Kennesaw Election: Church vs. Mathews
I decided to run for Mayor of Kennesaw because I love this city. I grew up in Cobb County, went to Sprayberry High School and have lived in Kennesaw for the past 16 years. I have two daughters, three grandchildren and I am engaged. At some point over the past year or so, I began receiving many comments from citizens, business owners and city employees about their concerns over the lack of development downtown, excessive spending and a lack of leadership and accountability.
At the present time, our citizens are greatly concerned over the TSPLOST tax proposal. There are many problems with this proposal. First of all, the men and women of this City do not want any tax burdens that would require a ten year pay off. In the future Federal funding is going to be difficult to obtain. There are so many unanswered questions and I just don’t see the benefit for such a large price tag. I will be voting against the TSPLOST.
If elected, I will focus on three main areas. Building the downtown area, working out a plan to stop any non-emergency unplanned, unbudgeted spending and rebuilding the trust with our city employees, citizens and business owners. To do this, I will get businesses involved more. I will rely on citizen input and I will work closely with the city manager and department heads to assure that communication is open.
I am a business owner and have been for a number of years. I believe that we have to be accountable for the spending. If elected, I will have all Mayor and Council spending posted on the website with the details so that there is no question about who is spending the City’s money. I will also take a 12% pay cut until the economy improves and place that money into a fund to be designated for employees to be determined at a later date by the city manager or his staff.
I believe in this city and I know that together we can make a difference. I am asking for your vote on November 8. For more information, please visit www.churchformayor.com.
MARK MATHEWS (Incumbent):
When I began to contemplate a second term as the Mayor of Kennesaw, I asked Kennesaw residents, business leaders and community stakeholders’ a single question: “Have I done my job as mayor to position Kennesaw as the place where you want to continue to raise your family and operate your business?” Based on the positive feedback I received I believe the time is right to seek re-election.
The last four years have been challenging due to the historic downturn of the economy, but through careful planning and the efficient use of staff and resources our city is better positioned that most municipalities in Georgia. During my four years as Mayor we had, and continue to have, a unified Council and management team in place. As a result of the policies and actions of the last four years the City is seeing a surge in new construction, the improvement of transportation infrastructure and a strong focus on fiscal responsibility. Without a doubt Kennesaw is positioned for a strong future.
Immediately upon being elected Mayor in 2008 I began working with our Council and managers to prepare for the coming collapse of the economy and real estate market. During my four years as Mayor we have reduced our City budget by 12%, or nearly $2.5 million, without impacting public services and programs or relying on staff furlough’s or widespread layoffs. I am proud that our Council, City Management team, Department Directors and employees have worked together to not only reduce spending but have continued to provide outstanding service to our residents and businesses. If re-elected I will continue to provide the leadership necessary to chart a course for the positive growth of Kennesaw.
My first term focused on “Building our Hometown” and I plan to continue that emphasis. Key priorities for me include: redeveloping downtown Kennesaw and the Cobb Parkway corridor; aggressively soliciting businesses to relocate or open in Kennesaw thereby bringing jobs and revenue to the City; working with Cobb County and the State of Georgia to plan and develop the critical infrastructure needed to relieve traffic congestion; and focusing on quality of life issues such as creating additional recreational facilities to serve the needs of city residents and the expansion of green space. I look forward to serving our community for another four years as the Mayor of Kennesaw and continuing to move the City of Kennesaw forward.
For more information, visit www.mathewsformayor.com.