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3 Questions with Mayor: Simpsonwood, Road Maintenance and Town Center

“Inside Peachtree Corners,” the city’s new e-newsletter, has a quick Q&A with Mike Mason.

Peachtree Corners, Ga., Mayor Mike Mason
Peachtree Corners, Ga., Mayor Mike Mason

Peachtree Corners’ first e-newsletter — named Inside Peachtree Corners — hit subscriber inboxes this week with news and updates from around town.

Sign up for the newsletter here

In the Three Questions with the Mayor, Mike Mason addresses Simpsonwood, road maintenance and Town Center plans.

What’s going to happen to Simpsonwood?

“I remain hopeful that the Church and the County will reach agreement soon for this to remain green space. However, I have been informed that the Church is now evaluating commercial development opportunities in addition to green space proposals, which was disappointing news. The City’s Comprehensive Plan, which was developed from community input, identifies that area as green space and I have encouraged the Church and the County to work towards a solution consistent with the community’s wishes.”

Why is the City taking over road maintenance?

“After the legislature approved our charter, but before our date of incorporation, the County and the existing Cities in Gwinnett County settled some protracted litigation (service delivery strategy aka SDS) over the delivery of basic services, i.e. police, public works, parks and recreation, etc. The agreement reached on public works identified State roads, County roads, and City roads.

“Rather than risk reopening the litigation, the County decided to treat us like they treat all other cities. That means we are now responsible for the City streets in Peachtree Corners. Our charter allows us to provide this service through an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with another governmental entity just as we provide police services through an IGA with the County. As a result, we currently have an IGA with the County to provide road maintenance for our streets.”

When will we have some Town Center plans to look at?

“Soon, we hope! Our visioning sessions with Fuqua development have been very productive, and we are near agreement on a joint vision. This effort is not something we intend to rush. The Town Center is a key element in our downtown and will provide a “sense of place” for the entire community.”

Robert J. Nebel July 09, 2014 at 11:20 AM
I like this "3 questions" format. This all sounds like there is a lot of work to do with road maintenance, the town center and the future of Simpsonwood.
Teale L Nist July 09, 2014 at 01:32 PM
I hope to hear more on these subjects, but meanwhile.. The caption under the photo says Peachtree City, GA.... Just an observation.
Scott Bernarde July 09, 2014 at 03:43 PM
Thanks Teale. We caught that. Sorry for the brain cramp.
Ward July 11, 2014 at 09:42 AM
I also like this format and hope that future answers provide more detail or a link to where additional information can be found. Where can we learn more about the visioning sessions that the city is having with Fuqua? The Mayor called a "time out" on the project when Fuqua's initial plan called for more than 350 high-end apartments so I am curious to know if the current vision includes apartments. The Mayor has indicated that while the City Council does not support the initial 356 until proposal, that successful downtown developments do include residential development so any further insight would be greatly appreciated.
Allan Peel July 12, 2014 at 04:57 PM
I too like the Question & Answer format as well, however, I found the answers to be quite lacking in depth (particularly the Road Maintenance issue), and in fact generated just as many questions in my mind (more actually) than it answered. For example: 1) The Mayor's comments state that we had no say-so what-so-ever in the disposition of the Roads Maintenance contracts since it was decided after our charter was approved, but before we were incorporated and that the County simply decided to treat us like all the other existing cities (without any regard to the fact that we are NOT like any other city … we are a City-lite and so we did not have responsibility for roads in our charter). 2) Based on this, it is simply stated (and apparently accepted without question by our city council) "that we are now responsible for City streets". Huh? What good is the charter anyway? 3) There is reference to our charter 'allowing' us to provide some services (such as road maintenance, public works, police, fire, etc.). While I admit I have never read our charter in full, this seems totally contrary to the REPEATED claims leading up to the referendum and during all of the political campaigning that our city-lite would 'only' have responsibility for Zoning, Code Enforcement, and Trash collection. So when and where did responsibility for public works, roads, police, fire, etc. become our responsibility to negotiate 'deals' with other governments? This suggests that we could soon find ourselves responsible for police, fire, etc. I have sent an email to Mr. Mason, with copies to each of the city council members, asking similar questions as above and hoping that they will be addressed, perhaps in another e-newlsetter Q&A posting. Hopefully, we will see a formal response.

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