Annual report 2015

Page 1

Annual Report


Contents 1


Strategic Plan 2016-2018

Recreation & Parks



Letter from the Mayor

Community Development



City Council








Boards & Commissions

Municipal Court



Public Works


17 Contact Us

Mission Vision To be an exceptional city.

Johns Creek strives to provide for an exceptional residential community with ease of movement throughout, an alive town center, and a vibrant business community.

Strategic Plan 2016-2018

Goal 1: Transportation:

Provide a comprehensive transportation network that facilities ease of movement throughout the city.


1.1. Update 5-Year Transportation Master Plan by end of FY 2017

1.2. Develop a Funding Strategy for transportation projects by end of FY 2017

Goal 2: Recreation & Parks

Ensure a complete recreation and parks system that aligns to the goals and needs of the community.


Strategic Areas

2.1. Finalize and adopt the Recreation and Parks Plan by 3/31/16. 2.2. Implement the priorities of the adopted plan (dates of completion per adopted plan). Develop Parks: Bell Road, Morton Road (first), State Bridge, Cauley Creek, Technology Park Linear Park

2.3. Develop a funding strategy for recreation and parks projects by end of FY 2016

Goal 3: Economic Development

Implement a holistic economic development plan approach that addresses infrastructure workforce, community, and land development needs.


3.1. Develop Redevelopment Plans for commercial nodes in the city by end of FY 2017 3.2. Develop recommendations to streamline corporate taxes and regulatory flings by end of FY 2016

3.3. Complete roll-out of the brand by end of FY 2017 3.4. Determine governance model and appropriate relationships with partner organizations/associations by end of FY 2016 3.5. Complete evaluation of options related to the Cauley Creek water reclamation facility by end of FY 2016

Goal 4: Government Efficiency

Develop an innovative and cost cost-effective approach to exceptional service delivery.


4.1. Complete 10-Year Financial Model by FY 2016 - June 4.2. Increase accountability to define performance measures, metrics, and targets for governmental departments and services by end of FY 2016 4.3. Right-source city functions by end of FY 2016 4.4. Re-evaluate contract service model by FY 2017 - May 4.5. Review financial sourcing model for staffng by end of FY 2016 4.6. Establish a task force to develop strategies for improved civic engagement (becoming more proactive) – by end of FY 2016

4.7. Review purchasing policies and process (including contracting) by end of FY 2016 4.8. Establish a task force to complete a review of the Charter by end of FY 2016 4.9. Improve effciency of council meetings FY 2016 - April 4.10. Leverage technology to increase service levels and improve productivity - ongoing


Provide leading levels of public safety.


5.1. Complete strategy to align Fire Department resources with community needs by end of FY 2016

5.2. Participate in regional efforts to address drug problem by end of FY 2016

Goal 6: Sense of Community

Preserve our residential character and enhance our sense of community.


6.1. Establish a task force to identify ways to embrace our cultural ethnicity by end of FY 2016 6.2. Establish a task force to identify ways to support our schools by end of FY 2016 6.3. Update Comprehensive Land Use Plan by end of FY 2017 - Realign land development regulations to support Land Use

6.4. Develop a Town Center Plan (including location determination) by end of FY 2017: Catalyst, Municipal Complex, Arts Center, Conference and Hotel Space


Letter from the Mayor The City of Johns Creek continued to experience sustained long-term growth. In response, the City made prudent investments to ensure we have the infrastructure and programs to meet the needs of current and future residents, as well as for our business community; we retain our outstanding, internationally-recognized quality of life; and, that Johns Creek remains on a sustainable path. 2015 was a busy year for City Council and Staff as we worked to complete and advance our many goals and objectives. Most notably, we placed heavy emphasis on Public Works, which included roadway enhancements and Recreation and Parks. We kicked off our neighborhood repaving program with a bang and it was so successful that we have actually reduced the original plan by a year. We also began or completed work on 15 roadway enhancement projects to increase safety and help with the flow of traffic. We also made great strides in improving our Recreation and Parks system by initiating a 10-year Strategic Master Recreation and Parks Plan. With tremendous response from our residents, we have formulated what I believe is a solid framework from which to grow our already robust recreation programs, and to increase park land for additional opportunities. We are now better poised to meet the needs of our youth and their families, as well as for our millennials and seniors well into the future.

