HOSCHTON -- Preparing for growth is the primary issue in the Nov. 6 election's only contested city council race, and both candidates tout strict standards for future development.
Former Gwinnett County residents, Post 6 incumbent James Keinard and Theresa Kenerly do not want to see rapid growth come to their small town, both said at a political forum Thursday at the Hoschton Train Depot.
"I came up here from Gwinnett County. I do not want to see Gwinnett County up here," said Keinard, a 10-year resident of Hoschton who has served on the council for a four-year term.
Kenerly moved just outside Hoschton 3« years ago and recently moved into the city limits to run for council.
"I love this little town. And that's one reason I ran for council, because I don't want to see that little town change," Kenerly said.
Keinard heads up the Planning and Zoning Committee, made up of three council members. He said the standards already set by council have set the stage for quality developments in Hoschton.
"I think the present council has already addressed that problem. We have set our standards for developers very high," Keinard said.
"We do not want to be like Gwinnett County. We have tried very hard on the present council to ensure that that did not happen," he added.
The city is struggling to make ends meet and is considering a property tax for the first time in decades.
"That's something that we have to look into. If we have to pay a little bit to have the quality of life we have, then that may be what we have to do ... If that's what needs to be done, I will be strong enough to do it," Kenerly said.
As the city grows, Keinard said a tax may be necessary to provide the services demanded. "Before I would adopt a property tax, I would want to explore every option we have available to increase revenue from other sources," Keinard said.
Occupation: retired, 37 years in law enforcement
Personal: wife Carol, daughter and three grandchildren
Political experience: incumbent on city council, one term
Occupation: commercial real estate broker, hairdresser
Personal: two children and five grandchildren
Political experience: none