In Gwinnett, grand jury exposes ugly truth

In Gwinnett County, developers and county commissioners have a tradition of entanglement that goes back decades.

That’s true to a degree in almost every county, of course. Developers need rezonings and other favors; commissioners need campaign funds and votes. But as documented in a new grand jury report, the symbiotic, often corrupt relationship between developers and politicians is particularly strong in Gwinnett County.

The biggest news out of the grand jury was its decision to indict Commissioner Kevin Kenerly on charges involving $1 million in alleged bribes. While its public report is largely silent about the evidence that led to Kenerly’s indictment, the report nonetheless documents case after case of “decisions involving millions of dollars made with little or no information or for the most venal reasons.”

Take, for example, the purchase of 8.3 acres from a financially troubled but well-connected developer. Gwinnett paid $1.2 million for the property, almost four times its price four years earlier, even though commissioners were told the parcel was useless as parkland without a $1 million footbridge to make it accessible.

At one point in the negotiations, then-Senior Superior Court Judge James Oxendine even summoned a county staff member to his judicial chambers and — as a favor to the property owner, a friend’s son — strong-armed the county into raising the price it paid.

According to the grand jury, in fact, the only explanation for the property purchase was “to bail out the son of an old friend of several members of the Board of Commissioners.”

While investigating another transaction, this one involving developer Marvin Hewatt, the grand jury discovered that Hewatt had given Commission Chairman Charles Bannister free use of a campaign billboard and a van — neither was reported as a contribution.

Bannister was instrumental in arranging the purchase of land from Hewatt’s firm for twice the amount set by county appraisers. He also denied meeting with Hewatt about the transaction, a claim directly contradicted by witnesses.

Rather than be indicted for perjury, Bannister resigned.

Bannister told the grand jury that he had pushed the sale in part as payback to a fellow commissioner who opposed it. As the grand jury concluded, the deal was used “to benefit a long-time friend and political supporter of Charles Bannister. Just as disturbingly, over one million dollars of taxpayer money was used to make a political point.”

The nonchalance with which Bannister, Kenerly and others used taxpayer money to reward friends and punish enemies is pretty stunning, and suggests a long-standing cultural mindset on the Gwinnett commission. The good work of the grand jury, assisted by District Attorney Danny Porter, may help alter that culture, but only if voters do their part.

For example, state law allows county commissions to use executive sessions to discuss property transactions. The theory is that public knowledge of potential land deals could drive up the cost to taxpayers.

In Gwinnett, however, secrecy was used for the opposite purpose, to hide artificially inflated prices. As a result, the grand jury recommends that all executive sessions be taped, which makes sense. The mere fact that a meeting is being recorded would discourage abuse of executive sessions for illegal or unethical purposes.

In fact, the suggestion makes so much sense that it ought to be applied to all local governments. Until such a state law can be passed, however, Gwinnett voters ought to insist that commissioners implement that safeguard on their own.

Ordinarily, two other safeguards also discourage corruption in land-use and land-acquisition decisions. The first is a reliance on professional staff to produce decisions grounded in fact and law; the second is the necessity of getting a majority of commissioners, not just one, to back a decision.

In Gwinnett County, both safeguards were circumvented. Staff was given little input into property deals, the grand jury found, leaving decisions to be made on a political basis.

Through a practice known as “district courtesy,” commissioners also gave each other complete leeway on decisions affecting their district, making each commissioner a king or queen of their piece of the county, without real oversight.

Apparently, that made it easy to forget that they are public servants, rather than royalty.

273 comments Add your comment

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
7:31 am

but, Jay … SURELY this isn’t happening in GOPland – God’s country – surely this kind of thing only happens in Chicago!!

stands for decibels

October 29th, 2010
7:37 am

As someone who sees precious bits of remaining open, undeveloped land available for parkland acquisition in Gwinnett, and realizes that a lot of it will wind up as another hideous subdivision or office park rather than badly needed recreational and nature center space, and all because the funds got pissed away on these insider deals…

I’d better not say what I’d like to have done to these thieving sons of bitches.

Normal

October 29th, 2010
7:38 am

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
7:31 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
7:45 am

dB – I think Gwinnett needs another strip mall … they are woefully shy of them …

TaxPayer

October 29th, 2010
7:49 am

OH NOes. Not the GOPers. They don’t do nobody wrong! Do they! I would say that a good way to reduce government expenditures here in Georgia would be to arrest all the crooks in local politics but then they’d figure out a way to privatize all the jails and convert them into fancy resorts for themselves to live in on the taxpayer’s dime.

