JCCA September 2016 Newsletter

A Word from the President
Over the next couple of months, you will see a few changes to our newsletter.  We are continually looking to engage our membership in discussion.  We will also offer the opportunity for you to comment on our website, this will be a ‘Members Only’ forum to share opinions and thoughts on topics shared in our newsletter.
After each article of interest, there will be a section titled ‘Our Perspective’.  This is where the JCCA will express the ‘Why’ we feel our Membership should take notice.  It is our hope that this will help you, as a resident, continue to make informed decisions.
In the October issue, we will begin a Point/CounterPoint section.  The JCCA will present the facts surrounding a topic or two and then have our Board Members share their thoughts and opinions using the facts presented to support their position.  The opinions shared will be our own individual and not represent the the JCCA’s position as an organization.
We look forward to hearing from our Membership.

Mayor Mike Bodker Presents Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 
Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker presented a proposed $56 million budget for Fiscal Year 2017 during the City Council’s regular work session meeting on Monday, July 25.

The proposed spending plan is a 1.81 percent increase over the adopted 2016 budget.  A public hearing on the budget is set for Aug. 15 with continued discussion scheduled for Aug. 29. A second public hearing followed by adoption of the budget is planned for Sept. 19.

In preparing the budgetary blueprint, Bodker focused on addressing six strategic goals, which were developed during the City Council’s work retreat in March: transportation; recreation and parks; economic development; government efficiency; public safety; and sense of community.   These strategic goals form the basis for the budget and provide the framework to ensure the city’s tax dollars are optimized in a manner to best serve its citizens.

Building off last year’s introduction of a ten-year financial forecast into the budgeting process, the city has turned the forecast into a dynamic ten-year financial model. This model can be instrumental by allowing decision makers to test various policy and resource allocation decisions by virtue of their long-term effects on the city’s budget. Read the proposed budgethere.
Among the budget highlights:
·         $400,000 – Widening Kimball Bridge Road.
·         $600,000 – Operational improvements/right of way acquisition.
·         $6.025 million – Resurfacing neighborhood streets and main roads.
·         $1.75 million – Development of Morton Road and State Bridge Road pocket parks.
·         $150,000 – Economic development implementation – site plan development.
·         $464,000 – Seven new public safety positions.
·         $1.747 million – Replacing a Fire Department ladder truck and fire engine.
·         $700,000 –  Twelve replacement police vehicles.
·         $70,000 – Four police automated license plate recognition devices.
·         $120,000 – Stacked stone benches at key street corners.

JCCA Perspective

The budget process is the single most important event the COJC does each year.  Not only does it lay out the spending plans but it allows us to see where we are headed financially.  For example, the Mayor’s proposed budget is a 1.81% increase in spending over the approved 2016 budget, while we have seen an annual increase of 1.53% in spending for the years 2011-2015 (Final 2016 spending will be available in April 2017).  It appears our rate of spending is increasing modestly.  Also, our property taxes have increased annually by 4.65% over the last 4 years.  
Fulton County has reduced our millage rate for the upcoming tax bill.
At the August 29, 2016 City Council Meeting, there was discussion and a 4-3 vote to reduce the millage rate.  The reduction amounts to a $1,000,000 decrease for property owners within Johns Creek.
Voting for the reduction were Council Members Broadbent, Endres, Gray and Zaprowski.
Voting against the reduction were Mayor Bodker, Council Members Davenport and Lin.

Johns Creek Debuts Open Checkbook Portal to Public
The City of Johns Creek has unveiled “Open Checkbook,” its online financial data portal that shows how tax dollars are being spent.

The interactive portal, available via the City website, allows users to browse City expenditures through a visual interface, providing a guided and transparent view of how public funds are spent.

“By providing this financial data to our taxpayers, it emphasizes the City of Johns Creek’s commitment to transparency,” said Mayor Mike Bodker. “Online engagement tools like the Open Checkbook portal provide our citizens the ability to sort through the data with ease.”

Using charts, graphs and tables, users can find payment information by department, vendor, and expenditure type and information can easily be browsed through clicks or searched using the search field.

The Checkbook feature provides a list of vendors, categories, and a description of spending, including payment details.

View the Open Checkbook portal on the City website. And, view an Open Checkbook video tutorial here.

