Mayor Vetoes City Council Decision on Jones Bridge Road
At the November 26, 2018 Johns Creek City Council Meeting, a vote was held to determine how to direct City Staff on efforts to start the Concept Phase of the Jones Bridge Road TSPLOST project. The Council voted 5 - 2 in favor of authorizing City Staff to explore more than just one option to help improve traffic flow along that corridor. The two dissenting votes were cast by Mayor Mike Bodker and Councilman Steve Broadbent. The remaining Council Members (Bradberry, Coughlin, Endres, Lin, and Zaprowski) stood by their earlier positions staked out in the November 5, 2018 Work Session.
Word now comes that Mayor Bodker has vetoed the decision of City Council.
This override of a majority decision implies that the Mayor believes he has secured additional support in his opposition to City Council’s November 26th decision. Without at least one additional vote, he risks seeing the Council override his veto (which requires a Super Majority).
This situation presents several aspects for deeper consideration:
The Mayor has overriden a majority decision rendered by the representatives of the residents of Johns Creek. While this is part of the legal authority of the Executive role of the City Council, it also means that a majority group of our residents’ representation is being overruled.
One or more City Council Members is preparing to change their position based on behind-closed-doors lobbying. There may be some valid reasons for a change, but it may cause resident concerns over ongoing trustworthiness.
This decision may very likely set the precedent for all future TSPLOST projects. Residents were repeatedly told by the Mayor and City Staff that ALL projects presented in the run-up to the TSPLOST vote would have to be approved by City Council, could be changed at any time, and could even be abandoned. If this becomes the precedent, we can expect to have all future TSPLOST projects forced on residents without any valid input as it is clear that even a majority vote is likely to be overruled.
So the questions are - were residents misled during campaigns in advance of the TSPLOST vote, and who on our City Council may be willing to change their commitments to the residents, thus placing our community in a position where TSPLOST projects will be forced upon us without any path that allows for resident input?
City Council is set to discuss intersection improvements for State Bridge Road / Medlock Bridge Road during the December 10, 2018 Work Session. The Michigan Thru-U is set to make a comeback - despite past vocal opposition from the community. If the City Council is unable to overturn the Jones Bridge Road veto, be aware that it is this same group that will be making decisions about the most important intersection in our community, and that a minority will have established a path to a result that does not have majority support.