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Alpharetta’s Indian community is vitally important

In 1998 I went to India. It was a crazy time as I was just out of college and new to my career. I lived for two months in Andheri, a suburb of Mumbai. We were in a free trade zone with a bunch of technology companies. In a lot of ways it was like working in the Alpharetta of Bombay.

That's me in India, 1998. I'm the fella on the left.

It was an amazing experience, especially for a young man in his early 20′s. I learned a lot about business, getting a valuable and early taste of offshore software development. I certainly learned a lot about myself in the process.

But more than anything, I developed a deep respect for Indians. I learned to appreciate their cuisine, even though it was difficult to overcome some picky eating habits I still clung to at that age. I enjoyed their unique festivals, celebrations and traditions.

I also experienced Indian hospitality in so many ways. I truly believe the spirit of hospitality ingrained in Indian culture rivals that of Southern hospitality. If you’ve ever been invited to dinner in an Indian family’s home then you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

Today there are over ten thousand Indians living in north Fulton county, drawn here by an abundance of information technology jobs. Surely anyone who’s wandered Alpharetta’s cubicles has worked with these guys. It has been my experience that Indians are intelligent and highly skilled technologists with a solid work ethic.

Outside of the office Alpharetta’s Indians have created vibrant local communities. It’s not hard to find observances of Indian holidays and festivals in this area. We’ve got Indian grocery stores, places to rent Bollywood movies, even dance clubs spinning Indian tunes. And let’s not forget their amazing cuisine. There are four Indian restaurants on Windward Parkway alone. We’ve got so many Indian restaurants that some specialize in individual regions of the sub-continent.

You don’t have to travel to Asia and brush your teeth with bottled water to gain an appreciation of Indian culture. I’ve developed some great friendships with Indian co-workers right here in Alpharetta. I even get invited to play cricket from time to time. It only took a few overs and a quick wicket for me to realize how terrible I am at India’s favorite pastime. It’s an awesome sport though.

I tell of my experience with Indians to hammer home one point – Alpharetta’s Indian community is vitally important. They are significant in number, perform important work for local industry and bring unique cultural diversity to this area. I wanted to take the time to lift them up today, especially in light of recent events in Alpharetta. I’m better and more rounded because of my past experiences with the Indian people. Alpharetta is too.

Fanfare for the Cubicle Dweller

I’m the unsung worker of Alpharetta. I spend eight or more hours each day within the confines of a fabric covered box. I’m a cubicle dweller and I built this city. On what do I toil?

I’m the software architect at Alcatel-Lucent. Maybe I’m the database administrator at Lexis-Nexus who combines billions of bits of data together. Or how about the smartphone developer at Research in Motion working on the latest mobile technology? Perhaps I’m staying up late in the data center at eTrade or TSYS insuring that billions of dollars in financial transactions complete without a hitch.

A generation ago the sleepy town of Alpharetta put into works a plan to bring me here. Using a technology few had heard of at the time, this small town installed miles of high-speed fiber optic cable. If the internet is a series of tubes, Alpharetta built a tube 60% fatter than the typical. My future boss took notice and moved operations here.

But Alpharetta’s investment didn’t just attract those in the information technology field. I could be the quality assurance engineer at McKesson testing digital medical records or the biotech scientist at Centocor Ortho. Maybe I’m in the financial industry. I could be the project manager at ADP who handles your payroll or the statistician at Equifax grinding numbers on the latest credit trends. I could be an actuary at New York Life or Traveler’s, surely the life of any party. Perhaps I don a headset and work in the call center at Verizon or Vesta.

I’m the guy that keeps scores of restaurants on Windward and Old Milton crowded at lunch. And at the end of the day my SUV sits in traffic on GA-400 headed to my home on a cul-de-sac or to baseball practice.

It’s almost a certainty that I didn’t grow up here. No I’m the guy that relocated to follow opportunity. I might be right out of a top engineering school or from as far away as India or China. Chances are I’ve described you or perhaps the neighbor you hardly know. There are tens of thousands like me. I’m the cubicle dweller and I built the Alpharetta you know today.

