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Friday, October 30, 2009

Letter To The Editor.

I appreciate “People4Milton” quoting me in their support for our City. But to eliminate any confusion, I have listed my article that was written in October of 2007 so that there is no miscommunication in the context from which the quote came.

Milton Needs a Healthy Business Community


By: Adam Orkin as published in The Milton Herald, Oct. 27, 2007

As a lifetime member of the Atlanta metro community, now residing with my family in Milton, and as a business owner in Milton, I find myself asking why there is so much acrimony in Milton today, and why does it seem so difficult to do the right thing.


My companies, Orkin and Associates, a third-generation, family-owned business, and Devin Properties, a real estate development company, strive to do the right thing and implement the best practices in everything.

Whether investing in quality real estate projects, or developing pedestrian friendly communities, or through applying our philanthropic approach to great causes, we seek out every opportunity to try to give back to the community from which we derive our livelihood.

My companies build consensus through team approach because we believe that collaboration and mutual respect are keys to a strong and vibrant community.

Unfortunately, we, as well as many other business leaders today, do not believe the City of Milton officials are committed to these same principles. Recently, it has become apparent that some City Officials are pursuing a one-sided, extremist campaign that will ultimately undercut and weaken our community. It is similarly baffling and distressing that other officials, knowing the potential dangers, are simply standing by.

Why is the business community, as the primary builder of communities (and the tax base), the contributor of jobs, housing, offices, industry, services and entertainment, left out of the discussion?

Why are we overlooked on the issues about which we have so much expertise and insight to offer? Why is it so difficult for businesses to operate in Milton? Especially at this critical juncture in the establishment of our new City, extreme measures that inhibit and discourage businesses from operating in Milton are against the interests of everyone in our community.

I am sure that we can all draw our own conclusion as to what is happening, and no one is interested in pointing fingers. We only want to help resolve the problems faced by our City. To do that, we, the business leaders of Milton, need a seat at the table. Our business knowledge will help to transform Milton into one of the best places to work, live and play in the metro region, and the entire State of Georgia. Without the support of a strong and thriving business community, a city cannot function over the long term absent of overtaxing its citizens.

Therefore, as both a private citizen and on behalf of Orkin and Associates and Devin Properties, I want to express my opposition to many of the development regulatory measures which are being discussed and may be enacted within Milton.

These include a two-story building height limitation, unreasonably large undisturbed buffer zones, and a total prohibition of manmade dentition ponds, excessive setbacks and slope easement requirements, as well as many other short-sighted ordinances which could have far-reaching, destructive consequences for our community.

Furthermore, these measures may well be unconstitutional because they would be arbitrary and capricious, would discriminate unreasonably, and would significantly diminish our property rights without just compensation.

One disturbing and misguided policy argument often advanced is that septic tanks will save our beautiful pastures from “looking like Midtown Atlanta.” The reality is that most septic tanks are ticking time bombs of sewer waste because of poor site planning or maintenance.

Consequently, they are a primary cause of groundwater contamination, environmental degradation, and public health problems. Moreover, blindly promoting septic over central sewer to “control growth” inevitably backfires and results in the worst kind of development: sprawl. As a community, we should try to end sprawl, not expand it.

What my companies do support are new urbanist principles, smart growth, transportation alternatives, sidewalks, greenway trails, parks, great architecture, beautiful hardscapes and landscapes, mixes of uses – of the things that build and strengthen communities.

To this end, I challenge each of you as the elected leaders of Milton to meet with the business leaders of Milton in a forum that will offer the opportunity to work as a team to build a policy platform that will encourage companies, small and large, to come to Milton. Let’s work together – our future depends on it.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do septic systems add to sprawl???

Septic systems are the "organic " approach, versus sewer treatment that spills and contaminates. Ground water is purified after 200 feet.

We have plenty of business space empty and waiting, we need to fill this and then see what are the needs of the community, not just plow under land to pad the pockets of developers

Anonymous said...

Milton keeps churches out too.

Anonymous said...

Septic systems are completely safe for over 100 years of more if they are maintained. Leaving it up to elected council members now and the years to come to control sprawl and development with zoning is a huge mistake. All it takes is the wrong people on council or the majority to give leniency and open the door to opportunity for sewer expansion and whah lah you have development all over the place and we turn into Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Roswell, and Johns Creek overnight. We cannot trust all officials all the time, for the entire future to protect our area from development by using zoning. Septic does work, there is nothing wrong with it, and since most properities in Milton are over 1 acre per house hold there is absolutley no health issues or contamination issues.

Anonymous said...

Don't throw around "most" too quickly - don't forget about our wonderful residents in the condos, apartments and sewered subdivisions. And, septic does fail and costs many thousands to repair.

