Friday, October 30, 2009

Dunwoody Homeowners Association meeting this Sunday night 7:30 pm

The Dunwoody Homeowners Association is a vital and important part of Dunwoody and it is at their monthly meetings where items like proposed redevelopments are vetted by the community and sometimes reworked in order to get the associations support. Their monthly meeting this Sunday is open to the public and I have listed item from their agenda for your viewing pleasure.

Sunday, November 1st, 2009, 7:30 P.M.
North DeKalb Arts Center, Room 4
(behind the Dunwoody Library)

a. Dunwoody Personal Care Homes in R-100
b. Dunwoody Cell Tower (information)
c. Additional Fast Food location in Perimeter Point (information)
d. Pet Chickens (information)
e. Dunwoody Hall filling station (information)
f. Adopt – A – Spot – Bill Robinson
g. Light Up Dunwoody
h. Code Enforcement

Audio and handouts from Perimeter Center, Comprehensive Plan meeting.

About 40 people attend Thursday night's meeting regarding the future development of the Perimeter Center Area and the next Comprehensive Land Use meeting is Tuesday will be dedicated to Dunwoody Village.

I recorded the audio and have posted the handouts both in this entry and the post below on the Perimeter Livable Center Initiative.  In the handout below, please feel free to complete the questions on the survey and return it to Ms. Kimberly Greer via e-mail or via fax 678-382-6701.

10292009_Perimeter_Comp1.mp3 Intro 
10292009_Perimeter_Comp2.mp3 Ms. Yvonne Williams
10292009_Perimeter_Comp3.mp3 Questions - Statements of Audience
10292009_Perimeter_Comp4.mp3 Closeout

Perimeter Center Character Area

Thieves Can't Steal Halloween From Dunwoody Subdivision

TV News Clip

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Perimeter Livable Center Initiative presented at the City of Dunwoody Comprehensive Plan Meeting

Perimeter Livable Center Initiative - City of Dun Woody 102909 - FINAL

Trick or Treat Safety and the latest On the Beat, Dunwoody Police newsletter.

Shown below is the second issue of the Dunwoody Police - On the Beat newsletter which has good insights on Trick or Treating, Personal Safety Perspectives and an update on Code Enforcement.

In a separate e-mail from PEDS that I will share here, I was informed that according to a CDC repor  four times as many young pedestrians (ages 5 - 14) are killed on Halloween than any other evening of the year. On Halloween, children dressed in dark colors and in costumes that sometimes cover their eyes walk the streets at dusk when many adults are heading off to parties.  While young, excited trick-or-treaters may forget the rules of the road and be oblivious to the hazards, we as drivers must be vigilant.

"Tricks" for Drivers:
• Drive well below the posted speed limit.
• Don't use a cell phone while driving through neighborhoods. A single distraction could be tragic.
• Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways.
• Watch for children darting across streets, especially between parked cars. Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway. They could be dropping off children.

"Tricks" for Parents:
• Make sure drivers can see the children. Give kids flashlights and glow sticks. Dress kids in bright colors or use reflective tape on their costumes.
• Use makeup, rather than masks, so children have a clear, unobstructed view of their surroundings.
• Be sure children know how to cross a street: look left, right, and left again before crossing.
• Instruct children to stay on sidewalks and to cross only at corners or crosswalks.
• Accompany your children as they trick or treat.
Dunwoody Police - One the Beat - Oct Issue

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

U.S. Census Bureau evaluates Dunwoody in the American Community Survey

The U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday released the latest version of the American Community Survey demographic estimates for 2006-2008.

For the first time, this ongoing statistical portrait of America included information from geographic areas with a population of less than 60,000. The 2010 census and the ACS will help determine the distribution of more than $400 billion in federal tax funds yearly.

The data on Dunwoody, Georgia is broken down into two sections, the narrative profile and then the statistical data in a table. The narrative is found here and I would recommend that readers start here for an overview of the city and then go to the table if you want to dig deeper.  Below is just a couple of paragraphs from the survey findings in narrative form.

American Community Survey of Dunwoody, GA - Narrative Profile
POPULATION OF Dunwoody CDP: In 2006-2008, Dunwoody CDP had a total population of 41,000 - 22,000 (54 percent) females and 19,000 (46 percent) males. The median age was 38.4 years. Twenty-seven percent of the population was under 18 years and 13 percent was 65 years and older.

OCCUPATIONS AND TYPE OF EMPLOYER: Among the most common occupations were: Management, professional, and related occupations, 66 percent; Sales and office occupations, 23 percent; Service occupations, 6 percent; Production, transportation, and material moving occupations, 2 percent; and Construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations, 2 percent. Eighty-five percent of the people employed were Private wage and salary workers; 9 percent was Federal, state, or local government workers; and 6 percent was Self-employed in own not incorporated business workers.

TRAVEL TO WORK: Seventy-six percent of Dunwoody CDP workers drove to work alone in 2006-2008, 6 percent carpooled, 5 percent took public transportation, and 4 percent used other means. The remaining 8 percent worked at home. Among those who commuted to work, it took them on average 24.1 minutes to get to work.

INCOME: The median income of households in Dunwoody CDP was $90,355. Eighty-six percent of the households received earnings and 14 percent received retirement income other than Social Security. Twenty-one percent of the households received Social Security. The average income from Social Security was $19,941. These income sources are not mutually exclusive; that is, some households received income from more than one source.

Below is the table of the basic statistical information but if you would like more detail click the following link below and the click the "Show More" link next to the individual item characteristics.

American Community Survey of Dunwoody, GA - Data Tables

Perimeter Center Area Discussion - will it double in size? Meeting Tonight (Thursday) 7 pm at City Hall.

