Candidate Q&A – Paul Brown, Avondale Estates City CommissionPaul Brown
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.
1. Why are you running for the Avondale City Commission seat?
I feel my being elected Commissioner will benefit the future direction of this city. I have over 30 years of experience working directly with major development companies and metro area community development governments.
The remaining three members seated on the BOMC all work tirelessly for their families, education, nonprofits and churches to create a difference in this community beyond their duties as board members. They lead by example. It would be my honor, if elected, to serve this city together with them.
2) What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?
· Brown Architects LLC: Architect/Owner since 1987
· Avondale Elementary School Education Foundation; Founding Chair -achieved 501c3 accreditation 2016.
· City of Avondale Estates Board of Appeals; Member since 2013.
· City of Avondale Estates Ad Hoc Educational Committee; Community volunteer
· Generation Avondale; Member
· I have actively participated the last 8 years in the BOMC and AE city government attending meetings and providing a reasonable voice for education, storm water retention, and improving Sam’s Crossing Bridge for the community.
· I have taken part in city development meetings, speaking up for public access around the Sam’s Crossing Apartments, protecting trees from the proposed grading plan and enhancing the urban fabric. I have remained actively involved with the development of all new policy for the City of Avondale Estates.
3) What do you think is Avondale’s greatest strength?
It is the sense of community where no resident is a stranger or unwelcome; the energy of the residents to bring support for the arts, downtown development and local businesses; and building strong families of all kinds. People smile and wave when they drive by or maybe it’s just my dog?
4) What do you think is Avondale’s biggest challenge?
Working in partnership with the other communities to make practical policies to create a wider, more open public realm; to expand high-quality affordable housing options and make long-term investments in children and families, specifically in education, health and economic well-being.
Parks, transit and affordable housing might be key to handling a population splurge but without better schools open to all students in this community we haven’t met the basic needs of families.
5) How would you address what you feel is Avondale’s biggest challenge?
To understand Avondale Estates is a growing diverse community. We all live here together. Building a community is more than buildings and planting trees, it is friendships and relationships that give it nourishment for growth and prosperity. Neighbors helping neighbors makes our city stronger. Generation Avondale was formed to address these needs.
6) What are the top two or three things you plan to focus on during your term as a commissioner?
· Increase support to Avondale Elementary School to help it to become a community school of choice.
· Protect our city’s heritage, our tree canopy, and lake.
· Improve storm water collection system throughout the city.
· Resolve the cut through traffic speed within our neighborhoods.
· Extend sidewalks or walkways to the lake for all residents to enjoy our heritage safely.
7) Do you think Avondale Estates should annex more neighborhoods and properties into the city?
Annexation meets many future goals of this city including a wider range of economic development opportunities and more people working together for the betterment of their family’s and neighbor’s future.
8) What is your vision for Avondale Estates’ downtown?
Building on the neighborhood’s strengths and needs, the Board of Mayor and Commissioners and the Downtown Development Authority will continue working to attract investment to bring a “main street” economy back to life along N. Avondale Road and a downtown that will create a neighborhood environment where people of all income levels can afford a place to live and thrive.
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?
The current perception of this city is growing brighter as a new generation of stakeholders shapes its future. Avondale Estates is becoming known for making the full effort needed to achieve success. The development of the downtown business district will provide the opportunity to create a sustainable identity that will ensure its future growth.
10) If elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner?