Friday, July 1, 2011

Danny Ross announces that he will not run for reelection to Dunwoody City Council

For the past three years it has been my distinct pleasure and high privilege to serve as Councilman-­‐at‐Large for the City of Dunwoody. Today I am announcing with mixed feelings that I will not seek re-­‐ election to Post 5 in November.

In announcing my candidacy in 2008, I stated that I was not announcing the start of a new career, but announcing my desire to provide my experience as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist to the task of launching a new city. From the first knock on the first door during my campaign, I knew (and so did my wife Queenie) that I would not be extending my term beyond the initial three plus years. This gave me the freedom to make every decision based on what I believed to be in the best interest of the community and not the best interest of my political career.

I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve with Mayor Ken Wright, and councilors Denis Shortal, Robert Wittenstein, Adrian Bonser, John Heneghan, Tom Taylor and Doug Thompson. While not always agreeing on every subject, during our deliberations we were always charitable as called for in our opening prayer each meeting. After decisions were made, the council always came together to continue working as a team on the important matters before us.

As I move to the next phase of my life I will be able to spend more time with Queenie and what will soon be thirteen grand‐children, traveling and playing more golf. Having said this, I plan to stay involved in our community. Going forward my involvement will be focused on historic preservation, the arts and economic development in our community.

The hallmark of the initial leadership of our newly minted City of Dunwoody is that everyone involved cared deeply. As I look back over the past three years I am proud to have been part of the following significant tasks and challenges we faced:­

Drafted the Code of Ethics (the first ordinance passed by the council) which led to Dunwoody being named a “City of Ethics” by the Georgia Municipal Association during the second year of operation;

Wrote the mission, vision and values statements for Dunwoody;

Responsible for placing Prayer on the city council agenda and writing the Dunwoody City Council Prayer;

Instrumental in starting the sustainability committee, the first committee organized in the city, that set the direction of Dunwoody as a community that places a high value on the environment and led to the City receiving the Bronze Award from the Atlanta Regional Council in 2010;

Negotiated the Intergovernmental Agreements for municipal services provided by DeKalb County including Police, Fire, EMS, sanitation and E911;

Named by the Mayor to chair the committee of citizens, restaurant owners and establishment owners in negotiating and rewriting the Alcohol Beverage Ordinance which provided the last call for sale of alcoholic beverages and closing times for restaurants and establishments within the city;

Chaired the Finance Committee that was responsible for negotiating the terms of the Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) which provided the city the necessary cash flow to operate with during the initial two years of operation;

Headed the committee named by the Mayor to negotiate the transfer of parks from DeKalb County to Dunwoody which eventually led to legislation sponsored by Representative Taylor that called for and established the terms under which the property would be transferred to the City;

Founded Bicycle Ride Around Dunwoody (BRAD) as part of Lemonade Days which resulted in the design of three bicycle trails (which includes the Jim Benson Trail) being drawn in Dunwoody, bicycle safety signs being placed on major streets in the city and numerous bicycle racks being installed throughout the community;

Negotiated with the Postal Service for the use of the land adjacent to the Dunwoody Village Post Office for the new location of the Wednesday Green Market;

Headed Convention and Visitor Bureau committee that resulted in the formation of the CVB of Dunwoody;

Headed up the effort, working with the Vanderlyn School PTA, Dunwoody Elementary PTA, Dunwoody High School PTA, Boy Scout Troop 434, Home Depot Foundation and the Dunwoody Preservation Trust, to build the Bridge to the Future which provided connectivity between Vanderlyn and Dunwoody Elementary Schools and provided an improved path for the Dunwoody High Cross Country Team;

Named by the Mayor to serve on the Budget Committee during which time the City produced a surplus of $3.8 million in 2010;

Instrumental in the formation of the audit committee.

Named by the Mayor to be the council representative on the Audit Committee; the selection of the Internal Auditor;

Active participant in the development of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the Dunwoody brand, the Dunwoody Village Master Plan, the Georgetown Master Plan, the Transportation Plan and the Dunwoody Parks Master Plan;

Organized and led an economic development summit which included city and business leaders, educators and the former head of economic development for the state;

Led the effort to establish the position of Director of Economic Development;

Instrumental in developing the economic development strategy and plan for Dunwoody;

Headed the E911 committee named by the Mayor;

Led the effort to save the theater and dormitory building at Brook Run; and,

Named by the Mayor to the 2011 service provider selection committee which will recommend the selected firms that will provide city services under the Dunwoody privatized government organization during the next four years.

I know that each decision I made did not please everyone; however, know that I made those decisions with a deep love and passion for making our City the best it can be. Public service is a privilege and a shared responsibility. With my announcement today, I am providing an opportunity for someone to step forward and take on that responsibility of serving our great City. Thank you for the confidence you placed in me.

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