Mayor Jere Wood
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This Holiday Season show your thanks by helping those in Roswell that need help by giving to the local charity of your choice. Click on the purple donate button for a list of local charities that can use your help.

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Mayor Wood's Holiday Message

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Mayor Wood's Runoff TV Commercial
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Campaign Support

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The Latest Blogs

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Crossroads Second Chance North 1st Annual 5K

Friday, April 23, 2010

WHO: Crossroads Second Chance North- African Well Run Learn & Serve Team WHAT:  1st Annual 5K Run -  "Walking for Water" WHY: To raise funds to help build water wells for families and communities in Africa WHEN: Saturday, May 1, 2010- 8:00 AM- Rain or Shine WHERE: Sweet Apple Element

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Please join me this coming Tuesday, March 23rd, for our ride to the Georgia State Capitol to support bicycling.  The forecast for Tuesday is sunny with a high of 62 and we are expecting over 2,000 bicyclists.  I'll be riding from Roswell with a motorcycle escort,  Mayor Floyd will be leading a ri

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State of the City Address January 14, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

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Appen Newspapers 2010 New Year Edition Q&A

Monday, December 21, 2009

1.  With the new year and a reconstituted Council, what priorities will you bring up for the Council to take up? I have asked the Council and staff to tell me what their goals are for 2010. We will convene a work session in January to discuss these goals and fro

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Welcome to Mayor Jere Wood's

Re-Election Campaign Website.

Run Off Election Results

Mayor Jere Wood Wins Re-election!!!

ROSWELL MAYOR 9123 total votes
(27 precincts reporting of 27) 100.00% reporting
JERE WOOD (I)460050.42%

This race has been good for Roswell. It has brought forward new ideas and brought attention to areas that need to be improved.

To all of Roswell, I pledge to continue working with you to make Roswell a better place to live.

To everyone who voted, thank you for taking an interest in my home town.

To all of my volunteers, contributors, and supporters, I know that with out the help of each and every one of you I would not have won this election.

It's All Good.

Jere Wood

Martin's Landing Dam Alert

Lori Henry and Kent Igleheart Endorse Mayor Jere Wood

On Monday night, November 9th, Councilwoman Lori Henry, who received 27% of the vote on November 3rd, asked her supporters to vote for Mayor Jere Wood on December 1st in the runoff election. Click here for a video of Lori’s endorsement and Jere Wood’s acceptance. On Monday night, November 16, Councilman Kent Igleheart endorsed Mayor Jere Wood for re-election. Click here for the full text of Kent's endorsement.

The Issues

Here is where I stand on the important issues facing the City of Roswell.

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  • Why
  • Leader-
  • Crime
  • Second
  • Redevel-
  • Traffic
  • City
  • Business
  • Tall
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Why I Am Running for Mayor

I am running for re-election because I love my hometown; I have a vision of how we can make Roswell better; and, as Mayor, I can make it happen.

I was 29 the first time I ran for public office. I ran because growth was threatening to destroy the places and things I loved about my hometown. I followed in the footsteps of my father, who founded the Chattahoochee Nature Center, and my mother, who started the first kindergarten in Roswell. Even though I was not elected, I stopped the City from 4-laning the road through my neighborhood.

I remained active in Roswell but did not run for office again until I was 49. I ran against a 31-year incumbent mayor whom not even my mother believed I could beat. I had a vision of making Roswell a better place to live by setting aside land for parks and green space, preserving our historic district, and protecting our environment. The incumbent mayor was worried that Roswell was not growing as fast as Alpharetta. I won.

I am running for Mayor again because I want to create more street and sidewalk connections to improve mobility, add turn lanes and build roundabouts at intersections to reduce congestions, work with neighborhoods and property owners to encourage re-development, promote local businesses, and work to re-create Milton County. I want to continue to preserve Roswell's history, protect our environment, strengthen our neighborhoods, celebrate our culture, and improve our schools.

I am running for Mayor because I want Roswell to become an even better place to live.