10.29.09+Comp+Plan+Flyer Edited

Under the Gold Dome - Legislative Update by Dan Weber & Fran Millar at the Nov 4th DCPC Meeting

Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month UNLESS NOTED
Beverages are served at 8:45AM - Meeting start at 9:15AM

Subject: "Under the Gold Dome - Legislative Update"
Speakers: Dan J. Weber - Georgia State Senator
Fran Millar - Georgia State Representative
When: Wednesday November 4th, 2009
Where: Kittredge Magnet School For High Achievers
1663 E. Nancy Creek Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30319
Phone: 678-874-6602 (Office)
Time: 8:45am - 10:30am
**Carpooling is encouraged. There are limited parking spaces at this school.**


Broadstone Apartments of Dunwoody - kidnapping victim was robbed, beaten and held for 15 hours.

Watch WSB-TV Newsclip

Incident: Kidnapping
Date: 091309
Location: Broadstone Apartments, 2280 Dunwoody Crossing

The Dunwoody Police are investigating a Kidnapping that occurred on 091309 at the Broadstone Apartments. A 60 year old white male was taken at gunpoint by four black males from the mailbox kiosk at 0330 hours. He was forced into an older white Chevrolet or GMC van. He was driven around for approximately 15 hours as the suspects attempted to withdraw money from his accounts. The suspects were able to obtain an undisclosed amount of cash at several locations in the Decatur area. The victim was eventually dropped off in Lithonia near the intersection of Klondike Road and North Goddard Road. He sustained a broken sternum, several cuts and bruises through the whole ordeal. The suspects are described as four black males. Two of them have possible names/aliases of “Johnny and Pete”. If you have any information in this case, please contact Detective Gobely at (678)382-6914.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Designer Jean Bandits hit Perimeter Mall - $17,000 gone in under 5 seconds.

Watch Fox5 Newsclip

Incident: Shoplifting
Date: October 23, 2009
Location: Bloomingdale’s/Perimeter Mall

The Dunwoody Police are currently investigating a theft that occurred at Bloomingdale’s in the Perimeter Mall. At approximately 1740 hours, five black males approached a “True Religion” jean display and stole between 30-35 pairs of jeans. The five males fled the store and got in to a maroon station wagon, possibly a Ford Taurus, and left the mall. The vehicle had a “drive-out” tag displayed on it. The stolen jeans were valued between $18,000 and $20,000. The Dunwoody Police are working with the Atlanta Police Department due to similar thefts. If you have any information in this case, please contact Detective Bentivegna at (678)382-6911.

Dunwoody City Council Meeting video from Monday October 26th

Future live shows -
10262009_audio1.mp3 Beginning of meeting
10262009_audio2.mp3 Consent Agenda
10262009_audio3.mp3 Budget
10262009_audio4.mp3 Signs on Tall Buildings
10262009_audio5.mp3 Pre-hearing Community Meetings
10262009_audio6.mp3 Final Comments

Monday, October 26, 2009

Official PowerPoint and Enrollment Stats on DeKalb Enrollment Balancing



November 2-6 – small group meeting with members of the board
December 1 – publish plan on website
December 1,2,3 – public hearings to receive feedback from community
January 4- formally present recommendation to the board
January 11 – ask for up/down vote from the board. It was clearly stated that the board would need to approve the plan in January if they wished to begin implementation in August 2010.

Rumor and Innuendo, Blockbuster closing?, Falcon's Stadium, "enrollment balancing" and the DeKalb Recorders Court

The Blockbuster Video at the intersection of Mt. Vernon & Dunwoody Club appears to be closing.  Saturday was business as usual and on Sunday I'm told all videos were on sale for final clearance.  One wonders if the entire parcel including the old Ace Home Place (Harris Teeter) over to the CVS is now in play for redevelopment? 

I previously mentioned that DeKalb was thinking about putting a new Falcon's Stadium on the site of the GM plant in Doraville.  CEO Burrell Ellis made his official comment, Doraville Mayor Ray Jenkins commented, and with a unanimous vote the Doraville City Council even made their official statement.  The topic was even fodder on Sunday mornings Georgia Gang where as one of the members states, this isn't over yet...

DeKalb County School System started discussions on "enrollment balancing" otherwise known as closing schools and redistricting at their last Board Meeting.  It looks as if Dunwoody is overpopulated with students except for maybe elementary schools?  Read Atlanta Unfiltered's article followed by the DeKalb County School Watch Blog along with the comments for the full story and opinions of those in the know (as much as you can be in the know).

DeKalb County Recorders Court has been messed up for quite awhile, just ask the police officers, or ask Mr. Doug Richards,  a TV Reporter who received a ticket and documented the adventure.  Now the Grand Jury report is out and it appears that change is imminent.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

