Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Survey results for the Dunwoody Comprehensive Land Use Plan

I would like to thank those who took the time to complete this on line survey for the Dunwoody Comprehensive Land Use Plan as I have just read all 51 pages of comments. Here are the results of the survey. Please feel free to comment on the results and/or the value of the survey as I am interested in your thoughts.

Thank you.  (PS, sorry about the font size, if viewing the document on my html site, please click the Fullscreen link at the top of the document for best viewing or just click here.)
City of Dunwoody Comp Plan Survey Results - March 2010

14 comments:

PolitiMom said...

Great comments. I was struck by how many respondents (including me) talked about the need to address the school issue. This is something our city leaders (and DHA) need to aggressively deal with. Given our limited parameters for change, the community must come together to develop a redistricting plan ourselves, then work with DCSS to implement it. There have been no leadership on this particular issue and watching DCSS impact our schools negatively without our city leaders attempting to mitigate the damage is frustrating!

knitternall said...

Leadership begins at the grass roots level. There is a consortium of PTA/PTO/Executive Council parent leaders called the Dunwoody Cluster Council that was born out of frustrations and misinformation experienced when DCSS chose to open a 4/5 school rather than redistrict our very overcrowded elementary schools. Each school in the Dunwoody Cluster is represented, and it meets once a month to share ideas, information, "heads up," and prepare to unite as necessary to address school issues. The synergies of communicating from elementary to middle school to high school and back again are invaluable.

The absolute best initiative would be for the Georgia legislature to let towns like Dunwoody enjoy local control of schools. The same reasons we wanted to become a city hold true for our schools.

Long shot. Great goal.

Rick Callihan said...

knitternall,

Has the DCC taken a stance (in favor of or opposed to) on the 4-5 school or has it voiced an opinion on redistricting? If the group only reacts to decisions made by Jim R and the rest of the Board and is not proactive on fixing the problem with overcrowding, the frustration PolitiMom expressed will continue to increase while property values decrease.

knitternall said...

The DCC is focusing on sharing information and building ties. That kind of communication was very much lacking in this Cluster. It's one of the reasons we were blindsided by the 4/5. The DCC is not a PAC, though it will definitely take positions in the future as the situation or issue warrants. Taking a stance on the 4/5 is an empty gesture, in my opinion. (But I don't speak for the folks in the DCC.)

As for your statement about declining property values due to the Dunwoody schools - I beg to differ. Quality and rigorous education continues to happen in the classroom. At the end of the day, that's what matters most. I fight my own battles with the administration and School Board, but I understand that my kids' own experiences in the classroom continue to be stellar. Outstanding teachers, very involved parents, and generous community support are the critical difference in Dunwoody.

Property values are declining because of the banking situation, which continues to cascade across the economy.

PolitiMom said...

I know about the DCC, but so far, there has been no proactive efforts on anyone's part (Dun Cluster Council, DCPC, DHA, Dun. Chamber, etc.) with regard to finding our own solutions to the overcrowding problem. Don't get me wrong, I know we can't force DCSS to do what we want, but if we come up with a community supported plan ourselves, and show them how we can implement it without causing too much work or budget dollar increases for DCSS, we will be in a much better position to affect change. I think the property value argument is bunk. We were originally redistricted to a different elem. school and some people in my neighborhood went crazy lobbying poor Jim R to keep us at our home school without even taking the time to look at the other school. What a waste! Test scores follow parents. You move the high test score families to a different school and the scores will also move to that school. The efforts to incorporate were so positive for our city and so effective with the county. I can't imagine how a similarly organized, proactive effort to fix our overcrowding wouldn't be just as successful.

Platos Republic said...

PolitiMom,

The organized people behind city hood were older residents, with no kids in the schools. They have no idea the problems now and in the future for DeKalb schools. As more and more families go to EastCobb and JohnsCreek instead of Dunwoody houses here will become rentals. The DunCluster does some good, but will not deal with redistricting or overcrowding. Sounds dumb, but the group does not have it in them. Maybe Knitter will run for school board. Or maybe John or Rock would run. How about Mr. Shortal? he would shake things up on the school board for sure. If there is to be a city Resolution, on redistricting, you need to find a council member willing to take that chance. the city seems to have committees for everything else, why not one on school relations?

SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions said...

Quote from PlatosRepublic:

"...the city seems to have committees for everything else, why not one on school relations?"

BEST. SUGGESTION. YET.

Platos Republic said...

OK, I will email Councilman Tom Taylor and ask that he get this started. One thing before it gets established, no PTA presidents, no DC Cluster people on the committee. How about getting home-schooling parents or retired people to run the thing. There are plenty of them around.

Pattie Baker said...

The Comp Plan draft includes a statement about including diversity representative of the makeup of our city on commissions. This would be a good place to start.

Glory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glory said...

In response to the comment,

"How about getting home-schooling parents or retired people to run the thing. There are plenty of them around."

I would ask though, that the "home-schooling parents" that are chosen NOT be ones that are home-schooling for the reason of not wanting their children to mix with other races.

Please ensure that the home-schooling parents whom are chosen are doing it for enlightening reasons, of these type of parents I am sure there are many, and not that of passing on their bigotry.

PolitiMom said...

"...no PTA presidents, no DC Cluster people on the committee. How about getting home-schooling parents or retired people to run the thing"

Really??? Don't include the people who actually have their kids invested in the public schools? That would be a failure before it starts. COLLABERATIVE effort amongst all stakeholders is the only way this can succeed. Perhaps if we attempt to address the overcrowding with a community-supported plan, some of those homeschool families might reconsider trying public school. GREAT idea for a committee. I'd definitely spend time helping any efforts stemming from that. Just looking for a place to be a do-er, not a complainer about this issue and I know I can't be the only one.

Platos Republic said...

PolitiMom,

The idea for home-schoolers on a committee to discuss schools was a joke. They are the last adults you'd see on such a committee. Sorry, it is hard to let people know when joking when commenting. Next time I will put "Ha Ha". But I do think, if the city formed such a committee, that just putting the same members on the committee that are on the Cluster Council would get you the same results - the result of nothing.

By having members without kids in the schools on a committee you take away the emotional side, and get down to facts. The Cluster council is just an extension of Jim Redovian and the failed Board policies and radical/devoted parents, some of whom look at their home school as the center of the universe.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Luckily, I don't have any chickens in this fight, but I would bet that DCSS would love for the Dunwoody community to come up with a redistricting plan for the ESs. With all they have going on now, it would be one less headache for them. It's not a bad idea, but the people on any committee cannot be from Dunwoody (nothing would ever be agreed upon) or DCSS, but an outside group of volunteers - otherwise you run into the problem of pitting neighbor against neighbor. We all know that even the whisper of redistricting brings out the worst in some Dunwoody residents - so good luck to whoever is taking on the redistricting issue.