Alpharetta City Councilman Jim Gilvin Announces Campaign for Mayor

Serving the people of this community for the last six years on Alpharetta City Council has been the greatest honor of my life. And now that Mayor Belle Isle is running to be Georgia’s next Secretary of State I have decided to run for the office of mayor.

The coming new year will bring a timely opportunity for the people of Alpharetta to decide where they want to go from here. I look forward to participating in that discussion.

I will continue to serve our residents in my current capacity until the office of mayor has been vacated but there has been a great deal of speculation about potential candidates to replace Mayor Belle Isle so I wanted to be transparent about my  intentions. Below is today’s press release announcing my campaign.

Thank you for your support.

Gilvin Logo


Alpharetta Councilman Jim Gilvin Announces Campaign for Mayor


ALPHARETTA, GA, December 28, 2017

Alpharetta City Councilman Jim Gilvin announced his campaign for mayor today. Alpharetta’s current mayor, David Belle Isle, announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination to be Georgia’s next Secretary of State last spring.

“I appreciate the dedication and energy Mayor Belle Isle brought to his time as mayor. Our city has come a long way and Alpharetta is a much different place because of his leadership. And as the people of Alpharetta begin looking to the future it’s important for them know there is a candidate with a proven record of public service who will deliver on their priorities for the years ahead.” Gilvin said.

When elected to council in 2011 Gilvin originally ran on a theme of “Growth We Can Live With” and he believes voters appreciate his consistent record on balanced growth even when it was unpopular with other members of council. “I voted to preserve the green space and trees in front of city hall where high density apartment buildings are being built now and took a lot of heat from other council members for that. But I promised the people of Alpharetta a village style city center and honoring that promise was more important to me than being popular with politicians and developers.”

“At this critical point in Alpharetta’s history our residents have an opportunity to set the course for our future. I have a plan to restore balanced growth and preserve the qualities that make Alpharetta the best place in Georgia to raise a family and do business. My plan reflects three priorities I always hear from constituents- do a better job of balancing growth, provide real solutions for traffic congestion and invest in areas outside of downtown.” Gilvin said.

The top priority for Jim Gilvin will be to ensure city policies reflect balanced growth outlined in Alpharetta’s comprehensive plan. He cites zoning decisions that ignored limits on apartments as a prime example. “When I was elected the comp plan had a clear goal established for the ratio of single family homes and apartments. But the ratio has consistently been ignored and we have seen thousands of apartments approved. I have been a vocal advocate for single family homes over apartments and it is time we honor the goal we set.”

When discussing how he plans to reduce traffic Gilvin says that it is important to have a mayor willing to prioritize resources for traffic relief and who understands how poor zoning decisions make congestion worse. “Zoning variances and taxpayer subsidies have been granted for enormous projects downtown without any consideration of their impact on traffic. Every property owner has a right to develop their property within limits outlined in the comprehensive plan. I never want to interfere with that. But many residents are frustrated by city support for variances and government subsidies that make traffic worse.”

Gilvin also says he is optimistic about road capacity improvements and transit proposals designed to relieve traffic as part of the North Fulton Comprehensive Transportation Plan. “For the first time since I started talking about traffic and transit a decade ago I am actually hopeful we may be able to set priorities based on data about costs, efficiency and the impact on traffic rather than just political agendas. But if we continue to approve height, parking and density variances on already congested corridors our residents are never going to see an improvement.”

Another priority for Gilvin is to invest in the renewal of the Northpoint Parkway corridor and Alpharetta’s residential areas. “Over the past few years our mayor and council have spent a tremendous amount of money reviving downtown and we have achieved excellent results. It is time for us to bring that same focus to renewing the Northpoint corridor while increasing our support for residential areas. The city is already working with Northpoint property owners to update the corridor and we need to be as committed to that revival as we have been for downtown. We also need to ensure the parks and infrastructure which support Alpharetta’s residential neighborhoods are brought up to the high standard our residents should be able to expect. Building twenty-six acres of passive parks in residential areas, expanding the Greenway trail system and providing community centers on both sides of GA 400 will improve the quality of life and property values for everyone.”

Gilvin is enthusiastic about the years ahead. “Alpharetta is a special place and our future is bright. The delicate balance of great schools in a beautiful setting with a thriving business environment will continue to draw families from all over the world as long as we preserve that special character. For the last six years I have consistently sought that balance for the people of Alpharetta and now look forward to continuing that service as mayor.”

