Category Archives: Nancy Reinecke

Nancy Reinecke’s Voter Update

Dear Johns Creek Voters,

It has been awhile since my last communication.  During that time, the City of Johns Creek has made good progress on two of four key issues I campaigned on — paving our neighborhood streets, and enhancing our park resources 😀.
Just this past week, I attended an Open House hosted by the cities of Johns Creek and Duluth on possible designs for the restoration of Rogers Bridge across the Chattahoochee River in the Shakerag area.  I was pleased to hear that the National Park Service is also thinking about a similar restoration of Jones Bridge across the Chattahoochee River in the Newtown area.
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On a third issue I campaigned on, which was improving fiscal practices, I still await the presentation of the 10-year financial plan to the community to show us that the city is making fiscally informed decisions with a view to longer term costs, and ensuring that the city is financially sustainable without a “fiscal cliff” ahead of us when expenditures exceed revenues.  I am hopeful that the presentation will not be delayed too much longer.
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On my fourth key issue, which was greater engagement of our city council with our community, however, I remain disappointed and unsatisfied.  We, as a community, are still not participating sufficiently in our government unless we are upset about finally learning that our city has long been planning to widen major roadways near our homes to six-lane thruways.   I encourage everyone to get out and vote on April 18th, (early voting is going on now) to bring about a change in behavior by city council on this important issue.
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The campaign reports for both City Council candidates are now available from the City Clerk’s office.  To date, Chris Coughlin has raised 86% of his money from Johns Creek residents in donations averaging $119 per person, whereas John Flores has raised 94% of his money from outside of Johns Creek in donations averaging $1,640 per person.
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I voted for Chris Coughlin because he is the only candidate that has put in the effort to listen to the community and be knowledgeable about the issues. Chris has not sought to curry favor with any particular voting bloc on Johns Creek City Council. He will speak up to contribute to the discussion and vote independently for what is best for our community.  Chris will put in the much needed effort to engage with the community before votes are taken so that the community is no longer frustrated with learning after the fact about important decisions taken by council without actively soliciting community input and buy-in.
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Please vote in the City Council and the Sixth Congressional District elections!
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Sincerely,
Nancy Reinecke

Proposed 2017 Johns Creek City Budget

budget_watchIt is that time of the year for the city to lay out its plans and budget for the coming year, and for voters to determine whether their money will be allocated and used effectively on competing community priorities.  The 2017 proposed budget is available for review via the following link.

The budget proposes to maintain the city property tax rate at 4.614 mills, so as to raise $55,957,146, and spend $60,957,146. Five million dollars of savings will be used to make up the difference between revenues and expenditures to accelerate neighborhood street paving, and park development.

The city budget for 2017 essentially shows an overall increase of 1.8% in spending with additional growth funded by improving the accuracy of, and removing the conservatism in, the revenue and expenditure estimates. Historically, the city has underestimated revenues and overestimated expenditures by about 5-6% each.

