What’s your vision for Doraville?
Doraville is the only city in the Northern part of metro Atlanta that is not seeing development around its MARTA station – I would work on changing that. This is within the city’s ability to change, because it owns so much under-utilized public land in that vicinity. The potential for transformation is huge! This is my top priority.
Also related to economic development – the city needs to improve its reputation when it comes to working with businesses. We need to improve our processes and ordinances to make sure that we remove any stigma about Doraville as a place to operate a business. Permits should be able to be submitted electronically, information should be easily accessible on the city website, and the city staff should be cross-trained as much as possible.
I also think that the city has not done a good job of communicating to or engaging with our residents. We should have some town halls to solicit feedback on issues outside of council meetings; and we should create more boards and commissions to provide input on public art, city budgeting, our parks, and other important municipal functions.
Why give up your council seat to run for mayor?
The most successful cities around us – even those with city managers – have forceful mayors with strong visions for what their cities should be. These mayors have pushed their councils and their cities forward, and have enabled a regional transformation.
In order to start catching up to these neighboring cities, Doraville needs to elect a leader who has a vision for our city. There needs to be a focus on economic development, public accountability and process improvement.
This is not something that can wait another 4 or 8 years – the leadership with a vision that I can offer is something we need now.
Won’t being Doraville Mayor be too much work for someone with a full-time job?
Being Doraville’s Mayor will be a challenging job that will take a lot of time and attention. Most of our neighboring cities’ mayors have full time jobs, however. And if we want the best people for these roles to be stepping up for public service, we have to expect that at least some of these people will be working professionals.
In fact, because I work in the Corporate Real Estate industry, and interact daily with developers, contractors, architects, business executives, and others from various walks of life – I believe this strengthens the value that I bring to the city as its next mayor.
Don’t you think you need more experience on council to be ready to be mayor?
I think my experience on city council is valuable, and helps inform this run for mayor. I have many other qualifications, though, that should be noted:
- I have a Master’s Degree in Building Construction from Georgia Tech
- I’m Director of Real Estate for one of the largest law firms in the country, and manage an annual budget that’s several times the size of Doraville’s budget
- Being in my mid-40s and having lived in Doraville since my mid-20s, I think I have a deep and mature understanding of our community and its issues, and will be able to use that to be a better mayor.