Sharyn Dickerson

sharynFormer District 1 Commissioner, current City Administrator of Watkinsville.
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Professional and Civic Experience
President, Sharyn Dickerson & Associates, LLC (2005-present)
Assistant Solid Waste Director, Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County (1997-2005, 1994-1996)
President, Whit Davis Elementary School PTO (2009-2012)

Master of Public Administration, University of Georgia (August 1998)
Bachelor Business Administration from University of Georgia (March 1990)

Party Affiliation
Primary Ballots: Often takes Republican primary ballots, but not exclusively.
Donations: Donated to John McCain (R) in 2008.
Fundraising: On the fundraising committee of Houston Gaines (R) in 2017.

Inferred Party: Republican

Watkinsville hires City Administrator, The Oconee Enterprise (November 28, 2018)

red x  Issues: Affordable Housing

Voted YES on re-zoning Mitchell Street without using the county’s leverage to ask for some affordable units in the new development.

red x  Issues: Living Wages

“It’s a little dangerous to start arbitrarily placing numbers on pay, because it diminishes the quality of someone else’s job.  We’d all like to get paid what the President of the United States gets paid, but we don’t have that knowledge, skills and ability and we haven’t paid the dues to get there.”

Sharyn Dickerson, May 17, 2016 Agenda-Setting Session

“Your salary is based on your knowledge, skills and abilities and maybe how long you have been there. [If we fund the living wage] that will mean higher costs. Some of our services will go up in price, including summer programs and water for example.”

Sharyn Dickerson, June 7, 2016 Voting Session

red x  Issues: Fare-Free Transit for K-12 students

“I’m suggesting we consider charging a 25 cent fare so they have some skin in the game.  There is no value in it if they are not invested.”

Sharyn Dickerson, July 19, 2016 Agenda-Setting Session


Voting Record

  • 2018
    Cedar Creek Solar Array Project: YES
    Moving Work Sessions to City Hall: YES
    Redesigning the Chase Street Corridor: YES
    Updating County Anti-Discrimination Policy: YES
    Reject Concept Maps for Athens in Motion: YES
    Athens in Motion plan: YES
    Bike Lanes on Barnett Shoals: NO
    Delay Designating SPLOST Projects: NO
    (More information about 2018 votes)

  • 2017
    Moratorium on Downtown Development: YES
    Progress on Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan: YES
    TSPLOST project list and referendum: YES
    Re-zoning Mitchell Street: YES
    (More information about 2017 votes)

  • 2016
    Apply for ‘Go Transit’ Grant Funding: YES
    Complete Streets Improvements for Chase: NO
    Allow Sale of Growlers in Brewpubs: YES
    Fare-Free Bus Rides for K-12 Students: YES
    Bar Admittance and Civil Rights Committee: YES
    (More information about 2016 votes)

  • 2015
    Pro-Chicken: YES
    FY 2016 Budget: YES
    Removing Wetland Buffers: YES
    Delay repaving of Chase Street: YES
    Adopt Securus Tech Contract: YES
    Allow Food Trucks: YES
    Keep Domestic Partnership Benefits: YES
    (More information about 2015 votes)

  • 2018 Questionnaire Responses


    • Do you support fare-free bus service?: YES

    “If access to transit service is made available equitably throughout ACC.”

    • Do you support expansion of transit service (e.g. increased frequency, more locations, longer service hours)? YES

    “If transit service is available equitably throughout ACC.”

    • Do you support increasing the budget for bike and pedestrian infrastructure from the general fund? YES

    “If bike and pedestrian infrastructure is equitable throughout ACC.”

    Criminal Justice Reform

    • Do you support marijuana decriminalization? NO

    “Not as long as DEA lists as a Schedule I drug along with heroin and LSD, and CCSD continues to teach kids not to use these drugs.”

    Environmental Sustainability

      • Do you support a ban or fee on single-use plastic bags? NO

    “A fee would disproportionately affect the poor and send shoppers elsewhere, and there’s currently a Georgia Bill designed to prohibit bans.”

    Racial Justice

    • Do you support an Athens Civil Rights Committee established through the county government? NO

    “Challenging state law would require huge amount of resources that could otherwise be directed toward addressing widespread community issues.”