Although not explicitly stated in the budget, the proposed allocation of city expenditures to community interests appears to be as follows:
45% –   Public Safety – $27.3 million
27% –  Transportation – $16.5 million
15% –  Government Efficiency – $9.2 million
6.5% – Economic Development -3.9 million
6% –    Recreation and Parks – $3.6 million
0.5% – Preserve character and enhance sense of community – $0.3 million
The proposed budget does not include two items that will be on the November ballot regarding an increase in the sales tax from 7% to 7.5% to fund additional road improvements, and a $40 million borrowing to accelerate park and recreation improvements.
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Currently, we pay a 7% sales tax, of which 4% goes to the State, and 3% goes to Fulton County.  The 3% collected by the county is in turn distributed 1% to the school system, 1% to MARTA, and 1% to municipal government (Johns Creek).  The county is proposing to raise the total countywide sales tax, except for Atlanta, from 3% to 3.75% so as to collect $16.5 million dollars in additional annual revenues to be spent by Johns Creek on road improvements.  For understanding purposes, this sales tax increase is equivalent to an 83% increase in the current city property tax millage rate.
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The city will also be asking Johns Creek voters on the November ballot to approve borrowing $40 million to be paid back over 30 years at no more than 6% interest to accelerate development of park facilities.  The city will be committed to paying back $2,764,000 per year for 30 years, or $85.7 million total including interest, to accelerate this $40 million of development.  I estimate the annual property tax millage rate required to pay off the parks bond at 0.639 mills to last for 30 years.  This a 14% increase in city property taxes.
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The associated, continuing, maintenance and operating costs for the road and park improvements have not been presented to the community.  It would be reasonable to estimate that the parks improvements will require an additional 10-15% property tax increase for programming and maintenance costs, and that the transportation improvements will require another 10% property tax increase for maintenance and operating costs.
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Parks and transportation improvements are of interest and benefit to all of us, however, we should be aware in casting our vote come November that the associated cost of what we are being asked to approve is equivalent to approximately a 120% increase in the city property tax we currently pay.  Please take the time to study the city’s plans and budget.  In November you will have the opportunity to provide feedback to our government.
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Sincerely,
Nancy Reinecke

2015 City Financials: Sources & Revenues

Georgia state law and local ordinances require that every local government publish within six months of the close of each fiscal year a complete set of audited financial statements.  The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2015 has been issued and soon will be posted on the city website.  This independently audited financial report summarizes financial highlights important for all of us to be aware of and understand as voters and taxpayers.
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For the 2015 fiscal year, the city ended up putting 10% of total city collections, or $6,370,990, into already substantial, if not excessive, savings accounts to earn approximately 0.14% interest.  This happened because the city underestimated revenues by 6%, or $3.58 million, and overestimated expenditures by 5.8%, or $2.82 million.
At the same time, it increased its total outstanding debt by $3.8 million to $6.2 million to fund repaving activities, and is paying interest rates of 4%, 3.75% and 4.9% on its debt.   The better use of money appears to be to pay off debt to eliminate interest expense rather than try to maximize investment income.  For fiscal year 2016, the city has finally started to put the accumulated money to work to buy parkland and accelerate road improvements.
For the 2015 fiscal year the sources and amounts of city revenues were as follows:
Source Amount Percentage Growth
Sales and Use taxes $20,562,370 33% 4.2%
Property taxes $19,973,121 32% 9.4%
Business taxes $6,336,162 10% 4.8%
Charges for services $5,902,275 9% 14.1%
Capital Grants $4,908,666 8% -14.2%
Franchise taxes $4,431,315 7% 2.0%
Hotel/Motel taxes $489,803 1% 12.1%
Miscellaneous $144,154
Operating grants $83,200
Investment earnings $77,309
Sales of assets $0
Total $62,908,375 5.0%
Property taxes grew by 9.4% because the city did not roll back the millage rate to adjust for assessment increases.
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For 2015 the city collections were used as follows:
Purpose Amount Percentage Growth
Public Safety/Judicial $22,096,637 43% -1.2%
Public Works $12,822,801 25% 49.3%
General Govt $9,883,021 19% 7.7%
Community Development $3,177,888 6% 14.2%
Culture and Recreation $3,001,923 6% 9.7%
Interest on Debt $121,786
Total $51,104,056 11.6%
Carry forward $5,433,329
Net Addition to Reserves $6,370,990
As you decide how to vote this May and possibly next November, a 1% sales tax for E-SPLOST (Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) equates to $775 annually for the average Johns Creek household, and a 0.75% sales tax for T-SPLOST (Transportation-SPLOST) equates to $575 for the average household.  For comparison, the annual city property tax burden for the median household is estimated at $530.
Sincerely,
Nancy Reinecke

Tom Radford: Final 2015 Campaign Contributions & Expenses

Tom Radford raised $650 and spent $14,080.63, $13,430.63 of his own money.

