Dear Decaturish – Open, transparent government for all of Avondale

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt February 24, 2015
Jim Hutchens.

Jim Hutchens. Photo by Jonathan Phillips

We accept letters to the editor. All letters must be signed and are typically 400 to 800 words in length. There is currently a special election for mayor in Avondale Estates. The city hosted a forum on Feb. 19. We have invited all candidates to submit letters further elaborating on their positions. This letter is from candidate Jim Hutchens.

We reserve the right to edit letters for length and content. To send your letter to the editor, email it to

Dear Decaturish,

Thanks to all the good folks of Avondale Estates who came to the Mayoral Forum last Thursday night. I appreciated all the thoughtful questions and hope you left the forum with a clear picture of my commitment to Avondale and open, inclusive and responsive government.

We have a great future ahead of us.  I believe we will get there if everyone is informed and has the opportunity to be involved.

My message is:

– Responsible annexation consistent with the character of Avondale Estates, after adequate study and support by residents.

– AE should consider annexation of more commercial property.  Google Fiber will give AE a competitive advantage in pursuing businesses and companies to relocate and construct in AE.

– I oppose annexation efforts initiated by the state legislature as to method and magnitude.

– Everyone wins when we have better schools.  The Museum School is the perfect example of what can be done when our community gets behind local education.  As mayor, I would work to bring the same energy to the challenges of improving Avondale Elementary and the struggle to keep Druid Hills as our High School.  We all have a stake in public education and I believe parents should not be standing alone in this fight.  Looking ahead, creating better opportunities and choices for our children should be an on-going priority for the entire community.

– Pro Business! Support efforts to revitalize our Downtown area.  Support business start-ups in Avondale Estates with initiatives to improve parking and walkability of our Downtown.  We need downtown parking now, and we need more safe intersection access to the downtown area.

– Support infrastructure projects initiated by the city to energize revitalization of the Downtown area. The DDA, as an adjunct of city government, must be intensely involved in the path to Downtown revitalization.  The DDA also will also be the agent for progress via the “Main Street” program.

– Support smart and innovative development of the Fenner-Dunlop property.  The design and review must be open and transparent to all residents of the community.

– Open, transparent and inclusive government is essential. Will sponsor and support initiatives by the city to increase residents’ ability to access their government’s information.  Will set  programs in place to push information to residents.

– Avondale Estates must be smart and informed to accomplish our goals. Will support the best training for all city staff and elected officials.

– Open, transparent government for all of Avondale Estates.

Throughout my engineering career in the Navy and the private sector I’ve been entrusted with high levels of responsibility for managing sensitive and complicated projects.  I’ve been in charge of everything from building public sewage treatment plants to being responsible for the nuclear weapons to.  Now retired, I promise to bring the same full-time dedication to the job of Mayor of Avondale Estates.  Our great little City deserves nothing less.

I need your vote on 17 March 2015. Thanks.

– Jim Hutchens

About the election

Advance voting will be held at the DeKalb County Elections Division at 4380 Memorial Drive. The mayoral election is March 17. Voting will take place at two locations:

Avondale Estates City Hall, 21 North Avondale Plaza, from 7 am to 7 pm.


For the newly annexed area of Stratford Green Townhomes (ONLY), voting will take place at Avondale Pattillo United Methodist Church, 3260 Covington Highway, Decatur, Georgia 30032 from 7 am to 7 pm.

Correction: An earlier version of this post contained incorrect information with regard to the start of early voting. This post has been updated to reflect the most accurate information. 

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

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