Friday, January 30, 2015

Has the new City of Dunwoody website created by Jesse James Creative delivered as advertised?

http://dunwoodyga.gov

On July 8, 2013 the City of Dunwoody went out with a Request for Information for proposals on City Website Design and Replacement and we received a fair amount of interest with nine companies putting forth formal proposals.  On December 9, 2013 the Council approved the staffs recommendation to hire Jesse James Creative to create the new website. Here is the powerpoint presentation given by City staff setting the expectations of the new website and the recommendation of Jesse James Creative.

On December 22, 2014 the City announced that the new web site was launched and as with any website update it takes awhile to work out a few kinks.    This evening the City Council received an email from Mr. Bob Mullen, Director of Marketing & Public Relations asking for our (and your) feedback. 

I reviewed the RFI, specifically section 3 the scope of services and asked a few questions on what was provided vs what was contracted for and I welcome you to do the same. Comments on the new City of Dunwoody website can be posted in the comments on this blog entry where I will send them to staff, they can be sent directly to me or they can be sent directly to staff and Council via email by clicking on this link.

Dear Mayor & Council,

We just recently passed the 30-day mark of our new city website being live and we wanted to connect with you to get your feedback and input.

While we initially experienced a few challenges and issues after its launch, we have been working with the site designers to make appropriate corrections and modifications related to updated content, layout and site functionality. We continue to scan the site daily to determine and pinpoint snags or errors and are using advanced web governance software to manage and maintain the website to address attributes such as quality assurance, accessibility, web analytics and search engine optimization (SEO).

If you have any questions or specific feedback you’d like to share on the new site, we’d be grateful for your input. We’d also be interested in hearing any citizen or community feedback people may have shared with you so we can be sure to address relevant items. As for the type of input we are seeking, the more specific the better as detailed concerns provide us with an opportunity to appropriately identify a solution.

Thanks in advance for your input and feel free to contact me with any questions.

Kind regards,

Bob Mullen
Marketing & Public Relations Director
City of Dunwoody

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dunwoody City Council agenda for Mon January 26, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015
Dunwoody City Hall

41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
Agenda 5 pm

Special Executive Session to discuss a Personnel Issue 

Agenda 6 pm

Discussion of Contract for Traffic Signal Communication Design.

Discussion of Resolution Readopting Ethics Principles.

 Agenda 7 pm 
 
Recognition of Amanda Head for Receiving Crime Analyst Certification.

Proclamation Recognizing 2014 Sustainable Student Hero - Marshall Weber
 
SECOND READ: Ordinance to Amend Chapter 8, Buildings and Building Regulations.

Resolution Readopting Ethics Principles. - Municode to Ethics

Award of Intersection Improvement Design Contract for Tilly Mill Road at Mount Vernon Place and Mount Vernon Road.
 
 Award of Sign and Signal Maintenance Contract. 

Award of Contract for Traffic Signal Communication Design.

Award of Contract for the Demolition of the Dormitory at Brook Run Park.

PUBLIC HEARING: RZ 15-011: Pursuant to the City of Dunwoody Zoning Ordinance, applicant, HDP Acquisitions, LLC c/o Hotel Development Partners, LLC, seeks permission to rezone property currently zoned Commercial-Residential Mixed-Use (CR-1) to Commercial- Residential Mixed-Use (CR-1) to allow for a change of previous conditions. The subject property is located at 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338. The tax parcel is 18 350 01 015 and SLUP 15-011: Pursuant to the City of Dunwoody Zoning Ordinance, applicant, HDP Acquisitions, LLC c/o Hotel Development Partners, LLC, seeks a Special Land Use Permit to increase the previously approved maximum allowable building height from four (4) stories to seven (7) stories in a Commercial-Residential Mixed-Use (CR-1) District, for the subject property located at 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338. The tax parcel is 18 350 01 015.

Resolution to Waive the 24 Month Requirement for Successive Rezoning Applications for HDP Acquisitions, LLC for 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road.

