Thursday, July 31, 2008
John Heneghan announces candidacy for Dunwoody City Council, District 3 at large.
Dunwoody, GA, July 31, 2008. John Heneghan, a resident of Dunwoody for over eleven years, announced today that he will seek the District 3 (Eastern) At-Large Councilman position in the September 16 non-partisan primary.
If this was a formal press release statement, this announcement would go on talking about me in the third person but I just can’t do it in that style. It’s just not me. I would rather just tell you who am I, why am I qualified and what do I promise to do?
I am the father of three, very active young boys enrolled in the DeKalb County School System and the husband to the most vivacious & effervescent woman in town. If you know my bride, you know that I am a merely a wall flower who fades into the background of her existence. It is only with my family’s love & support that I have agreed to be a candidate for the City Council of Dunwoody.
I am originally from Chicago where I attended the university where my father worked as a painter for 35 years, because it offered his four kids the benefit of a free college education. I majored in Public Administration / Business Law, became President of the Student Body and was then named the first student to the University's Board of Trustees. While working on my Masters in Public Administration, I was hired by the U.S. Department of Transportation to inspect trucking companies in Chicago and a few years later I transferred over to inspecting chemical companies ensuring that they ship & transport hazardous materials correctly. After 17 years of Federal Service, I have worked my way up to a senior management position and oversee my agencies regional enforcement program. After church and family, my sense of duty follows to my employer who has been very good to me, and it is only with their support that I have agreed to be a candidate for the City Council of Dunwoody.
Due to the circumstances of my Federal employment and the requirements of the Hatch Act, I am allowed to serve my community under two very special circumstances that I would like to explain. As a Senior Manager of the Department of Transportation, I serve the President of the United States and his Administration, no matter what the political affiliation happens to be. The City of Dunwoody is a non-partisan election and because of that fact, I am allowed to serve. Partisan politics has never, nor will be a topic for my blog; nor will it ever be of any relevance to me in anything I do in relation with the City of Dunwoody. If you can’t get over the fact that I will not say if I am a Republican or Democrat, then please don’t vote for me.
Second, I will not solicit nor accept any political contributions of any kind. Zero, zilch, none.
The entire election campaign will be out of my pocket and because I am not a wealthy man in terms of finances, my campaign will look different from that of others who may be running. Note that I am running in a citywide seat, therefore when you see a house in Dunwoody that doesn’t have a political sign in the front yard in early September; please know that the house is actually voting for me. In fact, if you look around Dunwoody right now, I am already very popular. I am willing to expend the necessary funds to run, as well put in the many hours needed to get elected because for the last few years I have openly campaigned for the City of Dunwoody and now I feel compelled to prove that it can work.
My mother & father instilled working class values and a deep Catholic faith into their four children and each one of us kids have jobs which strive to serve the greater good. I personally believe that when I have the ability to make a difference, I have the responsibility to do so. That being said, I try to implement that ideal into the way I raise my children, the way I interact with my neighbors and the reason that I volunteer to serve my community when I can. For as long as I can remember I have served on the board of the Dunwoody North Civic Association and took over as its President just several years ago. Our little neighborhood association representing the 1,250 households provides numerous services like an extensive neighborhood watch program, neighborhood directory, website and lately an internet blog to publicly voice our issues. My extensive experience with the civic association on topics such as proposed rezonings, code enforcement issues and every day neighborhood squabbles has given me the confidence to know that I will be a competent city councilman, if so elected.
My experience on the Board of the Citizens for Dunwoody, as well as serving as the Chair of the Transportation Task Force, has given me an extensive background into the needs of the community as well as the proposed revenues that we will have to work with. The city will need to start slow and will need to be fiscally conservative the first several years to ensure that we can meet our basic expenses. Cityhood will not be easy and the status of incorporation alone will not be able to magically satisfy everyone’s wants and desires. As a citywide candidate, I would promise to serve and do what is best for the city as a whole in order to make this a vibrant community. Tough decisions will need to be made on zoning and land use but the viability and growth of the business community is in the best interest of all Dunwoody residents. If the heart of Dunwoody is the Perimeter Center business district, it needs to stay healthy in order maintain the soul of the community which I believe are the many small residential communities which provides us with a wonderful “small town” quality of life. Development may slow down because of economic concerns but it will not stop therefore I believe that a comprehensive land use policy developed by citizen input needs to be created and then followed.
I am not afraid to fight for what I believe in, nor afraid to make public the failings of ineffective government. My little neighborhood blog started as a place to announce garage sales and to help find lost cats. Over time it has morphed into a social media tool which I have used to further my agenda of obtaining quality governmental services for the residents in my neighborhood. Transparency in Government breeds self-corrective behavior and I promise that if elected that I will do everything that I can to ensure that city information and services are open, transparent and available online for public viewing by all.
Now that I am officially a candidate for a citywide seat on the city council, I need your help. Unlike others who may be asking for money, I would rather have you my friends & neighbors read more about me, my values and my ideas for the future of Dunwoody. Please accept this blog as my position paper on the future workings of the city, I encourage you to explore it fully, enter your e-mail address in it for updates and encourage your neighbors to do the same. The blog is really easy to find on line by just searching Google for “Dunwoody Blog” therefore let your friends know that I exist and who they should be supporting in September.
I also look forward to campaigning and getting the chance to meet residents in all areas of Dunwoody. To assist me in this endeavor, I will be convening a citywide panel of “advisers” to assist me in my quest for elected office. If you are interested in helping me, please drop me a note via e-mail with your contact information, phone number and a good time of day for me to call you back, my e-mail address is John@JKHeneghan.com. Also feel free to call me at home, my number is 770-234-0678.
Thank you for not having a sign in your front yard supporting me, it is much appreciated.