Saturday, February 27, 2010

City of Dunwoody Update by Councilman Robert Wittenstein

Dear Dunwoody Friends and Neighbors,

I've been spending time lately thinking about how much government regulation is the right amount and how much is too much.  There have been several proposals or discussions in the last few weeks about enacting new laws or tightening up existing regulations.   Not all of these have broad support on the city council, so many of these won't go anywhere, but some might.

Most of us worked to form the city of Dunwoody to improve the level of services and to gain control over zoning.  Now that we are a city we need to establish the right level of regulation.  Nearly all of us, me included, were in favor of new restrictions on bar closing times (from  4:00 AM to 2:00 AM).  But what about other restrictions?  Below is a list of several new regulations or increased restrictions that have been recently discussed:
  • Require all homeowners and businesses to display their street address so that it is easily viewable from the street.
  • Require all newly constructed single family homes to have sprinkler systems installed. (This is already a requirement for multi-family homes.)
  • Restrict people who live in subdivisions from parking their cars in front of their homes except for short periods of time.
  • Restrict the number of cars a homeowner can have in their driveway or visible from the street.
  • Make participation in the DeKalb recycling program mandatory.
  • Register, regulate and tax taxicabs and limousines that come into Dunwoody to pick up passengers.
  • Further restrict the times that a homeowner can have a landscape company working at their home or a construction company or roofing company can work anywhere in Dunwoody.
Which of these would you favor and which seem like government interference?  I've gotten enough e-mails on all sides of these issues to know that what seems like government tyranny to some is an important quality of life or safety issue to others.  What do you think?

On a somewhat related issue, next month the City Council will decide whether or not to allow Dunwoody homeowners to raise six to eight chickens in their backyard.  There are already half a dozen families with children doing this in Dunwoody and their chicken coops are attractive and odor-free.  The chickens are a kid-magnet in each neighborhood and the locally produced organic eggs are a prize in certain circles.  Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Roswell, Atlanta and Decatur all allow small numbers of backyard chickens.  The Dunwoody Planning Commission recommended approval unanimously.  If you would like to learn more about backyard chicken raising check out this link.

Finally, I'm very pleased to report that we have been awarded a grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) as part of their Livable Cities Initiative of $80,000 to help underwrite the cost of creating a new master plan for Dunwoody Village.  The master plan will "develop strategies for transforming the area into a vibrant town center, including development of new parks, green space, improved commercial space, and traffic flow."  It is very exciting and I look forward to lots of community involvement later this year when we hold public meetings to help establish the vision.



DeKalb County Police Officers are worried about the future of their department.

I have friends on the DeKalb County Police Department and they are worried about the future viability of the Department.  At this weeks DeKalb Board of Commissioners meeting the BOC made the tough decision to cut the police officers annual salary by not paying for holidays.  The morale of the Department has been low for a few years though I'm told it has been on the upswing recently with the recent political and managerial changes.

CEO Burrell Ellis and the BOC have a tough job of paring down a bloated County budget in very lean economic times and the actions already taken will be reassessed when the revenue projections on real estate taxes are firmed up in April or May.  It will be at that time that the financial condition of the county will be completely reassessed and tax increases will again be considered.

Below is the public comment from the DeKalb Fraternal Order of Police at the BOC meeting where he describes the long term affects of lowering police officer salary, offering early retirements when the department is already under staffed and it would take another year to recruit & train the new police officers to work on their own.  Though the City of Dunwoody now has their own department, we are still residents of DeKalb County and therefore want a strong DeKalb police force as our neighbor.  I don't have the budget answers but I believe that the County by not properly staffing and compensating their police officers are being penny wise and pound foolish in the long term.

Friday, February 26, 2010

With 1 sec left in the fourth OT, Dunwoody player hits a shot from opposite foul line to tie.

In last Saturday's region tournament game, it's the 4th(!) overtime between Dunwoody (in white) and Riverwood (in blue). Dunwoody is down by three with only a few seconds left and R'wood has one foul shot left.  Foul shot misses left, Dunwoody rebounds and fires a shot across 3/4 of the court tying the game into a 5th overtime.  (Sadly for Dunwoody, Riverwood won in the 5th OT and the Wildcats did not make the state tournament.)

