© Art Sheldon for Gwinnett County Chair (2019-2020)

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 LIST OF ISSUES

TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE

As Gwinnett continues to grow demands on existing resources will continue to increase.  Our infrastructure has been strained over the years with roads becoming more and more congested and water and sewer service falling behind development needs.  With road improvements being less and less helpful due to induced demand we need to develop other options. As we grow into the future where we keep adding an average of 20-25,000 people each year we need to decide how we grow.  While roads in the past helped drive how we grew we now need to look at transit and determine how and where we want to grow. That along with improved water and sewer service provision will lead us to a future we can live with. 

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In addition, we need to consider our technology infrastructure and start building for the digital future.  This will encompass not only increased Wi-Fi access but the supporting infrastructure for a future that will include autonomous vehicles as well as support transit systems and traffic management systems. And we also need to improve online access with county services and provision of more information to the public improving government transparency.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN OUR GOVERNMENT

Gwinnett has changed over the last two decades as we welcomed various cultural groups’ expansion.  This has enriched everyone's lives through improved relationships with other cultures.  We need to keep this relationship growing as we become more diverse. America has been called a melting pot of cultures over its history and Gwinnett is a microcosm of that today.  The county needs to embrace that even more than it has.  The county government can emphasize support for minority-owned businesses bidding for work with the county.  Gwinnett government can also work harder to seek out highly qualified minorities to work in the government and serve on citizen boards to better reflect the diversity of its citizens.

JOBS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

As Gwinnett's population grows our employment numbers are also increasing.  However many of the jobs are lower paying warehouse/service jobs.  Gwinnett needs stronger policies to encourage higher paying employers to set up shop here.  We know a key need for employers is better access to highly skilled workers.  A key component of that access is an improved mass transit system tying into the region allowing easy access of workers to employers.  We must not only pass a referendum to join the regional transit systems but work to implement it as quickly as possible.  Rail must be a key component of it.  Recently most major employers relocating to the Atlanta region or from another part of the region including Gwinnett have moved to offices at or near rail transit stations.  Gwinnett may also have to consider more financial incentives as well to employers with the provision employers provide the promised jobs and salaries within the specified time frame.  These programs will allow for creating more affordable housing near transit.