ails us in Johns Creek.  We all experience the same thing on a frequent basis in Johns Creek.  It just happened to be convenient for me to film at this location.  Frustrated with the additional 10 minutes it took to get to Earth Faire at 12:30 p.m., I made it a point to stop and record it.

The questions I keep asking is why.  What does it take to resolve these sorts of issues with our traffic lights?

The video was taken Friday, March 10th 2017, just before 1:00 pm.  I am facing north on 141 on the eastern side of the intersection.

Be sure to watch to the very end where you will see as I zoom just how far the backup extends.



Saturday Afternoon gave me the opportunity to record the same issue, this time coming from Johns Creek.  With the sped up video  below, skip to 48 seconds in the video and hear recommendations for resolving this issue WITHOUT any additional paving needed.

This problem could be resolved sooner rather than later.

Johns Creek: Turning Your Home Into A Revenue Source

The City of Johns Creek wants to use permits to turn your home into an additional revenue source.  Without that permit you do not have the City’s “permission” to make repairs.



  1. give authorization or consent to (someone) to do something:

    “the law permits councils to monitor any factory emitting smoke” · 


    synonyms: allow · authorize · give someone permission · sanction · grant · 



  1. an official document giving someone authorization to do something:
    “he is only in Britain on a work permit”

In a mere decade, residents who voted to become a city for local control of issues that mattered to them( Police, Fire, Traffic) are now seeing the City attempt to take local control of repairs inside their homes.

And that local control is coming with a price, as they demand your dollars and your time be in compliance with this questionable overreach of government authority.

The reasons behind this overreach?  $$$$$ 

Improvements to 141/Medlock Bridge Road that Preserve Johns Creek

The 141 (Medlock Bridge Rd) Corridor is a fundamental feature of Johns Creek. It defines the heart of our city. The City Council is expected to vote at its next meeting on Feb. 27 whether or not to widen this road to three lanes in both directions. The changes that we make to this corridor will have significant impacts not just on travel and convenience, but also on the look and feel and quality of life of our city far into the future. Much more research needs to be done and facts need to be shared before rushing headlong towards any option that we may soon regret.

Through critical thinking and analysis, Johns Creek can improve travel time and convenience while also maintaining the traditional character of our city’s main thoroughfare. We must be clear in our goal. Is the goal to make this route a highway for getting to 285 easier? Or is the goal to optimize the road in such a way that it helps Johns Creek residents without destroying the traditional character of our community?

Before any solution can be judged, the problem that is being solved must be defined first. The problem is not as simple as stating that we have too much traffic on 141. The problem is that we are not moving that traffic as efficiently as possible through the main corridor. A false definition of the problem can lead to a “solution” that does not solve the real problem, and while we may be able to pave our way to a solution, that is an option that might not be right for the residents of Johns Creek.

Drivers along the 141 corridor are more likely than not to get a red light repeatedly along the 141 corridor. In fact, the probability is 55% (or higher if there is traffic congestion) that while traveling south on 141 you will be stopped at State Bridge Road for a red light. This is a large part of the problem while driving 141.

The probability of catching two lights green in a row is 20%
(even without traffic congestion).

The 141 corridor needs to have green lights as a % of the traffic light cycle for both north and southbound traffic greater than 50%, especially at the normal chokepoints for traffic we see daily, and especially during rush hours if we expect to keep the traffic moving.

Additionally, the intersection of 141 and State Bridge has more vehicles arriving at the light each hour than can proceed through the light on green. This creates a backup in the queue of vehicles which can extend a mile or more on given days. Because this queue crosses several intersections, a ripple effect is created and additional problems get created at those locations.

The addition of a third lane southbound through the 141/State Bridge intersection will shorten or elimiate the length of the queue substantially and will reduce the likelihood of congestion related issues at other intersections.

The problems encountered at 141 and Grove Point Road are a result of the length of the backup queue created by issues at State Bridge Road and 141.

The issues we are addressing are the primary reasons for our traffic congestion issues, and while other issues may contribute, it is important to focus on the most important issues.

Our elected officials must protect the city of Johns Creek first and foremost. We need leadership that seeks alternative strategies for transportation that also maintain our residential community. The widening of 141 to six lanes raises legitimate questions about our future. Think about it: Peachtree Industrial is a six lane highway. Will a six-lane highway be the forerunner to a mass transit rail line or to dedicated MARTA bus lanes? Will increased road capacity be the excuse to allow more high-density housing in Johns Creek?

With both the Comprehensive Transportation Plan and a joint study with Peachtree Corners of the 141 corridor due in September, it is premature to move one step towards widening 141. It must be noted that Peachtree Corners does not have any plans to widen their part of 141 nor does GDOT have plans to do so at this time. Therefore, any widening in Johns Creek would not pay off like some might expect. Also, a wider 141 will require additional red lights to help people get out of their subdivisions safely. These additional lights will also erode gains made by increasing road capacity.

Additionally GDOT data that is available to the public does not support the statements that we have an ever growing volume of traffic in this corridor. The annual rate of growth between 2001-2015 on 141 just south of AAC for instance, shows a decrease in traffic volumes of -0.7% between 2001 and 2015.

Not only are significant studies still in process but the future of McGinnis Ferry Road (MGF) is still being debated. Each morning, commuters weigh which route to take to work. Widening 141 will probably increase the number of drivers choosing 141 over GA400, which may worsen the problem. A widening of MGF added to the new multi-million dollar McFarland Interchange may lead many Forsyth and upper Johns Creek commuters to use GA400 and Peachtree Industrial Blvd (PIB). These roads were designed as highways and do not run through a residential area.

There are several other changes that should be investigated to improve our current traffic volume in Johns Creek on 141 that do not involve widening the road:
· Adjust speed limits
· Increase turn lanes at key intersections for easier access to GA400 and PIB
· Intersection and lane improvements in Forsyth and Gwinnett County.
These are all things that can be done to decrease the incentive to use Johns Creek as a cut-through. Already, South Forsyth has taken away much of the incentive to drive into Johns Creek simply by making itself a new destination in its own right full of shops, offices and restaurants.

Changes to speed limits, increasing turn lanes at key intersections for easier access to GA400 and PIB, and intersection and lane improvements in Forsyth are all.

Intersection improvements up and down 141 will better serve the travel needs of Johns Creek residents. These improvements will improve commutes, but also ease the ability to live, shop, and play inside our city. By widening the intersection at 141/State Bridge, we can get big benefits without the unnecessary damage to the neighborhoods just slightly north. Improving the intersection at 141 and State Bridge is long overdue. However, Johns Creek should delay any decision on widening 141 beyond the intersection. Careful consideration should be given to other ideas that can improve travel but not harm our community.

There is relatively little expense to intersection improvements compared to widening the road. We have already seen these ideas implemented on State Bridge Road east of 141.These intersection improvements can give significant travel gains along the corridor. Most if not all of the intersection improvements would be near commercial development and not residential developments. If we widen 141, we can never undo that and the intersection problems will still need to be addressed. If we make these intersection improvements, there is little to no downside and the widening of 141 could always be done in the future if truly warranted and it was desired by the residents.. These intersection improvements can be done without doing irreparable harm to the look and feel and quality of life of Johns Creek.

It seems clear that there are real improvements based on real world observations and data that will greatly benefit Johns Creek drivers. More efficient intersections throughout the corridor as measured by more lights green more of the time for North and Southbound traffic is preferred over the creation of a six lane highway bordered by residential homes. Widening 141 is an unnecessary step that will have a lasting negative impact. It is a step that once taken, will be irreversible and have costs much greater than just the dollars spent on construction.

Source: Preserve Johns Creek