My name is Norwood Davis, and I serve on the staff of 12Stone Church and am responding to the many comments on its behalf.
First, I apologize to those who were inconvenienced on Saturday ("Traffic snarl caused by goodwill event," Dec. 18, 1A). While there were many contributing factors to the traffic congestion on Saturday including multiple shopping malls, the beginning of the holiday travel season, etc., we recognize that the Feed 5000 campaign made a significant contribution to the traffic congestion across the northern part of the county on Saturday.
Second, we recognize that there were many unintended consequences and inconveniences. While we had developed a traffic management plan weeks ahead and refined it through the approach and even the day of the event, the word of mouth, viral explosion around the event produced a response from those seeking the Christmas package that overwhelmed our plan. While our plan did not anticipate the volume of traffic, we did invest a significant amount of time, energy and money in developing a plan. While we may have underestimated the volume of traffic, we were not dismissive or inattentive to the planning process. In the end, we are guilty of being human and making mistakes. For that, we ask your forgiveness.
Third, we appreciate the assistance and support of the Gwinnett County Police, Gwinnett County Fire, Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office and the many municipal police departments that assisted in responding to the traffic congestion. We ask that the public please direct any frustration to us and not toward the dedicated public safety officials that serve all of us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Fourth, we appreciate the time people are taking to offer constructive comments and suggestions on how any future efforts may be handled differently. There are a number of very productive thoughts, ideas, and suggestions that will help us do better next time. I invite any so inclined to email me directly with your constructive ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fifth, I want to thank the hundreds of people who have offered their encouragement to us to continue to serve those among us most in need in our community. Long after all of our frustrations regarding this event have evaporated, 24,000 people from some 6,000 unemployed families will celebrate a Christmas meal together that they may not have otherwise enjoyed.
Sixth, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
-- Norwood Davis,
Chief Financial Officer