City of Dunwoody Update by Councilman Robert Wittenstein

Dear Dunwoody Friends and Neighbors,

Like a good Shakespeare play, occasionally some side plot will momentarily ellipse the larger story and take center stage.   This month’s “side plot” is about a new and growing trend of raising backyard chickens as pets, and for the eggs they produce. Most of Atlanta’s cities have passed ordinances that allow this practice on a small scale. Dunwoody has not yet. There are several families in Dunwoody who are keeping 4-6 chickens and they would like the practice legalized. We are, of course, talking about hens, not roosters, so these birds are completely quiet; no cock-a-doodle-dos. I am supportive of allowing Dunwoody residents to do this legally.
It can be tricky looking at individual issues and trying to see broad patterns, but I think I begin to see a larger philosophical question emerging around the role of local government. It seems to me that there is a continuum.   At one end of the spectrum is, “The city should protect me from any potential annoyances from my neighbors” and at the other end is, “We don’t want a lot of laws enforced that infringe on our basic right to live our own lives.” I guess it is the ‘neighborhood covenant’ argument on a larger, government, scale. How much do we value Suburban Sameness versus Diversity and what is the government’s role in making sure that residents are protected from potential nuisances?
I phrase it this way not because I think chickens will be a nuisance, but because there is another issue working its way through the ordinance process. There is a potential effort to make it harder for the elderly or developmentally disabled to live in a personal care home in a residential neighborhood.   Today our code allows a state-licensed personal care home with up to six adults in a residential neighborhood. There are several of these personal care homes operating in Dunwoody today. I would like to believe that we would welcome these residents into our neighborhoods—not just out of compassion but because of the rich diversity they bring. I would also like to believe that I can grow old and infirm and be welcome in Dunwoody. On November 10, the Planning Commission will consider whether we should have restrictions, or require a Special Land Use Permit be granted by the City Council, before one of these homes can be opened in a residential area in Dunwoody. I am deeply concerned about adding any new restrictions. The meeting is at City Hall at 7:00pm.
Our Comprehensive Planning process continues and we need more involvement from residents. We have two meetings coming up to look at defining our 10-year development roadmap for Perimeter Center and Dunwoody Village. The Perimeter Center meeting will be this week, at City Hall on Thursday October 29 at 7:00pm. The Dunwoody Village meeting will take place at Dunwoody United Methodist Church on Tuesday, November 3rd at 7:00pm. Please come and give us your views on how these areas should change and develop.  We will hold meetings in January to look at other areas (Georgetown and the Shallowford Road area, Tilly Mill, Jett Ferry and Winters Chapel).
Finally, I am excited that Dunwoody is becoming the center for so much community activity. The Dunwoody Community Garden is off and flourishing at Brook Run, the first Tour de Pink (a bicycle ride to raise awareness and money for breast cancer survivors) took place last week at Perimeter Mall, our first-ever Dunwoody Fall Festival was Saturday, and plans are underway for a new Dunwoody Arts Festival in the spring. This is a great time to live in Dunwoody!
Robert Wittenstein
Dunwoody City Council
Upcoming  meetings:
Thursday, October 29    7pm    Perimeter Center Comprehensive Planning meeting  
Location:  City Hall

Tuesday, November 3    7pm    Dunwoody Village Comprehensive Planning meeting  
Location:  Dunwoody United Methodist Church

Thursday, November 10 7pm   Planning Commission meeting
Location:  City Hall

Five Dunwoody Community Meetings - discussing specific areas. Thursday we discuss the Perimeter Center and the adjoining residential neighborhoods.

The City of Dunwoody is hosting a series of five community meetings to discuss different areas in Dunwoody. These meetings are part of the development of Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Dunwoody, which will shape the future of the City for the next 20 years and how it develops.  Your voice can have an impact on the vision for Dunwoody’s next twenty years!  Please join the discussion!

The City of Dunwoody presents Georgia Accessibilty Code 101 discussion with Tim Bromley, Sr. ADA Architect

ADA Presentation Oct 27, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Monday Oct 26th

Monday, October 26th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
7:00 p.m. - Watch Live


Resolution to adopt No Idling Policy.

Resolution establishing terms of office for Sustainability Commission.

Resolution to appoint members of Design Review Advisory Committee.
  • Bill Grant – term to expire 10-26-2011
  • Steven Fuller – term to expire 10-26-2011
  • Bill Robinson– term to expire 10-26-2011
Second Read: Ordinance to amend Fiscal Year 2009 Budget.

Second Read: Text Amendment to Chapter 27: Zoning §5A and §5D: Public Notice requirements for zoning actions in the City of Dunwoody.

Second Read: Ordinance to adopt Fiscal Year 2010 Budget.

PUBLIC HEARING - Chapter 21: Signs §12: Non-Residential Zoning District Sign Regulations.
- Presentation and Recommendation by Community Development

Ordinance to amend Chapter 21: Signs §12: Non-Residential Zoning District Sign Regulations.

PUBLIC HEARING - Chapter 27: Zoning; Pre-submittal meetings.
- Presentation and Recommendation by Community Development

Ordinance to amend Chapter 27: Zoning; Pre-submittal meetings.

Sherry Boston Sworn In As First Woman Judge for City Of Dunwoody

Judge Sherry Boston was sworn in as a judge for the Municipal Court of the City of Dunwoody at the opening of the October 21 evening court session. Judge Boston was confirmed by the Dunwoody City Council on Monday, September 14, 2009. Judge Boston is the first woman and fourth judge to serve the City of Dunwoody Municipal Court since it began operations in February 2009.

As a Municipal Court Judge, pro hac vice, for the City of Dunwoody Judge Boston will be responsible for presiding over court operation in accordance with state and federal statues, the city charter and city ordinances. The Dunwoody Municipal Court will have jurisdiction over violations that occur within the city limits of Dunwoody, which may include traffic violations, DUIs, code enforcement, and drug possession.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve the people of Dunwoody and I thank the Mayor and the City Council for this opportunity,” said Judge Boston. “I will follow the law and ensure that justice is enacted impartially, fairly and swiftly.”

Judge Boston has been practicing law since 1999 and is currently a judge, pro hac vice, for DeKalb County Recorder’s Court. She is also an associate with the Bernstein Firm based in Atlanta where she has handled over 300 cases covering a wide variety of issues.

