Powder Springs candidate questions:

1. Cobb BoC Chairman Mike Boyce plans to have a 2022 referendum for voters to decide on a partial or full one-cent sales tax for transit and/or transportation. Would you vote to increase Cobb sales taxes to fund transit or transportation projects?

2. Cobb is becoming much more developed. Is there still a need for the county to provide development incentives to attract economic growth?

3. The effort to form a city of south Cobb would have implications for Powder Springs. Do you support south Cobb cityhood?

Powder Springs mayor candidates:

Name: Al Thurman (incumbent)

Age: Not provided

Occupation: Landscaper

Family: Not provided

Residence: Calcutta Court

Education: Not provided

Campaign website: superal07@aol.com

Campaign email: Not provided

1. Not answered

2. Not answered

3. Not answered

Council post 1 candidates:

Name: Patrick Bordelon (incumbent)

Age: 54

Occupation: Real estate title examiner

Family: Wife of 31 years Donna and children Morgan, 26, and Patrick Jr., 22

Residence: Fountainwood Drive/Lost Mountain Lakes

Education: BA in political science from Louisiana State University

1. As the current president of the Cobb Municipal Association and mayor pro tem for the city of Powder Springs I have been able to attend numerous meetings regarding future planning for the enactment of HB 930. I am in favor of a partial cent sales tax to address the long-term transportation infrastructure needs of the county. I don’t think we can ever build enough roads to handle the number of cars which they will inevitably attract. As the county continues to grow, we will have to address the infrastructure needs which will enable our labor force to travel to the new jobs which are being created throughout metro Atlanta. Ultimately, the solution to our ever-growing traffic problems will be found in providing alternative forms of travel throughout the county.

2. I got my start in public service working with the development authority of Powder Springs and am currently serving as the interim chairman while we wait for new leadership to emerge. Powder Springs is the fastest-growing city in Cobb County and development incentives have played a part in that growth. I do believe that there are numerous worthwhile incentives which can be offered to targeted businesses in order to lure them to the county and Powder Springs in particular. Among those are tax abatements, permitting assistance and providing access to workforce training programs as well as enacting enterprise zones. We should use all the tools in the tool box or those new businesses will go elsewhere. It’s very competitive out there.

3. I do not believe that the boundaries of the new city will affect Powder Springs as much as it would Smyrna or Austell. And if the residents of that area approve it, it may benefit the county in general. As an elected official for Powder Springs, I can speak to the many benefits of having local home rule through a city government. The main benefit could be having more localized police service, public works and other services. Secondly, the residents would benefit from the establishment of local zoning and design standards and comprehensive planning necessary for creating a thriving community. Lastly would be having closer access to the local elected officials who reside in the community every day.

Name: Larry Thomas

Age: 59

Occupation: Retired army officer, part-time professional genealogist

Family: Widowed, two grown sons and six grandchildren

Residence: Marietta Street, Powder Springs

Education: MBA in management information systems from Southern Polytechnic University

Campaign website: www.larry4powdersprings.com

1. I do not have sufficient information on his proposal to make any direct comments at this time. I typically do not support tax increases unless there is a clear gain to the citizens that cannot be attained through any other means. Cobb County does need approaches such as increased bus services for those who have no other means of transportation and I am in favor of improved services that will help Powder Springs residents as well as all of Cobb.

2. I cannot give a blanket answer to this question, any form of incentive is still a burden on the taxpayer. I can support incentives on a case-by-case basis that will provide good paying jobs for Powder Springs residents and will help improve the tax base and reduce the cost to homeowners.

3. I support the right for Mableton to incorporate under its pre-1916 boundaries. However, the boundaries as proposed and presented by Erica Thomas would encompass all of unincorporated Cobb south of Hurt Road. Such a venture would greatly hurt the county of Cobb and grossly encroach on the boundaries of the existing cities of Powder Springs, Austell and Smyrna and would make it one of the largest cities in the county. If they were to incorporate, it could also take business tax revenues away from the county, which will negatively impact all the residents of Cobb County.

Council Post 2 candidates:

Name: Nancy Hudson

Age: 62

Occupation: Retired from Cobb County Board of Education

Family: Husband Charles Hudson and children Gene Hudson and Bree Brady

Residence: Commodore Rd

Education: McEachern High School

Campaign email: nancyhudson4ps@gmail.com

1. I don’t know. Transportation/transit needs are important and needed in Cobb as well as in Powder Springs. As far as increasing Cobb sales tax, there is not enough available information on the plan drafted by chairman Mike Boyce to make an educated decision. The article in the MDJ dated Thursday, Sept. 26 stated that Cobb County transit projects are shortlisted by Atlanta area transit planners. Hopefully money from state and federal funding will be approved and would alleviate the need for a referendum on a partial or full one-cent sales tax.

