City of Woodstock Police Department and Fire and Rescue have some tips to help keep your loved ones and your property safe in the coming months. Taking the time to think through possible hazardous scenarios related to holiday shopping and trimming the tree can make a big difference.In the weeks before Thanksgiving, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and go over an emergency exit plan with your family.
By Hannah Mitchell
Former Holly Springs Mayor Johnny Brackett passed away April 15, 2019. To honor his years of service to the City, we would like to dedicate this month’s column to his memory. This eulogy was written by Mayor Brackett’s granddaughter, Hannah Mitchell. — Erin Honea, Main Street Director, City of Holly Springs
Johnny was born February 12, 1943 at home in the North Canton Mill Village to Cecil and Ruby Brackett. The doctor gave the wrong date when he filled out the paperwork and put down February 14 instead. He was married July 23, 1961 to Barbara “Bobbie” Williams in a secret ceremony in Dallas, Georgia, and kept it a secret until Thanksgiving of that year.
Spring is my favorite time of year in Roswell. Flowers are blooming, trees are getting their leaves, the weather is warming up, and the City of Roswell’s event season is kicking off. Our great city offers so much to do during the spring and summer months. We pack our warm-weather months with festivals, events, and, of course, Alive in Roswell, our signature event each month. There’s something for everyone!If you see me at one of our events or concerts, please don’t hesitate to come up and say hello. I love talking to our residents and visitors. Some of the events you may enjoy this spring and summer include:
Spring has sprung, which means another great season of food and fun in downtown Alpharetta. As the sunsets get later, be sure to mark your calendar, so you don’t miss an event. This year’s events promise to be better than ever. Now that Alpharetta’s City Center is open, you’ll find even more awesome new restaurants and shops to enjoy when you head downtown.The Alpharetta Business Association will kick off Spring Season Downtown with the Alpharetta Farmers Market, which will be held every Saturday morning from 8:30am until 1:00pm, April 13 through October 26. The Farmers Market will move to North and South Broad Streets in the new City Center because of the hotel construction expected on Milton Avenue this year. Start your Saturday mornings among friends, family, and neighbors, as you sample the wide variety of locally sourced produce, food, and wares. For more information, visit AlpharettaFarmersMarket.com.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We are not makers of history; we are made by history.”
Roswell cherishes its rich and diverse history. We are unique in that the City owns and operates three historic museum homes and recently purchased a fourth historic home, all which date back to the founding of our city. Roswell is a forerunner of historic preservation in Georgia.
The City of Woodstock has experienced a historic Renaissance that includes an emphasis on live/work/play development with parks, trails, entertainment, commercial facilities, and a vibrant downtown. Phenomenal success and growth lead to obvious challenges in the provision of infrastructure to support the community. Woodstock Water has met those challenges with a variety of capital improvement projects, including the development of new water sources to ensure the growing supply of high-quality drinking water for decades to come.Woodstock Water has traditionally maintained water supplies from two wholesale providers in Cobb and Cherokee counties. These water sources originate from the Chattahoochee River and Lake Allatoona. The City of Woodstock recognized the advantages of further diversifying beyond those sources to establish a new supply of drinking water from groundwater wells. This diversification plan culminated in 2017 with the construction of five groundwater production facilities. Each production facility pumps groundwater from deep wells and professionally treats the water according to strict Environmental Protection Division guidelines before being added to the distribution network.
As we move into February, 2019 is well underway. We celebrated Milton’s 2018 accomplishments during the State of the City event on January 31. Residents and business owners, as well as a variety of community partners, filled Milton City Council chambers in celebration of where our city has been and where we’re headed.However, the meeting was more than a celebration or party — it was about accountability, good governance, and transparency for our citizens. This event also provided the opportunity for the community to make connections with their elected officials, our staff, and with each other. If you missed this year’s State of the City, I hope you’ll mark your calendar to attend in January 2020. Until then, I’ll offer a few highlights and share what you can expect in 2019 from your City government.
The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.” – Thomas PaineWith January behind us and February bright on the winter horizon as a fresh clean month before us, I wonder what is ahead. What would happen if the next month, and maybe the rest of the year, was completely problem free? No deadlines, no dirty laundry, no friends in need, and no dog hair to sweep from the baseboards sounds nice on the surface. But what would we do with all the extra time? A-ha! See what just happened? A new problem for me to solve.
I’ve been inspired by several new books that I received over the holidays (yes, as you may imagine, publishers get books for gifts). This year I got some real gems. They all seem to have a similar course/theme that really got me thinking. Great books tend to do that.
Looking back on a remarkable 2018, it was a year filled to the brim with a hearty helping of life. Admittedly, it wasn’t all cookies and cream. Last year had its triumphs and failures, challenges and opportunities, and many moments that we can look back on for reproof and review, as we prepare our minds and paths moving in to 2019. All in all, if you’re reading this right now – congratulations! You made it. Now, let’s get to it.Fresh out of this past holiday season, my heart is filled and comfortable with all the quality family and friend time I was blessed and fortunate to have enjoyed over the past several months. In 2018, it seemed as though more people were setting new places at their tables for others to join in on the joys of togetherness, the giving of spirit, and positivity. My plan for 2019 is to use their influence to motivate and inspire me to pay it forward and do the same for those I find myself engaged with.
