Inside a Local Political Campaign (Part 2): Gwinnett County District 3 Commission Seat

Inside a Local Political Campaign(part 2): Gwinnett County District 3 Commission Seat

Well the last couple of weeks have been both exciting and busy.  During this time I have met with several community leaders, local politicos, citizens and politicians alike.  Often times I think we forget that politicians are citizens, also.  I know I have been guilty of that.  While some may think it is naïve, I believe the vast majority of politicians are honest.  It’s the few bad ones that taint the entire batch.  (This may give you some insight as to my optimistic nature).

Recently I have met with Mayors and Jim Hinkle of Grayson.  Both mayors were very gracious and supportive of my efforts.  The mayors share similar views of things such as the trash plan, airport expansion, transportation issues, etc.  In fact, it’s fair to say we saw eye-to-eye on all the issues we discussed.  

One of Mayor Wilbanks’ questions to me was my view of the .  My response was that I feel like it represents "good" growth to the area.  Inherent in District 3 of Gwinnett County is its growth.  Going forward it is imperative that we are prudent in the type of growth we nurture.  While there was opposition to the Kroger, I believe that proper planning and execution by the city of Dacula have resulted in a positive outcome.  

Mayor Hinkle expressed concerns about certain issues but also the history of the Gwinnett County BOC.  Mayor Hinkle is also a county magistrate judge.  He’s quite an accomplished gentleman.  I told him that my wife would like him because they share the same undergrad university, the University of Virginia.  I joked with him by reminding him they both settled in Georgia.  My wife, Diane received her Masters Degree from the University of Georgia.  At the time Mayor Hinkle and I met, the cities and Gwinnett County had not settled the service delivery dispute that has been lurking since 2009.  Mayor Hinkle shared that it appeared as though the two sides were close.  He also credited for her efforts in getting difficult BOC members to cooperate along with his fellow mayors’ willingness to find a solution.   

Of course these are just a sample of the items I discussed with the mayors.  My meetings with the mayors lasted about an hour and a half each.  The meetings were very fruitful. 

On the campaign trail I’ve visited various business groups such as the North Georgia Business Connection, Dacula Business Association, New Lawrenceville Networking group and more.  I found each of the business groups to be very active and involved in local elections.  I have developed many campaign supporters from each of the events.   

I found my meeting with Jimmy Orr, a very involved citizen, to be very insightful.  Jimmy is a very knowledgeable man with great insight to county expenditures and costs associated with current and future projects.  He has great depth of cost figures that would be associated with projects such as the airport expansion, rail transportation, etc.

Jimmy is a veteran and an Auburn grad.  I assured him I wouldn’t hold that (the Auburn part) against him.  

Most recently I’ve met with Mr. Steve Pennington.  Mr. Pennington’s home and 15 acres back up to .  (Here comes an issue.)  Mr. Pennington was in negotiations with a cell phone provider to construct a tower on his property.  In order to do so he had to get county approval.  According to Mr. Pennington, .   

Herein, exists the core difference between Mike Beaudreau and Mike Korom.  I believe, to the core, this was and is an infringement to the citizenry of Gwinnett County.  At a local meeting with and construction of a cell tower on county property.  His answer was this.  “The cell tower represents a revenue stream for the county and we can control where they go.”   To me, nothing more clearly states the polar opposites between Mr. Beaudreau’s mindset and values than mine.  He clearly believes the government should seek revenue streams.  I believe current taxes at all levels are currently burdensome.  By the way, the cell tower was constructed within 75 yards of where it would have been placed on the Pennington’s property.  Now the Pennington’s have filed a lawsuit against the county which the county is paying to defend. Sound familiar, can you say trash plan?  

Up next, more from local leaders, a Tea Party meeting where Mr. Olberholtzer, Mr. Beaudreau, and myself will be in a Q and A format, meet and greets, and more campaigning.    

I am actively seeking voluteers for my campaign.  Campaign donations can be mailed to: 

Friends of Mike Korom

PO Box 793

Dacula, GA  30019


Mike Korom on Facebook

Twitter @MikeKorom2012

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rebecca February 28, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I am a UGA Alum with an Ohio State tag on the front of my car. I am obviously conflicted lol I agree that there is such a thing as "good growth" when well executed which differentiates from urban sprawl. Identifying the difference is key to Gwinnett's prosperity and for the citizens of the county as well. Thank you.
Mike Korom March 02, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Hey everyone. I'm looking for feedback on last night's debate at the Flying Machine. If you were there I'd appreciate any input. Thanks!
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew March 05, 2012 at 05:22 AM
Maybe it got buried due to the weather? Thought I'd see far more commentary by now. So lets start, all three got a chance to get their positions out there. (Note to self - don't challenge Sabrina Smith unless you have your smartphone, tablet or laptop ready to rock...) Mike K, since this blog is yours we'll focus the rest on you directly. Good performance, good delivery and you showed passion on the airport, the cell tower issue is a valid difference of methodology between you and the incumbent and should be pressed further, as it goes right to heart of overall government philosophy. You proved you're serious and and have the chops to play, should be a GOOD result for District 3 and the race is ON.
Mike Korom March 05, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Just as insight, what ‘R’ is talking about concerns a specific question asked by the moderator, Sabrina Smith. Sabrina represents Gwinnett Citizens for Responsible Government. The question was this: "The most recently available IRS Form 990 shows that of the Gwinnett Chamber's total revenue of $5,283,433, 35%, or $1,851,241 was provided by taxpayers. The 990s of other metro-Atlanta Chambers show none even come close to this level of funding from the taxpayers. Given that the Gwinnett Chamber has a registered lobbyist who is advocating for passage of TSPLOST, do you see a conflict of interest because taxpayers are substantially supporting an organization that is advocating a controversial position with which many taxpayers may not agree?" Mr. Beaudreau’s response was, “How can we be certain of the validity of that document… How do we know it hasn’t been altered?” (Huge groan from the audience) He was obviously uncomfortable answering this because of his connections with the Chamber. Ultimately he said taxpayers shouldn’t be funding the Chamber. ‘R’ what did you think of the article in the AJC that I read to the audience where Jerry Olberholtzer came out in favor of the airport expansion? (October 5 2010 AJC) Now he says he’s opposed to it. Also, thanks for your input.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew March 05, 2012 at 09:44 PM
On point and it appeared to draw a “busted” response from the crowd. Leaders can change their minds as new facts emerge without being weak; in fact it’s smart in this issue. But in this particular instance, it appeared his new stance was solely just to tell people what he may have thought they want to hear to get elected. Not something that would bode well for voters of district 3 or the BOC in general in the future. Throughout the evening, Jerry seemed to provide several answers that were calculated to draw out rebuttals. A mayor who has served for so long would seem to be far more accurate on zoning and annexation matters than what was on display. The rebuttals drew Mike B into a style of communication at times that some voters may have fatigue of, that’s why it seemed engineered by Jerry. (After the first volley, had Mike B used a little humor along the lines of “there you go again” it would have had a completely different impact on the crowd.) Based on some of the recent history we have had with former mayors on the board, the evening revealed enough to make this a 2 man race… Mike K that’s you and the incumbent.


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