July 27th, 2016
a Homeowner Majority - - - at last!
Morning after the July 26th victory
Congratulations to Laura & Family on her 58% victory as District 5 Commissioner. Our thanks to the many D-5 homeowner activists whose goal is "to make our county a better place to live". Let us thank the D-6 voters as well as homeowners from all 5 districts for the support they gave Laura and her team.
Homeowners, who comprise approximately 90% of all citizens, will be represented come January by three commissioners (the majority) who have called for balanced moderate growth in Forsyth as well as focusing on overcrowded roads, schools, and other infrastructure.
July 5th, 2016
THE REVISION PROCESS:
COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE PLAN
Homeowners Coalition's Observations
From Bill Gunby & Tony DeMaria
Forsyth Citizens for Responsible Growth
After five months of an eleven month project to revise Forsyth County's Comprehensive Land Use Plan being conducted by Jacobs Engineering for our Board of Commissioners, Forsyth Citizens for Responsible Growth asked Bill Gunby, a respected real estate professional with over 30 years of experience to review the consulting firm's project documents available to us and offer his observations. Mr. Gunby produced a four page document that we forwarded to Amanda Hutton, Project Leader for Jacobs Engineering. You can download and review his document via the link "Observations CLUP" in the column to the right.
In summary, the project team indicates citizen input as desirable, but the process appears to avoid informing citizens so as to gain knowledgable input. For example:
- no mention of prior zoning or land use mistakes,
- no data on already zoned un-built properties,
- no options on possible alternate less dense zoning districts,
- no data on the amount of conservation status properties, etc.
- An online survey seeking citizen input on development intensity levels (low to high) was closed after a short 6 or 7 day period and just two in-person sessions.
There are charts which show overwhelming citizen sentiment . . . at least 3 to 1 . . . against apartments and other high density zonings. This sentiment correlates with the 2015 citizen survey in which 74% believed Forsyth with rapid high density growth was headed in the wrong direction! A disturbing concern is that citizens are still being shown medium to high density options as viable alternatives.
It also appears that the 430,0000 citizen population projection is not open to citizen discussion, the inadquate county infastructure from 10 years of rapid growth has not been acknowledged, nor "fixes" prioritized as committed to by the Consultant. When the next drought occurs (hopefully not this year), will not stricter water conservation rules occur, possibly including population limits?
Finally, is there any intent to address "green issues" such as:
- Clear cutting of trees,
- Mass grading / bulldozing of large tracts,
- Enforcement absence of Georgia's groundwater recharging laws,
- Inadequate enforcement of storm water laws in the UDC.
Should the consultants ignore that Forysth's "green" was a key reason for current citizens to move to (or remain in) Forsyth?
When the next drought occurs (hopefully not this year), will more strict water conservation rules occur including most probable population limits? Does anyone believe Lake Lanier water used by 200,000 citizens today will be re-allocated to serve 430,000 citizens? (Ask Florida & Alabama and their 4 senators!)
Lastly, this effort appears to be a "hurry and finish effort", perhaps to avoid the January 2017 changes to a more homeowner oriented Board of Commissioners.
This may be the last chance Forsyth citizens have to stop the "Gwinett–ization" of our county! Ordinary citizens & homeowners, all 90% of us, can help save Forsyth from further high density growth, destruction of our green enviroment, and first, fixing our overwhelmed roads, schools, & other infastructure.
Please email Amanda Hatton, project leader at [email protected]. If you send us a copy we will collect and forward them to the BOC members without your email addresses.
Bill & Tony [email protected]
May 10th, 2016
HOMEOWNERS' COALITION RECOMMENDATIONS
FOR THE MAY 24th FORSYTH COUNTY ELECTION
Candidate Pledges, Recommended Candidates,
& GOP Questions
The Homeowners Coalition advocates policies aimed to preserve and as practical, enhance the quality of life and environment in Forsyth County. The common goals of the Coalition and each member organization are better informed citizens, and at election periods, to join together to support candidates who will best represent all the citizens, and, to identify incumbents who did not, or candidates who may not!
Supporting these ends, the Coalition has prepared for the May 24th election a summary of candidates' positions and GOP question responses that we believe support positive improvements in Forsyth County.
Please download the document (PDF file -- click here) and review it before the election. We hope you will agree with our assessment of the options and vote for the recommended candidates.
