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Scott Allison: Visionary and go-to guy
Scott Allison with city
Scott Allison, in black t-shirt, at work with Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter. Photo provided.

The “go-to guy,” an ultimate professional, competent, helpful, encouraging, are but a few of the words used to describe Scott Allison. I think he’s a visionary leader.

Scott came to Richmond Hill from Garden City where he was director of the city’s planning and economic development. He is degreed as a landscape architect and has served as a project manager and planner with private companies so he understands varied viewpoints and needs.

It is fortunate for our city that he came here just as we were ready to begin effective and productive change and growth. His philosophy is a perfect fit for his role in our historic and evolving city: to always be mindful of our unique history and aware of how to plan for the future. Scott serves us with two major “jobs.” He is assistant city manager and director of the department of planning and zoning.

Both are difficult and time consuming roles that he handles incredibly well, constantly receiving kudos from customers as well as from the council members to whom he reports. Mayor Russ Carpenter, who interacts with him constantly told me, “Scott brings ultimate professionalism to his job. His knowledge of planning and zoning ordinances is uncanny. He helped steer our unified development ordinance from conception through implementation and the city is beginning to enjoy the results of it.”

A huge and critical project, the Unified Development Ordinance puts all land development regulations in one place with an emphasis on zoning that divides the city into districts - Residential, Commercial, Industrial.

It regulates items such as signs, parking, landscaping, building location, lot size and width. This means our city government is able to respond effectively to the way development occurs and helps avoid overlapping ordinances.

Scott has lived here and worked here for almost 8 years. I have worked hand in hand with him since he arrived, developing the Architectural Review Board, serving on it, and on the Board of the Downtown Development Authority as the chair.

Serving under his guidance is an incredible experience. His knowledge and his commitment to this city has made our moving forward a true success story. A spontaneous smile, patience and sharing his knowledge are truly hallmarks of his success with people and with his job.

His is a huge responsibility. Through his foresight to create an architectural review board the city now has the ability to create city standards so the city is shaped in the way it needs to be. The Downtown Development Authority was the next step for an interesting and desirable town for business and living.

His goal is to help establish what Richmond Hill is, its brand. He is responsive to anyone who needs an answer. He says from private to public he translates what’s going on in a language people understand.

“I could be the only person, the only interaction the public has with a government worker. Most people are prepared for disappointment. I believe in treating others as I’d want to be treated. I want to solve problems. Even when the answer is ‘no’ I always give other ideas, solve problems,” Allison said.

He talks to the community to clearly translate information so the public knows what’s going on.

Treat as you want to be treated. The essence of Scott is that he’s a problem solver.

“I’m just a fixer, I want everybody to be happy.

There’s satisfaction in helping people, I feel fulfilled.”

And, as Scott often says, he wants to “get it right.”

Development is coming, development is here. It’s a city goal to make sure the services provided aren’t outpaced by growth.

Scott’s ability to work closely with Rayonier and Bill Cunningham from their development arm, Raydient Places, by literally being brought into their fold, has led to a partnership working on decision making for the 5,000 acres they have brought into the city is an important and heavy weight to carry.

“Real estate here is different from other places.

I have the chance to plan properly,” Scott said.

Dallas Daniels is the owner of Plantation Lumber and Hardware in Richmond Hill. He’s on the Bryan County Board of Commissioners and has become a friend of Scott’s.

He immediately volunteered, “Scott is an extremely talented individual.

He exemplifies a can-do attitude and willingness to help character.” He has a pleasant manner that allows you to disagree without harm. He has been instrumental in the way our community is viewed by both residents and visitors.

We are fortunate to have him and his family as part of our community.”

Robbie Ward, city council member, represents the Council on the Downtown Development Authority Board, is a strong supporter of our Ford city, a real estate investor here and known entrepreneur. He said Scott’s vision of Richmond Hill, of how it will look and “feel” in the future is one that belongs to a man with vision.

“Not only is he a nice and competent person but his work, his advice, are important in helping me to do my job better.

He treats those who want to develop as customers showing them we are open for business. His work always makes the city look good.”

Gene Wallace, a retired dentist, serves on the Bryan County Board of Commissioners, smiles as he says Scott is his “go-to” guy when he needs help with anything in the city.

“Scott is always helpful, available, and goes the extra mile to make sure whatever I need assistance with is handled. He is also a really good guy. Pleasant, personable and blessed with common sense, which isn’t all that common today. And, on top of all that a Georgia Bulldog fan too! I am very proud to call him my friend.”

Amanda Styer, the Richmond Hill zoning administrator said he is a wonderful leader. “I feel very blessed to have Scott as a director.

He’s always encouraging and supportive of his staff.

Scott truly cares about Richmond Hill and wants to make our community the best it can be.”

Scott looks at the projects and everyday happenings as multidimensional into the future but he says “that future starts now.”

In his position, he is an integral part of the growth and flourishing of a community, Richmond Hill, a special place. Scott Allison, proud to have you represent Richmond Hill.

Georgene Brazer is chair of the Downtown Development Authority of Richmond Hill and a Ford resident. You can reach her at georgenebrazer@gmail. com.

Scott Allison
Scott Allison

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