Rebecca L. King

Rebecca L. King.

Occupation: small business owner.

Previous experience holding elected offices: None.

Other community service experience:  Livable Buckhead, Member at Large; Atlanta Alumnae Panhellenic Association, currently President, served as VP, Treasurer, Secretary; North Buckhead Civic Association, Board of Directors; Buckhead Condo Alliance, Member At Large; Old Ivy Park Steering Committee; Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia, Secretary; Past Paramount Condominium HOA, former member and president of Board of Directors.

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

As a resident that has a record service on boards that are already working to improve the city of Atlanta, I feel qualified to serve my district and the city of Atlanta. My diverse career experience as an educator and as a business owner has given me a broader perspective in how government affairs affect the daily lives of people. People voting for me will have someone that is interested in changing the status quo and looking for fresh ideas to improve the quality of life in Atlanta.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it?

As is the case throughout the city of Atlanta, the infrastructure backlog is the biggest issue facing District 7. While the Renew Atlanta Bonds totaling $250 million took a major bite out of the $1 billion backlog, we need to do more to try and tackle this issue. With all of the development happening in District 7, impact fees need to be evaluated and right-sized to more accurately reflect the strain that any new development puts on the city system. City Council should also work with neighborhoods to create lists of community improvements that they think are high-value projects.

Are you satisfied with the Atlanta Police Department’s efforts to fight crime in the neighborhood? Would you suggest any other strategies?

As long as there is crime, I think that everyone can agree that we, as a community, can do better. There is great value in retaining seasoned talent throughout the ranks of the police force. I want to work with the APD to ensure that the recruits being trained in Atlanta stay in Atlanta.

Continued community engagement opportunities such as Nextdoor have kept people aware of car/home break-ins. Assessing the cause of crime would be helpful. Do repeat offenders need stable housing or are they having trouble finding jobs that support them? Budgeting for public surveillance cameras would help, too.

What is your position on the proposal for a new park capping Ga. 400?

I believe that the voters should decide. A park would be a massive capital outlay and the sources and uses of money don’t fully seem to be defined yet. The Buckhead Community Improvement District has yet to show more than the layout and estimated benefit that the park may bring to the city. Before I weigh in on the plan, I think the community deserves to see who will be made responsible for the park in the long term and who will fund the capital outlay. Having another park in Buckhead sounds like a wonderful idea, but at what cost?

Should there be limits on the scale of infill housing redevelopment? If so, what types of limits?   

I do believe that there should be limits on the scale of infill housing and the city should be working with the individual neighborhoods to ensure that the rules coincide with the character of those neighborhoods. Where neighborhood organizations are not established, the city of Atlanta should look at what already exists in that area and do their best to set policies that maintain a similar character. What may work for one neighborhood may be completely off and look out of place in another neighborhood.

Should Buckhead have more bicycle facilities, such as lanes or multi-use trails, and if so, what types would you support?  

The city is realizing the fact that with the projected growth, traffic will inevitably get worse and alternative transportation will be a necessity. I believe that bikes are an extremely viable option to help fill that role. I think there are great opportunities in Buckhead for both bike lanes and multi-use trails like PATH400. Utilizing trails and paths helps to create a safer environment for both bicycles and cars. As long as the opportunities are reviewed and there is buy-in from the community, then I would do what I can to help with implementation.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.