Photo Credit: cadburynaught
Licensed by CC-BY-SA 2.0

Tiny Town in Affluent Alpharetta

Yesterday my son went to Tiny Town. No, I’m not talking about Milton. Tiny Town is a yearly activity at his preschool. They convert the preschool’s gymnasium into a little town. The kids go from place to place and shop to shop just like in a real town. They even have an Alpharetta police officer to give them a “stranger danger” lesson. He was most excited about the barber shop (make-pretend shave), car wash (riding bigwheels through a bubble machine) and the post office.

It was fun to hear him tell me all about Tiny Town before bed last night. But after his kiss goodnight I realized that several Alpharetta attractions were missing. To truly give preschoolers an affluent suburb Tiny Town experience, I think the school should consider adding…

Cubicles

Talk about a low budget attraction. Sit the kids in a fabric-covered box with a chair. Ask them to stare at a computer monitor with an excel spreadsheet. Continue for 9 or 10 hours until they miss dinner. If they protest, explain that 100,000 people do this everyday in Alpharetta.

Cosmetic Surgery

There’s no reason to accept the body you’ve been given! Let the kids pretend to get tummy tucks, nose jobs, botox injections and cosmetic dentistry. Take before and after pictures to bring home to mom or get published in Points North magazine.

Mixed-Use Developments

This one’s gonna make a mess. Print a big poster of an artist’s rendition of Prospect Park or Peridot. In front of the picture, dump a large load of dirt and surround it with construction barriers. Build a road halfway across the dirt but don’t allow the kids to drive on it. Next, ask the children to close their eyes and imagine a suburban utopia where you can live, work and eat in the same block. Promise the kids that it’ll happen in 3 to 4 years and will be nothing like the dirt pile they see. Finally, run out of the room and disappear before they open their eyes. Blame the economy.

I’ve learned as a parent that children have an amazing ability to sense when something is lame. Even my three-year-old is good at this. He picks up on truly dumb things that even his parents may not recognize. So take a step back and think like a child every now and then. And let me know what other Alpharetta attractions you think we could add to Tiny Town!

Start/Stop/Continue – Alpharetta 2011

Often I draw blogging inspiration from my cubicle life. How sad is that? Tis the season for annual peer reviews, which means our start/stop/continue exercise. It is sort of a kinder and gentler way of telling someone what they should or shouldn’t be doing. The idea is to list things an employee should start doing in the new year, bad habits they should stop and activities they should continue. Here’s my take on stuff I observe in Alpharetta. I did something similar last year with restaurants, so I’ll keep half of this year’s foodie focused. Don’t leave me if you’re here for Foodie Friday!

Start – Fine and Performing Arts

If you look on the Alpharetta CVB website for the arts, you’ll find a paltry list. We’ve got a handful of art boutiques downtown, the ACT1 theater group (they are terrific) and Encore Park. Alpharetta seriously lags our suburban peers in the fine arts. Roswell has a small arts center with a 600 seat auditorium. Marietta can boast the Cobb Energy Center. It’s something we need to look into, I just cringe thinking about paying for it!

Stop – Mixed-use Development

…or at least enact a moratorium. Not a single mixed-use development has been successful in this area. The Vickery development in south Forsyth is half-baked and has been in and out of foreclosure. Prospect Park is egg on Alpharetta’s face. I don’t know if these failures are because of some inherent flaw in the mixed-use concept, or just victims of the real estate meltdown. Either way, it is more than prudent to put a temporary stop to these. There are mixed-use developments planned or in the works on Windward Parkway and Haynes Bridge Road. Alpharetta’s got the potential to have a trifecta of Prospect Park mud pits at exits nine, ten and eleven.

Continue – Job Creation

HP, Vesta, Global Payments, ThyssenKrupp, Macy’s… These are all companies that are bringing jobs to our area. City leaders and Chamber officials deserve heaping praise. Keep it up guys! You’re exceeding expectations!

And now, allow me to shift gears and talk about Alpharetta’s restaurant scene…

Start – Farm-to-Table Restaurants

If you want to know the next trend in Alpharetta dining, just look at what’s trendy ITP. Whatever cool hipsters in Atlanta are doing today will arrive in the burbs a year or two later. My prediction is that we’ll soon see farm-to-table restaurants.

And no, I’m not some crunchy granola-type who wants us to eat local to reduce carbon footprints. That’s hogwash. Local produce just tastes better. A few Alpharetta-area restaurants have toyed with farm-fresh ingredients. Milton’s Cuisine planted a vegetable garden this past year, but it was mainly to supplement their menu offerings. Casa Nuova Italian in south Forsyth sourced some produce from a farm about a mile from their restaurant. I’d like to see more!

