Friday, October 31, 2008

Dunwoody Pep Rally and Fox 5 News Coverage.

On Thursday the Dunwoody Wildcat Football Team was named the FOX 5 team of the week and the school held a huge pep rally to prepare for tonight's game against Druid Hills.

Below are three video news clips covering the team, the pep rally and the award presentation.

Square Foot Gardening being offered at the Dunwoody Nature Center

Saturday, February 28, 2009; 10 am - Noon

Members: $20; General Public: $25

Learn the basics of Square Foot Gardening, an easy-to-understand concept for novice and expert gardeners alike. Based on the book, All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew, teachers Lyn and Bob Bernstein will provide hands-on instruction on building a 4x4 square foot raised bed box, mixing the three "magic" soil ingredients, and siting your box. No matter what soil you have in your yard, you can harvest an abundant selection of fresh vegetables throughout the growing season or enjoy a constant array of lovely annuals and perennials . . . all in an easy-to-manage space. Our class is offered in two parts - choose one or both.

SQUARE FOOT GARDENING - Planting Your Early Spring Garden
Saturday, March 7, 2009; 10 am - Noon

Members: $20; General Public: $25

You've built your box - now it's time to plant your early spring garden! Lyn and Bob Bernstein will provide hands-on instruction in choosing the best plants and seeds for Dunwoody gardens, plant spacing, watering techniques, and trellising. Based on Mel Bartholomew's popular All New Square Foot Gardening book.

Register soon as class space is limited! Register at or call 770-394-3322.

Community collaboration allows major changes to Dunwoody Alcohol Ordinance

2 a.m. - Proposed Last Call for Alcohol

After four revisions to the Dunwoody Alcohol Ordinance which was being piecing together various aspects of DeKalb and other cities laws, it was shown at Monday's City Council meeting that a little more work was needed to polish the document. The Mayor formed a joint committee of representatives of the residential and business communities to come together with the city council and our city attorney to go line by line create a document which will be mutually beneficial to all involved.

Councilman Danny Ross chaired the committee and appears to have brokered an agreement within the community which will modify the pouring hours from the current 4:00 am to a 2:00 am last call, drinks must be cleared from tables by 2:30 am, but doors can remain open. The latest draft of the document is being circulated for comments & revisions, and will then be presented to the city council on Monday for possible approval.

Congratulations to Mayor Wright & Councilman Ross for showing with actions and not just words that the City of Dunwoody will live up to its mission statement.
The mission of the City of Dunwoody is to provide the highest quality of life for those who live, work or play in our community and to foster an environment where business can prosper. We will serve all stakeholders in a transparent manner with resourceful, efficient, progressive and professional leadership.
The latest revision of the Alcohol Ordinance is here but I know that it is still being reviewed and refined by all interested parties for an acceptable win / win situation that both the business community and the residents can live with. The city council will obtain the final revision about 24 hours prior to the meeting and I believe it will be up for a vote at Monday's meeting.

Do you want to verify that your Absentee Ballot was Received and other tidbits?

If you voted early this election (in person or by mail) and want to know if your vote was documented, you can go to the Secretary of State website to see if your absentee ballot was logged in, and the date received. Make sure it says "Absentee Ballot Received" for the date you voted.

I just voted today and mine is already in the system.

If anyone needs information on the referendum questions (other than school uniform question since we wore out that topic in the comments to a previous entry), ballotpedia is the best source I found.

If anyone needs to know where to vote anywhere in the US, Google has the answer.

Brook Run averages 2,250 voters per day, 2 hour wait and Tom keeps waving.

I basically live across the street from Brook Run Park in DeKalb County where the early voting is taking place and I have driven through the park several times to check out the line to see if it was short enough for me to vote.

Tuesday morning at 8 am there were about 130 people visible in line, with more crammed inside the building (it was cold) and someone who was exiting said that it took them about 55 minutes to get through. Since I hadn't planned on voting that day, nor being late for work, I decided that I would try again another day. On the way out, I saw Tom Stubbs, a Candidate for the DeKalb Superior Court, whom I have talked to a number of times at the Dunwoody Homeowners Association monthly meetings; standing at the entrance of the park on North Peachtree Road waving to the cars. Since I was stopped in the Brook Run traffic jam trying to get out of the park, we had a little chat through my open window and I wished him well.

I drove through on Wednesday and the line to vote was three times longer than Tuesday, backing all the way back to the theater. Traffic inside the park was rough with cars parked everywhere yet there was no traffic control nor police presence to be found. Entering the park just to see how bad it was gave me another opportunity to wave to Tom Stubbs who was still waving at cars in the bitter cold.

This morning around 8:30 I swung through hoping to vote but knew I made a mistake as soon as I entered. There was already a stack of cars trying to exit the park, back into the rush hour traffic on North Peachtree Road. The park was again a madhouse without any traffic control and the back exit of the park remained closed off to house DeKalb County's heavy park vehicles. On my way out I asked Tom where the police were and he stated that there has already been one bad accident and many near misses on North Peachtree; but no DeKalb County police to direct the traffic.

Well with the lines getting longer with every visit, I decided to leave work a little early with the intention of casting my vote at Brook Run. I found a parking spot behind the theater and I entered the line at 4:50 pm. Of course it goes without saying that I entered the longest line that I have seen all week. The line snaked back to the theater, around back to the street and then halfway up the sidewalk towards the skate park. I should have brought a book (or the alcohol ordinance) to read but didn't and I then did what many others seemed to be doing around me, I checked e-mails on the blackberry, talked on the phone, made a little small talk and eavesdropped on the conversations of those around me. My wife Kristin had pizza for the boys for dinner and would you believe that she delivered me dinner in line. That was pretty cool since I had a meeting to attend at 7 pm and dinner at home wasn't going to happen.

About an hour in, I saw a neighbor who was in the line doubling back from where I was an hour ago and he asked how the city was going. We chatted for a while talking about city business yet we moved in different directions thereby ending the conversation. After he was gone the people who had been my "line neighbors" were very interested in talking to me since they now heard that I was on the Dunwoody City Council. We then talked about Dunwoody; it helped us pass the time in a constructive educational manor for all involved.

I finally got inside the building after an almost two hour wait and was handed a form to complete. I asked the nice lady in charge of the forms if this was the line to register to vote and my crude attempt at humor just didn't register with her after the long day. My form was verified, id was checked and there were 17 voting machines in the room. I asked the election official who was keying in my information what number voter I was of the day and she said that with several computer terminals running she couldn't tabulate it, but the Brook Run location was averaging 2,250 voters per day. It was finally my turn to take a booth and I was done 60 seconds later at exactly 6:40 pm. It took just under two hours to cast my vote and upon leaving I was finally glad to see that Candidate Tom Stubbs was no longer waving to the entering cars that had now slowed because of the impending cutoff time.

