JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Chris Coughlin, a data scientist by profession, announced his candidacy for the vacant Post 4 City Council seat. He says he can solve Johns Creek’s traffic congestion by better analyzing the city’s Intelligent Transportation System’s data and staggering businesses’ hours.
Coughlin has run for council before with mixed success. He ran successfully in 2015 to fill the unexpired term for Post 2 and served for just one meeting in December.
He lost the full-term election (held the same day) to current Post 2 Councilman Jay Lin.
Now he is campaigning for the Post 4 seat vacated by Bob Gray who is running for Congress.
His campaign platform has three priorities:
Fight overdevelopment in the city.
Address the city’s traffic congestion through better data analysis.
Reduce wasteful spending while improving government effectiveness.
“I think I showed I could do more with less when I won a City Council race while only spending $2,200 for the whole campaign,” Coughlin said.
He says he will run the same spartan campaign this time because he is able to use data and technology effectively.
He works for Gartner Best Practices, and by applying those business techniques, Coughlin says the city could achieve better results and save money doing it.
Meanwhile, Coughlin says the “overwhelming quality of life issue” in Johns Creek is traffic congestion.
“Since my campaign in 2015 and brief term on council, I’ve been working continuously on the issues that face our community. We need someone on council with fiscal responsibility, government efficiency, and resolving traffic congestion as top priorities,” said Coughlin.
Greater results can be achieved in transportation if the city looks beyond its borders.
“If we concentrate as a region and work together we can do this. I think Alpharetta is the key. If we line up with a good [traffic] design the results will be dramatic,” he said.
Getting 1 percent of the cars off the roads at peak times would reduce congestion 3 percent to 9 percent. If 1,500 cars could be taken off the road at peak times, it would reduce congestion 10 percent, he said.
“It we want to change the traffic congestion, we have to change the way we live. If we do that, we can make a difference.”
One suggestion is to stagger work at home and in the office. Businesses could have workers read and reply to emails at home and not leave for work until 10 a.m. for example.
“Like I said last time, I chose Johns Creek for the safety, family friendliness, great schools, and diverse culture. But they’re at risk if we don’t address government spending, traffic congestion and overdevelopment,” he said.
The city’s business can be managed more efficiently using data, math, citizen input and technology, he said.
Coughlin is a senior research scientist at Gartner Best Practices.
He has been active in the community in many ways:
As a volunteer involved with North Point Community Church’s small group married groups ministry and foster support groups.
Serves on the Johns Creek Mental Health Wellness task force.
Serves on the Johns Creek Traffic Congestion task force.
Serves as a board member of the Johns Creek Community Association.
Coughlin lives in Johns Creek with his wife Nicole, 4-year-old son, and 1-year old daughter. He has set up a campaign website at www.votechriscoughlin.com. He also takes suggestions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.