Paul

October 29th, 2010
7:52 am

Good luck.

“Apparently, that made it easy to forget that they are public servants, rather than royalty.”

That’s the crux of the matter. Too many government employees forget who they work for and who they are supposed to serve.

Road Scholar

October 29th, 2010
7:54 am

I find it interesting that Kenerly’s party affiliation has been left out of ALL the AJC’s articles concerning this issue. Same as Bannister. I know they are from Gwinnett, which is primarily Republican; am I to assume all elected officials in Gwinnett are Repubs? I have e-mail the articles’ authors with NO response concerning this issue.

Is the AJC turning over a “new leaf”? or are their reporters just lazy? Or is this apart of being “politically correct” during an election?

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
7:56 am

Road – I could be wrong, but I didn’t think you ran with a party affiliation when you are at the city / county level … ???

NowReally

October 29th, 2010
7:58 am

I’m glad you finally wrote about this disaster. Some people tend to think that a GOP strong hold can do no wrong; when in fact they use their office for personal, political and financial gains. However, the biggest issue with this is that Kenerly will probably never see a jail cell or return a dime to the taxpayers of Gwinnett. I’m also disappointed that Bannister isn’t being indicted; where as he should have been. The only thing we can do in Gwinnett is to clean out the commissioners and replace them entirely, because in my opinion they were all in cahoots.

stands for decibels

October 29th, 2010
8:03 am

This really isn’t about national or even state-level party politics, folks, far as I can tell.

Bannister wasn’t elected because he’s GOP, Dem or Socialist Worker’s party. He was elected because he was considered a less corrupt upgrade over Wayne Hill.

godless heathen

October 29th, 2010
8:03 am

All praise the power of government.

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
8:03 am

“I find it interesting that Kenerly’s party affiliation has been left out of ALL the AJC’s articles concerning this issue.”

And what I find interesting is that you care enough to mention it. A scumbag politician is still a scumbag, no matter what “side” they are on.

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
8:06 am

Doggone — “… he’s a scumbag, but he’s *our* scumbag …”

Joe Frank

October 29th, 2010
8:07 am

Are ypu seriously contending that there are no Democratic crooks? Really?? Why make a party issue of this?

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
8:09 am

“Are ypu seriously contending that there are no Democratic crooks? ”

um. who has even implied that … ?

Balance Our Budget

October 29th, 2010
8:09 am

In 4 more days you will be able to call this GOPland for real:)

TaxPayer

October 29th, 2010
8:15 am

Are ypu seriously contending that there are no Democratic crooks?

I thought the Republican mantra was that they were all crooks. Or was it socialists… Or maybe…

Anyway. Where’s RB. Isn’t he from Gwinnett. He could probably explain how it’s all the fault of the Dems or maybe the illegal aliens that recently migrated to Gwinnett via MARTA.

stands for decibels

October 29th, 2010
8:16 am

In 4 more days you will be able to call this GOPland for real:)

Is this where I politely inform “Balance our Budget” of all the starry-eyed hopes so many of us dirty hippies had in Nov. 2006?

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
8:19 am

“he’s a scumbag, but he’s *our* scumbag ”

Thank heaven he’s not mine, though. One of the smartest things I’ve even done is to stay OUT OF Gwinnette county. When I moved to this area I made SURE I didn’t even look in that county. I’d heard too many horror stories from other dog people to even consider it…and that was almost 25 years ago.

Mystified

October 29th, 2010
8:19 am

One truth that seems to be out there, is that regardless of party affiliation, power corrupts. We all have our political persuasions but one thing all citizens should be of a single mind in is demanding honesty and good behavior from those we put so much trust in. Both parties are guilty of supporting politicians with less than trustworthy ethics. Look at our Governors race. Look at the support Bill Clinton got. Look at the support Bush got.

When a politician places his self desires over his trusted office… We need to throw the bums out no matter what party they are in.

TaxPayer

October 29th, 2010
8:19 am

Off topic – Why on earth would even the most devout of Republicans want to go and pay to attend that “Seize the Day” thingie on November 9?

