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2023 MCNA Voter Guide

The election for Brookhaven Mayor and Council of District 1 was held on Tuesday, November 7th, 2023. No candidate received more than 50% of the votes for Mayor or Council District 1, thus a runoff election is being held on Tuesday, December 5th, 2023. View our candidate questionnaire for the eligible candidates in the runoff.

District 1 covers northern parts of Brookhaven, including the neighborhoods surrounding Murphey Candler park (see the district map here).

To check your voter registration status, poll location, early poll locations, and a sample ballot for the upcoming election, visit Georgia Secretary of State – My Voter Page (MVP).

Advanced Voting began on October 16th – visit the DeKalb County Election Information site for information on advanced and absentee voting.

Ballot Referendums

Three referendums are on the ballot. Both the DeKalb County EHOST and SPLOST referendums (items 2 and 3 below) must pass in order for either to become effective.

  1. City of Brookhaven Floating Homestead Exemption – For more information, see this page from the City of Brookhaven. Also, refer to Question #6 below for candidate responses regarding this referendum.
    House Bill 729, Act No. 200 – Shall the Act be approved which modifies the City of Brookhaven floating homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation to ensure the long-term fiscal health of the city?
  2. DeKalb County Suspension of Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST) and Approval of Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax (EHOST) – For more information, see this page prepared by DeKalb County.
    NOTICE TO ELECTORS: Unless BOTH the equalized homestead option sales and use tax (EHOST) AND the special purpose local option sales and use tax (SPLOST) are approved, then neither sales and use tax shall become effective.

    Shall an equalized homestead option sales and use tax be levied and the regular homestead option sales and use tax be suspended within the special district within DeKalb County for the purposes of reducing the ad valorem property tax millage rates levied by the County and municipal governments on homestead properties?
  3. DeKalb County 6-year Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) – For more information, see this page prepared by DeKalb County, this page from Robert Patrick (County Commissioner District 1), and this report from 11 Alive news. If SPLOST II is approved by voters, it would begin in April 2024 while SPLOST I will expire in March 2024.
    Shall a special 1 percent sales and use tax be imposed in the special district of DeKalb County for a period of time not to exceed 6 years and for the raising of an estimated amount of $850 million for the purpose of: (A) DEKALB COUNTY projects to be funded from DeKalb County’s share of the proceeds to: (1) plan, design, construct, demolish, add to, acquire, relocate, renovate, replace, repair, improve accessibility to, improve energy sustainability to, furnish, and equip projects for (a) public safety purposes, to include fire stations, police facilities, courts, and an animal welfare facility; (b) transportation purposes, to include roads and streets, road and street repaving, sidewalks, bicycle paths/lanes, multi-use trails, mass transportation, and other road, street, and bridge purposes; (c) multi-generational recreational purposes, to include senior facilities, parks, libraries and related recreational facilities; and (d) capital outlay projects owned or operated by DeKalb County, to include physical and mental health facilities, and water, sewer, and/or stormwater facilities; and (2) pay expenses incident to accomplish all of the foregoing (collectively the “DeKalb County Projects”);

    (C) BROOKHAVEN projects to be funded from Brookhaven’s share of the proceeds including (i) pavement management, (ii) transportation improvements, (iii) parks capital asset maintenance, (iv) public safety equipment and fleet; and (v) to pay expenses incident to accomplish all of the foregoing;

Mayor and District 1 Qualified Candidates

Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce Forum

Candidates running for Brookhaven mayor and city council attended an October 5th forum hosted by the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce and Rough Draft Atlanta. Video of the event and a summary of responses is available on the Rough Draft Atlanta website – “Brookhaven mayoral and city council hopefuls discuss issues at candidate forum”.

MCNA Member Questionnaire for Candidates

MCNA has prepared the following Brookhaven candidate questionnaire for Mayoral and Council District 1 candidates. This questionnaire is intended to allow candidates to introduce themselves to the neighborhood, highlight their positions, and outline their case for being elected.

To view responses sorted by Candidate, click here.


  • Introduction: Please introduce yourself, explain why you are running for office, and outline any experience that makes you qualified to represent the citizens of Brookhaven.
  • Question 1: Do you support the current plans for the new City Hall development? If elected, is there anything that you would change in terms of scope, costs, etc.?
  • Question 2: If elected, how would you improve communications with neighborhoods, especially the neighborhoods directly affected by a project or policy? What is your plan to solicit feedback from constituents and incorporate that feedback in reaching consensus?
  • Question 3: With the initial Park Bond projects coming to a close in 2024-2025, the idea of a second Park Bond Referendum has been raised. What are your thoughts on this and what would be your top three priorities if a new Park Bond was put forward? How would you ensure that park users and the homeowners near those parks are able to actively influence the project list?
  • Question 4: What is your plan to improve operations and maintenance of existing park space? Examples of issues specific to Murphey Candler Park include: lack of maintenance at County Corner facing W Nancy Creek, overgrowth in the boardwalk & lake shore areas, illegal parking, and patrons using the park after closing.
  • Question 5: Attainable housing is an important issue for all jurisdictions. What is your plan to address this issue while maintaining the integrity of neighborhoods that are zoned for single family use?
  • Question 6: One of the ballot referendums (House Bill 729, Act No. 200) contemplates removing the homestead exemption freeze that was put in place at the founding of the city. Do you support removing this freeze and increasing taxes on homeowners? Please explain your plan to improve governance and fiscal responsibility so that taxes are minimized.
  • Question 7: How will you work with other cities to tackle regional issues such as I-285 toll roads, traffic, and Paths?
  • Closing: Please close with your vision for Brookhaven, including what you see as the biggest issues facing the city over the next four years and your plan to address those issues.


Please introduce yourself, explain why you are running for office, and outline any experience that makes you qualified to represent the citizens of Brookhaven.

Mayoral Candidates

  • Mark Frost:

    My commitment to run for the mayor of Brookhaven started from an increasing chorus of concerned citizens saying “someone has to do something.” That evolved into my candidacy as the issues have mounted over the last couple of years. I’m running because I believe the current leadership, present and recently past, has our city on an unsustainable, potentially ruinous spending trajectory; many projects are fraught with waste and cost overruns; the tax increases to pay for some of these extravagances come at a time when many are struggling due to persistent inflation; and mainly, because our government has lost its way as “the voice of the people.” The evidence of this is particularly poignant as I talk with residents on the campaign trail, including many Murphey Candler area residents.

    I am an accomplished, award-winning asset manager that is well-suited for the job of mayor. Before my retirement, I was the VP of Operations for Jim Ellis Automotive, entrusted with up to $100 million in assets with which I produced a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue with 300 employees. Putting a business lens on the situation from the perspective of an outsider is not a new concept, but it is sorely needed right now for Brookhaven.

