I believe that as our city continues to grow, we need to have a proactive and forward-thinking approach to managing that growth. One way to do this is by updating our Comprehensive Plan every 5 years, as we are currently scheduled to do in 2025.
However, I propose that we also create a Smart Growth Economic Development Strategy, which will allow all members of our community to come together and actively plan for our future, addressing our growth in the most effective ways possible.
Traffic & Transportation
Aside from addressing our “problem” intersections, we must also explore alternative solutions that address the “build and fill” problem, such as implementing traffic management strategies and investing in public transportation options. Only by taking a holistic approach can we truly address our city’s transportation needs. We can start with these, while upgrading our roadways too:
- Interconnecting dead-end neighborhoods so there are no single entrance/exit scenarios and require any new development have multiple egresses.
- Promote non-car solutions: trams, bikes, e-scooters, etc. through building codes and road design.
- Seek out opportunities for Public-Private Partnerships (P3) to fund or build alternative modalities of transit, such as rideshare, mass transit, and carpooling.
The EPA1 and the GA EPD2 have grants available to cities to help them purchase and preserve land, leaving it in an undeveloped state or in a semi-improved state (such as with trails), We should pursue those grants and even consider the low-cost GEFA3 loans to build our city’s greenspace and “land bank”.
Finally, we need to follow the Best Practice recommendation from both the EPA1 and the GA EPD2 and update our ordinances and zoning requirements to reflect the changing environment in which we live.
Pooler is currently raising funds for a library, seeking grants to fully fund the gap left by increased building costs in a post-pandemic world. Our community needs a place to gather and grow together. Which is why I support building the library with additional indoor and outdoor space for the public to use for local events, concerts, plays, and more. I also support looking at building non-sport-centric gathering places in our parks to promote community events. The EPD2 & DCA4 offer grant opportunities that will take an effort to achieve, but our community is worth the effort.
I am fully committed to ensuring our fire and police departments have the resources and training they need to keep our community safe. That’s why I am advocating for the construction of a state-of-the-art “live fire training tower/building” for our fire department, as well as expanding their training programs. Not only will this benefit our brave first responders, but it will also ensure that our residents have the best possible protection in case of emergency.
But safety doesn’t stop there. I also believe that it’s important to empower our citizens with the knowledge and skills they need to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe. That’s why I am also pushing for the creation of low-cost, publicly accessible training programs, such as Red Cross CPR certification, Stop the Bleed, and verbal conflict resolution. With programs like these available to everyone, we can build a stronger, safer, and more resilient community for all.
I have long been an advocate of altering our city government to follow the Best Practices that other state (GMA)5 and national organizations such as the NLC6 & NCL7 advise, including:
- Districts (or wards)
- Staggard terms
- Community advisory boards
- Modern charter language
I am committed to empowering our community to have a say in shaping the future of our city. That’s why I propose creating dynamic community committees to dive deep into the issues that matter most to our residents and make bold recommendations to council. Together, we can make Pooler an even better place to live, work and play.
Community Plan Glossary of Terms
Governments love their initialisms and acronyms, here’s a list of what all those acronyms mean:
1 Environmental Protection Agency – a federal agency tasked with environmental protection and oversight; they also have grant opportunities for environment preservation.
2 Georgia Environmental Protection Division – the state equivalent of the EPA. They offer grant opportunities for outdoor and environmental programs & preservation.
3 Georgia Environmental Finance Authority – they provide low-interest loans to municipalities for certain projects including infrastructure & land purchases.
4 Department of Community Affairs – a state-level department that oversees all the programs that affect communities, such as housing, parks & recreation, public spaces, and much, much more.
5 Georgia Municipal Association – a non-governmental organization that our city belongs to. They provide municipal training, advocacy, legal recommendations, and more.
6 National League of Cities – Like the GMA, the NLC offers resources to all cities in all states. They advocate on a national level. Pooler is a member of the NLC.
7 National Civic League – similar to the NLC, but the NCL is more focused on development of policies, ordinances, and charter changes than the NLC. Currently Pooler is not a member, but many of their resources are available without a membership.
The Community Plan doesn’t stop with this website! You can help make the plan better by volunteering or donating your time or money to help the campaign. Or come to an event to learn more about these ideas and what you can do to help make them happen.