Road Scholar

October 29th, 2010
8:22 am

USinUK: Good morning, er Good afternoon. Yes, here in Georgia party affiliation is used for most local races.

Joe Frank: What was implied is that Gwinnett only elects repubs. Sorry you missed that!

BOB: If you’re right, I guess we may as well get ready for the NE Georgia Mafia to take over state government! Their motto: “No ethics; no clue!” Mama mia!

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
8:24 am

Road – thanks – I couldn’t quite recall :-)

dB – 8:16 – you forget, this crowd doesn’t want to actually DO anything or HELP anyone, they just want to “throw their toys out of the pram” in a very public way

Bud Wiser

October 29th, 2010
8:25 am

No mention of party affiliation means only one thing…. they must be Democrats, taking their cues from the likes of Barney Fwank, chief presider over the mortgage industry collapse.

On a side note, and a happier one for you leftist oinkers:

The International Olympic Committee announced today that it has taken back the gold medal
previously awarded to American skier Lindsey Vonn and given it to Barack Obama.

Olympic officials said Obama deserved the medal more than Vonn because no one has ever gone
downhill faster than he has.

Bud Wiser

October 29th, 2010
8:26 am

The side note was supposed to be italicized, but I messed it up; it is a copy from something I read this morning.

Bud Wiser

October 29th, 2010
8:27 am

Ciao losers, off to the beach this weekend, returning in time for election results on Tuesday … btw, where is the big loser party supposed to be held? Rumors are no hotel wants it, because of the forecast number of potential suicides once the votes start rolling in….

The Leg Lamp is a "major award"....

October 29th, 2010
8:28 am

And the democrats get more desperate……

“Clinton Asked Democrat to Quit Florida Senate Race .”

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
8:29 am

pooooooooor Bud … “No mention of party affiliation means only one thing…. they must be Democrats”

http://www.votekenerly.com/

joe

October 29th, 2010
8:30 am

That is a long time problem, but there’s another in Gwinnett and several other Metro Atlanta counties, called illegal immigration. JB, can you do a story on that? Would like to know the actual numbers in play…

jt

October 29th, 2010
8:30 am

On October 20, 2010 the President gave a speech in Portland, Oregon where he stated the real issue in the upcoming election: “But we also believe in a country where we look after one another; where we say, I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper. That’s the America I know. That’s the choice in this election.”

We’s all brothers and sisters in the eyes of the lord and Obama.

These folks are only doing what the Federalies do on a bigger scale. Spending tax-payer money to benefit a certain group. Although ALL citizens didn’t benefit, some did.

What’s the problem?

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
8:30 am

For those who care, Kenerly’s election website states he is a Republican:

http://www.votekenerly.com/biography.asp

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
8:32 am

Doggone – you owe me a coke (which makes us even for yesterday)

;-)

Joeventures

October 29th, 2010
8:32 am

Is it any wonder why county commissioners get uncomfortable at suggestions that land-use and transportation planning should be integrated?

godless heathen

October 29th, 2010
8:37 am

OMG! Luckovich took a shot at Obama. Obama’s support must have reached negative numbers.

md

October 29th, 2010
8:37 am

“And what I find interesting is that you care enough to mention it. A scumbag politician is still a scumbag, no matter what “side” they are on.”

Then maybe you should also call out every post prior to his that mentioned party.

jm

October 29th, 2010
8:38 am

Government stinks at everything it does. A private company would be much better at monitoring this. BUT, the overhead ratio would be higher, like with Health Insurance companies. Holy crow! Oh no. $1 Billion for dead people.

I will say this though. Given the amount of money spewing out of Social Security, I’m surprised it’s only been $1 Billion over 10 years. Still. That could have paid for a lot of schools, been invested in growing our economy. $1B is only chump change in DC.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/44349.html

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
8:38 am

“you owe me a coke (which makes us even for yesterday)”

Yep!

Brad

October 29th, 2010
8:39 am

You liberals don’t understand. We don’t want “our guys” in there, we want government to be smaller. We want less of these crooks regardless of party affiliation. We believe you can’t trust any of the ruling class. I’d like Jay to investigate some of BHO’s side deals, too.

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
8:39 am

ahhhh, jm … I was hoping you’d join us today … have a quick question regarding a post you made after I left yesterday …

got a moment?

Enoch

October 29th, 2010
8:40 am

If Clinton and Obama try to pressure the black Democrat out of the Fla. Senate race and the AJC does not report on it, did it happen?

