Leadership

  • Chaired Solid Waste Task Force, developed recycling and composting policies and activities that have moved Athens-Clarke County from 35% to over 60% diversion of materials from landfill.
  • Co-chaired Criminal Justice Task Force, creating the Diversion Center as a program-rich space for productive activity by residents. Also encouraged the creation of an in-house misdemeanor probation office, after several years of private providers that were unable to reduce recidivism, and acted more as a cost-center than place for changing behavior. The combination of these approaches, and other work by criminal justice system members has reduced average daily jail population by over 80 persons per night – from over 500 to around 425. Continued to advocate for a Criminal Justice Coordinating Council composed of members of layers of area criminal justice system to further refine processes, creating a more humane and efficient system. This is especially important since the criminal justice system consumes over 50% of the general fund operating dollars.
  • Saved taxpayers over $1 million by pursuing the creation of a new permanent wing of the jail vs. a temporary expansion that would be torn-down upon construction of the new jail.
  • Chaired with Wetland and Pond Buffer Citizen Committee, encouraging protection of these valuable natural resources. While some recommendations stalled, this work served as encouragement of a watershed management plan by ACC staff, work that is continuing.
  • Heavily promoted evening bus service and fare-free service for public school students, even in the midst of threatened budget cuts.
  • Consistently promoted safe roads for all, resulting in better designs, including recently placed crosswalks with pedestrian refuges on Baxter St., Prince Ave., Cedar Shoals Dr., Milledge Ave. and North Ave.
  • Encouraged Economic Development Foundation to become more productive and pro-active, which ultimately resulted in the creation of the ACC Economic Development Department, which has spearheaded a range of new economic activity.
  • Pursued an Audit of the “public interface” of development departments (Public Utilities, Building Inspections, Planning, Transportation/Public Works) to seek clarity and efficiency for members of the public and those in the construction trades. This resulted in a streamlined Plans Review system that all departments now use in common, and a shortened deadline for project approval.
  • Worked diligently with developers to create positive version of projects such as 100 Prince Avenue and the Trail Creek/Kroger development.
  • Led the effort that resulted in the first update of the Bike Master Plan in 15 years and the first-ever Pedestrian Master Plan.
  • Pushed strongly for an Athens-Clarke Civil Right Commission, pursuit of which was endorsed by the Commission, and funded in the FY18 budget.
  • Pursued greater urban agriculture opportunities, including small-scale poultry.
  • Convened the Panhandling Roundtable to seek solutions to bring business leaders, the Police Department, and social service agencies together to reduce this problem.
  • As an teacher and school leader:
    • Helped open Classic City High School (taught 7 years, principal for 4 years), providing a flexible public diploma opportunity to thousands of students in Athens.
    • Worked with the Athens Land Trust to establish and fund the Young Urban Farmer program based at the West Broad Garden as a way for students to gain life skills and agricultural knowledge.
    • Currently, assists in opening and administration of Foothills Education Charter High School locations, the public evening school in Athens-Clarke and surrounding counties, including in three state prisons – – where young inmates were provided the first opportunity in decades to earn a high school diploma.