Candidate Q&A – Ben Dostal, Avondale Estates City CommissionBen Dostal
Decaturish sent questions to all of the candidates running for Avondale Estates City Commission ahead of the Nov. 7 elections. Early voting begins Oct. 16.
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1) Why are you running for the Avondale City Commission seat?
I am running for Avondale Commissioner because I am excited about the opportunities that are on the horizon for Avondale Estates. In my professional life I’ve worked with businesses and communities on collaborating to create mutually beneficial events. I want to bring this collaborative spirit to the public service sector.
2) What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?
Avondale is very fortunate to have several candidates with a desire to serve the community. I will bring a fresh perspective to the Board of Mayor and Commissioners and am looking forward to working with the community as the city continues to grow.
3) What do you think is Avondale’s greatest strength?
Avondale’s greatest strength is its unique style and strong community identity. People from Avondale are proud of their community and you often hear of generations of families putting down roots here. Our charming small town, downtown area is iconic within the metro Atlanta area.
4) What do you think is Avondale’s biggest challenge?
As the area continues to thrive, our biggest challenge is identifying ways to embrace growth and development while maintaining our historic charm and character.
5) How would you address what you feel is Avondale’s biggest challenge?
Developing a strong strategic vision and using it as a guide in decision making will allow us to encourage new business and housing development while ensuring that our Public Works and Public Safety departments can support that growth. Planning for the enhancement of our parks & greenspaces and having a clear and understandable planning and zoning code will ensure we maintain our current style.
6) What are the top two or three things you plan to focus on during your term as a commissioner?
If elected I’d like to focus on are making the zoning and historic preservation guidelines easily understandable and up to date. I also want to grow and enhance our public spaces and parks.
7) Do you think Avondale Estates should annex more neighborhoods and properties into the city?
While annexation may have advantages, each case must be evaluated on it’s own merits.
8) What is your vision for Avondale Estates’ downtown?
I envision a lively, walkable downtown area with thriving businesses and destination dining. A place where someone can spend the day exploring retail shops in the afternoon and attending an event or gathering of friends in the evening.
9) There is a perception that Avondale Estates is unwelcoming to outsiders. Do you think this is accurate? If so, what would you plan to do about it? If not, why not?
When my husband and I moved to Avondale we were embraced by the community. Since moving here four years ago I’ve found that locals can be fiercely protective of the community and that may be perceived by some as unwelcoming. Encouraging business growth and community events will bring locals and non-residents together around shared interests.
10) If elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner?
Yes, I strongly believe in the communication between the government and its citizens.
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