Friday, January 30, 2009

Dunwoody Job Fair Saturday at 11 a.m.

Dunwoody Police - Job Fair
Saturday January 31, 2009
1 a.m. - 1 p.m.
115 Perimeter Center Place, Dunwoody 30346

By April Hunt, AJC

Dunwoody could hire the first of its 29 patrol officers in the next two weeks, making good on its pledge to have a force ready to hit the streets April 1 in part because of a generous benefits package.

A total of 26 candidates have started the multi-stage interview process, with 10 ready for the last step of interviewing with Police Chief Billy Grogan. Even more candidates are expected to emerge with the city council’s approval last week of the benefits package — which includes a $2,000 signing bonus - and a job fair being held Saturday.

“We want the best, and we want to make it easy for them to come to our force,” Grogan said.

Having a local police force was a driving force for many residents who voted last year to make Dunwoody Georgia’s newest city. More than 40 percent of the city’s $14.4 million budget will pay for 48 positions, 40 take-home police cars, other equipment and benefits.

Averages salaries will be $70,000 for three lieutenants, $58,000 for six sergeants; and $46,000 for patrol officers. The benefits package includes:

• Fully paid medical insurance.

• A retirement program that includes city contribution of 10 percent of the worker’s salary.

• $2,000 yearly tuition reimbursement.

• $300 monthly housing subsidy, for up to three years, to live in the city limits.

Mayor Ken Wright admitted the package was top-notch, especially in tough economic times. However, he said it falls within the planned budget and will help the city meet its aggressive goal for standing up its department.

“If we’re trying to attract the finest out there, and quickly, that’s a very important piece of getting that,” Wright said. “It’s a good package, to be sure, but it’s not crazy.”

Dunwoody plans to hire only experienced and certified officers for its force. Grogan said applicants so far have between two and 10 years of experience. Most of them are from the metro Atlanta area.

Saturday’s job fair in Atlanta is designed to appeal to cops like that, who have been curious but have not applied. The event will feature a question and answer session as well as a presentation of equipment, such as the Glock .45 caliber and stun guns that officers will use.

Grogan said he will explain his vision for the force that focuses on community policing and partnerships with local groups, as another way to draw out the best candidates.

“We want to attract good employees who are otherwise happy where they are and give them a good reason to partner with us,” he said.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Are we preparing our children for the future?

As the father of three young boys, my wife & I are still trying to instill the educational basics available to us in the local public educational system. Though we are active in the classroom and involved in homework on a nightly basis, I still am not sure that we (or our educational system) are doing enough to prepare our children for the future.

Several months ago I read the Thomas Friedman best seller "The World Is Flat" and it discusses the employment changes occurring worldwide because of the internet. The best selling book has been around for a few years therefore it should be available at the local library and I highly recommend it to every parent and young adult entering high school. The five minute video below reminded me of the book and if you have the time it is thought provoking.

Are we (politicians, tax payers, school administrators, teachers & parents) really doing all we can to prepare our children for the future?

Hat tip to Cerebration of the DeKalb County School Watch Blog which I also consider required reading for every parent in the DeKalb County School System. Thank You, Cere!

City of Dunwoody & Kingsley Elementary apply for Safe Routes to School grant.

In an unprecedented partnership between the City of Dunwoody, the DeKalb County School System and the hard working parents of the Kingsley Charter School Council, I and am proud to display the formal 17 page Safe Routes to Schools grant application and supporting documentation that was submitted to the Georgia Department of Transportation less than two weeks after the City of Dunwoody was created.

Below is an article from the Dunwoody Crier discussing the proposal and each elementary school in Dunwoody is currently instituting a Safe Routes to School program therefore if you have children and are interested in assisting with this citywide endeavor, please talk to your local PTA.

Dunwoody Crier - Jan 27, 2009

Thirty years ago, the most common way for children to get to school was to walk. Times have changed, however, and the sight of children walking or riding their bike to school is something you are more likely to see on TV or in a movie than in your own neighborhood.

Kingsley Charter Elementary School and the City of Dunwoody are hoping to recapture some of the past - and replace car pool lines with lines of children walking to school. The city and the school have collaborated on a grant application through the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program. If selected, Dunwoody would receive nearly $460,000 worth of infrastructure improvements in the Kingsley neighborhood - such as new sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks, traffic-calming devices and improved pedestrian lighting.

Safe Routes to School is an international movement designed to encourage students to walk or ride their bikes to school. Encouraging students to walk to school promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for children, reduces traffic and improves air quality through reduced emissions. Georgia’s SRTS program is managed by GDOT and backed by federal funding.

The local effort was initiated by Dunwoody City Councilman John Heneghan. Heneghan viewed SRTS as a great opportunity for Dunwoody to make needed improvements along the routes leading to our schools, making walking and biking to school a safe option for children.

“We need to look for innovative funding streams to make Dunwoody a safe community in which to walk and bike,” said Heneghan.

Heneghan hosted a community meeting in late October to discuss the pursuit of a SRTS grant for Dunwoody, and invited representatives from each of Dunwoody’s schools to attend. After several meetings to discuss and review the cases for each school, it was decided that the city would partner with Kingsley for this year’s application.

“Kingsley’s parents, together with Principal Karen Graham, put together a very strong grant application to improve the safety of Kingsley’s various routes to school in order to encourage more children to walk,” said Heneghan.

One of the biggest challenges was the grant had a deadline of December 12, less than two weeks after the city officially began business. To complete the application in such a short period of time required the cooperation of many people - including Kingsley’s parents and principal, several neighbors living near the school, the city of Dunwoody and the DeKalb County School System (which needed to approve the project).

“That’s a testament to the citizens we have in this city,” said Dunwoody Public Works Director Richard Meehan. “I think it’s great that we had citizens that were forward thinking enough to start looking at deadlines and grants that we could go after that we would be ready to turn in on day one.”

Another reason Dunwoody was able to submit such a strong application so quickly is that Kingsley had been working on its own SRTS program since the spring of 2007. In that time the school had formed a SRTS committee, improved traffic safety near the school with new car pool procedures and traffic patterns, created a parent safety patrol, conducted traffic surveys, collected traffic safety reports and worked on a formal walk to school program that will begin this spring.

Kingsley has used the resources available through the SRTS program, as well as taking advantage of complimentary programs from the Center for Disease Control (Kids Walk to School) and the Clean Air Campaign (Walk There For Clean Air). Kingsley is also a registered Clean Air School, and participates in the Clean Air Campaign’s No-Idle Program.

