Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dunwoody Lemonade Days 2009 at Brook Run, April 16 through 19

On April 16-19, 2009 Dunwoody Preservation Trust (DPT) will host Lemonade Days, its annual fund raising event. Lemonade Days 2009 will again feature the same format that the community has enjoyed for the past few years. This year's festival will introduce (BRAD), a Bicycle Ride Around Dunwoody for the entire community, add multiple rides, diversify more broadly the food choices and add new activities. This festival has been developed based on community feedback to allow families more flexibility in planning their participation. Please mark your calendars and the call for volunteers will be coming soon.

Thursday April 16
  • Amusement Park Rides, Inflatables, Games and Concessions
    Schedule: 5:00 to 10:00 PM
Friday April 17
  • Amusement Park Rides, Inflatables, Games and Concessions
    Schedule: 5:00 to 11:00 PM
Saturday April 18
  • Bicycle Ride Around Dunwoody (BRAD)
    Schedule: 9:00am – 10:00am
  • Amusement Park Rides, Inflatables, Games and Concessions
    Schedule: 10:00AM to 11:00PM
  • Pony rides & Face Painting
    Schedule: 12:00PM to 4PM
  • Petting Zoo
    Schedule: 12:00PM to 4PM
  • Skate Park Exhibition
    Schedule: 12:00PM to 1:00PM and 4:00PM to 5:00PM
  • The Dunwoody Arts and Crafts Guild annual craft fair.
    Schedule: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday April 19
  • Amusement Park Rides, Inflatables, Games and Concessions
    Schedule: 12:00PM to 6:00PM
  • Pony rides & Face Painting
    Schedule: 12:00PM to 4PM
  • Petting Zoo
    Schedule: 12:00PM to 4PM
  • Skate Park Exhibition
    Schedule: 4:00PM to 5:00PM
  • The Dunwoody Arts and Crafts Guild annual craft fair.
    Schedule: 11:00PM AM to 5:00 PM
Anticipated Attendance during four days of 35,000+

DeKalb Public School enrollment will it be up or down and how will it affect Dunwoody? What about Bus service?

Will DeKalb's School Enrollment be going up?

Every DeKalb County Public School in Dunwoody has portable classroom trailers and when the new fourth & fifth grade school opens next year on Womack, many of those trailers will remain in place. I am seeing conflicting stories in the news regarding school funding, school closures and whether enrollment will be going up or down. The DeKalb County School Board is thinking about closing more schools and increasing the busing distance to reduce costs. Now because of economic hardship it appears that many families who have sent their children off to private school in the past are deciding to return to the local public schools.

Today I read on the DeKalb County School Watch blog that the newly built Arabia Mountain High School which was scheduled to be a neighborhood school as well as being able to accept transfers from other nearby "failing" schools has been modified to be Magnet or "Choice" school which wouldn't have to accept transfers from other schools. This change directly affects Dunwoody High School since it will still be a "receiving" school from students all over the county. If this is true, it sounds like a bait and switch to me in order to prepare a justification of the next SPLOST tax for Education.

Finally a school issue which will be affecting all of Dunwoody (even if you do not have children in school) is the yet to be finalized busing plan for the new school. With elementary school children from all over Dunwoody going to this school and with a mix of K though 3 as well as the 4 & 5's on the same pick up route; it will be a logistical nightmare to work a feasible and efficient schedule for all involved.

On top of that, Dr. Crawford Lewis has proposed that the walk zone be increased from 1 mile to 1.5 miles - as student safety and traffic conditions allow. I had my GIS software draw a 1.5 mile circle around the new school which is as the crow flies and then I mapped the walking distance from the school to my home, which measured 1.6 miles. Even if my fourth grader is offered a bus to the new school, we will have to decide if the logistical circumstances make sense for us to accept the ride.

The prospect of very early bus pickups for those who will still be offered the bus and the 1.5 mile walking distance without buses being offered, means that there will probably be a lot of cars making round trip visits to Womack Road come early August.

The job of putting together the transportation plan for the new school to best serve the needs of the students will be very difficult and I hope that the school system explores every option to find what is best for the students. This is what the new school website says regarding school start times and transportation logistics.