  • Lauren Kiefer: I’m running for Mayor of Brookhaven because I believe we need a change in leadership to make sure our city remains the best place to live, work, and play. We have a 10-year track record which shows the things we do well and areas where we can improve, and I’m the only candidate in this race with the skills and experience to get the job done right. I’m a licensed attorney in two states, have experience with residential and commercial real estate including land use and zoning issues, and grew my business from two people in our basement to an organization with three offices globally and an international customer base all while raising two children who have special needs. I have spent nearly three decades in civic and business leadership positions through my work with the Alliance Theater, Georgia Shakespeare, the President’s Advisory Council at Oglethorpe University, and most recently as the Interim Executive Director of the Peachtree Creek Greenway and the Chair of the Brookhaven Arts and Culture Commission. I’ve helped multiple nonprofits, as well as my own business, through recessions and COVID, and now I want to use my experience, relationships, and business acumen to get our city back on the right track. We don’t need more of the same –– we need fresh perspective and new leadership and I’m running for Mayor because I believe I’m the best person for the job.
  • Hilerie Lind: no response as of 10/16/2023
  • John Park:

    I’m running because we’ve accomplished many great things in the city, but we need to maintain that momentum while transitioning from being a young city to a more mature city.

    I have a track record of clearly defining goals and achieving them. I led the efforts to address our stormwater issues, acquire more greenspace, pass a new tree ordinance with a robust reforestation program, and update our zoning code to support balanced development.

    And I’ve done it all through innovative funding sources to reduce the tax burden on residential taxpayers, including public-private partnerships, creating special service districts, and securing county, state and federal funding sources, and brokering land swaps. Brookhaven has the lowest millage rate in all of DeKalb County and the City has the rare AAA Bond Rating from both rating organizations (only one of six cities in Georgia to have this highest rating), which is a testament to Brookhaven’s ability to operate with a balanced budget and with more than the charter-required 25% in reserves This was all achieved with strong collaboration within the council and with the residents of Brookhaven.

    More importantly, I have a history of, and continue to focus on, bringing people together, rather than dividing residents. My interactions with MCNA have been very limited, and I also understand that there is still some bitterness about the handling of Loop Road. However, I think if you look at my consensus- building record (passing a national standard tree protection ordinance with co-operation with developers and advocates alike or the land swap I helped broker with Brookhaven and DeKalb County to build John Lewis Elementary to elevate overcrowded schools are just two examples), that we have the ability to come together for the betterment of the Murphey Candler neighborhood and the entire city. It is through listening and working together that Brookhaven has become a leader in innovation and excellence in public safety, livability, fiscal responsibility, sustainability and balanced growth. I hope to continue this trajectory long-term.

District 1 Candidates

  • Alan Cole:

    Having lived in the Oak Forest Subdivision (District One in the City of Brookhaven) for over 40 years, I am uniquely qualified to represent this area of Brookhaven on the City Council. I have been advocating for the residents of our district for the majority of that time, even before Brookhaven was a city. In fact, I was instrumental in the formation of the City so we could have representation who would be much more responsive than DeKalb County ever was on issues affecting our area. I have led neighborhood opposition to 17 zoning issues with both DeKalb County and the City including but not limited to:

    (a) proposed rezoning to build 46 townhomes at the entrance to Oak Forest subdivision from Ashford Dunwoody Road which resulted in the three beautiful single family homes being constructed instead; and

    (b) Georgia Power substation located on the corner of Perimeter Summit Blvd and Ashford Dunwoody Road which resulted in the facility being buried 21 feet below ground and looks like a park from street level. Ours is the only substation built like this in the nation. The decorative rock, traffic light and turning lanes were all improvements that were also made at this intersection.

    I also led neighborhood opposition to putting a Racetrack gas station and Drug store on the Corner of Ashford Dunwoody and Oak Forest Drive.

    I am running for office because after witnessing some of the questionable decisions and votes that our current City Council have made. I believe we need someone to bring back a generous dose of good old fashion common sense to the process. From the last approved rezonings that were made by City Council without the input or representation of the residents in the surrounding neighborhoods (Nancy Creek Heights, Oak Forest Hills Subdivision and Canterbury Hills). The recent “one bid contract” for the Nancy Creek bridge repair that should have taken a month but took over a year to complete. Plans to build a new city hall that will not house all the necessary departments in one of the most questionable and expensive locations, tells me there needs to be some accountability brought back. Accountability is replacing someone who hasn’t lived up expectations for the job they were elected to do. The current Councilman for District One and City Council are not listening to the residents living in the Murphey Candler Park neighborhoods either. The present elected officials have said “WE DO NOT NEED YOUR INPUT. WE KNOW BETTER THAN YOU!”

  • Michael Diaz:

    My name is Michael Diaz. I am a registered Civil Engineer with two degrees from The University of Georgia. I have been happily married for over 23 years, and our lovely daughter is finishing up college. She recently accepted a full time job offer to start once she graduates next summer. We still have one dependent…a mini aussie named Buster who likes to ‘greet’ anyone who walks by our house.

    We have lived in DeKalb county for over 25 years and moved to Lynwood Park in 2009 before the city was formed. We are proud to say that we were part of forming the city. However, we have deviated from the main core values of why we formed the city. Things have not gone as planned. That is the main reason why I am running to be the District 1 Councilperson. Promises have not been kept, and I felt like I needed to get off the sidelines and run for political office for the first time.

    I had never dreamed about running for office before, but after serving on the Planning Commission for over seven years, I was close enough to see how city government was working, and not working. This ended up being a stepping stone into this campaign for city council because it made me realize that I was uniquely qualified to help my city.

    I am an executive for a large multinational firm with over 25 years of project management experience working on municipal projects of various sizes. We focus on “improving quality of life” with a paramount value of “people first”. That also overlaps with my duty as a Professional Engineer to serve the public first. As such, I feel that my experience could be of great benefit to my neighbors and the regional community at large. From a financial standpoint, the city spends a large portion of the budget on public works, parks, and paying for our bonds (from the large projects). My understanding of infrastructure work, finances (e.g., rate studies, loans, grants), and municipal collaboration could be of significant value to the city.

  • Linley Jones: I have lived in Brookhaven for 30 years and am the married mother of a teenage son who played 8 years of Murphey Candler Baseball. I have served on City Council for eight years and am running to continue the great success of our City, including supporting law enforcement to ensure public safety, improving walkability and traffic solutions, and improving parks and greenspace.

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Question 1

Do you support the current plans for the new City Hall development? If elected, is there anything that you would change in terms of scope, costs, etc.?

