The Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven has gained an impressive group of volunteer experts to work with committees to recommend a structure for the new city.
Among the experts named to assist 10 committees established a week before by commission chair Ben Vinson, were:
• Sandy Springs Police Chief Terry Sult, who has volunteered to work with the Police Committee,
• Former Fulton County and Sandy Springs Planning Director Nancy Leathers to work with the Planning, Zoning and Municipal Code Committee, and
• Former Georgia Department of Transportation Atlanta Region Project Manager and present consultant to the Atlanta Regional Commission Joe Palladi, has volunteered to work with the Public Works Committee.
• Tisa Moore, who served for five and a half years as assistant public and community relations officer for the city of Sandy Springs after it was formed will be the expert assisting the Project Management & Communications Committee.
The years of government service of those four expert volunteers may somewhat overshadow the backgrounds and community service experience of the others who have volunteered to assist the commission as experts on the 10 committees, but all bring valuable expertise and experience to the process, according to Vinson and commission members who co-chair the committees.
The other expert volunteers assigned to committees are: Eden Freeman, Contracting & Proposals; Julian Jackson, Executive Search; Mike Dvorscak, Offices & Facilities; Mike Bell, Transition Services; Monte Vavra, Finance; and Karen Whitehead, Parks & Recreation.
Each of the committees has a commission member and a member of the community as co-chairs.
(See the attached box for a list of the co-chairs and volunteer experts for each of the committees formed to assist the Commission on Brookhaven.)
Vinson said that additional volunteer members from the community would be added to the committees during the coming week and encouraged those at the third meeting of the commission to get involved in the process of forming the new city.
The police committee was the only one of the 10 committees that met the last week and attracted about 15 residents to its inaugural session. A similar committee on parks and recreation has yet to meet but already has 64 residents interested in participating, commissioners reported.
“There has been a lot of work and analysis already,” said Vinson. “We really appreciate the interest.”
Like other new cities, Brookhaven is expected to rely on private contractors to provide many of the government services after bids are let on contracts. The city itself is expected to hire only four senior administrators — a city manager, finance director, clerk and attorney — as well as its own police department.
J.D. Clockadale, the commission member who co-chairs the police committee, said the city expects to contract with either DeKalb County or another government for police services for several months after the official startup date.
He listed several subcommittees that have begun examining specific areas involving the police department, such as equipment and staffing, budget and vendors, grants, 911 services, code enforcement and facilities.
Clockadale urged the media to get the message out that the committee will not accept applications for chief or police officers. Anyone who has already submitted an application will have to re-apply after the mayor and city council are officially seated, he said. Those personnel decisions will be made by the council, city manager and the new police chief, Clockadale stated.
The only additional action items voted on by the commission at the meeting, held Thursday night at St. Martin’s Episcopal School, was the acceptance was to approve Lyn Rosser as the commission’s pro bono executive secretary and the approval of the atrium at St. Martin’s Episcopal School as the venue for the commission’s future weekly public meetings.
Those meetings are to be held every Thursday night at 8 p.m. until the conclusion of the commission’s work—initially scheduled for Nov. 6—except for Thanksgiving night. It has not yet been determined if there will be a meeting of the commission that week.
Vinson also announced that the Georgia Municipal Association has agreed to host and lead the candidate training sessions mandated by the governor’s act that created the commission. The tentative training session dates are Oct. 9 in the evening and Oct. 13 during the day. They will be held at the offices of the Municipal Association in downtown Atlanta. This would give the candidates the option of attending on a weeknight or on a Saturday.
Commission member Kim Gokce, who chairs the Project Management & Communication Committee, stressed that the primary resource for residents to receive information from the commission is on its website: www.brookhavencommission.com.
The website also has been updated to include a form for residents who are interested in volunteering to serve on committees or assist the commission in any other way. Click on the label “volunteer registration” on the opening page of the website.
Commission member Jed Beardsley announced that a secure mailbox has been arranged for and it was decided all mail should be sent to that box. The address for that box is 4060 Peachtree Road, Suite D, #359, Atlanta 30319.
Additionally, residents with public comments or questions can reach the commissioners by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The email account is not monitored 24 hours a day, and people are warned that any email sent to this address becomes public record.
Two possible committee meetings also were announced by Gokce for this Saturday (September 29):
A tentative meeting of the Project Management and Communications committee is planned for 2 p.m. at the commission’s new donated office space, 2536 Caldwell Road.
The Parks & Recreation committee will hold an orientation on Saturday from 10-11 a.m. at the Cowart/Ashford Dunwoody YMCA.
Committees of the Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven
Core Function Committees
Contracting & Proposals: J.D. Clockadale (Commission Co-Chair), Pat Hoban (Citizen Co-Chair), Eden Freeman (Expert)
Executive Search: Todd Lantier (Commission Co-Chair), Kathy Forbes (Citizen Co-Chair), Julian Jackson (Expert)
Offices & Facilities: Jed Beardsley (Commission Co-Chair), Mike Elliot (Citizen Co-Chair), Mike Dvorscak (Expert)
Project Management & Communications: Kim Gokce (Commission Co-Chair), Shawn Keefe (Citizen Co-Chair), Tisa Moore (Expert)
Transition Services: Ben Vinson (Commission Co-Chair), Don Bolia (Citizen Co-Chair), Mike Bell (Expert)
Finance: Todd Lantier (Commission Co-Chair), Bruce Whitmer (Citizen Co-Chair), Monte Vavra (Expert)
Planning, Zoning & Municipal Code: Jed Beardsley (Commission Co-Chair), Jack Honderd (Citizen Co-Chair), Nancy Leathers (Expert)
Police: J.D. Clockadale (Commission Co-Chair), Charles Robertson (Citizen Co-Chair), Terry Sult (Expert)
Parks & Recreation: Kim Gokce (Commission Co-Chair), Sue Binkert (Citizen Co-Chair), Karen Whitehead (Expert)
Public Works: Kim Gokce (Commission Co-Chair), Michael Roberts (Citizen Co-Chair), Joe Palladi (Expert)