Why Kurt?

 

Set in the foothills of Georgia's mountains with open space, sophistication, recreation, the Hospital, the Life Path, and the Mulberry River, Braselton is a prime location.  However, bordering I-85 and connecting Hwy 316 with I-985, Braselton could too easily become a bypass.   

Braselton can always be an attractive destination and domicile.

 

This is what I want for my wife Tamara, our twin 8-year-old boys, our parents that live here, my brother's family with extended family who live here - and - this is what I want for you! 

 

My career began as a transportation specialist (Super Bowl, Olympics, White House Advance, Goodwill Games).  Planning events at this scale required long term thinking.  As an attorney, I assist clients with long term thinking in Estate Planning, Litigation, and General Counsel.

If elected as Mayor, I will continue thinking long term about your family, your quality of life, your property's value, safety, recreation, and activity centers.  I will make decisions  focused on Braselton being financially stable with a sustainable infrastructure.  I will discourage and strictly scrutinize density and commercial efforts that promote a transient lifestyle.  Braselton residents value home ownership.  I want Braselton to look, feel, and operate like a premier - well planned and well maintained - community.  I want Braselton residents to trust our leadership, be at peace here, and show mutual respect.

Inevitable growth can still be carefully planned, and... 

With Planned Growth, Braselton can always be an attractive destination and domicile.

Q&A with Kurt:

What is your political affiliation?

 

My Granddaddy is a political hero for me. He always voted Republican; he loved Reagan; and when he ran for office as a DeKalb County Commissioner, he ran on the Democratic ticket and the Republican ticket because he wanted to represent all the people. Yep - he won on both and served from 1970-1976.

 

I have always voted Republican, but I remain non-partisan. In this election, I love being non-partisan because, just like Granddaddy, I am able to represent all the people.

 

Where did you begin in politics?

 

About 20 years ago from 1999-2001, I paid for law school by working two jobs: the law school Dean, Janice Griffith, asked me to be a graduate research assistant for her publications on Smart Growth governance, and a conservative lobbyist allowed me to audit meetings at the Georgia General Assembly.

 

In 2002, I volunteered to help Sonny Perdue become Georgia’s first Republican Governor since 1872.

 

What has been your engagement in local politics?

 

That reminds me of Paula Caldwell and Bill Fokes. Paula still has my articles published by BraseltonNews Today, and Bill reminds me of our discussions on local politics from about 7 years ago. 

 

In 2016, when I heard that Braselton residents really didn’t want what was promised in our Comprehensive Plan, I started going door to door to ask that question. Since that time, I’ve helped HOA presidents or key residents from 11 Braselton neighborhoods with bad growth proposals in their backyard. I’m quite familiar with Braselton’s zoning laws and the 2003, 2007, 2010, 2015, and 2020 Comprehensive Plans. I’ve spoken before the Town Council many times and helped draft opposition to unwanted gas station(s), drive-ins, warehouses, "Build-to-Rent" communities, high-density communities that exceed Braselton's zoning standards and more.

 

What about our Town’s employees?

 

I met with Jennifer Scott, our Town manager, for about 4 hours to discuss this and other issues. Jennifer Scott manages the Police Chief and Planning Director and other employees. Our Mayor and Council, as a team, review her performance on an annual basis. Unless something drastic happens, I don’t see any reason to change this current procedure.

 

Are you going to impose property taxes?

 

I am a committed candidate for Braselton’s homeowners, and I have no intention or desire to impose property taxes.

 

What about donations?

 

I'm not accepting donations from anyone.  Period.  Not from friends, supporters, or developers that want influence.

I’ve looked at a lot of zoning applications in Braselton, and some disclosures show developers donating to the very people who vote for their projects.

 

I think it’s wise to make sure residents know I’m focused on you, so I’m not accepting donations.

 

What is the shared vision?

 

I'm posting videos on ElectKurt.org about this, but there are 2 key parts. First, Braselton residents value home ownership. Second, Braselton residents want a destination with open space, recreation, retail, and restaurants within 1-2 miles of every neighborhood.  Let's deliver on the vision for open space destinations made to Braselton since 2010. (2010 Comp. Plan - p. 11) (2015 Comp. Plan - p. 21)

 

What is on your map?

 

These are the four destinations that I’d like to see in Braselton - West Braselton with a suburban farmhouse overlay; Central Braselton as the hub for activity; East Braselton has an intentional rural and farm feel; and Downtown Braselton with fine dining and boutique shops.

map braselton_edited.jpg

 

What is on your Braselton logo?

I want Braselton to just be Braselton.  Let's not compare Braselton to other communities and proclaim to be better.  Let's be a Town that focuses on always being an attractive destination and domicile (i.e., a permanent home).

logo - braselton_edited.jpg

 

What are the main issues?

That really depends on the area.

 

For West Braselton, the residents envision an overlay and an open space pocket park. An important issue is the 2,000 plus rental residences along Thompson Mill and Friendship Road from Spout Springs to Hwy 211. Go to Why Not Hardy? for more details.

 

For Central Braselton, the vision is to create destinations for our Life Path. Destinations that combine open space, recreation, retail, and restaurants. Destinations that access the Mulberry River and are not co-mingled with exhaust fumes from cars. The main issues are: I-85 fast-food patrons causing more congestion on Hwy 211, which already has 20,000 to 30,000 cars per day on a 2-lane road; the 2,000 rental residences; and, preserving the golf courses, vineyards, and sophistication of Chateau Elan.

 

For East Braselton, the vision is to stay agricultural, peaceful and gain easy Life Path access to other local destinations. The issues in this area also arise out of dysfunctional rental properties. 

 

For Downtown Braselton, we must maintain the brand Downtown Braselton, preserve R1 lot sizes, and build a community that will support fine dining and boutique shops.

 

We must also work toward a long-term solution for better access on Chardonnay Trace. That is why I asked those residents to post videos on Facebook of Documented Danger on Chardonnay Trace.

What else?

Braselton is at a tipping point.  Are we going to become just another Metro Atlanta bypass with sprawl?  - or - Are we going to be a destination to live and relax?  We can't be both.

I am:

 

FOR homeowners who want a high quality of life;

 

FOR Braselton to always be attractive;

 

FOR making our Town a destination we are proud to call home.

Kurt Ward

- DeKalb County (native)
- Lithonia High School (Class of 1990)
- Baylor University (Class of 1994)
- Transportation Specialist (1995-1998)
- Georgia State Univ., College of Law (1998-2001): Law Review, Legislation Editor & Mock Trial, National Finalist
- Attorney for General Counsel, Estate Planning, and Litigation (2001-present)
- Volunteer Leadership: Chick-fil-A Bowl (Fanfest Chairman); Mock Trial Coach (Paideia High School, Dunwoody High School, GSU College of Law); Head Triathlon Coach (East Atlanta Kids Club); Head Triathlon Coach (Eagle Ranch); Sports Coach (Jackson Co. Soccer, Buford Basketball, Buford Football); NorthPoint Church / Buckhead Church / Gwinnett Church Leadership: Small Group leader, Parking Team leader; Greeting Team leader, Gallery Team leader; Thrive Marital Counseling leader, Starting Point leader, Leadership Development Group leader.

- Braselton Resident since 2010