Mayoral Candidates

  • Mark Frost: I am the only candidate that has publicly vowed to do whatever possible to try to shut the $78 million city hall project down or – if that can’t be done – at least shave millions off the projected costs. I’ve been told that it can indeed be shutdown, with a $2-3 million penalty – worth it in my mind as opposed to spending $78 million, (Chamblee spent $20 million for theirs), and going back to the drawing board. I have, in person, asked the Council and Mayor about the possibilities of shutting it down, paring it down. No response. To get to the bottom of it, the professional, paid services of an attorney will be required.
  • Lauren Kiefer: While our city staff does need a new city hall –– what the current leadership has presented us with is not what our community envisioned, and I don’t support the current design or cost. The inflated $78+ million (at the low end) price tag was a shock to many Brookhaven residents –– myself included. This project is a prime example of how our elected officials are leaving us out of critical decisions that will impact our community for decades to come, and why a change is needed. Constructing a building from the ground up with the intention of locating core city functions in an annex on Buford Highway (for an additional $6 million) is not efficient. Having dedicated city council chambers with seating for 165 people that will be used fewer than 20 times annually is not efficient. Having extensive event space at city hall when there are other locations in Brookhaven that would be better suited for it and without knowing if there’s a need or desire for the event space is irresponsible. The new building does not suit the needs of the community, nor does it fit our character and the citizens are overwhelmingly expressing disapproval of the cost and the design. As your next mayor, I plan to take the design of the city hall project back to the drawing board in my first 90 days in office to determine where we can reduce costs and make sure the building accommodates all our city services and so that the building’s appearance reflects its location and the community in general.
  • Hilerie Lind: no response as of 10/16/2023
  • John Park: I was on the council when it was approved. The scope and the costs for construction is fixed due to the guaranteed maximum price of $63.5 million (otherwise the contractor eats it) and we have already outlaid about $30 million dollars and the rest of the building will be outlaid by the time I become Mayor. I do favor scaling back some of the soft costs. I favor more functional and durable, rather than ostentatious, furniture. I would also ask the council to not spend the roughly half a million dollars on internationally-known artwork proposed by the arts commission and look at more local or regional artists, who reflect our sensibilities and would also cost less.

District 1 Candidates

  • Alan Cole:

    The current plans for the new City Hall are not something I support! Stop this process immediately to rethink a more fiscally responsible approach. The Mayor and City Council need to spend taxpayers dollars just like they would if it was their own money. We expect them to be good stewards of our tax money. There are other tracts of land where the new City Hall can be built in order for the new building to house all of the departments for the City of Brookhaven and provide more than ample amount of free parking for both employees and residents. The current location that has been selected (i) is an overpriced ground lease, (ii) has limited parking and (c) is adjacent to Marta and commercial trains running constantly resulting in noise and vibrations that will interfere with work within the building. In fact, at the ground breaking event on October 11, 2023, speakers had to stop speaking when trains came by. Their voices could not be heard over the noise of the trains.

    A more realistic buildout of the new facility would be in the range of $40,000,000. Of course, this can only happen if we can have at least one other councilman and the new Mayor to agree with this plan. The entire concept for the construction of a new City Hall should be revisited as well as the Master Plan. Time is of the essence.

  • Michael Diaz:

    No. I do not support the current plan. A new city hall space is needed but not at the proposed cost.

    It makes sense to leverage the MARTA stop from a centralized location, mobility standpoint to help reduce traffic, and since the contractor has already begun preparing the site. However, there is still an opportunity to take a fork in the road and “right size” the building. Our sister city, Chamblee, built a City Hall for about $17 million. There is no reason that we should embark in building a “monument” (i.e., Taj Mahal) that will end up costing more than $90 million when change orders, consulting fees, and testing fees get added.

    We still have sidewalks in disrepair and other major infrastructure issues that need to be addressed. We also do not want to be in the business of being event planners to “fill up” the space that will need to be maintained into the future. That means more heating/cooling, lighting, and staff required for upkeep.

    I have also been told that the current plan will require us to house some city staff in a secondary building on Buford Highway which will also require more maintenance and upkeep. I want to look for a reasonable solution that will make City Hall something that we can be proud of while still being fiscally responsible with your tax dollars.

  • Linley Jones: The City Centre project currently underway in Brookhaven is unique among cities in that its funding mechanism will result in a City Hall built entirely without homeowner tax money, providing a permanent City Hall location while the city remains the lowest homeowner property taxes in all of DeKalb County. With most of the main bid packages already back, the project is well underway. I am excited about the role it will play in public life and as an anchor of our City Centre. The new City Hall will be the anchor for something even more important—a City Centre that will belong to the people and further our commitment to integrate and unite our government with the people of Brookhaven. Importantly, the project is based on public input gathered throughout the master planning processes for years, allowing us to manifest the community’s vision for who we are as a City today and in the future.

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Question 2

If elected, how would you improve communications with neighborhoods, especially the neighborhoods directly affected by a project or policy? What is your plan to solicit feedback from constituents and incorporate that feedback in reaching consensus?

Mayoral Candidates

  • Mark Frost: (see question 3 below)
  • Lauren Kiefer:

    The city’s communications with our citizens have been very poor and I have already been engaging with our citizens and business leaders to get their feedback on this topic. As your next mayor, I will schedule a “world tour” of Brookhaven with our city council members and the community engagement officers from Brookhaven PD, and we will ask the community members what’s important to them and how they want to receive communication.

    A cornerstone of my campaign has been accessibility –– because I will be a mayor who does more than hear my constituents, I will actually listen to what you say and respond to your concerns. As I’ve been out knocking on thousands of doors throughout Brookhaven, I’ve shared my cell phone number with people and encouraged them to reach out. My number won’t change when I’m elected, because I understand that this is the people’s seat, and I believe your mayor should always be a phone call away.

    Also – I recently received a postcard announcing the hiring of a new code compliance staffer. This is the first post card I’ve ever received from the city, and it shows that we are, in fact, capable of letting folks know what’s going on in the city, but the current leaders have chosen not to. Going forward we will use every possible tool –– post cards, text message, calls, regular public meetings, and more, to make sure you know what’s going on in the city and have an avenue to provide feedback.

  • Hilerie Lind: no response as of 10/16/2023
  • John Park:

    When I represented district 2, I knew at least one person on every street due to my extensive canvassing during elections. This election, I’ve personally knocked on 2700 doors so far. This creates great personal relationships within each neighborhood. When I need public input in the future, I would reach out to several “plugged in” neighbors and discuss at length. When more robust public input (beyond council meetings) is needed, I would invite the public to my open houses and have town hall style discussion.

    Also, as a councilmember, I released a recap of the council meetings in plain English and kept it under a minute to appeal to busy citizens, but they also knew they could reach out to me if they wanted more information or had questions. I’ve been posting these recaps and announcements on the MCNA facebook page, even though it wasn’t part of my district.

