The question was recently asked by a Concerned Citizen, “Is the UPCCA trying to fix the Election?” The charge of ‘fixing’ the election implies that the UPCCA is doing something unethical or illegal to change the outcome of the election. While I do not believe that is the case, they are working very hard to strongly influence the outcome of the election.
The UPCCA worked long and hard to get the city approved, whether by scare tactics or working the streets and rallying votes, and has continued to be involved throughout the election process. Once the city vote passed, the UPCCA was already prepared to have their candidates running in each post. Some posts have one person, while other posts have a main candidate and an alternative. I believe there are three types of candidates running in this election:
1. UPCCA Agenda ‘Yes’ candidates. Basically these candidates will agree with whatever the UPCCA proposes and gives them a definite vote on theCity Council. There are approximately 5 or 6 of these type candidates and would create a voting block on the council immediately.
2. Candidates who voted ’Yes’ for the city based his/her own beliefs. These Candidates voted yes for the city, but are not locked into doing what any one group proposes. They are open-minded and will to work as a City Council to do what is best for the city as a whole. Some of these people are actually members and/or worked for the UPCCA.
3. The last group is the people who voted “NO” for the City. UPCCA definitely does not want any of these people to get elected. In fact, I had a person strongly involved with UPCCA tell me I had no chance of winning because I voted No for the city. They did not care about my reason – wanting limited government. Nor my desire to see the city stay “lite” and true to the Charter. There was no merit to their comment; it was just based on my no vote and the knowledge that I could not be counted on to defer to the UPCCA vision.
To illustrate my point above, I will tell you what happened at an UPCCA meeting the candidates were invited to attend. We had a training meeting about the new city in which one of the guest speakers was the ex-mayor of a Gwinnett County City. At the end, during an open question and answer forum, a UPCCA member in attendance asked the speaker about candidates working together and how it would affect the election.
As part of his answer, he told us how he did things in this certain city. His words went something like this; when I was mayor I made sure I had 6 of my buddies on the Council with me so we could rule the city. I would suggest that the new mayor try and do the same thing so that he can get his agenda approved. Now, if this attitude prevails in Peachtree Corners, we will have an unchallenged group able to run away withour city.
Now that I have said all that, let me be clear. I am not saying UPCCA is some evil empire. There are some very good people involved with UPCCA who genuinely believe they know what is best for the city. All I am saying is that like any active organization they are trying to stack the deck in their favor.
I believe that most people in the city would like a fair balance of people on the city council. People who will look at all sides of an issue, understand the benefits and the long term consequences of decisions, and represent all neighborhoods and people in all the districts in the city. Representatives willing to challenge the prevailing notions of what is “best” to ensure we see all our options.
I am one of those candidates. I will stand on my own merits, constantly challenging the other members of the council to think through all sides. I want to make sure this new government does not get carried away. I believe that government should always look for other ways to solve problems before creating infrastructure, bureaucracy and taxes so they can do it themselves. I will be a constant, vigilant voice for restraint and creative problem solving if I am elected to represent you on the city council.