Q&A With Greg Coleson, Decatur Commission Candidate, Part 2

The District 1 candidate says he has a vision for Decatur that involves more bike lanes, green infrastructure and the creation of community spaces.

in the March 19 election for the Decatur City Commission seat representing District 1. He grew up in East Point and Fayette County and attended Woodward Academy, the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech. He and his wife, Nicole, started the Decatur Farmers Market. The independent software consultant lives with his wife and daughter on Wilton Drive. For more information about Coleson, visit his campaign webpage.

The first part of the Coleson interview ran Monday. The other candidate, Scott Drake, answered questions Tuesday on Patch and will answer questions on Thursday. Answers have been edited for length.

What would you do to help Decatur?

I would try to use my vision I have for Decatur to make it a better place and a place where people enjoy living and want to grow old. I think a lot of people feel like l do. They’ve moved here and they’re really invested in it and they love it and want to stay here as long as they can.

The city just created a lifestyle commission where the city is looking at ways for people to live their entire lives here. You could be a young child and grow up and have a great school system and as you grow older you could age here. They’ve recently done some zoning improvements to allow people to age in place a little more gracefully and allow more accessory dwellings and things like that.

I would improve Decatur by continuing the plan the city already has but possibly upping the priority of some things I’ve already mentioned and maybe lowering the priority of some others.

Here’s a personal question. What the biggest hurdle you’ve faced in life?

That’s almost like a job interview questions. One of the bigger things I’ve faced—it’s a hurdle but I’d say it’s also an amazing experience—was having a child and the learning experience involved with that. How amazing it is but also how tiring it can be. I think a lot of people who have children could relate to that. That’s probably one of my biggest hurdles but also my greatest joy.

Is there anything you want the people of Decatur to know that I haven’t asked?

I feel I have a vision of where I’d like to see be Decatur 20 years from now.  I would like to see a lot more bike lanes, a lot more green infrastructure, and a lot more things for people that increase community and allow people to interact, have random interactions and meet their neighbors and care about people who live across town and care people who live next door. I’d like to see that vision come true.

Other stories on the special election.

Bill Floyd resigns Decatur City Commission seat.

Decatur Commission sets special election  for March 19.

Q&A with Greg Coleson, Decatur City Commission candidate, Part 1.

Q&A with Scott Drake, Decatur City Commission candidate, Part 1.

Roxanne February 27, 2013 at 01:50 PM
I would still like to know, with one of the campaign focuses on green living and sustainability, what qualifications/certifications does Mr. Coleson bring to the table in that regard? I understand his involvement with the Decatur Farmers Market and the Sustainability Commission, but I would like to know what education lies behind that experience.
Greg Coleson February 27, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Why is my work at the Decatur Farmers Market and the Decatur Sustainability Board not enough? Together that is over 14 years of practical experience over an 11 year time span. I have a BS in Physics and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and I have found that the real learning does not start until you leave your formal education and engage the real world. On a side note, I do read a lot and would recommend these books is this area: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond The Death and Live of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs City Life by Witold Rybczynski California Cuisine and Just Food (Food, Health, and the Environment), a number of authors, (caveat, one is Grieg Guthey is my brother-in-law) The above being some of the most readable, email me at greg_coleson@yahoo.com for more or call me at 404-217-3675 if you would like to talk. These are some of my favorite subjects. I also would like to thank Decatur,Ga for my education, it is one thing to create a new urbanist community from a blank slate, but try to do what Decatur has done in livability in an already built out city, there is a real trick to that and I have watched it happen over the last 20 years.
Roxanne February 27, 2013 at 05:26 PM
The question was not meant as a dig, it was simply a question. Having lived in the City for almost ten years now, I take all local elections very seriously, as each position (elected and appointed) carries a great deal of power. I agree that real-world experience is very valuable, as is a good educational base. I was just hoping to get some additional insight as to your background.
Greg Coleson February 27, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Roxanne, sounds like I might enjoy talking with you. Please feel free come to one of my many Meet & Greets this weekend. We will be able to speak in person. All are welcome. Hosts: Scott & Molly Marrah 525 Clairemont Ave. Friday, 3/1 6 - 8pm Hosts: Corky Gallo 300 Adair St. Saturday, 3/2 3 – 5pm Hosts: Marie Mealor 249 Forkner Drive Sunday, 3/3 3-5pm Hosts: Greg & Tiffany Comrie, Ann & Bob Hesskamp, Kristin & Billy Smith 161 Vidal Blvd Sunday, 3/3 5:30-7p I will also be at the Decatur Farmers Market this evening for 3 -6pm and in Saturday morning from 10 - 12noon.


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