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Brookhaven moving on pace in startup initiatives
by LaTria Garnigan
February 06, 2013 03:13 PM | 1404 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>Interim City Manager Marie Garrett, left, and Interim City Attorney Bill Riley review budgets at Brookhaven City Hall.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Interim City Manager Marie Garrett, left, and Interim City Attorney Bill Riley review budgets at Brookhaven City Hall.
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Just a little more than 40 days into operation, the city of Brookhaven is moving right along in its beginnings. “I think we are right where we need to be,” said Interim City Manager Marie Garrett. “We’ve adopted several ordinances, many of those we have tweaked to better fit the requirements of Brookhaven.”

Garrett, no stranger to new municipalities, also assisted with the startup of Johns Creek, having served on its Governor’s Commission appointed by then Gov. Sonny Perdue and afterwards becoming the city’s interim city manager.

She has had a background in local government for the last 16 and a half years, doing private consulting work with local governments and the private sector as well.

Even with the ordinances passed already, Garrett said the city of Brookhaven is looking at some long-range plans that will be addressed early in the summer. For example, the city’s upcoming comprehensive plan will look at land use.

“And we’re working on developing our economic development strategy,” she said. “We’re also looking at how we are building a foundation that could be sustained for the city.”

As for the economic strategy, Garrett said the city is starting to become more engaged in matters of state and federal legislation that have an impact on Brookhaven and being involved in comments regarding new statuses or laws that could have an impact on the city.

Garrett is also steadily involved in the search for a permanent city manager, having said this is a position for a very seasoned manager because the city is so brand new.

“It requires somebody that has more than 20 years of experience in the business,” she said. “It’s going to demand that for the community to get everything they need. So this is not a job that’s a promotion for somebody or on the job training … it demands an experienced and seasoned city manager.”

The structure of Brookhaven city charter dictates a municipality that is city manager-led, and Garrett said Mayor J. Max Davis is being deliberate in his review of all resumes because he wants to be able to hire the right person the first time.

“He’s being very methodical and realizing it’s going to require a seasoned city manager,” she said. “Because of that, I have the greatest respect for the mayor and council in making that a top priority.”

The mayor and council are also keyed on creating a public/private partnership for Brookhaven, similar to what other new municipalities like Sandy Springs and Dunwoody have done.

“With the business community that is here that provides jobs, shopping and recreation, that creates a comprehensive view of residential living so everything is available for residents,” said Garrett.

The city will be making sure to sustain and maintain its business community, said Garrett. She mentioned the newly-formed Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce will work with the business community and assist the city in carrying the message of what its economic strategy is.
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