Well the last couple of weeks have been both exciting and busy. During this time I have met with several community leaders, local politicos, citizens and politicians alike. Often times I think we forget that politicians are citizens, also. I know I have been guilty of that. While some may think it is naïve, I believe the vast majority of politicians are honest. It’s the few bad ones that taint the entire batch. (This may give you some insight as to my optimistic nature).
Recently I have met with Mayors Jimmy Wilbanks of Dacula and Jim Hinkle of Grayson. Both mayors were very gracious and supportive of my efforts. The mayors share similar views of things such as the trash plan, airport expansion, transportation issues, etc. In fact, it’s fair to say we saw eye-to-eye on all the issues we discussed.
One of Mayor Wilbanks’ questions to me was my view of the new Kroger that was constructed on the corner of Dacula Road and Fence Road. My response was that I feel like it represents "good" growth to the area. Inherent in District 3 of Gwinnett County is its growth. Going forward it is imperative that we are prudent in the type of growth we nurture. While there was opposition to the Kroger, I believe that proper planning and execution by the city of Dacula have resulted in a positive outcome.
Mayor Hinkle expressed concerns about certain issues but also the history of the Gwinnett County BOC. Mayor Hinkle is also a county magistrate judge. He’s quite an accomplished gentleman. I told him that my wife would like him because they share the same undergrad university, the University of Virginia. I joked with him by reminding him they both settled in Georgia. My wife, Diane received her Masters Degree from the University of Georgia. At the time Mayor Hinkle and I met, the cities and Gwinnett County had not settled the service delivery dispute that has been lurking since 2009. Mayor Hinkle shared that it appeared as though the two sides were close. He also credited Chairman Nash for her efforts in getting difficult BOC members to cooperate along with his fellow mayors’ willingness to find a solution.
Of course these are just a sample of the items I discussed with the mayors. My meetings with the mayors lasted about an hour and a half each. The meetings were very fruitful.
On the campaign trail I’ve visited various business groups such as the North Georgia Business Connection, Dacula Business Association, New Lawrenceville Networking group and more. I found each of the business groups to be very active and involved in local elections. I have developed many campaign supporters from each of the events.
I found my meeting with Jimmy Orr, a very involved citizen, to be very insightful. Jimmy is a very knowledgeable man with great insight to county expenditures and costs associated with current and future projects. He has great depth of cost figures that would be associated with projects such as the airport expansion, rail transportation, etc.
Jimmy is a veteran and an Auburn grad. I assured him I wouldn’t hold that (the Auburn part) against him.
Most recently I’ve met with Mr. Steve Pennington. Mr. Pennington’s home and 15 acres back up to Rabbit Hill Park. (Here comes an issue.) Mr. Pennington was in negotiations with a cell phone provider to construct a tower on his property. In order to do so he had to get county approval. According to Mr. Pennington, the BOC tabled his request 22 times and in the end the county contracted directly with the cell phone provider to place a tower on county property.
Herein, exists the core difference between Mike Beaudreau and Mike Korom. I believe, to the core, this was and is an infringement to the citizenry of Gwinnett County. At a local meeting with Mr. Beaudreau I asked him how he rationalized, in his own mind, his so called "privatization" concept at the airport and construction of a cell tower on county property. His answer was this. “The cell tower represents a revenue stream for the county and we can control where they go.” To me, nothing more clearly states the polar opposites between Mr. Beaudreau’s mindset and values than mine. He clearly believes the government should seek revenue streams. I believe current taxes at all levels are currently burdensome. By the way, the cell tower was constructed within 75 yards of where it would have been placed on the Pennington’s property. Now the Pennington’s have filed a lawsuit against the county which the county is paying to defend. Sound familiar, can you say trash plan?
Up next, more from local leaders, a Tea Party meeting where Mr. Olberholtzer, Mr. Beaudreau, and myself will be in a Q and A format, meet and greets, and more campaigning.
I am actively seeking voluteers for my campaign. Campaign donations can be mailed to:
Friends of Mike Korom
PO Box 793
Dacula, GA 30019
Mike Korom on Facebook