Wednesday, December 8, 2010

2nd Anniversary and Various Dunwoody Updates.

On December 1, 2010 the City of Dunwoody celebrated its two year anniversary and a reporter called to ask me what I thought were the two biggest benefits gained by creating our own City, as well as two negative outcomes, if any. I immediately stated that the City of Dunwoody was created to allow local control to its citizens while providing the same or improved level of service that DeKalb County was offering at the time of incorporation, all while continuing to maintain the same tax rate that we had at incorporation.

I stated that the City of Dunwoody has successfully delivered on that promise by bringing the government closer to the people, with local elected officials who live in our neighborhoods and who attempt to get direct feedback from the citizens prior to making important decisions. We have improved services while holding the line on the tax rate whereby the City of Dunwoody currently has the lowest tax rate in DeKalb County.

As far as any negative aspect regarding the creation of the City of Dunwoody, I laughed and turned the question around by stating, that is like asking what would have been better if DeKalb County was still our local government? I said that absolutely nothing comes to mind therefore I only see the positives to the City of Dunwoody but if residents have a different opinion I would want to hear it. I am personally proud of our (Council and Residents) collective accomplishments for the last two years of setting up a government that works, proud that I have had a hand in shaping an open and transparent administration whereby information is actively pushed into the community for discussion and above all I am truly privileged to serve. Thank you.

In other miscellaneous news, a new RFP (Request for Proposals) was released for consulting services related to the City’s bidding process for municipal service providers (Finance, Community Development and Public Works). The three initial contracts for City services are up at the end 2011 and we need an outside contractor to assist us with this process since the people who normally do this work would also be bidding on the work.

Thursday night is the Dunwoody Community Council meeting whereby they will be discussing the rezoning application for the Blockbuster property in the Williamsburg shopping center to be rezoned to commercial thereby allowing a fast food restaurant, along with a drive-thru at that location. Prior to becoming a city, rezonings would go in front of the DHA for initial review along with negotiated property design changes, then it would go in front of the DeKalb County Community Council for a thumbs up or thumbs down recommendation to the DeKalb Board of Commissioners. Today developers still want to stand in front of the DHA as they have done for many years in order to receive the organizations coveted approval with the hopes that it will smooth the process with the city. The DHA decision has no official standing with the City, but that being said these Dunwoody residents have many years of zoning experience between them therefore their recommendation will be hard to dismiss. Thursday starts the official city vetting of the rezoning as the matter will go in front of the Dunwoody Community Council who is comprised of residents who look at it from the general community perspective and then it goes in front of the Planning Commission who looks at it from the planning and development perspective. It won't be until January when the City Council will finally conduct its first hearing on the matter but both the Community Council and Planning Commission meetings are open to the public and allow input to be given from the community.

I missed Tuesday night's meeting on proposed water rate increases but I saw some nice video on Fox5 that I thought was worth sharing. What I didn't see mentioned there, in another AJC article or in an article on Dunwoody Patch was the tie in to the vote taken Tuesday for the 36 million in recovery bonds that will be used to upgrade the water system. Will these bonds now be paid back with the proposed water rate increases or out of new line item for bond repayment? Will we be hit twice? One way or another these bonds will be paid.

On Saturday December 11th from 9 am until Noon is a very important meeting discussing the future of Dunwoody Parks and the on going Parks and Green Space Comprehensive Plan. The City wants your input on park redevelopment, possible land acquisitions for future park space, staffing options, operations management, revenue sources and maintenance plans. It will take place at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, 4755 North Peachtree Road which is located directly across the street from Brook Run Park. There is also a Parks survey that all residents should be completing, it is located here.

I have advertised this service before but the City of Dunwoody is truly offering some cutting edge technology to its residents with SeeClickFix?   Don't believe me, check out this Fast Company article detailing the software that is available for most smart phones. Click the appropriate following link if you would like to download the software to your device - Blackberry users - iPhone users - Android users.

My favorite night out & charity event with the wife was just announced for Friday February 4th and I'll be looking for a large group of our friends to join us. Great food, good atmosphere and even a better cause, the Taste of Dunwoody at the W Hotel. The Crier had a nice article about the event in today's paper, maybe I'll see you there?

The PCID (Perimeter Community Improvement District) is gathering information on a Livable Centers Initiative Survey which asks for residents opinion on cultural/entertainment and green space preferences within the Perimeter area. It is a very short, one page survey that can be found here.

Congrats to Dunwoody Elementary Student Trey McGurk who had his Artwork Selected for Children Healthcare of Atlanta's Annual Christmas Card.

The DeKalb County School System 2020 Vision Update presented a summary to the Board of Education and it is now available online. The DCSS also has an on-line survey which will allow you to indicate the 10 characteristics that you believe are the most important in the selection of a Superintendent candidate.

My parents are coming to Dunwoody this coming later this week for a visit and I am looking for a few holiday events to take them to. I am thinking about attending "A Christmas Survival Guide" presented by the Stage Door Players and I think my Mom would especially enjoy Handel's Messiah at Dunwoody United Methodist Church on 12/12 at 4 pm. Another theater event they may like is the JCC's Center Theaters production of Hairspray and I think my Dad would enjoy joining me and the boys to the Dunwoody / Chamblee basketball game this Friday night at Dunwoody.

Any other suggestions?

1 comment:

GaryRayBetz said...

Here's a suggestion - pass a city ordinance that would make Dunwoody a zero tax haven (like they do in Ireland for writers and painters) for documented United States war veterans.

Of course, Dunwoody could only effect this for any city taxes, but it would still be at least a small gesture to the brave men and women to who so much is owed.