Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dunwoody District 1 runoff candidates for Tuesday's election

A week from now either incumbent Robbert Wittenstein or challenger Terry Nall will be elected as the third and final At-Large Member of the Dunwoody City Council which will complete all six council positions.  As I did for the open Mayor's race yesterday, I would like to introduce the runoff candidates to you via the 2 minute opening statement video clip above taken from the much longer Dunwoody Homeowners Association Candidate Forum.

Regular readers of my blog are no stranger to the incumbent Mr. Robert Wittenstein as he has provided me (and therefore you) regular constituent updates which I have published.  Robert has served on the budget committee since the city's inception, formulated many of the fiscal policies which raised services while still providing this start up city with a surplus.  Like all members of the Council, Robert was forced to take stands making tough decisions on a wide range of topics, and as I was the person sitting next to him for most of those decisions, I can tell you that every single vote and action taken by Robert was done with the best intentions thereby putting the needs of the Citizens of Dunwody first.  In order to assist you in doing your own research on Robert, this link highlights 40 blog posts where I previously tagged his name and this link highlights over 1,000 posts and Dunwoody documents from my custom search tool where Robert is involved.

I have not personally known Mr. Terry Nall for very long but it was only because we traveled in different circles and had children of different age groups.  I have known (and highly respected) Terry's wife, Donna for many years as she has tirelessly served the Dunwoody community on the Peachtree Middle School Charter Council as well as served at the Dunwoody Nature Center, but I have only recently had the pleasure of getting to know Terry.    Terry Nall is a long standing, respected member of the community who has impressive financial qualifications to serve on the City Council, if so elected.

Please take the time to do your own research on the candidates above before you vote.   Thanks.


Bob Lundsten said...

My endorsement for City Council is… TERRY NALL
We are a city founded upon the principles of open and transparent government. The words are great and if we live up to them they set us up as a model for other municipal governments to aspire to. Unfortunately words are not enough. Sometimes with the intent of doing right, the city has gone terribly wrong. The upcoming runoff election will allow the citizens of Dunwoody to begin to set the city back on the right course. Councilman Wittenstein has been on the wrong side of these key principles far too often.
• His direct involvement with the RFP reviews for our City Service contracts was a glaring example of a good intent (trying to save the city money) but throwing away the principles of fairness and legality of the process. The process was so flawed, our new city had to rebid its first major services contract. I believe the city described it as a “technical error.” That style of governance makes us no better than the City of Atlanta or the much maligned Vernon Jones era in DeKalb County.
• One of the keys in running any government is the legal authority to meet in executive sessions to discuss legal issues with their attorneys. Every government does it. What you do not do is reveal the content of those meetings to those outside of the privileged group. That is like the Offensive Coordinator on the University of Georgia coaching staff telling LSU coaches their game plan prior to the SEC Championship game. Once violated, the damage is done. Councilman Wittenstein seems to have a special relationship with DeKalb County CEO Ellis, one that he seems to have valued more than the trust and faith of the residents of Dunwoody.
• Lastly, Councilman Wittenstein’s eagerness and full out support of the Parks Bond issues clearly demonstrated that he is NOT in touch with the wishes and sentiment of this community. His claims of being a fiscal conservative ring hollow given his willingness to put the city $128 million in debt in just our third year. His unabashed attitude of “I want it and I want it now” is not what we need while we are still in the midst of this economic crisis in our country. Do not be fooled when the council says that they were just giving the citizens the opportunity to vote. Councilman Wittenstein and the rest of the Council wanted the issue to pass and played every card in the political deck to make sure it would happen.
It is time for a change.
I met Terry Nall over a year ago over the day care issue in Dunwoody Village. He became involved, and led his neighborhood in the successful fight to stop a development that threatened his neighborhood. Terry did not stop there. He continued to stay involved, attending almost every city council meeting from then on. His conservative values caused him to question the actions and procedures of the city. Where I am a shoot from the hip kind of guy, Terry listens, studies and understand the intricacies of the issues. He acts, not because he wants his name in the paper or feels he is the expert in every field, but because he does his homework and applies his conservative, thoughtful approach to every decision
It is without hesitation I ask all of you to remember to go vote on December 6th and vote for Terry Nall for City Council
Bob Lundsten

Bob Turner said...