What time will school start and end?
  • This is still under review. The current plan on the table has students delivered to the Academy starting at 7:00 am. Once the Academy students are dropped off, the bus will continue its route to the next elementary school. Students will be picked up from the Academy at 2:00 in the afternoon. Academy will dismiss at 2:00 pm. Buses will leave the Academy and go to Austin, Vanderlyn, and Chestnut Elementary schools before delivering to the neighborhoods. This is subject to change if the school release time is modified. This will create an earlier time for pick up in the morning, but the afternoon pickup and drop off time will be the same and the students will arrive home at the same time as their siblings.
How will the buses run, in relation to the current busing schedule?
  • We are an elementary school, and therefore, we will work around the established elementary start and end times with some flexibility. This is a transportation issue that the DeKalb County School System is looking into to determine the best possible time.
Whether or not you have children in the DeKalb County School System, these school items affect our tax bill, our home values and our overall quality of life and I thought they should be brought to your attention. I know that I will be watching closely.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How big will the Dunwoody 4th of July Parade be this year?

We are about five months out from the Largest 4th of July Parade in the State of Georgia and the committee being lead by Pam Tallmadge of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association is already under way making preparations. If you are interested in assisting with the organization of the parade, please contact Pam as I am sure her committee would appreciate the assistance.

I found this video which was recently posted on YouTube by Kenny Adcox, a lifelong resident of Dunwoody who is a sophomore at UGA majoring in broadcast journalism. This video reminded me of the parade last year where my entire family participated and had a ball. I can only imagine that this years parade will be even larger, even without all of the politicians in their off year.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dunwoody talks finances and is still looking for VoIP & Network bids.

Though the Dunwoody City Council approved a contract for the City's Comprehensive Plan, passed a Public Assemblage ordinance and approved franchise agreements with Atlanta Gas Light & Comcast, it seemed that we discussed city finances most of the night.

We discussed the Financial Report for January.

Had the first read on an amendment to the fiscal year budget and discussed our possible GMA lease agreement for capital items needed in City Hall.

Discussed in detail and then deferred a purchasing policy that revolved around credit cards.

We then reconsidered our vote of the VoIP telephone & network from last week due to irregularities with what was being offered by the various vendors and then asked City Hall to go out again for bids.

I have audio available in four parts that follows the agenda. Part 1 is the start of the meeting until the end of unfinished business (Comcast). Part 2 is the Financial Report for January through the first half of the ordinance to amend the budget. Part 3 starts with Don Boyken closing out the amendment to the budget by reporting on the construction of City Hall and ends just before the VOIP discussion. Part 4 is all VOIP Telephone and Network Infrastructure until the end. There was no executive session.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

City of Dunwoody officially objects to AJC article regarding phone system, writes open letter to residents.

After last Monday's City Council meeting the AJC mistakenly reported the status of an expenditure for a phone & network system as costing 10 times more than what was originally budgeted. After receiving a steady stream of inquiries by the public, the City has now requested that the AJC review the facts and correct the inaccuracies and misrepresentations in the story.

Besides asking the AJC for a correction, Dunwoody City Manager Warren Hutmacher has issued this open letter to residents in order explain the purchase of the phone system.

February 20, 2009

Dear Dunwoody Friends and Neighbors,

Some of you have shared with myself or our elected officials your concerns about Wednesday’s AJC article regarding the purchase of a new phone system for City Hall. As you have conversations with your friends and neighbors, I want to make sure you have all the facts.

It’s unfortunate that April Hunt, the AJC reporter assigned to report on the City of Dunwoody, did not attend Monday night’s City Council meeting. Perhaps if she were able to attend, then her article would not have contained several factual errors.

To set the record straight, below is a recap of the action taken by the City Council.

We approved acquisition of a combined phone, network and Internet system at a cost of $221,819. Of that, $115,000 was for the phone system, including hardware and installation services. The remaining $106,819 was for the build out of the new city hall’s computer network.

With the cost of financing the system over 60 months, the phone system will cost $2,079 per month, or $18,709 for the nine months of 2009 that the system will be in use.

The City will pay approximately $2,500 per month for the phone and data circuit, and when compared to a comparable traditional phone service would save the city thousands of dollars per month.

Ms. Hunt wrote that “Dunwoody will pay 10 times more than anticipated” for phone and Internet service, which is not correct. She also incorrectly reported that maintenance for the system would cost $8,000 per month when in fact the cost is $8,000 per year.

Please be assured that we are always looking for ways to spend less, especially in this tight economy. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact myself, Mayor Wright or any member of the City Council.


Warren Hutmacher, City Manager
City of Dunwoody

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dunwoody Permitting & Inspections Forum - Tuesday Feb 24th

Dunwoody’s Community Development Department invites all contractors, homeowners, and anyone interested in the permitting and inspections process to join us to learn more.

Join Chief Building Inspector, Michael Nier, and Building Inspector/Code Compliance Official, Tom LaPenna, to discuss the permitting and plan review process. This forum will give you a chance to ask any questions you may have about the process, the forms, and the process in place.

