After retiring from the U.S. Army, Oswald “Oz” Hill went to work as a consultant — and later as a city of Atlanta staff member — working in emergency preparedness, disaster mitigation, security planning and other areas. He’s now running for Atlanta City Council District 1 and spoke to Saporta Report via email.
Q: What’s your No. 1 concern for District 1?
A: My number one concern for District 1 is the efficient delivery of city services from all city departments to every resident and neighborhood in District 1, i.e. DWM [Department of Watershed Management], DPW [Department of Public Works, E-911 emergency dispatch, etc.
Q: What could you as a Council Member do about that?
A: As a council member I will leverage my knowledge and familiarity of the city ordinanances, policies, procedures, and systems to provide legislative awareness and insight to enhance efficiencies in the delivery of services for all District 1 residents and neighborhoods, and appropriately, ensure there is fluid communication with the city’s executive staff/administration responsible for day-to-day operations are aware of the requirements, needs, impacts related to District 1.
Q: What’s an accomplishment you’re proud of? It could be professional, personal, political, anything.
As a former city administrator/director in the Department of Watershed Management, I am proud of the work that I did and the accomplishment of the team that supported me, related to the implementation of systems and processes to establish greater accountability for DWM inventory/warehouses. The efforts resulted in the positive control of more than $20 million dollars of DWM inventory in eight geographically disparate locations, and the restoration of confidence in DWM’s capacity to be good stewards of public resources.
Q: What’s an uncomfortable truth that the next council needs to face?
A: An uncomfortable truth the next Council must face is the rapid growth in the city’s population through relocation of new residents and annexations is creating greater demands on city resources, especially public safety and first responder resources/services (i.e. EMS, fire, law enforcement, etc.). The challenge that must be confronted is the efficient distribution of current resources,and increases in public safety workforce and assets to meet the growing needs of our world class city.
Q: What’s something this Council has gotten right?
A: The City Council has gotten it right in the area of resourcing and planning for natural disasters and emergency management. Emergency management staffing, processes and systems for emergency preparedness, sheltering displaced, disadvantaged, and homeless persons, and building on the lessons learned from previous natural disasters and severe weather incidents are noteworthy.
Q: What’s something this Council has gotten wrong?
A: The council has not effectively addressed the needs of the city’s homeless population, and the development of feasible courses of action that effectively and collaboratively coalesce the resources of nonprofit, faith-based, government, and private sector communities to develop long-term solutions to address homelessness.
Q: Why should people vote for you?
A: People should vote for me because the sum total of my experience as a city administrator, a consultant to municipal governments, service on civic and municipal boards, consumer of city services, as well as, my military service have effectively prepared me as the best person to represent District 1, and work collaboratively with other council members to make Atlanta the best place on the planet for all residents to live, work, and recreate.
A vote for me will also be a vote for the equitable delivery of city services for District 1, responsive and accountable leadership, and governmental transparency.