Brookhaven City Council has appointed two key officials, marking a milestone in the development of the new city.
Interim City Manager Marie Garrett will serve as city manager. Interim City Attorney Bill Riley, who advised the council on legal matters as the city adopted its initial code of ordinances, will become the city’s part-time solicitor.
“I’m looking forward to helping you implement policies, procedures, and most importantly your vision for this city,” Garrett said at the Council’s Feb. 26 meeting.
Brookhaven conducted a national search for its top administrative position and reviewed 79 applications from 23 states, the city said in a press release. But Mayor J. Max Davis said when Garrett indicated she would be willing to take on the position more permanently, it was a clear choice.
“We’ve worked with Marie. Her knowledge of the metro area, particularly as it relates to Brookhaven, is second to none,” Davis said.
Garrett, who started work for the city in December, will oversee all departments, including the forthcoming police department. The formation of the department has been on hold until a city manager was in place to hire a police chief.
Garrett, who lives in Alpharetta, has 30 years of experience working with governments in Georgia.
She has been a top-level administrator and consultant in the cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Canton and Milton. Since 1996, she has run a business that provides consulting services in planning, development, public administration and budgeting for governments and organizations. She has also taught government courses at Georgia State University, according to the city of Brookhaven.
“This is an opportunity to build the framework and structure for the city and enable it to serve the community at large,” Garrett said in a news release. “You only get one chance to create a first impression. Brookhaven has the opportunity to come out of the gate and get it right, and I want to be part of this.”
As solicitor, Riley will be the city’s prosecutor, advise police on legal matters and prosecute zoning and development issues, code violations, and property maintenance violations.
Riley serves as city attorney and solicitor for several other new cities in the metro Atlanta area. He helped create the municipal courts of Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Dunwoody, and Chattahoochee Hills, Brookhaven officials said.
Riley served as a judge and chief judge in Atlanta Municipal Court, developed the Atlanta Community Court to prosecute drug and mental health concerns, and developed the Atlanta Olympic Court during the 1996 Olympic Games. Riley has also served as assistant district attorney for the South Georgia Circuit, the Cherokee Circuit, and the Atlanta District. He was solicitor general for Fulton County’s State Court and helped revamp Doraville’s court system, according to Brookhaven.
“Mr. Riley’s resume is just stellar and he brings to the table vast experience in courts, especially municipal courts,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams.
The city interviewed three firms before selecting Riley as solicitor.
“Bill’s experience locally with setting up courts is just invaluable,” Davis said.
Interim Deputy City Manager JD Clockadale’s last day with the city of Brookhaven was March 8. Clockadale served on the Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven before being hired by the city for the temporary position.
“It has been a privilege to serve the citizens of Brookhaven and a tremendous opportunity to be a part of history by helping others found and start DeKalb’s largest city,” Clockadale said.
Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis said the city will not hire a permanent deputy manager.
“JD has done a great job,” Davis said. “It was always a temporary thing. But we were happy to have him and all of his work with Brookhaven.”