Thanks for your time.
May 3, 2016
CANDIDATE ACTION PLEDGES ARE IN
Five of six candidates support Homeowners Coalition positions. Click here to view the Candidates' Action Pledges.
Based on Action Pledges, Homeowners Coalition Selects Three Commissioners as Homeowners Choice.
- Laura Semanson
- Rick Swope
- Kelli Warren
CINDY MILLS DOES NOT RESPOND
Implies legal reasons for not revealing her positions to voters and public.
May 2, 2016
HOMEOWNERS COALITION IN THE NEWS
Click here to see a Forsyth Herald article about what the Homeowners Coalition is doing to educate residents on issues pertaining to our county.
April 14, 2016
WHAT IS THE HOMEOWNERS COALITION?
Homeowners Coalition is an alliance of organizations from all over Forsyth County that pursue lower taxes, quality development, quality education, less traffic, and, who monitors actions of our elected officials and county government. The organizations represent landowners and homeowners, business owners, community leaders, and families just like yours.
The Homeowners Coalition advocates policies aimed to preserve and as practical, enhance the quality of life and environment in Forsyth County . The common goals of the Coalition and each member organization are better informed citizens, and at election periods, to join together to support candidates who will best represent all the citizens, and, to identify incumbents who did not, or candidates who may not!
For the May 24 2016 primary, the Homeowners Coalition sent documents with 10 pledges of key issues for the enhancement of Forsyth County to 6 BOC candidates to allow them to share their intentions with the citizens. The pledges are in process of summarization - - - - and will be made available county-wide next week.
The Coalition seeks to tackle the challenges facing Forsyth County head on, such as:
- Rampant, High Density Development without proper planning
- Rapidly increasing taxes
- Over crowded schools, which place over 60% of our students in over-crowded schools
- Traffic Gridlock that robs parents of time with their families
- Wasteful spending of our tax dollars and crony capitalism
- Transparency in Government, or lack thereof
- Infrastructure issues: roads, schools, water, sewer, parks, and the tax burden it puts on the existing homeowners
- Lack of proper Impact Fees which lead to higher taxes to subsidize the development industry.
The "other" political side, sometimes referred to as "Good Ole Boys", are closely tied to Special Interests including developers, zoning attorneys, and large grading and trucking companies. They have millions of dollars at stake and invest tens of thousands of dollars to ensure 'business as usual' continues in Forsyth County. They support Commissioners and Sheriff Candidates who will work for them and their interests, while the rest of us pay increasing property taxes and suffer uncontrolled growth.
These Good Ole Boy Candidates, once they win office, work tirelessly to protect their interests and ensure the highest financial gain for their political benefactors. One example is Impact Fees, which Commissioners Mills ,Tam, and Amos have postponed for years, leading to millions of dollars in unfunded infrastructure needs to be paid for by the tax payers. If you wish to do your own research, start here http://www.forsythnews.com/archives/28530/
In the coming weeks, you will be hearing more from the Homeowners Coalition and their supported candidates. We encourage you to listen to their vision for Forsyth County and the path to lower taxes, lower density development smaller class sizes and free flowing traffic. We encourage you to meet with their recommended candidates and ask them to tell you about their positions and reasons for running for office.
Homeowner Oriented Elected Officials
Commissioner Todd Levent
Rep. Sheri Gilligan
Rep. Wes Cantrell
Rep. Geoff Duncan
Homeowner Oriented Candidates
District 2: Rick Swope
District 4: Kelli Warren
District 5: Laura Semanson
For State House:
"Good Ole Boys" and advocates for higher taxes, crowded schools and traffic gridlock
Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills
Commissioner Pete Amos
Commissioner Brian Tam
Mayor Ford Gravitt
Sheriff Duane Piper
July 20, 2015
A Great 4 Weeks!
Shortly after the June 16 primary vote, Sheri Gilligan wrote:
“I hope all of you are as excited and proud of our accomplishments during this campaign as I am. We were in a 4-person race, outspent and up against the establishment machine. Your emails, texts, tweets, phone calls, door-to-door efforts and old-fashioned grass roots got us to 49.97%.”
Shortly after July 14 runoff vote was counted, Sheri said:
“I’ve never been so proud with a group of volunteers as I’ve been with the people who’ve worked so tirelessly for me. Every phone call they made, every door that they knocked on, everything they did got us to this point.”