SECOND READ: RZ 15-011: Pursuant to the City of Dunwoody Zoning Ordinance, applicant,HDP Acquisitions, LLC c/o Hotel Development Partners, LLC, seeks permission to rezoneproperty currently zoned Commercial-Residential Mixed-Use (CR-1) to Commercial-ResidentialMixed-Use (CR-1) to allow for a change of previous conditions. The subject property is located at 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338. The tax parcel is 18 350 01 015.

SECOND READ: SLUP 15-011: Pursuant to the City of Dunwoody Zoning Ordinance,applicant, HDP Acquisitions, LLC c/o Hotel Development Partners, LLC, seeks a Special LandUse Permit to increase the previously approved maximum allowable building height from four(4) stories to seven (7) stories in a Commercial-Residential Mixed-Use (CR-1) District, for the subject property located at 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA

PUBLIC HEARING: Ordinance to Amend the City of Dunwoody City Code Chapter 16, Land Development and Ordinance to Amend the City of Dunwoody City Code Chapter 27, Zoning.

SECOND READ: Ordinance to Amend the City of Dunwoody City Code Chapter 16, LandDevelopment.

SECOND READ: Ordinance to Amend the City of Dunwoody City Code Chapter 27, Zoning.

Resolution to Name the Outdoor Classroom at Brook Run Park the "Bobbi Sedam Environmental Classroom"

Thursday, January 22, 2015

City of Dunwoody - Mission, Vision and Values

Mission Statement

The mission of the City of Dunwoody is to provide the highest quality of life for those who live, work or play in our community and to foster an environment where business can prosper. We will serve all stakeholders in a transparent manner with resourceful, efficient, progressive and professional leadership.

Vision

Dunwoody is a city located in metro Atlanta, in northern DeKalb County, Georgia. Dunwoody officially incorporated as a city on December 1, 2008. The City of Dunwoody will provide quality service to its citizens and support the largest economic engine in the Southeast by planning in a careful and thoughtful manner. The City of Dunwoody will be inventive, transparent and embrace responsible progress, tempered by the city’s rich history and strong desire to maintain a close and vibrant community atmosphere that values family life and the entrepreneurial spirit. The City of Dunwoody will continue to support and nurture a community dedicated to the preservation of family, education, religious institutions, and the environment.

Values

Goals
The goals of the City of Dunwoody and its governing body are to make Dunwoody a better community, built on mutual respect and trust, and to promote and maintain the highest standards of personal and professional conduct among all involved in City government – elected officials; City staff; volunteers; and members of the City’s boards, commissions and committees.

Preamble
The proper operation of democratic government requires that decision-makers be independent, impartial, and accountable to the people they serve. The City of Dunwoody representatives intend to act pursuant to the ethics as delineated in the Charter in order to promote and maintain the highest standards of personal and professional conduct in the City's government. All elected and appointed officials, City employees, volunteers, and others who participate in the City's government will subscribe to those ethics, understand how it applies to their specific responsibilities, and practice its values in their work. Because we seek public confidence in the City's services and public trust of its decision-makers, our decisions and our work must meet the most demanding ethical standards and demonstrate the highest levels of achievement in following this code.

As the governing body of the City of Dunwoody, we represent as follows:

(1) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be ethical.
(a) We are trustworthy, acting with the utmost integrity and moral courage.
(b) We are truthful, do what we say we will do, and are dependable.
(c) We will make impartial decisions, free of bribes, unlawful gifts, narrow political interests, and financial and other personal interests that impair the independence of our judgment and actions.
(d) We will be fair, distributing benefits and burdens according to consistent and equitable criteria.
(e) We will extend equal opportunities and due process to all parties in matters under consideration. If we engage in unilateral meetings and discussions, we do so without making voting decisions.
(f ) We will show respect for persons, confidences, and information designated as "confidential."
(g) We will use our title(s) only when conducting official City business, for information purposes, or as an indication of background and expertise, carefully considering whether we are exceeding or appearing to exceed our authority.