This spring, Kingsley plans to introduce a formal “Walking Wednesdays” program. Students could participate by joining a “walking school bus” - a group of students and parents walking together along a specific route to school. Based on responses from a parent survey, more than half of Kingsley’s parents said they would like to participate in the walking school bus program, but 75 percent cited apprehension over traffic safety as a major road block.

“Kingsley has the potential to be a great walking school, but the safety of our children is obviously our top priority,” said Tom Lambert, chair of Kingsley’s SRTS committee. “We have been eager to begin a formal walking program, but real concerns over traffic safety along our walking routes have slowed down our efforts.”

That is where the infrastructure improvements in the grant play a vital role. The project targets specific concerns of parents, neighbors and the school administration - and will create a pedestrian friendly environment along all of Kingsley’s proposed walking routes.

“We were very excited when we heard the city would be targeting a SRTS project,” said Lambert. “Kingsley had put in a lot of work on its SRTS plan, but we would not have been able to move forward without the leadership of Mr. Heneghan and the overwhelming support of the City of Dunwoody. I think it’s a great sign of things to come for Dunwoody.”

Both Kingsley and Dunwoody are hoping to receive good news this spring, when GDOT is expected to announce the projects it has approved for this year’s SRTS. Regardless of GDOT’s decision, however, Kingsley plans to persist with its SRTS efforts.

“We will continue to move forward on our Safe Routes program, but these infrastructure improvements are a vital component to maximizing our efforts,” said Lambert. “It could literally be the difference between a handful of kids participating or hundreds of students walking to school.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Help name the new Dunwoody Elementary School.

What should the name of this School be?
Any Suggestions?

As a Chesnut Elementary School Parent I received the following e-mail which I think should be shared with the entire community. Any good suggestions out there?

You have the opportunity to participate in the naming process as well as choosing a mascot and school colors for the new 4/5 school opening this summer. The information below states policies regarding the naming process. You have until February 28, 2009 to make your submission. Your idea and supporting reason can be sent to Please read through all the information below so that you understand the process. Our Chesnut representative is Sarah Borcherding. Any questions can be sent to her at

Description and timeline:
We are extremely excited about the opportunity to select the name, mascot and school colors for the new school that will serve 4th and 5th grade students in the Dunwoody area. This is such an incredible opportunity to provide something for the community that will last for generations.

The DeKalb County School Board Policies establish procedures for creating the name, school color, and mascot so that the process is an open one that involves as many people as possible and truly represents the heritage, culture, and wishes of the local community. Please find links to the board policies listed below in this document. The School naming Committee has been established using these policies and chaired by our district Board Member, Mr. Jim Redovian. The other members on the committee and their affiliations are listed later in this document and you may also find them on the school's website at

This process will begin January 26, 2009 and be open for public submission of ideas and supporting reasons until February 28, 2009. The school website has an established email account where individuals may submit their ideas. The email address is General notification will go out to the public through a variety of methods including the Dunwoody Crier, local school newsletters, calling posts, web pages, and community and informational blogs. For an idea or submission to be considered for approval, it is required that all ideas must be submitted through the email link on the website and have accompanying reasons and supporting information indicating relevance and significance for our community.

If you are not able to submit your ideas and supporting reasons to the website, the School Naming Committee will be hosting a public forum at Peachtree Charter Middle School at 7:00 pm on February 17, 2009. All submissions must be in by the close of day of February 28, 2009. At that time, the submissions will be collected, counted, analyzed and a final selection of three possibilities will be presented to the local communities through the feeder elementary schools on Monday, March 9, 2009.

All ballots will be due back to the local feeder schools for approval by Friday, March 20, 2009. The local schools will collect the ballots and return them to the Region Assistant Superintendents office. The final selection of the school name, colors and mascot will be presented to the DeKalb County School Board for approval at the board meeting on April 13, 2009.

This is such a wonderful opportunity for the community. We are very excited to participate in this process and hope that all of you will embrace this chance and enthusiastically play your part as well. We look forward to seeing all of your submissions and working to serve the community in this capacity. Please do not hesitate to contact your local representative that is serving on the School Naming Committee if you have any questions.

Board Policy Links
School Naming/Renaming Committee - BYLAWS

School Naming/Renaming Committees - Board Policy Descriptor Code: FDC

Existing names, mascots and colors:

School Mascot Colors
Austin Elementary Eagles Red and Blue
Chesnut Elementary Cougars Red, White, and Blue
Hightower Elementary Indian Chiefs Green and White
Kingsley Elementary Comets Red, White, and Blue
Vanderlyn Elementary Vikings Blue and Yellow
Peachtree Charter Middle School Patriots Red, White, and Blue
Dunwoody high School Wildcats Red, White, and Blue

• 1/26/09 - 2/28/09 the email link is public for individuals to submit ideas and support evidence. All ideas and supporting evidence must be presented by the end of the day on February 28, 2009.
• 2/17/09 a public forum will be held at Peachtree Charter Middle School(PCMS) for feedback and presentation of ideas for those not presented to the web email account
• 3/09/09 ballots presented to the feeder schools that will highlight the top three choices for name, mascot, and color options. Individuals will have two weeks to complete and return their ballot by the end of the day on March 20, 2009.
• 3/20/09 ballots are due to the Dekalb County School System Area Assistant Superintendent - Mrs. Heckman for counting and summarizing.
• 4/13/09 The name, colors, and mascot selection will be presented to the Dekalb County School Board for final approval

Members on the Committee and affiliation:
Robin Burch Dunwoody Homeowners Association
Adrian Bonser Dunwoody City Council
Sarah Borcherding Chesnut Elementary School
Johnathan Clark Dunwoody 4/5 Principal
Elizabeth Heckman Region 1 Assistant Superintendent
Lisa Gill Austin Elementary School
Libba Morris Vanderlyn Elementary School
Donna Pittman Hightower Elementary School
Jim Redovian DeKalb County School Board member
Danny Ross Dunwoody City Council
Pam Speaks DeKalb County School Board member
Gregg Vandewiele Kingsley Elementary School
Kay Weber Community Representative

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dunwoody City Hall and Police Station site chosen near Perimeter Mall.

Warren Hutmacher announces City Hall & Police Station
Click Photo above or Click Here

The Monday Night Dunwoody City Council meeting covered a wide range of items on the agenda and most items were approved as presented. Including glass containers of alcohol (bottled wine, ect) are now allowed in parks when an event is permitted by the city. Employee benefits were discussed at length and approved by the Council as presented except for the health club membership portion which was removed. A new public comment period was added just prior to city council votes when amendments are added from the floor. The Construction & Alcohol Appeals boards were deferred until a future meeting in order to obtain a different set of volunteers since there is no reason to have one group sit on three various boards. The other boards were seated as proposed with the Mayor completing the slate for the Development Authority.