RUN-OFF VOTE: A 3 to 1 Margin for Sheri - - - 75% vs. 25% for Van Sant
WHY SHERI ? - - a stellar service record, highest integrity, one of us, and, many informed citizens!!
HOW the 3 to 1 Margin?
- Phone Calls by Volunteers- - - 18,000
- Voters spoken to - - - 5,098
- Mailers - - - 5 (last 4 weeks)
- Driveway message drops - - - 6,000+
- Homeowners Coalition Email messages - - - Estimated at 300,000
- Sent by Coalition Members - - - 160,000 est.
- Forwarded by HOA's and Activists - - - 140,000 est.
- The "Army of Volunteers" for Honest Representation worked hard.
Factoid: Primary/Runoff Cost $25K (Sheri - - small amounts by many) vs. est. $200K (establishment candidates)
WHAT’S NEXT? - - - 2016
“With God's help, we will continue our March
to CITIZEN LEGISLATORS and ELECTED OFFICIALS”
Board of Commissioners:
- Commissioners from Districts 2 and 4 have too often opposed homeowner positions in favor of special interests and must be voted out in their 2016 re-election. The Old Forsyth Political Structure has been shocked from the recent losses of "their" 3 legislature officials, and, should now start to look at what's good for the County's citizens rather than special interests.
- Please contact any member organization of the Homeowners Coalition if you or a friend is willing to serve as commissioner in Districts 2 or 4. Citizens are no longer allowed to vote for commissioners in all five districts while the commissioners do vote on issues in all districts, often against the homeowners' position.
- As just witnessed with Sheri, homeowner organizations will provide substantial support to honest qualified candidates in all districts. This smashing victory has motivated the Army of Volunteers for Honest Representation to grow in size and fervour for the 2016 elections.
- Homeowners need commitments from each local legislator that they will work to correct the current flawed governance law which took away 80% of each citizen's county voting choices.
June 22, 2015
What an Amazing Night
I'm so proud of all of you
I hope all of you are as excited and proud of our accomplishments during this campaign as I am. We were in a 4-person race, outspent and up against the establishment machine. Your emails, texts, tweets, phone calls, door-to-door efforts and old-fashioned grass roots got us to 49.97%. Let's allow ourselves to truly enjoy all we achieved. Because of you, we are incredibly strong going into the run-off on July 14.
The plan is to continue doing the things we have been doing. We will stay on message and we will have to work to get our supporters out to the polls one more time. The run-off will be a shorter time-frame than the special election.
Please take the rest of this week to restore your batteries. Next week we will need you to spread the word to let everyone know that we need them one more time. We will have the phone bank up and running early next week. Please email Kerry Hill if you will be making calls from home or will be working the phone bank.
The run off will require that we raise more funds so we can keep spreading our message. Never forget we did all this with a fraction of the money our opponent spent. Many of you donated during the special election and if you can do that again, then we can finish with such a margin then it will clearly show that politics as usual is no longer acceptable.
Finally, keep praying and stay strong. We will press on until the last vote is counted and together we will win.
Thank you all for everything you have done.
Candidate for State House D24
May 28, 2015
Homeowners Coalition Endorses
Sheri Gilligan House District 24
The Directors of the Homeowners Coalition in Forsyth County unanimously agreed to support Sheri Gilligan in her quest for the 24th District House of Representatives Position.
Sheri Smallwood Gilligan was born, raised and educated in Cumming and UGA, spent two decades serving our country in the US Navy and CIA intelligence departments. Since returning to Forsyth County, Sheri has been teaching our younger citizens at Lanier Tech and is serving in other organizations aimed at making Forsyth a better place to live and work.
As one talks with Sheri, three characteristics quickly surface: complete & total integrity, extremely smart and knowledgeable, and, a person 100% committed to all citizens (not just special interests).
Specific goals of Sheri include:
- Work to fix overcrowded Roads and Schools caused by the recent rapid high density development.
- Change local government structure to be responsive to all citizens. Having 4 officials each citizen cannot vote for does not encourage commissioner responsiveness.
- Provide the citizens transparency on county matters versus special arrangements with a select group of politicians and campaign contributors.
- Work to develop a citizen approved long term plan which carefully budgets operating expenses based on needs versus letting tax receipts dictate spending.
