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Recently, I was asked a few questions from a local blog in Johns Creek. I wanted to share with you the questions and my responses here. If you would like to learn more about my campaign for Johns Creek City Council please visit my Campaign Site Todd For Georgia.

 

Describe your day job, and what skill set you bring to the dais.

 

For the past 20 years I have assisted business owners and families in their financial decision making process. Through that experience I have gained an ability to understand how to ask questions and actively listen in order to understand what is both urgent and important to all parties involved. The financial decision making process for small business owners and families alike can be emotionally and financially driven. I believe it is important to be able to effectively communicate a strategy of how to deploy income and assets in a manner which will satisfy short term short objectives as well as long term success for future generations.

The same principles which I have gained as a Financial Planner can be applied to the role of a Johns Creek City Council member. It is important to ask a lot of questions in order to understand the desires of the residents of Johns Creek today and for generations to come. Once that vision is established it is important to be able to effectively communicate to fellow council members in order to gain a consensus for the vision. As a body it is the Councils responsibility to efficiently deploy the available resources to meet the objectives for today and tomorrow.

 

What would you like to achieve as a City Councilperson?

 

As a member of the Johns Creek City Council I would like to protect to the residents/homeowners of Johns Creek’s lifestyle and financial well-being. Protecting the lifestyle of the residents of Johns Creek means working diligently to improve areas that impact them on a daily basis. For example, taking responsible steps to ease the burden of traffic.

  • Working with neighboring cities to increase traffic flow and best utilize smart traffic technologies.
  • Creating restrictive zoning, NO NEW LOW END APARTMENT COMPLEXES. So that we do not create additional cars on our already overcrowded roads.
  • Seek innovative ideas like continuous flow intersections and traffic patterns.

Ensuring the lifestyle of our residents also entails creating places in which families and friends can easily gather. For example:

  • Creating a better sense of connectivity of our neighborhoods and shops.
  • Maintain a family oriented nature to our businesses.
  • Protecting our Green Space. This helps us to not be overdeveloped but again offers places for people to exercise and enjoy being outdoors.

As a member of the Johns Creek City Council I believe that we are elected to protect the citizen’s financial interests. Two of the largest ways to protect the financial interests of our citizens:

 

As a Financial Planner, I often see that a home/personal residence is one of the largest investments that many people make in their lifetime. I want to protect the home values in Johns Creek.

Currently a large part of the services of Johns Creek are paid for through taxing the homeowner. I would like to reduce the tax burden to the homeowner, so that they can keep more of their income to save, spend and enjoy. As a City Council Member I would like to:

  • Shift the Tax Basis Ratio away from the Homeowner and more towards Businesses
  • Attract the right types of Businesses to our area
  • Create a More Business Friendly Climate, relative to how we tax and engage with them in our city.

 

Differentiate yourself from your opponent.

 

In this Runoff election my opponent is Scientist, Chris Coughlin. Mr. Coughlin and I differ in numerous ways, however the three primary differentiators are:

 

  • Fiscal Responsibility –

Mr. Coughlin desires to spend 93% or $50,000,000. of money in the Johns Creek City Reserves on one project. My financial background tells me that it is irresponsible to spend almost all of your money on one item.

 

  • Experience –

 

I have experience as a Financial Planner and also as a Small Business Owner in Johns Creek. This experience is valuable in terms of being able to understand how to balance the wants of today as a family but also to cast a vision for the future of a much larger entity.

 

  • Community Service & Involvement –

It is important as a City Council Member to be a community servant and involved in the community you represent. My wife, Jackie, and I have a long track record of involvement in Johns Creek and North Fulton. She and I take an active role in making the community around us a better place. We both are graduates of Leadership Johns Creek and remain on the Alumni Board of Directors. We both volunteer within PTA and Jackie is currently the Legislative Chairperson for PTSA at Northview High School. I have been active in groups throughout the city including The Chamber of Commerce, Youth Program Sponsor for The Johns Creek Arts Center, Johns Creek Business Association, Northpoint Community Church Guest Services Team, North Fulton Community Charities, World Vision, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Board Member, Project Open Hand and numerous other community service projects.

