Lisa Borders: ‘Look to your competition’

City pensions

I did not vote ... because there was not a tie . ... But I said to my colleagues, ‘This is not good’ ...

It is a huge problem. It’s not sustainable to pay $100 million, which is 20 percent of the city’s budget, forever.”

My take on this would be we make three changes for prospective employees; we change the multiplier back ...; that we change the vesting schedule; and that we go back into the Social Security system.

City finances

I have talked about ... changing cost centers to profit centers. To the extent that we work with our sister jurisdictions, we have the opportunity to decrease our expenses by buying things together, and for Atlanta to make a little bit of money by providing ... services.

City management

One of the things I see is that we don’t offer an integrated solution to any business coming to the city of Atlanta. ... They have to go and find all those services for themselves.

We will act as the facilitator to ensure you get everything from land permits to the person that will build your headquarters.

Public safety

Crime is a problem. From a technical perspective ... all the violent categories are down. As a pragmatic point, property crimes are soaring.

I had a mentor tell me once, ‘You deserve what you tolerate.’ I don’t think we should tolerate crime in our city at any level. To the extent that people do not feel safe ... they’re not going to want to live in the city. I think we need more [police] zones and more tactical units focused on property crimes and gang violence.


Real estate has been to Atlanta what cars were to Detroit and what entertainment is to Los Angeles. We have seen two cycles like this over the last 50 years. The economy will come back, and we will have the opportunity to continue to develop in the city of Atlanta. My expectation is, with initiatives like the Beltline and the tax allocation districts, that we will have adequate infrastructure and financing vehicles in place to assist our developers.


When I look at MARTA ... her performance is equal to or greater than her urban peers. I believe MARTA should be the spine of a regional transit system.

I would not have two counties paying for what everyone should benefit from, and which could help serve as an economic generator. ...

We should rewrite the MARTA authorization act. We should remove the 50/50 handcuffs that say there is an operational bucket and a capital budget.

We are the only state ...that doesn’t invest substantially in public transit. So if you are going to invest in it substantially, then you can run it. Unless and until you are going to do that, I don’t think so.”

Region and state

We have an economic imperative that says today everyone must work together.

The question is who’s got relationships in place and who understands what the landscape really looks like.

Cities like Charlotte and Memphis and Birmingham are starting to peel off opportunity. All you have to do is look to your competition — what are they doing right? They are winning every time.