Politics Mayor Steve Patterson uses Town Hall to meet with the community By Jacob Smith Posted on February 1, 2016 6 min read 0 0 523 Athens Mayor Steve Patterson welcomed members of the community at a town hall meeting sponsored by the League of Women Voters to inform the city of his plans for the future. Patterson took the time to voice his support for the community and remind them of his duty to the people of Athens. “I am the mayor of this city, but I am here for you,” Patterson said to a crowded room in the Athens Community Center. Before opening the floor to the attendees, Patterson went over his plans for the city under his tenure as mayor, citing ideas for the city armory and the construction currently taking place uptown. “I think it’s time to start rethinking the uptown area,” he said. “I see the armory becoming a multi-use area. What can the armory be brought back to use for?” He went on to explain his plan for taking advantage of the changes already in progress on Union Street, speaking about ideas for a green community space for residents to gather. Along with plans for infrastructure improvements, Patterson took time to address the current levy supporting the Arts, Parks and Recreation Department. He said it would be used not only build a new pool for the city, but also to improve to the current parks in the area. He also addressed simple changes he plans on implementing, including the city’s “customer service.” “We are all public servants; my staff and I are public servants,” he said. “A big focus of mine is customer service for those seeking our help.” Before closing, Patterson touched on his plans for a greener Athens. He said he hopes to better public transportation between Athens and Nelsonville in an attempt to both limit the amount of cars on the road and provide more options for public transit. “I would like to see a bus line from Athens to Nelsonville,” Patterson said. “If we can alleviate the amount of cars on the road, that’s a good thing.” Patterson ended by addressing his plans to travel and meet with people with ideas as the ambassador of the City of Athens by visiting events and conferences around the area. “It’s important for me to be there,” Patterson said. “I am the face of this city and I am constantly trying to sell this city. I was sold at first site and that’s what I want to try and convey.” Members of the community then took the floor to voice their concerns for the future of Athens, touching on plans for the city pool, problems with landlords and recent discoveries in connection with a serial sexual offender in Athens. In response, Patterson announced the launch of a new app called “Athens City Force” that allows residents to send pictures to the city in order to help address worries more quickly, including answering concerns about conditions around the city with landlords and general infrastructure. He took extra time to address the recent sexual assault, even calling on Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle to help assure the room that everything was being done to find this person. “Our role is to inform, inform, inform as well as provide tips to help keep people safe,” Patterson said. “I won’t use the exact wording I used with Chief Pyle, but we have got to use every possible resource to find this person.” Pyle also took the floor to assure the community of the department’s plan. “We’re going to need the community to come together to pull resources and we’ll pull out all the stops we can at a police level,” Pyle said.