“Judge Boston is the ideal candidate for the City’s Municipal Court,” said Mayor Ken Wright. “She is well-versed in the law, knowledgeable, fair minded and follows the letter of the law. Her experience as a judge will be a valuable asset to our young court system.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A conversation with State Senator Dan Weber (Nov 3rd, Nov 9th and Nov. 19th)

A conversation with your state senator

The Honorable Dan Weber
Georgia Senate District 40

Proudly representing Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville,
Embry Hills, Dunwoody, Tucker and Peachtree Corners

Tues, Nov 3, 2009 at Georgia Perimeter College
2101 Womack Road, Auditorium, Building NC, park in Lot 6 for best access

Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at Oglethorpe University
4484 Peachtree Road, Talmadge Room, Emerson Hall

Thurs, Nov 19, 2009 at Henderson Middle School
2830 Henderson Mill Road, Cafeteria

Sessions begin at 7:00 p.m.
2010 Legislative Priorities
Education Initiatives
Water Issues
State Finances
Q & A
Keep in touch with Senator Weber at

Dunwoody Fall Festival Schedule for Saturday at Dunwoody Village

Music Schedule

10:00 AM
Dunwoody Elementary Chorus from Dunwoody 4 and 5 Grade Academy
10:30 AM
Kidz Blitz
11:00 AM
Dan and Company Dance Group
11:30 AM
Octave: A Young Womens' Acappella Group
12 Noon
50 Million Fables:  Alternative Music
2:00 PM
Relix: 60's and 70's Music
4:00 PM
Jimmy Anderson's Blues Band

Event Schedule

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Chili Cook-Off
10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Music all day long, bring your chairs sit and relax.
Beer Pavilion
Kids inflatables: Slides, Hoops, Jumpers
Artisans and Crafters - don’t miss the displays
DeKalb Fire Fighters and their Fire Truck!

Food! Food! Food!

Knights of Columbus
Hot Dogs and Brats
Grilled Fish and Chicken
Italian Ice
Rita’s Ice
Jill’s Dunwoody Bakers
Cookies and Sweets

Electronic recyling day on Saturday in Decatur

By April Hunt, AJC

Area residents and businesses can drop off electronics to be recycled this weekend in Decatur.

The recycling event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Decatur High School on North McDonough Street.

Recycling is free for most items, though the fee for TVs is $10 cash. Batteries and nearly all kinds of electronics – such as cell phones, computers and cameras – can be dropped off.

For additional information, contact Sean at 404-377-5571.

Sweetwater 420 Bread is coming to Whole Foods starting on Friday

My wife Kristin will readily admit that she is addicted to good bread and well I'm just a typical guy who likes good beer, therefore the press release below was actually celebrated at my home.  In case the Sweetwater Brewery or the Whole Foods Market would like to use our family as possible test market, please do feel free to drop off the proper amounts of both your fine products; as I'm sure these are two great tastes that go great together.  Yum!

SweetWater Brewery has partnered with Whole Foods Market to create a beer bread baked at Whole Foods Market's Bakehouse in Alpharetta. SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale bread is made from spent grains (barley) from the SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale brewing process. This new bread will be offered in all stores throughout the Southeast beginning October 23rd and sells for $3.49 per loaf.

SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale is SweetWater's most popular local brew and is a tasty West Coast style pale ale with a stimulating hop character and a crisp finish. After brewing this award-winning beer at the Midtown Atlanta brewery, the grains used in the brew are delivered to the Whole Foods Market Bakehouse and used exclusively for the 420 Extra Pale Ale Bread. Pumpkin seeds and a rustic, nutty texture and crust round out the flavor profile.

Steve Schulte, South Region Bakery Coordinator for Whole Foods Market, said, "This is a great new bread for us and our bakers had a lot of fun developing a new recipe using SweetWater's grains. Partnering with a local brewery is something we've talked about doing for some time now, and the result is a hearty, delicious, local bread that's perfect for fall dinners and tailgating parties."

Steve Farace, Minister of Propaganda for SweetWater Brewing, said, "It seemed like a natural partnership - we make fantastic beer but we have leftover grains, so why not work with Whole Foods Market and see what we can come up with to make sure this tasty stuff finds a good home. The result is delicious, and it's all produced right here in Georgia!"

Live stream of Dunwoody Council Meeting was a success.

On a whim I decided to live stream the City Council meeting to the web and from the way it turned out I would say the experiment was a success.  Click here to see the recorded video.

I streamed the entire 3.5 hours of the meeting live to the web of which I recorded the full three hour limit of the free service I used. (The end of the meeting, including the conversations on Chickens was cut off and was not documented by me.)  Because I was busy preparing the computer and camera, I forgot to do the audio device but will try to include those in the future as a backup.

I believe the video was acceptable but being the camera operator, I never pointed the wide angle camera lens directly around to see myself.  (Probably a good thing but the wife pointed that fact out.)

The sound was mostly acceptable but I had the sound level set for voices about 6 feet away therefore when I spoke the sound was too loud and therefore garbled and full of static.  I will need to find a way to correct the sound in the future.

Though I didn't push it, the statistics of the show state that there were a total of 23 total viewers of the live stream watching at some point during the broadcast.  The joke was that the City Council wives made up the entire viewing bandwidth but I do know from looking at the chat page that Cathy Cobbs of the Dunwoody Crier and Rick Callihan of the Dunwoody Talk blog were online watching.  I was also told that a few interested (scofflaw) chicken owners were also viewing on line since they were afraid to address the council directly for fear of immediate arrest (joking, sort of.).

The available chat and twitter live feeds of the meeting could be both entertaining and informative for the residents watching on-line as well as those live in the audience who could follow along.  We will have to see what becomes of those features?

Though I didn't record the last 30 minutes of the meeting since there was a three hour limit.  The beauty of this is that 95% the video is available to watch at any time.  It also allows you to drag the time line to where you want to start.