Gale

October 29th, 2010
8:40 am

As a Gwinnett resident, I am not surprised. However, as with many elections in this state, we are usually presented with a choice of two (or more) corrupt choices, possibly including an unknown who may or may not also be corrupt. Facts do not surface during the election run up, unless some “independent” agency (which may have its own agenda) reports facts. Then we must rely on our uneducated electorate to actually do research. If a non-corrupt candidate does get elected, s/he is tossed into the fray with the tigers who are only too happy to chew him/her to bits to secure their own positions.

stands for decibels

October 29th, 2010
8:43 am

Obama’s support must have reached negative numbers.

sigh.

here. Again. Look, please.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/124922/Presidential-Approval-Center.aspx

nine points to go before he hits Reagan’s lowest point. (Reagan’s sub-50% trough lasted about 700 days, by the way.)

jm

October 29th, 2010
8:43 am

Re Gwinnett. The same rules pretty much are in play at the Atlanta City Hall. Things may have changed recently. I’m not sure. But the rules were the same up until a few years ago right in Atlanta as well.

Take power away from government, and you take power away from fraudsters. Political corruption is a real detriment to our economy. And faith in the ability of the politicians to conduct their jobs in an admirable fashion has been lost completely. At least by me. So the only solution left is less government.

Nice Guy

October 29th, 2010
8:44 am

Dog – “One of the smartest things I’ve even done is to stay OUT OF Gwinnette county. and that was almost 25 years ago.”

I grew up in Gwinnett county and it has not always been the way it is now. It was a great place to grow up and had great schools and recreation parks, etc. Besides, some backroom deals by corrupt politicians doesn’t necessarily make it a bad place to live. What does make it bad is the changing of demographics that have brought a huge crime wave, which no longer makes it a desirable place to live.

md

October 29th, 2010
8:45 am

I see TP and sfd have a reading comprehension problem downstairs. That must suck.

BW

October 29th, 2010
8:45 am

It’s a shame…corruption is corruption but depending on the state the severity of it is lessened depending on political affiliation…these are Republicans make no mistake about that. Gwinnett better get it back together…I just moved here for a better commute into north Fulton to go work. When I start my family I want to do it here and I hope that this isn’t the beginning of a slide into Dekalb status….the most affluent residents are almost into north Fulton, Forsyth, or Hall…will they leave when the banks start lending for homes again?

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
8:45 am

Nice Guy – gah – land of the strip mall … (not that Marietta, my hometown, is any better)

WM

October 29th, 2010
8:45 am

USinUK–
You know, you are right. I mean Democrats never take donations for votes, Democrats never get corrupted by power, Democrats never do anything unethical. I mean I’ve completely missed it my whole life. Democrats are the chosen ones & have always sat at the right hand. And man I’m so pumped that Barnes is going to win next Tuesday because the moment he’s declared governor, all of our problems will vanish, much in the same way they vanished two years ago when our savior was elected President. Oh happy days!! Throw that crook Bannister in jail!! And let him share a cell with Kenerly!! Heck throw every Republican/Conservative in jail. Yes We Can!!

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
8:46 am

awwwwww … wm … do you feel better after your tanty??? now, go have a cold glass of water and a lie-down …

Road Scholar

October 29th, 2010
8:47 am

Enoch: In case you missed it, the Democratic senate candidate in Forida denied in an interview today that he was asked by Obama/Clinton to get out of the race. I would think that he would know!

Gale

October 29th, 2010
8:48 am

I begin to think political corruption is a factor of human nature, not dependent of any political system. I see political corruption in democracies and communism alike. And what is that I heard this morning about Haliburton and the BP oil blowout? The commission is now faulting Haliburton’s cement mix used to seal the well ( the first, not the most recent) as faulty. This seems yet another case of turning a blind eye to short cuts that maximize profit because –the cheap version is good enough and no one will notice.

barking frog

October 29th, 2010
8:49 am

When you spend big bucks to get a few bucks job,
there’s always fringe benefits.

Gordon

October 29th, 2010
8:50 am

“I think Gwinnett needs another strip mall … they are woefully shy of them”

No, but a $70M trolley would be nice.

stands for decibels

October 29th, 2010
8:50 am

md, when you post something that actually makes some sort of contextual sense, I might feel compelled to comment on it, k pal?

md

October 29th, 2010
8:50 am

“What does make it bad is the changing of demographics that have brought a huge crime wave, which no longer makes it a desirable place to live.”