Since I will not be visiting Brook Run on Friday, please do me a favor. If you see Tom Stubbs out there waving his sign at the entrance, please wave back or toot the horn letting him know that I won't be stopping by. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Let's all give the Dunwoody High School Football Team a big hand!

Congratulations to the undefeated Dunwoody High School Wildcats who have been named the Fox5 Football Team of the Week.

There will be a Pep Rally (not open to the public) to celebrate not only our football team but also our Cross Country, Girls Softball and Volleyball teams this Thursday, Oct. 30. Please tune into Fox 5 at 7:40am to see the first of three live televised segments honoring our school and sports teams! The actual Team of the Week honors will be presented at 8:45am.

The Wildcats play their last game before the region championships Friday at Adams Stadium at 5:30 against the Druid Hills Red Devils.

Dunwoody City Manager Finalists Named, decision to be made on Monday.

The Dunwoody Crier reported in today's edition that through an open records request they discovered that there are two final candidates for the City Manager position. The finalists are Steve Rapson and Warren Hutmacher.

Mr. Rapson is currently serving as the Assistant City Manager in Sandy Springs, GA and Mr. Hutmacher serves as the City Manager in Norcross, GA. The City Council for the City of Dunwoody is expected to confirm the Mayor's appointment for the City Manager position at its November 3rd meeting at 7PM and most likely the City Manager will begin work in late November.

I have met both of these gentlemen in the past and am impressed with their backgrounds and the enthusiasm that either one of them would bring to the position. I couldn't be happier with the names of the two finalists and Mayor Wright will make a good choice for the City; because it is impossible to do otherwise.

AJC Article & the Boyken Documentation

Just prior to Monday's City Council meeting I was e-mailed the Boyken contract and several exhibits that went along with it. I was going to post them to my site late Monday night but a member of the City Council found a typo or two therefore I was going to allow the document to go final prior to my posting it. The City Attorney was very busy today working on the Alcohol Ordinance and therefore may not have had time to forward me the typo free documents. Because of this I am posting the documents I recieved just prior to the meeting.

Boyken Contract, Exhibit A and the proposed org chart are available on the links and the AJC article regarding the meetion is below.

By April Hunt of the AJC
Wed, Oct 29 2008

Dunwoody officials and their newly hired consultants are in a flurry of activity this week, racing to get services in place for the city’s start of operations on Dec. 1.

On Monday, the City Council approved a $575,000 contract with Boyken International, a management firm, to help with the candidate search and setup of Georgia’s newest city. Ads went up online and in newspapers this week for a police chief, city clerk and finance director.

And Mayor Ken Wright has called a special meeting for next Monday night to review his recommendations for city manager.

“We are excited to try to get moving forward,” Wright said. “It’s time for us to get running.”

Plans call for the city manager to select and hire a police chief.

The Boyken firm’s role, meanwhile, will be to hire interim finance and court consultants and recruit for key permanent posts: municipal court clerk, city clerk, administrative director, community development director, public works director and a code enforcement officer.

The Boyken contract is retroactive to Oct. 16 and calls for the city to pay the firm $275,000 through year’s end to help set up the city. The contract will be extended through April 30, unless the council votes to cancel it with a 15-day notice.

Company president Don Boyken said requests for proposals for administrative services, planning and public works will go out by Friday. They will be due by Nov. 17, when a city manager should be on the job to help cull candidates and conduct interviews.

Despite the fast track of activity, one councilman voted against hiring Boyken as a consultant. Councilman Tom Taylor referred to a proposal from CH2M Hill — a company that offered complete privatization of city services, except for police — as the better and quicker answer for the city.

CH2M Hill withdrew their proposal earlier this month after Boyken approached the city at the request of state Sen. Dan Weber, though some city officials said they are trying to get the private management company to reconsider bidding for some services.

“We had a valid proposal on the table, and we had a state legislator come in and disrupt that process,” Taylor said. “It cost us a month that we can’t get back.”

City officials remain locked in negotiations with DeKalb County to hash out paying for some services such as water and sewer and determining how the city will begin its own police operations.

The Boyken contract calls for a hiring process for officers and staff to be in place by March 1, with police operations to begin no later than April.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ditch the Kids Halloween Candy for a Great Cause


Albert P. Nordone, DDS & Jeffrey G. Priluck, D.M.D.

Dentistry with a Difference would love for their Trick or Treaters to join them in "Ditch the Candy for a Great Cause". Dr. Priluck and Dr. Nordone will pay $1 for every pound of Halloween Candy (unopened and no bites, please) brought to their office from Nov. 3-7 during office hours of 8-5.

So, save your teeth and give to a great cause... all collected candy will be sent to our Troops fighting in Iraq.

5548 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338

DeKalb County Ballot, Lines at Brook Run & Doraville Annexation

Click here to download a copy of the DeKalb County sample ballot for the 2008 General Election. I also found this website, called The Voter Guide which will direct you through each item on ballot, and will tailor the choices based on where you live.

As far as the amendments, I know I'm voting in favor of the DeKalb County Commission change allowing the Commissioners to set the agenda. The charter schools (and my children) in Dunwoody already have uniforms in the public schools, so I'll vote for that non-binding referendum. As far as the others, I need to do more research before I vote. Suggestions, please give an explanation.

Has anyone voted at Brook Run, I heard there were lines on Monday?

To my loyal Doraville readers, be sure that you get an annexation ballot if you live in the affected area. My buddy Joseph over at Dorablog is reporting that there are a number of problems with the vote.

Dunwoody Update, Boyken Approved, Alcohol Discussed, and a City Manager to be named next week.

At last night's Dunwoody City Council meeting we moved on a number of items, approving our Municipal Court Ordinance and our Ethics Ordinance with a couple of minor edits. We approved Boyken International as our start up, project management consultant and the Mayor announced that he will be calling a Special Meeting for next Monday to review his choice for City Manager.

We have decided that the City will be collecting our own taxes (Business, Liquor, etc) and that an intergovernmental agreement will be put in place for the DeKalb County Tax Assessor to collect property taxes as is routinely done elsewhere. It was also decided that our normal meeting location for future meetings will be changed from Peachtree Charter Middle School to Dunwoody United Methodist Church.

Finally the big topic of the night was our proposed Alcohol Ordinance that has now gone through a number of revisions since it was first proposed. The big issue is that the city is proposing to roll back the serving hours from 4 am to 2 am. The City Council was initially informed that this change would only affect two establishments but as it turns out the ordinance will be affecting many more establishments like Cafe Intermezzo, McKendrick's Steakhouse and many of the city's hotels.

Prior to the City Council meeting, I met with the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce who opened my eyes to a number of technical problems with the ordinance outside of the 2 am issue. That being the case, a committee of residents, liquor license holders and members of the City Council is now being formed to go line by line through the document in order to hammer out the technical issues so that middle ground can be obtained.

