Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Video of Sep 12th Dunwoody City Council Meeting

Tonight was a work session where it was open discussion with just one vote taking place to cover a grant application.  Most topics were mundane, there were a few heated topics and several spirited monologues conversations, but in the end it was a worthwhile evening of discussion.  The solicitor ordinance will be revised to to make revocation easier and harassment of a resident just cause for pulling the permit.  I wasn't sold on the subdivision of private streets proposal and believe this needs to be tightened up whereby the definition of private street needs to be clearly defined. The park bonds policies were discussed, explained and modified by council and everything else was pretty much accepted as presented.


GaryRayBetz said...

Well, I just have to say this - doesn't Dunwoody have the best looking city government staff and concerned citizens?

I was 23 minutes into viewing the video of the City Council Meeting before I realized that it was no longer the precursory "eHarmony" ad.

Bob Lundsten said...

I am anxious to see the revised policy and procedures the city is going to adopt after last night’s meeting
Why on earth getting two independent appraisals is so troublesome to some members of the staff and council is a bewildering to me. Some of the reasons that were reported to me last night were simply ridiculous.
Since when does asking the elected members of the council to handle city money with the upmost care, to make sure we are using park bond money to buy land that we are going to use for parks and to make sure the message of the legal use of this money is PARKS and not ridding the neighborhood of “undesirables”, equates to me getting the community in a “tizzy”?
The group of citizens promoting the Bond issue is clearly using the urban redevelopment issue as a strategy to gain passage of the Bond issues. They are doing so under the veil of an “informational” 501c3, not an advocacy group, yet are seeking financial support in an effort to pass the Bonds.
If you do not remember, we have seen this tactic during the fight for cityhood
There big questions whether or not the City should be taking on a debt 3X its annual budget. There are even bigger questions whether or not the City should be controlling and influencing the real estate markets. There are some who questions whether or not we should be in business of land speculation.
There are huge questions, as we look to buyout and displace hundreds of apartment residents (most of which are law abiding folks) whether or not we beginning to violate Federal Fair Housing laws. ( You know people are thinking it, I am just saying it out loud)
This is all serious stuff. With a $35 million dollar cash account, we will wield a lot of influence in the market place. Rather than spending time goofing around with trivial matters, we should put in place every precaution to insure we do this right now and in the future.
1. Independent professional review of prospective parcels as to their suitability of being used for park land. Park experts not politicians or friends.
2. Require that there be 2 independent appraisals of ANY parcel being considered for purchase regardless of the price. Open and transparent. We should not be using the speed of a bidding war as an excuse to by-pass this critical element of any public purchase of land. We should not consider ourselves in a bidding war with the private sector that may have plans to legally develop their property. Bidding wars for land mean you are violating one of the criteria of the park strategy and that is taking land off the future potential tax digest.
3. If the City wants to get into the urban redevelopment game, then create a Development Authority with the legal power to do so. That was not a very popular idea when the City was created.
With the controversy over the RFP’s not even over, to try not to do everything to insure that this Park money is spent on land that we need for parks, is dedicated ONLY to parks and that we are getting the best price for the land, what I have outlined is not unreasonable. In fact it is the bare minimum, something that the city council should be looking to expand.


If that is working the neighborhoods into a “tizzy” then I must have been asleep when we all bragged why we became a city. Fair open and transparent to ALL the citizens not just to the whims of the chosen few in the Star Chamber