    I plan to do these on a greater scale as mayor. More focused town halls and regularly release “The Mayor’s Minute” to allow busy citizens to understand what’s going on in the city on their terms and not spend time searching for the information available on our website. Accessibility to elected officials is paramount and I have always published my personal cell number and welcome input from all Brookhaven citizens. My number is 404-822-7059.

    I also think that our Communications department and staff are under-resourced to keep up with the demands of our modern 24/7 media cycle. With a background in IT, it’s always irked me that the search function on the website doesn’t function well among other functionality issues, so I’d also like to work on updates to the website to make it more user-friendly. I’d like to look into innovative, cost-effective technological ways to engage and inform residents in general.

District 1 Candidates

  • Alan Cole: This is something that I am very familiar with by gathering and disseminating facts/information to residents directly impacted by any new project or policy change. In fact, I have done this 17 times by bringing over 30 people to DeKalb County zoning meetings and winning! Regarding the City of Brookhaven issues affecting Oak Forest Hills, Nancy Creek Heights and Canterbury Hills subdivisions, more than 30 residents came out to voice their concerns at City Hall. Other subdivisions in District One would be handled in the same manner. Residents that live in the immediate area adjacent to the property in question should have the primary input on the proposed changes/improvements. I am well versed in working with neighbors. My record shows that I have united neighbors in areas of concern and facilitated group discussions/communication. All homeowners adjacent to any proposed plans or rezoning in the City should be heard.
  • Michael Diaz:

    Unfortunately, the current administration has failed at times to adequately seek and respond to feedback from everyone in the community. One of the most common complaints that I have heard during this campaign is that the incumbent is not responsive. Therefore, only a small group is able to vocalize their opinion on projects.

    We are a very diverse community in relation to how we get information and how we provide feedback. There cannot be one single approach. We need representatives who are not only available in a multitude of ways – phone, email, social media, text – but also actively seek out feedback. I understand that some people want to have a conversation while others are happy with a quick text.

    We should have a multi-prong approach, and we need representatives that care enough to put in the effort. It is not enough to schedule coffee time when residents have to come to us. We should be visiting them instead. So many people have said they appreciated seeing me knock on their doors or visit their meetings since they have never met the incumbent.

  • Linley Jones: Communication with neighborhoods and citizens is critical to realizing the community vision for projects. As we learned during the pandemic, there is no equal substitute for in-person communication. I plan to continue “Conversations with a Councilwoman” open-conversation events, on-site meetings with neighborhood interest groups, and participation in community events. It is also important to keep the community informed through online communications with opportunity for feedback. I will also continue to be available and responsive to constituent feedback in its other forms…online, email and even to my cell phone at (404) 484-6744.

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Question 3

With the initial Park Bond projects coming to a close in 2024-2025, the idea of a second Park Bond Referendum has been raised. What are your thoughts on this and what would be your top three priorities if a new Park Bond was put forward? How would you ensure that park users and the homeowners near those parks are able to actively influence the project list?

Mayoral Candidates

  • Mark Frost: I oppose a second Park Bond, a stance based on feedback from constituents. We need to take care of and pay attention to what we have. Upon taking office, I have pledge to immediately do a forensic audit and review all projects and expenses. Until that is complete, I won’t support any additional projects. In the future – on any new projects – I vow to do what so many have said isn’t being done now: actively listen to constituents and be guided by their input, including projects’ lists.
  • Lauren Kiefer: I need to reserve my judgment on a new park bond until we receive the results of the forensic audit that I plan to do during my first 90 days in office and look at projected revenues. As things stand currently, our debt service is already $14 million annually (up from $8M last year) and it will only increase. Debt service is already our fourth largest budget item annually. In other words, until we get a full picture of our financial situation, we can’t afford another park bond. Having said that, I realize that the parks that we have are underserviced, and I will look at a reallocation of staffing to ensure that the parks we have continue to make our citizens and our city proud.
  • Hilerie Lind: no response as of 10/16/2023
  • John Park:

    I would only support another Park bond if there is substantial public demand for it. My top three priorities are:

    1. A new Murphey Candler pool as the current one is lacking. I’ve seen what the new pools at Briarwood and Lynwood parks have done for the community, and want the same for Murphey Candler.
    2. Useful infrastructure for key constituencies such as the Murphey Candler Leagues and the Murphey Candler conservancy.
    3. Additional Green Space throughout the city.

    Nine years ago, one of my first acts as a council member was to partner with PARC to have input sessions from various district 2 park groups regarding a potential park bond. I would like to go back to that model (and include “Friends of” groups) and integrate it with the more formal consultant-led community level input gathering.

District 1 Candidates

  • Alan Cole: I would only be in favor of another Park Bond Referendum if there were more fiscal restraints on how the money is utilized. I don’t think spending $250,000 on an outdoor bathroom or almost $100K to construct and paint a roundabout on Windsor Parkway should be considered fiscally responsible. We also want to ensure the initial bonds that were issued are paid off before we go and borrow more money the residents are responsible for paying. Then when the current bond funds are depleted, I would initiate discussions with residents of the Murphey Candler Park neighborhoods to hear what are their desires and concerns. At that time after listening to the constituents, I would assess the needs of the residents and the reality/feasibility of the situation. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT A $50M GENERAL BOND IS ON THE NOV 7th BALLOT ALREADY!
  • Michael Diaz:

    I am against another Park Bond at this moment until we can learn to be more fiscally responsible. We have made good progress in improving our parks, but those changes, at times, have been to the detriment of the surrounding residents.

    Not enough care was taken to plan for the long-term success of these “supersized” projects that are far from being neighborhood scale. They are creating problems with traffic, parking, and even access by our own residents that cannot rent the spaces because they are being used by others. We are taking down too many trees and replacing them with more impervious surfaces that create additional stormwater issues.

    Also adding much bigger indoor facilities that will require more operations and maintenance. We currently do not have enough staff to maintain our park assets. We are having to increase taxes or annex more territory in order to help balance our checkbook. We are getting caught in a cycle that is not sustainable.

    If the park bond moves forward, the top three priorities should be: right sizing future projects, improving accessibility for nearby residents, and conservation/preservation. We also need to look at ways to improve long-term operations and maintenance (O&M).

    For many years in the Planning Commission, I advocated for finding better ways to engage the residents that are most impacted by these projects. As an example, a nearby resident was not fully aware of a commercial development that was going to be built right next to his house until it was too late. The traditional methods are not working. We need to leverage the knowledge from the consultants and better understand good practices by other municipalities. I am always hearing from the current Mayor that “I am glad we are leading yet again in this state.” Maybe we need to raise the bar even higher!

