Sugar Hill hires first community relations director

SUGAR HILL - City Manager Bob Hail said it can be difficult to run this growing city and keep in touch with residents about new developments.

"There's not enough time in the day to talk to all the people," he said. "We're getting too successful."

To help keep in touch with the community, Sugar Hill has hired a community relations director. Don Kelemen, who began work Aug. 1, has experience in consulting, design and planning, and downtown development.

Kelemen, who Hail said is "a public information officer by a different name," will know what is going on in the city but won't be directly responsible for how it is run.

Some of Kelemen's duties will include talking to homeowners' associations, acting as the liaison between city staff and the downtown development authority and educating city residents about tax allocation districts, Hail said.

Kelemen, who last worked in Royston, said he'll be working to develop a better line of communication between the city and its residents.

Sugar Hill has "fantastic potential," Kelemen said. "The potential for growth is just enormous. We want to control the growth and have a safe community ... and have the amenities that are needed for this area."

City officials have talked at length about creating a downtown area where residents can walk and shop, he said. Nearby Suwanee, recently named by Money Magazine as one of the best places to live, has an excellent downtown area for its residents, Kelemen said.

"There's no reason that Sugar Hill can't be right up there, too," Kelemen said.