Alpharetta’s local elections are starting to heat up now that there is only a week remaining before the qualifying deadline.
So far we only have two contested races, the mayoral race and the City Council post 1 seat. That leaves two incumbents and one neophyte running unopposed for City Council but with a week to go a lot can happen.
Below is a snapshot of how things look right now.
Alpharetta Mayor’s Race
David Belle Isle
City Council Post 1
City Council Post 5
City Council Post 4
City Council Post 6
Stay tuned because the fun should begin in earnest next week!
Last night two candidates formally announced their campaigns for Alpharetta local elections this November.
City Councilman Doug Derito formally announced his campaign to run for mayor and after that Donald Mitchell, an active booster of the downtown business community, announced his intention to run for the Post 1 council seat that Mr. Derito will vacate.
Neither of these announcements comes as a surprise but it does signal the start of a lively campaign season.
I previously mentioned that the City of Alpharetta is in the process of revising the comprehensive land use plan that will determine the future of Alpharetta’s schools and affect the property values of every home in our community. Below is the picture of what the city has planned. You can find more details at this website which the community development department inexplicably set up seperate from the city’s website.
Welcome to the future of Alpharetta... worse traffic and bad schools
All you really need to know is that the entire horseshoe shaped area in color extending throught the Northpoint area up Haynes Bridge road and circling around Wills Park and Highway 9 will be filled with apartments and condominiums. That means thousands more high density condos and apartments which will create worse trafffic, decimate our public schools and turn Alpharetta into an urban environment that is conducive to more mass transit supported by taxpayers. That is the plan of the city.
It is not too late to change the city council’s mind but there isn’t much time left. If you feel strongly about this issue one way or the other I encourage you to contact the current Mayor and City Council before they approve this plan in the next few weeks. The contact information below is taken from the City of Alpharetta website and I hope you will all use it to make your voices heard. It is not yet too late but time is of the essence.
Mayor Arthur Letchas: email@example.com
Councilman Mike Kennedy email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a letter submitted by MetLife to justify the Peridot project proposed for Alpharetta. The new project would remove more than 1800 potential jobs from the site in return for building 500 condominiums. Why would the Alpharetta City Council do that? I will let Mr. Ikwut-Ukwa of MARTA’s planning office explain:
“MARTA is also working with the City of Alpharetta to initiate an LCI for the North Point Mall area as part of a proposed north line rail extension. In the past the City of Alpharetta had also inquired from MARTA on the feasibility of having the proposed rail station at a location across SR 400 from the Mall in the vicinity of the development site. MARTA has not yet made a firm decision on the station location but believes this development will add to the density in the area, making for a better transit supportive environment.
For at least five years the City of Alpharetta has been working with MARTA to increase the density of our city so they can justify bringing trains here. Funny, I don’t remember Alpharetta voters being asked about that. It must have happened at a charade charrette.
IF an Alpharetta mayoral or city council candidate comes knocking on your door this summer to ask for your vote don’t forget to tell them how you feel about the urbanization of Alpharetta to lure MARTA. Obviously they think it is a good idea. They just don’t want you to know.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, this year’s Alpharetta mayoral race kicked off when perennial politico, David Belle Isle, officially announced that he was running for that office. That announcement last week served as the starters bell for the race to begin and I knew it wouldn’t take long for candidates to come out of their corners and take a few swings at each other. This week’s first round begins with a few salvos courtesy of the local weekly The Beacon.
If you are unfamiliar with the Beacon it might help to view the weekly as the New York Post of the North Fulton area. The Beacon typically focuses on local sports and politics with incendiary headlines and aggressive verbiage like, “Current Alpharetta Councilman Jim Paine, fresh off an Election Day pummeling of Belle Isle’s political ally Monson”. The Beacon offers political reportage based on large doses of pure gossip and is often more humorous than accurate but it is always good for a chuckle. Unfortunately much of their content is only for subscribers so it doesn’t get much web exposure but this week’s political article is an exception to that rule so I recommend you check it out.
All three of the assumed candidates: David Belle Isle, Jim Paine and Doug Derito are quoted. In the article Mr. Belle Isle makes typical statements about his platform and support but councilmen Derito and Paine do seize the opportunity to take a few shots at Mr. Belle Isle. Here are a couple of money quotes:
“He ran his last campaign [for state senate] for 18 months and finished third – or last – however you want to classify it. So long-winded losing campaigns is what he’s used to”
“this is the same guy who campaigned for a taxpayer funded $26 million plus city center boondoggle for a year, until the majority of the city council reigned him in with simple facts”
That is just a couple of highlights so if you are a hopeless political geek (like me) you really need to read the whole thing here. I know I shouldn’t get such a kick out of this silly stuff but it does help relieve the frustration of watching all three of these guys support another high density mixed use project in our little town.
WSB TV in Atlanta has recently done two investigative reports about possible political shenanigans here in Alpharetta, GA. Both of the reports center around newly re-elected City Councilman (and presumed mayoral candidate) Doug Derito.
The first news report was that Councilman Derito steered $375,000 in advertising revenue from the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau to Alpharetta High School. I mentioned that story in an earlier post: http://wp.me/sonFy-494
The latest story is even more troubling. According to WSB Councilman Derito introduced representatives of Alpharetta High School to the developer of the bankrupt Prospect Park development in Alpharetta. That developer, Thomas Enterprises, then performed $120,000 worth of grading work free of charge for the high school. Great news right? The problem is that within weeks Thomas Enterprises went before the Alpharetta City Council to ask for higher densities on the Prospect Park development and Councilman Derito voted in favor of the proposal. The increase in density may have been worth millions of dollars.