Councilwoman Endres Maintains Focus on Good Governance
Johns Creek City Council held a Work Session on Monday March 11, 2019. Several topics have been championed by Councilwoman Stephanie Endres. Key agenda items included:
Johns Creek’s Debt Management Policy
Road Resurfacing Contracts
Board Governance Policy
In the first two topics, Ms. Endres’ experience as a CPA and Controller has helped to provide focus on financial management and accountability. Johns Creek has several significant cost overruns (e.g., costs to build out the new City Hall, estimated costs to complete parks at more than two times original estimates). With that, the need to emphasize fiscal discipline has been brought to the forefront of discussions.
Johns Creek residents approved a Parks Bond referendum in November 2016. For the first time in the city’s history, we committed to long-term debt to finance the build out of city amenities. Managing that obligation, or any future debt obligations requires that we review and potentially adjust the city’s debt management policy. Some suggested adjustments included an explicit statement that would prevent the city from using derivatives, and seeking to pay off debt early by using 50% of any surplus at the end of a year to pay down our bonds.
After a year with rainfall well above average, our roads have suffered and require repair. Ms. Endres has recommended that city staff perform an analysis of past years’ expenditures on different repair options in order to determine fair market value (FMV) for cost going forward.
While these steps may seem like minor points, it is critical that our city government carefully monitors and efficiently uses the tax dollars collected from residents. Councilwoman Endres is that consistent advocate for financial discipline and accountability.
The third topic relates to administrative responsibilities of the City Council. While much of the discussion on this topic focused on compliance with the process for the review, approval, and seating of working committee membership (i.e., volunteer appointments to the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, the Public Art Board), it also extended to term limits for those boards, responsibilities and interactions with city staff, and seeking ways to be sure that communication to residents by the Mayor or City Council has some measure of accuracy when acting in the role of a spokesperson.
We thank Councilwoman Endres for continuing to call for adjustments and reforms that are aligned with generally accepted principles of good governance. Every step, no matter how small it may seem, will help elevate Johns Creek as the city and community we’re proud to call home.