The big news of the night was the decision to enter into an agreement with the newly created Development Authority for the City of Dunwoody to sign a ten year lease for a co-mingled City Hall and Police Station at 41 Perimeter Center East, Dunwoody, Georgia 30346. This location is near the mall, off Ashford Dunwoody and located directly behind the Ravinia Building Complex. The City will lease almost two full floors (1st & 2nd floors) whereby the Police Station and the Court Room / City Council Chambers will be located on the First Floor and the Second Floor will be the administrative offices of City Hall.

I am not allowed to speak about what is said in executive session but believe I can state that the City Hall decision was a difficult one for all members of the Council (it was for me) since I like many were hoping for an ideal location in a different part of the City, but it just did not make financial and logistical sense to do so.

The almost four hours of audio from the meeting is now available as shown below.

01262009_audio1.mp3 Beginning up to benefits.
01262009_audio2.mp3 Start of benefits.
01262009_audio3.mp3 Chief Grogan on benefits up to Exec Session.
01262009_audio4.mp3 Return from Exec Session - announce City Hall.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dunwoody City Council Meeting Agenda- Boyken Update, Employee Benefits, City Hall, Signs, Alcohol in Glass, and City Boards.

Dunwoody City Council Meeting - Public Hearing at Dunwoody United Methodist Church (1548 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338).
Date: 1/26/2009
Time: 7:00 PM

Meeting Agenda_Jan 26 09

E1 DUNWOODY COUNCIL Meeting Minutes from 01-06-09_Jan 26 09

J2 Chapter 21 - Signs Final_Jan 26 09
J2 Ordinance to Chapter 21 2009-01-09_Jan 26 09

K1 Boyken Services to Dunwoody in 2008_Final_Jan 26 09
K1 January Boyken Update_Jan 26 09
K2 Comcast Agreement Memo_Jan 26 09

L1 Comprehensive Benefits Plan_Jan 26 09
  • Medical, Dental, Vision, Flex Spending, Life & Disability
  • Retirement 457, 401(K) of 10% plus another 6.2 %
  • Tuition Reimbursement - $2,000
  • Housing Stipend - $300 for 36 months
  • Gym Membership
  • Signing Bonus - $2,000
L2 Creation of a Dunwoody Development Authority_Jan 26 09
  • Bill Robinson and others to be named
L3 By-Laws of Development Authority_Jan 26 09

L4 IGA with the Dunwoody Development Authority for a City Hall and PD lease agreeement_Jan 26 09
  • City Hall and Police Department - getting close to being selected.
L5 Resolution to lift Moratorium - Final 2009-01-07_Jan 26 09
  • Lifts the sign moratorium
L6 City Council Rules and Procedures Resolution_Jan 26 09
  • Beginning Public Comment is moved after Agenda Approval
  • One person deferral to only times when 5 council members are present.
L7 Atlanta Gas Light Company franchise agreement_Jan 26 09

L8 Fee and Criteria for the Issuance of Permits_Jan 26 09
  • Allows glass containers of alcohol in parks, not near playgrounds / sports venues.
  • Sets permit fees of $25 & $100
L9 Resolution for Community Council_Jan 26 09
  • Brian Cosgrove, 3 years
  • Dennis Crean, 3 years
  • Al Albergini, 3 years
  • Tom Dwyer, 3 years
  • Robin Burch, 3 years
  • Page Olsen, 3 years
  • Austin Kearney, 3 years
L10 Resolution for Planning Commission_Jan 26 09
  • Bob Lundsten, 2 years
  • Bob Dallas, 2 years
  • Paul Player, 2 years
  • Bill Grossman, 2 years
  • Lynn Deutsch, 4 years
  • Kirk Anders, 4 years
  • Don Converse, 4 years
L11 Annual Schedule for Planning Commission_Jan 26 09
  • Monthly - Dates have been set for entire year.
L12 Resolution for Board of Zoning Appeals_Jan 26 09
  • Arty Bastien, 2 years
  • Joe Tuttle, 2 years
  • Ed Godshall, 2 years
  • Richard Ottness, 2 years
  • Geri Penn, 4 years
  • Dale Wartluft, 4 years
  • Susan Mitchell, 4 years
L14 Resolution for Construction Board of Appeals_Jan 26 09
  • Janet Webb, 2 years
  • Wade Wright, 2 years
  • John Francis, 4 years
  • Steven A. Blaske, 4 years
  • Wade McGuffey, 4 years
L13 Resolution for Ethics Board_Jan 26 09
  • Janet Webb, 1 year
  • Wade Wright, 1 year
  • John Francis, 3 years
  • Steven A. Blaske, 3 years
  • Wade McGuffey, 3 years
L15 Resolution for Alcohol Board of Appeals_Jan 26 09
  • Janet Webb, 2 years
  • Wade Wright, 2 years
  • John Francis, 4 years
  • Steven A. Blaske, 4 years
  • Wade McGuffey, 4 years
EXECUTIVE SESSION for the purposes of legal, real estate, and personnel discussions.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

City of Dunwoody, Staff Accountant Wanted

Staff Accountant
Dunwoody, Georgia
Posted: Thursday, January 22, 2009
End Date: Sunday, February 15, 2009

JAT Consulting Services, Inc. is seeking a qualified Full Time Staff Accountant to support The City of Dunwoody in our Finance Department. The candidate shall perform complex accounting and/or finance activities in preparing and reconciling financial documents.

