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From the Mayor’s Desk: Update on Public Works Projects in Our City

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Peachtree Corners Pedestrian Bridge

Since the city incorporated in 2012, we have focused on improving and repairing our city’s
roads and intersections, maintaining and adding sidewalks, adding pedestrian safety feature
and constructing our multi-use trail which will eventually connect residents to restaurants,
shops and work.

Some of our ongoing and recently completed Public Works’ projects include:
• Completed in 2020: A 1/3-mile section of the Corners Connector multi-use trail on
Technology Parkway that connects to the existing multi-use trail along Technology
Parkway and Technology Parkway South. The new 12-foot concrete greenway includes
three plazas which serve as resting spots, one overlooks Technology Park Lake.
Pedestrian Bridge: Part of the Corners Connector multi-use trail, the bridge provides
safe access from The Forum to the city’s new Town Center and ties into existing
sidewalks and businesses.
• Sidewalks: New sidewalks were installed along Spalding Drive from Peachtree Corners
Circle to Engineering Drive. The project ties into a larger sidewalk project on Crooked
Creek Road and Jay Bird Alley.

There are also a number of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) scheduled for activity this year.
The CIP consists of survey, engineering, and construction projects that are funded by SPLOST,
GDOT and Federal grants.
• Spalding Drive Widening (between Holcomb Bridge Road and Winters Chapel Road) –
The project includes widening the bridge over Crooked Creek. Completion date is
projected for the Summer 2022
• S.R. 140 (Holcomb Bridge Road)/Spalding/River Exchange (Jug Handle Project) –
Completion date projected Spring 2023
• Bush Road/Medlock Bridge Road Intersection Improvement – The project consists of
traffic signal upgrades and operational improvements — Completion date projected for
November 2021
• Gunnin Road Sidewalks – Construction May – September 2021
• Corners Connector Town Center (multi-use trail) – Construction April – December 2021

When we think of Public Works, we generally think about roads and sidewalks. However, a big
part of the department’s responsibility is maintaining the city’s stormwater system which
includes maintaining, upgrading, and repairing the storm drains, pipes, and other stormwater
infrastructure that collects rain from roads.

This year alone, the Stormwater Department has inspected 146 structures, added 130
conveyances to improve stormwater runoff, cleared 5 ditches and stabilized 8 outfalls through
the use of bioengineering techniques. Other stormwater repairs included:
• Clearing a large culvert of tree debris in the Peachtree Plantation West subdivision
• Adding a new drainage system in front of a home on Winters Hill Drive which eliminated
the constant flooding that occurred after each heavy rain.
• Installing an 84” culvert under Research Court in Tech Park
• Adding new catch basins and curbing to remove standing water at Mechanicsville Road
and Peachtree Street

Our Public Works Department plays a vital role in supporting the quality of life in our
community. In Peachtree Corners we are fortunate to have some of the best in the business
working to ensure our community has the infrastructure necessary to greatly enhance our life.
You can view and keep up with the progress on these Capital Improvement Projects on the
city’s website. Under the Government tab, select “Capital Improvement Projects” in the
pulldown menu. The page also shows the completed projects. As always, please let us know if
you see a problem we should address.

As your mayor, I will, along with the City Council, continue focusing on enhancing pedestrian safety, road resurfacing, intersection improvements and expanding the multi-use trail and other means to improve the quality of life here in Peachtree Corners.

Stay Safe,
Mike Mason, Mayor

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City Government

Candidates for Peachtree Corners Council Square Off at UPCCA Forum

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Peachtree Corners Council Post 5 candidates discuss city issues, community service and more. Election details for Nov 7, 2023, included.

The city of Peachtree Corners Council Post 5/At Large is the only citywide race with at least two candidates, and it was imperative to let residents learn more about them.

United Peachtree Corners Civic Association hosted a forum on Thursday, Oct. 19, at Christ the King Lutheran Church to hear these candidates’ voices.

Moderated by local attorney Jim Blum, candidates Ora Douglass and Brent Johnson appeared to have more viewpoints in common than in opposition.

Both candidates conveyed their love for the community and their passion to see it remain a great place to live and raise a family.

Community concerns about crime, growth and development
The first question asked the candidates what they thought were the top three issues facing the city that they would address if elected.