Every January, the mayor is tasked with recapping the highlights of the prior year at Woodstock’s City Council meeting in what is fondly known as the “State of the City Address.” This year, the mayor will give this address at the January 28 Regular Meeting of the Mayor and Council at 7:00pm at The Chambers at City Center (8534 Main Street, Woodstock).To give you a preview of what you might hear, here are a few of the exciting things that happened in 2018:
Now that the new year is upon us, it is remarkable to look back and reflect on how much was accomplished in 2018 and how bright the horizon looks for 2019. And, while there were many great milestones achieved in 2018, the opening of downtown Alpharetta’s City Center project was certainly the most celebrated.Over the last few decades, Alpharetta has grown from a small farming town into a world-class technology hub that draws people from all over the world because of its great schools, outstanding quality of life, and thriving business climate. But, until 2018, Alpharetta never had a downtown that would bring people together in a setting reflective of its small-town, southern charm; a gathering place created with exceptional architecture that is full of extraordinary restaurants and shops in an upscale, walkable environment that so many will enjoy in the 21st century.
It’s almost time for me to start wrapping presents. I’ll get on that as soon as I get past the annual procrastination of actually finding gifts. I’m not totally behind, as I’ve a few tucked away already. But I must admit, my ever-evolving virtual list includes many unpurchased gifts that linger still. Then comes wrapping day, which is all too often Christmas Eve at my house.Looking back to my modest childhood, my family always managed to make wrapping presents fun. In the days of the comic strips, some of my fondest memories were reading the “funny papers” (used as gift wrap) while turning, weighing, and shaking presents in an attempt to gain a clue to what surprises may be inside. Our family from “the city” always wrapped the most beautiful gifts with decorative labels, curly streamers, and big lacy bows that were always a joy to admire. Of course, it didn’t matter what the boxes looked like. The size, sound, and distribution of weight in a gift was rarely indicative of what was inside, yet every present got a sensory inspection before the paper was peeled back for the reveal.
This past September, the City of Woodstock’s mayor and council passed an ordinance to allow personal transportation vehicles and modified golf carts to operate on public right-of-way with a posted speed of 25 mph within City limits. Certain restrictions apply.The ordinance is effective March 1, 2019. Between January 1 and March 1, owners will need to register their vehicles with the Woodstock Community Development Department to be in compliance with the ordinance. Registered vehicles will receive a decal with a registration number assigned to the PTV that must be affixed to the rear fender directly behind the driver. Vehicles operating on private property only are exempt from this ordinance.
With the cool fall breezes finally upon us, and the scent of leaves in the air, we can peacefully reflect on our year. Our ups and downs, the lessons and wisdom we’ve harvested from both challenges and successes are all reason to give thanks for the blessing of just being able to keep on keeping on each day. We’ve seen some unusual events and activity these past several months, and in turn, we have witnessed some amazing feats of recovery, rebuilding, and restoration within our communities, neighbors, and ourselves. I’m thankful for that.Our plan at Family Life Publications for the upcoming year is to remain dedicated in service to our business partners and organizations. We plan to grow together within our communities by staying actively involved and speaking out for those in need. We are grateful for the chance to be part of positive change.
The tradition of the Christmas Jubilee Parade began on December 6, 1997, in celebration of the City of Woodstock’s Centennial. The City Charter was granted by the State Legislature on December 8, 1897. We celebrated the Woodstock’s 120th birthday in 2017!An important part of this tradition is the lead entry of the Parade, featuring Mayor Donnie Henriques, along with the Citizen of the Year, Bonny Keheley, who was chosen by Preservation Woodstock in recognition of her efforts in historic preservation for our City.
The date for the Parade is always on the first Saturday in December. Part of this decision was the availability of our high school bands to march in the Parade. The City manager and City Council feel that the marching bands are a very valuable asset to the Parade, and we love being able to showcase their talent.
Another year has flown by, and here we are heading into the holiday season with Thanksgiving just a few weeks away. Our community has so much to be thankful for — engaged citizens, dedicated volunteers, strong businesses, and committed City staff.Last year, the City of Milton began a new tradition by taking the month of November to “give thanks” for the many residents who selflessly volunteer their time for the benefit of Milton and their neighbors. We celebrated our volunteers by profiling each one on social media throughout the month, and then concluded our month-long volunteer recognition with a special volunteer dinner at City Hall.
Plastic — it’s everywhere we go; it’s a product upon which we have come to heavily depend. It’s also littering everywhere we go now, too. Plastics are made from natural materials such as natural gas, oil, coal, minerals, and plants. Technically, rubber from the rubber tree is a plastic. The number of items that we encounter each day that are made of plastic are nearly infinite: car parts, toys, dishes, storage containers, office supplies, building materials, clothing, grocery/shopping bags, straws, cigarette filters, balloons, and the list goes on.
Please join the City of Woodstock for their annual Day of Remembrance Ceremony, which will be held on Tuesday, September 11 in The Park at City Center in downtown Woodstock. The Ceremony, scheduled to begin at 6:00pm, will honor and remember the men and women who lost their lives seventeen years ago in the horrific attacks on our country. The men and women who continue to fight for our freedoms including our military, police, and fire departments will also be honored. A limited supply of 9/11 Remembrance lapel pins will be handed out to those in attendance.At the conclusion of the Ceremony, take a few moments to visit Woodstock’s 9/11 Memorial in The Park at City Center. The Memorial features two twelve-foot subway tracks from the subway station beneath the World Trade Center. In 2016, Woodstock was selected to receive the recovered tracks from the Port Authority of New York. City of Woodstock personnel traveled to JFK International Airport in New York, received these artifacts, and brought them back to Woodstock.
After a recent conversation with Vernon Krause of the Krause Foundation, we have jointly decided not to move forward with the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Roswell and the Krause Foundation to locate the Angela Krause Tennis, Pickleball, and Fitness Center in Big Creek Park.When Mr. Krause approached the Mayor’s office with the generous offer of investing upwards of fifty million dollars in a world-class tennis facility for the east side of Roswell, we were very excited about the project. We believed it would have been an economic catalyst for the east side, drawing other investment into that area and being a driver for redevelopment along the Holcomb Bridge Road corridor east of GA-400.