You are absolutely correct where you feel that an endorsement from you may hurt more than help your candidate’s chances of winning. Because after reading your holier-than-thou pontifications my wife and I intend to vote for Wittinstein for council and Davis or better yet write in that crazy ass Betz for mayor and we didn't even vote for them initially.

You've already ruined Dunwoody's future for its children with your self-righteous "hey look at me" diatribes on the parks issue, so please take a good look at what you write and you will see as my wife and I did that your comments have very little substance other than you thinking you are driving home a point with your incessant CAPITALIZATION.

But most egregious is the way you cast jaundiced aspersions on Wittinstein and Davis. Why would we or anyone vote for candidates that are endorsed by someone who commits such repugnant acts?

Colleen O'Casey said...

Agreed Turner! I too felt this guy's comments about both candidates were over the top nasty, especially his comments about Robert Wittenstein.

Also, who writes this guy's material?

"I am a shoot from the hip kind of guy."

Ronald Reagan? Or maybe Sarah Palin? "Eww! I'm such a Dunwoody rogue! I shoot from the hip!" In my experience, someone who has to tell you that they "shoot from the hip" are in actuality not earnest persons but politically duplicitous beings.

A lesson to be learned here, building up your own candidate and not casting aspersions about the other candidates is much better and more ethical politics, especially in a small town where everyone shares common areas. Davis and Wittenstein will now be getting my vote.

Bob Lundsten said...

mr. turner,
Sorry that your kids can't play baseball on the backs of those apartment people.
it seems however that you wish for parks at this time was the minority opinion.
I cast nothing on either mr. wittenstein or mr. davis. robert simplest has disappointed me and has been on the wrong sides of issues I care about. I like robert and hope to continue working with him at the community garden.
mr. davis is a very nice guy as well. good father, husband and active in his community. i just do not believe he has the experience or understanding it is going to take as we move into the future. we are not a homeowners association any more
you see this is not personal.
if you believe that my "holier than thou" pontificating were responsible for the defeat of the two bond issues, then i thank you very much, I will take that as a compliment.

Anonymous said...

John - Thank you for your comments about Robert. They are spot on. He has worked hard for the citizens of Dunwoody for the past 3 years, not shying away from tackling tough issues. He's a planner, looking to the future needs of the community. There is no reason for him to leave office.

dpgroupie said...

Bob Turner and "Colleen" - your hypocrisy is just astounding... But what I really want to say is that people like you really should have their voting privileges revoked. Your basis for casting your votes is vindictive, immature, ignorant, and utterly disrespectful of the privilege.
You insinuate that Bob L. is wholly responsible for the parks bonds failure, and in effect, have insulted every one of us (YES - ME TOO) who also voted NO - I'm pretty sure we are all capable of seeking out, absorbing and analyzing information from multiple sources, and forming our own conclusions.
And, not sure about you "Colleen", but Mr. Turner, it is evident that you read Bob's blog, (he said nothing about the Mayoral race in this blog, but did in his). Why on earth would you spend time doing that given your feelings? Find some fun activities to get involved in rather than pouting about the parks, and, lighten up dude - a blog is just someone's opinion.

Bob Turner said...

Read the comment posted at 6:01am December 1, 2011 under heading "Meet your next Dunwoody Mayor - video introduction". There is your reference to the mayoral candidates. I did not read any blog other than this one.

Please do not my reference name ever again with defamation, especially as you feel that the previous comments libeling good men running for mayor and for councilman is the way community politics should be conducted. This was not political opinion, it was backbiting spite.

I'd tell you to crawl back into your hole with the rest of the haters, but without parks in Dunwoody there won't be an open green space area to dig one.

Colleen O'Casey said...

You think that my "...basis for casting your votes is vindictive, immature, ignorant, and utterly disrespectful of the privilege?"

Here, if you are so interested, is my actual reasoning: I was going to vote for Bob Dallas because as a little I loved the nighttime soap opera, "Dallas" with my Mom, but now I'm that I've seen their pictures I'm thinking that Davis and Wittenstein are much more handsome!

What! Do you think I'm a moron?!

Yes, I guess that moron women like me shouldn't be allowed to vote, and while you are at it, sterilize us as well.