DeKalb County Judge Candidates have started their campaigns.

By Ben Smith, Special to the Daily Report

Eight lawyers have formally announced their candidacies for open judgeships in DeKalb County

Superior Court:

Courtney L. Johnson

Michael L. Rothenberg

• Denise M. Warner

State Court:

Akintunde A. Akinyele

Sherry Boston

Nicole D. Marchand

Anton L. Rowe

Phyllis R. Williams

Elections in 2010 to replace two retiring judges could mark a historic shift in the makeup of DeKalb County's judiciary.  Superior Court Judge Robert J. Castellani and State Court Judge Edward E. Carriere Jr., both white men, say they will not seek re-election this year. Eight candidates, seven of whom are black, are vying to replace them.  The election will take place Nov. 2.

If African Americans win both judicial elections, ethnic minorities would outnumber whites on the DeKalb bench in Superior and State Court.  If a woman takes Castellani's seat, there would be as many female judges as males presiding in Superior Court. Currently, four of the 10 judges in Superior Court are female and half are black.  Of DeKalb's seven State Court judges, two are women and three are ethnic minorities.

Three lawyers have formally announced their candidacies for Castellani's Superior Court seat. Among them is DeKalb Bar Association President Denise M. Warner, a specialist in family law and a law clerk for Superior Court Judge Mark A. Scott.  Also running are DeKalb Assistant District Attorney Courtney L. Johnson and attorney Michael L. Rothenberg.  Rothenberg is the only white candidate running in either judicial contest.

Meanwhile, five candidates are competing for the State Court judgeship. They include Chief Assistant Solicitor General Nicole D. Marchand and attorneys Phyllis R. Williams and Sherry Boston.  Senior Assistant District Attorney Akintunde A. “Tunde” Akinyele and Anton L. Rowe, a Stone Mountain lawyer, are also running for the post.  With four months until qualifying, there is still plenty of time for candidates to drop in and out of these races.  “We'll probably see a few more names jump in,” said Keith E. Adams, a former DeKalb County assistant district attorney currently in private practice.

Adams hasn't picked a candidate to support for Superior Court judge. He said he is backing Williams in the State Court race.  Nevertheless, Adams called the current field of candidates, “all good folks with good strong backgrounds and well regarded by the bar.”

Besides the three prosecutors running, two candidates—Rothenberg and Boston—are part-time DeKalb recorders court judges. Boston also serves as a part-time municipal court judge for the city of Dunwoody.

Two others, Williams and Rowe, are hearing officers for the DeKalb County merit system and human resources department.  Williams last summer presided over merit system hearings on the firing of DeKalb Police Chief Terrell Bolton. Williams upheld DeKalb Chief Executive Officer W. Burrell Ellis Jr.'s decision to fire Bolton for insubordination.

The personal experiences of some of the other candidates seem as varied as their résumés. Rowe is pastor of his own church. Marchand is an Atlanta Falcons cheerleader, though she plans on giving it up when her contract expires in April.  Marchand, 31, is the youngest candidate. She started her career in the DeKalb solicitor's office shortly after her graduation in 2003 from Emory University Law School. She's also served as a DeKalb assistant district attorney.

Akinyele is the son of a retired Nigerian civil servant important enough to have a street named after him. If elected, Akinyele says he'd be the state's first Nigerian-born judge. Akinyele, who at 16 immigrated to the U.S. in 1983, holds degrees in a variety of fields, including a master's degree in health care administration. He joined the DeKalb district attorney's office in 2003.

The Superior Court contest started only recently with Castellani's Jan. 11 announcement that he won't be running for re-election in 2010. The State Court race has been going on much longer. Boston, the most recent candidate to enter the race, filed the necessary paperwork to start raising money in July.  Akinyele, the first to enter the race, signed up to run in September 2008.

The Superior Court candidates haven't been running long enough to file campaign disclosures.
Meanwhile campaign finance records show that none of the State Court candidates has jumped to a commanding lead in the race for contributions.