Education/Experience and Requirements:
• Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting
• Five years of professional level accounting experience

Knowledge requirements:
• Experience in a municipal or governmental Accounting Department
• Budgetary principles
• Applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
• Automated financial systems.
• Governmental accounting procedures, practices, and guidelines.
• Financial control practices and procedures.
• Financial Reporting including preparation/analysis of balance sheet, income statement, and cash flows
• Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

Skill requirements:
• Operating computers and applicable software.
• Performing mathematical calculations
• Maintaining records.
• Operating standard office equipment.
• Applying laws, rules, and regulations
• Researching financial discrepancies.
• Preparing financial reports and documents, including basic financial statements.
• Analyzing and developing financial procedures.
• Preparing journal entries.
• Handling multiple projects simultaneously.
• Applying accounting procedures and principles.
• Analyzing and interpreting financial information.
• Recording, analyzing, verifying, reconciling, and reporting financial transactions.
• Communication, interpersonal skills as applied to interaction with coworkers, supervisor, the general public, etc. sufficient to exchange or convey information and to receive work direction.
• Demonstrate strong analytical skills and be resourceful
• Must be a self-starter and be able to work independently as well as a team member

Essential Duties:
• Analyzes, reconciles, and validates a variety of financial data and information; researches and interprets a variety of records, databases and logs
• Prepares, reviews, analyzes, and submits a variety of complex and/or special reports, reconciliations, work papers, communications, schedules, tables, and/or statements to and from internal departments, financial institutions, and external agencies.
• Provides support to City departments by solving financially related problems and reviewing internal controls.
• Resolves complex reconciliation and account analysis problems requiring in-depth research; coordinates and participates in special projects related to financial activities.
• Participates in developing and implementing financial procedures related to data accumulation, reporting, and archiving; analyzes and monitors compliance with financial, reporting and legal requirements.
• Audits, compiles, calculates, and analyzes a variety of financial data and transactions.
• Performs other duties of a similar nature or level.

You may email your resume as a word document or a pdf to: or fax it to (770) 975-1195.

CRIMETRAC - Crime Maps come to DeKalb County

Congratulations to the DeKalb County Police Department for finally following through on the internet based crime statistics and maps that were promised quite a bit ago when Chief Terrell Bolton spoke at the annual meeting of the Dunwoody North Civic Association.

The site looks good and I was able to go back several months to see the past history of an area and I was even able to see a complete three month history of a small area like a specific neighborhood. There is even a reporting function whereby any future crime reported within 2 miles of my home will be reported to me via e-mail. For the 5 minutes that I looked at it, I am impressed but I still need to play with it a little more to have a final opinion.

Below is crime map of Dunwoody for the first two weeks of January as shown in CRIMETRAC as compared to the same data that was also provided today in the old format of pdf documents. I haven't compared the two sets of crime statistics that should be identical but I believe the mapping and historical data makes a world of difference in analyzing the information.

I have already been promised that the Dunwoody Police Department will have something very comparable.

CRIMETRAC is an innovative mapping system designed to give citizens a first hand look at crime statistics in unincorporated DeKalb County. CRIMETRAC is another element of the Department’s Interactive Community Policing (ICP) Unit’s partnership with the community. Through ICP the Department has engaged citizens in the fight against crime and raised public confidence. The goal of CRIMETRAC is to reduce the fear of crime through better informed citizenry and improve the quality of life in DeKalb County.

• Innovative mapping system for citizens
• Provides accurate and timely crime data in the form of reports and maps
• Informs citizens of activities taking place in their own neighborhoods
• Citizen friendly and easy to use

Using CRIMETRAC is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
1. Search
- By Address
- By Crime
2. Focus
- Number of crimes within radius
- Number of crimes near specific address
3. Obtain Report
- Data Range
- Crime Type

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dunwoody Homestead Exemption - NEW FORM without Social Security Number

The City of Dunwoody has modified the form for email submittal whereby the new form does not include social security numbers. The City included some additional information below due to the questions that were received and since I have been receiving a number of questions regarding the Tax District whereby I and I believe most live in Tax District 50 which is Dunwoody.

You will still have to make sure you have filled out your homestead exemption for DeKalb County. When you click on the link below to look up your parcel id and pin number, you can see if it says you have the exemption. You will only have to complete this form 1 time as well. If you have problems opening the form you may need to upgrade to the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader, it is a free upgrade and you can get it here.

To look up your property address to see your parcel id and pin number click on this link:

Click on the link below for the revised form:

2009 Homestead Exemption Application

2009 Supplemental Exemption Application

(For citizens over the age of 65 who have a household income less than $15,000/year):

For more information please visit

School Nurses proposed to be cut due to tough economic times.

Gov. Sonny Perdue has the tough job of proposing a state budget in these rough economic times and the Joint Appropriations Committee will be meeting today to go over the Governors proposal which includes the elimination of school nurses.

With close to 1,000 kids in the new 4th and 5th grade elementary school; one of the biggest complaints I heard from the community on the construction of the school wasn't the red roof but rather the size and configuration of the health clinic. In the final design, I believe several walls were moved and doors reconfigured in order to make the clinic hospitable and private for the little patients who would be visiting that room of the school, some on a regular basis.

Below is a letter I wanted to bring to your attention from my good friend Jay Spearman whose wife Paige serves our community children as the school nurse at Vanderlyn Elementary.

This is one cost savings measure that I believe will cut very deep, in many unintended ways.

Dear Parents and Friends:

As the parent of three school aged children, and the husband of the school nurse at Vanderlyn Elementary, I need to ask for your urgent help.

As you may have heard, Governor Perdue has proposed to eliminate all state funding for professional school nurses in Georgia. In a nutshell, what this means is that RN’s will no longer be there when your child is hurt or sick, assist in training staff and teachers, work daily with students suffering from diabetes, asthma, allergies, seizures, cancer, infectious illnesses and special needs, manage immunization records, perform vision and hearing screenings, conduct CPR classes, coordinate safety plans, perform emergency triage and much more.

Why are school nurses important? The facts speak for themselves:
  • It is estimated that 15 million students annually visit and receive care from school based clinics for illnesses, medications and/or injuries.

  • 1.5 million school-age children do not have health insurance and their first level of care when faced with a medical issue is the school clinic.

  • Approximately 30% of Georgia students have health conditions (i.e. asthma, diabetes, cancer, life-threatening allergies and seizure disorder).

  • As many as 5 million doses of prescription medications are given annually at schools.

  • School nurses respond to medical emergencies, educate staff on school health issues and provide training on medical procedures.

  • School Nurses work in collaboration with community physicians and health organizations to ensure the health needs of students are met, which is of even greater importance due to the recently increased compliance requirements involving Georgia immunization laws.
Without School Nurses, parent volunteers would have to take shifts in the clinic. That is fine for band-aids, but as noted above, many of our children have needs, injuries and emergencies that surpass the abilities of a parent volunteer (or school secretary).

With all that being said, the most important reason to maintain school nurses is that they care about your child. School Nurses can make 3 to 4 times in the private sector what they are being paid by their school districts. However, they elect to be School Nurses because they love the kids and care about their well being.