Douglass: “The citizens that have really been vocal as I’ve knocked on doors—they don’t like the apartments. They want their property values to remain at a reasonable level. They don’t like the traffic. They don’t like the bridge. It’s been there for a long time. Still, they don’t like that bridge.

So, I think the top priorities for me would be communication between the council and the city because there’s clearly a disconnect between what the residents feel and think and what’s going on in the city council.”

Johnson: “The top three things I want to accomplish if I get elected is to make the government smaller and more efficient. Right now, we’re operating at a much higher efficiency than we were ever set out to be. We were supposed to be a small city—three services—we’ve kind of morphed into a full city now. We’ve lost more efficiencies that we need to have in place.

Second, the rapid development of high-density housing has got to stop. It’s going to kill traffic. It’s going to kill the schools and the crime rate is going to increase. We’ve got to stop that.

The last thing is public safety because of a lot of the high-density housing we’re putting in place. We’ve got to curb the crime that’s in Peachtree Corners like robberies at The Forum and shootings at Quik Trip. We’ve got to stem the tide on that and get out ahead of it before it gets really bad.”

Doing good in the neighborhood
The candidates were then asked to describe the community service activities they each have led in Peachtree Corners and how they would continue those efforts if elected.

Johnson: “The community service I’ve done in Peachtree Corners has been more on the sports organization side from coaching sports with my kids—baseball and soccer. I help fundraise for food drives.

The biggest community service activity we need to implement, as I’ve stated before, is getting the community involved in what’s going on.

A lot of people like to complain about things, but nobody wants to get involved with things. So, we’ve got to do something to bring the city together, to voice their concerns, and get with the government to actually listen to the concerns—not that they aren’t.

If you like to complain and people over here are doing things, someone’s got to get them together and bring them together. That’s my biggest community service for the city that will make the city better—everybody on one page so we can make this a great place to live—continue to make this a great place to live.”

Douglass: “My motto is service first because I believe in serving you first over self. I am the person who charted a chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha [Sorority] right here in Peachtree Corners.

We clean up 1.6 miles of road of Peachtree Corners Circle, quarterly picking up trash from the south side. The other thing that I have done is, just a few months ago, I coordinated a clothing drive and a sanitary napkin drive for children and teenage girls over at Landmark Church. We had over 250 residents there.

We gave out food and we gave out clothing. Coming up here on November 11, mark your calendars, I am coordinating a veteran’s event out at Town Center where we have all of our veterans and their families out there.

The thing that I would do when I’m elected is to bring more community service within Peachtree Corners—not just at The Forum, not just at Town Center, but on south side as well. I would like to bring activities that bring us together. Maybe we can have one and cross that bridge.”

Taking a different approach
The candidates were then prompted to recall a city council decision that they disagreed with.

Johnson: “What I’m talking about, and brought up, is the $10 million bridge that we built, that probably didn’t need to be built. We couldn’t use it for heifers all said and done. It was a substantial amount of money that we spent on that bridge. That’s one of the big things we’ve done.

Also, maybe not have done the condo for rent places right next to the liquor store. Those are the two big things that I will say most recently that we have done that I was not very pleased with because we started all this based on fear of apartments at the Town Center.

That’s the reason for forming this city—was to protect property values and protect housing density.”

Douglass: The first one is the intersection that’s near my house off Bush Road. I go the wrong way there all the time. I understand from the people that I’ve knocked on their doors that there have been quite a few accidents there. That’s one of the decisions that I just do not like.

I wish that they could hurry up and get it completed so that I can know which way I’m supposed to go. … I think I agree with Brett that those apartments behind the liquor store are hideous.”

Closing statements
Both candidates remarked that they want Peachtree Corners to continue to be a place for families.

Douglass has raised children in the area and Johnson is currently raising children. Johnson pointed out that he works full-time and isn’t retired, but still wants to devote a significant portion of his time to the betterment of the city where he was born and raised.

On the other hand, Douglass doesn’t punch a clock but is heavily involved in many activities. She said she brings a vision and diversity that the city needs.

Watch the complete candidate forum here.

The next municipal election is scheduled for November 7, 2023.

Advanced voting will close at 5:00 p.m. Friday, November 3, 2023. 

All municipal elections take place at Peachtree Corners City Hall, 310 Technology Parkway, Peachtree Corners, Georgia, 30092, regardless of polling places for county, state or federal elections.

