November 1, 2011 gave local voters the opportunity to have their voice heard as they cast their ballot for local city mayoral elections in Gwinnett County as well as giving voice to a couple other issues. Among those items to be determined by voters included:
- Extending the ESPLOST tax for Gwinnett County schools
- Sale of wine and beer on Sundays
- Suwanee Mayor
Perspectives on whether the SPLOST tax for the schools should be extended vary. With the economy struggling and Atlanta's unemployment over 9%, some wonder how you can continue to squeeze blood out of a turnip. However, to maintain the quality school system that Gwinnett County currently is recognized for how can you put an end to the tax? Those questions were put to rest as voters went to the polls on Tuesday. The extension of the SPLOST tax won by 60%. With about 14% of registered voters going to the polls, a total of 30,955 people voted "yes" while 20,277 people voted against it. The extension of the tax is projected to bring approximately $876 million dollars to the school system for technology, building of schools as well as make renovations over the next five years.
Anyone who lives in Suwanee - especially for a long period of time, can attest to the fact that the City has done an amazing job of making Suwanee one of the most desired places to live in the United States. Of course in order to make that list, it did require.....tax increases over the years. However, when I look around and see my tax dollars at work creating a beautiful Town Center, four very popular city parks I am more than happy to contribute to that success through my annual property tax bill. I am sure, however, this perspective probably is not shared by all. The majority of Suwanee residents love their city; and, overall have been happy with the live, work and play environment that has evolved over the past 20 years or more. And it looks like Jimmy Burnette, born and raised in Suwanee, will be able to keep the momentum and trend going as he won the election by obtaining 876 votes; and his opponent, Dan Pittman, took 454 votes.
When visiting Atlanta, it is suprising to visitors to see that beer and wine is not sold in stores on Sunday. A law that has kept alcohol sales from being sold here in the Gwubbett County came to an end on Tuesday - for the individual cities. Thirteen (13) cities had the beer, wine referendum on the ballot. As the title read on the front page of the Gwinnett Daily Post Wednesday morning, "SUNDAY SALES SAILS". Suwanee voters sent a resounding message to have Sunday sales of beer and wine by a vote of 1023 (yes); and, 341 (no). With the exception of Lilburn, most of the other cities adopted ordinances when they placed the measure on the ballots. In these cities, you can expect to pick up your favorite bottle of wine or your six pack of beer within a week and a half. For those living in unincorporated Gwinnett County you may have the option to have your voice heard in March, 2012.