  • Linley Jones:

    The park bond was a great way that we made significant improvements to Murphey Candler Park, including: scenic boardwalks with overlooks, new multi-use trails, a pedestrian bridge, renovated parking and ballfield drop-off, a new playground, a new community green, re-paving of Horseshoe Road, invasive species removal, and a community lake house soon to come! It also greatly improved the environment with a trash trap and dredging of the lake that restored and ensured the health of the lake which now has a healthy fish and wildlife population again.

    The option of a new park bond is, of course, up to voters, as are the top three priorities. Options that are currently part of the community conversation might include improved park maintenance, increased staffing, and even more pickleball! The project list would be entirely grassroots driven, with input carefully documented, ensuring that it represents the vision of the community.

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Question 4

What is your plan to improve operations and maintenance of existing park space? Examples of issues specific to Murphey Candler Park include: lack of maintenance at County Corner facing W Nancy Creek, overgrowth in the boardwalk & lake shore areas, illegal parking, and patrons using the park after closing.

Mayoral Candidates

  • Mark Frost: The state of parks is a common theme all over Brookhaven. Again, first order of business is to better take care of what we already have and do so with the guidance of citizens’ input. I believe there is more than enough savings to be gained from efficiencies elsewhere to properly take care of what we already have. I am committed to our wonderful parks but let’s assure quality before we proceed with more quantity.
  • Lauren Kiefer: I echo my answer to Question 3 and will also work with Brookhaven PD to secure additional traffic enforcement officers to deal with the myriad traffic and speeding issues in your part of town (and in others) that have been brought to my attention. I will also speak to Chief Gurley to see about additional methods of patrol of all parks after closing.
  • Hilerie Lind: no response as of 10/16/2023
  • John Park: Maintenance was recently just shifted from the parks department to the facilities manager so the departments are still getting their bearings. I would clearly define the service levels and publish them. We did this for mowing the FEMA buyout lots in district 2 and the accountability has made maintenance more consistent. I would work with key stakeholders to address the illegal parking as well as after-hours use to come up with a community- oriented solution. This is where I think my different style of consensus-building as well as my experience and understanding of the legal and planning nuances will pay off.

District 1 Candidates

  • Alan Cole: First and foremost meet with the residents of the Murphey Candler Park area to listen to their thoughts about the lack of maintenance around the Park as well as illegal activities. After hearing what the MCHA has to say, I would address these issues with all of the applicable departments within the City including Public Safety. Operations and maintenance is really just a logistical issue. Provide a regular schedule and make sure there is someone at the City who understands they they own this responsibility, then their job performance will be directly impacted by how well they execute on this. It’s amazing what happens when a person or department know they can’t pass the buck! I have found that, in general, people will rise to the level of expectations put on them as long as the expectations are realistic and clearly defined.
  • Michael Diaz:

    In speaking with many residents at MCP and walking the area, it was very apparent that there is a lack of maintenance of the existing facilities. A lot of funding appears to be spent supporting facilities for visitors to the area at the expense of the local residents. There is a way that both can be maintained with some thoughtful consideration.

    For a lot of the municipal projects that I engage with professionally, we cannot discuss the new project until we also consider the long-term costs related to operations and maintenance (O&M). It appears we are only focusing on the physical cost of new projects without understanding the implications of keeping them operating for years to come. An example is the lack of lifeguards at the pool over the summer. Or how much staff time is required to clear the garbage from all the outside visitors coming to the park. Or that the Public Safety building is going to have a geothermal system that will be difficult to maintain and require specialized servicing. So now our police officers will need to be worried about heating/cooling issues when they should be focused on our safety. All because we want to be a “sustainable” city. That is far from being the only consideration to make us feel sustainable. But I digress.

    The plan should be to first discuss how we can properly staff for O&M before spending more money on new facilities.

  • Linley Jones: I am currently working with the city to secure a contract with a private landscaping company to perform maintenance at County Corner in order to ensure it meets community maintenance standards. Also, following recent activity at the park during closing hours, I have worked with city staff to have Horseshoe Road closed overnight. The enforcement of parking and park hours remain the responsibility of our Brookhaven Police Department and Parks and Recreation Department.

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Question 5

Attainable housing is an important issue for all jurisdictions. What is your plan to address this issue while maintaining the integrity of neighborhoods that are zoned for single family use?

Mayoral Candidates

  • Mark Frost: This is a tough one as it appears average, normal, older constructed, smaller homes in much of Brookhaven are over $600K. I have a daughter who just moved back home so she can save to buy a house. She was living in an apartment and her hopes to buy a house are dimming somewhat due to inflation and interest rates. But this is a problem for many. Another example: even with incentives that are available, how do we hire and keep more police that actually live in the city if they can’t afford to live here? I don’t have specific solution for the problem at this time but I will approach the issue as I always have in business: seek out “best practices.” I’ll find other, similar cities that have the same problems that have come up with agreeable, affordable solutions and simply duplicate them with modifications to our particular set of needs. And in terms of maintaining the integrity of neighborhoods that are zoned for single family use, I would oppose intrusion on that integrity, except in unusual cases, and would see approval of the affected neighborhood and their blessing if doing otherwise.
  • Lauren Kiefer:

    Affordable housing is a complex issue for Brookhaven, especially given our limited available land for new development. However, the status quo is clearly not working. While our current regulations like ADU zoning and mandatory affordable units in new multi-family developments are steps in the right direction, we need to do more.

    First, we should leverage the expertise within our community, collaborating with NGOs, developers, and affordable housing experts to explore all viable solutions. Second, we can partner with DeKalb County’s land bank to strategically acquire any remaining vacant plots for affordable housing development. Lastly, establishing a Housing Trust Fund could provide us with additional resources to build and maintain affordable housing in perpetuity.

    It shouldn’t require a high-paying professional job to afford to live in Brookhaven. As Mayor, I am committed to making housing accessible to everyone, including city staff, police, and our more vulnerable citizens.

  • Hilerie Lind: no response as of 10/16/2023
  • John Park: Brookhaven has already passed an ordinance requiring a citywide 10% affordable housing component in new developments, which is a first in the metro Atlanta region. Ultimately, it’s about supply and demand. The council recently turned down new zoning on Buford Hwy because it did not have enough units for the area. Major arteries, such as Buford Hwy, are where we can strategically encourage more density , which is where it’s needed (especially with the new hospital) and where the infrastructure can support it. This model protects the integrity of our single family neighborhoods.

