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DeRito, Mitchell battle for post 1 council seat in Alpharetta
by Nicole Dow
October 16, 2013 12:21 PM | 1949 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Former Alpharetta councilman Doug DeRito is hoping residents vote him back to the post 1 council seat, but incumbent Donald Mitchell also has his hat in the race to be re-elected to a new term.

DeRito left council in 2011 to run for mayor, and Mitchell has been since serving the unexpired term.

The owner of Donald Mitchell Designs, Mitchell said he tapped into his expertise to contribute to the City Center Committee, the Design Review Board, the Historic Society and numerous community development projects.

As part of council, he said he has worked on solving traffic issues in the city.

“We just unanimously approved of a grant application for a new adaptive traffic control system on Windward Parkway [last] week,” Mitchell said. “We are also working on a system for triple left turns onto westbound Windward and an additional travel lane to Deerfield Parkway. With Old Milton [Parkway], we are actively working with the [Georgia Department of Transportation] on a regional traffic operations plan to augment traffic flow there more efficiently.  There are projects on the books for the Rucker Road corridor.”

If re-elected, he said his top three priorities for the city will be economic development, community improvement projects and City Center and downtown revitalization.

DeRito, a managing partner of tax consulting firm Ryan LLC, said if he is elected, his top three priorities will be public safety, transportation and development, and financial management leadership. He said he accomplished much during his 10-year tenure on council.

“I established the region’s first Public Safety Department,” DeRito said. “I supported the efforts to complete Westside Parkway ... I was actively involved in developing the plan to realize the new City Center [and] helped plan and bring Avalon to Alpharetta.”

He said he also provided leadership on the acquisition of additional passive parkland and green space and assisted in implementing multiple new financial management policies.

If elected, DeRito said he will “work every day to maintain [the city’s] financial position, protect [Alpharetta’s] families and improve the quality of life.”

Both Mitchell and DeRito have been the center of controversy during their tenures on council with Mitchell’s appearance on a reality television show and accusations that DeRito inappropriately used his influence to benefit Alpharetta High School.

“When a report aired that cast the television acting — in which I participated at the request of a client — in a negative light, I made certain immediately to communicate that my role was an acting role, not reality,” Mitchell said.

He said his connection to the city was never mentioned on the show and he declined further requests to be on the program.

DeRito, who was cleared of the ethics violations against him, said, “I take my role as a city councilman very seriously and never have, nor never will, use any elected position for nothing more but to advance the best interests of Alpharetta.”

Residents will cast their votes for the council position Nov. 5. The post 1 seat is the only contested race in the city with incumbent councilmen Mike Kennedy and Chris Owens running unopposed.

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