 

Hopefully, you have found this helpful. Again, feel free to visit Todd For Ga or follow along on Facebook, twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn. I would love to earn your vote if you are a Johns Creek Voter.

You Can’t Cut Your Way To Success

– Todd BurkhalterYou Cant cut your way to success

Success

Are You Banker Ready?

August 11, 2015 — Leave a comment

Is there a difference between meeting with a bank and a banker?

You’d better believe it; there is a huge difference! A bank is an institution, brick and mortar; even a staid set of rules and provisions that bank employees apply to the general public. Quite different than dealing with a banker, who is a person which is capable of creating a relationship. A banker is not just a set of rules but a living breathing person; one who has the ability to cast judgement upon you in either a favorable or unfavorable manner depending upon the circumstances. Banking rules have tightened over the last several years. Today we need to operate with a set of standards that makes them want to do business with us.

In the past, before I was enlightened, I had made the mistake of telling clients that they should be bank ready at all times. In fact what I actually meant was that a business, family or an individual would benefit from always being Banker Ready. Being banker ready has several components which will be detailed below, but most importantly is the relationship is established in advance. Just as in personal/non-business relationships to be “known” means someone understands who you are and what you stand for, your character, how you do business or simply operate. Hopefully in this type of a true relationship there would even be an understanding of your hopes and dreams that you desire for your family or business.

Being banker ready allows you to expand your business or personal wealth building through the use of other people’s money. Using the leverage that banks provide has the ability to create wealth much faster than someone who works to continually save in order to invest. Therefore, one who is always banker ready has the potential to act quickly when an opportunity is presented. That doesn’t mean that I encourage acting in a hastened manner, but being prudent doesn’t mean being slow.

Here are 5 facets to being Banker Ready.

Be Organized –

Recall the idea that a banker has the human capability to cast judgement? Being organized allows you to provide accurate documentation in a timely manner. If a banker asks for documents and it takes several weeks to gather them; likely they are out of date or incomplete the banker will not believe that you are on top of your business dealings.

Proper Accounting –

There is a difference between accounting and tax returns. Proper accounting means that you have month in and month out an accurate set of books.

Including:

  • Cash Flow Analysis
  • Profit and Loss Statements
  • Spending Plan/Budget
  • Merchant Service Receipts

Proper Tax Returns –

This means that you have accurately filed returns. Depreciation schedules that are accurate, ideally with Cost Segregation Studies included. An important fact in this step is to show that you are profitable. Remember this is the proof that you will be able to repay the banker should they loan you money for your investment/business project or home.

Full Economic Value of Insurance –

Remember that a banker is grading each deal on being mutually beneficial. However, the primary concern of the banker is that they get repaid even if you were to die or become disabled. Maintaining maximum levels of life insurance and disability income replacement insurance allows the investor to collateralize a portion of the insurance to the bank which ensures the bank gets made whole, but most importantly your family also doesn’t suffer bankruptcy or additional loss in the event of death or disability. I have seen a number of deals go south, even prior to getting started, when this wasn’t in place ahead of time.

Relationship –

This means to take an intentional approach to creating a business or even personal friendship with a banker prior to needing their services. Drop in a local bank, get a referral from a colleague (best) all best when done in advance. Each year or quarter you should proactively update your records that the bank keeps on file. Provide them in advance! Include a Personal Financial Statement at a minimum along with any of the banks required documents. This will be a WOW Factor that assures you the best deal/rates when it is time to get a loan or credit line.

These are five tips that will ensure that you are ready to take action when the need arises for a good banker relationship.

Are there others that you practice? Please tweet, connect on Facebook or LinkedIn with any other ideas.