A resident came up to me after the meeting and thanked me for doing the video because his wife was able to "be there" watching along with him. 

Another resident stated that video was conceived for the council early in the planning of the city but the fear was that Council Members would purposely play to the camera.  I'm not sure it would matter to a long winded council member if the meeting was recorded or not since he would probably act the same way when there was a reporter in the room; and between Dick from the Crier and Tom of the Dunwoody Neighbor we always seem to have a reporter in the room.

If you watch the video, I would be interested in your comments, both good and bad.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Time to Remake MARTA by Representatives Fran Millar & Mike Jacobs

E-mail update by Rep. Mike Jacobs, Tuesday Oct 20th 2009

My colleague, State Rep. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), wrote an outstanding op-ed column that ran in this past Sunday's AJC.
It's a little-known fact that I ride MARTA to work every so often, on days that I don't have to take my kids to preschool or otherwise need to use my car.  The short trip from either the Chamblee or Brookhaven station, near my home, to the Arts Center station, near my office, is very convenient and usually quicker than I-85.
MARTA cannot be sustained in the long-run on the backs of DeKalb and Fulton County taxpayers.  Moreover, the time is overdue to think about seamless comprehensive transit solutions that can operate across the entire Metro Atlanta region.
The upcoming debate for the 2010 legislative session over a transportation funding plan presents a rare and tremendous opportunity to explore these issues and remake MARTA.
I'm with Fran Millar on this one.  With his permission, I am forwarding you the unedited copy of his column that he sent to our colleagues in the State House.  I'd like to hear what you think...

"For the past few years I have watched the frustration build with my neighbors and the metropolitan business community (ten counties) on the failure of our state government to deal with our transportation issues in a comprehensive manner.

To compound the problem we have now been told by Georgia State University that MARTA will probably be short $85 million in sales tax receipts for fiscal 2010 and over the next decade could be short $1.4 billion.  In other words MARTA can not be financially viable in the long run with only Fulton and DeKalb as its source of primary funding.

2010 is an election year and politically it is imperative that the General Assembly give the public an opportunity to vote on a comprehensive transportation solution.  In my opinion a regional approach with a sales tax component has the best chance of acceptance by the public.  I know of no other statewide approach that has passed in recent years.

In 2009 we passed SB 200 which created a Planning Division in the Department of Transportation (DOT).  The purpose of the Planning Division is to be responsible for planning and transportation (not just highways) policy in Georgia.

It is my intention in 2010 to add to SB 200 or any other approach a Public Transportation division under DOT with the director of that division also being appointed by the Governor.  This director can be responsible for operating public transportation agencies in Georgia including MARTA.

At the same time, I plan to introduce local legislation in DeKalb and have one of my fellow members in Fulton do likewise to repeal the current MARTA Act.

Obviously there are details that need to be worked out with the state assuming the assets and liabilities of MARTA.  Priority issues include operations and federal funding.  Hopefully, in the not too distant future other transit systems such as Cobb and Gwinnett and agencies such as Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority can be incorporated into this comprehensive approach.

Any comprehensive transportation solution voted on by the people requires a two-thirds vote by the House of Representatives and the Senate in order for the initiative to be placed on the ballot.

Local legislation requires a majority of the county representatives and the county senators to sign the bill and a majority vote in each chamber.

This is our one chance to get away from a Department of Highways and have a meaningful Department of Transportation.  With this new MARTA financial data, any reasonable person must conclude that Fulton and DeKalb can no longer carry this burden alone.  I would hope Fulton and DeKalb representatives and senators would agree with me and insist that MARTA be folded into any comprehensive transit solution.

Furthermore, per Georgia State University, metro Atlanta (ten counties) generates 53 percent of the state income and receives 37 percent of the state's spending.  If metro Atlanta's physical infrastructure can not allow further growth and/or our competitive position deteriorates, then the balance of our state will not continue to receive this additional funding over what they collect.

This alone should be the necessary incentive for non-metro legislators to support the creation of this public transportation division under DOT and a regional transportation solution with a sales tax component.

No great city in our country (New York, Chicago, Washington, San Francisco) relies only on highways.  We either seize the initiative now or in the not too distant future explain to our children why Atlanta is no longer the Capitol of the South.  Remember when we were the financial headquarters of the South?

I urge you to contact your representatives and senators and voice your support for this approach.  The time to act is now."

Representative Fran Millar

DeKalb County Delegation Holds Public Hearing on upcoming session this Thursday in Decatur.

ATLANTA – Representative Howard Mosby, D-90, Chair of the DeKalb House Delegation and Senator Steve Henson, D-41, Chair of the DeKalb Senate Delegation announces that State House and Senate members of the DeKalb County Delegation will hold a special meeting for public input about the upcoming 2010 legislative session on Thursday, October 22, 2009. During this meeting residents of DeKalb County will have an opportunity to address any concerns they may have about state issues with their General Assembly representatives. The hearing will begin at 7:00 PM at the Porter Sanford Center.

WHO: State House and Senate members of the DeKalb County Delegation

WHAT: Special meeting for public input about the upcoming 2010 legislative session

WHEN: Thursday, October 22, 2009 @ 7:00 PM

WHERE: Porter Sanford Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive,  Decatur, GA 30034

Dog Found near Winters Chapel & PTIB - looking for owner.

Hi John,
This adorable male Brindle Terrier mix dog showed up on our doorstep last Tuesday, October 13 with no collar or microchip. We posted signs around the neighboring subdivisions off Winters Chapel Road between Peeler Rd. and Peachtree Industrial Blvd., put postings on the internet and visited the closest vet but have not yet located the owner. Would it be possible for you to include it in your next blog? According to the vet, he’s about 1-2 years old. He was wearing a black harness. Please let me know if you need any additional info. Anyone with information can call my cell number below.

