Bob Gray, the MDJ, and the PTA

Bob Gray, who claims to be the swamp drainiest candidate among all the Republicans running for CD 6, was first elected to the Johns Creek City Council in July, 2014. Johns Creek was incorporated in 2006, and Gray came on board as the city was reducing its reliance on CH2M, which (if you’re a municipal government type of person) is an exciting, active time to serve on a city council.

Apparently, this wasn’t the case for Gray during his two-and-a-half years on the Johns Creek City Council. Gray met with the Marietta Daily Journal yesterday, and during his conversation with MDJ Senior Editor Jon Gillooly, Gray emphasized that his day-to-day campaigning for Congress really wasn’t anything like serving on a city council.

“This is a totally different thing, right? I mean, I consider city council to be one step up from PTA, not to disrespect it at all, but this is a very different thing,” he said.

Sad!

Congress is certainly a different animal than a city council, and it behooves every city councilmember to maintain their perspective and self-awareness as they serve in public office – but it’s a stretch to compare a government like Johns Creek, which includes services that range from public safety and public works, to planning and zoning, parks and recreation, and finance, to the PTA. The City of Johns Creek has oversight for business and privilege licenses, and an annual budget of $56 million.

The PTA does important, and arguably necessary, work at schools across Georgia. The PTA is not the same thing as a government entity that has taxation authority and the power of eminent domain in a city with a population of 80,000. Gray didn’t complete his term on the Johns Creek City Council, but after more than two years, he should have at least learned to appreciate that municipal government serves a function beyond just a first step towards higher office.

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