Stop – Self-serve Frozen Yogurt

Enough already! 2010 saw just about every traditional ice cream joint close and get replaced by this concept. We’ve got Yoforia, Yogli Mogli, Brain Freeze, Menchies and more. Strangely enough many opened at the end of summer or even this winter. If you’re pushing cold treats, don’t start before your seasonally slow period. Nevertheless, predicting some closures in this space isn’t a long shot by any means.

Continue – Social Networking

More and more local restaurants are connecting with diners on twitter and facebook. This seems especially true with newer shops that are generating pre-opening buzz online. Check out this list for Alpharetta restaurants on twitter.

Photo Credit : beautifulcataya

3.14 Ways to Get IT Guys to Like You

Meet Roy, an uber-smart computer scientist. Roy has a masters degree from Georgia Tech and is a published information technology author. When I met Roy he was the lead software architect on a critical and high-pressure project. Roy was known for biting the head off of many a newbie. Asking a question or favor of Roy became known as “poking the bear.” It was a daunting and intimidating thing to consider.

Over time Roy calmed down and I got to be pretty good buddies with him. But my early experiences with him stuck with me. I realize today that many non-technical cubicle dwellers might have to deal with similar situations. Maybe you got re-orged this year and you’re having to deal with surly information technology guys for the first time. They speak a different language, wear flip flops and are just strange creatures. How do you get them to like you and maybe actually do favors for you?

Bring Chocolate

Ever been to Fry’s Electronics in Milton? Pay attention the next time you’re walking through the checkout area. You have to walk down an aisle containing nothing but snacks, sweets, chocolate and energy drinks. It is the fuel of the IT world. We’ve got a serious sweet tooth.

Another story… meet Sandra, mild-mannered lady who used to work in our accounting department. Sandra started showing up at our meetings a few years ago. She would bring baskets of candy… big baskets. I’m not talking about candy your crabby old grandpa used to have. She had stuff like Snickers, Milky Way, M&M’s and Almond Joys. This was the candy you actually wanted to get for Halloween. At first we didn’t know what to think of Sandra. But before long she became popular at our meetings. IT guys started swinging by her cube for no reason other than a quick boost of sugar. In the meantime she was asking her questions and getting answers from very willing and helpful IT weirdos. And an interesting side note on Sandra… she recently transferred into our department. The candy basket came too. No, we didn’t recruit her for the sweets (at least that’s not what got communicated to management).

Want to kick it up a notch? Here’s a bonus idea (wondering how I would get to the .14 ways? This is it). Go with the vintage candy. This is the hard-to-find stuff from our childhood. I suggest Fuzziwig’s at the Avenue Forsyth.

Nerdy Pop Culture References

You don’t need to be able to hang in conversation about object overloading and polymorphism. Forget it! Try to bring out the inner pop culture geek that’s already in you. Do you know the answer to life, the universe and everything? Can you name all the members of the Jedi High Council? Do you use the new TPS report cover sheet? Didn’t you get the memo?

If I’m not speaking a foreign language to you, then you can hang with an IT guy, seriously. Embrace your inner nerd.

Don’t Ask Twice

If you are going to poke the bear about something, never ask the same question twice. It doesn’t matter if you’re asking how to sum a column in Excel, generate last month’s revenue report or pilot the Space Shuttle. Write down what is said, put it in a document and save it. Nothing will get you on the IT black list quicker than the same annoying question over and over.

But at the end of the day, don’t be intimidated by IT guys. Even the most grumpy of software geeks can be charmed. Do it well and you might even get them to do your bidding for you.

Photo Credit (no, that’s not a self portrait): wetwebwork and Jeff Moser

Alpharetta’s Most Likely Disaster

I’m pretty sure that an apocalyptic disaster is not likely to befall Alpharetta anytime soon. After all, we made it through the lunar eclipse/solstice double whammy this winter as well as the May 21st doomsday prediction. I’m not a fortune teller and I can’t predict the future, but I feel reasonably sure that I know what disaster is most likely to cause financial distress to Alpharetta. It isn’t what you think! First let’s review what we’re safe from before I get to the most dangerous threat posed to our little burb.

