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The Local Agenda: Group names Oakwood's Brown fellow
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Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown is among 200 public works professionals from across North America who have been named Public Works Leadership fellows by the American Public Works Association.

In the position, he will mentor public works professionals enrolled in the APWA Donald C. Stone Center for Leadership Excellence throughout the year.

“The average age of (association) members in leadership positions is 55 years old. As that group heads toward retirement, there is a critical need to bestow the senior public works leaders’ accumulated wisdom on the next generation of leaders,” said APWA Executive Director Peter B. King.

“The resulting knowledge transfer will help to position the next generation to better address the issues of the 21st century.”

Brown has worked in local government service for more than 25 years, including various public works and engineering management positions in Carrollton, Athens-Clarke County and Jackson County, as well as Castle Rock, Colo., and Laramie, Wyo.

In Oakwood, he oversees a unique situation — the city having a sewer system without a sewer plant. Instead, the city has service agreements with Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Braselton.

Brown also serves on an APWA committee examining issues facing communities of 75,000 people or less. On that committee, Brown is a liaison to the APWA’s transportation committee.

“There’s a subcommittee we’ve put together that is going to look at how we streamline local, federal projects,” he told the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s technical coordinating committee last week.

Welcome sign operating at I-985 and Exit 17

A new electronic welcome sign off Interstate 985 at Exit 17 has been operational for several weeks.

“You go by there at night, you can’t miss it — it’s a little too bright,” Brown said. “We’re working at trying to tone it down.”

Oakwood worked with Gainesville State College and Lanier Technical College in putting up the sign, which sits off Ga. 13/Atlanta Highway and Thurmon Tanner Parkway.

The sign features the names of all three entities and the messages pertain only to activities related to the city and the colleges.

“It can’t be used for commercial-type advertising,” Brown said.

Gainesville State and Lanier Tech split the $70,000 cost for the sign. The city paid for engineering, permitting and electrical work.

“We’ve still got some landscaping and lighting to do,” Brown said.

The sign won’t gain permanence until January, when North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega and Gainesville State will be under one name, University of North Georgia, as part of consolidation efforts.

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