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Monday, May 19, 2008

Beltline officials resign, new names join the team

Beltline, Development, Transit

Atlanta Beltline Inc. CEO Terri Montague informed project advocates in a Friday e-mail that several key officials have resigned from the group charged with bringing the 22-mile loop of trails, park and transit to life. Several new members have joined the team, as well.

Learned from the e-mail:

  • Tina Arbes, ABI's Chief Operating Officer, has resigned. She's overseen all activities related to Beltline foundational planning and the initiation of park and trail development. Arbes will remain on staff for up to six months as ABI searches for a new COO, but will remain in her position through August 31.

  • Roland Young, the Beltline Citizen Participation Advocate, resigned on May 9. He'll continue in his role until May 31. Rukiya Eaddy, a recent addition to the Citizen Participation Team — and who shared responsibility with Young for staffing the Beltline advisory committees and initiating public interaction about the project, will pick up some of the responsibilities until the team hires his replacement.

  • If you've taken one of the Beltline tours, you're familiar with Heather Hussey Coker — she was the young lady who led the shuttle-bus trips around the project every Friday and Saturday morning. She joins the team for the summer and will support ABI's citizen engagement and policy efforts.

  • Matthew Dickison, a planner who was ubiquitous at master-planning meetings, resigned from his position as senior urban planner with the City's Bureau of Planning, effective May 30th. Dickison was the lead project manager for the Boulevard Crossing and Heritage Communities in South Atlanta — the Grant Park and Southwest Atlanta areas, essentially. Jonathan Lewis and James Alexander, respectively, will assume Matthew's master planning responsibilities for those locations. Beltline officials start the search for Dickison's replacement in June.

  • Lee Harrop joined ABI as the program management office (PMO) Manager. In this capacity, he'll develop and manage project tracking and issue identification processes and resources for all Beltline projects. The PMO serves as 'data central' project tracking for the individual Beltline sub-projects, Montague says in her e-mail. Harrop will also help coordinate among ABI, city departments and other project partners.

  • Suzette Brading is a contract consultant who is helping the project team fill the open positions of design director, citizen participation advocate, director of government relations, communications manager, project manager and other key positions. Project supporters have been rallying for a design director to ensure the Beltline is a complete vision with a natural flow — he or she will be responsible for crafting art out of infrastructure. In other spheres, the "director of government relations" position usually translates to "lobbyist."

(Graphic courtesy of City of Atlanta)

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