District 1 Candidates

  • Alan Cole: District One is the primary single family housing area of Brookhaven and should not increase its density by approving additional multi-family housing. We already have over 2,000+ apartments. Why is there a need for more multi-family units that would overcrowd our schools and clog our roadways? I will work with surrounding districts and municipalities on this issue.
  • Michael Diaz:

    Virtually every municipality in Atlanta and across the country is dealing with the issue of attainable housing. One of the ways that cities have been addressing the issue is by creating more partnerships between government and private entities like non-profits. Also looking at ways to increase density in areas of the city that make sense such as Buford Highway with easy access to the Peachtree Creek Greenway and CHOA. Or the MARTA station if we can increase ridership. But we cannot do it alone.

    Brookhaven has a variety of neighborhoods each with its own unique character and charm. We also have tremendous tree cover which provides not only valuable shade and stormwater control but also a beautiful backdrop for our city.

    As a Civil Engineer with expertise in infrastructure and urban planning, I recognize that we need to have a comprehensive approach to this problem.

    • Zoning Revisions: On the Planning Commission, we often discussed the role of zoning regulations and revisions on the character of our neighborhoods. To bring more attainable housing to the area, we need to consider how we can weave diverse housing options into the fabric of our city. That may mean changing some of the zoning regulations to provide a pathway to smart, sustainable, and attainable housing.
    • Infrastructure Considerations: It’s important to assess the impact of increased housing density on our infrastructure, including roads, water, and sewage systems. As a ‘water guy’, I am particularly concerned about our sewer, drainage, and water system’s capacity. We all know someone whose property has been negatively impacted by poor water runoff planning. My neighborhood, Lynwood Park, is a perfect case study in what happens when infrastructure is not taken into consideration as population booms.
    • Inclusive Planning: Inclusivity in the planning process is key. Engaging with the community and conducting impact studies can help identify the best locations and strategies for attainable housing while respecting neighborhood aesthetics and needs. We also have to bring the community along with us in the process and recognize that we want our police, teachers, and recreation staff members to be able to live and work in Brookhaven.
    • Sustainable Design: As we explore new housing options, we should prioritize sustainable and energy-efficient designs that minimize environmental impact. The building industry has made so many advancements that attainable housing can be healthy for both the community and the environment.
    • Affordability Incentives: To further promote attainable housing, we can explore incentives for developers to include affordable units in their projects or collaborate with non-profit organizations dedicated to affordable housing.
    • Transparency and Accountability: Maintaining the trust of the community is vital. Transparency in decision-making and clear communication about the goals and impacts of housing initiatives are essential to ensure that residents are well-informed and engaged in the process.

    My commitment as a Civil Engineer is to utilize my expertise to help design and implement sustainable, community-centric solutions. We can strike a balance between addressing the critical need for attainable housing and preserving the character of our neighborhoods through careful planning and collaboration with all stakeholders. And most importantly, community feedback.

  • Linley Jones: As the sponsor of Brookhaven’s Affordable Housing Task Force, I have worked hard to explore this important issue. Our area, District 1 of Brookhaven, is unique in that it is predominantly single-family residential, a character highly valued by most citizens. I have worked for years to successfully defeat high-density redevelopment proposals in District 1. While we have instituted a requirement for affordable housing units in new multi-family residential developments, this is largely applicable in other areas of Brookhaven that are ripe for redevelopment like Buford Highway. This should help us meet the need without negative impact to our existing neighborhoods.

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Question 6

One of the ballot referendums (House Bill 729, Act No. 200) contemplates removing the homestead exemption freeze that was put in place at the founding of the city. Do you support removing this freeze and increasing taxes on homeowners? Please explain your plan to improve governance and fiscal responsibility so that taxes are minimized.

Mayoral Candidates

  • Mark Frost: 200 is a tax increase. It is a modification of the homestead tax exemption that will remove the original tax freeze over time. It’s particularly striking since a big, public promotional campaign was put forth in 2019 citing the increase in the exemption for homeowners only to have a referendum issue to modify and eventually remove it in 2023. As an article on the matter stated, this move will gain the city about $2 million/year. Speculation has it that there is a realization with the powers that be that the spending will outpace revenue and they are scrambling to find other sources of revenue e.g. the bungled Toco Hill annexation. And by what I have seen on the Brookhaven City website, expenses versus income projections are very optimistic, not accounting for any economic downturn.
  • Lauren Kiefer:

    We need to have a full forensic accounting of the city’s finances. It’s unacceptable and unconscionable for a city of our means to be running a deficit and then making up for it by raising taxes on businesses and reneging on promises made when the city was formed. Once we know what our financial situation really is and how our money is being spent, we can reassess and reprioritize spending to ensure that taxes remain low without having our services suffer.

    Our current track record of spending money on overly ambitious projects and saddling the city with millions in debt is what got us here, and it’s unfair to make our residents pay for those decisions.

    I am personally voting NO on this referendum, not because it will impact me significantly, but because of our legacy residents who stand to lose the most if it passes. Our long-time residents who live in smaller homes and have had their valuations frozen are experiencing tax increases due to the growth of our city, and I’m concerned that our seniors and most economically vulnerable residents will be hit the hardest by this.

  • Hilerie Lind: no response as of 10/16/2023
  • John Park:

    The ballot referendum does not remove the freeze on homesteaded properties’ city taxes. It caps it at 70%, which means long- term residents will still get substantial tax relief but it makes the disparity in amount of taxes paid between long-term residents, like me, and new residents a little fairer.

    For example, I paid about $550 in city taxes at cityhood inception and now I pay just shy of $500 (with the tax cut). Without the freeze, I would have to pay over $1,000. Every year property valuations go up and when new people purchase here, their valuations are frozen at a higher valuation. This minority of people is basically paying half the taxes of others while the City continues to bring in less revenue (you may recall that over 60% of our taxes for general operating expenses come from residential properties).

    What happens in 20 years when I still pay less than $500 in taxes but my new neighbor pays $2,000. Is that fair? How are we to fund our police force and parks in 2043 if we are still taxing the majority of properties on 2013 valuations?

    This is the reason for the referendum: to cap the freeze at 70% of the valuation. This means someone like me would pay about $600 instead of $500. I would still see substantial tax savings and it would do two things:

    1. Make the disparity in amount of taxes paid between long-term residents like me and new residents a little fairer;
    2. Bring in about $1 million in revenue to invest now to provide for future revenue (helps to fix the long-term structural problem with having a homesteaded valuation freeze).

    You can find more information about the City’s financials on its finance transparency website:

District 1 Candidates

  • Alan Cole: The freeze on homestead exemption was one of the main reasons I worked diligently for the formation of the City of Brookhaven. THE FREEZE STAYS! Unfreezing the homestead exemption would only benefit developers. Brookhaven is a well funded city, however our current elected officials must be fiscally responsible for managing taxpayer dollars. My professional background is starting three business from ground up and operating three in this County. I know how to read and comprehend contracts, handle bidding processes and bringing bidders to the table to negotiate. The City should NEVER execute only ONE BID CONTRACTS. This is a sign that the bidding criteria was poorly written.
  • Michael Diaz:

    No. I do not support removing the homestead exemption when the city has failed to be fiscally responsible with our current tax dollars. As you astutely asked in Question 1, we are spending an exorbitant amount on a new City Hall and issuing no bid contracts for some of the work, all while considering a tax increase to businesses to pay for it. This will also place a constraint on small businesses that form the backbone of our state economy.

