Jeff Howe

Candidate for Sandy Springs City Council, District 6

Website: https://votejeffhowe.com

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1) What are three issues affecting your district that you would tackle as a council member?

1) Public safety/crime

2) Preserving neighborhoods/single-family zoning 

3) Holding the line against high taxes

2) How would you encourage more housing diversity and affordability in Sandy Springs, especially for city workers and others who can’t afford to live where they work?

Naturally, every community needs to have affordable housing. Sandy Springs can have more affordable housing but without destroying single-family neighborhoods. This is in large measure a zoning issue. Replacing old apartments and vacant shopping centers are among several options deserving of Council consideration.  

3) How would you encourage redevelopment in Sandy Springs, such as in the city’s North End, while balancing issues of displacement for lower-income residents?

Proper North End development is a worthy goal for Sandy Springs. I am open to considering redevelopment plans for that area, which must include smart planning when it comes to better traffic flow for citizens. Residents in the area and any other section of the city must be involved in any planning for redevelopment that impacts their neighborhoods.

4) How would you work to improve equity and diversity in Sandy Springs?

I’m not sure how the Sandy Springs Reporter defines “equity,” but I would answer by stipulating that a fair housing policy means absolutely no discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or disability. In addition, I don’t support those who want to build low-income, high-density housing and then subsidize the rent payments.

5) If city finances were to decline, would you consider a tax hike or would you rather cut city services and programs?

I’m opposed to property tax hikes unless there is some compelling emergency. I believe that there are some taxpayer-subsidized programs and capital projects that can be trimmed or delayed without harming basic services to citizens. In that vein, I pledge to be a watchdog over the expenditure of taxpayer monies.

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Reporter Newspapers.