(2) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be professional.
(a) We will apply our collective knowledge and expertise to our assigned activities and to the interpersonal relationships that are part of our job in a consistent, confident, competent, and productive manner.
(b) We will approach our job and work-related relationships with a positive attitude.
(c) We will keep our professional knowledge and skills current and growing.

(3) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be service-oriented.
(a) We will provide friendly, receptive, and courteous service to everyone.
(b) We will be attuned to, and care about, the needs and issues of citizens, public officials, and city workers.
(c) In our interactions with constituents, we will be interested, engaged, and responsive.

(4) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be fiscally responsible and transparent.
(a) We will make decisions a er prudent consideration of their financial impact, taking into account the long-term financial needs of the City, especially its financial stability which are transparent to the City residents and businesses.
(b) We will demonstrate concern for the proper use of City assets (e.g., personnel, time, property, equipment, funds) and follow established procedures.
(c) We will make good financial decisions that seek to preserve programs and services for City residents.

(5) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be organized.
(a) We will act in an efficient manner, making decisions and recommendations based upon research and facts, taking into consideration short and long term goals.
(b) We will follow through in a responsible way, keeping others informed, and responding in a timely fashion.
(c) We will be respectful of established City processes and guidelines.

(6) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be communicative.
(a) We will convey the City's care for and commitment to its citizens.
(b) We will communicate in various ways that we are approachable, open-minded and willing to participate in dialogue.
(c) We will engage in effective communication, by listening carefully, asking questions, and determining an appropriate response which adds value to conversations.

(7) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be collaborative.
(a) We will act in a cooperative manner with groups and other individuals, working together in a spirit of tolerance and understanding.
(b) We will work towards consensus building and gain value from diverse opinions.
(c) We will accomplish the goals and responsibilities of our individual positions, while respecting our roles as members of a team.
(d) We will consider the broader regional and Statewide implications of the City's decisions and issues.

(8) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be progressive.
(a) We will exhibit a proactive, innovative approach to setting goals and conducting the City's business.
(b) We will display a style that maintains consistent standards, but is also sensitive to the need for compromise, "thinking outside the box," and improving existing paradigms when necessary.
(c) We will promote intelligent and thoughtful innovation in order to forward the City's policy agenda and City services.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Flashback to 2008 to show the work done prior to becoming the City of Dunwoody

Looking back.

With hot and heavy discussions going on at the State Capital regarding the creation of new cities, I figured I would reach far back into my personal archive of documents to show some of the work that was done behind the scenes.

There were three groups, Citizens for Dunwoody was 501 c3 non-profit and they were the research and educational arm set up around various task forces that were focused on a specific aspect of city operations. The Dunwoody Action Committee was a PAC to raise money to hire lobbyists and Dunwoody Yes! was the 501 c4 non-profit to push as an advocate to get out the vote in the time frame between legislative passage and the referendum.

Senator Dan Weber & Community Leaders outlined the key factors concerning the City of Dunwoody, the Carl Vincent Institute report of City Feasibility was analyzed and scrutinized from every angle and in the end after numerous tries, the final version of the City Charter SB 82 was passed and signed by the Governor. On July 15th, 2008 the residents of the future City of Dunwoody went to the polls and approved the City Charter by 81%. Mayoral and City Council elections soon followed and the City started operations on December 1, 2008 where the City Council set the tax level at 2.740 mills which is what DeKalb was charging us at the time and it is the exact same tax rate that the City of Dunwoody is still charging today whereby we have the lowest tax rate in DeKalb County.

Looking back through my old blog posts, I couldn't be prouder of this community and all of the people who assisted as I can tell you that a great deal of time and effort went into starting and later successfully operating this City. Below are all of the various Task Force Reports that were completed prior to incorporation and looking back I am sure some of the numbers were a little off in a few places but I can tell you we worked very hard at incorporation and many of those same people continue to be heavily involved in the community today.










Friday, January 16, 2015

Solarize Dunwoody might be a program worth exploring, following in Tybee Island's foorsteps as the State of Georgia is about to change the law.