The City of Dunwoody has also announced a number of positions available, Police Chief, City Clerk and Finance Director.

The audio of the meeting is here (60 MB) and I will be attaching a number of documents tomorrow regarding the Boyken proposal as well as the contract that will be signed in the morning once a few minor technical edits are made.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meeting Venue Change for Dunwoody City Council Meeting

Tonight's Dunwoody City Council meeting will take place at
Peachtree Charter Middle School
at 7 p.m.

Monday October 27th at 7 pm
Peachtree Charter Middle School
4664 North Peachtree Rd
Dunwoody, GA 30338

The original agenda contained an error on the meeting location and we apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dunwoody City Council Meeting Monday - Alcohol, Ethics, Boyken, IGA's with DeKalb

Meeting Venue Change

Monday October 27th at 7 pm
Peachtree Charter Middle School
4664 North Peachtree Rd
Dunwoody, GA 30338
Agenda (incorrect location listed)


Second Read and vote on approving Ordinance adopting Chapter 18 (“Municipal Court”) of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances.

Discussion and public comment on Chapter 4 (“Alcohol Beverages”) of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances.

Second Read and vote on approving Ordinance adopting Chapter 9 (“Ethics”) of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances (Original Ordinance, vs. Proposed Alternative, Gift Definition, Preliminary Hearing.)

Discussion on City implementation issues.


ACTION ITEM – Discussion of and voting to approve contract with Boyken International for City Implementation.

ACTION ITEM – Discussion of and voting to authorize a notification to DeKalb County of the City takeover of certain services.

Consideration of approval of Resolution to Establish a Regular City Council Meeting Schedule and Location.

Consideration of approval of Ordinance adopting Chapter 24 (Taxation) of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances (First Read).

American Girl Fashion Show Fundraiser in Dunwoody on November 8 benefiting Foster Care.

American Girl Tea Party

The Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton (JLGNF) is holding its annual American Girl fashion show fundraisers at a private club in Dunwoody on Nov. 8, after four years of producing the show in Gwinnett. Two shows will be held in a traditional tea party format, while a new pajama and pizza party format will be offered at the evening show. Proceeds will help children’s charities, especially those supporting foster children.
  • The JLGNF fashion shows are the only ones licensed by American Girl for the state of Georgia.

  • The two-hour shows are a special event for parents and daughters, or grandmothers and granddaughters. A professional photographer will be available for photos.

  • Shows at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. will be tea parties with light refreshments. Girls and their dolls should wear pajamas to the 4:30 show.

  • Guests do not have to bring an American Girl or wear American Girl clothing.

  • Girls attending the show can guest model and stroll the catwalk with their favorite doll, for an additional fee.

  • Each show will include refreshments, party favors and door prizes.

  • There will be raffles for dolls, accessories and toys from the various American Girl brands.

  • Girl Scout troops can get a significant discount for purchasing a table of 10 at the 10 a.m. show.

  • Exclusive souvenirs will be offered, including the doll “treat seats” used at American Girl cafes.
Both show formats provide an educational look at how and why clothing styles have changed throughout the generations. American Girl is a company dedicated to teaching history and celebrating girls through its books, toys and educational products. Great seats are still available, so start your holiday memories now, while supporting foster children.

Part of each ticket is tax deductible. Tickets for this year’s fashion shows range from $30 to $50, and can be purchased online by visiting Call Catherine Lotti at 770-840-0493 with questions.

Early voting available in Dunwoody starting Monday at Brook Run Park. 7 a.m to 7 p.m.

Early Voting Available
Monday - Friday
7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Brook Run Park
4770 North Peachtree Rd.
Dunwoody, GA 30338

Enter off North Peachtree and turn left just past the guard shack into the Administration Building area or take the following left near the theater and circle around to the polling place.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Skate Park Removal? - I’m not one to rip out infrastructure.

By Tom Spigolon for DeKalb Neighbor News Editor

Joe Riiska is a regular customer of Dunwoody’s Brook Run skate park — traveling from his Chamblee home to ride his bicycle on the steep inclines of the professionally-built facility. The 25-year-old, who works for a tool rental company, believes Brook Run’s course for skateboarders and bikers should remain in operation because it is one of the best of its kind in metro Atlanta — and the closest for those living inside the Perimeter.

“If anything would happen it’d be a huge blow,” he said.

DeKalb County has operated the lighted, five-acre facility — which resembles a series of dry swimming pools of varying depths — since mid-2007. Though Brook Run reportedly has not yet been discussed, the future of county-operated parks and their amenities within Dunwoody will be among the subjects of discussions between DeKalb County and the city as it seeks to take control of some county properties within its limits.

One city official who believes the skate park should remain open and operating is newly elected Councilman John Heneghan, who heads the Dunwoody North Civic Association which represents homeowners in neighborhoods near Brook Run.

Heneghan, who was elected on Sept. 16 and sworn into office Sept. 24, said he believed the removal of five acres of trees to build the facility was a mistake. However, the skate park is a “multi-million-dollar facility” which provides a service to taxpayers — including Heneghan who bought a season pass for himself and his skateboard.

“I’m not one to rip out infrastructure,” he said, in response to a question about removal of the sometimes controversial skate park.

He noted the county is not taking in enough revenue from entrance fees and other sales to cover the cost of operations — a fact Dunwoody likely will consider as it moves forward in negotiations with DeKalb for operation of Brook Run, Heneghan noted.

Nearby counties like Gwinnett have invested heavily in skate parks. Five are in operation and two under construction in Gwinnett parks. All are free of charge, including three which are lighted, with a special purpose local option sales tax footing the bill.

Riiska noted he has met young skateboarding enthusiasts from as far as Alabama who traveled to Atlanta specifically to use Brook Run.

“It’s a good meeting spot,” he said.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dunwoody, GA 30360 - is it allowed & when will it be official?

The residents of zip code 30360 have always had two choices when identifying the name of their city on their mail, Atlanta & Doraville. Effective December 1st a large portion of those residents will officially living within the boundaries of the City of Dunwoody and would like to start using their new city name as soon as it is possible to do so.

I made several calls up the chain of command of the United States Postal Service and got some positive responses as far as cleaning up the city situation, but it will take a little time to make the change official. In the mean time, I was told on one of the initial calls I made (not within the management structure) that as long as the zip code was correct; any letter with the city identified as Dunwoody would be properly delivered to the address and zip code identified.

That being said, I would still like to correct the USPS databases to ensure that where possible the zip codes of Dunwoody clearly identifies the City of Dunwoody. The change will take a little time for a number of reasons, first the zip code spans two counties, two cities, as well as unincorporated areas. Because of the creation of Dunwoody and the possible annexation of unincorporated areas of DeKalb by Doraville; the USPS may wait until the dust settles and the city lines are clearly drawn before going forward with the fix.

