The past several years I started keeping the campaign material that I received from candidates. With the resignations of Council Members Gibbs and Richards (Tara), I thought it would be a good time to reflect on some of the campaign promises made. My guess is that their winning formula will be used by one of the candidates that will replace them.
The longer of the two serving members is Tara Richards. Before I took over this site, I was amazed at some of the reporting that was done. I thought that I had figured out some of the contributors, but I have been unable to verify. Anyway, the Truth successfully identified the rift between my former council members and me, but they didn’t always have the right reasons. The reason that I point this out is that I did not receive any mailers. However, she did put up a website and Facebook page. Overall, since she did not really commit to anything, you can’t say that she failed. Her website says that her vision is “Moving our City Forward. Helping our local businesses grow and prosper. Building a strong economic base for our city.” I was at the forum reported on here, but I can’t say that I remember much about what she said because I was worried about my wife’s campaign.
Commissioner Gibbs ran against Amanda Swafford. I received 3 mail pieces from Dr. Gibbs during his campaign. Two of the three mail pieces refer to getting along. I would say that that mission was accomplished. However, there wasn’t really anything else promised. All the communication seemed to be resume material.
From my perspective, “getting along” has cost me two tax increases over the past couple of years. The last tax increase was a whopping 17.62 percent. However, that wasn’t even the biggest increase. When the cities and county renegotiated LOST, Flowery Branch reportedly received an additional $400k that should have been used to roll back property taxes. So, if .5 mills = ~$110,000, then the LOST rollback number would have been a 40% tax relief. Instead, getting along and not bickering amounted in over a 50% tax increase for the residents of Flowery Branch since January 2014.
I sure hope that the next group of candidates runs on a platform that includes more than knowing the second verse to kum ba ya. It is time for people to run that are willing to challenge the status quo because getting along for the sake of getting along is costing me too much.