Is anyone interested in Solar Power for the home here in Dunwoody, GA?  Tybee Island is doing some innovative contracting partnerships through a City request for proposals (RFP) to allow lower installation costs for their residents.
Solarize Tybee aims to allow more home and business owners than initially anticipated to tap into its collective buying power to reduce the cost of rooftop solar installations.

Solarize programs, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, have helped more than 200 communities around the nation overcome these barriers, including the high initial cost, the complexity of the purchase and the inertia that customers feel when faced with that complexity.

By buying in bulk, the cost of the installation is reduced. Other Solarize programs have resulted in discounts of 5 to 30 percent, Haddix said, and a 30 percent federal tax credit is in place through 2016.

Those incentives can bring the cost of a typical five-kilowatt residential array — big enough to power about half the electricity usage of an average house — below $10,000.
I don't know if this makes sense but I will be asking the City Sustainability Commission to review all options and provide a report to the City Manager.

Tybee, GA Solar RFP:
http://www.cityoftybee.org/2014-656.aspx

Tybee, GA Program
http://www.solarizetybee.org/
http://cityoftybee.pegcentral.com/player.php?video=63bd920e1f33fdd26e5e266b14922bec

GA Power Solar Page:
http://www.georgiapower.com/about-energy/energy-sources/solar/

Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments
https://www4.eere.energy.gov/solar/sunshot/resource_center/resources/solar_powering_your_community_guide_local_governments

Workshop given to ATL City leader in 2012:
http://icma.org/en/icma/knowledge_network/documents/kn/Document/304251/Solar_Powering_Your_Community_Workshop

Website from Dept. of Energy on Solar Outreach:
http://solaroutreach.org/

Solar State Of The State Report: Georgia
http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2013/12/solar-state-state-report-georgia/

News .
Georgia House tees up solar bill- Atlanta Business Chronicle - Jan 13
Solar Compromise Good For Everybody - Peach Pundit - Jan 14
A deal on solar power for Georgia homeowners is unveiled - AJC Jim Galloway
Bill for home solar systems wins early backing - AJC
Thanks To Solar Power, Georgia Utilities Find There's Life After Coal - Forbes

Other resources:
http://www.gpb.org/news/2014/12/12/video-will-solar-powers-surge-georgia-make-it-homeowners
http://www.gasolar.org/
http://energy.gov/eere/sunshot/sunshot-initiative

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Spring Planting is just around the corner - DeKalb Cooperative Extension Plant Sale and Classes

http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/dekalb/documents/Plantsaleorderform2015final.pdf

DeKalb Cooperative Extension is pleased to announce its 2015 Homeowner Gardening Series and its third annual Plant Sale. The office will accept orders for the plant sale between January 12, 2015 and March 9, 2015.  The one-day pick up is Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the DeKalb Cooperative Extension office.  We have several varieties to choose from including azaleas, blueberries, hydrangeas, gardenias and many more.  In addition, DeKalb County Extension will provide a seminar on “Fruit Trees” on Thursday, January 29, 2015. For everyone who purchases a fruit plant, the fee for the class will be waived. Class will be held at the DeKalb Extension Training Center at 6:45 p.m. Registration is required.

“Although this is just our third year, we are excited to see this annual sale grow.  We are committed to helping citizens realize and understand the role they play in the beautification and sustainability of their own neighborhoods, said Jessica E. Hill, Director of the Cooperative Extension office in DeKalb.

For more information about ordering plants or to learn more about other programs and services, please contact the DeKalb County Cooperative Extension office at 404-298-4080 or visit us at www.ugaextension.com/dekalb.

Lynwood L. Blackmon II
DeKalb County Horticulture Agent
DeKalb County Cooperative Extension
4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 200
Decatur, GA 30032
404-298-4087
404-298-3084 Fax

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

DeKalb County 2015-2016 School Calendar

DeKalb School Board Member Stan Jester published to his factchecker-stanjester blog the approved DeKalb Schools’ 2015-2016 calendar.  Teachers will have a full week of planning starting Aug 3, 2015.  First day of school is Aug 10, 2015.  There will be a total of 180 days of class and 190 work days, no Fall Break and the last day of school is May 26, 2016 with a post planning day on May 27.

