All Saints Catholic Church
2443 Mount Vernon Road
Thursday Jan 21st
Thursday Jan 21st
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Below are the public comments (tied back to an identified person) requesting topics to to be discussed at the Town Hall Meeting being held by Mayor Denny Shortal. There were other comments raised and I am not sure they will all be discussed, but below are all very interesting perspectives that I thought I would share. Please come out to the town hall to share your priorities with the new Mayor and other elected officials. As per one of the suggestions, I am personally unable to live stream from this location but may be able to shoot some video clips as I believe the City will record and post the entire event.
What topics or issues would you like to have discussed at the City of Dunwoody Town Hall 2016 event on January 21?
Ryan Esslinger inside District 2
1.) Lowering speed limits on several main roads and collector roads
from 35 MPH to 25MPH. I don't understand why roads with high density
residential are 35MPH (i.e. Womack Rd, Tilly Mill Rd, Mt. Vernon Rd.,
etc.), whereas other roads such as Ashford Center Pkwy are 25MPH.
Speeders are going to speed, so we might as well make it easier for the
Dunwoody Police to catch them. Unless there is a reason for keeping the
speed limit to 35MPH, Dunwoody should do an impact study on lowering
the speed limit for certain city roads.
There are several topics/issues that I would like to mention which I
believe are worthy of discussion at Dunwoody's next town hall. These include, but are not limited to:
2.) Several intersections are in need of a serious redesign. These include the intersections of Chamblee Dunwoody Rd & Womack Rd, Chamblee Dunwoody Rd & Mt. Vernon Rd, Tilly Mill & Mt. Vernon/Mt. Vernon Pl, and Chamblee Dunwoody Rd & Peeler Rd, among others. As urbanization and density ultimately spreads from the PCID further East into town, these road intersection improvements become detrimental to alleviating congestion bottlenecks. For example, the lack of a dedicated left turn lane on Womack Rd heading onto Chamblee Dunwoody Rd (Southbound), combined with a poorly designed entrance/exit into/from the Dunwoody Library makes for very dangerous driving conditions.
3.) Raising Dunwoody's current hotel tax (I believe 5%) to the maximum allowable (I believe 8%) is a "low-hanging fruit" opportunity for the city to collect additional tax revenue. The lodging demand is already here and hotel occupancy rates continue to remain high in the area. Essentially, people (or their respective employers) will pay due to demand and location. Barring any major political roadblocks, this is a no-brainer and should be prioritized accordingly.
4.) Revisit any current legislation relating to noise ordinances and related enforcement hours. Several loud vehicles/motorcycles can be heard at late evening/early morning hours as these drivers speed through several neighborhood roads including Chamblee Dunwoody, Vermack, Womack, Tilly Mill, Mt Vernon, Roberts, etc. with their loud motorcycles or modified automobiles.
5.) Continue to explore the feasibility and viability of Dunwoody adopting its own school system (I believe it would require an amendment to the Georgia Constitution).
6.) Prioritizing pedestrian-friendliness/walkability of Dunwoody (no more "sidewalks to nowhere", incorporating paths to parks, shopping, restaurants, etc.)
7.) There was a rumor that Dunwoody was considering painting the Dekalb County water tower at the intersection of Mt. Vernon and Ashford Dunwoody Rd. Is this still up for consideration?
8.) Really would like to see continued prioritization and progress on the Dunwoody Village master plan. This is the core of our city! Would like to see less emphasis on retail banking (there is an undeniable overabundance of banks) and surface parking lots, and more emphasis on improved green space.
9.) Dunwoody's police force is one of the city's strongest assets. We should continue to fund the department appropriately and add more officers on the streets given the anticipated increasing density due to new commercial, retail and residential development.
10.) Partner and improve the relationship with Georgia Perimeter College (now part of Georgia State University) to make it a mainstay educational institution in the area. Ensure that any future plans the university has incorporates the voice of the city of Dunwoody and its citizens.
