Deputy Director of Community Development
Tell us about your promotion.
In March, I was promoted from senior city planner to the new position of deputy director of community development. While maintaining my former position’s planning duties, like managing the planning team and overseeing long-range plans and initiatives for the city, as deputy director I have been tasked with taking a holistic look at internal department operations, with a goal of more efficient, concierge-based services that will better serve developers, business owners and our residents.
When were you hired?
I began working for the city as an intern and was shortly after hired full-time in the permit office. I worked my way up through the community development department, and was promoted to a city planner position in 2013. In 2017, I was internationally recognized as a certified planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners. I am grateful to have been able to grow my skills and reach new levels in my career, all without having to leave the city of Woodstock.
What is your background?
I have a bachelor’s in fine arts with a concentration in sculpture from Savannah College of Art and Design. My art-focused training has given me lasting critical-thinking and creative problem-solving skills. Sculpture really is creative problem-solving in three dimensions. Lately, my creative practice involves mostly etchings of Woodstock streetscapes and architecture, mixing two of my passions, printmaking and urban design.
What is the most unusual request you’ve gotten?
I think the most unusual request I’ve gotten is for land clearing by goats. An ordinance prohibits having livestock in subdivisions inside the city limits, but made no mention of using livestock to accomplish land clearing, which is a very sustainable way to do it. City staff then introduced a new ordinance to allow goats for land clearing.
What projects are you excited about?
The mayor and City Council recently approved a flatiron building to go at the Main Street/Rope Mill Road split, on the triangular property. I collaborated with the applicant to come up with a plan and architecture that city staff could support. The concept drawings look amazing — the five-story building will have a ground-floor restaurant, with a patio on the railroad side and 19 condo units above. I cannot wait to see it come to fruition!
That’s the best part of this job — working with an applicant on an idea to bring before the council, and being able to see it actually get built and fit in with the fabric of our city. It fills me with pride walking around town and seeing people enjoy projects that I had a tiny part in helping get approved, like Madlife, the Woodstock Arts Event Green, the Greenprints Trail System or the community mural on Mill Street. Those are all projects I was able to significantly impact and help get across the finish line.
What do you like most about your job and the community?
What I like most about the job is the huge variety of projects I get to work on, from steering the city’s Comprehensive Plan, to major transportation projects, such as the massive interchange project that will be on the Ridgewalk Parkway/I-575 bridge; there is always something different.
What I like most about this community is the vibrancy that you can see on any day or evening as you walk downtown. The people here care about where they live and about each other, and I believe that feeling is stronger here than most places. I think everyone can feel it if you really pay attention.
How do you like to spend free time?
I spend my free time making art, gardening and volunteering. I currently serve as the vice president of the board of directors for Woodstock Arts. The Reeves House is Woodstock Arts’ latest major accomplishment, and after helping to fundraise for many years, I couldn’t be prouder of how it has turned out (https://woodstockarts.org).