Jere Wood
Mayor of Roswell

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The Mayor's job is to lead. It is your job to choose who Roswell's leader will be for the next four years.

I have led Roswell for the past 12 years, and I have proven that I have the ability, the vision, the passion, and the time to be Mayor. My opponents have not.

Leadership has been described as the process by which one person enlists the aid of others in accomplishing a task. My opponents see the task of Mayor as leading the City Council. It is much more than that. The Mayor is responsible for being a leader in all aspects of the City. To succeed, the Mayor must enlist the aid of City employees, citizens, churches and synagogues, non-profits, civic organizations, and businesses. The Mayor must reach beyond the City limits to enlist the aid of the county, the school board, the library board, other cities, other local governments, and our state and national representatives. I have done this successfully and as a result, Roswell is a better place to live.

I serve on the Board of the North Fulton Municipal Association, the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, and the North Fulton Teaching Museum. I served as first chairperson of the Metropolitan Atlanta Mayors Association and chairperson for High Meadows School and the North Fulton Municipal Association. I have served as president of the Roswell Historical Society, the North Fulton Bar Association, GMA District 3, the Roswell Neighborhood Network, and the Greenway Community Club. I have served on the Boards of the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Municipal Association. I am a member of the Roswell Historical Society, Roswell Kiwanis Club, Roswell Rotary, Roswell Bike Club, and the Roswell Alpharetta Mountain Biking Organization.

The best measure of a leader's abilities is the success of the organization he or she is leading. I have passed that test with flying colors. Under my leadership, Roswell has been recognized as one of the "Top 3 Best Cities in the U.S. to Raise a Family."(Frommers 2007). The City has cut its property tax rate 17% and earned an AAA credit rating. Our crime rate has fallen 31% during my term of office, making Roswell the safest city in North Fulton County, and the 18th safest city in America with a population over 75,000.

Being Mayor of Roswell is a "part-time job" that I spend an average of 30 hours a week doing. One of my opponents has a full-time job outside of the City, which he plans on keeping if elected because of his stated belief that the Mayor’s job is limited to presiding at meetings and facilitating decisions. My other opponent has no job outside the home and her business experience is limited to working for her father’s small business. She claims that she is best qualified to oversee a budget of $100,000,000 and more than 650 full-time employees, and she has already announced her plans to reorganize City staff.

I live and work in Roswell, and I love it. I am open to suggestions, I have the courage to take positions on new ideas, and I have the wisdom to change as conditions change. I believe in engaging the community to find solutions for Roswell’s problems.

If you want to keep Roswell a great place to live and raise a family, vote to re-elect Jere Wood for Mayor on November 3rd.

Jere Wood, Mayor of Roswell

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Crime Prevention

Protecting the lives and property of Roswell residents is the City's most important job.

Roswell Police Office John LathamRoswell Police Officer John Lathem
The biggest item in Roswell's budget, 26% of the total this year, is allocated for police protection. Under my leadership, the Roswell Police Department has added 32 sworn officers, a 24% increase, and our City's crime rate has fallen. Today Roswell is ranked as the 18th safest city in the U.S. with a population over 75,000.

An excellent police department is only one factor in keeping you safe from crime. More crimes occur around Roswell's aging apartment communities than anywhere else in the City. For that reason, I have championed the need to redevelop our aging apartments. I led the State in requiring inspections to force apartments in Roswell to be upgraded. At my urging this year, Roswell became the first city in Metro Atlanta to offer a Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program, a partnership between the police department and apartment managers. (See With my support, the Fulton County District Attorney opened an office this year in North Fulton County to facilitate the prosecution of crimes committed in our City. I am working with Judge Downs to encourage Fulton County to start a "Drug Court" in North Fulton County.

Keeping Roswell safe has been and always will be my by top priority

Roswell's crime rate, as tracked by FBI crime statistics, is falling.