(678) 348-0234

Live stream of Dunwoody City Council Meeting - Tonight 7 pm

Tonight at 7 pm I will attempting to stream live audio video of the City Council work session, no promisses but maybe it will work.

Full agenda and meeting documents are found here.

Dunwoody Police Semi-Annual Report and Budget Request

If you live in Dunwoody and are on Twitter, the Dunwoody Police Department @DunwoodyPolice is a recommended follow as the last two tweets clearly show.  In case you are not aware, I'm also on Twitter as @dunwoodynorth and I attempt to follow anyone tweeting from the City of Dunwoody, so please drop me a line.

Second, if you want to read about the fantastic work that our Dunwoody officers have done since the department's creation on April 1st, the Semi-Annual Report is a must read.  As you read this document, please keep reminding yourself that this department started from scratch just seven months ago.  Amazing work and I am truly proud of our dedicated and professional officers.

Finally, as part of the budget process Police Chief Billy Grogan submitted to the Council his needs assessment whereby he requested for 2010 that the Uniform Patrol be increased from the current 24 officers by 2, up to 26 as well as the addition of 1 detective and 1 regional drug task force officer.  Currently the proposed budget only offers the detective and the task force officer, but if there was a way for the Council to squeeze the funding out for these two additional uniform officers (even if they are hired late in the budget year), I believe that there are several members who would want to do so.  This will undoubtedly be a topic of discussion on Monday evening that will come down to funding priorities in a lean year, needs vs. wants and therefore should be a lively discussion.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Position Available: Assistant to the Dunwoody City Manager

Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc. is seeking to hire an Assistant to the City Manager in the City of Dunwoody office. The purpose of this position is to coordinate special projects and conduct research and analysis of various City functions, services, and operations. The position provides professional level support to the City Manager at the highest level of local government, serving as a direct liaison for the City Manager and providing operational and strategic analysis in support of City programs and services. Work at this level is of a responsible, technical or professional level relative to a supporting role in the management of the City. The incumbent will be expected to work cooperatively with key City officials to plan and implement various programs and services. All authority and autonomy inherent in this classification is at the discretion of and delegated by the City Manager.

Assists the City Manager with the development, planning and implementation of goals and objectives to meet the operational needs of the city;
Conducts operational research, productivity analysis and management studies to assist in the management of city operations, programs and services
Assists as appropriate with grant management;
Coordinates special projects for the city, including city-wide initiatives, management studies and introduction of new programs;
Serves as a liaison between the City Manager and various civic or governmental organizations and committees, taskforces, boards, and commissions; and,
Makes presentations before the City Council, and represents the City Manager at various boards and commissions, both within the city and outside.

Any combination of experience and education that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities would be qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:
Bachelor’s Degree required. Two to five years of increasingly responsible experience in municipal or private sector work involving tasks similar to the previously described duties.
The equivalent of a Masters Degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, Political Science or a related field is desirable.

Strong knowledge of MS Office software;
Strong interpersonal skills;
Ability to understand and carry out complex oral and written instructions;
Ability to deal tactfully and courteously with employees and the general public;
Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, verbally and in writing; and,
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, vendors, and the general public.

LATITUDE AND/OR INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT: (Include examples of situations where this position might exercise independent judgment and make decisions.)
• Must be able to evaluate, audit, deduce and assess complex data using established criteria. Includes exercising discretion in determining actual or probable consequences and in referencing such evaluation to identify and select alternatives;
• Must be able to utilize a wide variety of reference, descriptive, advisory and design data and information;
• Requires the ability to apply principles of rational systems; to interpret instructions furnished in written, verbal, diagrammatic or schedule form, and to exercise independent judgment to adopt or modify methods and standards to meet variations in assigned objectives;
• Must be able to exercise judgment, decisiveness and creativity in situations involving evaluation of information against measurable or verifiable criteria;
• Must be able to handle a great variety of tasks and responsibilities simultaneously and continuous projects efficiently including prioritizing of daily and monthly work;
• Must be proactive and take initiative with respect to execution of responsibilities and achievement;
• Must be able to manage multiple tasks and projects and adjust work schedule to meet deadlines;
• Must be able to keep the City Manager informed about complex issues by communicating in a concise and constructive manner; and,
• Must be able to effectively and professionally interface with customers, stakeholders and professionals outside the City.

To apply, please email resume as a Word document or PDF to

Close Date: Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tour de Pink this Saturday morning at Perimeter Mall

October 17, 2009
Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody, GA

In Metro Atlanta alone, almost 500 young women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. The Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the premier international organization dedicated to increasing the quality and quantity of life for young women with breast cancer.
YSC Atlanta is one of the oldest and largest YSC affiliates serving 11 counties in the metro area. The funds raised by the Tour de Pink will help us focus on education and outreach opportunities and provide peer-to-peer support for newly diagnosed young women.
Young Survival Coalition's Tour de Pink is Atlanta's newest and most exciting charity bike event, modeled after our successful national ride. Tour de Pink has raised over a million dollars for young women affected by breast cancer. The 2009 ride is more than an event for cyclists; it's a chance to honor survivors, raise awareness in the community and support important local programs for young women with breast cancer.
The first-ever Atlanta Tour de Pink promises something for everyone, from short family rides and a survivor loop to cycle routes from 1 to 100 miles. Following the ride, participants and spectators will have a chance to mingle and explore our expo area, showcasing local services, vendors, food, entertainment and family fun.
When: Saturday, October 17, 2009. Staggered starts beginning at 7:00 a.m.