Do you really think that with this guy thinking he's so politically astute as well currently working in county politics that he wouldn't first run by his pernicious attacks with the benefiting candidates prior to posting them? This is their hatchet man. Duh!

GaryRayBetz said...

My only interface with the incumbent Dunwoody Councilman Robert Wittenstein was a Sunday afternoon when he confidently strolled up my driveway braving my three wild-ass dogs, and approached me in my open garage while I was training on my speed bag for my next YouTube sponsored Bumfight.

Mr. Wittenstein proceeded to politely introduce himself, indicating that he was running for reelection, then inquired how I felt he has been doing so far and what I envisioned for the future of Dunwoody. The good Councilman stood and listened to my complete disquisition without the slightest hint of quitting my premises or even a roll of his eyes. I then introduced Councilman Wittenstein to the few neighbors that aren't afraid of me and they were unduly impressed with the man as well.

Back in the 70's I had dated a model who had a gig at the Chicago Custom Car Show, not "THE" Chicago Car Show (those models only dated the likes of a John DeLorean) and when we went out after she got off work at the exhibition, I was disgusted at how trashed she was. You see, back then I was too judgmental (and not gentle-mental as, of course, I am now) and eventually chastised her nightly inebriated condition.

Well, what came to light was that her staggering around on our dates was not the result of her drinking all day, but her attempts at trying to regain her equilibrium after posing pretty with a customized car on a rotating disk all day.

My apologies and attempts to assuage her for my rash inept grasp of her situation did no good, and we never saw each other again. This incident still festers with me as one of the great regrets of my life, not that I did not end up marrying the most wonderful woman in the world, but that I had been unkind by my rush to judgment and had not even asked my date if she was feeling OK before berating her.

So, if you read the negative comments that another person has unfortunately felt necessary to write in this blog about Councilman Robert Wittenstein and just assume their veracity without investigating further about what a courageous and perceptive man of integrity he is really is, then you too, will one day experience the same type of compunction I feel at having misconstrued my little Chicago Custom Car Show model's condition.

Bob Lundsten said...

I find it quite interesting that MR. TURNER accuses me of libel and Ms. O ‘Casey’s quick retort is to criticize writing style.
Nothing I said in either piece was nasty or libelous. Nothing I said defamed anyone character
My recap of the RFP process was correct and I have discussed it with Robert. His stance on Parks was in my opinion wrong and I have discussed that with Robert. His leak of Executive Session was wrong and he has admitted it.
Mike Davis is a very nice guy. I built him a bed at the Dunwoody Community Garden. Nothing in my letter was inaccurate or untrue.
He did address the DHA and suggest "moving the apartments" to Sandy Springs. Even without any knowledge of the zoning process that statement is ridiculous. You may not like it but there is something in the law about private property rights.
He said in one of the debates that if you do not like Dunwoody, move. That suggests an isolationism that is unrealistic. We are not a gated community or private enclave. The growth that everyone is so quick to criticize is what made the formation of our city possible. It is a little more complicated than running a homeowners association.
Serving on a citizens committee on Georgetown during the master Plan process does not make you a zoning expert.
So when your blood pressure comes down and vision clears, try to stay with the facts.
One last thing MR.TURNER, I have said from the very I am not opposed to redevelopment. However if a government agency is going to force people out of their homes, they have the responsibility to help in the relocation of those people and not just put them on the street. This issue is far more complicated than kicking them out and building a park.
Ms. O’Casey, I am no one’s hatchet man. I say what I believe and never hide. I do not seek approvals.
I deal with thing on an issue basis. I may agree with Robert on some things but disagree with him on others. These are my personal opinions and have nothing to do with my county politics.

GaryRayBetz said...

Sorry, but I have to agree with Ms. O'Casey and Mr. Turner here. Even when I had my daughter read it she indicated it read like something a "mean girl" in high school would write in slam book. Read your words again there buddy.

Robert Wittenstein said...

I have tried to stay out of this discussion because everyone should have the opportunity to share their ideas but I have to respond to Bob’s comment.

I did not EVER share confidential information, and he and I CERTAINLY never talked about it. This is untrue and dirty politics at its worst.

For the record, here is what happened.

I did attempt to use informal communication channels that I had developed with CEO Ellis to see if we could find common ground that could be the basis of future discussions. I did this with the full knowledge of the mayor. This communication with the CEO was BEFORE the executive session in question.