In order to make the required changes the USPS needs a letter from the City officially requesting the change of city to the USPS databases, a detailed map of the city down to the street level in a pdf format and an excel spreadsheet of the city addresses broken down by house number and street. Doraville will be voting on annexation on November 4th and depending on the results, the city's request for a change of the city name will quickly follow it.

The other zip codes of 30338 and 30346 have Atlanta, GA listed as the Actual City name and Dunwoody as the Acceptable City name. Maybe we can get those reversed?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dunwoody Mayor & City Council E-mail Addresses

Top Row, Mayor Ken Wright
Middle Row, City Council at Large Rep
Wittenstein, Ross; Heneghan
Bottom Row, City Council District Rep
Shortal, Bonser, Taylor

Yesterday the City Council welcomed our final member with the swearing in of Dr. Adrian Bonser to the District Two local seat. Welcome aboard Adrian.

During the meeting I mentioned that the city council now has official City of Dunwoody e-mail addresses and I have already received a request to provide those to the general public, so I have listed them below. Please note that the city is now using a Microsoft Exchange Server for e-mail which does take a little more configuration to set up than traditional e-mail therefore not all city council members have complete access to these accounts yet, but will have their systems confirmed by the target date of November 1st. (City Attorney)

I have officially stepped down from the Dunwoody North Civic Association.

As a candidate for the Dunwoody City Council, I tendered my resignation to the Dunwoody North Civic Association effective upon my swearing in so that there could be no conflicts between me serving one community at the same time as serving the entire city.

Ms. Gerri Penn currently sits on the executive committee of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association and has served as President of the DNCA in the past therefore the community will be well served as she has once again stepped up to serve the community by taking over the Presidency of the DNCA.

Sunday evening I attended my final closeout board meeting of Dunwoody North Civic Association in order to turn the gavel over to Ms. Penn. It was my distinct pleasure in serving the community as the President of that great organization and I look forward to the new challenge of serving the entire community of Dunwoody on the City Council. Thank you.

Safe Routes to School Meeting on Wed to prepare for Thursday.

At tonight's City Council meeting (audio here), I mentioned the Safe Routes to Schools grant and that I was interested in the City putting in a proposal. I stated that I was going to have a quick meeting with a number of interested community representatives as well as several community grant writers on Wednesday Evening at 7 pm at the Dunwoody Farmhouse. I was thinking of having the meeting tomorrow but both of my sons have football games going on with the Atlanta Colts; therefore I have moved it to Wednesday evening.

All are welcome on Wednesday but the goal of the meeting is to review the requirements of the grant and prepare for Thursday mornings meeting with GDOT in order to put the best proposal out for consideration.
Grant Proposal Meeting
Dunwoody Farmhouse
Wednesday 7 pm

The Safe Routes To School (SRTS) program is designed to fund comprehensive programs that include the 5 Es (Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Evaluation, and Engineering) throughout Georgia to encourage and enable more children to walk and bike to school safely. The funds are intended to start an SRTS program in communities and assist community members in sustaining successful SRTS programs.
Safe Routes to Schools Workshop
Thursday, October 23, 2008,
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Georgia DOT,
600 West Peachtree Street N.W., 4th Floor,
Atlanta, GA 30308,
Tel. (404) 631-1990

National Safe Routes to School Task Force Report

Monday, October 20, 2008

What is Dunwoody’s Brand? What does the city represent to you and what should it mean to others?

Does the Dunwoody Farmhouse truly represent our "brand"?

Tomorrow’s City Council work session has a “City Branding” discussion item on the agenda and after a little discussion of the Council an ad-hoc committee may be formed to put together a Brand for the City of Dunwoody. Myself and others initially believed that since the iconic symbol of the Dunwoody Farmhouse already tops most of our street signs and is already a prominent fixture of our city seal, shouldn't that be our “Brand”. Maybe, maybe not?

The problem is what does the farmhouse symbol say about Dunwoody to the people who currently live here? Does it really represent their values and if so explain in words what the farmhouse means so that those ideas can be properly conveyed to a person who doesn’t live here but may want to relocate his family or business here? What does the Dunwoody Farmhouse and the “Dunwoody Brand” mean to the young couple who currently lives in Midtown and is thinking of starting a family? What does it say to Singles, Seniors, businesses, shoppers & investors? Is the farmhouse symbol a positive, a negative or a meaningless abstract item?

My research tells me that the Dunwoody Brand should…
  • provide a positive image which has year-long and long-term economic benefits
  • be complementary to the desired quality of life of local residents
  • be viable, marketable adaptable and achievable
  • be believable, simple and close to reality
  • be appealing and distinctive (there are already too many friendly places out there)
If we look at the officially adopted Vision for the City of Dunwoody, maybe we can get a few more ideas about what Dunwoody is or could be?
The City of Dunwoody will provide quality service to our citizens and support the largest economic engine in the Southeast by planning in a careful and thoughtful manner. The City of Dunwoody will be inventive, transparent and embrace responsible progress which is tempered by our rich history and our desire to maintain a close but vibrant community atmosphere that values family life and entrepreneurial spirit. Dunwoody is a community where activities are centered around the family, our schools, our religious institutions, and our beautiful parks.
Since the farmhouse icon clearly represents responsible progress and the rich history of the City but little else out of our Vision Statement; I am looking forward to hearing more about the "Branding of a City" at the meeting to see what the experts have in mind.

Any suggestions or comments?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Work Session Agenda - Monday 7 pm @ PCMS

Work Session Agenda
Monday, October 20, 2008
Peachtree Charter Middle School
7:00 PM
Public Comment

I. Staff Discussion Items

Discussion of City Implementation

City Branding

City Website

Discussion of proposed Chapter 4 (“Alcohol Beverages”) of the City Code and Ordinance to adopt and approve Chapter 4 of the City Code.

Discussion of proposed Chapter 9 (“Ethics”) of the City Code and Ordinance to adopt and approve Chapter 9 of the City Code.

Discussion of proposed Chapter 24 (“Taxation”) of the City Code and Ordinance to adopt and approve Chapter 24 of the City Code.

II. Executive Session – Personnel Issues

III. Adjournment

Why don't more Dunwoody Children Walk to School? Is it safe enough?

When I campaigned to sit on the Dunwoody City Council one of the items I thought that could be improved was the walkability and bikeability of our routes to schools so that children could safely use those options. It is my opinion that we need more sidewalks on major thoroughfares near the schools, improved crosswalks, striped bike lanes, more curb cuts and better traffic signals with longer countdown timers. We need adequate speed and traffic enforcement around the schools to remind everyone that we value our children's lives and safety.