For information on where to vote and general elections visit the Georgia Secretary of State My Voter Page (MVP).

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City Government

Peachtree Corners Councilmember Sadd Schedules Town Hall Meeting for November 2

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The Town Hall Meeting will be held in Peachtree Corners District 1 and is a non-partisan event open to all citizens.

Post 1 Councilmember Phil Sadd is hosting a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, November 2, at 7:00 p.m. at Winters Chapel United Methodist Church, which is located at 5105 Winters Chapel Road.

The issues that will be discussed include:

  • The new Marshal Program and Crime Prevention,
  • The Forum and Town Center initiatives,
  • Key transportation improvement projects,
  • Curiosity Lab Innovation initiatives and
  • Candidates for the City Council open seat.

“Meeting with constituents and residents to provide them with information regarding the city is vitally important for transparent communication,” said Sadd. 

“The upcoming Town Hall will not only provide our residents with information and an opportunity to ask questions, but also it will allow me to hear directly from them about their concerns and desires of our city for the future,” he added.

The Town Hall Meeting will be held in Peachtree Corners District 1 and is a non-partisan event open to all citizens.

To get in touch with Councilmember Sadd, send him an email at  psadd@peachtreecornersga.gov.

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City Government

Gwinnett County DA Shows Compassionate Side of Law

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Although crime shows like “Law & Order” may have many of us thinking we know how the legal system works, we probably aren’t as accurate as we think we are. To inform the business community about the resources available and the responsibilities of the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s office, the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce (SWGC) invited Gwinnett DA Patsy Austin-Gatson as the speaker at its September Coffee Connections.

Austin-Gatson started off by talking about a special initiative to bring local high school students to work in her office to get a first-hand look at how the wheels of justice turn. She started it last year with 12 students and it has already grown to a cohort of 49 this fall that spent 10 days with the DA’s office.

“I love our community. It’s diverse, it’s beautiful. And these students when they came in, they didn’t know really what to expect,” said Austin-Gatson. “But we expose them to what the DA’s office does, and how we work, and also to other agencies like the police department and medical examiners. …We just took them around and really showed them a lot.”

Besides putting education first, Austin-Gatson said the program is fiscally responsible in that it didn’t cost taxpayers anything. “Restaurants and businesses donate their lunches every single day. So it was just a beautiful experience, and demonstrated how cohesive our community is,” she said.

Law and order Gwinnett style

A few things Austin-Gatson wanted to key in on was that her office works directly with local police and courts. The mission of the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office is to seek and pursue justice on behalf of victims of crime through the fair and ethical prosecution of those who commit offenses in the community.

The DA’s office strives to impact the community through education, engagement and reduction in recidivism while working vigorously to keep the community safe so that all Gwinnett County citizens and residents can thrive.

With that in mind, she explained that her office is an advocate for victims of crime. 

“They have a right to know everything that’s going on with a case that they are involved in. And that’s a constitutional requirement …that we walk them through the system,” she said.

Anyone who’s tried to read through a legal document can attest to how complicated the law can be, but the DA’s office strives to make sure victims are aware of their rights and completely understand the process.

On the flip side, those accused of a crime have rights as well.

“There’s a plea of guilty / not guilty. …If there’s a trial, we go through that, and sometimes there are appeals,” she said. “Basically, the legal case is still centered on protecting the defendant’s rights, just like victims’ rights.”

Austin-Gatson pointed out that often friends and family want to see a conviction overturned.

“I’m getting some groups of people that go out and send 20 million texts, emails and things like that to [get the convicted person] freed, but unless they have additional evidence, we can’t let them walk,” she said. “We have to support the jury system when somebody was convicted of a crime; they went through appeals, they got that handled, then I’m not going to be one to set that aside.”

Ways to improve things

But a high conviction rate isn’t the goal for Austin-Gatson.

The DA’s office has initiatives such as rehabilitation and maintenance programs to turn former criminals into productive citizens.

“That’s where 17- to 28-year-olds were having their first brush with the law,” said Austin-Gatson. “We try a program …to deflect people from getting deeper into the criminal justice system.”

The first cohort graduated in December, she said. 

“We all have a responsibility to do something. We sit back and say things are so horrible, things are awful,” she said. “I’m all about getting people [changing] their future.”

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