The attempt failed. The CEO misrepresented our informal discussions in testimony before the Legislature.

While the effort ultimately proved counterproductive, it did NOT involve misconduct on my part. I admitted then, and I admit now, that I had misjudged my relationship with the CEO. I made a mistake, but it was an honest one in the interest of Dunwoody and I owned up to it on the spot.

It is terribly disappointing that in our first contested election my opponents have attempted to smear me with character assassination rather than focusing on the issues. Bob, feel free to criticize my positions on the issues but please refrain from accusations of wrongdoing which are completely unfounded.

Dunwoody DTOM said...

Typical Bob L. stuff. Lots of flying words ....

Bob Lundsten said...

Never said you talked to me Robert..

BuildASnowman said...
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BuildASnowman said...
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dpgroupie said...

Bob, you know that one of the things that I admire about you is that you openly say what most others will only say in private. They need to be said if we are to make informed decisions, as long as they are factual, which your comments are. I haven't always agreed with you, as you know, yet I still respect you. The fact that an adolescent who can't possibly yet have the maturity to grasp these adult issues in their entirety - smart as she may be - thinks what you said was mean, does not make it so. It just means that some disagree with you, and will use whatever means they can to validate their point.
One only has to examine the timeline and/or talk to others involved to know what happened with the information leak. Truth is, while I'm sure Councilman Wittenstein regrets his actions, those actions lacked common sense and could have caused great harm to the City - a City that has at times put parks issues above all else.
I know you have a thick skin, and don't need or want anyone defending you, but it's just too difficult sometimes to sit on the sidelines and watch how people's emotions cloud their judgement. And their harsh judgement of you for speaking your mind is just plain all wrong.

With that said, God Bless America and PLEASE VOTE ON TUESDAY!!
Mike Davis for Mayor
Terry Nall for City Council

GaryRayBetz said...

So, "dpgroupie" you have cowardly, with, of course, a pseudonym identity, made reference to one of my daughters in a negative manner. Enough said there!

Please attempt to redeem your manhood and make yourself known to me. I live on Brookhurst Drive and will come to the door at any hour (ask anyone on the street where I live, they all know me). Please come visit. Oh, please do! We will have such fun!

And yes, what was written about Robert Wittenstein was "character assassination". If this same person had written the same about me or a member of my family, it wouldn't be settled with mere back and forth comments on this blog.

Inferring that Robert had committed a treasonous act against the city with likening the incident to giving UGA game plan information to LSU was sophomoric mudslinging and not even George Washington would have had the right to have written the same about Benedict Arnold. And this character assassin is no George Washington.

I don't plan to engage in bantering here any longer, but if any of you weasels want to continue your monologues of mendacity, please show up at my front door - we can lace up the gloves, and my much maligned daughter, and her sisters, will keep score.

dpgroupie said...

Gary Ray - Yes, I don't use my real name. But who I am is not that big of a secret. Some people have told me I have balls, but I'm no guy.
Look, no insult was intended to your daughter. Sincerely. I just figured if she is in high school, that puts her somewhere between 14 and 18. Everything seems 'mean' to a teenage girl, and of course she's probably not going to disagree with her daddy, her hero presumably. Admittedly, I know nothing about children, except in comparison to my own pitiful existence as a teenager.
I understand a parent's protective nature toward their children, but my comments were more disappointment in your approach, since your posts are always intelligent and tongue-in-cheek in nature. I was a little surprised at your defensive stance on this one, that's all. And it doesn't seem like you to have not given the same consideration to ALL candidates.
Sorry Gary, and I mean that. But I do stand by what I know to be true and fact-based. And I just believe hands-down Terry is a candidate worthy of my vote. Oh well. To each his own.

GaryRayBetz said...

Not to worry, dpgroupie, I feign umbrage when attempting to make a point.

My daughters can more than take care of themselves. One of my tattoos has the initials "H.M.L" in it, and one of my younger daughters when a little girl, albeit already amazingly articulate and witty, rhetorically asked me, "So, Pops, what does HML stand for? Hideous Midde-aged Loser? Or Hairless Middle-aged Loser? Take your pick Dad, either one fits."

Anon said...

Does the DP stand for Dunwoody police?