2015 was also another impressive year for public safety in Johns Creek. The city was recognized by as the safest large city in Georgia and the Council took action to ensure proper resources are readily available to our public safety personnel for them to maintain a high level of safety as the population continues to grow. The Council authorized the hiring of four new police officers and four new Fire Department personnel. The City finalized the construction of a public safety tower to improve the communications capabilities of first responders in the northeast part of Johns Creek, which raised the standards consistent throughout the city. The Fire Department purchased a custom-made rescue boat to assist those in distress along the Chattahoochee River, as well as purchased other critical state-of-the art life-saving equipment. The City began live-streaming all Council work sessions and meetings to increase the level of transparency to its residents. We also overhauled our budget planning process to improve efficiencies by incorporating a 10-year look ahead. Finally, the City Council welcomed two new members as we filled vacant seats during the 2015 election cycle.

It was a busy and successful year and I expect 2016 to be even busier and more productive. We will continue to evaluate our goals to ensure that Johns Creek maintains its status as one of Georgia’s most livable communities, and that our residents and businesses continue to receive exceptional value from the programs and services they help fund. As always, I invite you to I’m also very proud of the recognition our veterans contact the Mayor’s Office to discuss or continued to receive throughout the year. Johns comment on any of the information contained in Creek became a designated “Purple Heart” city in this Annual Report. 2015 to honor its veterans who were either killed or injured in combat, and we added to our already Respectfully, impressive Veterans Memorial in Newtown Park. I was honored to take part in the memorial’s ribbon cutting ceremony, which many of our residents have contributed to ensure that our veterans and others have a special setting for reflection and Mayor Mike Bodker remembrance.


City Council Under the City Charter, the City of Johns Creek has a Mayor-Council-City Manager form of government. The Mayor and City Council establish policies and adopt ordinances. The Mayor and City Council appoint the City Manager who functions as the City’s chief operating officer, managing day-to-day operations, implementing policy, and overseeing staff. From its inception in 2006, Johns Creek was founded on active participation and input from its citizens. Residents are encouraged to attend City Council meetings, usually every other Monday, so they can stay informed and voice their opinions, support, or concern about issues. City Council meetings and work sessions are now live-streamed and can be viewed online.



Mike Bodker

Lenny Zaprowski



Cori Davenport

Bob Gray

Please check for dates, times and agendas. For most of 2015, the City Council functioned with Post 2 and Post 5 vacant due to resignations. The sitting City Council members were Lenny Zaprowski, Post 1; Cori Davenport, Post 3; Bob Gray, Post 4; Steve Broadbent, Post 6; and Mayor Mike Bodker. In December, following municipal elections, Chris Coughlin filled an unexpired term for Post 2 lasting only a month. Council Member Jay Lin then filled the full four-year term for Post 2, starting in January. Stephanie Endres filled Post 5 starting in December while Mayor Pro Tem Steve Broadbent was re-elected to Post 6.


Chris Coughlin (December 2015)


Stephanie Endres


Jay Lin (current)


Steve Broadbent (Mayor Pro Tem)



Warren Hutmacher City Manager

City Manager Warren Hutmacher reshaped the organizational structure of the city staff and filled key positions with highly skilled and dedicated public servants who bring decades of leadership and experience to Johns Creek city hall.

Early in 2015, Hutmacher hired Senior Assistant City Manager Eric Taylor, who previously served as City Administrator for the City of Smyrna. Taylor oversees the Communications, Community Relations, Facilities, Information Technology and GIS departments, and has served as interim Finance Director. Hutmacher also added Assistant City Manager Kimberly Greer, who previously served as the Assistant to the City Manager in Dunwoody. Greer’s primary responsibilities are Recreation and Parks and Intergovernmental Relations. Hutmacher looked internally to promote former Johns Creek Acting Community Development Director Justin Kirouac to the position of Assistant

Eric Taylor Sr. Asst. City Manager


City Manager. Kirouac’s main focus is on economic development and Municipal Court. Under the direction of senior staff leadership, the City has implemented several new initiatives to improve service to citizens and to increase the transparency of City processes and activities. More specifically, the City expanded the use of Smart Phone applications, and implemented live video streaming and archiving of City Council public meetings. The City also expanded services to the community without increasing the size of the staff proportionally. As a result, Johns Creek has one of the lowest employee-to-citizen ratios in the state. City leadership also refined its approach to the annual budget process. Using a strategic and prioritized approach, the updated budget process includes a 10-year forecast of revenue, expenses and infrastructure investments to better anticipate future needs and analyze how proposed policy and spending decisions impact the future financial condition of the City. The administration team is conducting an on-going comprehensive review of the City’s processes and procedures to ensure the City is utilizing best practices throughout its operations as part of its ongoing effort to improve government efficiency.

