• Ask the Mayor Candidates: If TSPLOST were to be voted on today, would you vote for or against it, and why?

    By Staff
    October 11, 2017



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    Suzi Krizan

    Do you know that when I ask people what TSPLOST is and if they voted for it, they respond that they voted for it and really did not know
    what it was but that it would fix things!!!!
    Good grief !


    The majority of voting age citizens didn't even bother to vote, that's the saddest part...

    EJ Moosa


    And that's a good thing since they do not know the issues. This is not high school and it isn't homecoming. TSPLOST was a major tax increase for Johns Creek. The voters that supported it were told they would be net beneficiaries. They are not.
    Uninformed voting is worst than not voting.


    I voted for TSPLOST and I do not consider a .75% sales tax increase a major tax increase. It's non noticeable to those who live below their means and invest properly. The money is going to us and our neighbors in Fulton County. People act like it's going to North Korea or some enemy. I agree that we need to stop approving high density and we need to time the traffic lights correctly, but .75% is a too small and trivial amount not to try TSPLOST after decades of traffic mess. It may or may not work, but the voters wanted this and thankfully the city council allowed the voters to decide.

    EJ Moosa

    You need a different perspective. The result is the collection of taxes equivalent to what we pay in property taxes. Just because it's taken out of your wallet bit by bit rather than once a year in your property tax bill does not change the annual impact.

    Would you have been ok with the doubling of the millage rate in Johns Creek had TSPLOST not passed(which would have been MUCH better for tax payers, by the way)?

    I did the math. If we have 82,000 residents and we collect 19.3 million in property taxes, that works out to $235.36 per year. Per day that is 64 cents per day. It's safe to say no one would miss that as well. Would you agree?


    I agree that doubling of the Johns Creek millage rate would be much more difficult to accept, even with property taxes being deducted against Federal Taxes. My Home was assessed at 520k and my JC portion was $924.00. I will not pay that much in sales tax increase. I spend around $4000 per month on sales taxable items so my increase is $30 per month.

    I'm ok with trying this since the traffic is frustrating. The voters will decide in four years if they feel it is worth renewing. Hopefully we can get the traffic lights timed better and three thru lanes at States Bridge and Abbott Bridge on 141 before then and with Old Milton Parkway widening in Alpharetta (quicker access to 400) a renewal of Tsplost isn't needed.

    Mark Venco


    I would LOVE to hear you talk about the future and stop looking backwards just to get a rise out of people.

    Let's talk ideas, give me something forward looking.

    Bradberry has trained you well.

    Mark Venco
    Candidate - Post 3

    E J Moosa

    TSPLOST will be up for renewal in four years. That is looking towards the future.

    Obviously you are missing the mark if you think Bradberry has anything to do with my positions.

    Mark Venco

    So now you want to take a way a person's constitutional right?!!!!!

    E J Moosa

    Yes you have the right to cast votes on issues you know nothing about. But should you?

    Asking someone not to do something is not taking away anyone's right.

    Speaking of right, when are you going to correct your website regarding the time you served on the JCCA board. You did not serve in 2016. Once again you were elected in January of 2017 and resigned in 2017. You did not serve 2016-2017. Please correct this "oversight".

    The details make all the difference.

    Mark Venco

    Already addressed it.

    If these are your biggest concerns, Bradberry is the perfect candidate for you!!!!!


    I voted for it , along with the majority of every Fulton county district. I am curious when the projects will begin? Old Milton Parkway widening in Alpharetta is on the list. That along with Abbotts Bridge and Kimball Bridge widening will allow quicker access to GA 400 for us in Johns Creek. I would vote for it today as well. I can't notice the .75 sales tax increase. If someone does they can shop in Gwinnett on some items where sales tax is only 6%.