Therefore, I employ and urge you as a Georgia citizen, physician, pediatrician, business leader, school administrator, community advocate, children’s advocate, parent, student, school staff member or just supporter of school nurses to please contact the Governor and members of the Appropriations and Health Committees and offer your strong support by voicing disapproval of these funds being eliminated from the State budget.

There is a budget meeting scheduled on this issue today (Wednesday, 1/21/09), so time is very short. The following legislators need to hear from you ASAP:

School Superintendent Kathy Cox: 404-656-2800

Governor Sonny Perdue: 404-656-1776
Lt. Governor Cagle: 404-656-5030
Rep. Ben Harbin: 404-463-2247
Rep. Dubose Porter: 404-656-5058
Rep. Cooper: 404-656-5069
Rep. Jan Jones: 404-463-2247
Rep. Mark Burkhalter: 404-656-5072
Rep. Fran Millar: 404-656-5064
Rep. Ehrhart: 404-656-5141
Rep. Glenn Richardson: 404-656-5020
Sen. Jack Hill: 404-656-5038
Sen. Don Balfour: 404-656-0095
Sen. Tommie Williams: 404-656-0089
Sen. Renee Unterman: 404-463-1368
Sen. Dan Moody: 404-463-8055
Sen. John Bulloch: 404-656-0040
Sen. Jack Murphy: 404-656-7127
Sen. Horacena Tate: 404-463-8053
Sen. Eric Johnson: 404-656-5109
Sen. Robert Brown: 404-656-5035

Please make the phones ring.

Also, please e-mail these and your representatives. E-mail addresses can be found at: Please feel free to forward this e-mail.

Thanks for your assistance.

Jay Spearman

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Perceptions of Crime, Time & Personal Safety - DeKalb had a 10 minute response time to the home invasion.

Crime in Dunwoody (as a whole) is relatively low and we are lucky to live in such a place but when a horrific event happens it alters or even pops the bubble that we live in and the situation is perceived to be worse than it actually is. Violent home invasions do not happen every day in Dunwoody and the one that took place last Thursday appears to be a targeted occurrence therefore the chance of it happening to another random Dunwoody resident seems to be very low.

I received numerous e-mails from the community informing me of the 20 minute response time and even have a letter from the victims family which quotes the same. I felt horrible for the family involved and was personally disappointed at the quoted response time for such a violent crime. I spent several hours listening to the police calls from the evening of the 15th and when I could not corroborate the facts, I ran with the story as it was relayed to me.

Today I received a comment on the blog from Captain Kevin Ellison of the DeKalb County Police Department who reviewed the audio tapes and clarified that the response time from DeKalb was 10 minutes and not the 20 as alluded to in my original story. In order to correct the situation I have posted Captain Ellison’s response below on the front page for all to see.

Was I wrong to publish what I wrote based on the information I had on hand at the time; I am still not sure? As I have stated in the past, I tend to be an equal opportunity pain in the ass and if my Mother was the Police Chief; I probably would have written the exact same thing in order to ensure my neighbors of the proper services that they should be getting. The residents on that street voiced several concerns to me regarding their perception of the service being provided and I merely echoed their sediments in order to give them a voice and let them be heard. I apologize if my tone was a little harsh, since I should have edited down the residents comments a little more than I did prior to putting then onto the blog. I hope you understand that I meant no harm. If the same events were to happen with the Dunwoody Police Department please know that I would immediately be talking to the Chief Grogan and the City Manager making all inquiries; unfortunately that wasn't the case last week.

The blog entry received several comments ranging from arming every citizen to 20 minutes being an acceptable response time and to be honest I don’t believe that the citizens should have to live with either of these two polar options. A dialog on crime and police services were started because of this event among the readers and as they are learning in Atlanta, talking about crime is the first step to taking positive actions and I would like to encourage more discussion on the topic. The Dunwoody Police Department is still in its infancy and I urge you to give them and your elected official’s feedback as to what type of service levels you want your department to provide.

I have talked publicly about mapped crime statistics, a city sponsored neighborhood watch program with a reverse 911 (Callingpost) system to inform the neighbors of crime in the area, strict speed enforcement in school zones, a few Spanish speaking officers and the right size Department to properly serve the citizens needs.

What do you want from your Police Department? You have seven elected officials who really do want to hear from you, talk to them about your desires but also please remember that there is a limited police budget that your elected officials are trying to stay within.

Below is the reply from Captain Kevin Ellison regarding Thursday nights home invasion.

Mr. Heneghan and others,

My name is Captain Kevin Ellison and I am the Asst. Commander of the North Precinct. A concerned Dunwoody citizen brought this issue of call response to my attention. I was already familiar with the call from last week and I looked into the issue further. I found out that the call in question was on 01/15/2009.

2156 – Call received by 911
2157 – Dispatched to a police unit
2200 – Helicopter was dispatched to area
2207 – First officer arrives on scene
2207 – Helicopter begins take off procedures at heliport
2230 – Helicopter is on scene

Our response time was 10 minutes for the first officer to arrive. 2 additional officers responded to circulate in the area and a supervisor went to the scene. I prefer that we arrive quicker than 10 minutes to this type of call. I will look into this further.

We had information from the victim that the suspects blew a tire when fleeing the scene. There was a good possibility that the vehicle was disabled in the area and we had armed suspects on the ground.

In addition, it is common practice to dispatch aerial support for violent felony crimes anywhere in the county.

I hope this clears things up. In addition I have been with DeKalb PD for 21 years and I have spent 7 of those years working in the North Precinct at various rank levels.

I can speak for the precinct in that we look forward to working with the city and the new police department. I met Chief Grogan and Mayor Wright at the swearing-in ceremony and I believe they will do a fine job in their new positions.

If you have any questions please call me at 404-297-3814.

Thank You

Monday, January 19, 2009

All Dunwoody Homeowners are asked to reapply for their Property Tax Exemptions by March 1st.

If you have already filed for a homestead exemption and/or a property Freeze with DeKalb County and currently have the exemptions in effect, the City will grant the exemptions on your municipal property tax.

However, to be abundantly cautious, the City of Dunwoody is asking all homeowners to resubmit an application directly to the City of Dunwoody for the same exemptions and/or property tax freezes you have enjoyed over the years. The deadline is March 1 for the current calendar year (2009). Applications are accepted year round, but in order to qualify for exemptions this calendar year, you must apply by March 1, 2009.

