Monday, January 23, 2006

Request for Brook Run Benches & Park Security

Dear Mr. CEO Vernon Jones,

This evening I attended the Citizens Advisory Board Meeting for the DeKalb County Parks hoping to speak regarding several concerns that I, and my neighborhood constitutes have regarding the Liane Levetan Park at Brook Run but was informed that I would not be allowed to speak. I was asked to place my comments on an index card and a member of the staff would be assigned to look into my complaint. Since I was prepared, I handed out the documents that I have attached in this e-mail and look forward to your staffs reply. Members of the audience complained regarding the Citizens Advisory Board procedures and we were told that we could always write directly to you regarding our issues with the parks; therefore I decided to send this request directly to you as well.

For the safety & security for the children of DeKalb County; as well as the comfort of the many parents & grandparents who visit Brook Run each day, I ask your assistance in taking action on my requests. Thank you.

Below was my hand out of photographs of showing a lack of security & benches.

Dear Members of the Citizen Advisory Board,

My name is John Heneghan and I am President of the Dunwoody North Civic Association representing just over 1,000 households and whose boundaries are immediately adjacent to the Brook Run.

My children & I were at Brook Run over the weekend enjoying a beautiful sunny day, we played catch in the wide open field, they played on the playground and then we took a hike to the pavilion area & though the trees. All in all, we had a great time.

When we parked our car, we noticed the bulldozers were going strong on the stake park area forever changing the landscape of the park. The old growth trees in the skate park area are gone and the layout of the land is forever changed; neither of which will return because of tonight’s meeting. Being the father of three boys in a neighborhood bursting at the seams with children, I welcome and am thankful for the development of the Skate Park. I just question the amount of trees that needed to be cleared. It seemed excessive and am hopeful that the landscape plan will reforest where possible.

After playing catch in the open field at the front of the park, my boys wanted to play at the playground for awhile and they ran off to play with some of their friends. It was a busy day at the playground, children were everywhere & parents were trying to watch over them. It was at that point that I noticed a grandma who was forced to sit on the ground in order to be near her grandchild because there are no benches available. She physically needed to be helped off the ground and I saw this as a travesty. Millions of dollars have been spent on the development of Brook Run’s playground yet not one dollar was spent on proper benches so parents could properly look after their children. At the moment, parents are forced to sit on the makeshift benches made from flagstone set into concrete and these walls are much too low for elderly people to get up & down. These decorative walls were not made for this type of abuse; they are receiving excessive wear and have already needed repairs. If I may at this point, read a paragraph from the final Master Plan for Brook Run which is easily accessible on our neighborhood website,

“Children’s Adventure Garden: In keeping with the theme of nature and education, the master plan envisions something more than just a typical playground. The proposed five acre Children’s’ Adventure Garden is a prototypical, signature design that provides activities for all ages and can be duplicated throughout DeKalb County. This unique prototype combines structured play zones with discovery, nature and education. It also offers numerous trails, shelters, benches and a community gathering area and amphitheater for outdoor performances.”

Brook Run: Conceptual Master Plan Narrative March 18, 2003

I would like to point out that there is not one bench away from the several small shelters, whereby parents & grandparents could comfortably watch over their children. In the gathering area near the front of the park there is a shelter but no seating, three concrete slabs intended for benches were installed on the circular walkway but no benches were ever installed. It would appreciated by many citizens, especially senior citizens if this board looked into this oversight of proper seating at Brook Run.

After the playground the boys & I went for a walk towards the back of the park, towards the pavilion. We cut though the woods a little bit and went behind the theater and behind a single story office building. The boarded up windows of the building had the plywood taken down, many (about 5) windows were completely broken out, the lights were on and front door side glass panel was wide open. I stuck my head in the back window and noticed signs that people had used the space in the not so distant past. I see this as a major safety factor for our neighborhood children and a lack of due diligence as to the management of this property. After our walk, we drove around Brook Run on Barclay and noticed that the fence between Brook Run & Peachtree Middle School was almost non-existent.

This lack of stewardship towards the buildings and established fence line make me wonder what the security firm is doing besides sitting at the front gate. Do they make rounds of the property where they actually get out of the car? Do they verify the security of buildings which they are there to protect? Do they file reports on incidents of security lapses and acts of vandalism and to whom? If these types of reports are filed, they would be public information & I would be interested in seeing them, and so should you.

I would like to ask this board to immediately verify the security of the buildings in the open area & to board up any windows & doors that are currently damaged. I would also like the perimeter fence especially on Barclay between Peachtree Middle School & Brook Run to be evaluated and repaired.

In order to assist you in seeing what I saw just this weekend, I returned to Brook Run just this morning to photograph some of the things I saw and have included them here in my formal written statement. Unfortunately the image of the grandma who had to sit on the ground near her grandchild is still burned into my memory and I was unable to duplicate it for you. But unless something is done to rectify the lack of seating at Brook Run, this scenario will be replayed on the next sunny day.

I would like to thank you for your time this evening, but more importantly I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for the service you provide the Citizens of DeKalb County; it is truly appreciated. Thank you.

John Heneghan
President, Dunwoody North Civic Association

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

City of Dunwoody - SE Boundaries

The Dunwoody North Civic Association is working closely with the Citizens for Dunwoody team lead by State Senator, Dan Weber to assure that the various subdivisions that make up the Dunwoody North Communities will be within the proposed City of Dunwoody boundaries. Though working to assure the cohesiveness of our neighborhood, the Civic Association does not take a formal stand on political matters. We will strive to bring you information on the issue so that you can make an informed decision come election day, if we are ever to vote on the creation of a new city.

It is our opinion that the City of Dunwoody should include the entire Dunwoody Crossing (Gardens of Dunwoody) Apartment complex at the corner of North Peachtree & I 285 since the fire & police services would be accessed off N. Peachtree Road. The Carver Circle area is already part of the City of Doraville but Ridgeway Drive just above it is not officially with in the City of Doraville but it makes sense to allow Doraville to annex it at some point since they are already serving the Carver area and it would be inconvenient for the City of Dunwoody to service the area.

As far as the East side of Tilly Mill is considered, we would want all of the residential streets that are able to be accessed off Tilly Mill to be with in the Dunwoody Boundaries and if it is accessed off Peachtree Industrial to be unincorporated or Doraville. At the moment, Doraville’s city line already covers the North East corner of Tilly Mill & Peachtree Industrial up to Chesnut Drive and would not be part of the City of Dunwoody. Below is a map of our proposal to the Citizen’s for Dunwoody Committee.