The 51-year-old deputy commissioner, who had served City Hall in different capacities for more than three years, passed away in his sleep, Atlanta Police confirmed.
From Sept. 2010 to April 2011, White served as the interim commissioner of the city's watershed department. As deputy commissioner, he played a key role in making City Hall's fleet more sustainable and introducing 96-gallon recycling carts in an effort to reduce Atlanta's carbon footprint.
"The City [of] Atlanta benefited tremendously from Commissioner White's work ethic and professional experience," Mayor Kasim Reed said in a memo today. "Under his direction, Public Works established its first sustainability initiatives in fleet management with the implementation of compressed natural gas vehicles, electric charging stations, and combined routes for solid waste pick-up services."
Before joining City Hall, White held leadership positions in public works departments in Richmond, Va.; Macon; Augusta-Richmond County; and Dougherty County.
"He was always more than willing to help," says Atlanta City Councilwoman Carla Smith, who remembers White as an always-smiling, hard-working official who "got the job done when we called him."
Added Councilman Howard Shook, who chairs the utilities committee: "He was regarded as a hard worker who had earned the committee's trust and respect. I don't think it's really sunk in yet that we'll never see him again."
White is survived by his wife, Robin, and two children.
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