Records show that Williams leads in fundraising. According to the latest disclosures, which were filed in December, Williams has raised $44,159. Her contributors include Adams, attorney Griffin B. Bell III and The Barnes Law Group.  Marchand reported having raised $40,000. Among her contributors were two local bonding companies. Attorney L. Lin Wood Jr. and former DeKalb District Attorney Jeffrey H. Brickman were listed as contributors to Boston's campaign. Boston reported raising $34,640 as of Dec. 31.  Akinyele, who reported having raised $30,000, listed attorneys Michael D. Mann and Rodney A. Williams as contributors.  Rowe, meanwhile lagged far behind with $3,251 in cash donations.

“In this economy,” said Johnson, “it's difficult to raise money, especially for a political race.”

Atlanta Regional Commission shows that Dunwoody had a huge net gain of multi-family units since 2000

The City of Dunwoody records show that there are 308 apartment / condominium buildings in Dunwoody, housing a total of 9,301 units.  The Atlanta Regional Commission just released the February 2010, Population and Housing Report which indicates that in the last nine years, Dunwoody has exploded in the number of multi-family housing units ranking in the top 10 ten growth areas in the State of Georgia.


I guess I'm not telling you anything you don't already know?

ARC Regional Snapshot 2009 Population and Housing Report

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Senator Dan Weber states that Chamblee annexation makes a lot of sense.

By April Hunt of the AJC

Chamblee could grow by at least a third under an annexation proposal that already has the support of residents, the city and many state lawmakers.

The state House has already approved the proposal, which calls for adding the areas north of the city, to Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. With about 850 homes in the area, Chamblee could see its population grow by 30-35 percent, to about 13,500 residents.

“Overall, this builds a large sense of community and allows us to better serve those areas,” said Mayor Eric Clarkson.

If the state Senate approves the proposal as expected, a majority of voters in the annex zone must agree to become part of Chamblee in a referendum vote in November.

More than 80 percent of the homeowners in the main neighborhood, Huntley Hills, supported annexation in a community survey. The neighborhood is now cut in half – with portions in unincorporated DeKalb and portions within the city limits.

The annexation bid has been largely a grassroots effort of those residents for the last four years, though Chamblee’s City Council has endorsed the request.

“They are the tip of a peninsula of unincorporated DeKalb, wedged between Doraville, Dunwoody and Chamblee,” said Dan Weber, the Dunwoody Republican who is handling the proposal in the state Senate. “It makes a lot of sense to be annexed.”

A similar argument for three neighborhoods to join Doraville failed last year. Residents in Cherokee Hills, Oakcliff Estates and Sequoyah Woods rejected a proposal to be annexed into Doraville, so that city's borders met the borders of the then-new city of Dunwoody.

Clarkson told the DeKalb House Delegation that the Chamblee proposal is different. For one, a city study showed the annexation would be revenue-neutral.

But since the county must drive through the city to reach that area for services, the analysis also showed the annexation would be more efficient and allow Chamblee more control over growth on main roads such as Peachtree Boulevard.

“We can just logically serve these people a lot better,” Clarkson said.

Weber said the full Senate is expected to vote on the proposal shortly after it reconvenes. Gov. Sonny Perdue must sign it before it heads to the November ballot.

Dunwoody moves fast on pothole repair.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

AJC states "Atlanta's safest neighborhood is located in Dunwoody"

Atlanta's safest neighborhood located in Dunwoody
Unfortunately this location is just a few blocks away, over the border in Sandy Springs.

America Online recently ranked the safest neighborhoods in the country's 50 biggest cities. One problem: Atlanta's safest community, Spalding Drive and Jett Ferry Road, isn't in Atlanta.  It's just north of the city, in newly incorporated Dunwoody. Nitpicking, perhaps, but would Spalding/Jett Ferry even rate as Dunwoody's safest neighborhood?

Regardless, these rankings reaffirm that safety doesn't come cheap.
The median house value in Spalding/Jett Ferry is $773,081, according to Neighborhood Scout. The "urban sophisticates" who call the Dunwoody neighborhood home tend to be executives, with more than 72 percent having earned at least an undergraduate degree.

