Thursday, January 30, 2014

Milton's community development director tough, but fair.

by Carolyn Aspenson / The Milton Herald

January 27, 2014 MILTON, Ga. – If you're thinking of breaking a rule or two or maybe even go as far as to violate code regarding community development in Milton, you're in for a big surprise.

And that surprise comes in the shape of Community Development Director Kathleen Field.

"Kathy is a stickler for rules," City Planner Robyn MacDonald said.

Both MacDonald and City Planner Michele McIntosh-Ross said Field is tough, but fair.

"She's got a low tolerance for code violators and rule breakers," McIntosh-Ross said.

"She'll personally call someone who is violating code or breaking a rule and give them a chance to fix things."

MacDonald agrees.

"But if they don't, she'll tell them to go tell it to the judge," MacDonald said.

Field is not only a stickler for rules, she expects – no demands – the best from developers.

"She continually challenges developers to produce a better product and raise the bar," McIntosh-Ross said. "When they come in to talk about their project, she encourages them to add nice features and they do so reluctantly; but then the nicer product sells like hotcakes and they use the design as their new prototype."

Field knows what she's doing and takes her job seriously.

She isn't new to community development.

Originally from Providence, R.I., she received a bachelor's degree from Trinity College in Connecticut and a master's degree in urban and regional planning from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

"I've been a planner all of my life," she said.

She spent several years as planning director for several communities in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

In 2001, Field moved to Georgia. Prior to her employment with Milton in 2011, she was the community development director for both McDonough and Roswell.

Field likes her job with the city.

"I like the vision of growth in Milton, and my skill sets are a perfect match for it," she said.

She is a member of the American Planning Association and is on the Georgia Planning Association Board of Directors.

She serves on the advisory committee for the Drake House in Roswell, a charitable foundation that provides short-term crisis housing, support and empowerment for homeless mothers and their children in North Fulton.

Field is also on the Senior Services North Fulton Board of Directors.

When she's not issuing citations or raising the bar for developers, Field spends her time in the kitchen cooking up gourmet meals.

"I love gourmet cooking," she said.

Don't be surprised if the new communities in Milton soon require gourmet kitchens.

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