The Dunwoody Neighbor by Tom Spigolon
Dunwoody voters are looking to an Oct. 14 runoff after choosing the mayor and five city council members last week in the fledgling city’s first election.
And the new city council was set to be sworn in today at 7:30 p.m. at 1420 Room in Dunwoody and meet soon to begin setting up government operations after enough members were elected to gain a quorum.
The state law leading to formation of the city allowed the council to meet after the election was certified — which was done Thursday by the DeKalb Board of Elections.
The runoff election is for the District 2, Post 2, seat featuring top vote-getter Adrian Bonser, who received 45 percent of the vote, and second-place finisher Larry Pankey, who received 35 percent.
Ms. Bonser was active in the Dunwoody Yes! cityhood advocacy group and the three-year incorporation effort. She said she will continue to campaign to show she is the most qualified and committed candidate for the Post 2 seat.
“I feel I’m the best candidate ... the most qualified. I will keep working hard to bring that message to the voters,” she said.
Ms. Bonser said she anticipates continuing an active door-to-door campaign, as well.
“I’m humbled beyond words for the turnout I had,” she said. “Working to create a new city ... has been one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done in my life.”
Pankey, a longtime area youth sports coach, said he will be working to show he also is the most qualified.
He noted he would bring a knowledge of government issues with which Dunwoody will deal. He said his 16 years as an attorney has included work both for and against area city and county governments.
Third-place finisher, Realtor and former TV announcer Bob Fiscella, last week endorsed Pankey. Fiscella and Pankey both have children who attend Vanderlyn Elementary School, Fiscella said.
“Dunwoody needs a candidate like Larry on city council who has seen firsthand the overcrowded schools that our children face every day,” Fiscella said. “In the coming days, I will be helping Larry and his supporters get out the vote.”
Only the Chesnut Elementary, Dunwoody High, Kingsley Elementary, Mt. Vernon East and West and Tilly Mill Road precincts will be open for the Oct. 14 election because it only affected District 2, DeKalb election officials said. Half of the council is elected by districts and half elected at-large by all the city’s voters.
More than 26 percent of the city’s 25,000 registered voters turned out Sept. 16 at 13 polling places to elect five of the six Dunwoody City Council members and the mayor in the special election.
Those elected included:
District 1, Post 1: Denis Shortal won with 61 percent of the vote. He defeated Al Alberghini, 31 percent, and Nancy Kaylor, 8 percent, for the seat.
District 3, Post 3: Tom Taylor won with 54 percent of the vote over Doug Thompson, 40 percent, and Ellen Fix, 5 percent.
At Large, Post 4: Robert Wittenstein won with 55 percent of the vote over Mallard Holliday, 45 percent.
At Large, Post 5: Danny Ross won with 63 percent of the vote over Janet Webb, 37 percent.
At Large, Post 6: John Heneghan won with 65 percent of the vote over Mary Jo Chambless, 35 percent.
Ken Wright received 5,949 complimentary votes in his unopposed race for the new city’s first mayor.