Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Video of Feb 15th Dunwoody City Council Meeting - Hotel Tax Defeated

The Tuesday night Dunwoody City Council Meeting started at 7 pm and ended past Midnight in what was an exhausting session for all involved. The hotel tax increase earmarked for the Ga Music Hall of Fame was defeated in the voting session and then in the work session Council discussed the Parks plan as well as the Village, Georgetown & Transportation master plans. We discussed 911 and it appears that Council is leaning toward moving away from DeKalb County providing those services. Below are the videos I took from the meeting and since the City rolled out its new video system in council chambers for the first time, expect to links to that as well, if not for this meeting, very soon.


Elroy said...

I read in the Dunwoody Talk Blog that you gave to the CVB about their private meeting re: Taxes.


Let's hear it for honesty and transparency in government.

TwoDogsTrucking said...

Cost per 911 call.
A city official estimated Dunwoody generated approximately 57,000 calls to 911s and approximately 1 million dollars in 911 fees. Going with Chattcom I average that to $17 per call (or $114 an hour) as opposed to the county’s offer of approximately $135000 a year or $2.30 per 911 call (or $15 an hours for the service). If Dunwoody is generating 57,000 calls a year that would be a dispatch rate of approximately 6.5 calls an hour.
A matter of trust the county will follow through on promises.
For the last 2 years the city has operated on the county police’s north precinct channel at little to no cost. This relieved the city of an enormous initial cost to the city. The city seems to have received concessions from the county that no other city in the county received. Doraville, Chamblee, Decatur all fund their channels on the county’s system at an expense far greater than $135000 a year. Avondale Estates and Clarkston operate on other county precinct channels with apparently no problems.
Chattcom’s online brochure states that 911 fees will fund its operations, with no need for cities to use their general fund to cover Chattcom’s operation. Sandy Springs and Johns Creek both had to contribute significant general funds to Chattcom last year.
Chattcom is a privately held company. Private companies don’t usually operate at a loss for a long. If they decide this venture isn’t profitable enough, then what? What’s the plan if the 911 fees (taxes) don’t meet expectations?
Chattcom has an annual report posted on the Sandy Springs’ website. It looks like they break the 911 call into 3 segments. The segments each show a small time frame. But added together for the final product and the overall time seem similar to other 911 centers.
Outside the norm.
Why is the city service of 911 exempt from RFPs? The overwhelming endorsement of or lobbying for Chattcom by city officials seems alittle odd to me. Was there such endorsement/lobbying for public works, finance and other city departments?
The benefit of greater communication with Sandy Springs?
Rumor is, Dunwoody made no effort to communicate with DeKalb for assistance during the fatal accident on 285 last week to establish a detour for drivers and they share a radio channel. It’s rumored that Dunwoody made no effort to address the issue of traffic at all until approximately 6:30 am and then only coordinating with Sandy Springs.
Dunwoody also shares a border of a couple miles with DeKalb, Chamblee, Doraville and Gwinnett. How does Chattcom improve communications with these jurisdictions?
Currently using the county’s digital system it is possible for the fire department/even a specific engine company or ambulance to switch channels and talk to any police agency or police unit in the county. Will that capability exist with Chattcom? The same holds for data messages. Is it possible for the analog system of Chattcom to talk to specific Fire Units and to send date messages?
An Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) system is an odd request for a 12 square mile area. The officers should handle that (for free) by notifying dispatch that they are closer to the call. Is “Silent Dispatch” really needed for patrol, why? Unless the channel gets encrypted someone will invent something to tune in.
Sandy Springs
I get the impression that Dunwoody looks at Sandy Springs as its big brother, wanting to do everything it does. Does Sandy Springs have the same fascination with Dunwoody? Sandy Springs is twice as large and it also shares borders with DeKalb County, Atlanta, Cobb County, Roswell and Johns Creek. Putting all our eggs in the Sandy Springs basket seems odd unless we’re hoping they annex us into their city. Sandy Springs is a Fulton County municipality that must plan and work with Fulton County. I don’t see Dunwoody being able to exert much influence. Heck the Sandy Spring peninsula above Dunwoody Club drive in the 30338 zip code now using the designation of Sandy Springs instead of Dunwoody.