Date: February 24, 2009
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: South Terraces Office Building at 115 Perimeter Center Place

Interested in this?
Questions such as:
  • When do I need a permit?
  • What is involved in the permit process?
  • What forms do I need?
  • Where are the forms available?
  • What building codes apply?
  • When do I need inspections?
  • How do I schedule an inspection?
  • What are the inspectors looking for?
  • What are the requirements for roofing and decks?
We will provide answers and informative handouts. Many of our forms can be found online as well as contact information for all the members of our team.

Questions? (678)382-6800 or check out our website at:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Parks bill passes the Senate, Crime happens everywhere, Kudos to the Dunwoody Crier and a Dunwoody billboard lawsuit.

As a new media internet aficionado (i.e. dork), I get much of my news from various internet news sources, yet I am traditional enough to read the AJC every morning on the Marta train to work and read the Dunwoody Crier, cover to cover on Tuesday afternoons when it hits my driveway.

The Crier has recently started to update their website as stories happen and I wanted to publicly thank them for doing so. A couple of weeks ago a story was published well before the print edition and it received numerous comments to their site regarding the story. Today's online edition already has two stories that aren't in this week's print edition and I wanted to make sure that people knew of their availability.

Transfer of Property passes the Senate

The first one is that Senate Bill 58 offered by Dan Weber which would transfer all current county parks to the City of Dunwoody at a reasonable cost and would also force the county to provide the city the $7,000,000 balance of the parks bond referendum, passed the Senate on Tuesday. The full story is available at the Dunwoody Crier.

City Employees victims of crime at Council Meeting.

The second story found on the web but not yet in print is regarding an event that happened late Monday evening. The City Council met in executive session late into the evening and when we departed the cars of the City Manager and the City Clerk had their car windows smashed out and vehicles rummaged through. The entire council was assisting with the clean up, taping up the windows and filling out police reports with a DeKalb Officer (fast response, in case you were wondering) when the Sandy Springs police called to inform us that the suspects were already apprehended. The Crier already has a nice story and the Sandy Springs Neighborhood Watch bulletin is also available here.

Dunwoody's First Lawsuit - Billboards

Since I don't want to dare spread privileged information regarding lawsuits involving the city, Cathy Cobbs of the Crier covered a story that I will usually shy away from and figured that I should at least mention it here as well.

The city of Dunwoody has its first lawsuit. Covenant Media of Georgia has filed a civil action in DeKalb County Superior Court against the city, its development director and a DeKalb County official, claiming that the sign moratorium put into place by the city on December 15 is unconstitutional, and in essence, that Covenant got the run-around when trying to file applications for nine billboards within the city limits.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

AJC mistakenly slams Dunwoody on budget expenditure.

The Tuesday online edition of the AJC claimed that the Dunwoody City Council paid more than 10 times what was originally budgeted for a phone & internet network, thereby spending $228,000 vs. the $27,000 allocated.

The first mistake on the item was that the $27,000 allocated by the AJC was inferred that it was the total cost when in fact it was only a one year payment of a multi-year item. At Monday's meeting the city approved a $36,000 first year allocation which was about a $9,000 difference from the $27,000 original budget.

The second misunderstanding was that the original budget estimate was for just a phone system and this item is actually for a top of the line Voice over IP system which shares both voice and data over a single network circuit. This system will be the network backbone for the entire City Hall and Police Station which will allow a robust computer system across the entire city network providing full video access within the facility as well as facilitating data transfers to the police vehicles. The new item includes numerous computer servers and switches which will be used in a redundant and secure computer infrastructure that is a huge enhancement over the original proposal.

This item wasn't new to the City Council since this same item was brought up at last week's meeting for a vote and on upon review the council demanded that the item be competitively bid.

From an operational perspective, I believe this system selected by our staff will serve the city and the police department very well, though at a higher initial cost. I based my decision to vote for this item on the promised monthly savings and performance improvements justifying the change in cost over the original proposal and a very tight time frame to prepare the police station for an April 1st start date. As I said at the meeting, we didn't ask for a Cadillac but that is the proposal we had in front of us and I am hoping and trusting in the staff that it is the right solution.

Audio of the session with full discussion on the matter.

Dunwoody budget - page 28 shows communications.

Cost breakdown of the network solution approved on Monday. > Metro > DeKalb
Phone/Internet costing 10 times Dunwoody’s estimate
Expense is one of several budget miscalculations for the new city

Dunwoody will pay 10 times more than it anticipated for its phone and Internet service — the latest underestimate in its budgeting as Georgia’s newest city.

The city’s inaugural budget calls for $27,000 to be spent on communications at its new city hall. On Monday, though, the City Council OK’d a $228,000 deal for phone and Internet service, plus monthly charges of $8,800 for maintenance and $1,500 for service.