Hurricanes

Being so far inland and a thousand feet above sea level, hurricanes simply don’t pose a threat to us. Sure, from time to time one will strike the Florida panhandle and cause us grief. Worst thing that can happen is…

Floods

We’re fairly safe here as well. North Fulton lies on the Chattahoochee River, but we are just downstream from a dam designed to help in flood control. Big Creek spills its banks every few years but only poses a danger to homes in the immediate area.

Earthquakes

We’re not near any major fault lines. On rare occasions a tremor in the mountains might shake windows, but that’s it.

Terrorism

What about man-made disasters? I suppose anyone could be a target for terrorists. I’m no expert, but I’d imagine Alpharetta isn’t on Al Qaeda’s target list. What are they gonna do, plant IED’s on North Point and go after our minivans?

But there is one man-made disaster that could inflict significant damage to Alpharetta…

The Backhoe

In misguided hands, these machines can become instruments of financial mass destruction. Work with me here…

Alpharetta is home to several large data centers. Ever driven around town and noticed them? They can be hard to spot. You might see row upon row of chillers and diesel storage tanks. Most of the companies I feature on my monthly jobs report host mission-critical data centers right here in Alpharetta. These data centers are vital to everyday commerce for millions of Americans.

Tying it all together is a backbone of high speed fiber optic cabling. Disruption to this infrastructure, be it directly on the backbone or on a line leading onto a high-tech campus, could cause significant downtime to critical software hosted in Alpharetta. Downtime could mean unfulfilled financial transactions, many of which add up to millions of dollars. What might cause this type of disruption? One misguided scoop of a backhoe. Snap!

I’m being a little silly, yet serious at the same time because it’s happened before. In 2006 a backhoe mistakenly dug up a fiber optic cable in Arizona. Instantly long distance and wireless coverage for customers in the Rockies went down. Transcontinental internet traffic slowed to a crawl. Operators that relied on this single provider were digitally isolated.

Data centers live and die by building in redundant backups of systems. Hopefully they have multiple data lines going onto their property in different places. For example, the new T5 data center being constructed on Webb Bridge Road uses six fiber optic providers! The idea is that if one goes offline, there is a second in place to take over. But if this scenario happens, often routers, switches and other equipment are not capable of handling the additional load. It can be a nightmare, something that keeps IT guys awake at night. The lowly backhoe has become a symbol of what data center managers fear the most.

Given Alpharetta’s relatively safe location, I feel pretty confident with my assertion. Disruption of our high-speed data communications infrastructure is Alpharetta’s most serious potential disaster.

Photo credit: Senior Airman SerMae Lampkin, USAF

Will Young Professionals Move to Alpharetta? OMG! Like, No Way!

This is the fourth article in a series about Alpharetta’s ten year plan survey.

I moved to Atlanta when I was 25 years old, very much a young professional. I had a nice cubicle job in the Peachtree Corners area, a decent income, a girlfriend but certainly no family. Where did I choose to live? Vinings. It was a terrific spot, close enough to 285 for my east/west commute yet right on I-75. I could be in Buckhead in just a few minutes. And oh did we go to Buckhead (it was a different place back then). All in all, this young professional was living it up in Vinings.

It’s clear that the authors of Alpharetta’s ten year plan survey have young professionals on their minds. I counted six questions on this topic. Here are a few…

Is Alpharetta an attractive and desirable place to live for young professionals? Would you recommend Alpharetta to single young professionals looking for a place to live in Metro Atlanta?

The answer to both questions is a resounding no! Don’t get me wrong, I like Alpharetta and I encourage people to move here. But let’s not kid ourselves, there is little to nothing to excite young professionals in the burbs. It is the reason I didn’t live in Gwinnett County when I moved to Atlanta. There are no hot clubs, no concert venues (save Encore Park), few trendy eateries, etc. And as much as I like my minivan today (indeed I do), our modes of transportation are ridiculed and scorned by Gen-Y types.

Young professionals desire urban environments. Were Alpharetta to want to attract this demographic, we would need to make dramatic transformations. We would need more mixed-use developments, more high-rise condos, more late night bars, etc. They’re not exactly politically popular things for city councilmen to consider. On top of that, the northern burbs don’t have a great track record when it comes to stuff like this. And even were we to be successful in creating a desirable environment for young professionals, what’s to say they will take the bait and move here? We’re competing against trendy Atlanta neighborhoods.