In order to complete the form, you will either need to have your Parcel I.D. and PIN Number which is printed on your tax bill. You can also obtain your PIN Number via inserting the Property Address or Parcel ID of your property located within the DeKalb County Property Information Search page. The applications are available through the following channels:

Online below at

2009 Homestead Exemption Application

2009 Supplemental Exemption Application

Via email request:

By phone: 678-382-6700

By mail request:
City of Dunwoody
PO Box 888074
Dunwoody, GA 30356

In person (until May 31, 2009):
City of Dunwoody
400 Northridge Road, Suite 1250
Atlanta, GA 30350

Thank you for your attention to this request.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Did DeKalb County Police take 20 minutes to respond to a armed home invasion in Dunwoody? That's the rumor.

At around 9:30 Thursday night, a young woman living off Womack had just returned from work at the family nail salon, and police believe she was followed by a group of three armed black men who surprised her from behind while she was unlocking the door. The men assaulted the family in the home and left with a lot of cash that was in the house (from the nail salon proceeds). Fortunately, no one in the home was seriously hurt or worse. Police believe the family involved are one of several salon owners and/or pawn shop owners who have had home invasions recently, due to cash being brought home.

I am also told the disappointing fact for many of the residents who live in the same neighborhood was that it took the DeKalb Police Department 20 MINUTES to respond to the families 911 call for assistance and then I am told that DeKalb Police put on a neighborhood helicopter show for an hour looking for the assailants who were by then, long gone.

If anyone finds the specifics on the radio archive, please let me know. I would be interested in hearing the radio chatter from the evening.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Come join my Wife & I at the Taste of Dunwoody on Friday Feb 6th at the W

Get your tickets for
the 6th Annual

Taste of Dunwoody
February 6, 2009

W Atlanta-Perimeter

Tastings from 30 Restaurants and live music by Relix
100% of the proceeds benefit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Don't wait as this event is sure to sell out
Purchase tickets at

Featured Restaurants
The 2009 Taste of Dunwoody included delicious bites from:

* Alons
* Aqua Blue
* Boneheads
* Brio
* Café Intermezzo
* Corner Bar and Grill
* Dunwoody Tavern
* Dunwoody Restaurant Group
* Eclipse di Luna
* Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
* FUZE Beverage
* Hearth Pizza Tavern
* J. Alexander's
* La Grotta Ristorante
* Maggiano's
* McCormick & Schmick's
* McKendrick's
* Metrotainment Bakery
* PF Changs
* Rob's Caribbean Cafe
* Rita's Italian Ice
* Taco Mac
* Twisted Taco
* Wildfire

...and more!

See you there!
Amy Otto, Pam Koch, Kristi Mershon
Taste of Dunwoody 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Green Space graveled over, Retreat Moved, Job Fair, Entertainment, Crime & City Sustainability

Chamblee Middle School's New Back Parking Lot

The Technology High School next to GA Perimeter College which was closed and the land swapped for the location of the new 4th & 5th grade elementary school is now being used by GPC students for parking. The buses that were previously parked at that location needed to find a new home and have been parked in the front and side of the Chamblee Middle School property at the corner of Chamblee Dunwoody & Shallowford. Today the grassy back yard of the school is being filled in with gravel presumably to make a parking lot for the school buses now being parked there. Neighbors are rightfully very upset and the Dunwoody Codes do not apply to school property therefore there is little the city can do directly to alleviate the issue.

Dunwoody Police Job Fair - Saturday January 31

Come ask questions - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the South Terraces, 115 Perimeter Center Place, Dunwoody, GA 30346.

City Council Training Session - Moved to Dunwoody

The City of Dunwoody’s Retreat, which will be held on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, will now be held at the following location from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Marriott Perimeter Center
246 Perimeter Center Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30346

Entertainment Center coming to Georgetown

Opening Spring 2009, Zamba Fun Land will be the premier family entertainment center featuring Birthday Party and special event areas; arcade games; inflatables; miniature golf; food and beverage menus; redemption center; parents lounge and toddler play areas among many other things. Zamba Fun Land’s unique combination of activities for children of all ages will provide reasonably priced fun and entertainment for Atlanta’s growing families and will eventually expand to include educational classes and after school programs.

Do not leave purses in shopping carts unattended.

There is a rash of purse and wallet takings in the Supermarkets up and down Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Ashford Dunwoody Road and Jett Ferry Road. An incident occurred at Publix on Chamblee Dunwoody on January 7th and the Kroger on Chamblee Dunwoody on January 9th. The scenario of these incidents along with others that have occurred is that the victims appear to older ladies who are being distracted by a decoy and while she is distracted someone else takes the wallet from the purse that is in the shopping cart.

Sustainable Dunwoody Committee met with City Hall

Today I had the privilege of joining these fine people along with the City Manager of Dunwoody and all the Department Heads to discuss next steps in pursuing the Atlanta Regional Commission, Green Community Certification. Feel free to join or follow along on the groups social networking website at...

Website available for Dunwoody 4th & 5th Grade Academy on Womack

The new 4th & 5th Elementary School on Womack is on schedule to be opened by this August and the DCSS just published the school website which I have listed below.

Principal Johnathan Clark - Resume

Faculty and Staff have not been selected for the new Elementary School. It is the expectation that each faculty member will have his or her own web page. As staff members are added, they will upload and link their web pages. If you are interested in employment at the new Dunwoody Elementary School, please contact the DeKalb County School System Department of Human Resources.

Advisory Action Teams have already been created to help prepare the school for opening day and they are starting to meet on a regular basis to ensure a smooth transition for the nearly 1,000 students scheduled to attend. If you are interested in these action groups please check the school website for group contact information or if you need more information, Mr. Clark can be reached via e-mail at

The Climate and Culture Action team is focused on gathering information to establish the climate and culture for our new school. This will include but not be limited to spirit days, grade level field trips, holiday gatherings, murals for the school, and any general activities that will contribute to developing our own culture and set of traditions.

The Clubs and Activities Team will focus on ideas and concerns regarding clubs and activities that we wish to provide for our children at our school. This will include but not be limited to clubs and activities that are currently being offered at the feeder schools, service-based clubs, honor programs, and extra-curricular activities like Science Olympiad and Odyssey of the Mind.

The Communication Team will focus on providing the best methods of communication for between all groups and communities during this time of transition. This will include but not be limited to updating the school website, providing input and feedback from the stakeholders as well as answering questions, and acting as a general means of communication for all parties to make this process as transparent and accessible as possible for all people affected by the changes.

The Facilities Action Team will focus on ideas and concerns regarding construction, the facilities, and the grounds of our new school. This will include but not be limited to playground equipment, outdoor classroom area, and campus beautification.