Yep – and look for it to get worse before it gets better:

http://www.criminallawblogatlanta.com/2010/05/drug-crime-hub-of-atlanta-gwinnett-county.shtml

jt

October 29th, 2010
8:50 am

Ralph Nader and EPIC Urge Senate Hearings on Airport Body Scanners: In letters to Senator
100,000 to 200,000 taxpayer dollars………..EACH. Can’t nail down the real cost. Land or machine, what’s the diff? It is for the “public welfare.

Michael Chertoff, Former Department of Homeland Security, is the head of the Chertoff Group, the lead cheerleader for what is being called the Full Body Scanner Lobby, reports the Washington Post and the Washington Examiner.

Ralph Nader urged the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to “convene a public hearing to review the government’s deployment of whole-body scanners at passenger security checkpoints in US airports.” The Nader/Rotenberg letter states that the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration have “disregarded serious questions concerning the devices’ effectiveness, privacy safeguards, and potential health impacts.”

Nice Guy

October 29th, 2010
8:51 am

USinUK – “land of the strip mall … (not that Marietta, my hometown, is any better”

I hear ya, but I’m referring to the residential areas surroung school districts of Shiloh, Brookwood and Parkview. Those used to be nice areas…no longer.

I could name at least two or three Marietta equivalents.

stands for decibels

October 29th, 2010
8:51 am

So the only solution left is less government.

they get bitter, and they cling to guns, and religion, and the absurd notion that modern industrialized economies can somehow function with “less government”.

later, gators.

jm

October 29th, 2010
8:52 am

UsinUK 8:39 – yep, wazzup?

jm

October 29th, 2010
8:53 am

USinUK – btw, I’ll concede P&C isn’t too terribly different than health insurance operationally.

Road Scholar

October 29th, 2010
8:53 am

WM: You know, that if Repubs wouldn’t use their Christian religion as an attribute for running for office, it would be less glaring when they violate a commandment! We are all sinners, but those who hold their religion up in a “holier than thou” fashion fall the furthest.

md

October 29th, 2010
8:53 am

“md, when you post something that actually makes some sort of contextual sense, I might feel compelled to comment on it, k pal?”

Made plenty of sense if you read the article – yet you blew it off………pal.

Bosch

October 29th, 2010
8:54 am

But I thought Gwinnett is Great!

:roll:

You Gwinnettians get what you vote for. Land of strip malls, and sweet nice subdivision named things like “Willowing Oaks” and “Oak Pine Creek”

Whatever. Kind of ironic that about a bajillion oak, pine, and willow trees were cut down to make those atrocious dwelling places that cost 50 times their actual worth and are made with materials that are made to fall apart in 10 years.

USMC DAWG

October 29th, 2010
8:54 am

Good article Jay.
Why don’t you do a follow up on the corruption and nepotism that takes place at the City of Atlanta and the Airport. Atlanta, being one of the most corrupt city governments, always gets the pass because of racial politics. How does Maynard Jackson’s daughter and Shirley Franklin’s family get priority concessions at the airport? just saying

Matty D

October 29th, 2010
8:55 am

As a conservative, I can honestly say this is the first time I have agreed 100% on anything you have ever written, Bookman. Time to clean house in Gwinnett County. What a bunch of scum…

Road Scholar

October 29th, 2010
8:55 am

Gale, unfortunately, I think you ar right about politicians.

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
8:55 am

“I grew up in Gwinnett county and it has not always been the way it is now”

Since I’ve never lived there, I can’t argue…but the reason *I* did not move there was because of all the horror stories that dog owning friends told me about problems they had with the county BECAUSE OF their dogs.

carlosgvv

October 29th, 2010
8:57 am

We the people like to think of our elected officials as public servants. Unfortunately, it is clear that the vast majority of politicans are interested only in serving themselves. As has always been the case, money talks and BS walks.

