When Cheryl Oakes made her first run for office four years ago, she says she had a passion for public safety. As a community leader recognized for creating the largest, most successful Neighborhood Watch program, she had worked closely with Alpharetta’s first responders and knew the challenges they faced.
Oakes says she also knew that while public safety was paramount in maintaining quality of life, that smart growth and congestion were close behind – and largely connected. So, in her first term, she has concentrated on helping Alpharetta improve in those categories.
“While we haven’t attained nirvana yet, we have made progress with projects like the Douglas Road roundabout and bridge replacement, and intersection improvements like the turn lane and bridge replacement at North Point and Kimball Bridge.” Oakes said.
She points to dozens of other traffic relief and local street projects the city funded along with major sidewalk additions, giving residents more options to walk – rather than drive – within the city.
According to Mrs. Oakes, a related accomplishment was taming out-of-control development.
“Since I took office, new zoning applications are down more than 50 percent,” she said. “Yes, the economy is part of it, but so is the city’s growing reputation for maintaining high development standards and approving only projects that add to Alpharetta’s overall quality of life and increasing property values.”
Another success story is public safety.
“Crime is down and police incident calls have steadily and significantly dropped each year since I took office in 2008,” she said. “I also supported the city’s new state-of-the-art 911 center that incorporates the latest emergency response technologies to improve public safety dispatch times and effectiveness.”
Parks and recreation is another Oakes priority. Alpharetta was recently recognized as the Georgia Recreation & Park Association’s 2011 “Agency of the Year” due to the quality of its facilities and programs.
If re-elected, Oakes priorities include:
- Completing the new land use plan with community involvement creating a blueprint for Alpharetta’s future.
- Staying tough on development to defend our quality of life and assuring all new development passes the test of increasing property values.
- Continuing to drive modernization of the community’s public safety department through state-of-the-art tools and technologies that save lives, protect citizens, keep us secure, and reduce insurance costs.
- Increase mobility through better traffic signalization, traffic management technologies, intersection improvements and other congestion relief projects.
- Concentrate on expanding Alpharetta’s world-class parks and recreation programs to serve more local residents and provide more recreation opportunities close to home.
“Alpharetta is a great community and I truly want to build on what we’ve done the past four years to make it the preeminent community in the metro area, one where people want to live, work and play,” she said.
Oakes can be contacted through her website or find her on Facebook.