Marvin Davis is challenging incumbent Douglasville City Councilwoman Lashun Burr Danley in the Nov. 2 election for the Ward 3, Post 1 seat that covers the city’s north side.
Davis, an Army vet and former law enforcement officer, said he believes the city’s downtown has improved over the years. But he says he would like to see more economic development on the city’s north side.
Asked if he thinks it’s more important for the city to build new homes and commercial space or to rehab existing homes and storefronts, Davis was unequivocal.
“I think it’s always better to repair existing homes and storefronts,” he said. “By utilizing our existing empty commercial spaces, we can revitalize the community.”
On transportation options, Davis said he favors public transportation like the county’s bus system. But he said “current routes are not helpful for the citizens that need it most.”
“This is why ridership is low,” he said. “I would like to see more purposeful use of the current transportation system as it relates to the north side of Douglasville.”
Davis said the city has a traffic problem and that the first thing he would like to see done is synching all traffic lights “to ensure they are operating properly.” He gave the example of the Highway 5 intersection with Concourse Parkway near Walmart and Academy Sports, saying “traffic lights create congestion daily.”
He added that since the new Highway 92 bypass has opened to traffic, he’s aware of several accidents along that stretch of road caused by “traffic lights and lighting in the area.”
“If elected, I would meet with our city and state officials to develop a plan of action,” he said.
Asked what one thing he would change in the city’s zoning code, he started by saying the zoning codes haven’t been updated in the past 50 years. He said he would work with the city manager and department heads to update the zoning codes so they “reflect the growth of the City of Douglasville.”
He added that one zoning code he would change is the definition of Planned Unit Development (PUD).
“This zoning code is very broad as we give the developer/land owners too many options to build without restrictions,” Davis said.
To get residents more involved in the city’s decision making processes, Davis said he would form a community task force that represents the north side.
“This task force will consist of community leaders, HOAs, New Horizon, and any other group interested in creating a live, work, play environment,” he said.
Asked how he would evaluate a proposal to build a new piece of public infrastructure in the city such as a road or bridge, Davis said he would look at future plans in the city, consult with the Georgia Department of Transportation and evaluate the needs in the community.
“Once I have all the input from the citizens and my colleagues, I would decide how to move forward on the proposal,” he said.
Asked three steps he would take to put the city on firmer financial footing, Davis said he would first meet with the mayor, city manager and finance director to discuss the budget. Second, he said he would meet with fellow city council members to “discuss the budget and how we can make it more fiscally responsible.” Finally, he said he would meet with each department head to see what services could be streamlined to save money.
If he received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way he wanted, Davis said he would focus on the “safety and security” of citizens by providing sidewalks and lighting in Ward 3. He said he would also look at meeting with developers to “implement a public/private partnership to create a YMCA or something similar on the north side.”
Asked what makes Ward 3 unique, he said the citizens.
“My ward is unique because of the citizens,” he said. “We have a wealth of long term citizens that have lived in Douglasville all their lives. The citizens in my ward are resilient, in that, they have waited for over 40 years for change in our community. If elected, my intent is to create equality, accountability and transparency.”