Anonymous said...

A properly designed and normally operating septic system is odour free and, besides periodic inspection and pumping of the septic tank, should last for decades with no maintenance.
A well designed and maintained concrete, fibreglass or plastic tank should last about 50 years

Anonymous said...

Nice try with the septic scare...time bomb? costs thousands to repair? Same lines Bill Lusk and the rest try to feed people that are naive enough to believe them and there "trust me" lines. I have lived here over 20 years and never heard anyone who had a problem. You need to find someone else to help with your septic problem if they are charging you thousands. The waste water treatment facilities on the Chatahoochee have flooded and caused massive sewage spill twice in the last 60 days. Septic ground water purifies itself before it ever reaches the streams.

Anonymous said...

The point is that we will end up having a Big Chicken type of community, which people that decided to live in Milton do not want. It will enhance property values to have a unique community, that is pleasant, not an eyesore like Johns Creek, Marietta, etc.

Anonymous said...

Maintaining a septic system is cheaper for the homeowner in the long run than paying the outrageous fees like the poor people in Atlanta that are getting bills for hundreds of dollars and still have an out of date sewage treatment facility

Anonymous said...

Maintaining a septic system is cheaper for the homeowner in the long run than paying the outrageous fees like the poor people in Atlanta that are getting bills for hundreds of dollars and still have an out of date sewage treatment facility

Anonymous said...

1. Sewer cannot be extended. Either learn the truth or stop lying.

2. Septic can be very toxic and once land is contaminated it is unusable for future septic. Either learn the truth or stop lying.

Milton needs to get over the poop issue and start being a real city.

Anonymous said...

Call some plumbers and ask what it costs to replace your septic field or to have to install a pump to move the waste water from your back yard to the front. Thousands!
Just having your tank pumped costs $300 or more. All this from personal experience and a few neighbors too.

Anonymous said...

If you vote for people who are obsessed with poop. You will get people who are obsessed with poop.

If you vote for people of common sense, you will get people of common sense.

You will end up with what you deserve.

Anonymous said...

If you want a "real city" move there and don't ruin ours

Anonymous said...

Miton is a horse town, not a city!

Anonymous said...

The Hitler Proganda machine is in full force. Do not believe Julie's lies. She will do anything to have her puppets in action. Trust me, ANYTHING.

Anonymous said...

Those of you who do not want to be a city, fine, secede. Most of the "equestrians" don't pay taxes anyway as their properties are bundled up in "family estates". But feel comfortable giving up your services of fire and police. I am cool with that. I thought we wanted to be a city...

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to ask Julie how much she pays in taxes. We should have the power based on the percentage tax per land. Julie will be unable to participate. Yeah!

Anonymous said...

Why do you think that empty retail space and empty high density housing will pay for fire and police. Foreclosed property like JT in Crabapple owned now by the bank, will not generate any property tax until they sell. Banks have so many foreclosures they can't pay the taxes, they will be collected in arrears years from now when the property sells. -( As in the Wall Street Journal) Grass will not be mowed and it will become ugly.
Large pieces of land have a relatively smaller cost for city infrastructure- one hose on lots more that 1 acre

Anonymous said...

Empty property doesn't pay for taxes and noone said that. The subdivisions and the regular open road citizens pay the taxes that support our fire and police.

Anonymous said...

8:29 AM poster must be Longoria: "Most of the "equestrians" don't pay taxes anyway as their properties are bundled up in "family estates". But feel comfortable giving up your services of fire and police. I am cool with that. I thought we wanted to be a city..." Yea, we don't give a s*** about those 6% do we, Longoria. Need to make this place look more like your "hometown" in Texas.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for publishing the whole Orkin article. People for Milton had to conserve space by not printing the whole article, and in doing so, lost some of the punch. Thanks, Orkin, now we can see "from the horses mouth," so to speak, what you want for our community. That's cool, we understand. We just have a different vision for our city than you do. Implement your "urbanist principles" some place else. That's not what we want for Milton.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Karen Thurman can open a loan shark operation, that should generate plenty of income
See the whole story under: The Accuracy Of Accessmilton.com Polls.

Anonymous said...

Longoria is from Texas? Cool. Now I'm voting for him for sure. Them folks in Texas know how to deal with "Horse Towns" and smart too.

Anonymous said...

Banks that foreclose on property have to pay property taxes just like any other property owner. The goes for all types of properties including commercial buildings, land, lots and houses.

They also have to maintain the properties including cutting the grass and erosion control.

If Flagstar doesn't maintain the Crabapple buildings appropriately, then just call them and I am sure that they will take care if it promptly, as they do not want a public relations issue.

Anonymous said...

How dare Longoria quote the statistic that the horse owners are only 6 percent! In their brains they comprise 80 percent and it was completely rude for him to state the truth...