All the zoning entitlements in the Perimeter Center area from 10 years ago are getting much closer to being financed and built as the economy recovers. Sandy Springs has been collecting millions in impact fees for the thousands of multifamily units they have approved up against Dunwoody’s western border.
Dunwoody will lose several million dollars in fees to support traffic improvements and fund Park land acquisitions near the Mall; if impact fees are not put in place for the Perimeter Center Overlay district before the property owners submit applications to the city for land disturbance permits (to start the building process). Impact fees will not scare off developers; the fees will just help us deal with future growth.
The last Mayor said he loved impact fees when he was running for office; but made sure it never was on the City Council agenda during his years in office. I expect more than lip-service from our new Mayor on this subject.
I have always been ok with the schedule the first city council adopted: to repave all the Dunwoody roads in a 20 year cycle, then start over… I heard a lot this last election about accelerating that paving schedule. Is there a consensus among Mayor and council as to how much more money to throw at paving and how much would it shorten the original 20 year schedule?
I’d like to hear about the Cities current Capital Improvement Plan for the next three to five years. Our infrastructure needs are not limited to more paving. We’ve outgrown the original space leased for City Hall. I do not want to go down the “build a big government complex like Sandy Springs” road. I expect we will continue to rent; but will it be more space at building 41 or a move to somewhere else in Dunwoody?
I would like to see Mayor and Council set up Citizen Stakeholder committees to advise council on issues like a Parks Capital Improvement plan.
We should do the same for issues like City wide Broadband, City of Dunwoody school system.
Sandy Springs gets a lot of use out of their police volunteer auxiliaries and it is an alternative to a constantly growing city employee Police force; which takes almost half our city budget now. Why should we not implement something similar to the volunteer auxiliaries? Thanks for consideration
Could the Parks division please develop a coherent and long-term plan for Winwood Park? Work on this park has been done piecemeal and with no apparent development objective. Last year, the parking lot was partially dug up and then left as dirt for 6 months before a small section was repaved. The delay forced visitors to walk through an often muddy area to access the sidewalk. In 2014, eight trees were planted within the existing canopy with no apparent aesthetic design. These trees, which likely cost several thousand dollars a piece to purchase and install, are now indistinguishable from the forest.
Last October, the open field was ringed with trees. This is a park that is already 90% forested and the city is plating trees in the only open area. Furthermore, once these trees grow, the view of the children's park will be obscured, making families feel less safe. Please hire a designer and develop a long-term plan before spending more tax dollars on our park.
John McNeil inside District 2
2. Dunwoody Police Department
1. Dunwoody City Schools
If the state legislature were to approve a school district in Dunwoody, do we know if the same tax exemption regarding
county school taxes for those 62 years of age and older under would still be feasible to maintain in a city school system?
Each fiscal year since the city's inception the Dunwoody Police Department's budget and number of personnel has increased. I understand that initially it can be a challenge to determine the appropriate resources for public safety in a newly formed city. I was wondering that now that the city has been operating for a few years if the DPD has developed a strategic plan with initiatives, goals and anticipated needed resources, costs of resources and funding of resources for the next 3-5 years? If so, where is it available? If not, shouldn't one be created?
3. Accelerated Street Improvements
Road maintenance is a somewhat basic service of city government. Understanding that Dunwoody inherited a massive backlog of needed road repairs, are there financial funds available or could funds be re-directed to accelerate the current very extended plan to repave roads in Dunwoody? What % of the annual city budget is held in the reserves? What projects being discussed are not as basic as decent roadways in the city that funds could possibly be re-directed?
4. Employee Recognition
Although much of the city's operations are outsourced, recognition of those who serve the city either internally or externally should be celebrated, rewarded and appreciated in a public manner in which the citizens can be made aware and share their appreciation for their professionalism, dedication, service and commitment to the citizens of the city. Most people observe what is valued, promoted, appreciated, recognized and rewarded by their employer and act accordingly. My 2 cents. Thanks.