Staff Photo: Jason Braverman In this fie photo, Mike Mason addresses a crowd of supporters at the Peachtree Corners "Yes" party on election night. Mason served as the president of the campaign and will run unopposed for the city's mayor.
PEACHTREE CORNERS -- After campaigning for months to convince people to vote for Peachtree Corners to become a city, Mike Mason's next campaign is easy.
As the lone qualifier after a three-day qualifying period, Mason will become the first mayor of Gwinnett's 16th city, when it becomes official in July.
"I am humbly grateful and surprised," said Mason, a 61-year-old finance officer.
As the president of the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association, Mason led the campaign for cityhood and said he sought the mayor's position "to see it through."
"I want to make sure the way we set it up is the way we intended in the charter," Mason said of promises to create a "city-light" version of government with taxes limited to 1 mil and three services -- planning and zoning, code enforcement and solid waste.
A motivation to make sure the government is limited is behind the campaigns of many of the 20 people who qualified this week seeking six council posts. An election will be held March 6.
This race to represent the western side of the city is between Nneka Chukwu, Phil Sadd and Joe Sawyer.
Attempts to reach Chukwu and Sadd were unsuccesful. Sawyer, 46, is a disabled Army veteran who runs a carpet cleaning company with his wife. He is president of the Meadow Green subdivision's homeowners association.
In the central part of the city, the Post 2 race will be a face off between Jay Lowe and Stephen Peet.
Lowe, 41, is the homeowners association president of Peachtree Station. The father of four girls owns a sports marketing and management business.
Peet, who turns 56 on Friday, also lives in Peachtree Station. Also a father of four, he has been involved in volunteering activities surrounding children, from scouting and coaching to school committees, including the superintendent's committee of community advisors and curriculum review team. He is an engineering project manager.
Four people will square off for the Post 3 seat, which encompasses the eastern portion of the city: Scott Ehrlich, Vera Nercessian, David Proud and Alex Wright.
Ehrlich, who will turn 30 next month, works in marketing for health care conferences, a skill he used to create a website for the UPCCA and work on getting information out about the cityhood campaign. He is vice president of his Belhaven homeowners association and volunteers with Southeast Pug Rescue.
Proud, 34, lives in the Wyntree subdivision and also works as a systems administrator for a Peachtree Corners company. He served as president of his homeowners association for five years.
Wright, a 41-year-old finance manager for BioLab, lives in the River Place subdivision. The former Naval officer and father of four wrote a blog to plug cityhood during the campaign.
Attempts to reach Nercessian were unsuccessful.
Jeanne Aulbach, Robert Byars, Robert Indech and Gloria Gore Rucks will vie for one of three at-large council seats.
Aulbach, 61, got involved years ago in land use issues surrounding her Avocet community. She works at Aquity Brand Lighting.
Byars, 31, ran for a county commission seat last year. He organized the community oriented policing program at his Brookwood community, where he was a former board member.
Indech, 57, is a father of five who was a founder of the YMCA and twice ran for office. The Amberfield resident voted against cityhood but now wants to work to keep "personal freedom around."
Rucks, 57, is a local barber who started fundraisers for soldiers after her daughter left for college. In 2004, the Spalding Square woman gathered 3,000 care boxes to send overseas and she holds a yard sale every year for the U.S.O.
Lorri Christopher, Brent Johnson and Gray Terry will face off on ballots for Post 5.Johnson, 34, is a commercialized manager for an insurance brokerage house. He was against cityhood and wants to act as a watchdog. The Williamsport man has been involved in church fundraisers.
Terry, 52, works as a compliance officer and business analyst in one job and as a certified mediator in another. The Amberfield resident has been involved in local sports and helped write the city charter.
Attempts to reach Christopher were unsuccessful.
The final council post is between Raymond Cobb, Weare Gratwick, David Leader and Brian Stickney.
Cobb, 50, says that about 80 percent of the business from his marketing/communications company comes from small businesses in the area, which he wants to represent. The River Station resident is currently on the Chamber of Commerce and Lilburn Community Improvement district boards and was formerly on the Gwinnett Planning Commission and Metro Atlanta United Way board.
Gratwick, 51, believes his background as a banker will help the city. The Peachtree Station man has coached baseball for 20 years.
Leader, a 36-year-old computer programmer, said he wants to heal the rift caused by the cithyood debate. Initially against cityhood, the Belhaven resident wants to make to make the government a positive.
Attempts to reach Stickney were unsuccessful.