JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The April 18 special election for the Johns Creek City Council Post 4 took a new twist when Mayor Mike Bodker came out to support John Flores – a man Bodker said he has only met once.
Flores is in the race against data scientist Chris Coughlin.
Bodker said he was moved to back Flores openly over Couglin because Flores was more forward thinking and optimistic about the city’s future.
“Over the last few years, what I think that something has been lost on City Council over the last 18 months. It has become more reactive rather than proactive,” Bodker said.
Despite good strategic planning, Bodker sees a council that has become reactive to situations.
“While council is making perfectly fine short-term decisions, they lead to bad long-term consequences. Meanwhile, what has been lost is a vision for the future of the city.
“What I have been in search of is a candidate who has the maturity to not just address issues based on the short term – but recognizes every decision has a long-term consequence as well,” Bodker said.
Bodker said he likes the positive attitude Flores expresses for the city’s future:
“John recognizes this is a great place to live, and that is why a lot of people come here to live. While there is certainly room for improvement, Johns Creek is fundamentally an exceptional place.”
Bodker says he impressed with the way Flores looks for long-term solutions.
Meanwhile Bodker finds some of Coughlin’s ideas unsteady. He focused on Coughlin’s idea to eliminate business taxes.
“When I get out and talk to our businesses, they are not complaining about their tax rate,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bodker said if a business wants to be in the city solely based on a low tax rate, it is not the kind of business the city wants to attract.
Bodker also takes issue with those who complain about their property tax. He notes many residents pay more in dues to their homeowner associations to cut the grass and maintain their pools and tennis courts than they do city property tax.
“If people consider what they get from the city in terms services – fire, police, parks and paved streets – they get tremendous value for their local tax dollars.”
Bodker said it is time for the city to take a more optimistic approach to the future. Pessimism and negativity are holding the city back.
“John tells me he is honored and proud to live in Johns Creek and raise his family here. He made a choice to come here to live and is glad to be here. I don’t get that sense from his opponent.”
While some people seem to dwell on negatives about the city, Bodker said there is really much more going on with the positive side.
He points to the city’s AAA bond rating recently awarded the city for its parks bond.
“To get that rating first time out of the starting block is tremendous sign the city is doing everything it can and is doing it right,” the mayor said.
“Those bond companies’ job is to assess risk. We must be doing things right.”
So Bodker said he likes where Flores is coming from.
“Flores impresses me as a man who comes to the issues with an open mind. He is upbeat about living in Johns Creek.”
Bodker said he is tired of people talking about Johns Creek as if it were a city that was fundamentally broken.
“I think it comes down to one candidate thinks the city is a great place that needs to improve and one thinks we need to blow up what we’re doing and start over,” he said.
“John Flores came here because he sees this city is a great place to live and raise a family. I believe he has the right vision for the city.”