JCCA Perspective

We appreciate the potential for us to have greater transparency on allowing the citizens to see where our expenditures are going.  Our citizens want to participate in our community, and this tool offers the potential for all of us to look under the hood and look at the financial functions of Johns Creek.
A Letter from the City
HOA Presidents, Managers, and Residents,
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, the homeowners/citizens of Johns Creek will be asked to consider two votes of high interest on the general election ballot, and we want to ensure that everyone has the details they need to make an informed decision.  We would like an opportunity to meet with the residents in your respective HOA to discuss both ballot questions and answer any questions they may have.  Also, please make the information below available to as many Johns Creek homeowners/residents as possible.
Residents will have the opportunity to decide whether or not to vote for a parks bond in an amount up to $40,000,000, which will be used for the development and acquisition of parks and green space.  If the bond is approved this will allow the City to complete projects in the next five years, with the first phase beginning as early as mid-2017.  If the bond is not approved, the projects will still be addressed but over a longer period of time, and they will compete with other city priorities including public safety and transportation.  To learn more, please visit http://www.johnscreekga.gov/parksbond.
Residents will also be asked to consider a 5-year Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) to help accelerate traffic congestion relief and other transportation-related projects.  If the TSPLOST passes, residents and visitors in Fulton County, with the exception of inside the city of Atlanta, will pay a .75c sales tax.  Residents inside the city of Atlanta will be asked to consider a sales tax up to .90c.  Each Fulton County municipality has developed its own list of transportation projects to be funded by TSPLOST.  The Johns Creek City Council prioritized the City’s list into three categories or Tier-level projects.  To learn more about the proposed TSPLOST and to view details about the projects on Johns Creek’s list, please visit http://www.johnscreekga.gov/TSPLOST.
In the event your HOA does not have a scheduled meeting between now and Nov. 8, we will do our best to attend any special meeting to discuss either or both topics.  Also, the mayor and the city manager are hosting a Town Hall meeting on Sept. 13 between 6-8 pm at City Hall (12000 Findley Rd., 3rd floor, Johns Creek) to discuss and answer questions about both TSPLOST and the parks bond.  We have two additional Town Halls scheduled as well on Oct. 13 and 27(time and location are TBD).
Jeff Breslau
Communications Director
City of Johns Creek
JCCA Perspective
Many of you received the following communication from the City and contacted us. CoJC is making every attempt to educate the public on the TSPLOST and Parks Bond Referendum, both will be on the ballot in November’s election.  There are many members who hold their board’s contact information closely, and for those, we recommend that you use your management company for contact purposes.  If you choose to do so, please inform your management company so that they may pass along any communications they receive.
Good afternoon,
The City of Johns Creek is trying to make sure we have contact information for Homeowners Associations throughout the city.  Can you please provide the following information so we can update our records? I apologize if you have received this message more than once.
Subdivision Name:
President of HOA:
Home phone:
Work or cell phone:
Thank you for your time.
Janet Rossi
Citizen Responder | City of Johns Creek, GA

City Seeks Residents for Comprehensive Plan Citizen Advisory Committee
The City of Johns Creek is seeking interested residents to volunteer and participate on the Comprehensive Plan update Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC).
Adopted in 2008, the City’s Comprehensive Plan will undergo an update starting this fall. The plan – which includes the City’s vision for the future and strategies for achievement – encompasses topics such as policy objectives, future development, issues and opportunities, long range activities and more.

There will be several opportunities for the community to provide input and feedback during the updating process and the City needs residents to participate. The CAC is scheduled to meet four times during the Comprehensive Plan process, starting in September 2016 and finishing in March 2017.

Interested parties can apply to serve on the Citizen Advisory Committee. For more information, visit the City website.

JCCA Perspective
The CAC will play a vital roll in determining what Johns Creek might look like going forward.  It is important that the Mayor and this City Council has residential representation that will work to preserve and protect our residential character.
The JCCA is now on Facebook!
Make sure you like our page to stay informed of events and information.

Sections of Abbott’s Bridge Tentatively Set for Construction in September
The City Public Works Department is tentatively scheduled to start improvements on Abbotts Bridge Road between Jones Bridge Road and Parsons Road in September.

