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Two Ex-Commissioners Up for Downtown Post

Two former Athens-Clarke County commissioners are among the finalists to head the Athens Downtown Development Authority.

Linda Ford represented Five Points from 1999–2003. David Lynn represented the Prince Avenue area from 2003–2011.

A third finalist, William Herbig, is currently a program director at the Congress for the New Urbanism in Washington, D.C., and former director of urban design for the Midtown Alliance in Atlanta. He studied architecture and historic preservation at the Savannah College of Art & Design, and holds a bachelor’s degree in urban policy studies from Georgia State University and a master’s degree in city planning from Georgia Tech.

Ford’s qualifications include owning several small businesses, and serving as president of the Five Points Business Association and co-chair of the We Let the Dawgs Out public art exhibit.

Ford was also director of the state elections division for five years, but she resigned in 2015 after 8,000 voters were mistakenly removed from rolls. She is now a business analyst and trainer with PCC Technology Group.

As commissioner, Lynn led efforts to establish a downtown historic district and guided the development of the West Washington Street parking deck. He also has experience as a planner with Athens-Clarke County and advising local governments and state agencies with the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government. He has a B.A. in political science and a master’s in public administration, both from UGA.

Lynn switched careers in 2010 and is currently a corporal with the UGA police department.

The ADDA board voted this afternoon to name Lynn, Ford and Herbig the three finalists to replace Pamela Thompson, the former executive director who resigned in December to take a job with the Glynn County government in Brunswick.

The job pays approximately $80,000–$90,000 per year.

All three finalist are slated to appear at an open house at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3 at Athens First Bank, where they will each speak for 20 minutes on three topics: ideas for new business development downtown, elements of the downtown master plan they would like to implement in the next five years, and the top three challenges facing downtown.

The ADDA board is scheduled to decide whom to hire at its Feb. 8 meeting.