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Wheeler (click for larger version)
July 13, 2012ALPHARETTA, Ga. – After 19 years charting Alpharetta's course as the city's chief planner and steward of development in the city, Community Development Director Diana Wheeler has decided to step down.
"It's been a sincere pleasure and a privilege to work for the city," Wheeler said. "I have enjoyed it, and now I'm looking forward to new horizons.
"Alpharetta is unquestionably the best community in the state if not the country. The city has wonderful leadership and wonderful employees. The future is filled with success, I'm sure, for Alpharetta."
She said she has no immediate plans at present.
Few people have presided over so much growth and change in less than two decades. Wheeler's department reviewed zoning plats and recommendations, ordinances and stood responsible for maintaining the city's standards.
She served under four mayors during her tenure, and saw the city grow from 16,000 residents to nearly 70,000 and a daytime population of nearly twice that.
When Wheeler came to the city, North Point Mall had just been built, but not the first tall office building. During her tenure 14 million square feet of Class A office has been built, an amphitheater and numerous upscale subdivisions.
Mayor David Belle Isle and former Mayor Chuck Martin said Wheeler has done a great deal for the city.
"Diana had a great impact on the city. Diana carried on the work of Mayor [Jimmy] Phillips and Marie Garrett. And she added to those plans and ideas. I think the plan for Alpharetta speaks for itself," Martin said. "Anyone who sits in that chair has a hard job. She did a good job for the citizens.
"Her heart was always with the city."
Former Mayor Arthur Letchas agreed.
"In all her years, she looked out for the city. I always said the best two hires the city ever made were Marie Garrett and Diana Wheeler. The city looks the way it does because of those two women," Letchas said.
Managing Editor, Appen Newspapers Inc.