In the lead-up to the Nov. 7 election of Atlanta’s next mayor, “Closer Look with Rose Scott” will feature 20-minute conversations with the candidates in the race. Scott interviewed Peter Aman, former city of Atlanta chief operating officer, on Oct. 3.
Peter Aman is no stranger to City Hall. He’s served the city under two separate administrations — as a consultant to Mayor Shirley Franklin and as chief operating officer under Mayor Kasim Reed.
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In his time there, Aman said he tried to not only advise on ethics and transparency, but tried to be an example of it himself.
“I was known as the guy who made sure we followed things as rigorously as possible,” he said. “My first year alone I fired a number of people, I tried to set the standard for ethics.”
Aman said he has a good relationship with both Franklin and Reed.
Despite spending time at city hall as a consultant, Aman said that doesn’t tell the whole story of his career, which he said has taken place at the intersection of the public and private sectors, along with nonprofits and the community.
Aman is a partner at Bain and Co. management consultancy. He’s also been involved with organizations such as the Atlanta Police Foundation and the Westside Future Fund.
Aman said the biggest gap in Atlanta’s education system is the time between when a child is born until they turn 3 years old. He wants to have city-funded pre-K available across Atlanta.
“This is where the funding model comes in, I want to start the early childhood learning efforts with corporate and philanthropic funding,” he said.
He noted there are some similar efforts already underway throughout metro Atlanta.
Aman said there’s more that could have been done earlier in the process of developing the BeltLine to ensure affordable housing units were built.
“Frankly, when the initial legislation was passed and when the individuals working on it at the beginning, if they had put stronger teeth into the affordable housing program and legislation we may be in a different place right now,” he said.
“You could have built into the legislation a tie between the ongoing funding of the project and creation of affordable housing units.”
But, he said he’s focused on the future.
“The city can produce thousands of affordable housing units and we need some of them to be along the BeltLine and I don’t think we should let the BeltLine project off the hook for doing that,” he said.
Aman said his track record implementing ethical policies at city hall is what sets him apart from his opponents.
“What distinguishes me is ethics, experience and leadership,” he said.