Meet the Other Mayors: Rebecca Chase Williams, Brookhaven

On her time at ABC News, the Cherry Blossom Festival, and the city’s growth

Williams, a longtime broadcast journalist, has called Brookhaven home since 1985. But her mayorship began just this past July, after the first mayor of Brookhaven—established as a city in 2012—unexpectedly vacated the post to run for a statehouse seat. Having declined to run for reelection, she will leave the part-time position (salary: $16,000) of mayor of DeKalb’s largest city (pop: 52,000) in January.

Media background: I had a great run with ABC News during the golden era. I worked very closely with Peter Jennings and World News Tonight, although I also worked for Nightline, Good Morning America, 20/20.

Beautification efforts It was my idea to have the first Cherry Blossom Festival. I’m all about making the city more beautiful and having the cherry blossom as our signature.

Ubiquitous construction We’re booming—to the point it’s both a blessing and a challenge. We don’t want to kill the golden goose with excessive traffic or by hurting property values in any way.

Her empty nest My youngest [of two daughters] just graduated [college] in May, so hallelujah!

This article originally appeared in our November 2015 issue.