Occupation: Currently starting a business
Education: Some college
Political Experience: None
Family: Wife, Juilette
Occupation: Final assembly manager of Micromeritics Instrument Corporation
Education: Associate’s degree from Central Georgia Technical College
Political Experience: Five years on Norcross City Council; Norcross Mayor Pro Tem, 2008; Gwinnett SPLOST Committee — Project Selection Committee, 2004; Norcross Downtown Development Authority, 2003; Gwinnett Municipal Association President, 2001
Family: Wife, Lynn, four children
NORCROSS -- On Nov. 8, incumbent councilman Craig Newton defends his seat against concerned citizen Greg McFarland for a seat on the Norcross City Council. Both men want the best for the community, especially when it comes to keeping the taxes down.
"We have not raised taxes in three years and we also essentially have no debt in the city of Norcross," said Newton, who has served on the council for five two-year terms.
But McFarland thinks the system is broken.
"We need to figure out what's affected the municipal governments and their budgets," he said. "We need to get new ideas for the budget and protect the taxpayers."
Other than that, the two candidates are focused on different issues.
Newton would like to bring new businesses and jobs to the city, make home ownership more attractive and watch the completion of projects, such as the Buford Highway Project in connection with Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District.
McFarland is dedicated to the budget, helping with the housing crisis and being part of finding a new police chief.
The candidates also come from opposite sides of the spectrum. Newton has worked in the City of Norcross on several boards, committees and on the city council.
"I think I stand out because of my experience, being on the council and serving many terms gives me an advantage," he said. "Because of our economy, we've entered uncertain times. My experience will help ensure that we don't go under."
McFarland has no political experience and is starting a business while finishing a criminal justice degree from Gwinnett Technical College. He wants to take that knowledge and apply it to the problems in Norcross.
"I'm a part of the new generation," McFarland said. "I'm sick of being part (of a community) and no one listening. I think with my background, I understand and see what's going on to help the community. We need new eyes and ears."
Mayor Bucky Johnson and Councilman Charlie Riehm face no opposition during this election. Also on the Nov. 8 ballot is a referendum about allowing package sales of beer and wine on Sundays.