- Persuade the County to return to a responsible growth mode that responds to the needs of existing residents and homeowners first.
- Restructure impact fee laws to require developers to pay the full impact costs of added infrastructure (roads, schools, etc.) for new residences rather than have existing homeowners continually pay for much of these costs.
The Homeowners Coalition endorses Sheri Gilligan as the only candidate who will fairly represent all citizens.
The prime opposition candidate, Ethan Underwood was a key zoning lawyer at Emory Lipscomb’s law firm (2003 – 2014), and is supported by the county’s rapid development/high density Interests.
June 2, 2014
Summary of May 20 Primary and
July 22 Primary Run-Off : 2014
and a brief introduction to
The Homeowners Coalition
The May 20 Primary achieved success in all three races:
- Todd Levent won big 64% to 36% as homeowners knew that he stands with them. Prior to the election, Levent worked on the flood of zonings, and also helped other Homeowner Coalition candidates while his "opponent" Davis Hole issued a massive flood of "trailer-trash" type mailers.
An "old guard" political hack also sent similar unsigned lie filled mailers about Levent & Michael Williams - - - the lack of character of the old guard politicians is obvious!
- In a 3 person race, Michael Williams ended 2nd with 34% of the vote with incumbent Jack Murphy at 37% of the votes. 63% of voters said NO to Murphy, please retire!
- The good news: by the time the July 22 Primary run-off occurs, the 63% who said No to Murphy will have learned that Michael stands for the Homeowners who are over 90% of citizens, versus Murphy who is supported by the city/mayor and the special interests /developer commissioners & legislator.
- Mark Hamilton won with $170,000 in campaign funds that "overcrowded" our mail boxes with his daily mailers of platitudes but never telling us why, after 6 years tenure, our major roads are overcrowded, nor, why he provided state incentive funds to waste $13 Million for widening a road with no traffic while other roads are in a gridlock state.
- Sheri Gilligan received 41% and was shy of just 563 votes to win despite having less than 10% of Hamilton's campaign fund. Sheri is strong & has committed to work towards a 2016 victory unless Mr. Hamilton quickly supports the homeowners'agenda.
July 22 is the Primary Run-Off for the state senate race it is our time to rally and vote again with our friends for Michael Williams - - - - we need a senator committed to the county's Homeowners.
Conclusion: A Homeowner oriented State Senator will send a message to the old guard politicians who support special interests and developers that they need to listen to the Homeowners who are demanding proportional control in the direction of Forsyth County.
The Homeowners Coalition
Six grassroots organizations have joined forces to promote a common goal: To regain the quality of growth in Forsyth, the county needs to improve our roads, preserve our great school system, our environment, our property values, and quality of life in general.
To achieve this goal, improvements to the county's infrastructure must occur before major development is allowed.
These groups are made up of everyday citizens and homeowners who live in Forsyth County. They are concerned that developer Interests have taken over the County and the homeowners will be left to deal with the fallout. All groups contribute ideas on improvements while two are excluded by charter from political activities. The Homeowners Coalition communicates via email through each organization as well as a proprietary address list.
May 12, 2014
Old Forsyth Political Power Group
Controls Forsyth County
May 20th Primary can end their Control
"The long time political power group, also known as Good Old Boy network or GoB, use their positions to benefit themselves and their special interest & developer followers while ignoring the needs of the common homeowner & tax payer. For this election, they are pouring thousands of dollars trying to elect David Hole, an apartment & high density developer who continues to lie that he does the "bad stuff" only in other counties.
They have also sponsored personal ugly attacks and mailers on Michael Williams and Todd Levent because they are afraid of the rising Homeowner sentiment. To keep their power, they are trying to stop homeowner candidates Sheri Gilligan & Michael Williams' efforts to replace incumbents Mark Hamilton & Jack Murphy"
Source: 4 former Forsyth officials
What follows in # 2 & # 3 is a summary of conditions in Forsyth.
#2 covers Who controls the power
#3 covers Cronyism/Questionable Ethics - - some nasty facts
- Control of Power
75% of Forsyth County (FC) Officials support the GoB polices:
- Special Interests, developers, and large land owners
--- 98% of the time
- Homeowners - - - - - 2% at best!
- Who are the 75%?
- 3 of 5 Commissioners Tam, Amos, Mills - a 3 vote majority for all special interests & developer motions.
