Peachtree Corners’ future remains bright and vibrant. However, like many other areas of our country, the community finds itself at crossroads facing political challenges imposed by an influential few attempting to create a city much larger than its community, and to increase taxes in a constrained economy.
Peachtree Corners is the community within more or less three miles of the Forum, so why does the proposed city include Mechanicsville, parts of Doraville with boundaries extending from Buford Highway to the river and Winters Chapel Road? Nobody asked them (or us) if they wanted to be in the city before attempting to annex them. The United Peachtree Corners Civic Association has mounted a two-minute drill offense pushing us into a decision, as if there is no tomorrow. But be very aware that come Nov. 8, voting "yes" establishes a city for perpetuity, and then there is no tomorrow to undo that.
To move forward, the "real" Peachtree Corners needs a vision, not a city. A vision of what the future holds, enabling the possibilities and allowing markets to determine what's best for us not government. Then, and only then, can our destiny become the "shining city on the hill."
But voting "yes" for an irreversible solution that creates a full-fledged city to address perceived zoning issues is not a plausible decision, even if a powerful legislator claims personal comfort with it. At the end of the day on Nov. 8, each of us must live with that decision, regardless what politician endorses it, because it's our future, our kids' future.
By 2030 the metro Atlanta population is expected to reach 8.4 million, roughly the size of London and Chicago today, and Peachtree Corners is strategically positioned to benefit from that economic growth. To envision that future, a focus on metro Atlanta is important, because Gwinnett becomes the most populous county in Georgia and together with Fulton, DeKalb, and Cobb makes up more than 50 percent of the metro population.
For a century the fundamentals of work have remained the same. What's different about the information age of personal computers, mobile phones and Internet is its ability to reshape the social organization of office settings and empower workers with tools to actively participate without being physically there. In 2030 offices may not be rooms and business complexes may have a residential mix directly impacting the tax digest, thus local government funding. So, the real "Work, Live and Play" Paul Duke envisioned when creating Peachtree Corners will exist, but we won't need a city to manage it. Gwinnett County already has zoning ordinances, and the economies of scale to cover it.
The bottom line is that Peachtree Corners needs a community vision with strategies for business creation and job growth, not parochial government solutions limiting investment, and impeding progress. The Peachtree Corners Ballot Committee seeks market solutions facilitating commerce crossing county lines creating wealth and jobs. Let's not circle the wagons. Let's be bold, let's welcome progress and position our community to benefit.
Vote "no" on Nov. 8.
Jim Nelems is CEO of Marketing Workshop Inc., a Peachtree Corners based marketing research firm he founded in 1972, and a resident of Peachtree Corners for 38 years.
Jose Perez is president of Target Market Trends, a Peachtree Corners-based business consulting firm, and a 28-year resident of Peachtree Corners. He is a past member of the State Board of Education, and the Gwinnett Planning Commission.