Atlanta City Council Cites Major Plans for 2014

By Hal Lamar | 1/10/2014, 10:39 a.m.
Street improvements, better code enforcements, economic development, better public safety are just part of a long list of goals set ...
Members of the Atlanta City Council take their oath of office during inauguration ceremonies. Photo by Vincent Christie.

“Improving education and more jobs are what we desperately need in the district,” Sheppard told The Atlanta Voice. “To that end, I tell developers they can’t bring their commerce to the 12th with no jobs.” She also said that the former Capitol View Elementary School has been converted to a charter school called the Latin Academy Middle School.

Howard  Shook, who’s District 7 represents much of North Atlanta including Buckhead, said one his continuing priorities is allocating more green space for the  district.

“Our district has the least amount of green and park space,” said Shook, a native of Dayton, Ohio. “I have a plan in 2014 to improve that.”

Shook, entering his fourth term on council, also wants to improve how city workers are evaluated or “mis-evaluated.” “You have workers who give 110 percent to their jobs but don’t receive the salary or appreciation they deserve for their dedication,” he said. “But you also have employees who don’t give the city a day’s work for a day’s pay. We need to shine a light on both those issues. In past evaluations, less than one percent of the latter were cited as needing improvement.”

Improving the 10th district and especially its main thoroughfare Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is a continuing priority for senior councilmember Clarence “CT”  Martin who is commencing his sixth term in office.

“We can’t have a street named for a native Atlantan, icon of the civil rights movement and Nobel Peace Prize laureate looking as blighted as it looks now,” said Martin who is also a native.

He says he’s created a group to help plan and advise ways to do a makeover of MLK. He said that  will be the key to luring more commerce along the 18 mile thoroughfare that  starts from historic Oakland  cemetery in  northeast Atlanta and ends beyond Fulton County Airport. He is also concerned about public safety in the district and will get an opportunity to do something about it in the 10th and all over Atlanta. City Council President Caesar Mitchell named Martin chair of the council’s Public Safety Committee.

Martin will have the backing of Mayor Reed on this project who has said in the past that he wants M.L. King Drive to be the best King Drive in the nation.

Speaking of council appointments, 16 year council veteran Felicia Moore was named chair of the transportation committee and vows to hit the ground running in her fifth term doing something about the blight of the city’s 9th district.  The community transitioned from white to black nearly 50 years ago. Super market chains, drug stores, one of the city’s first K-mart stores which opened as Thrifty City in the early 1960s all made their way out of the district.

“That also created abandoned housing and lack of code enforcement which we sorely need,” she said.  Moore, who moved to Atlanta from her native Indianapolis, Indiana in 1987, got into politics as a community activist not long after arriving here.

“It is not without some improvements, however. Moore said Publix’s supermarket is moving soon in the Moores Mill Road sector of the district’s northwest quadrant.

“We are off to a pretty good start but I think it will take longer than four years to see some real change,” she said.