- 2 senior Legislators, Jack Murphy & Mark Hamilton who work with the GoB's and care not about the citizens.
- The Mayor, 42 years in power & the # 1 Pol in Forsyth. The Governor and most others listen to him!
- Recall: a $100 Million project in the City. Do gridlocked roads later.
- What many do not know is when Mr. Deal had a choice over Forsyth County's water independence proposal versus city control, he chose the Mayor & City.
25% of Forsyth County FC Officials support Homeowners:
Todd Levent & Jim Boff - - - they lose 95% of Zoning votes by a 3 – 2 margins - - - to the GoB's !!!
6 GOB's include the Mayor versus 2 Homeowner Commissioners = 8 total 6/8 = 75%
- Cronyism/Questionable Ethics
- Two Commissioners, Amos & Mills, are closely related to large land owner family / friends.
- Two Commissioners & families, Amos & Tam, have business dealings with the City of Cumming (Mayor). One, a restaurant lease, was estimated to be a 60%+ discount from market prices 5 years ago. One Commissioner appears to have a business deal with a major county contractor, on whose contracts he must vote.
- Commission Chairman Amos sued County in behalf of City for more SPLOST Funds
- County Commission Chairman Tam decided with Mayor to "do" $100 million complex in city. Alternative and less costly options considerations, e.g. a lower land cost in northern District 4 location for a jail and less expensive criminal court complex were swept aside.
- No citizen input accepted on voting date, content, and/or timing of $200 million SPLOST, despite citizen protests over all three issues.
- Distribution of Sales Tax refunds & Splost funds to the City: Why do the GoB's allow 12.5% to the City versus the State guideline of 3% based on City's population of 5,400?
- Have the senior state legislators, Jack Murphy and Mark Hamilton just ignored the cronyism and questionable ethics, perhaps hoping that too many of us did not suffer too much, or do they benefit from some of the dealings? And they want us to re-elect them?
- Is it necessary for the mayor, the zoning Lawyer/firm, Mark Hamilton, and Commissioner Tam to provide major contributions to Jack Murphy? Or for the firm who ended up as prime Project leader on the $100 million public safety complex to contribute $5,000 to the "volunteer" effort setup to promote a citizen vote for the $100 million complex. Smells?
April 20, 2014
Three Candidates to Change the County’s Direction
The Challenge: Increase the amount of control homeowners have in Forsyth County by electing three candidates this May 20th. Elect homeowner centric candidates who do not have ties to special interest groups.
The Reason: If Sheri Gilligan and Michael Williams had been our Legislators (versus Hamilton & Murphy), neither the Castleberry Sham ($12 million to widen a road with no traffic) nor District Voting (where 3 commissioners you cannot vote for make zoning & other decisions in your district) would have occurred.
We believe it is time for a change in Forsyth County. Gilligan, Williams, and Commissioner Levent share the homeowners’ concerns about growth, taxation, Common Core, traffic, crowded schools and cronyism. More importantly, each has the talent and vision to turn the ship in the right direction and stand up for the homeowner.
The Candidates: Here is an introduction to the candidates supported by the Homeowner Coalition. Please mark your calendar for May 20 and share this information with your friends and neighbors.
- Sheri Gilligan: District 24, State House of Representatives www.votegilligan.com
- Born/bred/schooled Forsyth County, UGA graduate.
- 20 years private/government intelligence field including CIA.
- Substitute Teacher/Adjunct Instructor at FC Schools & Lanier Tech.
- Truly intelligent, sensitive, Incredible Integrity.
- Michael Williams: District 27, State Senate www.supportwilliams.com
- Four children Forsyth Schools, Sunday School Teacher, Scout Cub Master.
- CPA , 3 years serving clients with Arthur Anderson.
- In 8 years opened 18 franchise locations in 3 cities & 2 states, sold in 2013, to serve.
- Bright, quickly learns details, understands county:state inter-relationships.
- Forsyth County Commissioner Todd Levent: District 3 www.toddleventforcommissioner.com
- Native Georgian, Marshal in Fulton County, quick study of county finances.
- Has fought wasteful spending and encouraged sound fiscal policy.
- Opposes High Density Development wreaking havoc on schools and roads.
- Elected by homeowner groups in 2010 with specific commitments.
- Fulfilled 95% of promises to Homeowners and earned a Second Term.