    The Abbotts Bridge and Kimball Bridge widening are not TSPLOST projects. None of the TSPLOST projects will be built for years. Nesbit Ferry improvement, which is essential, was rejected for the TSPLOST list. The widening of Jones Bridge was shown by the planners to be of little benefit, but it was included on the TSPLOST list. What is true is that the projects will cost a lot more than was advertised for TSPLOST. Johns Creek is not taking any action to ensure that the projects come in at the advertised cost.

    Mark Venco

    I agree, their is still time to make changes to the TSPLOST project lists but more people need to get involved and posts on the Johns Creek Post is going to swing that pendulum.

    Look at the list of names on the "Comments" section. It's the same old names!

    I'm very happy that my Residential Node concept is now part of the Comp Plan draft known as Community Planning Areas. It's the best shot we have of getting more citizens involved.

    Regarding TSPLOST solutions, we need what I am proposing:

    EAST-WEST Traffic flow solutions to move traffic to Peachtree Industrial to the East and GA-400 to the west BEFORE the traffic enters Johns Creek.

    Mark Venco
    Candidate - Post 3


    I agree with you Mark. Let's look forward. Many on this site exaggerate things to get a rise. If you look at TSPLOST some were calling this a massive tax burden, extortion, blackmail, taken to the cleaners, etc... of a .75% amount which is nothing more than pocket change that falls between the cushions. They did not even want the people to have a chance to vote. Thankfully the citizens were allowed to vote and now that it did not go their way they are calling them uninformed, etc. Let's move forward!

    Suzi Krizan

    I didn't vote for it..and I am wondering when those projects will begin.
    I ask for the 10th time...why don't people sign their name? Especially on simple statements like the one above!

    EJ Moosa

    ( ) YES
    ( ) NO
    Shall an additional 0.75 percent sales tax be collected in Fulton County for 5 years for the purpose of transportation
    improvements and congestion reduction?

    That is the ONLY thing voters approved. They want to tell us we in Johns Creek because the majority of Johns Creek voters supported this vote approved the project list. That is simply not the truth. Had the vote for TSPLOST failed in the county and Johns creek voters voted for it overall, would the project list have been approved? No.

    Had the vote passed and Johns Creek voters had said no overall, would the project list have been voided? No.

    There was something wrong with how this was handled before we voted on it, and there's something wrong with it today. That we have elected officials on the City Council that cannot see this tells me they are blinded by the receipt of the almighty tax dollars they are projected to receive.

    E J Moosa

    Mayor Bodker says that "TSPLOST is a funding mechanism to accelerate the funding of previously agreed upon road projects".

    Yet during a Council meeting Bodker says "These projects are budgets. The reality is not one of them will move forward until this Council approves the concept and plan."

    And at other times we are told that by voting for TSPLOST the voters themselves approved these plans.


    I watched this process unfold as TSPLOST moved forward. The City received a calculation of what they might receive, and then had to scramble for a project list that would spend those funds.

    To paraphrase one City official, "If you get the money we can spend it".

    That's not the way I want to see things done in Johns Creek.


    Bodker stated in his response, "In the case of TSPLOST...I also believe that we will follow a citizen-driven process..."

    Earlier this year, I read an article on the JCP regarding Tom Black's meeting for the MGF road widening project. It was a packed house and the citizens expressed extreme outrage after Black made several contradicting statements for this TSPLOST project.

    There was more citizen outrage against our government's backroom deal to widen 141/Medlock Bridge Road. There was even more citizen outrage against another one of our government's backroom deals to develop their Cauley Creek property into a Mega Sports Complex.

    If our Mayor says "we will follow a citizen-driven process" as it relates to TSPLOST and other community projects, then why do JC residents get so pissed off when our government tries to implement its projects? I'll tell you why - It's because there has been and still continues to be deliberate and sustained efforts within our government to suffocate transparency, convey incompetent contradictions to JC's residents, and cut self-serving backroom deals with developers, consultants, engineers, and contractors.

