This is Doraville’s time to shine…this is Doraville’s moment!” That was the recurring theme of Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman’s State of the City address Friday night at Flowers Park, as 250+ people gathered in the newly-renovated park to hear her comments and then enjoy a free concert by A1A, the official Jimmy Buffett tribute band. The audience included a variety of local, county and state public officials.
Highlights of Mayor Pittman’s speech included announcement of plans for a new elementary school in the Doraville area, updates on local economic development projects such as Carver Hills, Nexus and planned enhancements to New Peachtree Road. Additional information regarding the new school will be forthcoming. At one point during her presentation, the mayor turned the podium over to Stan Eckstut, a principal at Perkins Eastman Architects in New York City, who shared the latest updates on the Assembly project. A major announcement on a new tenant at the site may be announced as early as this week.
As she has done in past State of the City addresses, Mayor Pittman took the opportunity to thank all city department heads and staff and point out major milestones they have achieved throughout the past year.
“I would like to start by thanking Dr. Shawn Gillen for his four years of service as city manager,” Pittman noted. “Dr. Gillen has taken the same position with the City of Tybee Island and on behalf of the city I would like to wish him and his family all the best as he opens this new chapter in his life.
“Our police department, under the leadership of Chief John King, handled 43,287 calls for service, made 2,160 arrests and 11,869 traffic stops,” she added, “in addition to conducting 12,099 neighborhood patrols, 54 community engagement meetings and presenting multiple programs to our elementary schools and community organizations.” Pittman praised the efforts of Tammy Henry and the local library team for circulating 54,648 items, hosting 56,853 visitors to the library and conducting numerous programs that attracted 2,330 participants. Over 500 new library cards were issued over the past 12 months and the library’s collection increased by 37,297 items.
Also recognized were Community Development Director Enrique Bascuñana and Senior Planner Brianna Rindge for their updates to the city’s comprehensive plan, spearheading the Buford Highway LCI and managing the city’s improvement projects. Parks and Recreation Director Rip Robertson and his staff were recognized for their efforts on public works and parks and rec programs, Corally Rivera and her team for managing the city’s court system, and Luke Howe for his efforts working with developers and business owners to bring jobs to the city. Additionally, Tom McDermott and Bob Kelley received kudos for, respectively, planning city special events and handling Doraville’s communication/public relations efforts.
At the conclusion of Mayor Pittman’s address, a ceremonial ribbon cutting was held re-dedicating Flowers Park. The oldest park in the city and home to the municipal swimming pool, Flowers recently underwent a $1.7 million renovation. Capping off the evening was a free concert by A1A who entertained the crowd with Jimmy Buffet favorites in addition to other tropical rock and reggae classics.
Sponsors for the evening included the City of Doraville, Century Homes, Waste Pro, Discover DeKalb and MARTA.