Justin Kirouac

Asst. City Manager

Kimberly Greer

Asst. City Manager

Boards & Commissions Board of Zoning Appeals

Planning Commission (Seven members serve staggered 2-year terms)

(Seven members serve staggered 2-year terms)

Purpose: To provide recommendations relating to Land Use Petitions utilizing the vision and objectives as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan and accompanying regulatory City ordinances, such as Zoning and Land Use regulations.

Purpose: To hear appeals of the Zoning Ordinance and other Land Development regulations and interpretations of the Community Development Department.

Members: Don Mairose, Stan Hicks, Eric Fragoso, Lea Taylor, Rose Shane, Emmett Shafer, Chip Floyd (chair) Meetings: First Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Construction Board of Appeals

Members: Michael Kim, Swapna Bhave, Mary Shevlin, Edward Mitchell, Duane Armstrong, Kris Vedula, John DiPetro (chair) Meetings: Third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Arts & Culture Board

(Five members serve staggered 2- and 4-year terms)

(Seven members serve 2-year staggered terms)

Purpose: To decide on cases requesting variances or code interpretation, or to appeal a staff decision relating to regulatory ordinances

Purpose: Advisory board in matters of policy/administration regarding art and culture, submits recommendations on related matters, proposed programs or artwork

Members: Wayne Carrel, Linda Broyles, Fred Bradley, Scott Thompson, (one seat vacant)

Members: Kamini Anand, Ron Cioffi, Deanna Maust, Rae Prall, Jacquie Tracy, Kirk Wilson, Brigid Teager

Meetings: Held as needed

Meetings: Fourth Thursday of each month of 6 p.m.

Public Art Board (Five members serve 4-year terms) Purpose: To provide recommendations and develop standards for Public Art and any related criteria for sites and public art pieces Members: Aarti Nayar, Craig Farquharson, Scott Kallish, Lauren Kermani, Richard Loehn Meetings: Held as needed

*The above boards & commissions reflect the 2015 calendar year.


Public Works

73,010 sq. ft of sidewalks installed

Mayor Mike Bodker proclaimed 2015 “The Year of Public Works,” and the Public Works team has embraced the mayor’s call to action. The department oversaw six roadway improvement projects and closely monitored three others under the control of the Georgia Department of Transportation. The team widened Jones Bridge Road from two lanes to four between Abbotts Bridge and State Bridge roads. It completed the four-lane section of Old Alabama Road from Nesbit Ferry Road to Jones Bridge Road. To improve safety and traffic flow, turn lanes were added or extended at several intersections, such as Boyles at Abbotts Bridge roads, Haynes Bridge at Old Alabama roads, and Kimball Bridge at Jones Bridge roads.

580 TRV r

4,995 sq. ft. of sidewalks replaced

The City initiated construction of roundabouts at Sargent Road and Crossington Drive and at Bell and Boles roads. Roundabouts are proven to reduce the number and severity of accidents while allowing traffic to flow smoothly. One of Public Works’ most notable achievements was its aggressive efforts to repave our neighborhood streets. Repaving crews resurfaced more than 34 miles of streets in 34 subdivisions, including Double Gate, which is one of the City’s largest. Not all improvements were asphalt and concrete. The City installed batteries and other devices on the City’s traffic signals allowing the signals to operate longer in the event of power failure and to protect the sensitive electronics in the cabinet on-site. Johns Creek also became the first city in Georgia to partner with the world’s largest traffic navigation app Waze to provide users with up-to-date information on projects affecting traffic. In return, it receives valuable data regarding traffic patterns, which will influence the way funding is allocated in the future. Through planning, creativity and hard work, the Public Works Department is making a wide range of improvements citywide to enhance our commutes and quality of life.


11,567 feet of additional lanes added

1,185 bags of litter picked up

6,022 plants installed in median landscapes


35.47 miles of road resurfaced

2 new traffic signals installed

1,930 Stormwater structures & pipes inspected 62 trees planted on median landscapes