AOL's personal finance site, Wallet Pop, reports that Spalding/Jett Ferry residents have only a one in 435 chance of becoming a victim of crime. Nice odds, though if you really want to be safe move to Chicago's  Bedford Park community, where only one out of 1,000 residents are likely to be touched by crime. Conversely, the odds are one out of 57 in The Strand/Casino Way, Detroit's "safest neighborhood."

Kung Fu Pothole Patrol on Tilly Mill Road where Dunwoody & Doraville meet.

PDK Airport Execs present to Dunwoody City Council regarding FAA airspace compression

Mike Van Wie & Lee Remmel of PDK Airport presented to the Dunwoody City Council regarding the FAA proposed airspace changes at Hartsfield and what it means to Dunwoody. Below is the video of the presentation and I have linked several powerpoint presentations that these gentlemen presented tonight and at the Chamblee City Council previously. Mr. Stuart Anderson, a resident of Doravile read the letter that he sending to the FAA and he asked that I post it on my blog in case Dunwoody residents wanted to send the same.  So here it is.

Concerned citizens should attend the March 1st FAA presentations at the Chamblee Civic Center. 3540 Broad St, Chamblee, Ga. There will be three presentations that day; at 3, 5 and 7 pm.

PDK Class B Airspace Presentation on FAA Proposal

Video of Feb 22nd Dunwoody City Council Meeting.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dunwoody North Civic Association meeting tonight, 6:30 pm at DNDC Clubhouse

Meeting Tonight

The Dunwoody North Civic Association will be holding their annual meeting this evening with social starting at 6:30 at the Dunwoody North Driving Club's clubhouse located at 4522 Kingsgate Drive, Dunwoody, GA 30338.  Presentations start at 7 but we are expecting a full room, so come early.

There will be three informational presentations made by Bill Grant of the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce, Bryan Tate of the Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau and Mr. Lee Remmel of PDK to discuss proposed airspace changes.

Dunwoody seeks bidders on Comprehensive Transportation Plan.

The City has released the RFP for the Comprehensive Transportation Plan and it will only be with citizen input that this process creates a strategy for funding future capital infrastructure improvements wanted by the citizens therefore I recommend that residents need to be involved and vocal about exactly what they want.  The plan will do the following ...

Inventory and Plan Development
  • Inventory existing conditions including roads, bicycle facilities, pedestrian facilities, transportation services, development policies related to transportation and transportation demand management policies or programs.
  • Develop plans and recommendations for bicycles, pedestrians and other alternative forms of transportation.
  • Develop a prioritized list of transportation projects with estimated costs and recommended funding sources.
  • Produce deliverables including GIS data files and mapping printed at 24” x 36” to summarize existing conditions and show future improvements. Specific maps should include at a minimum:
  • Depiction(s) of existing conditions
  • Road Improvement Plan
  • Sidewalk Improvement Plan, including ADA upgrades
  • Bicycle/ Pedestrian network plan
I guess when it is all over we should be expecting a document much like this that was created for Sandy Springs.

Prior to the City being formed, I served on the Transportation Task Force which worked at putting together a very similar document which outlined the basic needs of the city. For those working on this project, here is most of what we came up with other documents located in the Task Force link above.
Transportation Service Analysis Dunwoody Final.doc
Map of Dunwoody tied to Plat Maps
City-of-Dunwoody-Pavement-Evaluation (Jan 2010)

I hope the company who wins this project will listen to the residents while also visiting and documenting the conditions on their own to backup and validate the statements of the residents.  Many streets in Dunwoody need sidewalks but my little culdesac isn't Valley View or Happy Hollow where the need is much greater, therefore they shouldn't be ranked the same.  Please be vocal on where your future Dunwoody tax dollars should be spent.  Thanks.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

PDK Director, Mr. Lee Remmell visits Dunwoody City Council on Monday evening.

Monday, February 22nd
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
7:00 p.m. - Watch Live

Proclamation - Michael Nier, “Master Code Professional”.