Any crime is too much, but you can be proud that Roswell is doing a good job in keeping the crime rate down. Roswell's per capita crime rate has fallen consistently over the past 12 years, despite the growth of Roswell's population. Roswell ranked as the third safest city in Metro Atlanta in 2008 based upon FBI statistics. The Cities of Milton, Alpharetta, and Sandy Springs were not ranked as safe as Roswell. (Statistics were not available for Johns Creek.). For rankings, go to For January 1, 2009, through August 31, 2009, the FBI index crime rate is down 1% for Roswell.

Roswell is doing a good job in protecting you and your family, and we will continue to look for ways to make Roswell an even safer place for you to live.

Jere Wood
Mayor of Roswell

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The Second Amendment

Several people have said that they would vote against me because they believe I oppose the Second Amendment right to bear arms. They are mistaken. I wholeheartedly believe in the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. I own seven firearms and have been a gun owner since my father gave me a shotgun when I was seven. There is a 12-gauge Remington hanging over the front door inside my log cabin home. My grandfather's Kentucky long rifle hangs over my fireplace.

I am currently working with Tom Deets and SharpShooters USA to obtain approval for a 24-lane indoor firing range on Alpharetta Highway in Roswell. I look forward to them coming to Roswell so that my wife can learn to shoot a pistol, our police can have a firing range close by, and gun enthusiasts from all over Atlanta can come to Roswell to use this range and spend money in our town.

I am accused of opposing the right to bear arms because I support the right of each state to decide who may carry a concealed weapon in their jurisdiction and who may access their records. I signed on with an organization that supports these positions, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). My opponents argue that this organization opposes the right to bear arms because one of its members, Mayor Bloomberg of New York, has taken this position. I have asked my opponents to show me evidence MAIG has taken a position on firearms other than the right of states to control concealed weapons and access to their records, but they have failed to produce such evidence. When I receive such evidence I will withdraw form MAIG. I will not back down in response to threats and unsubstantiated claims.

Jere Wood

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If Roswell is to remain a great place for you to live, we must redevelop our aging retail strip centers and declining apartment communities and attract businesses and citizens to fill them.

Roswell has great neighborhoods and thriving business districts, but parts of our City are blighted with aging strip centers and deteriorating apartment communities. When Judie and I moved into our home 33 years ago, Tahoe North was a trendy young adult apartment community, and the Roswell Village Shopping Center was the best place to shop in town. Today that shopping center is mostly empty and what was Tahoe North is no longer a desirable address. These and other blighted parts of Roswell are overburdening our schools, raising crime rates, and depressing property values. To remain a great place to live and raise a family, Roswell must find a way to redevelop these areas with neighborhood-friendly, mixed-use developments.

For years the Council, including my opponents, has recognized the need to redevelop, but it has not been willing to allow redevelopment at the density necessary for property owners to recover the cost of redevelopment. Economic studies commissioned by the City of Roswell show that the maximum density currently allowed along the Highway 9 and Holcomb Bridge Road corridors is too low to permit anyone who wants to redevelop in these corridors to recover the cost of land and new construction. My opponents have consistently voted to deny the validity of these expensive studies and have withheld their approval of redevelopment.

In 2003 Robert Charles Lesser & Co., a consultant hired by the City, advised us that developers would have to rebuild property along Highway 9 south of Holcomb Bridge Road at a density of 0.44 FAR (the ratio of land area to building area) to recover their investment. Despite this, the Council, including my opponents, passed an overlay zoning that did not permit redevelopment at a density greater than 0.22, one-half of the recommended density. In 2007 the City hired Bleckley Advisory Group to take a second look. Bleckley advised us that for developers to recover the cost of redevelopment, they would have to rebuild at an FAR of 0.75 to 1.0. My opponents have offered excuses for the lack of redevelopment rather than accepting reality. As a consequence, no one has even asked about building anything on Highway 9 under the overlay zoning ordinance passed by the Council.

