PEACHTREE CORNERS — While Gwinnett’s 15 cities began their candidate qualifying period Monday, hundreds of residents came out to a Peachtree Corners town hall meeting about whether to form the county’s 16th municipality.
While many seemed to want the comfort of electing their own officials, not everyone was sold.
“My biggest concern is that whenever the government takes my money, they do a bad job spending it,” said Lynn Harrison. “We’re opening a can of worms. … It’s a future that scares me.”
Leaders have proposed a government that performs three services — solid waste treatment, planning and zoning and code enforcement — and limits taxes to up to 1 mill. Any additional taxes or services would be subject to a referendum of the 38,000 residents.
With talk about taxes, schools and trash, the most controversial topic was whether addresses would change.
“That is the single most misunderstood thing,” said United Peachtree Corners Civic Association President Mike Mason, who is campaigning for cityhood. “That address thing is a real bugger.”
Mason said he has been writing “Peachtree Corners” on his mail for five years. A postmaster told him that the only thing that matters is that the ZIP code is correct, and people will not have to change stationery.
Mason said incorporating would give residents the ability to elect council members that would protect local property values and help with revitalization.
But leaders said they likely couldn’t get rid of the infamous Love Shack.
“This county grew because of us,” Robert Richardson said of the high property values aiding taxes in past decades. “We need to control our destiny. When you go to Lawrenceville as a group of one — one commissioner — you have no voice.”
Voters will go to the polls Nov. 8 to determine whether the city will be formed.