Laura Johnson explains her City Council votes


Laura Johnson is one of the newest city council members in Peachtree City. I sent six questions to Johnson, promising to print her responses verbatim.

During her election campaign, Johnson appeared as a source of hope to the taxpaying voters who did not want to urbanize Peachtree City. However, there were concerns with the then-candidate Johnson. She was inexperienced, had never publicly expressed an opinion on items of major concern in the past, and her campaign materials were vague at best.

Johnson claims to be politically conservative although she never really presented her definition of conservatism. (For more thought on local conservatism, see:

When Johnson began voting in lockstep with Mayor Kim Learnard, not a conservative, her supporters and onlookers began questioning her political identity.

Johnson recently worked with Learnard on making significant changes to city ordinance 1218 (C), making it more difficult for citizens and her council member colleagues to place items of concern on a council meeting agenda.

This interview follows the May 2, 2024, city council meeting when the previous changes to ordinance 1218 (C) seemed to implode on city staff and the council members, lacking any real procedural teeth and causing a great deal of cynicism.

Also, I asked about two issues she opposed in the May 2, 2024, meeting.

Laura Johnson, Peachtree City Council member. Photo/Cal Beverly.
Laura Johnson, Peachtree City Council member. Photo/Cal Beverly.

Finally, I inquired about her relationship with a colleague on the city council. Many times, she is aloof, circumventing the questions. You be the judge.

Readers can offer their opinions in the comment section below.

STEVE BROWN: As I am sure you are aware, the changes to ordinance 1218 (C) significantly lack clarity and have created a high degree of disorder among staff and your colleagues regarding placing items on the agenda. Your statements from the dais on the subject have been conflicting at times. It’s clear there is no procedure on how to handle agenda requests and the city attorney stated the only way to proceed is by now offering motions in the “council/staff topics” portion of a meeting, something you opposed before. Before your being seated on the city council, there had never been a complaint concerning the process for placing an item on the agenda by a council member. Do you plan on asking the full council to immediately cease using the ambiguous language added to ordinance 1218 (C)?

LAURA JOHNSON: Ordinance 1218 (C) was implemented to ensure the city is devoting time and resources where it matters through a considered, council-driven agenda. Since its implementation, we have seen increased transparency and received positive citizen feedback. It allows for public discussion and consensus in an open meeting. Another change is that it requires three votes to place an item on the agenda for a future meeting. Under the previous procedure, much work was created for an item that was possibly only supported by one council member. Our council has already demonstrated a willingness to put items on the agenda even in instances where a majority may ultimately vote no, because we do respect the process.

BROWN: Are you willing to go back to the original ordinance that was clear-cut and transparent?

JOHNSON: I would ask that people read the text of the ordinance and give it a fair shake – it was only recently adopted. The ordinance improves transparency and helps us be more considered and focused as a council. And the great thing about ordinances is we can assess this process after a period of time to determine if revisions are needed. You can read the full text of the ordinance at

BROWN: Can you offer an example of an agenda item from a council member that exceeded your personal threshold on the chief complaints of “too much staff time” and “too much cost”?

JOHNSON: There is no need to publicly call out any of my colleagues; we work as a team and need to be collaborative. At the start of the year, we identified shared priorities including recreation, path expansion, and traffic solutions, and we plotted a way forward. This is where we need to devote the bulk of our time as a council and city staff, and I want us to stay the course.

BROWN: On another subject, can you offer a rationale for why you voted against having an invocation before city council meetings?

JOHNSON: I love prayer. I start every council meeting with a personal prayer offered during the moment of silence. I did not vote against having an invocation before city council meetings; the motion was whether or not to put it on the agenda. It was apparent to me from months of conversations that it would be premature to schedule a vote. Prayer in our meetings could welcome a spirit of unity, and forcing a premature vote would not have the intended effect. I am optimistic that we will reach a consensus in due time.

BROWN: Likewise, can you offer a rationale for why you voted against the resolution opposing the use of our local tax dollars for harboring and maintaining illegal immigrants?

JOHNSON: Peachtree City is not a sanctuary city. We have an exceptional police force, we follow the law, and we verify our status with the state every single year. The legislature recently addressed this issue at a state level and funds are withheld from any city that wants to self-designate as a “sanctuary city.” Additionally, I appreciate and respect the time that our assistant police chief devoted to sitting down with us to discuss this matter and followed his recommendation, believing it did not warrant further action at the municipal level.

BROWN: Council Member Destadio has expressed his discontentment with Council Member Suzanne Brown and her agenda items. Many say that you share Destadio’s sentiment towards Brown, is that true?

JOHNSON: I can’t speak for others, but Suzanne and Frank are both friends. They are devoted to our city and to their principles, which is a good thing. As stated above, I am a proponent of our council focusing on the aforementioned shared priorities that were identified at the start of the year, including the need for additional golf cart paths and bridges, the recreation master plan, pickleball, a free splash pad, and traffic solutions. These shared priorities came from consensus among council, and we should be working together to make progress on these key issues.

[Brown is a former mayor of Peachtree City and served two terms on the Fayette County Board of Commissioners. You can read all his columns by clicking on his photo below.]


  1. I hope more experience will inform Mrs Johnson that siding with the mayor is bad for the city and her continued service. I had such great hopes for her that don’t seem to be blossoming. Time will tell.

  2. I watched May 2nd meeting live and the City Attorney disagreed with Learnard and Johnson a couple of times on what that agenda ordinance really says.

    “Under the previous procedure, much work was created for an item that was possibly only supported by one council member.” But she can’t give a single example???

    Why can’t Johnson just say whether she wants to use tax dollars for illegal immigrants or not? It’s a simple yes or no answer.

    She did a great John Kerry imitation with her I was in favor of having an invocation before I voted against having an invocation but I really didn’t vote against having an invocation.

    The city’s new policies resemble the crazy leftist Biden policies. We need to pray for our city!

  3. I don’t think the revision to Ordinance 1218 was necessary in the first place. Laura gave her rational but not any proof that the original ordinance wasted staff time. She did ask for time to see how the amendment plays out indicating, I think, a willingness to reconsider if necessary. I thought she handled Steve’s other questions well and didn’t try to speak for others. Considering she is new to elected office I’m impressed with her knowledge and skills. We’ll see how she votes on upcoming issues.

    • No, the revision was not necessary at all. Kim is clearly constantly trying to personally have much more influence on City Council policy than just her one Council vote, and this absurd 3 votes now necessary to have an item on the Council Agenta is right up her alley. Poor Laura, so not savvy, is a perfect patsy for Kim. Kim could hardly control her glee when Laura came up with this idea. The whole episode was just embarrassing for Laura, who in all her wisdom now defends this with of course no example of why this needed to be changed. The “fair shake/it was only recently adopted” response, well that is pitiful. Evasive, as Steve called it, puts this in the absolutely best possible light. I am not so inclined.

  4. After the Council decided to change the Ordinance, I thought the only way to put something before the Council that the Council doesn’t want to see is to file suit against the City. The interview did not change my opinion.