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
8:58 am

jm … so … at 11:49, you posted “she (that would be me) thinks a drop in bond yields of 3% causes a 15% increase in premiums”.

where on earth are you getting 3%???

if you look at the YTM for the ML corporate master, it’s dropped from 9.2% to 3.7% in 2 years, and 5.0% to 3.7% in the last year, alone – that’s a 59% and 26% drop, respectively … spreads for the same index fell 70% and 21% over the same time periods …

and yields for 5-year Treasuries fell from 2.98% to 1.26% over the last 2 years (2.31% to 1.26% over the last year) … those are 57% and 45% drops.

so. 3% … ???? where did that come from again???

and do you STILL want to maintain that decreases in bond yields aren’t responsible for hikes in premiums?

John K

October 29th, 2010
8:58 am

I’ve lived in Gwinnett for 20 years. Thankfully it is starting to change, although slowly.

The electorate would vote in the Republican no matter what. Sure, they got rid of Hill in place of Bannister, but would never even remotely the opponent, because they were “one of them Democrats.”

It’s been comical. They would re-elect the same people, or new people who were identical to the old, then spend the rest of the time complaining how they weren’t listening the people of Gwinnett. Then turn around and repeat the process.

Sure, Bannister and Kenerly are scum, and deserve whatever they get (sadly, Bannister won’t get much), but the voters of Gwinnett aren’t innocent either.

Nice Guy

October 29th, 2010
8:58 am

“Whatever. Kind of ironic that about a bajillion oak, pine, and willow trees were cut down to make those atrocious dwelling places that cost 50 times their actual worth and are made with materials that are made to fall apart in 10 years.”

Geez, Bosch. Did you run out of Cokes this morning?

Bosch

October 29th, 2010
8:59 am

One of the first questions I ask a local politician when they are asking for my vote is how they feel about development and the water issues. If they are for new development, I tell them they can not count on my vote.

Bosch

October 29th, 2010
8:59 am

“Geez, Bosch. Did you run out of Cokes this morning?”

YES!! How can you tell?

md

October 29th, 2010
9:00 am

Dogs are usually not the problem, but same can’t be said of owners………….

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
9:00 am

“those atrocious dwelling places that cost 50 times their actual worth and are made with materials that are made to fall apart in 10 years.”

Bosch – I would amend this to: those atrocious dwelling places that WERE SOLD FOR 50 times their actual worth and are made with materials that are made to fall apart in 10 years.

I seriously doubt they actually COST more than their value, but I have no doubt they were sold for a LOT more than they actually cost to build.

Gale

October 29th, 2010
9:00 am

Matty D, I would love to clean house in Gwinnett. Can you identify an honest politician who is running for office?

And btw, Doggone, I never had a problem in Gwinnett with my dog. Of course, she was always in our fenced yard or leashed.

Bosch

October 29th, 2010
9:00 am

I love it when USinUK talks finance.

jm

October 29th, 2010
9:00 am

This is funny

Stewart also answered a question as to whether it would be worse if Luke Skywalker had missed “the final shot at the Death Star” in “Star Wars” — or if John Boehner became speaker of the House. No contest, Stewart said — it would have been worse for the Death Star to survive than for “an orange man that has no real agenda” to become speaker of the House.

Bosch

October 29th, 2010
9:01 am

Doggone,

I haven’t had my Coke this morning so I thought I’d substitute a little hyperbole to make up for it.

AmVet

October 29th, 2010
9:01 am

I agree, Gwinnett did not use to be the wasteland it is now.

If you like insane traffic gridlock and spending hundreds of hours every year in your car going nowhere fast, this is the place for you.

If you like a parochial, myopic government, second only to Cobb, who won’t ameliorate the horrific situation just described above via decent public transportation, this is the place for you.

If you want a dead red, hopelessly corrupt county government who works for shady developers and big monies interests (only?), this is the place for you.

And if you want to pay huge money for the Braves to have their AAA franchise there, you know the rest…

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
9:01 am

Gwinnett … dated a guy who lived there back in 1995 … to Bosch’s point, we had to pass by 4 or 5 areas that USED to be woods which were becoming subdivisions … and every destination (restaurant, shop, etc)was in a strip mall with acres of parking … couldn’t walk ANYwhere

(again – for the cheap seats in the back – Marietta is just as bad)

Nice Guy

October 29th, 2010
9:02 am

Bosch – “YES!! How can you tell?”

Just a hunch….

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
9:03 am

Bosch – 9:00 – I do what I can

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
9:03 am

“I never had a problem in Gwinnett with my dog. Of course, she was always in our fenced yard or leashed”

As I said, that was 25 years ago..and you have ONE dog, at the time *I* had 6. And from the stories I heard, the problems went up exponentially in relation to the number of dogs you had.