Please print/cut the yellow “block” as a reminder on your fridge.
VOTE in MAY 20th PRIMARY
For the 3 Homeowner Candidates
Sheri Gilligan State House D-24
Michael Williams State Senate D-27
Todd Levent County Commissioner D-3
Click here to download a PDF copy of our April 20th flyer
suitable for printing and distribution.
Help by sharing it with friends and neighbors.
March 20, 2014
HOMEOWNER LEGISLATOR CANDIDATE
SHERI SMALLWOOD GILLIGAN
After the sham vote to spend $12 million on a road with no traffic by Amos, Tam, and Mills, and Rep Hamilton sending out the same misleading / false statements to the 1000 Castleberry families and thousands of drivers on gridlocked roads he hurt by following the GOB falsehoods, we said hang-in - - - we hope to have some better news.
WE NOW DO !!!!!!!!!!! Please send this a friend / neighbor and help them become more informed.
MEET OUR SECOND HOMEOWNER LEGISLATOR CANDIDATE!!!
Sheri Smallwood Gilligan
for State Representative District 24 (Hamilton)
Born, bred, educated in Cumming & UGA,
20 years in the Intelligence field including the CIA.
Truly intelligent, sensitive, tough, and
with incredible Integrity.
Homeowners from several neighborhoods met and
urged her to run and bring us an honest government
responsive to the homeowners. She agreed!
Sheri's announcement is below.
She will be great but we need to help her!
Get involved - - - just a little - - - make difference now.
THE HOMEOWNERS ELECTION OF
SHERI GILLIGAN & MICHAEL WILLIAMS
TWO of the "GoB" FC political power group
For a more responsive
Forsyth County Conservative Sheri Smallwood Gilligan to run for State House (from press release)
Cumming - - - Sheri Smallwood Gilligan announced her intention to run as a Republican to election for Georgia House District 24. Citing failed leadership in Atlanta, Mrs Gilligan, a conservative leader and activist, said she looks forward to uniting all of Forsyth County in her bid for the house.
Sheri Gilligan graduated from Forsyth County High School in 1981, back then she was known as Sheri Smallwood. For generations, her families were poor dirt farmers off of Franklin Goldmine Rd. Her parents sacrificed so that she could have opportunities that they never had. Sheri graduated from the University of Georgia and went on to work for the CIA.
Her work with the Central Intelligence Agency helped protect us from national threats. Now Sheri Gilligan wants to protect you from overbearing tyrannical government. Now more than ever we need a new leader, one not beholden to politics over sound constitutional government.
“I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support from the community. This is my home. I love my county and my state. We have to come together, united, and stand up for our conservative, pro-family, pro-God values.” stated Gilligan.
Sheri Gilligan will focus much of her campaign on providing ethical & accountable leadership. If elected, she will fight Obamacare and Common Core. She believes that the best government is a small government. Fiscally, Sheri will work to end the income tax and lower our tax burden while maintaining our way of life.
“I will listen to you. Over the next 80 days I will engage in a door to door listening tour. I want to hear your concerns, and if given the privilege, will be your voice in Atlanta.”
Sheri and her husband will celebrate 23 years of marriage this fall. They have four adult children and two grandchildren.
REMEMBER - - - 1,000 Castleberry families hurt and thousands in daily gridlock!
February 13, 2013
Well Informed Homeowners = Responsive Government
Why would Brian Tam & Pete Amos again raise the Castleberry Road (CR) widening against the wishes of almost 1,000 Homeowners in adjacent subdivisions - - - - when in 2012, the BOC voted 5 -0 against the 4 lane highway and agreed to improve the two lane road including turning lanes and traffic signals for safety purposes?
Is it for special interests who own vacant tracts on Castleberry? Where do Jack Murphy and Mark Hamilton stand on wasting road funds for projects not needed versus obtaining state funds for expanding Highway 9 and other state roads?
- All members of the BOC have in the past been informed (see above) that the original 2004 study that recommended 4 lanes was flawed
- The 2011 update study showed the 2004 study overstated projected traffic by 85%.
- Homeowners in subdivisions on Castleberry know there is no congestion on Castleberry today.
- Homeowners in areas that have major traffic issues say "fix the roads where there is congestion".
- They know FC has wasted at least $8,000,000 on excessive right-of-way land purchases on CR - - - and do not wish to waste another $5 to $6 million for a road not needed! Take the $5-6 million and help the state widen Route 9.