Wake up Milton! The common folk, the subdivisions, the townhomes and apartments, the open road residents, all need to come together. We cannot have 6 percent who are mostly comprised of "extemists" (as Mayor Lockwood calls them) keeping us from being fiscally sound.

We will lose our charter and we already are the laughing stock of North Fulton. Bring Pride back to Milton and vote for Thurman. Lusk, Longoria who have some common sense.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the quote above:

"Thanks, Orkin, now we can see "from the horses mouth," so to speak, what you want for our community. That's cool, we understand. We just have a different vision for our city than you do. Implement your "urbanist principles" some place else. That's not what we want for Milton."

I had to look up the meaning to be sure what it means. Personally, I believe in most of these principles. If we don't use these principles, and we just say no to every kind of growth, we will eventually look like one spawled out area. All the major roads will be almost nothing but miles and mile s of subdivisions and horrible traffic. This is what no growth principles will eventually create.

Anonymous said...

If we don't stick to the comp plan and continue to allow variances w/o hardships, as Thurman, Lusk have voted, we will end up with sprawl. No one is recommending "No Growth" in any of the communications I've read. But, some are recommending growth at all cost.

Anonymous said...

view comments under "The Accuracy Of Accessmilton.com Polls."
Thurman will next be ripping off widows and orphans

Anonymous said...

Noone is supporting "GROWTH AT NO COSTS". The fear mongers are supporting the propaganda that some candidates do.

The fear mongers are wanting all Milton citizens to be scared of Sewers, Developers, Development and now Texans!

I do not want to be scared. I want to be confident that we have competent council people who can manage the future.

Thurman, Lusk, Longoria

Anonymous said...

You have to make up your own mind as to whether you are scared or confident.

Anonymous said...

If you don't want to be scared quit fear mongering yourself. You know the phrase "anti growth" is a misrepresentation.

Anonymous said...

If you want great parks, perfect roads, top of the line services, you need money. That money should come from the tax base provided by a well thought out land plan with varying density throughout the city. I'm fine with not expanding the sewer systems and not allowing density greater than 1 unit per acre. Just realize that there will be no parks, the roads will be full of potholes and we'll have two police officers and a volunteer fire department.

Anonymous said...

No one finds it curious how Avensong is the type of development that you all don't want, yet you have anti-development Tart living there.

Or how many of you ladies shop at your new Walmart and Target in your "we don't want development" tennis outfits?

You're like little kids who rail against mom and dad (Fulton) for the "crappy house" they kept for you but now that you're all grown up and a big city... you're screwing it up worse than mom and dad ever could.

How long until Milton is bankrupt again?

- gutless anonymous poster #3764

Anonymous said...

See what Thurman's been up to. Not lies at all. Here you go...
http://www.bindermalter.com/files/12-19-08-10-01-43.pdf

Anonymous said...

You Zahnerites are absolute idiots, or disengenuous...maybe just both.

I just got an autodial from Julie, of all people.
She is "all in", as they say in Vegas. Invariably, she hides in the shadows like the wimpy Wizard of Oz, operating via dupes like Leona Cole, Paula Moore, pathetic Carol and nutty Nikky. This time, she is so desperate, the One herself has come out for her cast of candidates.
Her call says Milton will be the same if we vote her way...and it WILL!!!
In other words, no improvement, no parks, no quality of life increases, no tax relief, nothing.
Just a desperate longing for something that only exists in some minds every fall during elections. Anyone who really wants to protect, improve, save Milton needs to run away from the Z-ites as fast as they can.

Let's really do something innovative with our horse community, get parks that are the envy of the region, keep one acre,(regardless of who connects to EXISTING sewer pipes to protect the environment). Julie and her gang haven't done anything innovative in their lives. Look at Tina: uses co-hosts for events she hasn't gotten permission from, signs in places without permission, when corrected she extorts concessions or fires from City committees. She tried to veto the parks authority, didn't start disability awareness as claimed, didn't do much of anything. When an apparently reasonable opponent surfaces, she tries to bribe him to drop out...so she can save her sacred seat & title. Oh, she isn't a professor, she is an "instructor". Doesn't sound so cool.
We should be much more concerned about a man's brother going public saying he is unfit for a position of public trust, than some silly trumped up claim of an obscure company scandal.

Get real, go vote. The only truth is this IS an important election. In Dist 5, if Tina does win, we will have to pay $100k for a special election, undoubtedly, unless the City sues Tina due to her misconduct and makes her pay...which she can't.

Julie and her gang haven't run a business, held a job and most seem to have trouble selecting spellcheck when they blog. Do you really want moonbats running a $20million business, with your money and your property value at stake?

I don't.