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Jim has spent more than 20 years working in the public sector, both as a city planner and city manager. He has also spent three years in the private sector working as a consulting planner for a local engineering, architectural, and planning design firm. In addition, Jim currently puts his public sector experience to good use by serving as an elected official in his city where he lives. 

Jim holds a Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Memphis, and a Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management also from the University of Memphis.

Jim is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Jim created Atkinson Planning, LLC in 2022 to address a specific need in suburban and rural areas for professional city planning and management. There is such a need in these communities to properly prepare for growth through visioning, strategic planning, and implementing through zoning and subdivision regulations, but tight budgets understandably often lead to a lack of planning work to focus on the day to day needs of operating a city or county. 

Jim has experienced that smaller scale, highly effective planning work does not need to come at a high price, and the savings realized by growing in an efficient and sustainable way far exceeds the cost of the initial planning work. 

Services offered by Atkinson Planning, LLC include community visioning, comprehensive planning, zoning ordinance amendments, zoning audits, plans review, GIS management, and on-call consulting services. 

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