Update on proposed FAA Class B airspace changes at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (Lee Remmell)

Resolution authorizing the City of Dunwoody’s participation in the DeKalb County Solid Waste Management Plan.

Ordinance amending Chapter 27 of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances by amending composition of the Design Review Advisory Committee.

2010 City Council Meeting Schedule.

Ordinance amending Chapter 27 of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances by amending certain public notice signage requirements for zoning actions.

Ordinance to amend Chapter 16 Offenses and Violations re: Noise.

Resolution in support of application for the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Community Choices Implementation Assistance program.

Resolution to form a “Town and Gown” Committee in partnership with Georgia Perimeter College.

Approval of contract for branding services.

Presentation by Community Development – Naming of the Northwest Access Road for Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

Resolution naming the NW Access Road for Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

Presentation by Community Development - Renaming of three (3) streets in the Wintercrest subdivision, all currently named Wintercrest Drive.

Resolution renaming three (3) streets in the Wintercrest subdivision.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Thin Blue Line comes to Dunwoody to honor one of their own.

The funeral for Chattahoochee Hills Officer Lt. Mike Vogt will be held this Saturday, February 20, 2010 beginning at Noon at the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, 4400 N. Peachtree Rd. Dunwoody, Ga. 30338.

Officers from surrounding jurisdictions will be attending the funeral to honor their fallen comrade and as many as 1,000 cars are expected along the route to Arlington Memorial Park, 201 Mt. Vernon Highway NW in Sandy Springs thus forming the thin blue line.

I am expecting the intersections of I-285 / Shallowford Road and I-285 / Chamblee Dunwoody Road to be closed except to the funeral procession after the service. In honor Lt. Mike Vogt, I asking motorists and the traveling public to be vigilant and patient in this area on Saturday as there will be numerous officers on foot and in patrol cars.

Celebrate Calm workshop Wed Feb 24 at Chesnut Charter - Open to the entire Community

Celebrate Calm
Wed Feb 24th @ 7 p.m.
Chesnut Charter Elementary School
  • Create a calm home—eliminate yelling and arguing.
  • Improve focus, attention and behavior in school.
  • Create stress-free mornings and homework time.
  • Relieve anxiety, meltdowns and sensory issues.
  • Eliminate defiance and disrespect.
Join us for a humorous, practical workshop with nationally-recognized expert Kirk Martin, who has trained over 75,000 parents and teachers. Celebrate Calm is helpful in reducing anxiety and stress in all families, including those with special needs.

The Workshop is FREE to the community thanks to gracious sponsorship by Chesnut Charter Elementary School PTA. There is no need to register. Just bring friends and neighbors—we’ll have a great time, have several “Ah-hah” moments and leave with a dozen practical tools that will help immediately.

Visit to learn more.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Calling all activist bloggers, the Sammies Award has extended the deadline.

I ran across this video today and decided to submit a quick application and I encourage other Atlanta area bloggers to do the same.  If I had to pick the winners in each of the categories from the blogs that I follow, here would be my winners.

Position Available: Building Inspector for the City of Dunwoody

Building Inspector
Community Development Department

Dunwoody, Georgia
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
End Date: Friday, April 30, 2010

The City of Dunwoody has an opening for an experienced building inspector. The position’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, inspecting various facets of residential and commercial new construction to ensure compliance with all federal, state and city codes. The position requires extensive knowledge of plumbing, electrical, structural and framing systems, along with appropriate certification from the International Code Council (ICC). Knowledge of customer service principals, along with being computer literate are necessary skills. Compensation includes competitive salary and benefits package.

Send resume to:

City of Dunwoody
Attn: Director of Community Development Department
41 Perimeter Center East
Suite 250
Dunwoody, GA 30346


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wright's Gourmet - a Dunwoody tradition for 25 years

5482 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338
Phone 770.396.7060
I missed out on 50% off on line coupon for Wrights that was being offered at Scoutmob but I figured I would share the description of the establishment since it is a Dunwoody icon worth trying if you have never been.
Known for gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads and baked goods, the Wright Gourmet Sandwich Shoppe located in Dunwoody has been family-owned and operated since 1984. Using the best of Boars Head products, many of their signature sammies won’t be found on any other menu out there. Their in-house bakery whips up an assortment of yummies every day. And if Funwoody ain’t your neck of the woods? They also deliver to a major portion of the metro area - and do a good business in catering.