221 potholes repaired

3,396 tons of asphalt patching

5,178 sq. ft. of sod on median landscapes



Recreation & Parks



From new programming and renovations in City parks to acquiring land for future parks and setting a strategy for improvements to come, 2015 was an exciting year for Recreation and Parks in Johns Creek. Recreation and Parks, a division of Public Works, upgraded existing parks to enrich the leisure experience of our residents. Shakerag Park received a new playground along with an interactive art piece, which is a statue of a spider that children are able to climb. Installed in early May 2015, the new playground includes new swings, slides, climbing fun, and a shade canopy to help keep kids cool in the hot summer months as well as provide added protection from the sun. At Newtown Park, the City renovated the Community Clubhouse adjacent to Park Place. The Community Clubhouse is used for fitness classes and other park programming during the day but on nights and weekends it’s the perfect place to rent for your child’s birthday party or family gathering. By adding a deck addition, and upgrading the kitchen, the Community Clubhouse better supports both city programming and private rental events. The Johns Creek Veterans Memorial Walk at Newtown Park was substantially upgraded with the addition of a water feature as a result of private contributions. The memorial provides visitors with a fitting place to contemplate the sacrifices of those who served in uniform. Recreation and Parks added a new free outdoor fitness program at the Newtown Park Amphitheater. On every other Sunday morning from April to October, a fitness instructor took the stage for an hour-long free class of Zumba and yoga. The amphitheater was also home to the City’s second season of outdoor concerts, which drew more than 7,000 music lovers.

In 2015, the City Council moved decisively to acquire park land. In May, the city acquired four acres off of Morton Road for a future small, neighborhood-serving park. In November, the city announced the acquisition of 133 acres of land at 7225 Bell Road between Cauley Creek (to the west) and the Rogers Bridge Trail (to the east). The park elements for both properties have yet to bedetermined. The community will have an opportunity to provide input with the next phase of planning as well so we anticipate another great year ahead for Recreation and Parks.




Acquire Land

Develop New Parks




Utilize the Create Significant Chattahoochee River Loop Trails



Provide a Wider Array of Programs

Improve Existing Parks


The City, along with a private consulting firm, worked together to develop a 10-year Recreation and Parks Strategic Plan. The planning process involved more than 1,500 local residents who participated in interviews, surveys, community meetings, and social media interactions. The Strategic Plan identifies and prioritizes the investments in the recreation and parks system for the next 10 years with a mission to ensure a complete recreation and parks system that aligns with the goals and needs of the community.






3,000 attendees



28 22,400



number of rentals

market dates


167 2,128

registered programs


7,450 attendees



program participants













5,200 attendees





Community Development The Community Development Department maintained an aggressive pace in 2015. It provided insightful research of the City to guide policy decisions and implemented new procedures and policies to improve efficiency and customer service. The Department calculated the City’s housing units and population based on actual Geographic Information System data, analyzed the full buildout potential of the City’s vacant land and underdeveloped activity nodes, and updated the City’s demographic information relative to surrounding northern Metro-Atlanta cities. The updated information allows City officials to monitor growth and to develop deeper understanding of Johns Creek’s role in on-going regional planning efforts. The Community Development team also collected and analyzed data related to senior and special needs housing, and made recommended changes to the City’s Comprehensive Plan to ensure such projects are located appropriately. The department implemented a number of time-saving measures and efficiency improvements to better serve our citizens: • Decreased the Rezoning/Special Use Permit review time from approximately 3.5 months to 2.5 months; • Reduced the review time for Land Development Permits; • Simplified the process for obtaining a fence permit; and • Updated all applications and forms to ensure accuracy and consistency. When the community voiced an interest in public art, the Community Development Department provided advice and guidance to the City’s Public Art Board as they reviewed several proposed pieces of public art sculptures.


627 New residential permits issued

32 220

Final plats approved

Storm drain markers placed

New commercial permits issues

28 Land Development permits issued

3,290 permits processed, valued at $516.1 million


994 Illegal signs removed

1,214 Code Enforcement Cases


Police The Johns Creek Police Department (JCPD) continued its exceptional service to the City in 2015 as it proactively worked with businesses and residents to help maintain a safe community. SafeWise, which is a national home security and safety advice company, rated Johns Creek as the second safest large city in Georgia. SafeWise noted that Johns Creek’s crime rate was 75 percent lower than the national average and cited PD’s dynamic Community Services Divisions for its efforts. The Community Services Division provides numerous programs for its residents and businesses, including Women and Teens Self-Defense classes, PACT neighborhood watch and SHIELD business watch, and radKids, which teaches children to defend themselves and to stay safe. The Department also established a Crisis Intervention Team to de-escalate tense situations with people who struggle with mental health issues. The CIT comprises officers from each shift who are specially trained to identify symptoms of mental illness or substance abuse and how to interact with them. But the CIT officers don’t stop there. The team assists individuals with mental disorders or drug addiction by reaching out to their family and informing them of treatment options. Also in 2015, the department distributed Evzio naloxone injectors in each police vehicle, which provided officers the ability to administer immediate resuscitation to heroin-overdose victims in the absence of medical personnel. Officers successfully used the injectors on the scene to save the lives of two people. JCPD’s proactive and innovative approach to community and business engagement, which is a continuous effort, set the bar high for public safety in 2015.