    We should be living within our means as a City, not making decisions that are going to put us at financial risk. I want to focus our investments on improvements for our citizens, not pet projects or monuments. I will be responsive when the District 1 community asks for improvements.

    We may not be able to tackle everything right away, but building a long-term plan for where and how we are going to invest your tax dollars with proper engagement from the community is a key step to better governance. My Dad always taught me to listen to everyone in order to make a better, informed decision.

  • Linley Jones:

    The current ballot referendum is an issue reserved entirely for voter consideration. On the one hand, voting yes could improve fairness of taxation for long-time citizens as compared to citizens who have come to Brookhaven in the last decade. On the other hand, many voters may choose frozen lower taxes.

    My plan for fiscal responsibility with minimized taxes is to continue my record. The homeowner millage rate for Brookhaven citizens has never increased since the City’s founding and, in fact, due to the 2019 increase in homestead exemption, those taxes have decreased. The average Brookhaven homeowner pays only about $660/year in taxes. The rest is DeKalb County. For that modest sum, the City provides top-notch police, parks, and all the other city services. Meanwhile, the reserve balance is healthy, and the city continues to prove its fiscal responsibility with its rare double-AAA ratings from bond rating companies Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s.

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Question 7

How will you work with other cities to tackle regional issues such as I-285 toll roads, traffic, and Paths?

Mayoral Candidates

  • Mark Frost: As with other matters where collective influence to advocate for the benefit of Brookhaven residents (with full consideration of how residents want their city to be), I have suggested putting together a coalition of local, county, and state leaders to advance these positions particular to the issue at the time. On many construction projects over the years, I have worked extensively with GDOT and have a good idea of how they work. I have a history of working with other leaders, even with direct competitors, collaborating for mutual benefit. Traffic is a huge issue for the entire metro Atlanta area so working well with others is essential to Brookhaven’s future. Ironically, even though I made my living selling tens of thousands of cars, trucks, and EV’s, I have always been a huge fan of trains, bicycles, motorcycles, and walking. I do believe that most Brookhaven residents are very much for a walkable, bikeable city with a variety of transit options.
  • Lauren Kiefer:

    One of the core reasons my family chose to live in Drew Valley was its walking distance to MARTA. Transit is not just a convenience; it’s a necessity for a growing city like Brookhaven.

    The top-end Bus Rapid Transit project has been growing too slowly for Brookhaven because it lacks strategic partnerships. We aren’t an island, and we can’t do this on our own. DeKalb County is the only entity that can expand transit with MARTA, and its Transit Master Plan has been approved. Now, it’s our responsibility as a city to advocate for funding and execution.

    We should also be encouraging the county to place this plan on the ballot for voter approval.

    Our work includes targeted infrastructure improvements, strategic partnerships with entities like GDOT and DeKalb County, and strong advocacy to get the funding we need to make these plans a reality. We’re ready to move forward, let’s do it!

  • Hilerie Lind: no response as of 10/16/2023
  • John Park:

    Continue the coordination and collaboration that we’ve fostered with PCID, Top-End mayors and neighboring cities. We’ve collaborated on many projects such as the Top-End Transit Plan, connecting the Atlanta Beltline and the Peachtree Creek Greenway, and coordinating citywide traffic lights from Perimeter all the way to I-85.

    I plan on continuing our nascent pilot program to introduce bus rapid transit to ease traffic from Pill Hill to Emory in Decatur. Years of planning have gone into this but we are at a critical stage where having consistency and experience will help bring this project to fruition.

District 1 Candidates

  • Alan Cole: Previously I have worked with the Perimeter CID in connection the entrances to Oak Forest Hills Subdivision. GDOT is the group to work with on State and Federal roadways. I am familiar with them. It is tough to work with them as our state legislature has the biggest voice on these issues. I have been to the Capitol. I will work to find common ground with adjacent cities and a way to work together.
  • Michael Diaz:

    This needs to be a collaborative approach. We need to learn how to better play in the sandbox with ALL our regional partners. How can we truly be a “city of civility” if we bully everyone around us? Building partnerships with our neighboring Cities as well as State Agencies is critical for addressing our City’s regional issues. I will be a champion for collaboration and leverage my relationships with Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Chamblee, Georgia DOT, the SRTA, ARC and DeKalb County. Some specific areas that we could perform better:

    • Trail networks – We have the opportunity to implement multimodal projects which have been identified in our previous studies. For instance, we have an opportunity to work with Sandy Springs to connect to Path 400 which will ultimately connect to the Atlanta Beltline.
    • Transportation – Congestion and construction on the top end of I-285 has been very challenging for Brookhaven residents. As with many challenging projects, collaboration and transparency is a must. We should build relationships with our neighboring communities and present as a consistent unified voice to the State. I will champion this for Brookhaven.
    • Housing – Our conversation should not just be limited to mobility. We also need to consider housing in the conversation and connectivity to our schools, churches, and community centers.
  • Linley Jones: My record with the City of Brookhaven is that we are regional leaders in path and road issues. Our “model mile” of the Peachtree Creek Greenway was proof of the concept that path could be built connecting our nearby cities through Buckhead to the “confluence” of paths throughout the region that will one day connect all metro area paths. I will continue to work to realize this vision that is already well on its way. As for regional vehicle transportation, our Mayor John Ernst has been the regional leader of mayors for the initiative to incorporate bus rapid transit in the Top-End 285 redevelopment. I expect that initiative will continue.

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Please close with your vision for Brookhaven, including what you see as the biggest issues facing the city over the next four years and your plan to address those issues.

Mayoral Candidates

  • Mark Frost:

    I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to participate in this questionnaire and present myself as a candidate for Brookhaven’s next mayor to the Murphey Candler Neighborhood Association. My contribution, if elected mayor, will restore the local government to be the “voice of the people,” as intended. For decades in business, I “managed by wandering.” Although I was diligent leading on important issues – especially financial – much of my time was spent going to all departments, at the different businesses I was entrusted with, and talking to employees, one-on-one, at length. As mayor, I intend on doing the same with residents. I will make sure I have very competent professionals doing much of the day-to-day while I spend a lot of time speaking at HOA meetings, businesses, homes, bridge clubs, sporting events, etc. and holding town halls for larger issues, gathering direct feedback on the will of the people.

