Show Notes: City news updates with Alex Wright, Council member post 3

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City council member Alex Wright joined us for the evening, discussing city updates and news. Below are show notes and relevant links from tonight’s show.

 

 

Via Alex Wright City Council – Post 3

PTC Voting

We all know that Donald Trump will be our new president but ever wonder how PTC voted for president and on other issues?

Even though Georgia went fro Trump 51% to 46%, Gwinnett County went Democrat 50% to 45% for probably the first time since 1980.

Below you can see that PTC actually went Democrat as well, 49% to 46%.  This contrasts with 2012 when the GOP won PTC, 55% to 43%.  Much exit poll data nationally indicated a big erosion in the % of college educated voters who voted GOP this election.  Considering the high % of college educated residents PTC has, this erosion in the GOP vote would make sense.

vote-1

There was also a vote on SPLOST on the ballot.  SPLOST was first voted on in Gwinnett in 1985 and has been approved by the voters 9 of the 10 times it has been on the ballot.  Voters approved this SPLOST by a 63% to 37% margin.  You can see below that PTC was roughly in line with this 63-37 split.  All 11 precincts in PTC voted for SPLOST by at least a 60-40 margin.

vote-3

PTC historically has some of the highest voter turnout in all of Gwinnett County.  The County has 157 precincts and in 2012 PTC had the top 6 precincts in terms of % of voter turnout.  Not bad.  In 2016, our turnout % declined somewhat though that seems to be mainly in precincts in Post 1 (south of Holcomb Bridge) that came out in record numbers when President Obama was on the ballot.  As we saw nationally, turnout in the black community was down considering in 2016 and I think we saw the same thing here in PTC.

In spite of the dropoff in turnout %, we only had 3 of the top 6 precincts, but still kept the top 2.  In fact, precinct 125 (folks voting at the Good Age Building in Jones Bridge Park) had a turnout of just under 90%!  This is up from 84.5% in 2012.  Considering national turnout was only 56% that is an incredible number.

We also had a race for County Commission chairman which in the past has really been decided by who won the GOP primary.  This year was a real competitive race with Charlotte Nash retaining her seat by a much smaller margin than the GOP has seen in the past.

In PTC though, Chairwoman Nash won 58% of the vote.  Contrast that with the 46% that Trump got.  What that says is that roughly 12% of the voters in PTC, about 2000 voters, voted Republican for Charlotte Nash but decided to vote either Democrat or Independent at the presidential level.  Since the 2012 election had Romney getting about 55% of the vote, Ms. Nash’s performance seems to indicate that PTC remains a solidly republican bastion even as Gwinnett goes increasingly blue as it diversifies.

vote-4

Incubator officially launcher

Incubator and Maker Space, Prototype Prime, Opens its Doors in Peachtree Corners

First Maker Space in Gwinnett County Provides Access to Education, Tools, Venture Capitalists and More for Entrepreneurs

PEACHTREE CORNERS, GA (PRWEB) October 27, 2016

Prototype Prime, a tech incubator and maker space providing education, resources and support for innovators in the metro Atlanta area, today announced its grand opening in Peachtree Corners, Ga. The first maker space in Gwinnett Country, Prototype Prime provides a workspace tailored to inventive and forward-thinking entrepreneurs, from students to professionals to retirees.

“Our vision is to launch more scalable tech startups by providing the tools and resources they need to bring new products to market,” said Sanjay Parekh, co-founder. “With room to incubate over 60 entrepreneurs and their employees, and boasting 3D printers, laser cutters, and electronics manufacturing capabilities, Prototype Prime is now the most cutting-edge facility north of the Atlanta perimeter.”

Over the past decade, Georgia has consistently ranked second for states experiencing large increases in entrepreneurial activity, with technology being one of metro Atlanta’s major industries. Despite these positive trends, the majority of resources available for startups has significant barriers to entry and do not provide the tools necessary to launch a successful business.

In partnership with ATDC at Georgia Tech and supported by the City of Peachtree Corners, Prototype Prime provides not only a physical office and maker space, but also educational series, mentors, venture capitalists and service providers to ignite successful startups. The facility’s location was strategically selected based on the city’s strong historical ties to the technology industry.

http://www.ajc.com/news/local/peachtree-corners-startup-incubator-officially-opens/JWvyEkKEY2uiIDD3XGya7M/

http://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/16/10/p8612091/incubator-and-maker-space-prototype-prime-opens-its-doors-in-peachtree-

 

 

City gets high marks in first Customer Satisfaction Survey

Often the common impression of government is one of inefficiency with poor customer service.  The thinking goes that without the profit motive (i.e. fear of going out of business), governments and their workers are not motivated to provide good service.

One of the Council’s focuses has been to ensure that the customer service provided by PTC will be top notch.  With a few years of operations under our belt, we reached out to the Carl Vinson Institute to conduct a survey of businesses and individuals that do business with the city to see how we were doing.

I’m glad to report that our initial survey results were very positive.

In the two areas where customer satisfaction was surveyed, business licenses and building permits, the city received favorable ratings of 94% and 97% respectively.  The Council was very pleased with these initial results but our goal of course is to constantly improve and drive those ratings as close to 100% as possible

http://www.peachtreecornersga.gov/Home/Components/News/News/283/160

 

 

New City Manager officially hired

Its official, PTC has a new City Manager.  With the retirement of our first city manager, Julian Jackson, the Council recently completed an extensive search for his replacement and made an offer to Brian Johnson, the City Manager of Anniston AL.