Reminder: meeting tonight to hear first hand from the Dunwoody City Manager and Police Chief

I know for a fact this event is going to get some big play from the local community. The reason I know is that my wife's monthly neighborhood Bunko gathering got moved to a different date because so many of the members were going to be in attendance to meet the Dunwoody City Manager & Police Chief.

Trust me, if you know this crowd of "Dunwoody Ya Ya's" the streets of Dunwoody will be safer because of this meeting.

Warren Hutmacher & Billy Grogan

The Dunwoody North Civic Association annual meeting taking place on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 is honored to have both the Dunwoody City Manager, Mr. Warren Hutmacher and the Dunwoody Police Chief, Mr. Billy Grogan as the featured speakers of the evening.

6:30 pm Social with a 7:00 pm call to order. This meeting is open to the public and we look forward to seeing you.

Tuesday February 17th @ 7 p.m.
Dunwoody North Driving Clubhouse
4522 Kingsgate Drive
Dunwoody, Ga 30338

View Larger Map

Start your engines, the Soap Box Derby is coming to Dunwoody on May 30th.

A youth racing program which has run nationally since 1934. National Championship finals are held each July at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio, and a preliminary competition will be held May 30 at the First Baptist Church Atlanta, located in Dunwoody on Cotillion Drive.

The Dunwoody Soap Box Derby is open to boys and girls ages 8-17 who reside in DeKalb, Gwinnett, Rockdale, Clayton or Henry County.

The race is presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dunwoody. The inaugural race of 2008 was run as a fun non-sanctioned test of car and driver. In 2009 “Stock” and “Super Stock” divisions will compete in head-to-head competition. The stock division is for boys and girls ages 8-13. The Super Stock Division is for boys and girls ages 10-17.

The winner of the Stock and Super Stock division will go on to compete in the National Championship race and week-long festivities held in Akron, Ohio! “We are looking forward to an exciting race and sending our winners on to Akron,” said race director Addie Alberghini.

The Dunwoody Kiwanis invite all area boys and girls between the ages of 8-17 to come race. Area businesses are signing up to sponsor cars, and become track sponsors/exhibitors.

Youth groups including area Boy Scout Troops are already busy finding car sponsors, building cars, and preparing for the competition. Troop 434 of Dunwoody is building a car in conjunction with The Bank of North Georgia.

The Dunwoody Kiwanis can assist in all facets of car building, participation, and sponsorship. The Stock and Super Stock car can be purchased online at

For a limited time, The Dunwoody Kiwanis also have car kits available locally for purchase. For more information about race details, purchasing a kit, race sponsorship etc, call Alberghini at 770-454-9881 or Al Tiede at: 770-391-0711.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Random Thoughts - Radar Signs, Dunwoody Twitter, Neighborhood Watch & Citizens Police Academy

Example of a RadarSign

Speeding has been a topic of this blog for quite awhile therefore I have pursued a number initiatives (passed out Slow Down signs, proposed law changes, installed speed limit signs in Brook Run Park, intersection and cross walk installations, and recently a grant proposal) to affect change. This week I was notified by my good friends at PEDS (Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety) that Dunwoody has been chosen as a demonstration project for sign installation. Our Public Works Director, Mr. Richard Meehan has already been in contact with RadarSign regarding possible locations and installation. More information will be forthcoming in several weeks and I will report on it once the installation is complete.

Dunwoody Twitter

The updated City of Dunwoody website has been promised in the next month or so, therefore with the hopes of it having an RSS feed for updates, I reserved the DunwoodyGA twitter account. (Oops, I guess I should tell the City Manager before he reads this on my blog?)

If you are unfamiliar with twitter, think of it as sending a short e-mail to the internet and allowing anyone to read it if they so desire. I created one for my blog and set it up to feed twitter every time I update the blog, other than that I really haven't utilized twitter to its full potential.

If your reading this and have a twitter account, please do me a favor and follow @dunwoodynorth and @DunwoodyGa if you are interested in doing so and I'll follow you back.

Unincorporated Neighborhood Watch?

Oh how I wish the unincorporated areas of Doraville that voted down the annexation would follow the lead of the Decatur residents by organizing an effective neighborhood watch, but personally I just don't see it happening.

Sandy Springs' Citizens Police Academy

Give the Dunwoody Police Department a little time to get up and running, let us get an effective neighborhood watch program and then I am guessing a year or two down the road that we will be evaluating this Sandy Springs program to see if it could work for us.