  • Rides ranging in length from 1 to 100 miles
  • Family Ride
  • Survivor Loop
  • Complimentary Food and Beverage
  • Expo Area at Start/Finish Line
Community Expo: Join us for a family friendly event within the event! While you wait for our riders to cross the finish line, enjoy food, music, children's activities and exhibits by our sponsors and other local nonprofit organizations.

Event Proceeds: Proceeds from the event will be used by Young Survival Coalition's Atlanta Affiliate to help raise awareness for young women affected by breast cancer as well as provide resources and support to young survivors and their families.

Schedule as of July 15, 2009. Please check back as times are subject to change.
6:30 a.m.: Registration and check in begins
7:00 a.m.: Century ride start
8:30 a.m.: Community Expo begins
9:00 a.m.: Middle route lengths start
9:00 a.m.: Family Ride
9:00 a.m.: Survivor Loop
9:30 a.m.:Short route begins


  • 1-mile survivor loop
  • 4-mile family ride
  • 15-20 mile short route
  • 40-mile middle route
  • Metric century (62 miles)
  • Century (100 miles)
PS: In case your not a bike rider, I learned that Dunwoody Councilman Robert Wittenstein will be riding and if you are interested donating to the cause here is a good place to do it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hoax??? Balloon Boy states, "we did this for the show".

CNN clip on YouTube

Hours after he worried America sick into thinking he was on a runaway balloon flying over Colorado - while he was just hiding in the attic - 6-year-old Falcon Henne, aka "Balloon Boy", appears with his family on "Larry King Live."

In this scene, Falcon admits that he heard his parents calling him, but declined to come out of the garage.

At 0:40, he mutters, "We did this for the show."

This leads father Richard to try and explain what he just said. "Whenever we tell him things like, it's a bad thing t do, he does go and hide," he says.

Are you looking for the H1N1 Vaccine? Here is where to find it.

H1N1 Influenza Vaccine Provider Locator
  • We advise you to contact your family doctor's office or health care provider in advance to confirm the vaccine is available before making an appointment.
  • The health care providers listed have all agreed to provide H1N1 vaccines as it becomes available and to be included in this listing.
  • Health care providers receive their vaccine supply directly from the CDC's distributor, McKesson.
  • Small amounts of the H1N1 vaccine are being allocated by the CDC at this time. Additional supply is anticipated over the next weeks and months.
  • Some additional providers and doctor's offices who have agreed to provide vaccine have chosen not to be listed at this time.
  • Participating county health departments will also receive vaccine supply and are included in this search tool listing.

Brookhaven Arts Festival this Sat and Sun behind Brookhaven Marta Station

Saturday October 17th, 10-6
Sunday October 18th, 12-6

The BAF is held on Apple Valley Road, directly behind the Brookhaven MARTA Station. Convenient access to Peachtree Road, I-85, GA-400, and MARTA plus ample free parking gives the Brookhaven Arts Festival an ideal setting that enhances the experience for both artists and visitors.

Music Schedule - Children's Market

Visit the website for more information.

Confident City Cycling Course - Perimeter REI on Sat Nov 14th

Confident City Cycling Logo

New Date!  Saturday, November 14, 2009
11:00 AM until about 4:00 PM
Perimeter REI - 1165 Perimeter Center West
View map 
Join this terrific class hosted by Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and learn:
  • How to be visible and predictableCH2M Hill Cyclists at Energizer Station 5.09
  • What to check on your bike before riding
  • Proper lane positioning and signaling
  • Intersection safety
  • Laws affecting bicycles
  • Emergency stops and maneuvers
  • Gear
  • And more!
For those interested in bicycle commuting, recreational cycling, running errands by bike, or trail riding. Suitable for all levels of experience; not recommended for children under age 14. Instructor Jim Sandlin is certified by the League of American Bicyclists.
The price is just $10 if you live or work in Perimeter-- a $50 value! Laid off recently? Attend for free, courtesy of ABC. 
Participants will receive a "prize pack" with a 15% off REI coupon, power gel, BPA-free water bottle, granola bar, carabiner, notepad and pen, and info on the bicycle rewards program for Perimeter commuters, courtesy of REI and the PTC.
Bring your bike, helmet, water and lunch. Class includes parking lot drills and a short, guided ride around the Perimeter (30-45 minutes).
Email or call ABC at 404-881-1112 to register.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

2009 Dunwoody Late Harvest Run and after party at the Dunwoody Tavern on Saturday

5K run/walk on a predetermined course through Dunwoody Begins and ends at the Dunwoody Farm House Party to follow at The Dunwoody Tavern that evening

Saturday, October 17

Registration begins at 8:00 AM at The Dunwoody Farmhouse. Registration closes at 8.45 AM
Run begins at 9:00 AM

Where to Register:
Registration begins…October 1
Pre-registration available

$25 per runner that includes a t-shirt and dinner. Children under 10 are free
Proceeds from the event will be donated to The Dunwoody Farmhouse and Atlanta Humane Society

Take I-285 E to Ashford Dunwoody Rd.
Exit Ashford Dunwoody Road North, traveling outside the Perimeter
Continue until the road forks, take slight right and continue onto Mount Vernon Rd. Turn left onto Chamblee Dunwoody Rd.  The Dunwoody Farm House will be on the right.

Location: DUNWOODY TAVERN (Directions)
Band should start playing around 6:30 PM
We will have a fenced in area with the band outside playing until 10.30pm.
A large barbeque will be set up to roast a suckling pig to feed the runners during the evening.

Careful with your purses ladies, Dunwoody pickpockets are active.