At the City's request in 2006, Robert Charles Lesser & Co. prepared a Revitalization Study for Holcomb Bridge Road east of GA 400. They found that:

"To economically redevelop a parcel, sufficient project value must be created to justify purchasing the property for redevelopment purposes.... A ratio of 1.0 (FAR) is needed for a redevelopment project to pay land prices equal to or greater than the current tax value of the project; this is the minimal threshold to make the project economically viable....Current City zoning policies limit mixed-use densities to a maximum of eight units to the acre. At that density, it is not economically feasible to create residential and mixed-use projects on any of the Georgia 400/Old Alabama sites evaluated. To make a mixed-use development with a residential component financially feasible, it will require increased residential densities suitable for a mix of townhouses and condominium flats."

Despite this, my opponents have refused to consider redevelopment in the Holcomb Bridge Road East corridor at a density sufficient to be economically viable. Until Roswell allows enough density for property owners to make a profit on redevelopment, blighted areas of our City will continue to deteriorate.

If we want redevelopment, we have to allow owners to rebuild more than they tear down so that they can earn more than they now collect in rent. We have to make quality, not density, the test for redevelopment. We have to let developers know what we want them to build, rather than telling them what they cannot do. We have to help by investing in new streets and infrastructure needed for redevelopment.

After years of rejecting redevelopment proposals and refusing to meet with developers, I am glad that my opponents are finally saying that we need to work with property owners and developers, but I doubt their sincerity. They have still not taken any real action or proposed any real changes to encourage redevelopment.

Last year, at the request of residents in the Historic District and with my support, the City passed an overlay zoning district allowing sufficient density to allow a developer to make a profit, but not too high for the neighborhood, the Historic Preservation Commission, or the City Council. I support expanding this new zoning beyond the Historic District to encourage redevelopment in blighted parts of Roswell.

As a lifelong resident, I recognize the City's need for redevelopment and I know what we have to do to make it happen. I would appreciate your vote on November 3rd so that I can continue making Roswell a better place to live.


Jere Wood, Mayor of Roswell

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Traffic and Transportation

If Roswell is to remain a great place to live, we have to reduce traffic congestion.

Roswell is the transportation Hub of North Fulton County. Five state highways, Ga. 9, 92, 120, 140, and 400 cut through our city. Commuters driving from Forsyth and East Cherokee County have to pass through Roswell to get to Atlanta. Traffic from these and other fast growing suburbs outside Roswell is choke our streets and split our city in two.

The two council members running against me for Mayor long opposed my efforts to improve Roswell's roads. They argued that improving roads only brings more traffic. They overlooked the fact that the traffic is already here. I overcame their opposition by bringing this issue to you. Thanks to your support, we have more transportation projects underway than ever before.

Traffic Signals

This year Roswell funded a project to network traffic signals and monitor traffic with cameras. This will enable us to change red light timing as conditions change and cut traffic delays by up to ten percent.

Intersection Improvements

At intersections throughout Roswell we are designing and building innovative solutions to eliminate the bottlenecks and reduce traffic delays. At the City's busiest intersection, Holcomb Bridge Road and Alpharetta Highway, we are acquiring right-of-way to add additional left turn lanes. We are planning innovative "bow tie" roundabouts on Azalea Road either side of South Atlanta Street to eliminate left turns and traffic congestion north of the Chattahoochee River Bridge. The projected cost of these two roundabouts is less than two million dollars, but will reduce traffic delays as much as spending over fifteen million dollars to add more lanes to the bridge over the Chattahoochee.

New Connections

Roswell is creating new connections to make it easier for you to move around our City. This year we extended Mimosa Street to Webb Street, creating a new route from Canton Street to Pine Grove Road. We are acquiring right-of-way to link Swaybranch Drive to Market Place, thereby connecting Warsaw Road and Grimes Bridge Road. Right-of-way has been acquired to extend Mansell Road to Alpharetta Street to divert traffic around the Holcomb Bridge Road/Alpharetta Highway intersection. We are working with developers and the neighborhood to realign Oxbo Road and extend Elm Street to Oxbo. We are designing a new road and bridge over GA 400 to connect the east and west sides of our City. This project also envisions new roads on either side of GA 400 running north to North Point Parkway and West Side Parkway. When completed, these new roads will not only reduce congestion and improve mobility, they will open the way to redevelopment.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements

Along with making it easier for automobiles to move around our City, Roswell is making it safer and easier for you to walk or bicycle in our City. We are spending an average of two million dollars a year on new sidewalks, beginning near schools and parks. Bicycle shoulders are being added wherever possible when we re-pave roads. Bicycle and pedestrian trails have been built along the Chattahoochee River and Big Creek. We are constructing a trail from Horseshoe Bend to Fouts Road and the new East Roswell Library site. We are designing a trail from the river up to the Historic Square.