Prior to becoming an elected official, I passed out slow down signs, lobbied for improved speed enforcement and even recommended changes in State Law for better enforcement. As an elected official I hope to continue my previous efforts but hope to enjoin the resources of the City of Dunwoody as well as other State & Federal grants to help me with this endeavor.

On Thursday, I will be meeting with the Georgia Department of Transportation to learn about the Safe Routes to School program which is eligible to local governments for infrastructure improvements up to $500,000. Being a new municipality with no previous history of working towards this goal, the City might have a hard time obtaining any grant money but this is definitely worth trying for. (Are there any grant writers in the community who could assist us in this project? If so, please contact me.)

The Safe Routes To School (SRTS) program is designed to fund comprehensive programs that include the 5 Es (Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Evaluation, and Engineering) throughout Georgia to encourage and enable more children to walk and bike to school safely. The funds are intended to start an SRTS program in communities and assist community members in sustaining successful SRTS programs.
Safe Routes to Schools Workshop
Thursday, October 23, 2008,
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Georgia DOT,
600 West Peachtree Street N.W., 4th Floor,
Atlanta, GA 30308,
Tel. (404) 631-1990

National Safe Routes to School Task Force Report

Safe Routes to School Video

Friday, October 17, 2008

It is all about the abilty to comment and respond to others.

It has been a slow Dunwoody news day and I'm wiped out from working on various City related projects in my "spare time", therefore I'll keep it very short this evening.

Blogging allows me the ability spread information and my thoughts on various topics but I am only one person. On a typical day close to 1,000 people visit this page to see what I posted and another 150 receive the information delivered in an automated e-mail. That being said, there is a very small percentage of my readers who comment on a normal basis and in case you haven't been reading what they have had to say, you should. Some are informative, insightful, some are slightly controversial and once in a great while there is even an inflammatory comment but I make a point to read each and every one. I may not always reply to them, but I will admit that the comments do affect the way I think on various topics.

In the last day or so two anonymous commenters have had an on going conversation regarding the history of the new 4th & 5th Grade Elementary School, and the civil debate was a healthy expression of frustration on both sides being vented.

In order to assist more readers in following the comments posted to this blog, I have added a comments feed available in the bar to the right or the link below will also work.

To my regular commenters (themommy, DunwoodyParent, Ilovemykids, Thaddeus Osbourne Dabell, joggerdavew, Worth, SteveBarton, Kelly Spratling, dunwoodydad, Ellen Fix, Charles, Bob Fiscella, Jogger, Heyward, Dunwoodyinfoguy, Kim Gokce, Knitternall, ilene gormly, rick, Trackboy1, paula, pattie, Sara, Gil & donna), thank you for sharing your thoughts.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bill Bolling, founder of Atlanta Community Food Bank explains the changing profile of the typical food bank user.

Bill Bolling, founder of the Atlanta Community Food Bank was interviewed for Blog Action Day by Grayson Daughters of Mostly Media and explains the changing profile of the typical food bank user whereby 40% of the people who use their services are employed and yet not making ends meet.

What affects 1.5% of families, 3.6% of the population, 2.4% of children and 5.2% of the seniors in Dunwoody?

Poverty. Are you surprised?

Those were the statistics from the the 2000 census as shown on the Dunwoody wikipedia page and if you think that in this time of economic crisis that those statistics don't still hold true still to this day; your probably kidding yourself.

"Poverty" is defined at as "the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor; indigence." Other definitions I read included the deprivation of opportunities to learn, to obtain better employment to escape poverty, and/or to enjoy the respect of fellow citizens.

When someone in the United States talks about poverty, they mostly refer to it or think about it as a condition that exists only in some remote 3rd world, under-developed section of the society. So not true. America and yes even Dunwoody, has it’s share of poverty and then there are countless others who are stretching every dollar, struggling to make ends meet and happy enough to just be living paycheck-to-paycheck.

But what happens when a job is lost and the choice is between food, medicine or the mortgage? Where can someone in Dunwoody go for assistance? The research that I have done only points to one location and that is the...
Community Action Center
1130 Hightower Trail
Sandy Springs, GA 30350
770-552-4889 (business number)
770-552-4015 (Helpline)

The CAC is currently serving over 400 families per month from their food pantry and are always in need of food contributions since their client base grows as the country's financial condition deteriorates. They also provide financial assistance to pre qualified clients to help them get through temporary setbacks in their lives.

CAC accepts donations of clothing, toys, small appliances, miscellaneous household items, etc. from the public. The best of the of these donations are sold in their thrift shop with the proceeds used to support our other public service initiatives. The rest of the donations are given to their clients or to other service organizations in the area. CAC is also in the education business teaching English and computer classes.

Shouldn't Dunwoody residents help other Dunwoody residents who are in need? When I review the list of community organizations who help the CAC, it appears that the Dunwoody community is under represented and that we could do better. Do you belong to an organization that could sponsor the Community Action Center and provide a little assistance? If so, please look into it.

Do you have the financial means to make a cash donation and want to do so right now? If so please click here to donate via a credit card. If you would like to drop off canned foods or visit the thrift store, they would welcome any assistance that you could provide.

I for my part have raised the issue to make you aware and the now for every comment left on this post before Midnight of October 15th I will donate a can of food to the Community Action Center, up to 50 cans. It doesn't take anything on your part except 5 seconds to tell me how you too might be able assist your community. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dunwoody Runoff Results - very unofficial

Official Results will be found here.

Congratulations to Adrian Bonser, the newest member of the Dunwoody City Council.

I just had the pleasure of spending a little time at the Bonser Campaign Headquarters to congratulate Adrian and her husband Brian on Adrian's successful bid for the Dunwoody City Council. It has been my distinct pleasure working with Adrian in the past and I look forward to having her business skills, wit and charm on the Council.

Congratulations Adrian, enjoy the night because there is quite a bit of work to do.

Election Day, Boyken, Attorneys, Alcohol & Murder

Today is election day for the middle third of the city, go out and vote for either Adrian Bonser or Larry Pankey. The current City Council members are looking forward to the assistance and the unique skills they each bring to to the position. AJC Article.

At this evenings City Council meeting we took a few steps forward on a number of issues. We are working towards signing a contract with Boyken International for them to provide us some short-term consulting services. AJC Article. These services will cover three areas:
  1. Provide start-up project management and consulting services.

  2. Assist the city in seeking qualified bidders, proposals (RFPs) and quotes to provide city services.

  3. Assist the city in recruiting a small number of key personnel to manage vendor contracts and performance.
This evening we have selected Brian Anderson/Riley Lewis & McLendon as our city attorneys. They were one of the three firms recommended by the citizens task force selected by Mayor Wright to review the dozen or so proposals we received. They bring a great deal of experience to the city and I have been very impressed with the depth advice already provided by the team.