The Full Story: 25 years ago, the Wright family brought their grandparents’ restaurant idea from Tampa to a new spot in Dunwoody. Since then, it's been a staple in this Atlanta ‘burb. If the first sandwich-loving generation opened their shop in 1964, that means the Wright family has been holding onto a tradition of amazing sandwiches, salads, and baked goods for roughly 46 years. That's a whole lot of cold cuts and counting.

So what’s the house favorite on the sandwich front? That would be their Classic (a turkey salad-avocado-bacon-mayo-custom mustard sauce creation), the Bleu Max (made with roast beef or turkey, bleu cheese dressing, cucumber, onion and tomato on a homemade onion roll) as well as the Golden Gate (fresh-roast pork, bacon, cheese topped with a peach chutney and mustard sauce). If you’re a sucker for a solid Cuban or Muffuletta, the ones on this menu are solid choices as well. And for you dessert-lovers out there, Wright’iced Coconut Cake is pretty deadly (I sampled it in giant cupcake form and ended up licking the flecks of cakey-coconut off the empty wrapper until my dignity made me stop); their Lemonade Cake has been a number one seller since they opened. They've also got four brand new signature sandwiches they added to the menu.

There’s no shortage of lunch goodies on this menu . And with such a tradition in stellar sandwiches, it doesn’t seem like the Wrights will need to find a family business alternative for at least another century or so.

Challenge Your Property Assessment - March 1st deadline

By: Rep Mike Jacobs

In the ongoing housing slump, I frequently receive e-mails from constituents who are concerned that the market value of their home is less than its assessed value for property tax purposes. The question all of these homeowners ask is the same: What can they do about it?

The answer: File a Georgia property tax return.

If you believe that the sale prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood have fallen to the point that the county now uses a higher value to calculate your property taxes than you could get if you put your home on the market, Georgia law allows you to tell the DeKalb County tax assessors what the current fair market value of your property is. This will force the assessors to review your property assessment. It is not necessary to wait for your property to be reassessed.

To do so, you will need to file a Form PT-50R (click for a fill-and-print PDF version; Adobe Reader is required) so that it is received no later than March 1 at the following address:

DeKalb County Property Appraisal Department
120 West Trinity Place, Room 208
Decatur, GA 30030

To fill out the form, you will need certain information about your property that can be found in DeKalb’s property tax records. Click here to search the property tax records for your street address.

For further information, click here for an AJC article and here for a Georgia Department of Revenue web page about property tax returns.

In case you need to contact them directly, the telephone number for the DeKalb County Property Appraisal Department is (404) 371-0841.

Remember, March 1 is the deadline to use this process to challenge your property assessment if you believe your assessment is “upside down” compared to the fair market value of your home.

IRS Tax Assistance Day - Sat Feb 20th @ Chamblee Tucker & I85

Saturday Feb 20th
9 am until 2 pm
Koger Center (Chamblee Tucker & I 85)
2888 Woodcock Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30341
(404) 338-7962

Recap of Feb 15th Dunwoody City Council Work Session

Below are the items discussed with links to the documents and my comments.

1. EMS response discussion.  (deferred for guest speaker who missed but I am learning of gaps in EMS coverage in City.)

2. Solid Waste Management Plan discussion. (Suggested we adopt DeKalb's plan.)

3. Recycling options discussion. (I see gains to be made in recycling rate without charging more to residents.)

4. Appointment of four additional members to Design Review Advisory Committee.  (Mayor's decision, he missed meeting.)

5. Wintercrest subdivision street renaming discussion.  (I would hate to change my address but for safety sake these residents decided to do it.)

6. Residential fire suppression sprinkler systems discussion. (I'm on the fence for future single family construction, not happy with the cost estimates given by staff but believe that cluster homes may need more protection.)

