Dimitrius Owens

Dimitrius Owens.

owens4office.com

Occupation: Asst. Broker with Wynd Realty

Previous elected offices held: None.

Other community service experience: Volunteered with Atlanta Track Club as Crew Chief for Peachtree Road Race in charge of Elite and Invited runner Hospitality for 25 years; past president of Adair Park Today Civic Association. Led the application process and wrote guidelines for Urban Design Commission award of Historic Landmark status granted to Adair Park neighborhood. Assisted senior citizens with real estate title issues and tax appeals. Worked with GREFPAC, a mortgage fraud task force that addressed the mortgage fraud that has ravaged many Atlanta neighborhoods.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

My wife Anne and I have lived in Brookhaven since 2004 and we love our city. Brookhaven is a vibrant community and we need to protect and improve what we have here. The city has seen exponential growth over the past years, so planning and oversight must be a primary focus going forward. From my neighbors I hear common themes of wanting improved parks and green space; ensuring the infrastructure is in place to support the growth of the city; controlling tax rates and maintaining fiscal responsibility and transparency; and they want to have their voices and opinions heard.

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

Brookhaven is an envy to surrounding communities. Preserving and enhancing our quality of life can be achieved by cautious and prudent administration. I am committed to make sure the reasons we moved here are preserved by careful and judicious application of zoning and not flippant, shortsighted decisions acting without the advice and consensus of residents. I am running with the idea of winning the voters who care if their voices are heard and who trust the diversity I will bring to the City Council. Ensuring a transparency and openness necessary to preserve the character of our communities.

What is the best way to address the issue of commuter traffic cutting through the district’s neighborhoods?

Let’s start maybe by synchronizing traffic lights to maximize traffic flow on the major thoroughfares. It’s an inexpensive beginning. Previous road planners did not anticipate the level of traffic we have today, so to me the simplest solutions are the ones that cost the least amount of revenue and disruption to daily commutes. Maybe doing road work during non-peak hours. Talk of roundabouts and medians are a possibility, but with expanding sidewalk and paths and people being resistant to change in their neighborhoods, maybe we should focus on more immediate solutions to other quality-of-life issues.

What is the best way to resolve some tensions over uses and facilities in Brookhaven Park, such as off-leash dog play and the possibility of a DeKalb County branch library?

This is a pet (pun intended) project of mine. The proponents of off-leash dog play far outweighs (in my opinion) any other group’s claim to that space, and plans do include upgraded playground amenities. That being said, we are frustrated by the $40 million bond (more like $60 million by some estimates) trickle-down and all we have to show for it is a fence. As for the DeKalb Brookhaven Branch Library, it appears to be a Hatfields vs. McCoys, Brookhaven vs. DeKalb County, game of musical chairs.

John Ruch

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