    • Do you believe that Athens-Clarke County should move forward with comprehensive non-discrimination legislation? NO

    “State law prohibits. More can be accomplished without the restrictions that would be required of a committee, if established through County.” Q: White people still hold a hugely disproportionate amount of economic and social power in Athens-Clarke County. If elected, what will you do to help fight this structural imbalance, increase the economic security of, and ensure the equal treatment of Athenians of color; especially black Athenians who continue to be most targeted by past and present systems of oppression? A: (click to read)

    I will continue to find ways to grow community wealth by supporting investments in our community that not only support workforce development but also bring jobs and tax dollars into Athens-Clarke County. A project currently underway which has my full support and has the ability to begin to address these concerns is the West Broad Initiative. I envision this project to be similar to the Green Opportunities effort in Asheville, which I visited last fall as a guest of the Athens Land Trust. This singular effort could serve as a catalyst to transform the entire West Broad neighborhood; serving not only to empower our citizens, but also beginning to break down the systemic issues that impact our community.

    Affordable Housing

      • Do you support repealing the single-family ordinance? NO

    “Helps affordability by keeping people from turning homes into investment properties and charging higher rent. Also affects quality of life.” Q: Rising rents and the proliferation of luxury student apartment complexes has been a major issue in town for the past several years. What will you do to promote affordable housing in Athens for its current residents? A: (click to read)

    I will continue to serve on the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) committee to which I was appointed by Mayor Denson. We have been working over the past two years to pinpoint and address the affordable and workforce housing issues that exist within our community. Key to our efforts will be identifying a sustainable way to fund the Housing Trust Fund which can help support the housing initiatives we determine to be viable solutions for our community. In fact, on December 5, 2017, I led the effort on a vote, unanimously approved by the full Commission, which directed the proceeds from the sale of the Athens-Clarke County waterworks dam property located off Commerce Road to the Housing Trust Fund.

    Challenging Unjust State Laws

    Q: County Attorney Bill Berryman has recommended inaction on certain issues in order to avoid, in his view, potential conflicts with state law. These issues have included operational funding in TSPLOST, marijuana decriminalization and comprehensive non-discrimination legislation. Citing his interpretations, the Mayor and Commission have elected to take little to no action on these and similar issues. Do you support a different approach, even if it may lead to Athens-Clarke County challenging state law? A: (click to read)
    No. Challenging state law would expose our community to litigation that would require a huge amount of financial resources that could otherwise be directed toward addressing widespread community issues such as poverty, workforce development, and affordable housing.

    Childcare and Early Childhood Education

    Q: Lack of funding in the CAPS program means that there is an “early learning gap” of over 2,000 children in Athens. There is also a lack of quality rated childcare providers here. Turning this situation around would be quite expensive and difficult, but also extremely important to the lives of many Athenians. Do you support policies that would expand access to childcare subsidies, encourage more childcare providers to become quality rated, and incentivize quality rated providers to accept children receiving subsidies? A: (click to read)
    Yes, as long as those families with the greatest need continue to receive sufficient assistance. The West Broad Initiative could also address this need on a local level with local funding. Specifically, the Unified Government could partner with the Clarke County School District to develop an early learning center, perhaps through a future Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) project.


    Q: The rates of poverty and income inequality in Athens remain extraordinarily high. What will you do to specifically support low-income and low-wealth Athenians? A: (click to read)
    I will continue to look for opportunities to grow community wealth, so everyone can be lifted up out of poverty. An example is my work to reestablish commercial air service at the Athens-Ben Epps Airport. The Airport is one of only nine designated commercial airports in Georgia, and therefore, a valuable local government asset. The Airport has the ability not only to provide valuable transportation service to area businesses, industries, and citizens, but also to generate local jobs and potentially millions in revenue for our local economy. Like other counties, our Airport is located in one of the lowest income areas of our community. The jobs and economic activity that a thriving Commercial Service Airport could create are many, including Fixed Base Operators who could provide fueling, aircraft rental and/or maintenance, flight instruction, and other aeronautical services; leasing of additional hangar space; parking attendants; baggage attendants; vendors at the terminal; ticketing agents, etc.


    Q: What is your most important policy priority for 2018? A: (click to read)
    I have three policy priorities: 1. Finalizing the GICH Initiative, 2. Wrapping up the West Broad Initiative, and 3. Reestablishing commercial air service at the Athens-Ben Epps Airport.

    2016 Questionnaire Responses