With the election for city council happening tomorrow (or today depending on when this is posted), I just wanted to give my feedback on what it is like to run for political office, since this is the only time I will ever do so. Firstly, though I have had some difference of opinion with some of the candidates, I want to thank everyone for putting themselves out there. This has been incredibly time-consuming and stressful, but also very rewarding and insightful on how the political process runs.
I especially want to recognize my two opponents in this race, David Proud and Alex Wright. They have both worked incredibly hard in their efforts, and have pushed me to work harder, talk with more people, and learn more about our local laws than I ever thought possible.
I want to thank all the people who have taken the time to question me, express their opinions, and even yell at me, just for taking part in the political process. There is no government you can make a bigger difference in than local government and I appreciate you taking an interest. I'd especially like to thank the Peachtree Corners Ballot Committee for asking hard hitting questions of all the candidates and at least trying to push us to think deeper on many issues. We don't (and won't) always agree on the issues but always push the candidates on their policies as that is a great way to keep us accountable.
I'd also like to thank Mike and Debbie Mason for meeting with me two years ago when I said I wanted to know how local government works and what I can do to keep informed. Again, we haven't always agreed on everything (nor will we in the future) but I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to learn so much about what makes a community tick behind the scenes. Of course, you may have also opened the door for the candidate who could be the biggest pain for Mayor Mason if he's elected, but I can't thank you enough for giving me the opportunities to learn and access to the people who can turn my opinions into action.
Another thanks to all the people that have helped me, almost none of whom I had met until this campaign started. I am the youngest candidate in the race and have lived here for less time than any others so I knew it would be a challenge but thanks to Lee, Marianne, Caela, Yuri, and the Wesleyan contingent, you have been a huge help. And thanks as well to the businesses that supported me, even by just letting me put up a sign at your property: Silver Dollar Press, The Marketing Workshop, Creme De La Creme, Bentley's Nursery, thank you all for believing in me.
I want to make it clear to everyone reading this that, rather than just spending time discussing these issues on the Patch or Facebook, get involved. Run for office. Get on one of the commissions the city will be setting up. Get out and talk to people about the issues. Its been stressful, I have lost sleep and about 15 pounds during this campaign, and been less than a model employee during the last two months, but its something I am glad I did and I will say how much harder it is to govern (or attempt to govern) than to criticize. I encourage you all to stay engaged and keep the city council accountable. And the best way you can do that is by getting on it yourself. Remember, posts 2, 4, and 6 are up for grabs again come November 2013.
Most importantly, a very special thanks to my beautiful wife. Alexandra, I couldn't have done it without you. Thanks so much for putting up with me through all this: all the parties and forums, the walking I made you do, the fundraiser I made you organize, and the talk about annexation, code enforcement, and trash. You helped me fulfill something I always wanted to do, I'll never forget it, and, depending on what happens with a run-off, I promise you I will never do again.
I want everyone to remember that when you vote tomorrow, each of us are not only candidates but also taxpayers and citizens. Whether we are elected or not, we have a big stake in the future of this community. That is why I have come down so hard on other candidates as to what specifically they will do in office, because it effects me as someone who lives here. I want the best for this city, my neighborhood, and, as my wife and I try to expand a family beyond just dogs, all of us. I hope you will do that by treating this city well and acting in all our best interests.
Lastly, to everyone of the voters of Peachtree Corners, I don't make many promises but I will give you this: no matter what happens, come April 3, 2012, you will never have to hear another campaign speech from me, see another postcard or sign of mine, or ever have your television program interrupted again by one of my ads. Its been fun, Peachtree Corners, and regardless of what happens at the ballot box tomorrow, I appreciate the opportunity I have had to get to talk with and know so many of you and I feel that I have won regardless. Thanks and God Bless.
Candidate, Peachtree Corners City Council