    On a side note, Tom Black's optical illusion of putting out numerous orange barrels all around Johns Creek during election time is fooling no one. This is the same charade Black used in DeKalb County to make it look like things are getting done. These projects should have been implemented a long time ago, in addition to many other traffic relief type projects.


    "why do JC residents get so pissed off when our government tries to implement its projects?" There is another answer besides conspiracy theories - some people simply can't handle when the vote goes against them. This isn't ancient Athens or the Second French Empire where we have a plebiscite to decide how to spend each dollar of these taxes we voted to impose on ourselves. We elect representatives to the City Council to figure out how to best spend our tax dollars and hire staff/contractors. If a majority of the council doesn't like how staff is performing, they replace them. If voters don't like how council is doing it, we get to elect someone to take their place.

    EJ Moosa

    Come on Lydia, be honest with yourself. Are you defending a TSPLOST law for Fulton County that threatened up to 40% of the population that if they did not go along with the other 60% that they would be taxed and get nothing in return? Are you defending the majority of a City Council that went along with this threat for fear of losing out on the almighty tax dollar? We are not stating how to spend each dollar. It's the City that is telling us that we voted on how to spend those dollars, and we did not. I know you heard the same discussions we heard. How can you support a system where even if JC voters voted en masse against TSPLOST it would still be implemented?

    Why can't they ever do something in an above board and legitimate fashion? Oh that's right, they fear the outcome and do not trust the process.


    The State legislature set up the process for T-SPLOST vote, not Johns Creek City Council and not Fulton County Commissioners. Pick a fight with the people who made the rules, if you don't like them.
    If the voters in Johns Creek would have voted en masse against T-SPOST, then I would agree with your point. Since a slim majority of people voted to approve, it this argument just comes off sounding like sour grapes.

    EJ Moosa

    https://youtu.be/a1EZKkzR0d4 Table or Feeding Trough?

    Lydia, I know you are smarter than that. The Georgia Legislature had plenty to do besides craft legislation to benefit Fulton County only. Bodker was there, with access that you or I as citizens do not have, working to get it passed. Rewatch the Council Meetings as Bodker gives his Legislative Updates. Giddy with the idea of TSPLOST passing comes to my mind.

    Here's why it matters Lydia. Residents were mislead. It passed by the narrowest of margins. The City promoted this.

    See what the Georgia Gang had to say. Are they just making it up? Of course they are not.


    Mark Venco


    The voters/citizens are the ones that decided to take the money in last Novembers election and be part of "TSPLOST" through a .75% tax.

    No matter who anyone votes for council, if the voters say yes in an election, then the council will have to follow through.

    HOWEVER ........

    How that money gets spent, totally different issue. I agree with you, it should be allocated very differently than some of the Tier 1 projects outlined.

    Mark Venco
    Candidate - Post 3

    EJ Moosa

    Mark, you need to remember that JC voters could have said no and everything going forward today would still be going forward. That is not a situation that a City in control of it's own destiny does. Ever.

    The City maneuvered the Public into a corner. The corner came with increased sales taxes and a project list that had to spend it all. Our City officials who pushed this knew what they were doing. Please do not tell me that in the meetings held with other local cities that no one brought up these issues whatsoever. To have ignored them would have been a dereliction of duty. And then what? We hear about a proverbial gun to our heads. Yes that is the way we want our governments to run: By coercion. The City told us if they did not play, we could still be forced to pay. That the City of Johns Creek did not stand up to this coercion on behalf of its citizens is horrible. But since we know that some wanted those tax dollars more than anything, we knew how it was going to play out. "We had no choice" is a lousy excuse for your government to cede control to anyone. For once, fight on principle. Give it a try.

    And who went to Fulton County with the idea to get behind this tax in the first place. Seriously, that is what I want to know.

