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Is it the Atlanta job that will give you the chance to combat sprawl, or the South Georgia job? You were not quite clear on which one. I find it hard to believe that suburban Atlanta is doint anything to combat sprawl, but I could be wrong.
Either way, however, my advise to you would be to take the job that gives YOU the most control over sprawl. Sure, it's nice work on a master plan that will be anti-sprawl, conserve land, and preserve urban cores, but if the powers-that-be that community just put the plan on a shelf and give in to the whims of any economic development project, then what good is that? What benefit is there, for example, in designing a nice bike path along a two-lane highway, when the politcians you work for are just going to widen the road in five years to make it easier to get to the new Wal Mart five miles outside of town.
If you are serious about combating sprawl, you need to go after the job that has some teeth, the one that will give you the power to stop any and all environmentally detrimental commrcial and residential development projects dead in their tracks. A lot of good,idealistic planners get frutstrated because their innovative plan is overridden by some politian that is more than happy to give acres of cheap land to some out-of-town developer, or tear down a whole block of downtown buildings for a new Rite Aid or Walgreens.
Don't compromise you integrity! You have the opportunity to be in a position that most of us planners envy: A planning job with teeth. Go for the job that gives you the greatest immunity from the politicians and special interest forces whose agenda is to promote sprawl at any cost. Good luck and God bless!
Thank you for your response and commentary. To be honest, there is little sprawl
in the South Georgia community. In Henry County, the flood gates have been opened.
The South Georgia County Administrator's job will involve the typically more rural
land use petitions involving special permits for mobile homes and an annexation battle
with the county seat city. Otherwise, my primary job will be to keep the guys in the
Road Department sober. However,I will be in a position to heavily influence the course
of overall planning.
In Henry County (Atlanta), it will be nothing but walll to wall large scale land use projects. Henry County, being in a non-attainment area falls under Georgia new transportation law - i.e. do something about sprawl; get people out of their cars, now (or lose all state grant money)!
My issues are more personal: pay, re-locating my family, schools, church, etc.
My days of being "Peachtree Tom" (paraphrase for party boy of Peachtree St. in Atl.)
Reading deeper into your response, I think you're telling me to go where I will be most
effective. Whew! Again, a dead heat - but, an angle I haven't fully covered.
It seems like the anti-sprawl campaign is your mantra in life. Before taking either job see what the political climate is like in both Henry County and South GA rural.
I had a very good friend offered a very good job with perks,ect. but found after
9 years that he was in anguish because his successes in planning were continually thwarted by indecisive politicos. Look at the histories of both counties to see were success could be made.
If Henry County is ready for deliverance... go for it. But if they are like the rest of Atlanta's counties...you have a tough row to hoe.
First, congrats on your offers! Ahh the proverbial fork...but is this part of your personal Comprehensive Plan? First, security may or may not be an issue, a County Manager is not a position noted for tenure, you basically serve at the pleasure/displeasure of the majority. Also as the Cty Mgr you are more of a generalist rather than a specialist, specifically you will most likely be bogged down in personnel issues, budgeting issues rather than the minutia of zoning...now do not get me wrong you can have a great influence and advise the board accordingly, just remember your views usually will be competing with the developer's hired gun and of course against this backdrop is the Cty's elected officials concerns 'bout that o'l election bbq fundraiser"
So if your issues are personal, why are you asking us for advice? What is the real reason you can't decide? If it's not really a professional motive, then you should look elsewhere for your answers because none of us know you - therefore we are incapable of giving you advice for your personal issues. I.e. don't waste my time reading your long email when you really don't want or need the advice that people are giving you!
I'm not a planner, but I have to put up with the end result and some of it is pretty ugly. As a Metro Atlanta resident, we need all the help we can get. If you come up here, make sure you bring a big stick to beat off all the special interests...