Citizens of Milton, Dear Friends, supporters and citizens,
Over the last couple of weeks I have been contacted by both people I know, as well as concerned citizens that I don't, about all of the rumors, statements, and emails going around with accusations from all sides on what our existing city council and Mayor have, or have not done. These concerns range from "the mayor has turned his back on the citizens" and has changed his stance since he was elected, to the majority of council has voted to "extend sewer" in Milton, to the same people have voted for variances to developers, to our existing council wants to promote "high density" development, to the mayor should not be supporting existing council members, etc.
While the majority of our council, which includes myself, Burt Hewitt, Bill Lusk, and Karen Thurman have voted for approval on certain things, let me try to give you the facts and dispel any miss-understandings floating around.
"The mayor has changed his stance and promises since being elected"
:I have absolutely not waivered from my positions or what I ran on as a platform for mayor of the City of Milton. I have acted and will continue on the basis of being reasonable and using common sense on all issues we face. I have never said that I will say yes for everything or no for everything but look at each situation and make the decision I think is best for all of Milton, which includes your family just as it does mine.
"The majority of council and mayor have voted to
"extend sewer all over Milton"
:Absolutely not true. When the city was incorporated we inherited a decade old sewer map from Fulton County. This map that some feel is the "official sewer map" does not include thousands of acres and several land lots that were sewered, including many subdivisions, or given permission to sewer, before we became a city. The majority of council, including myself, have worked to try to define the true and actual legally committed area for sewer that we inherited as we became a city. This way it will be fair to property owners who had previous commitments from Fulton County and also fair to the remainder of our citizens who want to keep density low. We are very close, within 98% agreement with the county, to defining this pre-existing actual boundary. The good news is that with the above, Milton's land mass is 84% unsewered and there is no infrastructure available to make it any less. I am confident that all of our council members, including myself, will not support extending sewer outside of the true and actual boundaries. Again I support common sense on this and believe that all citizens armed with the actual information and facts would agree also.
"Some council members and the mayor have voted for variances"
:We have a Board of Zoning and Appeals, a Planning Commission Board, a professional city staff, and a council that may participate in certain variance processes. These cover something that may be out of the ordinary and need a final decision as to whether approve or deny a request from a property owner. We, as the majority of council, have approved some variances along with staff recommendations and usually with at least one board's recommendation also. I am confident that any variance passed was reasonable and did not adversely affect any of our citizens. Some like to say that everything should be treated to the letter of the law and is black and white, but I disagree. If that was true you wouldn't need a mayor, council, or employees, as a computer could do the job.
"Some members are promoting High Density development"
:Every zoning action to date is based on our existing Comprehensive Land Use Plan and backed up with staff analysis, as well as our board commission's recommendations. There have been no actions taken outside of these guidelines. I am committed, as well as I believe our entire council, to keep within these guidelines, both existing and our future Land Use Plans derived from our citizens and volunteer boards.
"The mayor should not be supporting existing council members"
:Before this election process started I committed to our council that I would support the team that had been working together for the last 2 years and helping to accomplish what I think are great strides for our new city. This in no way means anything negative about any of the challengers running. Three years ago I don't believe we had a balanced council and we paid for it with growing pains and bad press, but that changed with the election in 2007. Be assured that I have not taken sides with any council members that maybe were not supportive of me and vice versa in the past, but have just learned to work with each one accepting their strengths and expertise, and understanding their weaknesses. I believe we have a healthy mix of opinions and visions from our council which allows me to lead our city in the same common sense, down the middle, reasonable manor that I pledged from day one. I believe it is healthy and productive for our city to be run by a diverse group where no one extreme has over riding power.
With all this said, please remember that this is "campaign" season and there are a lot of misinformation and accusations floating around. Some members of council and candidates are purposely trying to paint a picture opposite of the above information. While I certainly would ask that you get out and vote next Tuesday, November 3rd, for the candidates that you feel best represent you, I also would ask that you base your decision on fact and not on emotions.
I would imagine you, as a citizen like me, have enjoyed the positive news and coverage of Milton over the past 2 years and I would like to continue the trend of making Milton a better place to live.
I have been honored to serve you for the last 3 years and look forward to serving you for the next 4. Please feel free to contact me if I can answer any questions about our city for you. firstname.lastname@example.org or cell number 678-993-7664.