Click here to enlarge calendar

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dunwoody City Council offers resolution in support of HR 4 to authorize any municipality in the State of Georgia to establish by local law, an independent school system.


HR 4 presented by Rep. Tom Taylor - A RESOLUTION proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize any municipality in the State of Georgia to establish by local law an independent school system; to provide definitions; to provide for related matters; to provide for the submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.



A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF HR 4

WHEREAS, the 2015 Georgia General Assembly Legislative Session begins on January 12, 2015 to consider important legislative matters of the state; and

WHEREAS, the City of Dunwoody is concerned with legislative matters at the state level which have an impact on the governmental operations of the City of Dunwoody; and

WHEREAS, it is appropriate for the City of Dunwoody to adopt legislative priorities to present to its representatives in the General Assembly; and

WHEREAS, the City of Dunwoody has identified a number of important legislative items that may be considered by the state legislature in the upcoming year including opportunities to enhance and improve K-12 Educational opportunities; and

WHEREAS, HR 4 is a proposed amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize any municipality to establish individually or collectively by local law an independent school system; to provide for related matters; to provide for the submission of this amendment for ratification or rejections; and for other purposes.

WHEREAS, adoption of HR 4 will empower City officials, staff, and representatives to advocate on the City’s behalf, before and to members of the state legislature on such educational values and goals which are most feasible, urgent and/or of the highest importance.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AND EFFECTIVE this 12th day of January, 2015 that the Mayor and Council of the City of Dunwoody commit its support of HR 4.



H.R. 4 requires 120 votes in the Georgia state House and 38 votes in the Georgia state Senate before it can be placed on the 2016 ballot for approval or rejection by the voters.

Dunwoody area news - Trees gone, Factory going away, Doraville Strippers might be on way out and more Police Wanted in Chamblee


Trees clearcut to improve billboard visibility along Savoy Drive

The negative effects of Georgia’s billboard law have hit home for residents and visitors in the cities of Chamblee and Dunwoody as trees and vegetation were recently completely clear-cut along I-285 on Savoy Drive. (2011 HB 179 - Millar, Taylor & Jacobs all voted No.)

Residents were stunned when all of a sudden the trees and vegetation serving as natural visual, sound and air pollution barriers were gone. To make matters worse, the cleared land was filled with tons of litter and trash, previously obscured from sight by all the ground vegetation.

Doraville GM Plant Demolition officially begins to make way for a ‘city within a city’

The Doraville General Motors (GM) Assembly Plant demolition officially began in earnest Friday.   A ceremony was held to commemorate the event where a group of Federal, State, County and Local Government Officials – as well as citizens who once worked at the assembly plant – joined Integral Group Chairman and CEO Egbert Perry who talked briefly about the projects history and its future. Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman spoke to attendees about the great promise the new development holds for her city and the region.

Oasis and Doraville argue their cases in Georgia’s Supreme Court

Doraville’s counsel holds tightly to their claim that “nude conduct in sexually oriented businesses is not protected speech under the Georgia Constitution.” Bergthold argues that the regulations Doraville has imposed on Oasis are almost identical to those Brookhaven imposed on the Pink Pony.

The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled on Oct. 6 that Brookhaven had the right to ban adult entertainment businesses that sell alcohol. Bergthold says that Doraville has the same right to impose those provisions in their Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance that Brookhaven did.

Help Wanted - Chamblee Police Officer positions open

The City of Chamblee Police Department is now accepting applications from P.O.S.T. Certified Officers. Chamblee Police Department prides itself on being a progressive agency with very high standards that serves a diverse community. To apply, go here.

For more information contact: Michael Beller, Assistant Chief of Police Ph: (770) 986-5005