My Involvement in the Alpharetta 2011 Elections

I had no intentions of writing about Alpharetta politics when I began blogging. Yet it didn’t take long before people started asking me what I thought of this and that. I felt I should keep up with what was going on in city hall, lest I sound like a complete imbecile. And like many who were new to Alpharetta politics, I was shocked to learn of the dramatic changes that were afoot in this city.

From there it didn’t take long before I was throwing in my two cents on issues. Yet that put me in an uncomfortable position. See, I don’t live within the political boundaries of Alpharetta. I live just inside Forsyth County – close enough to still have an Alpharetta zip code yet too far away to vote. And yes, the irony of my blog’s name doesn’t escape me.

I voted... except in Alpharetta

I talked about my residency back in March when I first started writing in earnest about Alpharetta politics. I also made a pledge at that time not to endorse candidates. I stand by that pledge; I’m not gonna tell you who to vote for!

I feel like I need to come back to this issue as the 2011 city elections loom. The issue of my residency is something I should remind my readers of on a periodic basis. At the same time, I’ve wrestled with what my role should be in these elections. Should I remain completely silent? Perhaps.

However, I believe I can carve out a niche in the coverage of this election that hopefully is valuable to my readers. By taking no sides and making no endorsements, I plan to focus less on campaign drama and more on elevating issues. This has been my goal all along anyways… simply to create open and honest dialogue on the issues that will shape this area. And being somewhat of an outsider, I don’t bring baggage with me such as neighborhood tensions or past affiliations.

What issues do I think Alpharetta voters need to pay attention to? I’m glad you asked!

Urbanization - No shocker here, we’ve discussed this ad nauseum. Don’t expect candidates to label themselves in this regard one way or the other. I don’t see campaign literature that says “I’m for creating new parks, reducing crime and urbanizing the GA-400 corridor.”

Disclosure - Candidates are required to list any fiduciary relationships in their ethics filings. What they don’t have to openly disclose is who they do business with. Often candidates have clients who may one day have business before the body they seek to serve. And while most politicians excuse themselves from such votes, the electorate should be aware of these affiliations well ahead of time.

Out of Touch? – It’s easy to show that politicians in Washington are out of touch with common folk. Can the same thing happen in a suburban town? I believe it can.

Regional Influences – Are suburban cities losing governing and planning autonomy to regional or state authorities (or beyond)? At what point should you stop thinking regionally and instead do what’s best for Alpharetta? Where’s the line?

There are many more issues such as downtown and the T-SPLOST. I look forward discussing it all this year. And even though I don’t get a vote, I still care a great deal about what happens in Alpharetta. I work in the city, worship at a downtown Alpharetta church and my son attends school in town. But… my head rests each night on a pillow in south Forsyth. I would understand if you find my involvement out of line. Feel free to leave me a comment or e-mail ( ) and let me know what you think. In the meantime, I look forward to creating a dialogue on the issues my readers find important.

Photo credit: finn (creative commons)

3 Responses to “My Involvement in the Alpharetta 2011 Elections”

  1. GA Jim August 24, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Lee, if you are going to stick to the facts and issues I guess it’ll be up to me to cover the drama. ;)

    And don’t worry about where you live because the City of Alpharetta loves input from “stakeholders”. That way the input of land use attorneys from Decatur and MARTA union officials from Atlanta can count as much as actual voters.

    At least you actually work and spend money here.

  2. B August 24, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    “By taking no sides and making no endorsements, I plan to focus less on campaign drama and more on elevating issues.”

    In other words, doing what journalists are supposed to do.

    Thank you Lee!

  3. Kim August 24, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    I appreciate the “voice” you’ve been providing and hope that you will continue.

    Sometimes candidates do provide a glimpse of who they are if you know what to look for. In 2009, Chris Owens’ campaign cards had the same wording off of HUD’s website. No, it didn’t say “urbanization” but anyone who has studied what is really behind “Sustainable Development” buzzwords knows exactly what it is.,152447

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