Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Dunwoody City Council recap Mon Nov 13th - Roundabout, GIS Tool and the Dunwoody School System
There will be no video from tonight's meeting from me as I was having network issues with Ustream whereby it was kicking me off the system repeatedly time after time. Hopefully the city gets its video up quickly and it should be available here when put on line.
There were no big decisions for council on Monday's agenda as most items that needed a vote have been discussed previously or were just common sense items. For example, we voted to take over the top layer of street paving repair when a water or sewer issue is repaired by the county but they then have to wait for a subcontractor to be hired to repave the street. Dunwoody wants to be that subcontractor so that the streets are fixed to our satisfaction and it should drastically cut down on the number and longevity of the steel plates on our roads.
There were a number of presentations and discussions but no real surprising issues or votes.
The big issue of the evening was the Womack / Vermack intersection and the discussion on the intersection design contract that is already in place. At the last meeting the City Council voted to pull all construction funding from both the 2012 and 2013 budgets to halt any movement on the suggested roundabout at Womack and Vermack by Dunwoody High School. Months previously council approved funding for full design of the intersection and more than 50% of that contact has been used therefore I and most of Council (Shortal was against and Bonser was absent) agreed to allow that contract to move forward as originally intended. The original intersection design contract was not specifically for a roundabout but instead for the safest and best design that the engineers could come up with for that intersection. Future councils may or may not agree with the recommendation but it will be that design which will be vetted to the community to see it that proposal is a good fit for that location. Doing nothing is always an option for council on capital projects if the engineering study recommends a fix that the community as a whole may not want.
Besides the numerous public comments against the roundabout that we received, these two precious children from the Chesnut Charter Elementary School Robotics Team wowed the crowd with a suggestion on a mapped walking path (in the streets) of the Dunwoody North Subdivision whereby about Five Miles of streets could be marked off on light polls. Once identified a Senior Citizen Walking Club could be started to improve the health of the residents. Myself, and the Public Works Director will be meeting with them on Thursday for more information.
Talking of mapping, the City released the new GIS Mapping tool and it has a number of neat features including measurement tools and hyperlinks to Tax data. Please check it out.
Finally, a discussion was had on the City of Dunwoody's Legislative Priorities for the Georgia General Assembly and the thought of a City School System was discussed. In my four years on Council, I can tell you that this is the number one request of residents and that I hear it on an almost weekly basis. This idea is not new, nor solely a Dunwoody issue as a constitutional amendment will need to be voted statewide in order to allow the number of school districts to grow as the number is currently locked. The charter school vote passed statewide with districts downstate as well as in rural areas approving therefore education reform should be on the Governor's agenda in this coming year.
Just as the bloat and inefficacy of DeKalb County convinced us that we could govern the City functions at a lower cost to provide better services. The thought that we could do the same within our borders educationally would be a dream come true to many who believe a Dunwoody School System would be the ideal situation.
Local control, closer to the people may be the end game for Dunwoody but this is a statewide issue and our local lawmakers will need to find consensus among those serving in the general assembly. Gents I wish you well.