Candidate for Brookhaven City Council, District 2
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1) What are three issues directly affecting your district you would plan to address while serving again on the council?
Stormwater: DeKalb neglected our infrastructure for many years. We’ve completed several large projects, such as the $1.3 million S. Bamby drainage project, and multiple greenspace acquisitions, which prevents flooding by keeping land undeveloped. This ties into our overall goal of providing greenspace within a ten-minute walk for every resident. The North Fork Peachtree Creek Watershed Improvement Plan identified $24 million in projects needed on just this side of Peachtree. Over the next six months, the funding for these shovel-ready projects will be considered via state and federal grants, particularly the federal infrastructure bill, and public-private partnerships. Experienced leadership is critical to the competitive grant process.
Connectivity: Our vision is for all District 2 residents to be able to ride a bike or push a stroller safely across our city via a network of multi-use paths, sidewalks, and bike lanes. Brookhaven led in connectivity with the “model mile” of the Peachtree Creek Greenway. The goal is to connect the greenway to Dresden Drive, Murphey Candler Park, the Beltline, and beyond.
Managing growth: We’ve taken many steps to address the growth inherent with being close to Atlanta. When I was elected, I pushed the initiative to get federal funding for all traffic lights on Dresden to be coordinated with Peachtree Road and onto Perimeter Mall, which will be completed by next year. We’ve updated our zoning code to require more greenspace and larger units to curb density, creating more open spaces. With the new tag office development, we demanded that the developer expand detention to curb flooding in Brookhaven Fields. I’ll continue to demand of anyone that wants to build in Brookhaven to substantially improve the livability of our neighborhoods.
2) Brookhaven is expected to receive recommendations from the Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission (SJREC) this year. How should the council go about making active steps to ensure those are implemented properly?
Make it a part of our DNA. In the same way we made our sustainability initiative a part of everything we do: make it a priority for every department and employee.
3) What can the council do to better public safety?
Brookhaven police know that the council supports them and always provides necessary resources. I will continue to foster an environment of innovation and creativity. Even before the national spotlight, we were proactive in proper training for our police and provided innovative resources such as mental health professionals, license plate readers, and state-of-the-art protective equipment. Policing is a challenging profession and recruiting quality officers is always difficult. To that end, we gave our officers a 20% raise. We’ll continue to attract the best with incentives such as retention bonuses, increased housing allowances to live in Brookhaven, and new community policing initiatives.
4) Would you make affordable housing a priority for this next council? If so, what do you think the council can do?
Yes. Brookhaven has led on affordable housing with the first city-wide inclusionary zoning in the state, requiring 10% affordable units. We’ll utilize all available tools such as encouraging a larger supply of housing where infrastructure can support it, like on Buford Highway along the Peachtree Creek Greenway, and partnering with the DeKalb Housing Authority on projects within Brookhaven, like the senior housing at Johnson Ferry Road.
5) With COVID-19 cases back on the rise, what more can the council do to address and promote safety from the virus?
Clarification: COVID-19 cases were rising when The Reporter initially asked candidates this question. COVID-19 cases in Georgia can be tracked on the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website.
As part of the CDC public health response to COVID-19, I have a unique perspective. We will continue to encourage vaccines, follow CDC guidelines, and continue innovative solutions to manage risk, like expanded outdoor dining. Federal funding will help expand our outreach capacity.