At the second annual volunteer appreciation luncheon held in March, the City of Milton honored its volunteers of the year.
The honorees included:
Volunteers of the Year:
Jack and Francia Lindon
The husband and wife team of Jack and Francia Lindon are founding members of Milton Grows Green (MGG), starting their volunteer engagement in 2007. In the seven years since, Francia has been instrumental in the city earning the Atlanta Regional Commission’s CREATE Award and helping Milton become a National Wildlife Federation Community Habitat. She also serves as communications chairwoman and secretary for MGG, creating logos, signage, brochures and branding.
Jack serves as chairman of MGG, organizing household paint and chemical collection events, providing logistics for the annual Earth Day Festival, launching the Adopt A Stream Program, and planning the yearly Rivers Alive cleanups in the fall.
Parks and Recreation Volunteer of the Year:
David Winsness is the founder of EagleStix Lacrosse Club, now the second largest recreation program in the City of Milton with 225 girls. EagleStix, founded in 2011, takes athletes as young as four to the high school level in both recreation and advanced levels of play.
Longtime Milton volunteer Peyton Jamison currently serves on Planning Commission, Better Together and is the president of the non-profit Crabapple Community Association (CCA).
In addition to his regular volunteer duties with the city, Jamison was instrumental
in launching the revamped Crabapple Fest in 2013 due to the city’s partnership with CCA.
Board and Committee Members of the Year
One member of each of the city’s volunteer boards or committees was nominated by the staff liaison as representative of the year. These honorees included:
Design Review Board:
Board of Zoning Appeals:
Historic Preservation Commission:
Disability Awareness Committee:
Milton’s citizen volunteer committee, Better Together, began in 2011 with the goal of building a more welcoming community in Milton where residents of all abilities have the opportunity to participate. The group meets twice-monthly at Bethwell Community Center to plan projects and activities for the community under the direction of Wayne Boston. These volunteers are known as Community Builders.
In 2014, Better Together initiated a new program – monthly mailings of welcome packages to new Milton residents. The package includes a welcoming letter from Mayor Lockwood and a copy of the latest Newcomer’s Guide created by the Innovation and Engagement Department. Each new family is encouraged to contact a Community Builder with questions or to request additional information about the City of Milton.
The group hosted the first of many Business Connection events in 2014. They have worked with various local businesses to introduce their particular product or service to the Milton-area residents. Four of these events have been held since October.
“Living Room Conversation” meetings are organized and hosted by Better Together, as well. These events have included such guest speakers as Shaun Verma, MD Junior; Kimberly Brock, Author; Jim Bell, Milton Fields; Cindy Ringwall, Rotary Club of Milton; and most recently, newly-elected Fulton County Commissioner, Bob Ellis.
As part of ongoing efforts to improve service to Milton residents and business owners, the City of Milton conducts a Citizen Survey through the National Research Center every two years. A citizen survey was conducted in 2014 and is considered a key success measure tied to the city’s 2012-2015 Strategic Plan. In addition, the results are used, in part, to help guide the city’s future priorities and budgeting. The survey was randomly sent to 1,200 residents and was available online.
This survey was compared to the previous edition, conducted in 2012, to determine what trends, if any, were occurring. Overall ratings in Milton for 2014 generally remained the same. Concerns regarding new development in Milton and affordable quality housing were reflected in the survey.
Aspects trending upwards from 2012 included Milton residents feeling the economy had a positive impact on their income, voting in local elections and recommending Milton as a place to live. Ninety percent of residents rate the overall quality of life in Milton as either excellent or good.
In late June Milton’s Municipal Court launched the Teen Victim Impact Program, an educational initiative to reduce teen traffic violations and death in car crashes. Milton Chief Judge Brian Hansford brought the program to Milton after learning of its success in reducing teen fatalities in other jurisdictions.
Drivers under the age of 21 accused of traffic violations in Milton may now attend the two-hour Teen Victim Impact Program in lieu of the six-hour defensive driving course traditionally offered to reduce driver’s license point deductions. Any Milton resident or his or her child may also take the course for no cost any time it is offered. Classes are held monthly.
The Teen Victim Impact Program is designed to give judges an educational initiative in lieu of or in addition to fines and probation. It was developed in 2006 and is used by a number of court systems in the metro Atlanta area. The objective, say its creators, is to get rid of the “It won’t happen to me” mindset and reinforce the need to wear seat belts.
The program contains:
Held the first Saturday in October from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in historic downtown Crabapple, Crabapple Fest is a partnership between the City of Milton and the non-profit Crabapple Community Association (CCA). The popularity of this event has tripled in the last three years to an estimated 30,000 attendees.
The fall festival included:
The City of Milton hosts a monthly, video-on-demand Citizens Government Academy hosted through the city’s YouTube page.
In the short videos, Jason Wright discusses topics pertinent to Milton residents, including the city’s history, its government structure, how it budgets, and much, much more.
Installments cover virtually every aspect of the city’s municipal operations, including sections reserved for hot topics that arise throughout the project. The aim is for busy residents to engage with and learn about government on their terms, away from City Hall and public meetings.
Milton’s Community Outreach Officer, Ara Baronian, had a busy year engaging residents. You are likely to see him at Milton-sponsored events, in addition to events sponsored by individual neighborhoods.
Baronian also visited schools, day cares, churches, HOAs, Rotary groups and Scout troops to give presentations on safety, car theft prevention, active shooters, police interaction and cooperation, defense and crime awareness. In addition, he organized and taught several Law and Justice Program classes at Cambridge High School.
Baronian hosted one of the most popular city programs, a 10-week Citizens Police Academy class, attended by dozens of residents. He also gave seven women’s safety presentations various groups.
Lastly, Baronian joined the Milton Community Alliance for Mental Wellness, as well as helped organized the suicide prevention event “Race to Nowhere.”