    My talents in business have resulted in a resume full of proof that I can take even struggling concerns and make them rise to prominence, in a sustainable way, through good and bad times. I am not – in any way – saying that the current and recently past leaders have done it all wrong, it’s just that they have seemed to lose touch along the way.

    My vision for Brookhaven is Brookhaven’s residents’ vision. I am merely a facilitator – and leader when the tough decisions have to be made. I will work with the Council to move Brookhaven forward in a sustainable way – for all Brookhaven residents – to make our great city even greater. It’s not what I want, it’s what they/you want. As I visit with our fellow citizens, it is becoming clearer and clearer what they/you want. And don’t want.

  • Lauren Kiefer:

    I’m running for Mayor of Brookhaven because our city needs new leadership, new perspectives, and someone with a breadth of experience who will listen to the needs of our residents and work to get our city back on track. I love Brookhaven and I want to see our city continue the improvements and innovations that we’ve had since our city was founded. We need to continue to support our police and staff that make this city safe, clean, and accessible. We need a leader who knows how to work within the community, and who can and will reach out to other communities and to the broader region to find more ways to make this city the best place to work, live, and play, while at the same time being accessible, transparent, and financially sound. Our current practices are ineffective and unsustainable, and we can do better.

    Recently, I had the privilege of seeing Ambassador Andrew Young speak at an event and he said that “having relationships is the key to making things happen.” I have those relationships.

    I know how to grow organizations. I know how to lead organizations. I know how to work with internal and external stakeholders to get things done and I will use these skills to lead the City of Brookhaven as we move forward into the next 10 years of our city’s growth.

  • Hilerie Lind: no response as of 10/16/2023
  • John Park:

    Brookhaven is at a crossroads. We can continue our development as a safe, sustainable, fiscally-responsible and efficient mature city or we can become divided and not achieve as much, like many “weak-mayor” cities that do not have a functional council. I pride myself on bringing people together to achieve our goals. Our biggest problem will be managing our unprecedented growth. If elected, I would like to achieve the following:

    1. Continue to do more for less. Continue to deliver efficient city services and ensure completion of our current projects at the best value to our taxpayers. I intend for Brookhaven to continue to have the lowest millage rate in all of DeKalb County, continue to secure the highest bond rating in Georgia, and continue to be voted as the best suburban city in metro Atlanta. Brookhaven has been nationally recognized for its innovative public safety department (with the fastest response rates in DeKalb County), continues to be a national model for sustainability efforts, and has a strong track record of completing paving, parks and infrastructure projects on time and within budget. This will continue without delay under my leadership.
    2. Stormwater Infrastructure – Although we have addressed major flooding throughout the city with completed projects totaling in the tens of millions of dollars, we continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on emergency repairs due to our aging infrastructure that was neglected by DeKalb County for decades. My focus will be to modernize our stormwater infrastructure for the next generation by finding new funding sources (such as GEFA and the Clean Water revolving fund) with a focus on parity and replace aging infrastructure while proactively “future proofing” our stormwater facilities with new drainage facilities and regional detention ponds.
    3. Connectivity and Greenspace Acquistion

      Brookhaven built the model mile of the Peachtree Creek Greenway (and is in the process of building the rest), which will connect to the Atlanta Beltline. Since my first election in 2014, I’ve actively spearheaded this project and have been instrumental in ensuring it gets completed and built in a fiscally responsible way. Part of this strategy was building the new and innovative public safety building on the Greenway that just opened.

      Unfortunately, at this point, most Brookhaven residents have to drive to the Greenway. We have built, or have the designs for, sections of multi-use paths along Briarwood, North Druid HIlls, Apple Valley, and Ashford Dunwoody Rd to connect the Greenway to the rest of the city.

      With the removal of the restrictions on SPLOST funding next year and the new Special Services District created to finance our new City Centre, we have a unique opportunity to connect the individual sidewalks built by new development with our multi-use pathway sections to maximize access and utilization by all Brookhaven residents.

      My connectivity priority also includes addressing our multi-modal transportation infrastructure needs, alternative transportation options (like BRT routes) and sidewalks across our neighborhoods, where it makes sense.

      Another part of my connectivity strategy involves the continuation of Greenspace acquisition. Our goal is for every resident to be within a 10-minute walk of a park or greenspace. Currently there are about 6.5 acres per 1,000 residents. Our goal is to reach the national standard of 8 acres of greenspace per 1,000 residents.

District 1 Candidates

  • Alan Cole:

    The residents of District One need a Councilman with some common sense who will put the density of our area first and foremost in order to sustain our quality of life. Keep City Hall as small as possible yet increase its efficiency. Elected officials at City Hall must be fiscally responsible! Council members should have term limits.

    The prominent location of our City has already identified the City of Brookhaven as for medical centers, corporate headquarters and single family homes. Let’s not ruin our status with more local traffic than necesssary. Let’s keep our natural areas natural, athletic fields maintained, safe walking areas and neighborhood controlled pools. In order to do this, I urge you to vote for Alan Cole for councilman of District One!

  • Michael Diaz:

    I think it’s important to recognize that a lot of the challenges reflected in the questions above are interrelated. The lack of attainable housing impacts our ability to hire public servants which ultimately impacts our ability to maintain the parks. Overspending on a new City Hall impacts our need to increase taxes. But I believe that biggest issues we will need to tackle in the next term are:

    • FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY – Let’s put our needs ahead of our ambitions.
    • RESPONSIVENESS – I want to make sure that we are listening to the community and soliciting feedback from everyone.
    • TRANSPARENCY – There are still too many decisions coming out of City Hall that leave people scratching their heads.

    I believe we can truly be a “city of civility” and not have our representatives mudsling their opponent with falsehoods.

    I believe we can truly be a “sustainable city” and not just through high price, low value projects.

    I believe we can be a “welcoming city” and not just slap a tagline or award out there on social media.

    I would like to have your vote to represent a better Brookhaven. Visit my website at

  • Linley Jones:

    My proven track record is achieving the community vision for our great City of Brookhaven. In just one decade, we have established an identity and standard of living that is the envy of the metro area. As for the issues facing our city, public safety is the top priority. I will continue the support of the Brookhaven Police Department that has driven the excellence of the department and the safety of our city. I will also continue good growth decisions as informed by public input, such as protecting the character of our residential neighborhoods, keeping the Cambridge Square shopping center redevelopment a “neighborhood shopping” environment, and approving a new neighborhood restaurant to be built at Windsor Parkway and Osborne Road.

    Finally, I thank the Murphey Candler Neighborhood Association for the opportunity to participate in this Voter Guide, and I ask for your vote for re-election to keep up the hard work on your behalf!

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Last Updated: December 3, 2023