- Homeowners and some officials say "Mr Tam's claim that the state wants the county to show willingness to spend funds for traffic relief is bogus
- - - - look at all the funds FC has already spent on improving state road intersections and pinch points".
Homeowners, please ask the entire BoC to do what's right for Forsyth Homeowners. The Commission is voting on this important issue on Thursday, February 20th. Take a few minutes today and send an email to the BoC and other officials.
Click here for a sample email that you can modify as you wish and the email addresses of the FC Commissioners and other officials.
February 6, 2014
FCRG Endorses Michael Williams
Occasionally, one meets a person you sense is honest, fair, and committed, and yet a realist who knows he has much to do and learn to reach his goal. Lee Cohn and I met that man - Michael Williams - and we believe he will successfully represent the homeowners of Forsyth County as our next State Senator District 27.
As many of you may recall, ForsythCRG supported Steve Voshall 2 years ago who lost to Jack Murphy by 123 votes. As State Senator, Michael can help change the political environment in Forsyth County to give our Homeowners a proportional say in control of the county. He is aware that for decades, county leadership has been centered within a small political power group (Jack Murphy, the Mayor of Cumming, Forsyth County Commissioners, and Local Judges supported by the rapid development growth interests) that today control what they deem good for their own interests.
Michael is new to the political scene - having had a very successful career in accounting and small business, his goal is now to become our State Senator where he can contribute to both Forsyth County and Georgia. He understands that as our State Senator he can influence both state and local policies. His focus will include: making sure the county becomes water independent of the City, increasing road funding from the state, and changing the district only voting approach (supported by Senator Murphy) whereby three commissioners from other districts can impose zoning of their choice on our district (or Jim Boff's district). Michael will launch a long term effort to enforce the state law on sales tax distributions based on population. Currently, the City receives 12% sales tax refunds & SPLOST with only 3% of total population.
Most important qualities we noted were Michael's honesty and integrity, his Christian and family orientation, his quickness of mind, and a demonstrated toughness and conviction that he can change things through persistence and hard work - good things require work!
We believe Michael can improve representation of all citizens in state government, and in particular in Forsyth County. ForsythCRG endorses Michael and asks our supporting homeowners to visit his web site. Please call Michael - he is very approachable - and would welcome all invitations to meet with HOA and neighbor groups. His cell number is (770) 287-4563. See the websites about Michael.
Regards, and thank you,
Tony DeMaria & Lee Cohn
Post Script: Michael Williams and ForsythCRG believe voters need facts and the truth from all political candidates. We are aware that the opposite has already occurred in an attempt to make Michael withdraw his candidacy. Please remember, Michael's high integrity will focus on the issues so the voter will make an informed decision.
October 19, 2013
What is Going on in Forsyth County?
Families are Concerned
Father loses 25 minutes on the crowded road to school to drop off the kids, and ends up 30 minutes late to his Roswell office. Mom leaves her volunteer job earlier then desired to get the kids to bible school on time.
Mom & Dad worry at night - - - are the children uptight because of so many new kids in school or has the county grown too fast? Mom says talk at work is about all this re-zoning that brings in all new families, kids, and more traffic - - - - without sufficient added road and school capacity. Dad says he will contact a neighbor who is an HOA leader to help shed some light on what is going on.
Three HOA officials in 3 adjacent neighborhoods in one FC district receive several calls from irate neighbors. They issue a petition from over 5,000 homeowners to the Board of Commissioners (BOC) to deny a zoning request. After a vote which alowed higher than desired density, the Homeowners concluded that they are being ignored by local officials.
In another FC district, concerned homeowners open a website to protest traffic gridlock and crowded schools. They do research that shows FC has the lowest developer impact fees among nearby jurisdictions. They contact other HOA type organizations, current and previous Commissioners who ran on a HO platform to get more detail. They did research that supports the theory that the BOC historically and now support the interests of the FC development industry, large landowners, and what Is called the "good ole boy" (GOB) group of perhaps 200 people who know "what's best for themselves and therefore Forsyth County."
Who is Pushing Undesirable Rapid Growth onto the County?
Development Industry players have significant motivation to promote growth in our county regardless of the negative impacts on traffic and schools:
- Legal profession - - - - - $$$$ legal fees for a basic zoning, but add in variances and 2 or 3 x fees.
