Council Seeks Spring Policy & Marketing Interns 
It is that time of year again when many undergraduate and graduate students are finalizing their spring semester schedules.  The Council is currently seeking independent, dedicated individuals to serve in spring unpaid internships.
Policy Interns
Interns will be expected to research various public policy issues affecting the agency, write articles for newsletters and assist regular staff with formulating real public policies. Those seeking a bachelor's or master's degree in Public Administration, Urban Planning, Political Science or other Public Policy related areas of study will be most successful.  
For a complete overview of the POLICY internship requirements click HERE or contact James Touchton at

Marketing Interns
Will work on a variety of projects that leverage and develop creativity and  communication skills in a real world environment. Applicants studying Marketing, PR, English or related fields are preferred.

For a complete overview of the MARKETING internship requirements click HERE or contact Amanda Janaskie at

Please Note: Internships are unpaid. Working schedules are flexible due to the responsibilities classes demand.

Upcoming Municipal Elections May Result in New Leadership in Key Areas
On November 3rd, municipal elections will be held for Mayor and City Council positions around the Metro area. While many cities will not be holding their scheduled elections as all candidates are running unopposed (Alpharetta, Milton, Duluth), several seats are facing substantial challenges this year. The Cities of Dunwoody, Brookhaven and Smyrna may have new Mayors in office next year, while the city of Roswell could see turnover in three City Council seats. Click HERE to read more about the candidates and their proposals.

Click HERE to see all contested offices and candidate lists in Cobb, Cherokee, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett.

House T&I Committee Approves Six Year Federal Surface Transportation Act
The House of Representatives' Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee marked up and unanimously approved the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 3763). The bill, which was introduced on October 20th, authorizes $325 billion in surface transportation and infrastructure improvement spending over six years ($261 billion to highways, $55 billion to transit and approximately $9 billion to safety programs) from fiscal years 2016 through 2021. The bill authorizes the funding for six years; however, funding is only guaranteed for the first three years and in order to release funding for years 3 through 6, congress must identify and approve new or additional funding mechanisms. Click HERE to read more.

To view the T&I Committee summary of the bill, click HERE

To view the full text of the bill, Click HERE

Town Center CID
Unveils Vibrant New Brand

The Town Center Community Improvement District rolled out an exciting new look for its logo this week that celebrates the vitality and uniqueness of the area that it serves. 

The new prismatic logo is representative of a virtual map pin, similar to what you would find on a GPS mapping application, visually implying that everything you need-commercial and residential real estate, education, dining, shopping and entertainment-is right here in Town Center, a 6.25 square-mile bright spot in Cobb County. The logo provides a sense of place with a professional and modern look that vividly reflects that the Town Center CID is putting the area on the map. 

Since 1997, the Town Center CID and its partners have invested more than $140 million in infrastructure projects in the area in anticipation of growth, while improving the accessibility and attractiveness of Town Center's 6.25 square miles. The area now boasts 5.5 million square feet of commercial space, 8 miles of scenic trails and access to two interstates. Also within its boundaries lie Kennesaw State University, Cobb County International Airport and a plethora of dining, shopping and entertainment options. 

Be sure to REGISTER for the Councils CID Recognition event on November 9th to learn more about what Town Center and other CID's are accomplishing across the region.

Forsyth County Proposes Highest Impact Fees in Region
On Tuesday, October 21st, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners discussed the proposed impact fee ordinance during a work session.  The Council for Quality Growth was in attendance at the meeting and are closely monitoring the progress of the new fees.

Despite serious concerns for  how the proposed fees will impact the County's ability to attract commercial development, the Commissioners decided to move the ordinance forward to a Public Hearing on November 19th; however, they also asked the Impact Fee Advisory Committee to reconvene before that hearing to discuss the impact the proposed fees may have on economic development. The Impact Fee Advisory Committee is instructed to seek consultation from members of the commercial development community and others in order to draft a new recommendation to the Board of Commissioners at the Hearing on the 19th.

The Council for Quality Growth will be in attendance at the Impact Fee Advisory Committee meeting, Monday, November 2nd at 5:00, in order to make certain that the Committee understands the detrimental impact the proposed fees could have on the County's economic viability. The Council hopes to ensure that landowners already vested in Forsyth County with planned and platted projects will not be subject to the proposed fee increases and that the proposed Roads Fee will remain capped at 40% of the maximum for an extended period of time. Click HERE to read more.

Click HERE to view the Council's key concerns with the proposed fees, presented to the Board of Commissioners. Click HERE to view a table comparing the proposed fees with surrounding communities in the region.

For any questions or concerns regarding Impact Fee proposals please contact policy analyst, Chelsea Hagood at 770-813-3374 or
Gwinnett County to Vote on           E-SPLOST Referendum on November 3rd
Gwinnett County will host an E-SPLOST Referendum on November 3, 2015. If approved by voters, the special 1-cent sales tax would raise an estimated $950,000,000. The funds could be used to construct and equip new schools or to expand and modernize existing schools and their supporting facilities. 97.6% of funds would be allocated to the Gwinnett County School District, with the remaining 2.3% of the E-SPLOST going to City of Buford School District.  The Council for Quality Growth expresses its support for this legislation and encourages Gwinnett area members to please get out and vote on November 3rd.

