John Ernst

John Ernst.

Occupation: Attorney, Ernst Legal Group

Previous elected offices held: Mayor of Brookhaven, 2016-2020

Other community service experience: Chair of the DeKalb County Board of Ethics, 2012-2015; Murphey Candler Little League Baseball coach, 2016-2019; Knights of Columbus member, 2015-2019.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

We’ve accomplished a lot together to make Brookhaven better, including building world-class parks, increasing our green spaces, paving most of our roads and ensuring efficient city services – all while reducing taxes. Let’s build on our successes and continue addressing our challenges to fully realize Brookhaven’s vision as a haven of green spaces nestled inside our urban landscape, a city of thought leaders, and a community with character. I’m committed to increasing green space and protecting our tree canopy, achieve balanced growth, realize a walkable community, provide efficient services, implement traffic-calming measures, maintain our AAA bond rating, and keep taxes low.

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

The desirability of Brookhaven has brought more people and development to the best “suburb,” as described by the AJC’s Reader Poll. This can cause quality-of-life issues, such as increased traffic and infrastructure stress. We’ll implement our projects laid out in various transit studies, such as the Bike-Ped Plan, Ashford-Dunwoody Corridor Plan and the North Druid Hills Traffic Study to improve the efficiency of our intersections and connectivity. I led the top-end Perimeter mayors in tackling this issue and we are ahead of the rest of the region with The ATL (transit authority) in planning and implementing transit along I-285.

What is your vision for the future of the Buford Highway corridor?

A livable, robust, and diverse walkable corridor that will retain its international character while offering the public amenities and connectivity with the Peachtree Creek Greenway. Any development within the corridor must meet community standards of affordability and density.

Should the concept of redeveloping the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA Station area be revived, and if so, how?

Yes, but based on our community’s terms and not piecemeal. We’ll demand that developers bring innovative, world-class design and planning that will incorporate clear public benefits, such as an ample green space for public gathering, unified design, and infrastructure improvements such as expanded sewer lines and intersection improvements to address the traffic bottlenecks in the area. Affordability and density are also components that must meet community standards. A robust public engagement process is required where concerns and ideas of residents in the surrounding neighborhoods are not only heard but incorporated.