Young professionals will move here, eventually. They’ll move here once they get a bit older and grow tired of the commute up GA-400. They’ll move here once they have kids and realize that the Atlanta schools suck. Alpharetta has no problem whatsoever in attracting 30-something families. So who cares that we can’t attract young professionals?

The survey touches on another similar issue with this question:

Do you feel there will be job opportunities available to your children locally upon graduation?

Of course. Alpharetta’s largest employers will continue to seek skilled employees, many directly from college recruiting drives. Is it important to me that my children return to Alpharetta after they finish school? Again, let’s be realistic. Our kids aren’t gonna live here and that’s fine. This town was build on corporate relos. I don’t know if being a relo is hereditary, but I’ll bet that our kids will move around just as much as we do.

So let’s review… If you’re a young professional, Alpharetta is a total snoozer. This is not a problem. The city shouldn’t waste energy or money trying to change this. 20-somethings will move here once their tricycle motors get older and start school. Relos beget relos.

The Cleaning Ladies and Policemen Don’t Live Here

This is a little sidebar article to my series about Alpharetta’s ten year plan survey.

Woodstock, Lawrenceville, Cumming, Loganville, Johns Creek and Alpharetta. This is where my co-workers live. I took an informal survey of the folks in my department and this is what I found. It is by no means a scientific sample, but based on my ten years of cubicle experience, this is typical.

I’ve seen this topic come up from time to time in several places. It is the issue that people who work here don’t live here. I first saw it in the 2005 New York Times article about Alpharetta that inspired my blog’s title. In that piece, the author points out that only a third of Alpharetta’s city employees lived in the city limits. Only three of the city’s police officers lived here. Keep in mind this was 2005, but you get the idea. The writer goes on to mention how landscapers and cleaning ladies commute 30 miles to work here.

This issue came up again last week in the discussion that ensued after my jobs and infrastructure article. Can people who work here afford to live here? Do we need a living wage ordinance to pay blue collar folks enough to buy homes in town? Or should we build higher-density neighborhoods at a lower price to provide affordable housing options?

I say none of the above. Why? Because of the illustration I gave at the start of this post. My fellow cubicle dwellers could easily afford to live in Alpharetta as I do. Why don’t they? There is probably not a single answer. Maybe they’ve established their family’s roots elsewhere. Maybe some want to buy more home for their money farther up GA-400. Who knows. My point is that these are people who could easily afford to live here and chose not to.

What’s to say that Alpharetta’s policemen, fire fighters, school teachers and others might want to do the same? With a higher wage or cheaper housing, would they want to move here? Perhaps. I’ll bet they make the same decisions my co-workers do. I’ll bet they scatter regardless of the other conditions.

And why is it important? Would my cleaning lady do a better job cleaning my house if she lived in Alpharetta? Would the policeman care more if he lived here? Perhaps. I’ll bet his radar gun will show I’m speeding regardless of where he lays his head at night. If I’m the police chief or school principal, I don’t want to worry about where my employees live, I just want them to do their jobs well.

You could make an argument on traffic. Having more folks living here would ease congestion on roads. Sure, I’m not going to argue that point. Then again, high density developments bring with them their own traffic problems.

It’s nice to think that a suburb could be a happy little cohesive utopia where everyone lives, works and plays in town. The reality is that this rarely happens. As much as I enjoy living and working here, I think enacting public policy to encourage this is fruitless.

Alpharetta’s 10 Year Plan – Jobs and Infrastructure

This is the second article in a series about Alpharetta’s ten year plan survey.

With apologies to Starship…

We Built This City on High-Tech Jobs!

Maybe that should be Alpharetta’s theme song. Or maybe not, considering the original was rated the worst song ever. But you get my point.

Each of north Fulton’s cities have an identity. Milton is the horse farm town that shuns development. Johns Creek is the hoity toity country club town. Mountain Park is the lake silt lawsuit town. Alpharetta is the high-tech corporate campus city. That’s not a bad thing, it’s who we are. Like it, love it, embrace it. It is the backbone of Alpharetta’s identity. The topics here cascade into the other areas covered in Alpharetta’s 10 year survey, which is why I want to address it first in my series.