Service/complaintsCriminal investigationsVehicle break-ins police calls (cases assigned)




Traffic accidents reported



Hours of training Number of kids in (sworn & non-sworn) radKIDS® class


Volunteer hours


Hit & Run Investigations


Women trained in Women/Teen Safety Class

Fire 4,474

Total incident responses


Emergency medical

In 2015, the Johns Creek Fire Department’s (JCFD) vision, planning and resourcefulness paid dividends in terms of enhanced safety and cost savings for the residents and business owners of Johns Creek.

homeowners citywide an estimated $6 million a year in premiums. The Insurance Service Office, (ISO) a private, non-profit company that grades fire departments nationally, reduced Johns Creek’s Class 4-9 rating in 2010 to an overall rating of To enhance safety along 13 miles 2 on a scale of 10. Lower numbers of the Chattahoochee River, JCFD signify better fire protection. Insurance took delivery of a custom made swift companies rely on the ratings to water rescue/recovery boat. The establish premiums for homeowners new boat enables JCFD to power and businesses. Only 33 of 995 against the strong river current and fire departments statewide have a better maneuver over shallow water Class 2 rating or better. Nationwide, filled with rocks and other debris to 1,014 of 48,675 departments have reach those in distress. The specially a Class 2 rating or better. equipped boat incorporates innovations JCFD also acquired five new stateborn of experience on the river plus of-the-art thermal imagers to improve ideas borrowed from other agencies. their ability to locate victims in structure JCFD also provided assistance to fires. The imagers can also be used other agencies outside its jurisdiction for searching for individuals after with rescue efforts and swift water dark on the river and in wooded areas, rescue training. potentially shaving critical minutes off search and rescue efforts. In addition to saving lives, JCFD is saving property owners in fire insur- The combination of advanced ance rates. In 2015, its operational equipment and planning are making improvements led a private rating the fire department more efficient company to substantially lower the and more effective in its mission to city’s fire insurance rating, saving keep Johns Creek’s citizens safe.

1,096 General Service






Fire alarms

Avg. response time (mins. from dispatch to on-scene)



Fire safety inspections

Plan reviews



Total training hours

Total water rescues


Municipal Court The Johns Creek Municipal Court endeavors to provide citizens a fair and impartial hearings under the law, and to have cases resolved timely and efficiently. Court staff administer all city code/environmental and traffic violations and certain criminal misdemeanors through two court sessions per week. To better administer justice and serve the public, the Court added a third judge, the Honorable Kalin Jones, who joins Judges Donald Schaefer and Scott Carter. To expedite cases, the Court Clerk’s office reorganized the Court staff and added an additional assistant court clerk position. It also implemented new standards to improve efficiency, and now accepts all major debit and credit cards for greater convenience to the public. In 2015, Judge Schaefer received the Special Recognition Award from the Georgia Council of Municipal Judges for his work on the City’s STOP (Solicitor-Teen-Officer-Parent) program. This 90-minute class, taught by Judge Schaefer and police volunteers, combines lecture, humor, demonstrations, real-world videos and photos designed to educate, shock, and awaken drivers 17 to 20 years old about the law and the many hazards of driving.

7,946 Citations filed (incoming)





Citations disposed (outgoing)

Clearance rate

Students mandated to attend STOP program

Finance Once spending priorities are set by the City Council and the Administration, the Finance Department oversees management of the City’s financial resources. The Finance Department uses strict accounting principles to ensure that every dollar is accounted for and used for the purpose in which it was intended. At the direction of the City Council, staff has implemented a new approach to budgeting with a strategic and prioritized process that anticipates future needs. The new approach employs a scorecard prioritization system for capital requests that rank departmental projects. The new process also includes a 10-year forecast model that estimates how current projects will affect budgets well into the future. For the ninth consecutive year, the City Council voted to retain the millage at 4.614, which is the original rate from when the city was incorporated. For Fiscal Year 2015, the budget for the general fund was set at $55.73 million.



All Other

Real / Personal Property Tax



2015 Revenue 8%


Local Option Sales Tax $19,733,312


All Other Departments

Franchise Fees


Business & Occupational Tax $1,842,655







City Service Contracts $4,539,010


2015 Expenditures







Public Works $3,681,763


Permit Services $1,563,297



Contact Us City of Johns Creek, Georgia 12000 Findley Road, Suite 400 Johns Creek, GA 30097

678-512-3200 Call 911 for emergencies and non-emergencies