- Other professions - - - -- time is money - - - - do it quick - - - with flexibility for the later changes - - - high profits
- Developers - - -- maximize density with small lots and use of flood plain,
- Real estate - - - - sell , sell sell, - - - don't talk about road or School crowding
- Trades - -- - build them fast, let county worry about the violations/poor quality.
- FC departments who staff based on growth rate and BOC orientation
Large landowners believe that more units per acre will maximize revenue from their land sales. Two of our BOC members have historical and family ties to large landowners.
The Good Ole Boy (GOB) network includes many of our politicians who benefit from the $$$$ being made by rapid growth and who slant the playing field toward those who benefit from rapid growth. An example of this is two legislators, Murphy and Hamilton, who were proponents of district voting which allows BOC members to rezone in your district without you being able to vote for or against them.
Homewner Groups Merge Efforts
Five large Homeowner oriented organizations are now working together to publicize these motivations and create a homeowners BOC that 110% supports current residents first.
For more information about the homeowner organizations, see the first three links under "Helpful links" to the left.
Stay tuned for more ...
September 29, 2013
Last 12 months (we have been productive!!)
ForsythCRG has achieved three major actions for our area (district 3 + others) in the past 12 months:
- The BOC -- thanks to Todd Levent, Jim Boff and P Bell -- voted to change the SPLOST 4 Lane divided parkway with 18 wheelers running thru 1,000 homes in adjacent subdivisions plus alongside a grammar school to a safe, widened 2 lane road with curve improvement and walkways for all of us. Homeowners found major flaws in FC's 2 studies: a 50% over-projection of traffic!!!
- Venable Hall sank from its own ill designed weight!!! Instead, a high quality developer is following FCRG's suggestion that a second high quality Vickery with "lessons learned" to make it even better! And less intensity.
- A summit meeting of large Homeowner Groups to plan approaches to make Forsyth County better!!!
Last several Years (hectic but good)
ForsythCRG is an advocate for existing homeowners. All of us came to Forsyth County (FC) to enjoy more of nature and get away from crowded urbanism.
Unfortunately, after we came, be it 3 or 30 years ago, Homeowners have had to fight Special Interest groups and a Good Old Boy (GOB) network that controlled FC for the last 30+ years! We had a brief 2-3 year respite with a 3 - 2 homeowner majority; there is now a 3 - 2 GOB majority. Two are large land owners and one is a politico!!
Traffic and school overcrowding is so great NOW that Homeowner are becoming vocal:
- "STOP the re-zoning and building permits,"
- "why not take money from the $100 million dollars for a jail and courthouse (for 6 – 8 judges who just asked for a 20- 25% FC raise), and
- take care of existing Homeowners!!!!
NOW, Homeowners have the opportunity AND voting powers to say NO and do away with 1 or 2 GOB supporters!!! And bring FC to the more rural enviroment we came for.
Latest News emailed 9/29/2013
Forsyth residents are increasingly concerned over greater traffic congestion and school overcrowding. Forsyth County's (FC) recent direction towards rapid growth regardless of the impact on existing homeowners is evident to all:
- More Apartments, Condominiums, and 3 to 6 homes per acre.
- $100 million spending on Jail & Courthouse in Cumming versus fixing roads & schools for existing homeowners
- Low fee/permit costs for developers - - - but, Property, SPLOST, LOST, etc Taxes for Homeowners
The largest FC Homeowner groups met on September 27 and agreed to work together to create a new Forsyth County environment - - - - - a stop to the rapid gross & ugly urbanization.
Our goals include more land for both starter and larger homes for owners to enjoy FC's rural heritage; and for non-residential, new controls for both site coverage and park-like landscaping (trees, shrubs, flowers), to create new attractive strip malls, office structures, industrial areas - - - - - both user friendly and enjoyable to visit
These homeowner groups including ForsythCRG.org will address our plans in greater detail over the coming weeks including:
- Opportunities to improve FC revenues other than from homeowners,
- How FC works under district voting and why all districts must work for county-wide goals.
- How to convince the Board of Commissioner to follow the homeowners wishes,
- How you can add to the building Tsunami of homeowner cries for change now!
If you are not on FCRG's information mailing list, please click here to visit our contact page.
For the committee: Tony DeMaria & Lee Cohn