The Dunwoody Police Department is currently investigating two thefts that occurred at 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road. The first incident occurred around 12:00 P.M. at the Hudson’s Grill. The second incident occurred around 4:00 P.M. at Goldfish’s. These two businesses are located in the same shopping center. The 29 and 63 year old victims had their purses hung on the back of their chairs. The suspect(s) took their wallets from their purses and attempted to purchase gift cards at a nearby Target located at 100 Perimeter Center Place.

The first suspect is a black male with a medium complexion. He is approximately 5’11”-6’01” and weighs around 185 pounds. He was well dressed and wearing glasses when he committed the theft.

The second suspect is a black female in her late 20’s to early 30’s. She is approximately 5’6”-5’8” and has a light complexion. She was also well dressed.

If you have any information in this case, please contact Detective Curtis Clifton at (678)382-6912.

Community Work Day #1, Dunwoody Community Garden at Brook Run - Sat Oct 17. All are invited to assist.

Tending the Garden on Saturday

Why do boring chores around the house when you can be enjoying a cool fall morning helping to tend the Dunwoody Community Garden at Brook Run?

The Dunwoody Community Garden is the first community garden established in the City of Dunwoody. The 60 community plots are surrounded by wide open spaces, grassy knolls and shady resting areas, but they need a little TLC from folks like you! We’ve got all kinds of interesting and fun stuff to do – from spreading mulch to digging a trench to painting the pavilion - and a bunch of things in-between. You choose!

So gather up some gardening tools (wheelbarrows, rakes, shovels, gloves, paint brushes and scrapers are really needed) and join your friends on:

Dunwoody Community Garden at Brook Run
Saturday, October 17th
8am til 11am

For details and to sign-up contact Page Olson at

Community Work Day #2, Brook Run Dog Park - Sun Oct 18. All are invited to assist.

Members of Boy Scout troop 477, who have helped maintain the Brook Run dog park in the past, are again stepping up to assist Just a Walk in the Park, Inc. the non-profit organization entrusted to maintain and operate the dog park. Trevor Alexander will manage this project in his efforts to achieve Eagle Scout status. A major work event to prevent land erosion in the park is set with volunteers needed to supplement the Scouts and help with the work.

On Sunday, October 18 they expect to work from 9:00 until 3:00 so that the park can be re-opened by 4:00. The dog park will be closed to all dogs and non-volunteers while work is being done. In order to help the Scouts, residents can provide not only physical labor for the day but also necessary tools and supplies, such as:

* Chain saws (gas/oil provided by owners), chaps, goggles, and ear protection
* Wheel barrows, garden carts
* Rakes, hoes, shovels, pitch forks
* Garden tractor with cart and gas
* Log chains
* Work gloves
* Monkey grass (liriope)
* Bottled water and snacks for the workers

If you're willing to pitch in physically, here are the general crews we're trying to gather:

* Chain-saw crew
To cut logs into moveable chunks (Chain-saw users must have goggles, chaps, and other required safety gear; this is an Eagle Scout project, so there are specific rules)

* Trench-digging crew
To prep the land for berms

* Log-moving crew
To install berms

* Gardening crew
To clear and prepare land for the monkey grass nursery AND plant monkey grass at the newly-installed berms

* Nurturing crew
To provide and prepare snacks and beverages for workers

Any assistance from the community will be appreciated.
Brook Run Dog Park
4770 N. Peachtree Rd.
Dunwoody, GA 30338

Survey for the DeKalb 2010-11 school calendar

DeKalb County School System has posted two draft calendars–one for 2010-11 and one for 2011-12. Visit this link and then click to take the survey regarding the calendars by close of business Thursday, October 22, 2009.

From the DCSS Website -

The proposed calendars:
  • Include 180 student-contact days - the maximum number funded by the state
  • Include 189 teacher-contract days with the final day (Day 190) being comprised of four (2 hrs. each/2 per semester) conference nights during the year as scheduled by each local school
  • Include nine teacher workdays - three of which are dedicated to professional development to facilitate the meeting of requirements for annual professional learning
  • Closely mirror the calendars of some of our largest neighboring school districts
  • Take into account state-designated testing windows and dates
  • Conclude the First Semester before the Winter Break in December - which prevents students from returning from the break with Final Exams and End of Course Tests still ahead of them
  • Offer some form of break for students and teachers each month of the year (September - May)
  • Schedule a spring break during the first week in April, beginning on a Sunday. This spring break is scheduled in accordance with those of surrounding school systems
  • End the second semester prior to Memorial Day - which allows the district to offer a short break to both students and teachers prior to the start of summer school
Thanks to Cerebration at DeKalb School Watch for this item.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mixed bag of topics: Audio, Golf, Job, Ethics, Transparency, DCSS Atty Fees & DeKalb D.A.

Monday night's 7 pm meeting started a few minutes late and the public portion was over by 7:15; in fact looking at my audio recorder, I only captured 10 minutes and 41 seconds of audio. All three items passed and we then moved into executive session to discuss real estate.

The audio is here in two parts (1 & 2) if you are interested and here was the agenda.
  • In other news that interests me and maybe you, the City of Dunwoody installed the speed monitor on Womack and the others are coming soon as I believe they were back ordered?

  • For you golfers, the Spruill Center for the Arts is hosting a golf outing next Monday at the Dunwoody Country Club, details here.

Click for news story

  • In reviewing other blogs that you may have missed, the DeKalb County School Watch blog exploded over the Board of Education discussions of legal contracts that were about to be divvied out along racial lines for an extra $800,000. I believe cooler heads prevailed to stop this but it is an indication of how fast they can improperly spend our money. Good thing the DCSS has an office of internal investigations to ferret out waste and illegal wrong doing and a DeKalb D.A. who will prosecute these cases, if ever discovered.