Most people who live in Alpharetta don’t realize they have an important decision to make about the future of our city on November 7th. That is when the election to replace Councilman Mike Kennedy will be held.
For the last six years Councilman Kennedy has served as Mayor Belle Isle’s appointed liaison to oversee Alpharetta’s community development department. A lot has changed in those six years.
This will be only the second time over those six years that Alpharetta voters have even had a choice to make. And if you think your vote won’t matter this November I’d like to remind you that the margin of victory in that election four years ago was decided by 7 votes!
Look, I get it. Most people are sick of politics. I’m one of them.
But six years ago I set aside my distaste for politics and politicians because I care about this community and wanted to give my friends and neighbors a choice about our future. So I very much appreciate the two candidates who are now making that same sacrifice on our behalf.
Of the 63,000 people who live in Alpharetta Ben Burnett and Ben Easterling were the only two people willing to step up and give the the rest of us a choice about our future. I am grateful. We all should be.
I have also had the privilege of getting to know both candidates over the past few years and in my opinion they are both good men. I believe they are both men of faith who are good husbands, fathers and public servants.
I first met Ben Burnett during a contentious zoning issue which affected his neighborhood on Mayfield Road. Ben was an active advocate for his neighbors and after the issue was resolved he continued to stay in touch. Eventually Mr. Burnett expressed a desire to serve his community in an official capacity so I took Mr. Burnett up on his offer by appointing him to Alpharetta’s recreation and park commission in 2014.
Ben Burnett served our city well on the recreation commission and when a position as an alternate opened up on the planning commission I nominated him to fill the vacancy based on his knowledge of zoning processes. Mayor Belle Isle and the rest of city council then unanimously supported Mr. Burnett’s appointment to the planning commission where he helped review zoning applications.
The other candidate running for Alpharetta city council is named Ben Easterling. I first met Ben Easterling in 2012 when I was appointed as the city council liaison to our recreation and parks department. At the time Mr. Easterling was Councilman Chris Owens’ appointee to the recreation commission and he served in that capacity until assuming the chairman’s role later that year. Ben Easterling has also served the city of Alpharetta well with his positions on the recreation commission.
The people of Alpharetta are very fortunate to have two such qualified candidates willing to run for city council this year. And the timing is critical. Alpharetta is at a crossroads.
In the wake of the great recession there has been a tremendous amount of growth and development in a few short years. And what we see being built now is just the beginning. Many of the developments already approved have yet to break ground.
Which means that whoever is elected on November 7th will be responsible for helping to manage all of that growth while also helping to set the course for future decisions. And at such a pivotal moment we are fortunate two candidates have stepped forward to give voters a choice.
Alpharetta now has a choice to make thanks to Ben Burnett and Ben Easterling.