Bosch

October 29th, 2010
9:04 am

Oohhhhh. Cupcakes!

Greg

October 29th, 2010
9:04 am

Gee…not sure where you live in Gwinnett, but it is definately a great place to live. Its quiet, has a good school system (Yeah Gwinnett recently won that national award for its schools)…crime is relatively low (unless you count Bannister and Kenerly’s crimes) and it’s quite neighborly.

If you did not move to Gwinnett because of dogs, or because of changing demographics (ie…you were scared to live with minorities) then we are glad you are not here.

Thanks for staying away and allowing success to live here!!

md

October 29th, 2010
9:04 am

“If they are for new development, I tell them they can not count on my vote.”

You do know that new development is needed for a strong tax base to pay for all the programs you want to vote in – don’t you??

Or do you want your cake and want to eat it?

USinUK

October 29th, 2010
9:05 am

Bosch – speaking of cupcakes … Hello Cupcake is going to launch nation-wide delivery in 2011!!!

Nice Guy

October 29th, 2010
9:05 am

“Dogs are usually not the problem, but same can’t be said of owners”

So true md, so true.

TaxPayer

October 29th, 2010
9:05 am

Question Man

October 29th, 2010
9:06 am

Doesn’t what went on in Gwinnett happen regularly in many other counties? Isn’t it just that the politicians in Gwinnett were incredibly stupid and arrogant? For example, how does one explain the decision by the Atlanta BeltLine to pay Wayne Mason $66 million for land he had purchased about two years earlier for $22 million (and when the steep decline in real estate prices and the recession were already apparent)?

SOUTHERN ATL

October 29th, 2010
9:06 am

Jay,
Gwinnett is a diversified county when you look at the population statistics. On the other hand, the local government or school board is not a representation of diversification that reflects on all of the citizens!!

Doggone/GA

October 29th, 2010
9:07 am

“Thanks for staying away and allowing success to live here!!”

I KNEW there was a good reason for staying out of Gwinnette. Thanks for confirm it.

LydiasDad

October 29th, 2010
9:08 am

The ugly truth in Gwinnett is that the county is overrun by illegals.

Nice Guy

October 29th, 2010
9:08 am

Greg- “you were scared to live with minorities”

Who ever said this??

Bosch

October 29th, 2010
9:08 am

md,

When you have strip mall after strip mall with no tennants, and subdivisions with no houses, and other neighborhoods with about 1/4 of the houses for sale — and foreclosures up then call me crazy, but I don’t see how new developments will make for a strong tax base. But then again, I’m no finance expert.

Ask me about cupcakes, and we’ll talk.

md

October 29th, 2010
9:08 am

“If you like insane traffic gridlock and spending hundreds of hours every year in your car going nowhere fast, this is the place for you.”

And tell us oh wise one, where in the Atl area does this not apply?

deegee

October 29th, 2010
9:08 am

I don’t think that power corrupts. The politicians are corrupt before they gain political power. Why would anyone want to endure the stress and strain of an expensive political campaign if their sole motivation was to serve the people? They are all in it to get rich and they know how to play the game. The question is not whether the politician is corrupt, the question is to what degree. There is manageable corruption and there is unmanageable corruption. In the case of the Gwinnett County commission, the corruption became unmanageable. The politicians became greedy and no one wanted to stop it. Isn’t that what a lazy, partisan electorate deserves?

jm

October 29th, 2010
9:08 am

USinUK 8:58 – of course bond yields were high 2 years ago. We were in the throes of the financial crisis. They were at an all time high. And what matters, since the assets and liabilities are short duration in nature, is the 5.0% to 3.7% drop in yields. In case you can’t do math, that’s a 1.3% drop in yield. How you think a 1.3% drop in yield drives a 15% premium increase is just beyond me.

So to answer “and do you STILL want to maintain that decreases in bond yields aren’t responsible for hikes in premiums?”

Hell yes. For 90% of the premium increase.

It’s 90% driven by medical advances, increased demand for health care (baby boomers), some impact from HCR, constrained health care supply, etc etc. Your dogmatic and have tunnel vision…

Bosch

October 29th, 2010
9:08 am

“Hello Cupcake is going to launch nation-wide delivery in 2011!!!”

:shock:

my day has just been made!