NO is not a Plan
Have you ever heard the old saying “those who fail to plan, plan to fail”? Ask almost any successful person in life if planning is a key aspect of his or her success and the answer will be in the affirmative. This applies to any career or project you can think of – military, education, business, medicine, sports, politics, etc. Without a plan you have no idea where you want to go or what you want to accomplish.
Over the last four or five months there has been a concerted effort by the Peachtree Corners Yes campaign to make any and all information regarding the potential new city available to the public. Obviously since this organization is FOR the city it had a pro city slant but bottom line is it presented all the available data and described the benefits of becoming a city. This included the feasibility study conducted by the Vinson Institute of Government at UGA, copies of the city charter, town halls, presentations at HOA meetings along with countless e-blasts, blog articles, hand bills, mailings, etc.
The point of this massive effort was to show a way forward for Peachtree Corners. A ‘Plan’ if you will. Some of you may ask “why does Peachtree Corners suddenly need a plan”? We seem to be doing just fine. That is a common theme I hear from the No crowd – “Everything is fine. Why change anything.” Some of you may not realize this but Peachtree Corners has been part of a ‘Plan’ from its very creation.
Paul Duke had a vision back in 1968 to create a planned community where you could work, play and live. The area that would become Peachtree Corners was nothing but rural farmland and woods at the time. Paul Duke’s plan took this rural area and transformed it into the economic crown jewel of Gwinnett County.
The crown jewel that Paul Duke created and which subsequently enabled Gwinnett’s growth did not come by accident. It came as a result of the ‘Plan’ Paul Duke had laid out for Peachtree Corners. This plan was successful all through the '70s, '80s and early '90s. But as often happens in a long journey things change and adjustments are necessary.
As a result of Peachtree Corners success (all because of Paul Duke’s ‘Plan’) all of the areas around Paul Duke’s Peachtree Corners began developing as well but without the benefit of a ‘Plan.’ The haphazard development taking place around us was a threat to all the success that had been created so far. To combat these threats the UPCCA was formed in 1993 to help preserve what Paul Duke’s original plan had given us. The UPCCA assumed responsibility for helping ensure our area continued to have a ‘Plan’ and to try and avoid the fate of so many other areas that become victims of their own success and are overwhelmed by nearby development that detracts instead of adds value to the area.
The UPCCA has done much to help ensure our area has remained vibrant for the last two decades. Recent success stories include the Peachtree Parkway Improvement Plan and The Forum. However, the UPCCA is a volunteer organization and if you have ever attended one of their meetings you will see that majority of the members are either retirees or are approaching that age. Unfortunately the younger generations have not felt the call to join their ranks to ensure this success story continues. The bottom line with the UPCCA is that it is doubtful that the volunteer efforts that have fueled their success will be able to continue into the future.
At the same time as the UPCCA is facing an aging volunteer base our area is under increasing threat of annexation by surrounding cities that are facing budgetary difficulties and are looking nearby for high end residential and commercial areas that can help their tax base. Peachtree Corners is a prime candidate for annexation.
Peachtree Corners is at a crossroads. Do we want to move boldly into the future as an area with an independent identity that has a ‘Plan’ or do we want to go quietly into the night and eventually be absorbed by surrounding cities?
The creation of our city would allow us to continue a nearly 50-year tradition of having a ‘Plan’ for our community. Paul Duke started it all. The UPCCA continued it. But the world has changed since 1968 and 1993 and to be able to chart our own course requires NEW solutions and a NEW path. Incorporating will give us the legal protections to ensure we will be able to control our own destiny moving forward. Without a city we will not be able to continue our tradition of having a ‘Plan’ that has marked our success since 1968. Instead others will mark the way forward for us.
What is the alternative? The alternative is what the NO crowd is offering you. They are offering you the status quo. The status quo is the ending of nearly 50 years of having a ‘Plan’ that has led to great success for our area. The status quo is accepting the decline of nearby commercial and residential areas that did not have the benefit of a ‘Plan. The status quo will lead to a voice in Lawrenceville that will continue to shrink as our population becomes a smaller and smaller relative portion of Gwinnett’s population.
The NO crowd does not offer a ‘Plan.’ They have NO plan besides trying to convince you that becoming a city is the first step towards creating a massive government entity that will tax you into oblivion. The reality is that creating a city is the next, natural step in continuing to have a community that has a ‘Plan’ that is created and managed by local residents.
Those will fail to plan, plan to fail. The NO side has no plan. Their path does not lead to success because they have no plan. Planning leads to success. Creating a city is the continuation of a nearly 50-year tradition of following a ‘Plan’ that has made us so successful. Choose to continue that success on November 8th by voting YES.