“We have cumulatively spent hundreds of hours engaging stakeholders — including members of the community and your own employees whose jobs are now in jeopardy — just to fully scope the potential aftershocks of your decision.
Dickens stressed that Wellstar still has a responsibility to the community. He challenged Wellstar to immediately share its plans to transition care for current patients and those who are newly admitted between now and their Nov. 1 to prevent any gaps in care.
The city wants to prioritize the continued use of the 25-acre site — in whole or in part — for healthcare services, according to the mayor’s letter. The Atlanta Medical Center also currently houses the Atlanta Police Department’s Zone 6 Crime Suppression Precinct, so Dickens said Wellstar must immediately engage with APD to maintain “the future of this critical link in our public safety system.”
Our colleague Ariel Hart produced a deep dive on the impact of the Atlanta Medical Center closure. In her latest article, Hart interviewed residents and experts who all said the closure will change the city in more ways beyond nearly reducing Georgia’s number of hospital beds.
Former City Council President and mayoral candidate Felicia Moore is back, and this time she’s helping to increase voter participation in Atlanta. Last week, the city announced plans to launch the nonpartisan “Atlanta Votes” initiative in partnership with the Equality Foundation of Georgia, aimed at increasing voter engagement and turnout ahead of the midterms. Moore, who lost the mayor’s race to Dickens in a runoff last year, is working with the foundation as senior advisor for the project.
Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Atlanta has finally hired a permanent commissioner to lead the Department of City Planning. About seven months after Tim Keane left that post, Dickens’ office announced Thursday that Jahnee Prince will take over in the department starting Sept. 26. Prince is a former deputy director of DeKalb County’s Department of Planning and Sustainability, and most recently worked for Parker Poe Adams and Bernstein LLP.
The lack of a permanent planning czar forced the city to cancel planned meeting about its upcoming zoning rewrite. Prince’s hiring comes at a critical time as the new administration faces difficult decisions about the city’s future on issues of land use, development and transportation.
Last week, we told you that Atlanta’s public safety personnel and their families can get free admission to the Georgia Aquarium for the rest of September. The city reached a deal with the aquarium to ensure that police officers, firefighters, corrections workers and 911 call center operators can show their employee ID at the aquarium’s ticket booths to get access at no cost to the city.