I’ve only been here ten years, so I can’t remember the dirt roads and chicken farms. When I arrived I recall seeing all the four lane roads. There were wide roads here long before all the retail and office space filled in. It really stuck out to me, especially when you ventured just a little ways out of town into places like south Forsyth or Cherokee counties. Even today our neighboring burbs don’t have the surface street infrastructure that Alpharetta had more than a decade ago.

And then there are the offices. I work with some long-term Windward cubicle veterans. These dinosaurs teammates remember when Alpharetta’s offices were being built in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know how the city managed to attract businesses like McKesson, HP, Equifax, and the telecoms to open shop here. Nevertheless Alpharetta did, and they brought with them a hundred thousand jobs for college educated professionals. In short, Alpharetta’s previous generation of suburban planners served us well.

So let’s get back to Alpharetta’s survey questions. Here’s one about jobs:

The ability for local workers and families to find quality employment and build personal wealth is very important. Please rate the following statements. Do you feel that Alpharetta provides:

  • Access to jobs that provide a living wage
  • Access to jobs that provide health insurance benefits
  • Affordable housing options
  • Access to affordable education/training programs
  • Access to affordable child care
  • Access to affordable, reliable public transportation options

Um, hello, Mr. Consultant man. Did you copy and paste this question from another town’s questionnaire? Of course Alpharetta provides jobs that meet these criteria, every single one of them. Are you paying attention?

Alpharetta’s success in the next ten years hinges upon the jobs. And every other question on this survey, from education to attracting/retaining residents goes back to jobs. If the jobs go away, the entire house of cards crumbles. It’s why stuff like E-Trade’s recent announcement to renew its lease is a big deal. Municipalities around the country will attempt to lure Alpharetta’s companies away with deals galore. The single most important thing Alpharetta’s leaders can do in the next ten years is to attract and retain the corporate offices and headquarters that call this place home.

And if you still have that damned song in your head… my apologies.

It’s About More Than Potholes – Alpharetta Adopts SeeClickFix

At my job we have lots of ticketing systems. This is pretty common in the IT world. We have applications for submitting tickets for network changes, maintenance requests, software defects, technical support, new employee hiring and firing, etc. We probably have a ticketing system for making changes to other ticketing systems. It sounds like a lot, and sometimes it is. But if you’ve got a good process around the system, it can help your organization in a big way.

How so? It allows for accountability and transparency. When stuff isn’t getting done, there is a record of who is assigned a task with dates, times and notes. And when the process behind the system works, it gives management the tools and metrics to track change. They can also make pretty graphs for their powerpoint presos.

Yesterday the AJC ran a story about the City of Alpharetta and their adoption of SeeClickFix. You can read the article here. The application is basically a ticketing system for citizens to submit minor problems within the city. Think potholes, broken sidewalks, storm drains, traffic lights, stuff like that. Users submit issues through a web 2.0 interface with google maps integration or over a smart phone (iPhone, Blackberry or Android). It is slick technology. <nerd mode off>

Like many, this was the first time I heard of this application, which Alpharetta has quietly been using for a few months. When I first read the AJC article I kinda thought the city developed this on their own. That’s not the case. They have adopted a process around SeeClickFix and have subscribed to its service. At only $100 a month, this was a real bargain for the city.

Yesterday I created an issue in the new system. I reported on a traffic light on Windward Parkway that I think needs to be re-timed. In just a few minutes someone with the city acknowledged the issue and assigned it to the traffic division for research. That in and of itself isn’t a huge deal. I suppose I could have picked up the phone and called the traffic division and accomplished the same thing.

So how is this better? Because I have a ticket. I am issue number 47733. I have a URL, a status, a date, “like” buttons and a section for comments and discussions. I have something I can come back to weeks or months later if nothing is done. In short, I have a visible way to hold the city accountable. If I had just called in my issue, who knows what would have happened. The employee on the other end of the phone could have done nothing. Or more likely than anything, the request might have just gotten lost in the bureaucracy of government.

The system is still pretty young. It will take time to see how well it is adopted and embraced by the city and citizens. As a local blogger you can bet I’ll be watching. In the meantime, I think the City of Alpharetta deserves a lot of praise. In this current political climate, citizens are demanding a lot out of government. Unfortunately that usually manifests itself in the form of ugly campaigns and fighting. What I think citizens truly want is open, transparent and responsive government, not politics. Big kudos to Alpharetta for being the first to leverage this technology.

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