Public office/related experience
Julie currently serves on the Milton City Council. Prior to being elected, she served as the Executive Director of the Birmingham Hopewell Alliance for 10 years. And she has served on a variety of committees and boards including zoning and land use, planning and overlay development, parks and recreation master planning and the Heritage Preservation Advisory Board (AKA Design and Review Board).
Julie’s accomplishments in her first year in office have included:
• Key contributor to getting the city up and running including the passage of critical ordinances and processes that needed to be in place right away;
• Proactive participant in helping to balance the 2007 and 2008 budget;
• Helped to identify $200,000 immediate and $600,000 long-term cost savings within the CH2MHill contract;
• As a team, deployed the best Police and Fire Department in the region;
• Introduced public participation into virtually all of our public forums to ensure community voice is a part of all decisions we evaluate and make;
• Stands firm on the no-sewer and no inter-basin policies;
Julie graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Finance from Florida State University. Her professional career has included working for Southeast Bank in Miami, Citibank Leveraged Capital, and Equifax, as an assistant vice president in charge of strategic development.
For specific accomplishments and credentials please visit other portions of this website.
Why are you running?
I am running for re-election to continue to positively affect the issues that can forever change Milton:
• To protect our communities from the risk of over-development and the resulting traffic
• To continue to uphold the long standing “no sewer” policies
• To carry out the Milton Vision and Mission to maintain a unique rural community
• To enhance the various areas of Milton with specific architectural and design standards appropriate for that area
• To ensure Milton is fiscally sound and operates on a balanced budget
• To keep taxes lower while continuing to provide excellent fire and safety services
• To maintain a city government that is open and fair
• To ensure public participation and citizen desires are centric to all that we do
My public service and commitment is a direct extension of a decade of my volunteer community work prior to my being elected to the Milton City Council last year. The issues that we are facing are largely the same issues that I have worked diligently on for all these years. I am more committed now than ever to ensuring our community remains distinct for the benefit of all now and into the future. My knowledge and experience uniquely qualify me for this position on the Milton City Council.
What is the number one issue facing Milton?
The number one issue facing Milton is the risk of over-development. The course we chart today will determine what the city of Milton will be like 20 years from now. For example, we must consistently apply our land use policies and architectural guidelines as appropriate for each part of the city, including Highway 9, and the various sub-community areas. You don’t have to look very far to see that when unchecked development becomes the norm, there is no going back. I intend to continue to protect the long term interests of our wonderful city.
Directly related to the risk of over-development is citizens concerns over traffic. We are taking steps to improve our traffic situation at key bottleneck areas, but there are no quick fixes. In the mid to long-term, land-use and development will have the greatest impact on traffic. I am committed -- as I have been for years -- to ensuring the consistent implementation of the citizens comprehensive land use plan ensuring the area remains distinct with lower density residential and defined commercial areas with specific architectural designs reinforcing that which is uniquely Milton.
What are your defining qualities/characteristics and why do they make you a good candidate? Why are you a better choice in this race?
My defining qualities and characteristics include:
• Extensive knowledge and first hand experience relative to the issues we face regarding Milton’s future and unmatched dedication to the community as evidenced by my 11+ years of successful community leadership and advocacy for this area;
• Unwavering stewardship for Milton including upholding the rural character of Milton, maintaining a lower density residential environment, consistent application of our long standing land use policies and a commitment to continue to uphold the no-sewer policies; and
• Fiscal responsibility including a balanced budget and tax base.
I do not represent any special interest groups and do not waiver under pressure from special interest groups. I stand firm for citizen’s desires for their community, their home.
I am the only candidate who has the knowledge, experience, proven leadership and track record to represent the interests of the citizens of Milton. While others may claim to have the interests of citizens in mind, the influence of special interest groups, the financial disclosures of others and personal agendas tell a different story. If you are concerned about the very real risk of overdevelopment in Milton, then I am the only choice.
A big issue in Milton is land use (agricultural vs. residential) and sewers. What path would you guide the city on if elected?
The number one issue facing Milton is the risk of over-development. The course we chart today will determine what the city of Milton will be like 20 years from now. For example, we must consistently apply our land use policies and architectural guidelines as appropriate for each part of the city. You do not have to look far to see that when unchecked development becomes the norm, there is no going back. I will continue to support the longstanding no-sewer policy - the introduction of sewer equals more density and that is not what citizens want or expect for their community. I will not waiver on my commitment to the citizens of Milton.
What key issues other than development do you intend to address if elected? What proactive steps would you take?
The government of Milton must begin to work together in unison, without personal agendas. This alone would have a dramatic impact in all areas of our work. If re-elected, I would continue to work hard, along with Mayor Lockwood and other Council Members, to bring our individual focuses into alignment. I would continue to reach out to other Council Members, even those who differ with my conservative land-use posture, to find our common ground so that we can move forward in a more positive and productive manner. I am aware that others are working hard to cast doubt on my years of good work for our community. Please do not reward this negativity or promote their hidden agendas. I invite residents to call me to discuss ideas, questions and concerns.
What do you think about the current problems facing the city council?
The City Council is faced with the unique challenge of defining processes, procedures and legislation in order to run the city, while at the same time having to run the city as they are being defined. This is bound to result in some challenge. Our focus should be simple – protecting what is unique about Milton and incorporating fiscally sound values.
Are city services sufficient, and if not would you raise taxes to get the proper level of service?
City services are excellent for a start-up city and, over time, will be expanded as necessary. In only 10 months, with extremely talented management in our service areas, we have a fully operational Fire and Police force and a municipal court system. We have balanced budgets for both 2007 and now 2008. Could more funds accelerate service level increases? Absolutely. However, in the formation of the city, the citizens were promised that taxes would not be increased for the purposes of instituting the city, and we should honour that commitment, and manage with what we have for the time being.
Why should voters pick you?
I have no other agenda than to help Milton remain the unique rural community that attracted our residents here in the first place, and as our Mission and Vision statements clearly define. In my 11 years of continuous community leadership and service including the past year on the City Council, I have proven that I will work non-stop to protect these ideals. I have accumulated a great deal of knowledge on land-use and development ordinances and understand what it takes to manage these areas. If voters want results and someone who is fully committed to this process and who will help lead this community without losing focus or wavering, they should vote for me.
What is your top priority if you are elected?
My top priorities will be to ensure that we have competent city staff so we can continue to build on our organizational base, no-nonsense fiscal management to keep taxes lower, and strong, long term land use planning to protect our communities and alleviate traffic congestion.