The Instructional Delivery Model Action Team will focus on best practices for our instructional program. This will include but not be limited to bell schedule, specials that will be offered, how we serve the needs of our ELL, gifted, and special education students, and ideas that support differentiated instruction for all children at our school.

The Parent Teacher Group Action Team will focus on ideas and concerns regarding the structure of our parent support group and help determine whether we form a Parent Teacher Association or Parent Teacher Organization. This will include but not be limited to fundrasing, registration practices, support programs for the students and teachers, outreach programs for our families, and general issues regarding with community involvement and support of the school and our students.

The Technology Action Team will focus on concerns and ideas related to technology for our instructional program. This will include but not be limited to types of technology such as Activboards, laptop labs, wireless capabilities, presentation stations, and possible tools that will enhance the instructional program we offer our students.

The Transportation Team will focus on the impact of transportation and traffic flow in the community. This will include but not be limited to getting the students to school safely, carpool ideas, sidewalks, traffic flow pattern, turn lanes, and working with both the DeKalb County School System and the new City of Dunwoody to address these issues.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dunwoody Police Applications are rolling in, please apply if you are interested.

The City of Dunwoody is advertising the 40 police positions where ever qualified individuals will see the information, including the Georgia Municipal Association website as shown below and the pdf flyer being distributed as shown above.

Police Officers

Yesterday, January 13, 2009, 3:03:00 PM
Dunwoody, Georgia
Begin Date: Tuesday, January 13, 2009
End Date: Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The City of Dunwoody is accepting applications for Police Officers. Interested applicants can acquire additional information and complete the application by visiting the City of Dunwoody Web site at
Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

At this time, the anticipated start date for the Dunwoody Police Department is April 1, 2009. Almost all employees will be hired near the first week of March in order to provide ample opportunity for training.

The City of Dunwoody is a new established City located in DeKalb County that began official operation as a City on December 1, 2008. 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.

Job Requirements
• United States Citizen
• Must be current Georgia Certified Police Officer through P.O.S.T
• Must be 21 years old
• Education High school diploma (or GED)
• Must posess a valid Georgia Class C Drivers License
• No felony convictions during your lifetime
• No discharge from any military organization less than honorable
• No termination for cause from a local, state, or federal civil service or merit system job

For information on the Dunwoody Police Department's hiring process & the benefits of employment, click on the link below.

Salary Information
Entry Level Salary: $38,500 annual

Contact Information
City of Dunwoody
David Barnes
PO Box 88804
Dunwoody, GA 30356
(678) 382-6700

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Full audio of Mayor Shirley Franklin's speech at the Atlanta Press Club

Today I had the pleasure of attending the Atlanta Press Club for lunch to listen to Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin speak on a number of topics but the big item was her announcement that she wants to add 400 officers to the Atlanta Police Department.

I have posted the entire 30 minute speech and question and answer session on line for your listening pleasure and my notes are below.
  • Governing for Today vs. Planning for the Future
  • Clean Water Atlanta - Can do attitude of Atlanta
  • 11 months to go - still lot to do - many projects moving forward
  • Started in a recession - ending in a recession, trying to be fiscally sound
  • Wants President Obama to be a partner with Cities and America needs an urban policy director
  • Proudest issue in politics, tackling Atlanta's water & sewer issue
  • Surprising issue of being an elected official - people want to interact with you, no matter where
  • Crime in Atlanta - what's the plan? 2,000 police officers needed 20 years ago and still today. 400 new officers needed.
  • Increase investment in public safety needed possibly up to 2,400 officers
  • Homelessness - Public / Private Partnership - United Way
  • Working families need help - need a living wage - State Law Prohibited
  • Facebook and the internet has rallied the community about crime.
  • Transit and infrastructure, lobbying for stimulus for projects
  • Hartsfield projects could be jump started, Clean Water could be expanded and bridges need repair.
  • Coordinated intermodal transportation improvements needed across the region.
  • Water sharing between three states, GA AL & FL - middle ground must be found.
  • Media hasn't covered State and Regional stories - stop focusing on crime in Atlanta or DeKalb specifically when the problems are regional in scope.
  • Media is not covering the fact that the airport and aviation infrastructure is an economic engine for the region.
  • What's next after office? Life will continue - passion for students between 16 to 18, probably education.

Dunwoody hires ConnectSouth (Austin, Simon & Choate) to lobby on behalf of Dunwoody for property transfer and parks bond money.

The City of Dunwoody negotiating in good faith with the Jones Administration and now the Ellis Administration for a fair an equitable transfer of property took a preliminary step to review other legal avenues at the Monday night city council meeting. The consulting firm of Connect South (Clint Austin, Tony Simon, Sam Choate) were hired by the city at a sum of $55,000 to represent them on legislative issues concerning an equitable transfer of properties as well as the balance of the $11.5 Million dollars that were promised to Brook Run Park during the 2005 Parks bond referendum.

Prior to December 1st, Dunwoody provided DeKalb County provided 30 day notice in a letter stating that the City of Dunwoody intended to take over maintenance and programs in the city parks starting January 1. Under Georgia Law (Georgia Constitution Article IX, § II, Para. III (2008)), DeKalb County cannot operate a park in the City of Dunwoody without Dunwoody’s permission. The reaction of the DeKalb Board of Commissioners at receiving the letter was negative and at least one member of the Board stated that he wanted to padlock the park.

Negotiations between the County and the City are still ongoing and this action by the council was deemed necessary based on the negative reactions of the BOC in order to protect the city's interests. The transfer of the properties and the retention of the bond proceeds that were promised to Brook Run, go hand in hand in order to demolish the abandoned and asbestos filled buildings still located on the property as well as make capital improvements promised to the citizens as part of the Bond Campaign.

In other City business during the meeting, Deputy Police Chief David Sides and Lieutenant David Barnes, both from Marietta, were introduced to the City Council as well our new Finance Director, Mr. John Grotheer.

We now have an official zoning map and the Building Permit moratorium has been lifted (except for signs until the next sign hearing).

The issue of Dunwoody resident homestead tax exemptions came up and it was discussed that the initial IGA draft with the Tax Commissioner has the Tax Commissioner sending the tax bills with homestead exemptions applied to the residents of Dunwoody without the need to reapply but the City has decided that in order to be safe in case of legal challenge, they will be asking city residents to complete another homestead exemption with the City and information will be forthcoming on this in the coming days.

Finally the matter of issuing permits to allow alcohol consumption at Special Events in Dunwoody Parks came up and passed, though the Council already knows that the legislation needs to be tightened up prior to the City Manager issuing the first permit.