Friday, February 13, 2009

VOIP Phones, Ethics Rule Changes, Street Lights, Comprehensive Land Use Plan, Staffing of Code Enforcement, City Update

Special Called Meeting
Dunwoody City Council
Mon February 16, 2009 @ 7 pm
Dunwoody United Methodist Church
1548 Mount Vernon Road, 30338

Special Meeting Agenda - Voting Item

Discussion and vote on approving a contract for phone internet equipment and services for 41 Perimeter Center East.

Work Session Agenda Items - No Vote

Ordinance for Right-of-Way Exchange - Perimeter Center West/Hammond Drive.

Ordinance Revision – Chapter 23 – Streets and Sidewalks to add authorization for Public Works to establish a Residential Street Light Policy.

Ordinance to amend the Ethics Policy.

Discussion of Ordinance to adopt Chapter 20 (“Public Assemblages”) of the City of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances.

Discussion on establishing a Street Light District on Boxwood Place (Boxwood Subdivision).

Discussion of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Georgia Dept. of Transportation for the City to become the sponsor of the Dunwoody Village TE Project.

Contract to retain the services of POND & Company to provide consulting services for the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

Discussion of code compliance staffing for Community Development.

Discussion of Ordinance to grant a franchise agreement to Atlanta Gas Light Company (Ordinance 2009-02-12).

Boyken Status Report.

City Manager Update.

EXECUTIVE SESSION for the purposes of legal, real estate, and personnel discussions.

Dunwoody City Manager, Warren Hutmacher & Police Chief, Billy Grogan to speak at Dunwoody North Meeting

Warren Hutmacher & Billy Grogan

The Dunwoody North Civic Association annual meeting taking place on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 is honored to have both the Dunwoody City Manager, Mr. Warren Hutmacher and the Dunwoody Police Chief, Mr. Billy Grogan as the featured speakers of the evening.

6:30 pm Social with a 7:00 pm call to order. This meeting is open to the public and we look forward to seeing you.

Tuesday February 17th @ 7 p.m.

Dunwoody North Driving Clubhouse
4522 Kingsgate Drive
Dunwoody, Ga 30338

View Larger Map

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jan 2009, DeKalb County Parks Bond Fund Status Report - 2006 Parks Bond

I have obtained the January 2009, DeKalb County Bond Fund Status Report which shows that Brook Run Park in Dunwoody has been slated to receive $11.5 Million dollars from the last parks bond referendum and that there is still a fund balance just shy of $7 Million dollars that is still owed to the park.

There appears to be a total $59 Million dollars available for promised development Countywide, of that, almost $20 Million is still available for land acquisitions. It also appears that the County has already started earmarking projects for the close to $8 Million dollars earned on the money not already spent.

I have attached the Excel document with numerous spreadsheets (some hidden), here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dunwoody trains Planning Boards & submits an RFQ for Cisco VOIP Network

A large group of volunteers for the various City Planning Boards will be receiving training starting Thursday at 6 pm and again Tuesday night February 17th at the Terraces Office Complex, 115 Perimeter Center Place. Since the City Council is encouraged to attend the training sessions these gatherings have been announced as open public meetings. If you are interested in the topics, feel free to attend as they are open to the public.

Work Session Canceled

Monday is a holiday therefore our next scheduled meeting is scheduled to be moved to the following day but we will now be in the training class mentioned above; therefore the Work Session will be canceled.

RFQ open for City Hall & Police Station Network installation

At Monday's meeting the Council requested that the network installation be handled through an RFQ process instead being offered to a sole source. City Hall has opened the RFQ for this item and listed below the requirements for bidding, but time is of the essence if you are interested since it closes on Feb 13th at Noon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Position Available: Assistant to the Municipal Court Clerk

Asst. Municipal Court Clerk

Dunwoody, Georgia
Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2009
End Date: Saturday, February 28, 2009

Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc. is seeking an Assistant to the Municipal Court Clerk for our Dunwoody, Georgia office.

This is a clerical position working directly for the Municipal Court Clerk for the new City of Dunwoody (population, 40,000) and supporting all functions thereof.

Good knowledge of and skill in applying rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and basic principles of accounting and mathematics; good knowledge of word processing, database, or spreadsheet software packages; and good knowledge of general office practices and procedures. Ability to work independently; ability to work under pressure; ability to follow verbal and written instructions; ability and willingness to maintain confidentiality; and the ability to courteously and tactfully communicate with fellow workers, supervisors, other members of the organization, and the public in giving and receiving information. Skill in operating a personal computer, typewriter, and/or word processor and other office machines; and skill in organizing, compiling, and recording information.

Requires: High school diploma or equivalent; minimum two (2) years of experience or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience with the Georgia Municipal Courts.

