More about Dean
I moved to Clarkston in July of 1997, 25 years ago. I was attracted to the area of Clarkston due to the excellent location in its proximity to Atlanta as well as ease of access to I-285 in getting to areas north and south of Atlanta. I discovered so much more than a home with a great location. I love the neighborhoods to walk my dogs, the age of the homes, and the wonderful residents living here. I am a member of the Clarkston Historic Preservation Commission to help preserve Clarkston and to ensure smart development that supports the families and homes while increasing our Quality-of-Life.
I moved to Georgia from Northern Virginia in 1990. I was a land surveyor for Washington Gas Light Company and previously had been a customer service specialist with a residential construction company specializing in multi-family townhomes and apartment condominiums. My background allowed me to transition to superintendent in charge of commercial building and renovation for specialty construction companies here in Georgia. My portfolio includes medical renovations in hospitals and medical centers to create new operating rooms, CT scan and x-ray rooms, doctor’s offices and labs, as well as hotel renovations, new townhomes, new church buildings, renovations at Zoo Atlanta, numerous restaurants including 5 in Krog Street Market, hair and nail salons, and a Starbucks on Monroe Drive in Atlanta.
I was appointed as a member of the Planning & Zoning committee in 2007. Being on the committee provided a unique perspective on the construction permitting and inspection process and how it differed from the jurisdictions where I’ve had the pleasure to manage projects. I determined that we required professional upgrades to ensure safety in our public spaces. In 2009, the city council wisely voted to seek a professional manager for the city. That year I was asked to run for city council, won my elections twice, and served on council for 8 years, from 2010 to the end of 2017. The Georgia General Assembly voted to approve our change in the form of government in 2010, and we have experienced progressive professionalism ever since.
I was on the team that professionalized the city, changing from a mayor/council form to a council/city manager form of government, hiring our first city manager in 2011. That action was the single best thing that has happened for the City of Clarkston. Professionalizing the city included compartmentalizing our three departments, administration, police public safety, and public works. Where we only had one building, City Hall, we acquired the Morris historic home, renovating it for our City Hall Annex for administrative offices, and building a new Public Works compound in 2012-2013. We annexed commercial properties, expanding the city boundry while increasing our tax base, which has facilitated support for public projects and financial survival of the city.
Focusing on our unique population, we have been improving our pedestrian infrastructure, sponsored by a DeKalb Board of Health report, the Clarkston Active Living Initiative, and facilitated the PATH foundation in completing the Decatur-Stone Mountain bicycle and pedestrian path with a separate bridge across I-285 to provide safety for families using the PATH.
I conceived and spearheaded as a personal safety improvement project mostly outside our city limit in unincorporated DeKalb County, the conversion of N. Indian Creek Drive, from a four-lane speedway to a two-lane pedestrian friendly road with bicycle lanes and a center turn lane. Highlighting in conversations with DeKalb traffic engineers and Atlanta Regional Commission professionals that motor vehicles travelling at interstate speeds were only a foot or so from gaggles of elementary school students walking to school, was a convincing argument. Highlighting that within the distance of about one mile, the institutions of two colleges, a high school, an elementary school, several temples and a mosque, the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf, Clarkston’s branch of the DeKalb Public Library, the restored historic Clarkston Community Center, and the presence of two to three dozen pedestrians at any given time helped define the need for safety improvements.
I again seek the honorary position of representing the people of the City of Clarkston as a City Council member because service to our community is very important to me. I have been in service to this community for over 16 years and continue as a current member of the Historic Preservation Commission and on the Technical Advisory Committee for our current zoning re-evaluation.
My 8 years of prior service on the city council included two years on the Georgia Municipal Association Board of Directors as District 3, Eastern Division President, from 2014-2016, that includes DeKalb County and parts of Rockdale County.
During my tenure as a public servant, I pursued extensive training in government policy and operations through the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), including urban development, pedestrian safety, and municipal law. I’ve been awarded the GMA Certificate of Achievement for Education and have over 117 hours of credit for courses in Downtown Development Authority, Urban Redevelopment, Public Works and Transportation, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Zoning, Housing for Seniors, Historic Preservation, Cultural Competency, Complete Streets, Planning for Healthy Communities, Mental Health First Aid, Equitable Transit Oriented Development, Bicycle Facility Design, Ethics for Elected Officials, and other community development seminars.
I currently live with my wife of 22 years, two dogs, a house cat and a feral cat, and I am employed as campus engineer at The Museum School of Avondale Estates. I also enjoy playing music with friends.