Next week's Monday night meeting falls on a holiday and was canceled though the City Council will be in an all day meeting/training session along with staff the next day.

I broke the audio of the meeting into two sections, look at the agenda. The first audio clip is from start until just after the Comcast agreement the second clip starts with the discussion on the homestead exemption until the end, with the ConnectSouth discussion towards the end of the evening.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

City of Dunwoody website now providing electronic agenda documents.

For the last couple of months I have been uploading electronic city documents to my site and linking them on my blog for your viewing pleasure. At my insistence, the current City of Dunwoody calendar webpage now posts every public document that City Hall provides me in order to prepare for a City Council meeting.

Here is the calender listing for Monday, January 12th which was updated with all the electronic documents just before the close of business on Friday.

City Council Meeting
Date: 1/12/2009
Time: 7:00 PM

Atlanta gets tough on crime by arresting innocent news crew in City Hall.

Mayor Shirley Franklin started the week by saying that crime in Atlanta is going down yet it was proven that many aspects of crime is clearly on the upswing. I am guessing that she got the idea from Terrell Bolton who also said that crime was going down in DeKalb County while at the same time having the record breaking year for the number of murders.

Come on people lets give the public a little credit for not believing the B.S. your trying to feed us and get the stories straight. The public wants to be able to trust our civic leaders and when it comes to public safety we hope and pray that you are doing everything in your power to protect us.

The Citizens of Atlanta have now had enough of the escalating crime along with drastic cutbacks in police services, and are finally doing something about it; unfortunately it took the execution of a young man to wake up the community. Sadly enough this same scenario played out over 100 times in DeKalb County and it is only a matter of time before DeKalb's citizens get just as riled.

Atlantans Together Against Crime and Cutbacks (ATACC) from Grayson Daughters on Vimeo.

If Atlanta because of the escalated press coverage told their officers to get tough on crime in order to get regain the faith of the people, they need to stop making bonehead mistakes like this.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dunwoody Rotarians will be building future World Leaders at Oglethorpe next weekend.

Each year, Dunwoody Rotarians host a weekend for the current Georgia Rotary Student Program (GRSP) class focused on building future world leaders ... "One Person, One Group Making a Difference" weekend taking place at Oglethorpe University.

The Halle Foundation
and the Rotary Club of Atlanta are our partners in this endeavor and thanks to the many Dunwoody host families who will be welcoming over 40 international students attending the conference into their homes.

Their Vision for the weekend is Service above Self & Peace though World Understanding

History of Dunwoody's Perimeter Mall

Perimeter Mall, is located in the wealthy north-suburban Atlanta community of Dunwoody, GA. Opened in 1971, Perimeter Mall debuted as the fourth mall in DeKalb County, and the seventh mall in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Nearly four decades later, Perimeter Mall is one of metro Atlanta’s best shopping venues and offers the most upscale store roster of any mall outside Buckhead. Located just a few miles north of Buckhead and Midtown Atlanta, Perimeter Mall draws from a large area of the northern metro, from Roswell to Sandy Springs and into northern Dekalb County, and is the anchor to an area of office complexes, retail, and hotels located around the interchange of GA 400 and I-285.

Ostensibly named after the 64 mile long Interstate 285 which circumscribes Atlanta’s perimeter, and at one time was the edge of Atlanta’s suburban extent, Perimeter Mall opened with only two anchors, Rich’s and JCPenney, in a dumbbell style layout with an enclosed corridor of shops connecting them. Throughout the 1970s, Perimeter Mall was very similar in design to another Atlanta mall, Greenbriar Mall, which is located in southwest Atlanta some 25 miles away; however, changing fortunes for both areas in the decades following caused the malls to become less similar as time went on.

In 1982, the two-level Perimeter Mall was dramatically expanded to its current T-shape when a new northwest wing was added, ending at Atlanta-based anchor store Davison’s, which became Macy’s in 1986. A new food court was also added along this wing, and the wing nearly doubled the size of the mall at the time.

Unfortunately, a terrible tragedy occurred at Perimeter Mall in 1990, as James Calvin Brady, a mental hospital patient, opened fire in the mall’s food court at lunch time, killing one person and injuring four.

To keep up with newer competition like the large and successful North Point Mall which opened in 1993, Perimeter Mall was renovated several times from 1993-2000, and expanded once again in 1998. Throughout this period numerous anchor changes also occurred, shifting every anchor from its original place and introducing three new ones. A MARTA rail station also opened just in time for the Olympics in 1996 in the southwest parking lot, providing rail access from downtown Atlanta, Buckhead, and all other MARTA stations.

In 1998, Nordstrom opened their first Georgia store next to Macy’s in the northwest wing, adding a short stub wing and several more stores in the process. In addition, JCPenney closed in 2000 and its building was demolished and reconstructed for Dillards, which opened in 2005. Also, the Rich’s became Rich’s-Macy’s in 2003, and was converted to just Macy’s by 2005; meanwhile, the original Macy’s in the newer wing, which was originally Davison’s prior to 1986, closed in 2003 and reopened the same year as a Bloomingdales. Got all that? The opening of Bloomingdales was part of its entry into the Atlanta market, as Macys decided to introduce the Bloomingdales nameplate to two Atlanta malls rather than sell the anchors due to the Rich’s consolidation. Both Perimeter Mall and Buckhead’s Lenox Square, where Bloomingdales also opened in 2003, were considered because of their demographics as both malls serve some of the wealthiest zip codes in the Atlanta area.

One of the more recent renovations also brought a streetscape facade to the Ashford-Dunwoody Road-facing exterior, bringing new destination restaurants and outward-facing retail, a popular trend in malls these days, to Perimeter Mall.

Today, Perimeter Mall has a solid foothold in the wealthy northern Atlanta market, surviving despite an onslaught of malls and lifestyle centers which have opened since 1990 throughout the metro area, like the nearby North Point Mall in Alpharetta which opened in 1993. Also, Perimeter Mall is only several miles north of metro Atlanta’s best malls, Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square, which are co-located in Buckhead across the street from one another. Perimeter Mall’s upscale and innovative roster of stores continues to woo Atlanta consumers, as recently the Yoforia chain, serving the latest big trend of frozen yogurt (a la Pinkberry and Red Mango) chose Perimeter as its first mall location. Perimeter Mall is the anchor of large retail complexes, office buildings and hotels near the interchange of GA 400 and I-285, and will continue to thrive in the near future unless GGP’s financial woes force its closure.