Archive for March, 2017

Conference to attract parks and recreation jobs in Atlanta

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

A new conference will address how to create more parks and recreation jobs in Atlanta,

Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong, Department of Planning and Community Development Commissioner Tim Keane, Chief Resilience Officer Stephanie Stuckey, Renew Atlanta and TSPLOST General Manager General Manager Faye DiMassimo, Department of Watershed Management Director Todd Hill and Chief Bicycle Officer Becky Katz will participate in Park Pride’s 16th Annual Parks & Greenspace Conference at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

City officials will join more than 400 other parks and recreation professionals, policy makers, architects and landscape architects, urban planners and community members.

Atlanta leaders will serve as panelists for a session, “Government Powerhouse Panel on Connectivity,” to share how city departments actively collaborate to promote greenspace expansion and connectivity. Attendees will learn how parks, greenspace and trails development are being integrated into stormwater management, transportation and city planning initiatives.

“I believe I speak for my colleagues when I say that the City of Atlanta is excited to participate in such an important discussion on how local government plays an essential role in connecting residents to quality greenspaces and amenities,” said Amy Phuong, Commissioner for the Department of Parks and Recreation. “We are committed to realizing a City of Atlanta that is connected like never before, has a park in walking distance from every resident’s home and offers transportation modes which fits every resident’s preference. We look forward to engaging with other city leaders and conference attendees, as well as learning additional innovative approaches to further enhance our park and transportation system.”

Under Mayor Kasim Reed’s leadership, the Department of Parks and Recreation acquired an additional 171 acres of land in the City of Atlanta, including 15 new parks. As a result, 64 percent of Atlanta residents live within a half-mile walk of a park, up from 50 percent four years ago, serving as the largest greenspace accessibility percentage jump in more than 40 years. The Department of Parks and Recreation actively collaborates with other city departments to install dedicated bike lanes, streetscape and green infrastructure improvements in local parks.

Funding goes to art jobs in Atlanta

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

A new round of funding from city leaders will invest in art jobs in Atlanta, among other areas.

Atlanta has pledged $1 million to the Woodruff Arts Center Transformation Campaign, one of the most ambitious fundraising initiatives in the history of Atlanta’s largest arts organization. The Campaign raised $110 million total, surpassing its original goal of $100 million when it launched in April 2015. The Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art. The Atlanta City Council voted Monday to finalize the donation to the Woodruff Arts Center.

“The leading cities of the world invest significantly in arts and culture, and Atlanta should be no different,” said Mayor Reed. “We’re fortunate to have the Woodruff Arts Center which has been bringing world-class art and arts education to Atlanta for nearly 50 years as a centerpiece of our thriving arts community. Providing this support to the Arts Center is both a privilege and a responsibility, and we are pleased to have been able to contribute to this vital campaign.”

The Transformation Campaign focused on three areas: endowment funding, capital improvements – primarily for the Alliance Theatre renovation —and funding for expanded family-oriented programming and greater activation of the Arts Center’s campus. Doug Hertz, chairman of the Woodruff Arts Center Board of Trustees, served as the Campaign chair.

“The Transformation Campaign has lived up to its name,” said Virginia Hepner, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Woodruff Arts Center. “Thanks to the incredible support of the community, we will literally transform our theater, increase the size of our orchestra, enhance our museum’s ability to exhibit great art and dramatically increase the community’s access to the arts. I believe the Transformation Campaign will be recognized as a watershed moment for the Woodruff Arts Center, a steppingstone to greater artistic and education achievement for years to come.”

Under Mayor Reed’s leadership, the City of Atlanta has continually increased its investments in arts and culture. In 2016, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs awarded more than $350,000 to individual artists and small to midsize organizations through multiple program areas. The Contracts for Arts Services program granted more than $1,000,000 to artists. The City of Atlanta also received $175,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts.

City hires for government jobs in Atlanta

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

The city is making a move to hire for government jobs in Atlanta.

Deputy Chief Operating Officer William Johnson has been appointed Commissioner of the Department of Public Works. Johnson has served as the Interim Commissioner of the Department since the departure of former Commissioner, Richard Mendoza. Johnson was confirmed unanimously by the City Utilities Committee yesterday.

“I am pleased to appoint William Johnson as Public Works Commissioner,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “I am confident that his leadership and operating experience in the public and private sectors will enhance the Department’s focus on operational efficiency and customer service. With more than 20 years of experience in infrastructure management and emergency response, I believe he is uniquely qualified to serve in this new capacity.”

William Johnson joined the Reed Administration as Deputy Chief Operating Officer in May of last year. Johnson brings more than 20 years of experience in infrastructure management and emergency response to the position. He previously served as the Director of the Department of Transportation for the City of Baltimore, where he managed engineering and permitting services for the City. He also managed city-wide snow and weather emergency operations.

Prior to his service in Baltimore, Johnson held a key leadership role as Prime Contractor to the State of Florida Department of Transportation. In this role, he assisted local governments and private non-profits in developing disaster plans, performing damage assessments and developing projects and funding sources for public facilities, infrastructure and utilities damaged by natural disasters.

Throughout his career, Johnson has developed and managed budgets in excess of $400 million, managed organizations of over 2,300 employees, managed municipal waste collection operations for a population of 1.5 million, reduced customer complaints to achieve a 96 percent customer satisfaction rate, and assisted with reverse osmosis/carbon filter tertiary and secondary treatment facility upgrades.