We had the first official reading of our alcohol ordinance which rolls back the serving hours from 4 am to 2 am and it will be discussed and possibly voted on at our next meeting. Currently there are two Dunwoody businesses, Gilly’s and Firebirds, who currently stay open until 4:00 am and they are opposing this change, as is the newly formed Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce. We need to pass this ordinance in the next week or two so that we can use the ordinance as the basis for sending out liquor licenses and invoices to the appropriate Dunwoody businesses in November. The audio from the meeting is here and a few of the other documents are here.

Another Murder in "soon to be" Dunwoody. In case you didn't hear of it on the news or in papers, there was another murder early Monday morning inside what will soon be the City of Dunwoody's borders (effective December 1st). The AJC headline highlighted the fact that the DeKalb resident lived in an apartment off Peachtree Industrial and it never mentioned Dunwoody. Come December, I'm thinking that the headline would have been a little different but it wouldn't change the the way I currently view my responsibility for serving the area. I was elected to serve the entire City of Dunwoody, including the residents who live in apartments, including those who may not speak English; therefore in the coming months I will be thinking of Mr. Alejandro Perez Morales, age 32 when I help hire police officers and set the budget.

Finally for all the anguish caused to the neighbors by this Dunwoody resident the only thing that needs to be said, is goodbye and good riddence.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Decatur Electronics Recycling, open all on Sat Oct 25th

Saturday, October 25 • 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Decatur High School Parking Lot

(Corner of N. McDonough Street and Howard Avenue)

TV's will be recycled for $10 cash only with exact change.

Don't throw away that old cell phone, camera or PC component! Save it and recycle it on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at Decatur's Fall 2008 Electronics Recycling event. This semi-annual event has been hugely successful at diverting electronic equipment from landfills, where they may contaminate soil and water. Batteries and Styrofoam will also be accepted.

For the first time at this event, TV's will be recycled for a minimal fee of $10 cash only per TV set with exact change. There is no charge to recycle other items.

The event takes place Saturday October 25, 2008 from 9am to 1pm at the Decatur High School Parking lot, on the corner of N. McDonough St. and W. Howard Avenue. Electronics dropped off that day will be sorted and disassembled into raw materials or cleaned for re use. The Decatur Waste Management Advisory Board investigates the recyclers involved to be sure the items are responsibly disassembled and not landfilled.

In addition to electronics, any metro area resident can also drop off batteries of any type, Styrofoam peanuts, and clean Styrofoam blocks free of foreign objects.

Volunteers assist in unloading items. To volunteer, please contact Scott Thompson at

Early drop offs are not possible.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CALL David Junger, (404) 377-5571

Electronic Equipment for Recycling: See updated list for items that will be accepted at the Fall 2008 Event

Almost anything with an electrical cord can be recycled at the event EXCEPT microwave ovens.

We will recycle for free: Desktop computers , Telephones, Mini-towers, Telephony equipment, Laptop computers, Adding machines,Monitors, Calculators, Servers, Typewriters, Workstations, Label makers,Keyboards, Copiers, Mice, Fax machines, Joystick game controllers, Answering machines, Printers, Printer cartridges, Digital cameras , Zip drives, Batteries, Speakers, PDAs, Pagers, VCRs, Hubs, DVD players, Routers, Cable converter boxes, Scanners, Remote controls, Digital projectors, Stereo equipment ,UPS units, Radios, Main frames, Portable CD players, Component parts, Portable game players, Cables, GPS receivers, 3-in-1 devices, printer/copier/fax machines., Electric lawn mowers and garden equipment, any kind of Battery. Clean Styrofoam free of foreign objects(peanuts, packing blocks, plates, cups, trays.)

We will recycle television sets for $10 exact change.

Dunwoody Sunday Work Session, Abbreviated Recap

Sunday night’s meeting exceeded 3 hours and it was a packed agenda, let me quickly hit the highlights.

Public Comment - One of my first official acts was to ask that every meeting start with public comment and to date not one meeting has gone by whereby some portion of the allotted 30 minutes of time wasn't utilized by residents to make their opinions known and/or voice their concerns.

Three City Attorney applicants each made presentations to the City Council, we discussed the delivery of service options for city implementation and reviewed a revised proposal from Boyken (sorry only a paper copy was presented but I asked for electronic) to assist us in getting the city up and running, we discussed the city website which will be live by November 1st, and quickly discussed a few police details.

Our discussion of Municipal Court was fast, our extensive proposed ethics ordinance had some wondering if we needed such a detailed document and finally we discussed Dunwoody's Alcohol Ordinance.

We are thinking about rolling back the serving hours from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m. and I am for such a move except that I don't want to hurt any established Dunwoody businesses unless it can be helped. At the moment there are only two businesses which would have to roll back 2 hours and there really isn't any law allowing us to grandfather those two establishments into our ordinance.

Though I understand that late night bars do serve a select clientele of restaurant workers who just got off work, but for the greater good of the majority of Dunwoody residents these two businesses may have to be affected.

The City Council then broke into executive session to discuss personnel issues and then adjourned well after 10:30 p.m.

I have uploaded all 3 hours and 18 minutes of the City Council work session (no executive session) but beware that it is an extremely large (83 MB) file and should be completely downloaded prior to playing (right click, save link as.. save target as..). If you have a slow internet connection, it will take quite a bit of time to download.

Our voting meeting is tomorrow (Monday) at 7 p.m. at DUMC.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Monday Meeting 7 p.m. at DUMC - City Implementation, Elections, Ethics, Alcohol and Municipal Court

Monday, October 13th; 7 p.m.


1. Second Read and vote on approving Ordinance adopting Chapter 10 (“Elections”) of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances.

I) REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS (none at this time)


1. ACTION ITEM – Discussion of and proposal to hire a consulting firm to assist City in RFP process for City Implementation.

2. Consideration of approval of Ordinance adopting Chapter 18 (Municipal Court) of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances (First Read).

3. Consideration of approval of Ordinance adopting Chapter 4 (Alcohol Beverages) of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances (First Read).

4. Consideration of approval of Ordinance adopting Chapter 9 (Ethics) of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ethics (First Read).

Meeting Agenda, Alcohol, Court, all other documents offered previously.

City Council, Work Session - Sunday 7 p.m. at Dunwoody United Methodist Church

Sunday, October 12th; 7 p.m.

Staff Discussion Items

Ken Wright – Mayor

1. Public comment.

2. Presentation and Discussion of Proposals for City Attorney position.

3. Discussion of various options for City Implementation.

4. Discussion on the implementation of the City Website.

5. Discussion on the implementation of the City Police Department.

Brian Anderson – Acting City Attorney

1. Discussion of proposed Chapter 18 (“Municipal Court”) of the City Code and Ordinance to adopt and approve Chapter 18 of the City Code.

2. Discussion of proposed Chapter 9 (“Ethics”) of the City Code and Ordinance to adopt and approve Chapter 9 of the City Code.

