Job Application: Atlanta City Council - District 1
QUALIFIED TO GOVERN
Q: What do you think is the most important role of the City Council?
A: Fiscal manager of City services, equipment, and developer major infrastructure projects.
Q: Please describe, in sufficient detail, one professional accomplishment or contribution of which you are most proud. These examples should illustrate skills and capabilities you think apply to governing the City of Atlanta.
A: As a Contract Federal Reviewer, I oversee and audit urbanized areas for the U.S. Government. With more than 28 years of city planning experience, I have worked with local, regional, State and Federal government agencies on the development, financing and implementation of many “successful” municipal projects.
Q: Please list or describe no more than 3 current and past activities you participated in as a private citizen (not an elected official) in which you have acquired skills and perspectives that will make you a stronger mayor. Include your role in the activity and the year(s) in which you were involved.
A: I have delivered more than $300 Million in municipal projects to cities throughout the country (see project list on resume). As former Principal Planner with the Atlanta Regional Commission, I delivered the 1996 Olympic General Aviation Plan. As a Contractor, I coordinated NTD work for GDOT, as well as the development of the Regional Xpress bus service for GRTA.
Q: What does it mean to be an Atlantan/ATLien in 140 characters or less?
A: A feeling a great pride through dedication and hard work. A welcoming agent to many.
Q: What is a new slogan for our city that could unite Atlantans and highlight who we are as a people?
A: Urban South - Fluid and contemporary
DEMONSTRATES PEOPLE-CENTERED APPROACHES
Q: The City of Atlanta currently owns several hundred surplus properties that could be redeveloped. In deciding what to do with these properties, what is the role of community input and when should it take place?
A: Surplus properties? Interesting term. I refer to them as blighted and abandoned properties. I would propose a hefty tax rate of 10x the neighborhood rate for abandoned/blighted homes and commercial property in District 1. I would create a file for each property along with photos and any police reports of criminal activity on the site. Forcing the owners to restore value to the community or confiscation by the City.
Q: The NPU system was envisioned as a place for communities to engage with development in their neighborhoods. How would your administration support the existing NPU system or seek to change it?
A: I love the NPU process. I attend each of the four NPU meetings in District 1 every month. I have made this a practice for the last five-six years. This is not as a “campaign reference.” I actually attend every monthly NPU meeting. I know each of the Board Presidents, most Board members, and many residents in NPU meetings of V, W, Y, and Z. I look forward to continuing my attendance at each of these monthly NPU meetings as a Council Representative. I would attend “in-person” (not through a staff member) and provide each group monthly project updates and finance reports, and I would welcome questions and concerns from residents.
PROACTIVE & RELENTLESS RELATIONSHIP-BUILDER
Q: Give an example of a time when you had to collaborate with many people and/or organizations, especially those who may not hold the same views as you do.
A: Have you been to an NPU meeting?? There is much collaboration and comprise from the smaller task specific committee to the full NPU body.
Q: Think of one major Atlanta issue impacting the district you seek to serve and that needs to be tackled with a collaborative approach, how would you build relationships across the city and region with other governments, private enterprises, or organizations to effect change in our city?
A: I am greatly bothered my the City's constant interest with outsourcing/privatizing jobs that may be performed by our citizens. Our City Council often writes into every resolution and amendment some reference to another city, i.e. “similar to NY and LA,” when promoting major policy changes. Yet they seek to privatize every employment opportunity for our citizens "unlike NT and LA." Outsourcing or privatization contracts should be for highly technical specialized skills like electrical engineering, actuary services, tunnel drilling, etc. Positions like a school cafeteria worker or parking enforcement officer should not be outsourced to private contracts. Those contractors simply hire more employees than is necessary and assign work schedules of part-time employment to reduce employee benefits. An increase in profits for the contractor at much risk to the City’s labor force and overall community morale.
STRONG INTEREST IN TRANSPARENCY
Q: What level of openness and transparency should the citizens of Atlanta expect from city government under your leadership?
A: As with my employment bio which highlights in detail the dollar value of work project listings, I will continue make this information available on the City Council seat's website. In addition, I look forward to continuing my attendance at each of these monthly NPU meetings as a Council Representative. I would attend “in-person” (not through a staff member) and provide each group monthly project updates and finance reports, and I would welcome questions and concerns from residents.
Q: Please describe any policies, programs, or ideas you are considering to increase the transparency of city government, particularly in your office.
A: I plan to make the City of Atlanta a direct Federal fund recipient. According to the US Government's transparency clearinghouse website, USASpending.gov, the City of Atlanta (City Hall operations) is not a direct recipient of Federal funds like the Hartsfield- Jackson Airport and Atlanta Housing Authority. There are numerous report requirements, deadlines, filings, audits and project oversight to Federal fund receivership. I believe auditing and procurement review are the central reasons for having no direct Federal funds in City Hall. As a Federal fund recipient, the City would be audited every three years for accounting and procurement compliance. All financial activities would be reported monthly and reviewed quarterly by the U.S. Government. Becoming a direct Federal fund recipient would bring the greatest transparency to all City Hall operations and end all alleged “pay for play” and other such ethical concerns.