    Other statements that Bodker makes can not be proven nor disproven. One-Third of the sales tax dollars are from people visiting? What proof is there of that? Residents of Johns Creek spend more money on taxable items than most other residents of Fulton County. Believe me when I say that we are paying more into the kitty than other cities. Otherwise, tell me how people with less disposable income are spending more on taxable goods. I want to know.

    We are being taken to the cleaners. There is no such thing as a free lunch.



    I respect your opinion.

    The biggest problem that we have is many people keep talking about the past. That is our biggest problem and talk gets us nowhere.

    We need to LEARN from our mistakes. The TSPLOST vote is OVER, it passed, now we are forced to decide what to do with the funds. There is no going back!

    We need to stop going backwards. That's why my platform is about coming up with solutions. Everyone that is supporting John Bradberry, loves to look backwards and just talk about the problems. We need to move forward, he's playing on people emotions to get votes.

    Some expressions that come to mind:

    "Can't cry over spilt milk"
    "Monday morning quarterbacking"
    "Sempre Avanti" (Italian) - "Always move forward"

    John wouldn't even answer some basic questions I asked him on the JCP recently. He is avoiding questions because he loves leveraging off the past and put fear into people.

    If these are our biggest problems, WE ARE BLESSED!

    This approach of looking backwards gets us nowhere.

    Best Regards,
    Mark Venco
    Candidate - Post 3

    Zane Edge

    Ernest is absolutely correct. For T-SPLOST, I prefer the term extortion, all courtesy of GA General Assembly folks like Jan Jones who crafted the voter extortion strategy via GA Senate Bill 369. BTW, Jones is one of the state politicians who came to the defense of Milton City Council member Karen Thurman who used biblical scripture to justify her corrupt efforts to change Milton neighborhood redistricting to keep her Council seat. But I digress. The extortion in JC centered on (1) the city voting YES to be included in the final vote tally and (2) JC voters voting YES or else they would be taxed the same as if they voted NO. This was voter extortion then, it is voter extortion now, and it was/is WRONG. This is just one of the reasons why I voted against T-SPLOST. The extortion was explained somewhat in the JCH article “City Council Wrangles Over TSPLOST”: http://johnscreekherald.com/stories/city-council-wrangles-over-tsplost,93725? The extortion was subtly defended in the following JC Patch article: https://patch.com/georgia/johnscreek/tsplost-what-does-it-mean-north-fulton. You can find far more information on this by researching GA state Senate Bill 369. Unfortunately, it’s a little late now for JC citizens to do this!

    Blue Again

    Mr.Edge you are mostly correct except that you leave out Mr. Bodker as Jan Jones' accomplice in working to get the TSPLOST legislation passed. I point this out only because he likes to pretend that this was not the case. TSPLOST has really put us in a bad predicament.

    E J Moosa

    Bodker and Marchetti: Here's the most important question. TSPLOST will be up again if you win. Are you going to support participating again, or will you take a stand and say no to participating in what is effectively blackmail by 60% of the County to participate or lose the tax dollars your residents pay?

    There will have been five years to "fix" this bad law. One year has already passed. Four to go. Are we going to have a bad law stay on the books because it gives the City an additional year's worth of revenue to spend every 5 years?

    Zane Edge

    @Blue Again, I have no reason to discredit your statement but what documented proof do you have? I’d love to see it. Show us the beef!!

    EJ Moosa

    At some point we have to piece together the sequence of events. I recall Bodker heralding a "new era of cooperation" with Fulton County, perhaps in December of 2015(Just watched those...must have been later and I will keep searching). Following that were his legislative updates that gave everyone on the Council status updates that I am not sure any of could have gotten through the media. Then we have the Georgia Gang thanking Bodker specifically as this bill passed in the legislature. Not a Fulton County Commissioner. Not any other Mayor's name. Our Mayor.

    During this "new era of cooperation", that is the only thing I know that has been accomplished-TSPLOST.

    Does anyone know of anything else that has been beneficial to Johns Creek via cooperation with the Fulton County Commission during this time frame?

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