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What is a city issue in Atlanta that, in your opinion, very few people have paid attention to? Could you — and would you — address it?
Shook: I believe it is the tenuous nature of our water supply. The intense interest in this created by a long drought and the 'Water Wars' lawsuits seems to have completely evaporated. We should be using this time on behalf of Atlanta's future to lock in access to a dependable and legally bullet-proof water supply.
Haque: Creating safe, pedestrian friendly environments in Atlanta is key to ensuring sustainable growth in our city. Atlanta must address the $152 million backlog of damaged sidewalks as well work to ensure that our citizens are living in safe environments across the city.
Montgomery: I believe if people really paid attention to how much trash is on the streets they would be appalled. No one wants to live in a dirty house; we have to clean our streets. We may be home to the "dirty birds" but that does not mean we should not keep the nest clean. We have to take pride in our neighborhoods, one home at a time. I would definitely address this, and am actively creating an opportunity to hire high school students to teach them responsibility and service by keeping their city clean.
Southeast Atlanta residents recently raised concerns about a big-box retail center along the Atlanta Beltline. As the Beltline continues along in its development, what steps would you take to make sure its vision — specifically, the one residents laid out in planning meetings — is fulfilled?
Shook: This is a very long-term project, which should be obvious now if it wasn't ten years ago. The #1 challenge for BeltLine 'deciders' is to keep the public behind it, which can be done only if the City styles it as a ring of projects driven by the community and not developers. As an investment tool this TAD has clearly been successful, as the numbers attest.
Haque: Did not respond.
Montgomery: I would create open forums to breakdown the complexity of the plans to make them easy to understand. Most of what usually gets agreed to in these kinds of projects gets lost in translation. Current administration has not done the best job keeping its residents informed. It will take a concentrated effort, but we owe this information to the people it will affect and benefit. I will be the District 7 spokesman, it will be my job to make sure everyone in my district is invited and understands the conversation.
What's your favorite part of the district you want to represent? What's your least favorite part that you hope to change?
Shook: Although a crucial route, Piedmont Road has always been treated as a plow mule (with Peachtree Road being a thoroughbred). Plans have been drawn up to re-engineer and beautify it, which would in turn activate the live-work-play character envisioned for it. The best part is my street, from which we can get to all sorts of cool bustling places in 10 minutes, yet on which a kid can learn to ride a bicycle.
Haque: District 7 is home to an amazing group of families and individuals. I look forward to representing their interests on the Atlanta City Council while making our District more accessible and family friendly.
Montgomery: I love the bustling and beautiful area around Lenox mall. I look forward to making it more walk/bike friendly. Also, I am looking forward to creating a more community based environment in the area. My least favorite is the amount of trash and debris that riddles our beautiful neighborhoods and streets. I want to get on top of that starting Day 1. I am already actively sponsoring initiatives to clean up around Pine Hills where I live. Also making sure common areas stay mowed and manicured is important to the overall feel of the area. If we are to be the Beverly Hills of the South, we need to at least keep our grass cut!
I'm glad these guys are getting their deserved hype but seriously.... 'Is art the new…
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More recently I've talked to people who know more about the Kell building than me…
yeah, TW, why'd you make the space so small?