Community Friendly Streets

Streets should not only serve automobiles; streets should serve the communities that they pass through. Canton Street owes much of its success to streetscape improvements made by the City. This fall Roswell will begin construction of three million dollars in streetscape improvements to Alpharetta Street south of Holcomb Bridge Road and one million dollars in streetscape improvements to Oak Street. We are re-designing South Atlanta Street from the Square to the River to add a fourth lane to improve safety without encroaching on historic properties.

I am committed to reducing the time you lose to traffic congestion and to making it easier for you to travel around Roswell.

Jere Wood
Mayor of Roswell

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City of Roswell Spending, Budget, and Property Taxes

The economic downturn has hurt Roswell businesses and homeowners, but because we were prepared, it has not resulted in a tax increase, nor caused a reduction in the Fire and Police protection that keeps Roswell safe, nor taken away from the Recreation and Parks Department that makes Roswell the best place to live in Georgia. Just as Joseph advised the Pharaoh to save in time of plenty, Roswell set aside over $26 million in good years as a "rainy day fund" - enough to make it through today's economic famine, even if the economy does not get better for several more years.

Operating Budget

In response to falling revenues, early this year we cut Roswell's 2008/2009 operating budget by $1,500,000.00. For the current 2009/2010, I proposed cutting $10 million from the previous budget. Two million dollars of this was to come from the operating budget, accomplished by not funding non-essential programs and by eliminating vacant non-essential employee positions. The remaining $8 million was to come from cutting capital expenditures.

By a vote of 4 to 3, the Council adopted my 2009/2010 operating budget with no substantial changes. The budgeted operating expenses adopted by the majority do not exceed conservative revenue estimates. The three dissenters argued that we should furlough employees to save money.

Capital Budget

I budgeted payment for capital expenditures from money saved in prior years, as I have done every year I have served as Mayor. The Council unanimously voted to add $2.2 million in expenditures to my proposed capital budget, including the three who voted to furlough employees. Later the same three Council members voted against spending $1.1 million for 22 new police cars. These three now claim that the City budget we passed constitutes deficit spending, even though operating expenditures are less than projected revenues, and we are not spending money we do not have, nor are we borrowing money to pay for capital expenditures. Roswell still has $26 million in our rainy day fund, enough to handle any contingencies.

Property Taxes

I have always been conservative regarding fiscal policies and careful how I spend your money. Under my leadership, Roswell has cut its property tax millage rate 17%, reduced the number of City employees per capita 26%, and cut operating costs by 5% adjusted for inflation. We have invested $101 million in parks, City buildings, and other capital projects and have grown our investment funds from $24 million to $65 million. We earned a AAA bond rating, the first city in Georgia to do so.

FY 10 GF Revenues and Expenditures
and Millage Rate 091009

Click this image for a larger view.

Jere Wood, Mayor of Roswell

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Being Business Friendly

Roswell is home to more than 5,000 businesses. I and my wife operate two of them. I have a law office on Canton Street that employs two people plus myself, and Judie's art gallery employs six. Roswell businesses employ our neighbors, support our civic organizations, and serve our families. Roswell cannot be a great place to live unless it is also a great place to do business.