The mile-long project will widen Abbotts Bridge Road (Ga. 120), plus add a center turn lane. It also will include landscaped medians and 10-foot-wide pedestrian trails on each side. The road also will be widened. The Jones Bridge-to-Parsons Road section is expected to be completed by the fall 2017, weather permitting.

“When Ga. 120 was built years ago, this was the country,” said Public Works Director Tom Black. “Now it functions as a heavily suburban arterial road, but the road hasn’t been upgraded. We plan to improve its capacity to meet its function. We also want to make it serve neighborhoods and make the landscaping more attractive as well.”

This project is part of a series of four projects for State Route 120 (Abbotts Bridge-Kimball Bridge roads) planned by the Georgia Department of Transportation and the City. It will be managed by the City while other sections will be managed by the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Ultimately, the State Road 120 upgrade will stretch between Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Gwinnett County through the City of Johns Creek to Kimball Bridge Road at State Bridge Road on the Alpharetta border. Improvements to the corridor will include widening, landscaping, and safety improvements. The tentative timeline, contingent on funding, calls for all four projects to be finished in 2022.

Read more here.

JCCA Perspective
While some relief might be seen from the widening of Ga 120 between 141 and Jones Bridge Road, we can only hope that new traffic lights will be kept to a bare minimum. Hopefully we can keep one of our most scenic roads as scenic as possible.

Northview and Johns Creek High School Lead with State’s Highest SAT Scores
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, recent SAT scores indicate Georgia students are performing better on critical college entrance exams than previous years.

Here are the Fulton County high schools with the highest average SAT scores:

1. Northview High School, Johns Creek. 2015 combined average score: 1703
2. Johns Creek High School, Johns Creek. 2015 combined average score: 1616
3. Alpharetta High School, Alpharetta. 2015 combined average score: 1614
4. Milton High School, Alpharetta. 2015 combined average score: 1603
5. Cambridge High School, Milton. 2015 combined average score: 1596

JCCA Perspective

Our schools are an integral part of our community and their success is one of the driving forces in making Johns Creek a desirable place to live and raise a family.
2013 Sponsor - Sears Pool

Back to School Deals
The end of summer is nigh, and that means two things. Parents everywhere are about to get their freedom back (enjoy school, kiddos!), and they’re also about to spend a heck of a lot dough.

While you may be jumping for joy like the dad in that awesome Staples commercial, your wallet may not be as happy. But the Patch Deal Hound is on the case all weekend (thanks, boss) looking for savings for you, our loyal Patch readers.

Fortunately, the deals are flowing fast and there are some incredible savings to be found online. Click here for more info!
Johns Creek Community Calendar
Home School Event at Autrey Mills on Sept. 1

Bluehair Technology Class on Sept. 3

Last Farmer’s Market of 2016 on Sept. 3

Open Gym at Clear Springs Baptist Church on Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26

PreSchool Adventures at Autrey Mill on Sept. 6

Author Richard Judy Speaks to Book Club on Sept. 6

Planning Commission Meeting Cancelled on Sept. 6

Neighborhood Meeting at City Hall on Sept. 8

Pup-a-Palooza on Sept.10

Convention and Visitors Bureau Meeting on Sept. 13

Public Art Board Meeting on Sept. 13

Special Needs Bingo Night on Sept. 16

Book Launch and Craft Party on Sept. 17

Alpharetta/Johns Creek Community Health Day on Sept. 17

Free Online Tutor and Education Sites Birthday Bash on Sept. 18

City Council Work Session on Sept. 19, 26

City Council Meeting on Sept. 19, 26

Board of Zoning Appeals on Sept. 20

Arts and Culture Board Meeting on Sept. 22

Memoir Writing Workshop on Sept. 24

Summer Concert Series-The Shadowboxers-on Sept. 24

STOP Class on Sept. 28

Business Expo at Perimeter Church on Sept. 28

JCCA Board of Directors
Judith LeFave – President
Abbotts Landing

Kirk Canaday – Vice President
Hayden’s Walk

Kathleen Field – Secretary

Michael Pelot Hobbs – Treasurer

Nancy Chen



Ernest Moosa
Medlock Bridge
John Bradberry
Kingston Crossing
Chris Coughlin
Concord Hall
Scott Sanders
Mayfair/St. Clair
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