Jim Gilvin has lived in Alpharetta since the late 1990’s along with his wife, Mary Anne, and their two children Justin and Sarah. The Gilvins live in the Windward subdivision and attend Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church. Jim Gilvin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Georgia Southern University and is a small technology business owner.


Alpharetta hires a new Economic Development Coordinator

Hiring a person capable of leading our city’s economic development effort was a key goal for Alpharetta’s new Mayor and City Council this year. So I am proud to announce that Alpharetta has now hired a talented young man to direct that crucial effort to retain and recruit businesses in the city of Alpharetta.

Today’s press release:

Alpharetta Hires Economic Development Director

Following a year-long search the City of Alpharetta has selected the person who will lead its efforts to attract and grow business and private investment.  Peter Tokar will begin his new duties as Alpharetta’s Director of Economic Development on June 4.

In making the announcement during Monday night’s City Council meeting, Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle expressed enthusiasm.  “This is an exciting time for Alpharetta as we launch initiative like our Technology Advisory Commission, rebrand ourselves as The Technology City of the South, and begin to implement the recommendations in our new economic development plan. Mr. Tokar is bringing new ideas to the table and the experience to help us achieve our goals in an aggressive timetable.”

Tokar will be coming to Alpharetta from South Florida where he led similar efforts for the City of Davie, building that community’s economic development program from scratch.  Over a three-year period, Tokar completely restructured the program; rebranding the community, creating new business recruitment strategies, and developing the town’s first structured incentive program to spur job creation.  Tokar also dedicated considerable effort to working with existing businesses in Davie to ensure that the environment encouraged their growth and success.

Prior to his time in Davie, Tokar ran economic development programs for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward Alliance, the City of Miramar, Florida, and the Miramar – Pembroke Pines Chamber of Commerce.  Tokar also has private sector experience in sales and public relations.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Advertising from Liberty University and a Masters of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University.

These are exciting times for Alpharetta and the hiring of Mr. Tokar is just the latest step in positioning our community as the greatest place to live, shop and do business in the state of Georgia. Welcome to Alpharetta Mr. Tokar!

Campaign season picking up steam in Alpharetta

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

Doug Derito

Jim Paine

City Council Post 1

Ron Carter

Don Mitchell

City Council Post 5

Hans Appen

City Council Post 4

Cheryl Oakes

City Council Post 6

D.C. Aiken

Stay tuned because the fun should begin in earnest next week!

Alpharetta politics heat up

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.

The Campaign for GOOFUS

For immediate Release from the

Campaign for GOOFUS

It has recently come to the attention of many Alpharetta residents that our city government has failed to appropriately address the enormous threat to our population caused by global warming. Once residents realized the catastrophe facing our city we immediately organized a committee to raise awareness of this issue.

Unfortunately snow and ice caused the Fulton County School System to close down for an entire week in January so we are a little behind schedule. But to make up for the lost time our organization is now coordinating a community awareness program we call the Campaign for GOOFUS.

GOOFUS stands for Giving Our Offices Full Undergarment Sustainability. Our hope is that on February 28th, 2011 the city of Alpharetta will encourage every public employee to display their underwear on top of their heads. The Campaign for GOOFUS realizes that it could be dangerous for public safety officers to display underwear on their heads during the course of their duties so we ask that they simply wear a tasteful green thong on their right sleeve. The Campaign for GOOFUS also requests that the mayor and city council pass a proclamation setting aside every future February 28th as GOOFUS day in Alpharetta.

Some people may be critical of this effort but by displaying underwear on their heads the city employees will retain the body warmth that is normally released into the atmosphere causing man made global warming. In addition the Campaign for GOOFUS will allow the city of Alpharetta to turn the thermostats down in all public buildings and projections show that the city will save 6 trillion dollars while protecting the planet. This is an important issue and we hope everyone in Alpharetta will join us in encouraging the mayor and city council to make this vital issue a priority.

To demonstrate the overwhelming support for our cause that exists in Alpharetta we have created a poll which we invite stakeholders to participate in below. Please do your part to save the Earth by participating in this Campaign for GOOFUS… for the children!

The Beacon’s first salvo in Alpharetta’s mayoral election

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.