The City of Peachtree Corners has experienced a lot of "firsts" since incorporating on July 1, 2012.
Now just three months later a city manager is on board to handle the operations of Gwinnett's largest city that includes some 38,000 residents and 2,000 or so businesses.
Julian Jackson is the man who will take on the gargantuan task of getting a brand new city up and running. Patch had the chance sit down with him recently to ask a few questions.
The first, why was he interested in the job? The opportunity to be a new city manager for a brand new city was an opportunity too good to pass up he said.
"It's a small club," said Jackson referring to how few get the opportunity to be involved in standing up a brand new city. "It's really exciting to be here," he added. "It's an exciting time in the city's history."
Jackson is set up in temporary office space located just around the corner of City Hall. The city is still about a month away from moving into the space at 147 Technology Parkway.
The fact that the new City Hall had yet to be ready to move in was just another of the firsts that Jackson accepted when he decided to pull up stakes in his Monroe home after 12 1/2 years to accept the position.
"It was the most difficult decision I had to make," admitted Jackson, who has a wife and two sons, ages 20 and 16, to consider. "But it was a unique and challenging opportunity and just too good to pass up."
Jackson said he expects to have the city's three services, planning and zoning, code enforcement and trash services "up and running by the end of January, 2013," adding "with Ms. Wheeler, (the city's Community Development Director) mayor and council it's achievable."
The new city manager, who oversaw 210 employees in Monroe, has no qualms about getting in and working where needed. "We're all going to have to roll up our sleeves," he said.
Also on the City Manager's to-do list is hiring a City Clerk. The position is currently being advertised on the city's website and other sites.
It's all part of the process, a series of "firsts" that Jackson was eager to be a part of. "I've never started one (city) from scratch, but I couldn't be more excited to be here," said Jackson. "I think Peachtree Corners is a wonderful community."
Here are a few fast facts about the new City Manager.
- Name: Julian Jackson, age 51, a native of South Carolina
- Married: 25 years to Stacey who is an art teacher at Sharon Elementary
- Children: Two sons, J.J., 20, is a Sophomore at Georgia Perimeter and Charles, 16, is a Junior at Walnut Grove High School
- Background: 25 year's of experience in city management, most recently was Monroe's City Administrator for the past 12 1/2 years, he began his career working for the State of Florida, worked as Finance Director for the city of Perry, Fla., other city management positions over the years. He was the Assistant City Administrator for Roswell before moving to Monroe.
- Education: Doctorate degree in Public Administration from Valdosta State, Masters degree in Public Administration from Valdosta State and Accounting degree from the University of West Florida.
Matthew Chancey has taken over as Interim Monroe City Administrator in Jackson's absence.