Thursday, November 27, 2008

Approaching Cityhood on December 1st

By Mayor Ken Wright
Part of an ongoing series appearing weekly in the Dunwoody Crier.

This week, friends and family will come together to give thanks. Many of us have longstanding traditions we celebrate this time each year. As we approach December 1st when Dunwoody officially becomes a city, in a sense, we are afforded the opportunity to create new traditions. Although the people and the places will remain the same, the sense of community and the feeling of belonging that has grown around our cityhood efforts are sentiments for which we can all be thankful.

While there remains a great deal of work ahead of us, I am personally thankful for all that has been accomplished in such a short period of time and for the people who have helped make that happen. The city council and I met for the first time at the end of September. Since then, a city manager has been hired and is now working on the operational needs of the city. A project management firm has been retained that is helping us secure vendors for major services. We have put in place a solid foundation for policy implementation. An interim city hall has been established. A real estate firm has been retained to assist with securing our permanent city hall.

Beyond those milestones, yet equally important, the members of our community have been given a stronger voice. I see new faces and familiar faces at our council meetings. We are able to hear from the members of our community as they share their concerns, their support and their ideas. Ours is truly a city government of the people, by the people and for the people.

The month of December will be fast and furious for our new city. I anticipate that this time next week I will be able to share with you the results of our service firm selection process. In total, 14 proposals were received from companies seeking to work with Dunwoody. The extensive review process has required long hours from everyone involved, but spirits are high based on the caliber of firms from which we are to choose. Also in December, we expect to bring on additional city employees such as our police chief, finance director and city clerk.

On December 1st, workers from our newly selected service firms will begin to fill our interim city hall, alongside our own staff and interim staffers provided by Boyken International. Details on location and contact information soon will be included on the City of Dunwoody web site.

As the Thanksgiving holiday is winding down on Sunday night, the city council and I will be gearing up. When the clock strikes midnight, the charter for the city of Dunwoody will take effect. In that midnight hour, we will hold our first meeting as a true city. A number of policy and procedural points will be formally put into effect. As we mark the occasion and perform the business of our city, I know I will have yet another thing for which I am thankful.

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