3. Discussion of proposed Chapter 4 (“Alcohol Beverages”) and Ordinance to adopt and approve Chapter 4 of the City Code.

Executive Session – Personnel issues.

Ken Wright – Mayor

1. Adjournment

Agenda now available.

Block Parties & Scandinavia here I come with little ones in tow.

Atlanta Parent Family Block Party Video

Saturday mornings my wife does her weekly magic act where she gets up early and disappears until about Noon or 1 o'clock. She usually works out, hits garage sales, leisurely drinks coffee, maybe does a little shopping for herself, but the real goal of her Saturday morning is to not be the Mother of three (four if you count me) little boys who constantly suck the energy out of her the other six days of the week. In other words, it my turn to parent and spend some quality time with the boys doing "manly" things.

Tomorrow there are two community block parties being held in the area that are aimed at kids and I showed my six year old the two posters in order to let him pick where we should go. He looked at the Atlanta Parent Family Block Party poster and thought it looked like fun and he then carefully reviewed the DeKalb County ICP Police Block Party poster and a big smile came across his face when he saw the flying helicopter. "Dad, I want to ride in the police helicopter and be just like Mader in the movie Cars. Can we, huh, can we?" When I explained to him that is was more of a show & tell than an adventure ride; he immediately said that he would rather go to the Atlanta Parent Block Party. We've been there before and I know for a fact that both my older boys, as well as my almost 3 year old will have a good time. It is an all ages event being held at Mercer University and the video above highlights what to expect and the price is very reasonable as well.

Another event which might also be worth a stop is the Atlanta Scandinavian Festival located at Oglethorpe University which appears to have a number of kid (and Dad) friendly activities.

Kingsley Charter School Council named as National Parent Group of the Year

The Kingsley Charter School Council has been named National Parent Group of the Year in PTO Today's 2008 Parent Group of the Year search. The group was selected as winner from among hundreds of other parent group finalists, and is featured in the most recent issue of PTO Today magazine.

Kingsley, an elementary school in Dunwoody, is the first school from the state of Georgia to win this prestigious award. Another landmark for Kingsley - it is the first charter school in the nation to be recognized for this honor.

“It is an incredible thrill and honor to have been selected for this award,” said Tom Lambert, who served as the chair of Kingsley’s charter council during the 2007-2008 school year. “To have our hard work and accomplishments be recognized at this level – as the best in the nation – is an incredible feeling that is hard to put into words. Needless to say all of our parents are busting with pride over this announcement.”

“Our Parent Group of the Year search gives us a chance each year to celebrate and formally acknowledge the work parent groups do in their schools and communities," says Craig Bystrynski, Editor in Chief of PTO Today magazine. “Engaging parents in the educational process is the single most important thing a parent group can do.”

The cornerstone of Kingsley’s charter is the philosophy that involved parents make great schools, an idea that is ingrained into the culture of the school.

“You can’t help but get involved,” said Allegra Johnson, current chair of Kingsley’s charter council. “Not only are the opportunities there, but so are the welcoming arms of those proud parents who have already served and want you to be included.”

Kingsley principal Karen Graham appreciates the difference her school’s parents make in both the learning/teaching process and the success of the students.

“Being a principal of a school with active parents is very busy and very rewarding,” said Graham. “The parents at Kingsley are very resourceful and have great ideas. My day-to-day interactions with parents help me become a better school leader and a better person.”

The parent leadership at Kingsley is a bit unique in that the school does not have a formal PTA. Kingsley’s charter council serves the dual role of a traditional PTA and a traditional school council. Although this is a big responsibility, it allows the school to consistently move forward at a quick pace and with a singular focus.

“Our parents set out to accomplish very specific and ambitious goals,” said Graham. “When the school year was over, every goal was accomplished. Parent Group of the Year is a well deserved honor for a group of parents who worked so hard to improve and make a difference in their child's school.”

Some of those projects include installing new sod on the playground, creating a new image via a new parent-designed school logo, creating a Parent Headquarters within the school, upgrading the teachers' lounge, installing a new school sign, a campaign to purchase and install interactive white boards in the classrooms, sponsoring a school-wide event to celebrate its diversity, and increasing the number of volunteer hours. It was the final goal – volunteer hours – that made everything else possible, as Kingsley’s families logged over 8,000 hours in service to the school (an average of 32 hours per family).

“We have accomplished so many wonderful things at Kingsley over the past 12 months, but this year wasn’t a flash in the pan,” assured Lambert. “It is also important to recognize that we were building off of the foundation that had been set for us by former council members and the parents that came before us at Kingsley. We were continuing a long standing tradition of parental service at Kingsley, one that I am confident will continue to grow and strengthen in the future.”

Perhaps what makes Kingsley so successful is the fact that the motivation behind all of this parental service is sincere and student focused. There is a noticeable lack of ego surrounding the work the parents do at the school.

“We were just doing what we thought would make Kingsley a better school for our children, not for the recognition,” said Johnson.

That’s not to suggest that the award, and the recognition that goes along with it, are not appreciated.

“Our parents put in so many volunteer hours every year - they work with the teachers and go above and beyond what is expected - but never look back waiting for a pat on the back,” said Johnson. “This award was a fantastic way to say WOW! - thank you for what you do.”

Crier Article regarding award.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hey Dunwoody, who are you going to vote for in the School Board Election?

Pam Buncum, Michael Culver, Pam Speaks

Serving on the DeKalb County School Board and representing the Dunwoody Cluster will be no easy task. There are three candidates vying for the District 8 seat, all of whom should be at the Dunwoody Chamblee Parents Council lunch & learn forum on Wednesday October 15th at the Dunwoody Library starting at 12:00 Noon. (Bring your lunch and tough questions for the candidates.)

The best piece of information I found on the candidates was a questionnaire that was presented by to all three candidates and it can be found by clicking here. I have met several of the candidates at various school and civic functions here in Dunwoody though I know little else about any of them. If I can make the meeting on Wednesday I will certainly do so and maybe I'll see you there?

The District 8 Candidates are:
Wednesday-October 15th, 2008
Time: 12:00-1:30pm
Dunwoody Library-Community Room
5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, Georgia 30338

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Goodwill Thrift Store, Nice Store, Wrong Place

I can usually handle the influx of e-mail but today my inbox exploded with the topic of the Kroger Corporation thinking about leasing the old Harris Teeter grocery / Ace Home Place Hardware store at Jett Ferry Rd and Mount Vernon to Goodwill Industries for what I am guessing would be a large retail store.

My family has donated to Goodwill (locations) since I was a little boy and believe they do wonderful work but I like many members of the community envisioned a much different store to anchor that shopping mall. I would love to see a specialty food store there like Whole Foods or Trader Joes but with Kroger controlling the lease, they would never allow such a store to compete with the Kroger store across the street.