You can read about his background in the link below

http://patch.com/georgia/peachtreecorners/peachtree-corners-has-new-city-manager

Brian and his family will be relocating to PTC in the very near future.

 

Public Works

Traffic relief at 285 and PIB on the way

The Council was recently received some great news.  The Georgia DOT is going to be letting construction contracts this month that will be adding an additional lane to the merge between PIB and 285.  Currently there is just one lane which helps create a horrible bottleneck at that merge.  The significance of this news is that it will help with the massive backlog on PIB that stretches back into PTC well beyond the split each morning.  I dont have details on when this project will begin but we were not even aware this was happening until about a week ago so this is unexpectedly great news as it will have a very positive ripple effect on the traffic flowing PTC each morning

 

141-extralane

 

Extra lane at the split finally coming

I’ve been talking about this for years and its finally going to happen.  An additional lane will be added where Peachtree Parkway merges with PIB.  Currently there is just one lane that creates a bottleneck on Peachtree Parkway.  This additional lane will go from the merge down to where 141 crosses over Jimmy Carter.  Construction is expected to begin either later this year or early next year and will be done by June.  The work will be done at night.

141

 

Enhanced pedestrian crosswalks coming soon

Enhanced crosswalks will soon be installed at PC Circle and Eastman Trail, East Jones Bridge across from the Avala neighborhood and another down off Winters Chapel.  The picture below gives you an idea of what they will look like.

pedestriancrosswalk

 

Spalding gets paved

Spalding Drive between Medlock and 141 was showing its age in the last few years.  Just recently the Gwinnett DOT finished paving this stretch of road and it looks great.

spalding

This picture is when Spalding was getting paved.  Its all done now.

 

Residential Developments

I’ve pasted some pictures below where you can see the progress of a couple of new residential developments.  One across from Norcross HS and the other across from the firehouse.  Both of them are on Spalding.

the first picture is from the new town homes across from the Fire House.  They are located right beside UASC.  I think prices are in the $500k and $600k range.

residential

These pictures are from the single family homes across from Norcross HS.  

ogelthorpe1 oglethorpe

townhouses

Medlock Bridge townhomes

The Council, by a 6-1 vote, approved about 30 new townhomes on Medlock Bridge where Waters Wrecker Service is located.  —WRIGHT OPPOSED

O2016-09-78 Second Read and Consideration of an Ordinance to amend the City of Peachtree Corners Zoning Map pursuant to RZ2016-004 Medlock Bridge Townhomes, request to rezone property from R-100, Single Family Residence and C-2, Commercial, to R-TH and approve associated variances in order to develop a 34-lot townhouse subdivision on 4.36 acres located at 3534 and 3544 Medlock Bridge Road in Land Lot 286, 6th District, Gwinnett County, Georgia.

After review of the application, staff recommended that the rezoning be approved subject 13 conditions, which were available in the Council Packets.

 

Arts Council news

The Arts Council recently selected a firm to help it develop an arts and cultural master plan.  The Council recently approved their recommendation.

A big thanks to all the residents on the Arts Council for their hard work.  They are off to a great start.

ACTION ITEM Consideration of awarding a contract for the development of an Arts and Cultural Master Plan. Diana Wheeler, Community Development Director, informed the Mayor and Council that the Arts Council reviewed five proposals in response to the City’s request for a consultant’s help in preparing an Arts and Culture Master Plan for the City. After considering the teams’ qualifications, approach, experience, and proposed fee, the Arts Council recommended that The Sizemore Group be awarded the Arts and Cultural Master Plan project. This consultant was also the low bidder with a project fee of $58,500. MOTION TO AWARD THE ARTS AND CULTURAL MASTER PLAN PROJECT TO THE SIZEMORE GROUP FOR AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $58,500 AND AUTHORIZE THE MAYOR TO SIGN THE CONTRACT DOCUMENTS. By: Council Member Christ Seconded: Council Member Christopher Vote: (7-0) (Christ, Christopher, Mason, Sadd, Wright, Aulbach, Gratwick)

http://www.ajc.com/news/local/peachtree-corners-develop-arts-and-cultural-master-plan/eZabmLkVbE39mcJfH2l7xH/
“The program will include gathering public input to develop a 20-year arts and cultural master plan that will evaluate arts and culture activities and programming, potential funding, staffing and budgeting issues, possible locations suitable for recommended projects, accessibility to arts and culture locations, and more.”

 

Hunting??

As many of you know, the Council was considering a new ordinance that would have restricted hunting in PTC.

One of my favorite sayings is “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” and it was very appropriate in this case.  The genesis of this idea was due to a series of incidents, primarily but not exclusively, that occurred on the former Fiserv property where hunting was taking place without permission of the owners and local residents were very concerned.

At our last Council meeting, we decided to table the proposal (to ban hunting) so we could study the best path forward.  At the Council meeting we received lots and lots of very informative and constructive citizen feedback.  I personally learned a whole lot about the wildlife or our area, the hunting community and the impact of hunting (or not hunting) on the wildlife.  We have continued to receive feedback on this issue from many, many citizens.

One thing learned is that a city cannot regulate hunting.  Only the State can do that.  However, the City can regulate the discharge of firearms.  What is being proposed is what many other surrounding cities do, which is restrict firearm discharge to personal safety (from whatever that might be) and to allow bow hunting in certain circumstances.  This will be discussed in more detail at our upcoming Council meeting next week.

 

Economic Development news

Black Walnut

The soon to be open Black Walnut is starting to take shape.

 

 

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