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JCCA November 2016 Special Edition Newsletter

A United Voice

Representing Member Homeowners Associations Since 1982

The JCCA Point and CounterPoint for the Parks Bond Referendum on Nov. 8 Ballot
Voting Against the Parks 

By: Chris Coughlin, JCCA Board Member

One of the central tenets of my campaign for Johns Creek City Council in 2015 was allocating a portion of our large municipal surplus fund towards acquiring and developing parkland. Since then, the Council put this idea in action by acquiring 150+ acres of land. I’ve been satisfied that we’ve followed through on retaining a few parcels of undeveloped land and, now, the goal would be to develop and maintain these parks. Now that I’ve established that I’m a “pro-greenspace/pro-park” citizen, let me explain why I’m voting AGAINST the Parks Bond Referendum this November.
Why take on debt when you don’t have to at this time?
As you probably know, the city will most likely be spending over a MILLION dollars a year in interest for this bond. To account for both principal and interest, the city will have to appropriate $2.5 million a year to pay back the bond. However, it has been clearly stated that the parks don’t require additional funding. Per our City Manager and the City’s Parks Bond FAQ, the parks will be built with or without the bond. So, I am against paying $40 million in ONLY bond interest just to EXPEDITE park build outs. Without taking on additional debt, we’ll be able to provide even more municipal services or lower the tax burden on our citizens by saving $40 million in interest.
Other methods to achieve funding
While I admire our City Council for beginning to make park development and maintenance a priority, I don’t believe that alternate funding options for the parks were fully explored before putting the bond to the voters. I’ve proposed a voluntary taxation system, user fees, etc. to think of other methods to pay for the parks rather than a compulsory “everyone pays” system in which not everyone can or will utilize the services.
Information and renderings of the park build outs
I’ve attended both open houses for the park designs in August and September. While they were very informative and allowed for citizen input, these renderings are still in their infancy and still don’t explain the full plans. In fact, we still didn’t have cost estimates for the two biggest park build outs (i.e., Cauley Creek and TPA lakes), nor the plans for the Cauley Creek water reclamation plant, as of the latest open house on September 22nd. Given that there are still so many unknowns with these parks, I don’t think I have ample information to make a vote for or against the bond. Thus, I’ll defer to against until I have quality information to make a more informed decision.
Park Designs
Thus far, I believe some of the renderings for these parks are too “active” (e.g., Cauley Creek) and ambitious (e.g., Morton Rd. pocket park). Honestly, this is my preference to have a hybrid passive/active park, but it is looking like Cauley Creek may be a full blown active park losing some of its aesthetic appeal based on initial renderings (and potentially increasing traffic in the area).
As I live in the northwest corner of the city, there are no parks or plans to acquire parks near our portion of the city. I’ll still have to go to Newtown, Shakerag, or, eventually, Cauley Creek during the middle of rush hour for my kids’ recreation activities, which makes 8 miles turn into a 45 minute commute. Until all portions of the city are serviced, I find it hard for me to keep investing in something without having anything returned.
Voting for the Parks

By: Michael Pelot-Hobbs, JCCA Board Member

I took advantage of early voting in Fulton County today as I had finally made my mind up on all of the issues and candidates.

I voted FOR the bond issue to support parks and recreation infrastructure facilities for the City of Johns Creek.  Borrowing funds by issuing bonds vs. using current tax revenue are two ways to fund capital expenditures.  If you believe that parks are important to our community now, as I do, borrowing the funds to accelerate the process makes sense.

I believe we need to develop the restrooms, parking, pathways, soccer/cricket/lacrosse fields and baseball diamonds necessary to make the parkland the city has recently acquired usable sooner rather than later.  It is true that the interest on these bonds will increase our total cost, but so does the mortgage interest most people pay to buy a nice house that fits their family rather than stay in cramped quarters with incremental additions.  It is a missed opportunity for us and our children to opt to slowly build out these parks using existing tax revenue rather than increase our taxes a little bit to have these amenities for our community now.  The parks will be here long after we are gone, but we may not be here to enjoy them if we wait.

For a city that has over 80 thousand residents, we are are sorely in need to more usable parkland.  Let’s give our families and our neighbors an early Christmas present by passing the parks bond !



Please note that the Point/CounterPoint writings in regard to the Park Bonds by Mr. Chris Coughlin and Mr. Michael Pelot-Hobbs, along with the piece on TSPLOST by Mr. Ernest Moosa, are a written expression of their own opinions.

The JCCA Board of Directors voted to encourage them participate in this writing in efforts to engage the community in the conversation.

If you are interested in sharing your thoughts with us, please visit and follow directions to the page.  We ask that your HOA membership be current and that you use your name.  Any comments left by ‘Anonymous’ (or that are deemed inappropriate) will not appear. 

