I’ve been asked a few times why I would give up a voting seat on the council so I could run for the (mostly) non-voting mayor role.
I can sum it up in three words: Doraville needs leadership.
There are very few organizations that can function without a leader - including city councils. Other cities have mayors who are leaders with vision and who have moved their cities forward quite a bit over the last decade. Unfortunately, this has not been the case in Doraville.
Over the last eight years, we have seen a leadership style that is mainly reactive. When someone comes to the city with a project or request, the council deals with it. When it comes to thinking ahead or being proactive, however, the story has not been so good. Here are some examples:
- Doraville's downtown redevelopment; as I’ve pointed out before, the city owns 10 acres of land across from the MARTA station, which could easily be re-developed. It has made lots of plans over the years, but taken no action towards making this happen.
- Budgeting; Mayor Pittman believes “We have to trust staff” about whatever budget and pay plan they put before us. She doesn't understand that mayor and council have an obligation to give the staff direction on what should be prioritized in that budget.
- Communication; City Hall does an awful job of communicating or soliciting feedback from residents. This results in projects with poor buy-in and poor results. I believe that more communication would also result in the mayor and council doing a better job of responding to residents' concerns.
I came to realize that the city was desperately short of leadership and will continue to drift for another 4 years if we don't make a change. I have the education and experience to provide the necessary leadership, which is why I decided I needed to join the race to be Doraville’s next mayor.