We all know that the building at that location was build to be a grocery store yet I believe that Kroger will refuse to put a competitor into the space so they are stuck without a viable solution other than something less than ideal for what the community envisions for the property.

Let's help Kroger out. Does anyone have a viable solution to the problem that would also benefit the community? If I remember correctly the property always stayed lit and open whenever the power grid went down all around them, therefore the store definitely has something going for it. Besides basic retail, I believe a quality bookstore would do well at the location or maybe the YMCA could see it as the perfect Dunwoody location? There has to be a better solution than the rumored fall back solution of a dollar store!

Ms. Tamika Grooms of Kroger Marketing said that she will be handling all calls and emails regarding the property. She will compile them and turn them over to the real estate managers who will pass them on to Mr. Bruce Lucia, President of the Atlanta Division of Kroger who will be making the final decision. Please email your concerns to:

Tamika N. Grooms
Real Estate Department
2175 Parklake Drive
Atlanta , Georgia 30345
770-496-7431 (O)
770-496-7586 (F)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dunwoody Late Harvest Run - Oct 11, 2008

The Second Annual Late Harvest 5k Run will start at The Dunwoody Farmhouse at 6.30pm on Saturday, Oct 11, 2008 with registration starting at 5pm.

Head to the Farmhouse at 4:30 pm for a DJ, family games and activities! Hot dogs and chips will be served. Prizes will be awarded for children’s activities. Sponsored by So come early!

After the run we have a big party at The Dunwoody Tavern across the street to celebrate the event. So... 'Do The Run and then have a Cold One'! Great food and fun for all with Live Bands, Barbeque, giveaways and great beer. Every one welcome!

Part of the proceeds go to raise money for The Dunwoody Farmhouse So be part of our preservation effort and save an important part of Dunwoody!

The Dunwoody Farmhouse
5447 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd
Atlanta, GA 30338

Registration begins at 5:00 pm at The Dunwoody Farmhouse
Registration closes at 6:00 pm
Run begins at 6:30 pm

View Larger Map

AR-50 assault rifle, badge, vest stolen from police car at Perimeter Mall.

Car break ins are very prevalent in Dunwoody but at least the Sandy Springs Police didn't leave the assault rifle sitting on the passenger seat of an unlocked vehicle. I would hate to be the next person arrested at Perimeter Mall for breaking into a vehicle.

Cops’ assault rifle, badge, vest stolen from car
By Marcus K. Garner for the AJC, Oct 08, 2008

A car break-in Tuesday evening in Dunwoody netted thieves an unusual booty — a Sandy Springs police assault rifle, badge and Kevlar vest.

“I think these guys got more than they bargained for,” Sandy Springs police spokesman Lt. Steve Rose said.

A pair of Sandy Springs detectives parked an unmarked police car in a parking deck in Dunwoody near Perimeter Mall while they were on dinner break during their regular shift about 8 p.m. Tuesday, Rose said.

While they were gone, thieves got into the trunk of the car and took the badge, protective vest and AR-50 assault rifle — a lightweight semi-automatic rifle with a light attached to the muzzle. They also took two ammunition magazines with about 30 rounds in each.

Rose speculated that the thieves possibly saw one of the detectives, who he wouldn’t identify, put her purse in the trunk.

The robbers apparently used a screwdriver to force open the latch to one of the car’s rear doors, then opened the trunk from inside the passenger compartment, he said.

Because the forced entry wasn’t apparent, the detectives didn’t immediately realize their car had been burglarized, Rose said. A regionwide alert went out describing the theft.

“We’ve got a couple of leads, and we’ll follow anything we can get,” Rose said. “We want that weapon back or off the street.”

DeKalb County police are leading the criminal investigation. Sandy Springs will conduct an internal investigation.

Rose said he doubted either officer would be disciplined.

“We’ll review any way we could’ve avoided this. It’s just an example. … No one’s immune from theft,” Rose said.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

City Hall Proposal, Revive285, RFP vendors & Meeting Update

The Dunwoody Crier has a nice article on the front page outlining a proposal to put a future City Hall in Dunwoody Village. Since I received Mr. Twiner's proposal in an e-mail, I figured I would share his preliminary concept drawing of a walkable & bikable Dunwoody Village.

If you have already read the Crier, you will see that I also attended a Revive285 meeting last week in Chamblee to find out the status of what GDOT was planning to do to the Perimeter. The only definitive thing I came away from that meeting with, was fully realized just today when I saw my photo in the paper; I either need to lose some weight or stop wearing horizontal stripes!

At this point I can tell you that there are no hard and fast plans on how to improve the Perimeter's traffic flow but I was there to stress to the engineers that I-285 is a local, east - west traffic route here in Dunwoody between North Peachtree, Ashford Dunwoody & Peachtree Dunwoody roads and that they shouldn't screw it up by limiting our access or charging tolls.

A citizen asked the city for the list of companies who were contacted by the Citizens for Dunwoody to make a proposal regarding the RFP, or who requested a copy of the RFP. Since the list was just provided to me today and this citizen actually wanted this information published on my site; I am happy to comply with his request. They are,... Severn Trent, OpTech, PBS&J, CH2MHill, Parsons, URS, Arcadis, Pond, SungardHTE, Advanced Federal Systems, Camp Dresser & McKee, ADP, EMC, New Venture Group, T&S Services, Riley Attorneys. Additional firms may have also downloaded the RFP from the Citizens for Dunwoody website.

The CFD also sought the assistance of the following organizations to obtain as broad a representation as possible of vendors; the International Association of City Managers, Carl Vinson Institute (UGA), National Council of Public Private Partnerships, Georgia Municipal Association, and the Reason Foundation.

Tonight's City Council meeting was rather dry with us passing some needed administrative ordinances. Senator Dan Weber spoke during the open comment period for the need to start taking some action and he discussed his involvement with a group of knowledgeable residents and experienced neighboring city officials in the development of the Hybrid model. Another commenter stated that he trusted the city council and that we should start moving forward and finally another citizen (who is also an employee of CH2MHill) asked that we rebid the proposal again.

FYI, I can report that the Mayor and City Council are very busy behind the scenes meeting with DeKalb County to negotiate the various inter-governmental agreements (IGA's), meeting with Federal Representatives to explore grant opportunities, interviewing prospective City Managers, coordinating the development of a city website, interviewing bank managers to narrow down a financial institution and other very worthwhile activities.

It appears that next week, the Mayor and City Council will again be exploring which delivery model for services the city will be using. Our next meeting is a work meeting (no votes but there may be some lively discussion) tentatively scheduled for Sunday (time & location yet unknown) and then a voting meeting on Tuesday night the 14th, probably again at Peachtree Middle School.

As usual, I have posted the audio and other documents from the Tuesday's meeting.