Interested candidates may email a resume as a Word document or PDF to

Today is Jeffrey M. Cohen Day in Dunwoody

“A hero is a man who does what he can.”

On Sunday, I watched 60 Minutes and was touched by the story of US Airways Flight 1549 Pilot Chesley Sully Sullenberger being interviewed by Katie Couric. In case you missed it, here is taste of what was shown.

On Monday Night, I was also touched the story of Mr. Jeffrey Cohen of Dunwoody who like the pilot above, just did what had to be done; both without fan fair yet both heroes to all who know their stories. Here is Jeffrey's story.


WHEREAS, on the evening of Wednesday, January 21, 2009 in the City of Dunwoody, Georgia, Mr. Jeffrey M. Cohen, a resident of Ball Mill Court, heard the screams of a neighbor and ran outside and found that his neighbor’s downstairs bathroom was on fire; and

WHEREAS, after determining that everyone was safely out of the house, Mr. Cohen’s next instinct was to contain the fire until such time as the fire department arrived. He retrieved his fire extinguisher and ran across the street into the house; and

WHEREAS, after his fire extinguisher ran out, he retrieved the garden hose from his home, hooked the hose to his neighbor’s garage spigot and continued to keep the fire at bay until the fire department arrived approximately 12-15 minutes later; and

WHEREAS, The City of Dunwoody wishes to commend Jeffrey M. Cohen for his heroic actions, which may have saved lives as well as other structures in the neighborhood. Furthermore, by keeping the fire from spreading the danger to the firefighters involved was kept to a minimum.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, by the City of Dunwoody
Mayor and City Council that in recognition of the heroic efforts of Jeffrey M. Cohen February 10, 2009 shall be proclaimed: “Jeffrey M. Cohen Day”

Congratulations Jeffrey !!

Official Welcome to Dunwoody Sign decided.

The Judges were sworn in, we honored a few citizens, we deferred the AGL Franchise, and deferred a vote on a phone system until which time a few more bids could be obtained.

Audio of the evening

Friday, February 6, 2009

Position Available: Dunwoody Budget Director / Project Manager

Budget Director / Project Manager
Dunwoody, Georgia
Begin Date: Friday, February 06, 2009
End Date: Saturday, February 28, 2009

Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc. (CGA) is seeking a qualified Full Time Budget Director/Project Manager to support the City of Dunwoody as a senior manager within the Finance and Administration Department, under the direction of the Finance Department Director. This position will function as a hybrid of two major areas of responsibility: Budget Director for the City, and Project Manager for a wide variety of financial and administrative functions, provided via contract services by the Calvin, Giordano & Associates/JAT Consulting Services team. The ideal candidate will be an experienced public administrator in local government, with specific experience as a budget director, and overall management of municipal services.

Education/Experience and Requirements:

· A Bachelors Degree in Public Administration, Business Management, Budget/Finance or related field is required; a Master’s Degree is preferred.

· A minimum of ten (10) years experience in Public Administration/Municipal Services management is also required.

This position provides a unique opportunity for the ideal candidate to be part of establishing a new, vibrant model in local government service delivery and management. Salary is dependent upon qualifications and experience level.

Interested candidates may email a resume as a word document or PDF to

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hear Yee, Hear Yee the Dunwoody Court will now be sworn in under the Welcome to Dunwoody Sign.

The Dunwoody City Council will be having a work session on Monday 7 p.m. at Dunwoody United Methodist Church followed immediately by a regular voting session.

The big items I see on the schedule are the introduction and swearing in of the Dunwoody Judges and the possible unveiling of the Welcome to Dunwoody Sign.

Attached are the two preliminary agendas for the evening. Work & Regular.

1. J. Antonio DelCampo, Judge
2. Hugh R. Powell, Jr.
3. Timothy W. Wolfe

“Welcome to the City of Dunwoody” Sign.
PROCLAMATION: “Jeffrey M. Cohen Day”.
PROCLAMATION: “Dunwoody Kiwanis Club Second Annual Soap Box Derby”.

Second Read of Ordinance to grant a franchise agreement to Atlanta Gas Light Company (Ordinance 2009-02-12).

Discussion and vote on Resolution to amend the regular City Council Meeting schedule and location for Calendar Year 2009. (Resolution 2009-02-16).

First Read of Ordinance to adopt and Chapter 20 (“Public Assemblages”) of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances (First Read).

Discussion and vote on approving a contract for phone internet equipment and services for 41 Perimeter Center East.

DeKalb County School Board should beware of angry public school parents with a spreadsheet of payroll information.

When angry DeKalb County School Parents are facing cutbacks that are affecting the classroom, they don't revolt, they start doing research in order to evaluate the services being provided by the school system and the cost of those services.

