This story has been updated.
Clarkston, GA — Mark Perkins has defeated two other candidates to win the March 16 election to fill the remainder of Y.T. Bell’s term.
“Thanks to everyone who braved the cold and the rain to exercise their voice through voting,” Perkisn said. “I’m humbled by the results, and excited to get to work for our community in this new capacity!”
Perkins received 174 out of 308 votes.
Bell stepped down to run for mayor and the term will expire on Dec. 31, 2021.
Perkins owns the for-profit consulting company, Leadersolve, which he established about two years ago. In this role he helps organizations increase their value and impact. He also works for a nonprofit that helps communities that are experiencing oppression or marginalization.
Perkins has lived in Clarkston since 2014 and appreciates the city’s diversity as he grew up overseas in Argentina, Bangladesh, India and Thailand.
“I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I’ve been anywhere in the U.S. where it’s like I get a little picture of all the places that I grew up,” he said.
Perkins plans to leverage his experiences working on diverse teams and in complex situations to help Clarkston through the current crisis, according to his campaign website.
He hopes to move the city toward a more collaborative spirit in politics that benefits the community, which he said is needed right now.
The core value of Perkins’ campaign is moving people together, utilizing knowledgeable people and having conversations.
His main concern is the coronavirus pandemic and making sure people don’t lose sight of the fact that COVID-19 is an ongoing issue.
“The thing I would focus on right now is helping us make sure that we survive this, and then if we do get to the point where we can begin rebuilding, make sure that we’re rebuilding in a way that we don’t lose the businesses and the people that make up the community there that we’ve all come to love and know,” Perkins said.
He is also concerned about helping small businesses through the pandemic and also protecting them as surrounding areas expand closer to Clarkston.
Perkins additionally wants to see the Clarkston Police continue their work of cultural sensitivity and find ways to move that forward.
“I’d love to see that almost become an example for other communities as diverse as ours, of how community policing can work, and how those conversations and being culturally sensitive and some of those things,” Perkins said.
Perkins would like to use any potential influence he could to ensure renters are protected and understands there are limitations to what the City Council can do regarding renters.
“I would be definitely for exploring that, any way that we can continue to either direct funding from other sources there or find smart ways to use existing funding towards helping people,” Perkins said.
Writer Zoe Seiler contributed to this story.
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