-Yolanda Adrean-
     

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thank you for the privilege of serving you as your City Councilmember for Atlanta’s District 8.

When I first asked for your vote, I asked for your support of my platform of financial reform, sound decision-making, and enhanced public safety.  We’ve made progress.  There is good news to report.

The City is now on a sound financial footing.  We are living within our means, a turnaround accomplished without raising your taxes.

  • Reserves have increased from $7 million to nearly $127 million.
  • Atlanta was the first large city in the country to enact employee pension reforms, and we are now saving some $25-30 million annually and paying down our long underfunded liability over a manageable 30 year period.
  • Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s have both raised our credit ratings, enabling the city to sell bonds at more favorable interest rates, meaning savings for you.
  • We have engaged KPMG to audit our books, and, in their first annual audit, 2012, we received a clean bill of health.

We reached our goals as a direct result of hard work, focus, and my insistence that we “raise the bar on the way we make decisions." The critical financial analyses that I championed underpin our financial turnaround.

Public safety shows similar results.

  • For the first time in Atlanta’s history, there are nearly 2,000 police officers on the force.
  • Buckhead has a new burglary unit.
  • Significant improvements have been made in the crime-fighting equipment and technologies available to our police, including a Video Integration Center.
  • Each fire truck now has four firefighters, rather than just three, and response times have improved. 

 

These are changes that make Atlanta a better place to live, visit and do business.

Customer service
matters, too, and I have promoted a new corporate culture at City Hall, where City employees are expected to treat you like a valued customer.  I have supported legislation to improve training for employees and to set up a new 311 Call Center.  With initial funding provided by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the 311 Call Center, will provide you with a one stop call center where your non-emergency calls for service are answered right away and tracked in a transparent manner online.   And don’t forget you can always call me and my staff in my office at City Hall if you need someone to go to bat for you.
   

I am proud of the progress we have made, but I am well aware that much work remains.  The need to manage our traffic and to balance growth with concern for the environment, our sense of community, and preservation of greenspace grow more pressing as we emerge from the recession.  Without raising your taxes, we need to find some way to close the funding gap so that we can maintain and improve infrastructure, including roads, bridges, modern traffic signals, sidewalks, and police and fire stations, all to make city life work better for you. Creative solutions are a must. I have several.

  • I am investigating state legislation to grant greater flexibility to municipalities so that we can target resources to meet emerging needs like transportation and infrastructure.
  • I support taking a second look at the way your gasoline taxes are divided between state and city.  We are not getting our fair share.

 

With interest rates at historic lows, this is the time to grapple with the investments needed to make the infrastructure investments that you expect and deserve.

Partnerships
with you, your NPU, and your neighborhood and with other elected leaders are all needed to tackle these issues. Hard work, long hours, and collaboration get things done.

We have made a good start these last four years, and as we continue to confront hard choices and new challenges, you can count on me and my continuing commitment to serve you and our community.

Yours in service,

P.S. Please feel free to send me your questions and give me your feedback.  You can reach me through the Contact page or by calling me at home.  My home phone number is (404) 261-4593.

 

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