BNJ: Please provide a brief background/biography of yourself.
Britt: Hello, my name is Stephanie Britt, and I am running for the Winder City Council at-large seat. A native Georgian, I grew up in Gwinnett County, graduated from Shiloh High School and continued my education at the University of Georgia, where I received a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Mathematics as well as a master’s in the Art of Teaching in Mathematics. I have lived in Barrow County for 13 years and in the city of Winder for three and have proudly taught at Winder-Barrow High School for the last 10 years.
BNJ: Why did you decide to run for election, and what in your background makes you the most qualified candidate for this seat?
Britt: Throughout my days of playing team sports and working with groups, I’ve thrived in opportunities where I can lead and help others. One of the reasons I enjoy teaching is the ability to help others and build future leaders in our community.
Recently, I watched the current council members raise the millage rate to 6 mills and it didn’t sit well with me. While it’s only one issue and I know there will be dozens to consider, the millage issue compelled me to want to do more to help our community. It was heartbreaking to see how many people begged and pleaded for the council to reconsider the millage increase because of the tough choices they are having to make during today’s tough times. Whether it’s the millage rate or other issues, I want to help our community and bring fresh thinking and a new attitude to our city council.
BNJ: What should the city’s approach to the continuing growth in population be? How can the city best position itself to handle the inevitable continued growth?
While I completely agree that Winder should welcome and embrace growth, I believe we should be open to new thinking and opportunities and not place the burden on growth on the backs of those that are here now. We need to work with all cities in Barrow as well as the county to tackle this opportunity together. We also need to remember that Winder city limits includes more land than just the downtown area. Working together, we can explore new opportunities to improve Winder for our current and future residents.
BNJ: Aside from growth, what do you consider to be the top three issues the city is facing and will face in the coming years? If elected, how would you work to address those issues?
•Water runoff. Due to expansion in our community, many citizens are noticing an increase in our storm drainage taxes and excess waterflow. We need to work with local organizations to explore improvements in places where water floods yards and residences. And we need to transparently share how we are using the excess revenue to improve the overflow situation.
•Street maintenance. Expansion and growth have led to increased traffic throughout our city. The additional traffic is leading to degrading roads that we need to maintain and repair. We need to work closely with the Department of Transportation and our local county departments to explore ways to repair our roads in a timely manner and explore future traffic patterns.
•Destination Winder. We have an opportunity to make Winder a destination and a place for the millions of consumers in Atlanta to visit and give back to our community. In order to provide the best experience for visitors, we need to upgrade shopping areas and work with retail and commercial partners to deliver an attractive destination through unique avenues for people from outside the city to visit and enjoy.