Tom

Source: City of Johns Creek

Steve Broadbent: Final 2015 Campaign Contributions & Expenses

Steve Broadbent raised $9,550.00 and spent $12,736.33 leaving him $3,186.33 in the hole.Steve1 Steve2

Source: City of Johns Creek

Stephanie Endres: Final 2015 Campaign Contributions & Expenses

Stephanie Endres raised $11,545.10 and spent $26,303.22 of which $14,758.12 was her own money.

Steph

Source: City of Johns Creek

Nazeera Dawood: Final 2015 Campaign Contributions & Expenses

Nazeera Dawood raised $47,924.38 and spent $50,854 leaving her $2,929.62 in the hole.

Naz1 Naz2 Naz3

Source: City of Johns Creek

Bob Gray: Final 2015 Campaign Contributions & Expenses

Bob Gray was unopposed. He received a $150 contribution and reported spending no money on the election, although he did have to pay a $450 candidate qualifying fee.

Contributions
Thaker Anand  $150

Source: City of Johns Creek

Jay Lin: Final 2015 Campaign Contributions & Expenses

Jay Lin raised $59,706.31 and spent $84,428.59 leaving him $24,722.30 in the hole.

Jay1 Jay2 Jay3 Jay4 Jay5

Source: City of Johns Creek

Todd Burkhalter: Final 2015 Campaign Contributions & Expenses

Todd Burkhalter collected $14,385 and spent $9,490.89 leaving him with a profit of $4,894.11.
He did not disclose $6,155 in contributions and $4,370 in expenditures.

Todd_B_2015final$

Source: City of Johns Creek

Final City Council Campaign Spending Totals

USA_elections$The following is the total amount spent by each candidate, in RED how much was their own money:

Post 2
Jay Lin  $84,428.59$24,722.30
Todd Burkhalter  $9,490.89$0
Chris Coughlin  <$2,500
Arun Misra <$2,500
Patty Hansen  <$2,500

Post 5
Nazeera Dawood $50,854$2,929.62
Stephanie Endres  $26,303.22$14,758.12
Carlos Carbonell  < $2,500

Post 6
Tom Radford  $14,080.63  – $13,430.63
Steve Broadbent  $12,736.33  – $3,186.33

Source: City of Johns Creek

Jay Lin’s Updated Campaign Donations – $53k

Below are the latest campaign disclosure forms submitted by Jay Lin.

It is expected his donations and expenses will increase even more with the runoff mailers and advertising.

lin1lin2 lin3 lin4 lin5 lin6 lin7 lin8

Candidate Donations: Nazeera Dawood – Updated

Nazeera Dawood Campaign Donations submitted 6/30/15 & 10/26/15:

  • 61 donors
  • 48 live outside Johns Creek
  • 11 are Johns Creek Voters

Also interesting to note: Nazeera Dawood works in the Fulton County Government Offices, where early voting is conducted for 3 weeks prior, and yet chose Not to vote in the last 4 elections, despite the convenience. Her last vote was 5/20/14 (She skipped 7/23/14, 11/4/14, 1/6/15 & 2/3/15).

Nazeera1a Nazeera2 Nazeera3 Nazeera4

Sources: City of Johns Creek & Fulton County Voter Registration List 8/2015

Candidate Donations: Stephanie Endres

Stephanie Endres Campaign Donations submitted 10/19/15:

  • 1 donor from outside Johns Creek

Stephanie Endres voted in the last election 2/3/15

Endres_donors

We will release the other Candidates information as it becomes available.

Sources: City of Johns Creek & Fulton County Voter Registration List 8/2015

Campaign Donations & Expenses: Jay Lin – Updated

Below is Jay Lin Campaign Donations submitted 6/30/15 & 9/30/15:

  • Total of $46,748
  • 26% of Donations are from Johns Creek
  • 74% of Donations are from Outside

Lin1Lin2aLin3Lin4Lin5 Lin6

Note: To many contributors to validate voter registration.

Source: City of Johns Creek

Candidate Donations: Tom Radford

Tom Radford Campaign Donations submitted 10/15/15:

  • 1 donor
  • 0 live outside Johns Creek
  • 1  Johns Creek Voter

Tom Radford voted in the last election 2/3/15

radford_oct

We will release the other Candidates information as it becomes available. Next deadline for Campaign Disclosure is 10/19/15.

