David Stone Eady

The Covington News - - LOCAL -

The News: What do you see as the big­gest is­sues fac­ing Ox­ford? What skills will (do) you bring to the coun­cil to help ad­dress those is­sues?

Eady: Our motto is to “let us stand by what is good and make it bet­ter if we can,” which is taken from an 1880 speech de­liv­ered by At­ti­cus Hay­good at the Old Church. We have much that is good in Ox­ford, and we should build on our strengths, but there also are op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­prove our com­mu­nity. For ex­am­ple, there was a time when peo­ple would move to Ox­ford so their chil­dren could at­tend Palmer In­sti­tute, which be­came Palmer-Stone School, or at­tend Emory Col­lege, which is now Ox­ford Col­lege of Emory Univer­sity. The col­lege is thriv­ing (and this is good!), but we must strive to make other com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties bet­ter, if we can.

We need to en­sure Ox­ford is a place where our di­verse com­mu­nity can con­tinue to thrive, where we can cre­ate new tra­di­tions and shared ex­pe­ri­ences to pass along to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. We need places and spa­ces and ac­tiv­i­ties that bring our com­mu­nity to­gether.

My fam­ily has lived in Ox­ford and served this com­mu­nity for more than 175 years. I am the sixth gen­er­a­tion of my fam­ily to live here. So I bring the long view to Ox­ford. Be­fore join­ing the City Coun­cil in 2011, I served on the Ox­ford Plan­ning Com­mis­sion for nearly 12 years, so I have more than 18 years of ex­pe­ri­ence with lo­cal govern­ment. I re­ceived a master of sci­ence de­gree in com­mu­nity plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment, and I have more than 25 years of ex­pe­ri­ence man­ag­ing com­plex projects and work­ing across di­verse land­scapes. The News: With the con­tin­ued ex­pan­sion of the Emory Univer­sity foot­print and the pro­posed down­town de­vel­op­ment, what can be done to main­tain the qual­ity of life that cit­i­zens have come to ex­pect in Ox­ford?

Eady: One of the most im­por­tant things is to main­tain and strengthen our iden­tity. What makes Ox­ford unique? What de­fines our com­mu­nity? (Or what do we want to de­fine us?) As I noted pre­vi­ously, we must build on our strengths and cap­i­tal­ize on op­por­tu­ni­ties that align with our iden­tity. Ox­ford should not try to be like Cov­ing­ton, So­cial Cir­cle, Madi­son, or any of our neigh­bors. But we can learn from these com­mu­ni­ties and find what dis­tin­guishes Ox­ford from other com­mu­ni­ties; we must un­der­stand what makes peo­ple want to live here.

It is ex­cit­ing that Emory Univer­sity is in­vest­ing in Ox­ford Col­lege. Over the past 10 years, we’ve wit­nessed one of the most ag­gres­sive cap­i­tal im­prove­ment cam­paigns at the col­lege since it was founded in 1836. Phys­i­cal im­prove­ments on the cam­pus, along with the in­crease in the num­ber of stu­dents, faculty, and

staff at Ox­ford Col­lege, present new op­por­tu­ni­ties for our com­mu­nity. But, ob­vi­ously, there are chal­lenges as well.

Our town cen­ter can pro­vide new spa­ces and places for res­i­dents to in­ter­act with one an­other and with stu­dents at the col­lege. For ex­am­ple, the Ox­ford Col­lege book­store could be re­lo­cated to the town cen­ter, which might pro­vide a re­tail venue for the com­mu­nity while serv­ing the needs of the col­lege. Many folks have men­tioned the de­sire for a cof­fee shop (maybe with free WiFi) that might pro­vide a place to gather and in­ter­act. We’ve also talked about how to get more par­tic­i­pa­tion in a farm­ers mar­ket in the town cen­ter. The News: Do you think greenspace or park­ing should be a priority for the Ox­ford City Coun­cil?

Eady: Ox­ford has al­ways been a place com­mit­ted to greenspace. In the his­toric area, orig­i­nally planned by Ed­ward Lloyd Thomas, we have wide rights of way that pro­vide pub­lic greenspaces through­out town. We have ac­quired prop­erty, and we are near­ing com­ple­tion on fi­nal de­signs, for a pub­lic park near our his­toric ceme­tery. We cel­e­brate our trees on Ar­bor Day and through ac­tiv­i­ties that keep us a cer­ti­fied Tree City USA par­tic­i­pant.

As we have en­vi­sioned po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ment in our town cen­ter, through var­i­ous plan­ning ex­er­cises over the past 10-15 years, we have reaf­firmed a com­mit­ment to em­pha­size pedes­tri­ans (i.e. peo­ple) and pub­lic spa­ces, while deem­pha­siz­ing au­to­mo­biles and park­ing lots. Any fu­ture de­vel­op­ment must find cre­ative ways to en­sure the safety of our peo­ple while pro­tect­ing our nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. The News: Where do you see the City of Ox­ford in four years? Eady: In many re­spects, Ox­ford likely will not change much in four years. But there may well be some sig­nif­i­cant changes that will be vis­i­ble within that time. For ex­am­ple, we should have a new side­walk along the west side of Emory Street, and we hope to ex­tend the side­walk on Emory far­ther north to con­nect Ox­ford Square and Ox­ford North so folks don’t have to walk on the busy high­way. I also hope we can in­stall some peo­ple-scale lights along the side­walks on Emory Street to make it safer to walk or jog or oth­er­wise nav­i­gate at night along this cor­ri­dor. We will have com­pleted road im­prove­ments on East Clark Street, and we might even have some new houses on that street. There will be some new trails along un­opened streets like Coke Street. I hope to see the re­moval of in­va­sive species like privet, kudzu, and wis­te­ria along these path­ways, and I’d like to com­plete other ef­forts to make our trails feel more like lin­ear parks. Fi­nally, we might see a cof­fee shop open in the town cen­ter area… The News: How can vot­ers con­tact you if they have ad­di­tional ques­tions? Eady: I can be reached by call­ing City Hall (770-786-7004), who will put you in touch with me, or you may email me at dseady@ox­ford­ge­or­gia.org. We can talk by phone, ex­change emails, or meet for cof­fee.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.