Sooner or later someone finds that the the entire DeKalb County School System payroll spreadsheet is available online and now the parents are reviewing the salaries of the central office against the associated position titles. To save you a few steps, here is the spreadsheet of the payroll data.

Below are just six of the many comments posted to the DeKalb County School Watch blog (scroll down to Feb 4th about 9:30 am) and I believe this will be just the beginning for these fiscally conservative parents looking to assist the school board in reducing costs away from cuts in the classroom.
"208 people making over $100k, 160 people made in the $90's, 386 people made in the 80's" This is unbelievable stuff. I'm guessing most school board members don't know this info. about the incredible waste & bloat.

There are THREE people making well over $100k in transportation? Why??? The question in my mind is -- would these people command this much in the business world? Jobs at this pay grade are few and far between - no matter how much people get down on CEO's - the business world, by and large, is pretty lean.

Oh, my goodness. There is actually a job title of "Miscellaneous Activities" that makes a salary of $90,000. Are you kidding me?

As a stay at home mom, I'm positive I have the qualifications to be a "Director of Miscellaneous Activities." I'll do it for $75K.

I would suggest that the BOE send out a survey to the teachers. Let's ask the TEACHERS who is most helpful to advancing their mission in the classroom - and which jobs THEY consider vital to delivery of education to our children. This system is WAAAAY too top-heavy - and I'm only through the "A's"....

Remember - this is what Johnny Brown started digging into - and we all know what happened to Johnny Brown! Yes, but "they" cannot run us off!!!
As a side note, when will the DeKalb County Government be publishing their salary spreadsheet?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Being a cheap, yet fun Dad around Atlanta.

Every Saturday morning for the last nine years, my Wife disappears to do her thing and it is my day to attempt to parent three boys of various ages solo and thoroughly experience the enjoys of Fatherhood. Now that the youngest is coming of age (No Diapers - Few Naps), I can again set off with kids in tow to explore the city and the many events it has to offer.

Depending on the weather, I may throw them in the car and head out to a park or the library, but if I am looking for something a little different I jump online to the Atlanta Parent, Family event calendar to find a festival or children's play they may enjoy.

Sometimes I see some amazing places highlighted on various Atlanta based blogs, my current favorite is "Field Trips with Sue" which recently featured two local indoor water parks, a Science Museum I had never heard of and a tip regarding two hours of advanced video games at ESPN for only $1.00

Other Atlanta Cheap Dad blogs I peruse are Being Savvy in Atlanta, Atlanta on the Cheap and Atlanta Performs.

Are there any other good online locations that I need to bookmark for Saturday morning suggestions? Please comment, as I am sure my kids and my wallet will thank you very much. John

Councilman Ross on Fox News discussing outsourcing to private companies.

FoxNews - on the scene

With the economy wreaking havoc on local tax bases, some communities are looking to cut costs by privatizing services.

“We were able to save the community about 3 million dollars,” said Danny Ross, a city councilman in Dunwoody, GA. The Atlanta suburb incorporated on Dec. 1, making it Georgia’s newest city.

Public services, originally provided by DeKalb County, are now outsourced to private contractors.

Dunwoody follows the example of neighboring Sandy Springs, which became Georgia’s 6th largest city when it incorporated in 2006. Sandy Springs hired the private firm CH2M Hill to provide virtually all public services, with the exception of police and fire/rescue.

The company’s large staff of civil engineers and sub-contractors can be shared by multiple cities and used on an as-needed basis.

“Once the service has been provided, they’re no longer part of the city’s payroll,” said Herb Washington, CH2M Hill’s operations director for municipal services. “Labor costs are the bulk of expenses associated with running a municipal government.”

Cities can also save money by sharing service vehicles. CH2M Hill manages a large fleet of unmarked trucks. When technicians finish a project in Sandy Springs, they replace the magnetic city logo on the side of their vehicle with the emblem of the next municipality requesting work.

Georgia is, by no means, alone in the trend toward privatization of municipal services.

Officials in Tupelo, Miss. are considering hiring an outside contractor to run their public works department. Even cities as large as Los Angeles are looking into such arrangements as they struggle to balance budgets in tough economic times.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Knitternall spreads the Dunwoody Love

Donna over at Knitternall gives us her favorite reasons to love Dunwoody and since I'm listed and I think she is pretty "Peachy Keen" herself, I figured I would share the Dunwoody love and point you over to her blog. She and I run in different circles, in different stages of life but I like her list and I think I am going to need to find Wright Gourmet pretty soon for a turkey salad sandwich.

