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Council candidates looking to city’s future

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Three Cumming City Council seats are up for grabs this November. All three incumbents will have one opponent to face off with.

Councilmembers are elected citywide by Post. Visit cityofcumming.net for information on times and dates to vote.

We asked the six candidates to provide details of their interests in running, or continuing their run, for public office.

Mayor

Gravitt

H. Ford Gravitt, Incumbent since 1970

Why did you want to run for reelection?

We have had no city property taxes for the last 40 years. The city operates without city assessment taxes or ad valorem taxes. I have a vision I want to continue to work on in that realm where we will not impose a property tax in the future as long as I’m in office.

What are your goals for the new term?

I want to continue to work on education and with the University of North Georgia. We’re looking to double the amount of college students at that campus in Cumming. We want to continue to work on recreation for the growing community. We have visions to widen intersections and streets and work on traffic congestion. We’d like to keep up with our state-of-the-art water system. We will also continue working with Northside Hospital Forsyth. These are some of the things I’m focused on and want to continue the policy like I did in the past.

Why should voters vote for you?

The same as I said above. We want to continue working on affordable living for citizens, healthcare and recreation. We have a record to stand on from over half a century of work. Obviously, I couldn’t do all this without experience.

Brumbalow

Troy Brumbalow, Local builder/remodeler and tanning salon owner

Why did you want to run for Mayor?

I decided that I wanted to run for mayor because I love my hometown and wanted to bring back the small town charm with shops and restaurants instead of the gigantic government buildings that overtake our city now.

What political experience do you have?

This is my first time running for political office, but I directly interacted daily with the county government as the asset manager for the Sheriff’s Office and knew instantly that government can be run much more efficiently.

Why should people vote for you?

I will run a completely open government that goes above and beyond keeping the citizens aware of what the city is doing and why. If elected, my top priority would be to create a city center to bring the community together with a place to enjoy our wonderful city with their families.

Post 1

Welch

Chuck Welch, Incumbent since June 2015

Why did you want to run for reelection?

It was important for me to run for re-election to continue serving the residents of the City of Cumming and to make sure we achieve our long-term goals.

What are your goals for the new term?

We have got plans to continue enhancing our infrastructure to accommodate the growth in our area while sticking to the conservative financial principles that have been in place for more than four decades. There is not a city property tax, and the city has no debt. I believe we are one of three to four municipalities in our whole country that can say that.

In addition to updating our long-term comprehensive land use plan earlier this year, we know that the residents of the city, as well as folks that live in the region, would like to see us have some more development that provides a pedestrian-friendly, live-work-play type of atmosphere. We are working on that. The mayor and council are working on revisions to zoning codes and restrictions to accommodate it, but there is a right and a wrong way to pay for it.

It requires discipline and a well thought out strategy that works in conjunction with the city and the property owners.

The last thing you want to do is jump into redevelopment projects and immediately regret the way they are being paid for.

Why should voters vote for you?

I love the city. I love what it was, what it is and what it will be. I have lived here for all of my life except for college, grad school and early career. The City of Cumming is a wonderful place, and it is my family’s home. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as their councilman, and I would appreciate their votes.

Crane

Chad R. Crane, Project manager

Why did you want to run?

I love the City of Cumming for my family. I feel I could be an asset to reinventing and growing our community.

What political experience do you have?

I have no political experience, but throughout this process I have been educated on a number of issues and I am excited to learn more as we continue.

Why should people vote for you?

My background and general knowledge for budgeting and development has given me the tools I believe that can really benefit our community. I am motivated to really get the citizens involved and to hear their opinions on different topics and work together. We love it here, but there are many areas where the city has been left behind. All of the surrounding areas have great city centers to walk, shop and dine.

I want to create that here in Cumming while keeping no city property tax.

It is time for positive fresh ideas at City Hall instead of the leadership that has been there for decades.

Post 2

Holton

Quincy Holton, Incumbent since 1968

Why did you want to run for reelection?

I was asked by the people to run again.

What are your goals for the new term?

I want to better the people and help them out in the city.

Why should voters vote for you?

They know my record. It’s up to the people whether they want me in there or not. If I was reelected, it’d mean I’d still help the people.

Evans

Jason Evans, President of Professional Cryogenic Metallurgy and Coatings

Why did you want to run?

I decided to run for City Council because now is the perfect time to get involved to help shape and grow our community in the ways that we need.

What political experience do you have?

This is the first time that I have run for any political position, but I believe that my experience in developing and growing a small business will allow me to make the decisions and bring forth ideas that will help move our city in the right direction.

Our city has experienced a large growth in population, and I believe that we deserve a leadership that will help reflect the values and desires of the community.

Why should people vote for you?

I want to help bring “community” back to our community. I feel we should be able to stay in our neighborhood enjoying our friends and family instead of going to other communities to accomplish this. By asking questions and listening to our neighbors, we can develop the city that we want and deserve.

We should be able to openly discuss any issues and opportunities that may present themselves. I want to be part of developing the City of Cumming into one of the greatest and most sought-after cities in the state.


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