2. Yes. Incentives can be used as a tool to encourage a particular type of growth in a particular area. They can be helpful when negotiating with companies looking at different areas to build their business. This practice has been important in Powder Springs. I believe it would be best to have an incentive plan in place if needed.

3. No. Forming a new city would definitely have an impact on the city of Powder Springs. The new city boundary would approach our city boundaries and would impact the ability for Powder Springs to grow. City officials would need to meet with our area Legislature representatives to ensure the city’s best interest is taken into account before any decision is made.

Name: Guenevere Reed

Age: 59

Occupation: Community advocate

Family: Widowed with three children

Residence: Wild Horse Drive

Education: Parsons School of Design, Philadelphia College of Arts, H.S. of Music Arts and Performing Arts

Campaign website: www.gueneverecreed.com

1. Yes, I would vote for the full one-cent sales tax. I believe we are not in Mayberry anymore. The implicit biases about preventing undesirables, believed to be immigrants, black and brown people who are typically the working poor, to transplant to Cobb County is a myth, misnomer and fake news. Historically these populations are a major reason why the one-cent tax will never pass for transportation, in addition to taxation and traffic. The lack of political will and community consensus marginalizes the most vulnerable in our society such as our youth, displaced workers, families and our senior citizens. This denies access to entertainment, medical treatments visits, educational advancements, workforce opportunities, government services and commercial economic development. Ironically, there is a train that runs throughout Cobb County only used for commercial purposes but not for passenger accessibility.

2. Yes, Cobb needs to develop its 2020 plans to provide incentives to attract the economic growth for the interest of major corporations like Amazon. Collaborative initiatives between the corporation, community and the Cobb County economic development groups should choose to develop apprenticeships, internships and innovative incubators for entrepreneurship to enhance the quality of life for emerging adolescents, young adults and able-bodied senior citizens.

3. Yes. This will provide Mableton, Austell and Powder Springs with the opportunity to be an independent collaborative municipality. These entities can govern themselves with block grant proposals that can monetize Cobb County, identify and brand its beauty, wholesomeness in the walking trails and natural assets being connected to the Chattahoochee River. These three cities possess an abundance of camping and athletic recreation sites with access to the wilderness of the seven springs connecting to miles of state parks, waterfalls, tributaries and streams. The water systems increase possibilities for fishing, game hunting and survival camping, natural disaster training and inter-generational group retreats. The city of South Cobb can evolve into a destination for health and wellness due to the holistic springs for healing spa boutiques, bottled drinking water, and attract economic development from the billion-dollar health and wellness industries within the seven springs of the areas communities.

Name: Patricia Wisdom (incumbent)

Age: 74

Occupation: Retired social worker

Family: A daughter and two grandsons in Georgia

Residence: Silver Springs Village, 3620 Silver Springs Way

Education: Master’s degree in social work

Campaign website: None

Campaign email: wisdommay4444@aol.com

1. It is clear that Cobb County needs to increase its transit or transportation opportunities but I cannot support a referendum that does not spell out clearly what innovative measures would be covered by this tax. When there is a detailed proposal that can be evaluated by the public and our City Council, I will make a decision based on the impact this tax would have on our Powder Springs citizens. I am generally not in favor of continuing to go up on taxes unless there is a clear need that cannot be met by any other means.

2. Yes, there are areas of Cobb County that need more businesses. In these areas, such as Powder Springs, the taxpayers shoulder the bulk of responsibility of paying for the services the city provides. More businesses would help the taxpayers by helping to equalize the tax burden. The county needs to target businesses for incentives that provide needed goods and services for its citizens and that help provide jobs.

3. I would need more definitive information as to how South Cobb would impact Powder Springs. Providing the citizens with services and a voice in how their taxpayer money is spent is important, whether they are a part of a city or county. I would want to know how the citizens in the south Cobb area feel about paying city taxes, what services would be improved by a city providing services that are now provided by the county and what kind of vote is needed for the cityhood process to take place. Furthermore, I would be concerned about the city boundaries in establishing South Cobb and how that would impact the city of Powder Springs in terms of our annexing land into Powder Springs for the purpose of economic development. Finally, there is the concern of how adding another city would drain needed income from the existing cities in Cobb County.

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