Sources: City of Johns Creek & Fulton County Voter Registration List 8/2015

Candidate Donations: Todd Burkhalter & Steve Broadbent

Updated: Todd Burkhalter’s Current Donations

Todd Burkhalter Campaign Donations submitted 9/30/15:

  • 8 Donors
  • 8 live outside Johns Creek
  • 0 are Johns Creek Voters

Todd Burkhalter voted in the last election 2/3/15

Burkhalter_Sept2015

Steve Broadbent Campaign Donations submitted 9/30/15:

  • 17 Donors
  • 3 live outside Johns Creek
  • 14 are Johns Creek Voters

Steve Broadbent voted in the last election 2/3/15

Broadbent_sept2015

Per reader requests, we included donor businesses.

We will release the other Candidates information as it becomes available. Next deadline for Campaign Disclosure is 10/19/15.

Sources: City of Johns Creek & Fulton County Voter Registration List 8/2015

Candidate Donations: Nazeera Dawood & Jay Lin

Update: Nazeera Dawood’s Current Donations

Update: Jay Lin’s Current Donations

Nazeera Dawood Campaign Donations submitted 6/30/15:

  • 41 donors
  • 29 live outside Johns Creek
  • 8 are Johns Creek Voters (includes spouse)

Nazeera Dawood Did Not vote in the last 4 elections in Johns Creek. Her last vote was 5/20/14 (She skipped 7/23/14, 11/4/14, 1/6/15 & 2/3/15).

Nazeera_donations-6_30

Jay Lin Campaign Donations submitted 6/30/15:

  • 62 donors
  • 41 live outside Johns Creek
  • 12 are Johns Creek Voters (includes spouse)

Jay Lin voted in the last election 2/3/15

Lin_Donations6_30Lin_Donations_b_6_30
We will release the other Candidates information as it becomes available. Next deadline for Campaign Disclosure is 10/19/15.

Sources: City of Johns Creek & Fulton County Voter Registration List 8/2015

2016 Budget Proposal ~ Where’s your $57 Million Going?

budgetThe Johns Creek Mayor has issued his proposed budget for 2016, and the City Council and Mayor are interested in learning your views on the budget prior to granting formal approval on September 28th.
The city has made considerable improvements to its budgeting process, including setting money aside for future maintenance needs and developing a 10-year fiscal forecast to understand the long term financial implications of its actions.
The city anticipates collecting roughly $57 million in revenues across all of its funds, and obtaining an additional $32 million in federal and state matching grants.  $57 million is:
– $685 per person,
– $2,170 per household,
– 2.12% of Johns Creek median household income,
– 2.88% of Johns Creek median household spending.
Approximately 70% of city revenues will be collected through businesses, and 30% will be collected directly from homeowners in their tax bills.
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The proposed use of money between competing priorities is roughly as follows.   Development and transportation are closely integrated, because zoning decisions and more development lead to more traffic and the need to spend more money to address congestion.
 
47%  Public safety (fire, police, 911, municipal court)
27%  Development/Transportation  (public works, roads, zoning, community development)
19%  Overhead  (City Council, city administration, computers, communications, legal council, finance department, City Clerk, insurance)
6%   Recreation (parks, sports, arts, senior services)
1%   Reserve/Contingency
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The city would benefit from your input on:
1) whether you believe you are overtaxed or undertaxed,
2) whether the tax burden is shared fairly between businesses and homeowners,
3) whether the allocation of money between competing priorities is what you would like,
4) which of a list of 37 projects/enhancements you support or object to spending money on, and
5) any other item in the budget.
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Now is the time to contact the council members by phone, email, or in person.
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Quite a few candidates have just signed up to fill three council positions.  They also should hear from you.  Please learn their thoughts on these budget policy and spending questions before voting this November.
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Sincerely,
Nancy Reinecke