Double Tree Grand OpeningMayor Wood Cutting Ribbon for Doubletree Hotel Opening.
As Mayor, I have the privilege of helping local businesses every day. I represent the City at grand openings of new businesses in Roswell. I serve on the Board of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and support their efforts to assist local business people. When businesses have problems with the City, I find solutions. I listen to the suggestions and requests of business people and try to help them whenever possible. I am working with property owners on Holcomb Bridge Road and Highway 9 to improve the appearance of the street and the business environment. In December I am traveling to Shanghai at my personal expense with the Mayor of Sandy Springs and representatives of UPS, Newell Rubbermaid and other North Fulton businesses to bring jobs to North Fulton. We need to do more.

Roswell needs to become more "business friendly." At my request, the City recently kicked off "Find It All-Roswell," a marketing campaign to promote shopping for goods and services in Roswell. The Council is currently considering my proposal that we clean up and landscape the gateway to Roswell, the GA 400/Holcomb Bridge Road interchange.

I hope to work with the new Council in the coming year to assign one inspector to each construction job rather that multiple inspectors. This will save not just time and money; it will eliminate conflicting interpretations of City requirements on one job by different inspectors.

By becoming more business friendly, we will help not just our neighbors, we will help ourselves.

Jere Wood
Mayor of Roswell

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No Tall Buildings

I oppose high-rise buildings in Roswell.

I have been accused of being in favor of high-rises in Roswell. I am opposed to high-rise buildings in our city because the overwhelming majority of Roswell residents made it very clear that they do not want tall buildings in our City.

At the request of Council members Paula Winiski, David Tolleson, and Jerry Orlans on November 11, 2006, the City's Community Development Department reviewed a proposal called "Roswell East" for a two billion dollar development along GA 400 southeast of the 400/Holcomb Bridge Road interchange, which included high-rise buildings.

The negative side of the Roswell East proposal was more people, more traffic, and high-rise buildings along 400.

The positive side this development, if it had been approved, would have been the elimination of an old apartment complex on part of the site, creation of a larger buffer next to Martins Landing than is currently required, preservation of green space at the south end of the development, elimination of ten-story office buildings adjacent to Martins Landing allowed by current zoning, and public amenities including pocket parks, fountains, and high-end shopping and restaurants. This development would have prompted redevelopment of the old apartment complexes northwest of the 400/Holcomb Bridge interchange. Two billion dollars would have been added to the City tax base, which could have helped make possible lower property taxes. I supported the Council decision to study the Roswell East proposal because of these positives.

The possibility of high-rise buildings and the Roswell East proposal died on August 9, 2007, when the Council chose to cease further consideration of the Roswell East proposal and the developer chose not to pursue this proposal any further. They both made the right choice.

From the beginning, I told the developer that to win my vote and the vote of Council for the Roswell East proposal he would first have to do two things: obtain a firm commitment for major road improvements that would reduce traffic congestion on Holcomb Bridge Road; and obtain the support of the citizens of Roswell. My conditions were reported in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on April 4, 2007, and in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on April 11, 2007. The developer was not successful in satisfying either condition. For that reason, I agreed with the Council's choice to cease further consideration of the Roswell East proposal.

It was productive for the City to consider the Roswell East proposal. We now know that the overwhelming majority of Roswell citizens do not want high-rise buildings anywhere in the City. Consideration of the Roswell East proposal also highlighted the need to make substantial improvements to the GA 400/Holcomb Bridge Road interchange. At the February 8, 2007 Community Development Committee meeting, Council members Lori Henry, Kent Igleheart, Paula Winiski and Terry Joyner voted against my recommendation that the City request money to fund improvement of the 400/Holcomb Bridge interchange. On August 9, 2007, just after they voted not to further consider the Roswell East proposal, the Council unanimously approved my recommendation to make improvements to the GA 400/Holcomb Bridge interchange our top priority transportation project.

I am disappointed that the Council did not take the opportunity to develop a new vision for the property southeast of the GA 400/Holcomb Bridge interchange where the Roswell East was proposed to be. It was clear from public comment that although the community was opposed to high-rise buildings, they did not want ten-story office buildings constructed in the back yard of homes in Martin's Landing either, and they would like the old apartment complex on this property replaced with something better.

Jere Wood,
Mayor of Roswell

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