For the upcoming Snellville City Council election in November, Patch is running questionnaires answered by the candidates.
Three seats are open on the council: Post 3, 4 and 5. Candidate Alisa Boykin is running for Post 3 against incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts.
Name: Alisa Boykin
How long have you lived in Snellville? I have lived in the Snellville community for almost 10 years, however, I have lived in the City limits of Snellville since 2011.
Educational background: I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Truth Bible College in Jacksonville, Florida. I am currently working on my Master’s Degree in Psychology at South University.
Family: I have been married to my husband Lonnie for 14 years and we have 7 children together ages 13-3.
Military background: N/A
Occupation: I am a business owner and an entrepreneur. My husband and I own T2I Entertainment, LLC which is a performing arts studio and entertainment consulting company for artist development.
How many terms/years have you served on the council? This is the first time that I have ever run for any political office. I do serve as an appointed member and Vice-Chair of the Snellville Arts Commission.
What inspired you to run for re-election? At this time of my life I was inspired to run for Snellville City Council by the passing of my cousin a fallen soldier named Inez Baker who died in Afghanistan when she used her own body as a shield to save the barrack of soldiers that she trained. She was a mother of two sons, a bronze star recipient and a hero to our nation. She gave her everything to serve our Country. Her selfless actions caused me to reflect on the ways I could give back to my own community. While I cannot serve in the armed services, I can serve the citizens of Snellville as a public servant.
I was also inspired by the history of Snellville. Snellville was founded by young entrepreneurs, Tom Snell and James Sawyer. As an entrepreneur myself, I wanted to assure that the entrepreneur spirit continues to strive and grow in our City especially among the upcoming generation of entrepreneurs.
What are some of the notable projects you've helped or spearheaded in the past? Since moving to Snellville, I have always been involved, whether it is as a mother, a volunteer, a community advocate, a small business owner or a member of a City Board. Currently, I am spearheading a national campaign for Anti-Bullying in conjunction with the Lawrenceville Boys and Girls Club. It is our mission to utilize the influence of the entertainment industry to promote harmony within our youth. I have written and co-produced a song for this project which is being performed in schools nationwide. I have also authored and co-produced a program on teaching financial literacy to our youth called Pygg E. Bank Economics which has been approved by the South Carolina Board of Education and is played throughout school systems in South Carolina. In the Snellville community I have facilitated several afterschool programs and summer camps which have impacted the lives of hundreds of youth within our community.
What are some of the immediate projects you want to work on if you win the council seat? How would you accomplish them? If elected, I would support the creation of an independent Ethics Board, so that if a citizen had a legitimate ethics complaint against an elected official, they could raise it in a neutral and controlled environment. I believe that the City of Snellville has expended too much time and too many resources on frivolous challenges to elected officials based on rumors or inaccurate information. The City of Snellville needs to establish a fair and unbiased procedure for handling these matters just as other cities in the county have done.
What are some of your long-term goals for the city? How would you accomplish them? If elected, as a mother and wife I will be an advocate for families and our children. I will continue to support programs such as the Snellville Farmers Market and the festivals planned by Snellville Tourism and Trade. However, my focus will be on more than one-day festivals or seasonal markets. I want to focus on what we can do now to benefit adults and youth. I want to focus on projects that will make a difference today and continue to make a difference in our community 20 years from now. We must focus on projects that will strengthen the City’s foundation. Projects such as the completion of the renovations to Briscoe Park, the creation of neighborhood parks throughout the City, the addition of sidewalks in key locations including on Highway 78 so that our students can safely walk to school, the widening of Highway 78 to relieve the bottleneck in Snellville, the restoration of a full Quality of Life Unit/Code Enforcement Unit, and the establishment of a regular paving schedule for our streets. These projects may not all be glamorous, but they will help our City for years to come.
If elected, I would also continue my work in support of the performing arts. I support the vision for a community-wide performing arts space. As an Art Commissioner I have begun to work on promotion of the fine arts throughout our City, but as a Council member I would be able to accomplish even more. It is proven that the promotion and development of fine arts increases the viability and economic development of a community. If elected, I will utilize my over 25 years of professional experience in the performing arts industry to help strengthen the balance of arts education opportunities for children and young adults and performance opportunities for everyone to enjoy.
Finally, as a business owner I understand how complicated zoning ordinances can be when you are trying to get your business started or when you are trying to remodel your storefront. If elected, I would like to take a common sense approach to our zoning ordinances. As a City we can maintain our high standards without placing undue burdens on our business owners.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing Snellville, and how would you approach it? I believe that the Council's divisiveness is the biggest obstacle facing our City today. I respect each member of Council for the position that they hold, and I respect the decision of you the voters to place each of them there. As a mother of seven, I am used to conflicting opinions, and I have become a keen facilitator of compromise. I chose the color purple as my campaign color because in our political system purple represents the color of compromise. In the City of Snellville we are in need of a City Council that is willing to stop the bickering and begin to compromise. If elected I will be open-minded to everyone's perspective and if necessary agree to disagree in a respectful manner. One of the first steps I would take to end the bickering would be to dismiss the lawsuit that is pending between the Mayor and current members of Council.
Do you want to add anything? If elected to the Snellville City Council, I will be the first black female to ever serve, and I will be the only minority to serve on the current Council. However, if elected, I will not only serve the black community. I will represent all of the citizens of Snellville and the diversity of our City. I will be the only Council member (besides the Mayor) who is under 50 years old. I will be the only Council member with school-aged children. As a mother of young children I will bring a fresh perspective to the Council. I believe that strong families make strong communities. As a mother, I understand the importance of supporting our children both academically and in their talents. I also know that, sometimes when it comes to government planning, the needs and wants of our youth are overlooked, but they are members of this community too and should not be forgotten.
My intentions for running for Council are pure. My husband and I chose to call Snellville home because we love this community. I chose to run for Snellville City Council because I want what is best for my community.