Since my favorite fundraiser is coming up this Friday, I figured I would mention it again, The Taste of Dunwoody at the W Hotel benefiting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. It looks as if a few tickets are still available.

This is why I want Strict Enforcement of Speed Limits in School Zones!

This is a sad, sad story that never should have happened!

I understand that accidents happen but we the residents of Dunwoody need to generally slow down when we drive around town in order to show those who do not live here that we value each others well being more than we do making good time to our next destination. There has been a breakdown in civility nationwide but we individually have the power to change that by stoping for people at crosswalks, slowing down and moving over for cyclists and finally by allowing cars to merge into traffic from side streets.

These kindnesses go hand in hand, however, with a community that values these quality-of-life issues so much that it makes, supports and enforces rules to aid in the desired outcomes, so law enforcement is a very important component of this.

Since most of Dunwoody's schools are on, or very near major thoroughfares; you better believe that I will be doing everything in my power to ensure that a strict speed limit is adhered to in Dunwoody school zones.

SUV hits, kills child in front of DeKalb school
by David Simpson & April Hunt of the AJC

Cameron Dunmore, a 7-year-old DeKalb County boy, was struck by an SUV and killed Monday morning as he walked in a crosswalk to school, despite the presence of a crossing guard with a stop sign in the crosswalk, DeKalb police said. Shirley Ogilvie, 40, was driving the SUV that struck and killed Cameron, police said. She remained at a local hospital Monday afternoon, where she was being observed after appearing distraught over the accident, said police spokeswoman Mekka Parish. Ogilvie will be charged with vehicular homicide and other offenses, Parish said. Parish said that other vehicles had stopped for the crossing guard while Cameron tried to walk across South Deshon Road, south of Stone Mountain, “but for reasons unknown the SUV driver did not stop.” Cameron was pronounced dead on the way to a hospital, Parish said. No other children were in the crosswalk. The accident happened near Princeton Elementary School about 7:30 a.m. Police believe that Ogilvie was taking her own child to a different school. Classes at Princeton Elementary were being held as normal, said DeKalb schools spokesman Dale Davis, but additional counselors were on campus to talk with students and staff.

Monday, February 2, 2009

State budget woes imperil school nurses.

The AJC has finally picked up the school nurse story that I pushed a while back and since it is still being discussed at the State Capital, I am hopeful that a compromise can be found on this important issue.

Special Called Meeting of the Dunwoody City Council - Tuesday Feb 3 at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

A Special Called Meeting of the Dunwoody City Council has been called to discuss a last minute detail in the lease for the new City Hall and then approve the lease.
Tuesday February 3rd at 4:00 p.m.
Dunwoody City Hall
400 Northridge Road, Suite 1250
Atlanta, 30350

The agenda is here.

Dunwoody Chamblee Parents Council Meeting, Wednesday Feb 4th at Ashford Park Elementary.

Please join us for our first meeting of 2009 to discuss State Standards.
Beverages at 8:45 am - Meeting at 9:15 am

Ashford Park Elementary School

2968 Cravenridge Drive, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30319

Subject: State Standards - Dr. Martha Reichrath w/Georgia Department of Education & Brad Bryant w/ State Board of Education


Dunwoody High School – Peachtree Charter Middle School - Austin ES – Chesnut Charter ES – Hightower ES – Kingsley Charter ES - Vanderlyn ES. Chamblee Charter High School - Chamblee Middle School – Ashford Park ES– Huntley Hills ES Kittredge Magnet for High Achievers at Nancy Creek - Montgomery ES. Cross Keys High School-Sequoyah Middle School-Dresden ES-Montclair ES-Oakcliff ES-Cary Reynolds ES- Woodward ES.

Dangers Threatening DeKalb Teenagers and How to Protect Them, Thursday Meeting @ DHS.

Ignorance is No Defense and the Council on Drugs and Alcohol will be holding a special training session on Thursday, February 5, 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Dunwoody High School. (The entire community is welcome and the Students and Parents will attend in separate locations.)

J. Tom Morgan, a highly respected former prosecutor and experienced trial lawyer, provides straightforward information and valuable insights to help teenagers avoid violating the law and avoid being victims of crime.” Mr. Morgan is author of Ignorance is No Defense, A Teenager’s Guide to Georgia Law. This seminar for students and parents will explain Georgia laws to teenagers in easy-to-understand language. For a preview, visit

Chuck Wade, the President for The Council on Alcohol and Drugs for the state of Georgia, will discuss the dangers of substance abuse. Mr. Wade, the State Director of “Drugs Don’t Work in Georgia” has 15 years of experience as a police officer and undercover narcotics agent.

For more information, contact: Linda Cooper at