Editor's note: The following is a message from State Sen. David Shafer written to Peachtree Corners Patch requesting that his email be published. It includes his response to Jeanne Aulbach, a Peachtree Corners citizen who wrote to the Senator expressing her strong opposition to the current legislation introduced by State Rep. Tom Rice that would change the boundaries of Berkeley Lake and Peachtree Corners. Aulbach is a candidate running for one of the Peachtree Corners city council seats.
An "open letter" to Representative Tom Rice and me was this morning posted on your [the Peachtree Corners-Berkley Lake Patch] website by two Peachtree Corners city council candidates. The letter concerns legislation Tom has introduced to stop Berkeley Lake from annexing property that will become part of the Peachtree Corners on July 1 when the new charter takes effect. It is substantially the same as an email message sent to Tom and me yesterday by one of the candidates.
On receiving the email message yesterday, I immediately called the sender, hoping to correct her obvious misunderstanding of the bill. I left a voice mail message with both my home and mobile telephone numbers, but unfortunately, never received a return call. Here is the text of the email message I sent to her in response:
Jeanne, thank you for your email message, but I do not think you fully understand Tom's bill.
You are correct that it does annex commercial property to Berkeley Lake. However, it does two important things that benefit Peachtree Corners:
1. It protects Peachtree Corners from further annexations which theoretically could have continued through July 1.
2. It deannexes parcels from Berkeley Lake which then become part of Peachtree Corners, including businesses, undeveloped commercial property and two large parks.
The bill also spares both cities, and the property owners involved, uncertainty and potential litigation expense.
There were no negotiations, secret or otherwise, because as you point out in your email, the City of Peachtree Corners has not yet come into existence and has no official representatives. Tom and I both consulted with Mike Mason, the Mayor-Designate of Peachtree Corners, and Lois Salter, the Mayor of Berkelely Lake.
I do appreciate your taking the time to share with me your thoughts on the bill. Be assured that I will take them into account.
I also want to thank you for your interest in public service. Campaigns are tough, and serving in public office is even tougher. We need good people who are willing to sacrifice time from their families and jobs and subject their every decision to public criticism.
All my best to you.