For more information, click HERE

Council Hosts Cobb County Department of Transportation Director Faye DiMassimo 

Cobb County Department of Transportation Director, Faye DiMassimo, spoke at the Cobb County Advisory Meeting on Wednesday, October 28th. Ms. DiMassimo spoke about the on-going and upcoming transportation initiatives throughout Cobb County. CDOT-led investments mentioned include the completion of a new air traffic control tower and customs facility at Cobb International Airport, and the construction of a diverging diamond interchange at Windy Hill Road. Ms. DiMassimo noted that CDOT is also collaborating extensively with GDOT to complete projects of regional significance. Cited GDOT-led projects included the managed lane project occurring along I-75, the construction of a new interchange at I-285 and Atlanta Road, and the widening of U.S. 41 and replacement of the U.S. 41 Bridge over the Chattahoochee River. The value of the investments at Atlanta Road and U.S. 41 alone total $80.5 million.

Ms. DiMassimo also answered questions from those in attendance regarding the traffic mitigation strategies being adopted in preparation for the opening of Braves Stadium in 2017. Though there will be 14 access routes to the Stadium, a review of season ticket holders' travel patterns suggests 25% of forecasted traffic surges on event days will come from I-75 South, 10% from Spring Hill Road East, and 10% from Cobb Parkway South. In response to the findings, CDOT plans a number of road improvements, pedestrian improvements, and possible investment in establishing a Cumberland Circulator bus service to alleviate mobility through the area on both non-event and event days.

The Council for Quality Growth thanks Faye DiMassimo for speaking and PSI for sponsoring Wednesday's Cobb Advisory.

To view the presentation shown at the Cobb Advisory Meeting, click HERE

Updated Water Management Manual Supports Metro Atlanta Region's Continued Growth and Economic Development

The US Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE) Water Control Manual and Environmental Impact Statement for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin released last week, finally provides scientific analysis supporting Georgia's request for increased water withdrawals from the Chattahoochee River south of Lake Sydney Lanier to meet the needs of the Atlanta Region's continued population and economic growth. The plan's proposal would increase the allowable water withdrawals from Lake Lanier and the Buford Dam and also allow withdrawals from the Glades Reservoir that would satisfy Georgia's future municipal and industrial water supply needs projected for the year 2040. Last updated in 1989, the ACF Basin Water Control Manual Update is a result of a federal action following the July 2009 federal district court order in the case In re Tri-State Water Rights Litigation, involving USACE and the States of Georgia, Alabama and Florida, which have been in litigation over the ACF Water Management for over 25 years. 

USACE will be accepting public comment on the Manual update draft via email at The Council for Quality growth will continue to closely monitor the update and the role it plays in ongoing state litigation and the Metro Area's economic development and growth. Click HERE to read more
To view the full Manual, click HERE
To view the project specific appendices and relevant court decisions, click HERE

Council Hosts Gwinnett County Commissioner, Lynette Howard
On Tuesday, October 27th, the Council for Quality Growth hosted Gwinnett County Commissioner, Lynette Howard at the Gwinnett Advisory Committee Meeting. The Commissioner provided updates on new developments coming on line in the County including the Gwinnett Center Hotel plans. The plans are on track to be finalized and rolled out to the public next month. Other updates include a new parking deck and library building in Norcross, which will serve as a kick off to the downtown redevelopment plan implementation.

The group discussed the transportation issues facing Gwinnett and the need to have a regional approach when adopting solutions. Commissioner Howard is working to ensure that young people in Gwinnett have a prominent voice during the upcoming County Transportation Planning process, as they will feel the greatest impact. The group discussed the need to educate the public on transportation funding as well as alternative modes before another transportation SPLOST referendum is introduced.

The Council thanks Evermore CID for sponsoring and Commissioner Howard for joining the Gwinnett Advisory Committee meeting and commends her for all her work forwarding the County's agenda toward a more efficient and safe transportation system.

Council applauds Appalachian Regional Port in AJC Op-Ed
Source: Georgia Ports Authority

Council for Quality Growth Board Chairman Tim Lowe and Council President and CEO Michael Paris were published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Friday, September 25th.Their joint op-ed applauded the creation of a new gateway to the Port of Savannah called the Appalachian Regional Port. 

The article begins as follows:

"It isn't every day that have the opportunity to celebrate an initiative that promises to benefit the economy and the environment. It isn't often that we can applaud a change to leverage relatively modest public and private investment in infrastructure for a potentially significant return. Opportunities to impact multiple parts of Georgia at once are unusual.

This is one of those moments. 

The recently announced Appalachian Regional Port in Chatsworth will create new economic opportunity from northwest Georgia to Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky beyond. Its 388-mile direct rail route to the Port of Savannah will reduce truck travel on our highways- particularly in the congested metro region- and carbon emissions with it. And expanding our state's network of inland ports increases the economic competitiveness of the regions in which they are located and the home to our booming port on the coast."

To read the rest of the article, click HERE.
October 29, 2015

What are Council Members saying about their investment in the Council for Quality Growth?

Please assist the Council Nominating Committee by providing  a recommendation for the Council's 2016 Board of Directors. Collectively, the Directors have the opportunity to determine Council activities, positions and policies. 


Download 2016 Nomination Form HERE


Return to Mallory Johnson by November 4, 2015.



Contact Amanda Janaskie,, for sponsorship opportunities. 




Click HERE to view the 2015 Advisory Committee Schedule. 

Click HERE to view a PDF of the 2015 Advisory Committee Schedule and Speaker Lineup 

The 2015 Calendar is updated weekly with new Speakers.  Be sure to go to the Council's Website at and click on the Events Calendar link for the most up-to-date 2015 calendar.

Events, Policy Highlights & Advisory Updates


Join The Council for Quality Growth!

To view a Membership Brochure, Click HERE

The Council for Quality Growth | 770-813-3370 |
5901-C Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30328