The JCCA’s Counterpoint on TSPLOST

By: Ernest Moosa, JCCA Board Member

The vote Johns Creek residents will take on the TSPLOST 0.75% tax is critical to understand.
Voters are being presented with the opportunity to raise the taxes on themselves, which will effectively increase the spending and size of the Johns Creek City government by 29.7%. That is not insignificant.
TSPLOST is being advertised primarily as a tax that will help tackle road congestion. But the majority of the dollars will not go for projects to ease road congestion. Not even 1/3 of the dollars will go for road congestion relief.
Where do these dollars come from? Somehow, the sales tax has been touted as a way for others to pay for what you need. Yet there is no empirical research to show just how much that equals. Fulton County outside the City of Atlanta is not a tourist destination of significant size. And one would have to believe that the number of those tourists is astronomically high to offset the 482,000 residents that live here, shop here, and spend here each and every day.
The TSPLOST tax is also very inefficient for residents of Fulton County. You will pay this tax with after tax dollars. You will also never know exactly what your tax burden is for this issue because it is impossible to calculate just how much you actually pay over a year. Politicians love this.
What would have been tax efficient for you? The City of Johns Creek raising your property taxes to raise the money. Your property taxes ARE tax deductible. Therefore, the taxes you pay to the Federal government will be reduced by what you pay in property taxes multiplied by your nominal tax rate.
Using a nominal tax rate of 25%, that equals $13,800,000 over five years. That is real money that you, the residents of Johns Creek would save in Federal income taxes.  Why would the COJC not take this approach? They fear raising taxes on you, and prefer you do it yourself, even if it costs us $13.8 million in the process.
But wait, it gets worse.
Johns Creek is a wealthy community. There are several wealthy communities in North Fulton. And because we are wealthier, we spend more money. If we spend more money we spend more dollars paying sales taxes. It’s simple math.
Yet, the TSPLOST tax will be distributed on a per capita basis. This creates a great disparity in what some communities will pay and what they receive. Some communities , such as Sandy Springs, where salaries are high, and households are smaller, will be shortchanged in a major way. Johns Creek will also be shortchanged, paying more in sales tax dollars than they will receive from the TSPLOST based on per capita payouts.
Some proponents state that because sales taxes are regressive,  and that means lower income areas will pay more than higher income areas.  That is faulty thinking as lower income areas will spend a greater percentage of their disposable income on tax free items, such as food.  The real question should be “Who will spend more money on taxable items?  The cities with above average incomes in Fulton County or the cities with below average incomes?
The TSPLOST project list includes both needs and wants. What should have happened is that our needs were calculated, and then the COJC make the case that by raising taxes, and addressing those needs we would get the greatest return on our investment. What we have with the TSPLOST tax is an inefficient, costly alternative to good governance at the most local of levels -our City Government.
Vote No on TSPLOST. Then have the City of Johns Creek approach this issue with your best interests in mind.

This November, Georgia voters must make an important decision on the future of public schools in our state. As many of you are already aware, a constitutional amendment allowing the state to take over chronically failing schools will be on the November ballot. The Georgia PTA and a number of other education-related organizations strongly oppose this measure. To appear on the ballot as Amendment 1, the measure calls for the creation of a state-run Opportunity School District, which would transfer the power for managing the targeted schools from local communities to the state. This change has profound implications for communities, since they will no longer be in control of their schools but still be responsible for funding them.

It is therefore important to become informed on this measure. The Georgia PTA has put together a toolkit to help families understand what changes the amendment would bring and how to work toward its defeat. Other organizations that oppose the measure, including the Georgia School Boards Association and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, also have great information. Please tap into these resources, and make your voice heard. This measure is a very big deal.

The Johns Creek Community Association’s HOA 101
This is a workshop that every board member needs to attend! Come out and hear information that you are now legally responsible to facilitate for your HOA!
    • Budget planning
    • Insurance
    • An appropriate recording of minutes
    • Fiduciary responsibilities
    • And much, much more!
Date:       November 15, 2016
Time:      6:00 pm – 7:30 pm with registration beginning at 5:30 pm!
Location: Emory Johns Creek Hospital
                6325 Hospital Parkway
                Johns Creek, GA  30097
The JCCA is Now Accepting Applications
for the 2017 Board of Directors!

The JCCA is busy planning strategies, events and workshops that will inform and educate Johns Creek’s citizens. While we’re excited about all we have in store for you in 2017, we’re well aware that we cannot do this alone.

We need your time and talent on the Board of Directors and on our committees! Committees searching for volunteers include:

  • Membership
  • Education
  • Sponsorship
  • Zoning
  • Technology

Starting November 11, 2016, we will be accepting applications for 2017 Board of Director positions. Please download an application here and be sure to submit it by Dec. 30, 2016. All applicants must be residents of Johns Creek and their HOA a member in good standing of the Johns Creek Community Association.

If you would like to serve on the JCCA’s Board, and help to lead changes in our community, please email for more information and application procedures.

The JCCA is now on Facebook!
Make sure you like our page to stay informed of events and information.
2013 Sponsor - Sears Pool

Enter Your Group in Johns Creek Founders Day Parade

Enter your neighborhood group, civic organization or business in the 10th Annual Johns Creek Founders Day Parade scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3.

Application forms are available online and will be accepted through Nov. 10. This year’s theme is “10-Year Anniversary: Be the Exception.”

The Founders Day Parade is a celebration of the City’s incorporation in 2006. The 1.4-mile long parade has grown in popularity with thousands of spectators lining the parade route on State Bridge Road.

Past parades have included floats built by civic groups, scouts, businesses, and homeowners associations. Other participants have included marching bands, entertaining walkers, horse riders, the World Financial Group’s NASCAR racecar, the Oscar-Mayer Wienermobile, the Marine Corps Color Guard, the Feed and Seed Marching Abominables, the Wells Fargo stagecoach, Medieval Times, Shriners units, and the Patriot Brass Band.

When you do your planning, please remember that there’s only one Santa, and he rides in a firetruck at the end.

Questions? Call Grant Hickey at 678-512-3351. Fill out the application online and email it or fax it to her attention at 678-512-3244 or drop it off at City Hall, 12000 Findley Road, Suite 400.

JCCA Board of Directors
Judith LeFave – President
Abbotts Landing
Kirk Canaday – Vice President
Hayden’s Walk

Kathleen Field – Secretary

Michael Pelot Hobbs – Treasurer


Ernest Moosa
Medlock Bridge
John Bradberry
Kingston Crossing
Chris Coughlin
Concord Hall
Scott Sanders
Mayfair/St. Clair
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Johns Creek Community Assoc., 9925 Haynes Bridge Road, Suite #200-181, Johns Creek, GA 30022
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