7. Ordinance to amend Chapter 16 Offenses and Violations re: Noise.  (Though I understand peace and quiet is desired in residential Dunwoody, I think more harm than good would come from the change in commercial districts.)

8. Discussion of text amendment for regulation of taxi cabs

9. Town and Gown discussion. (Would like to see a Dunwoody HS Student serving on committee.)

10. 2010 City Council Meeting Schedule. (Council cutting back to two meetings per month, 2nd & 4th Monday.)

PDK meeting on Wed and again at Monday's Dunwoody Council meeting.

I missed the PDK meeting this past week hosted by the City of Chamblee though other members of the council were there.  The City of Dunwoody will be hosting representatives of DeKalb Peachtree Airport at next Monday's City Council meeting.

The following from Representative Mike Jacobs accurately and succinctly states the potential problem this will cause in Dunwoody, Chamblee, Doraville and parts of unincorporated DeKalb.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is planning to lower the Hartsfield Jackson flight ceiling over PDK Airport and the adjacent Northeast Atlanta neighborhoods by 3,000 feet, from 8,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level, or just 4,000 feet above actual ground level.

This change will substantially lower the altitude at which aircraft landing at PDK must fly when approaching the airport. It also means that passenger jets approaching Hartsfield Jackson Airport will be flying lower over our neighborhoods.

The management at PDK opposes this major change by the FAA.

PDK Watch and several neighborhood organizations are hosting a community meeting this Wednesday, February 17, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Clairmont Baptist Church, 3542 Clairmont Road. A representative of PDK Airport will be on hand to explain the FAA’s plans and how they will affect air traffic at PDK.
We need to carefully watch this over the next few weeks and be prepared to mobilize neighbors to oppose this plan where necessary citing some facts as provided by PDK.  For more information, from the airports perspective, please visit PDK website at:
They also have the following available regarding this FAA proposal:
Draft Resolution
The Sky is Falling (article regarding Covington Airport and the proposed changes in Class B Airpspace)
Technical Data
How to Submit Comments to FAA

Welcome Doraville City Councilman Brian Bates to the blogosphere.

 Brian Bates & Rep Mike Jacobs

Doraville Councilman Brian Bates has started a blog on the City of Doraville and the workings of the Council and I'm already a daily reader.  Seeing that both cities are dealing with many of the same issues, I take it for granted that he and I will be crossing paths on many of the same topics.  Currently both cities are trying to figure out the PDK issue and both cities are interested in the Google Fiber network issue.  Please check out Brian's blog at the link below.

Monday, February 15, 2010

VanderDash 5K & Fun Run on Saturday, March 13th.

Saturday, March 13, 2010
Vanderlyn Elementary, 1877 Vanderlyn Drive, Dunwoody
5K @ 7:30 a.m.
1 Mile Fun Run @ 8:30 a.m.
Diamond Dash/Tot Trot @ 9:00 a.m.
Bring the whole family! Stay for fun and festivities after the race!
Early Registration by February 22nd.  After this date, add $5.
$15 for adults and kids ages 5 & up.
$10 for kids ages 4 and under.
$20 Phantom Runner (can't run- we will mail you a shirt)
All Race Day Registrations - $20
Number Pick Up:
Vanderlyn students & family members advanced registration entries will receive numbers in VIP folders on March 11th.  All other participants can pick up numbers race day starting at 7:00 a.m. 
All t-shirts will be distributed on race morning. Phantom runners will receive their t-shirts in the mail the week after the race.
Parking will be limited. Please park at Dunwoody High School. 
Arrival Time:
Please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your race start time. Please note that part of Mt. Vernon and Vanderlyn Drive (in front of the school) will be closed due to the race. 
Trophies will be awarded to the top three 5K finishers in designated age categories. All children 17 and under will receive a participation ribbon
Post Race Festivities:
Join us after the race for food, music, inflatables and fun. Special appearance by the Chick-fil-a Cow and Publix Pals mascot.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

DeKalb Tree Sale for Arbor Day on Sat Feb 20th


In recognition of Arbor Day, Keep DeKalb Beautiful, Inc. (KDB), in conjunction with the DeKalb County Extension Service and the DeKalb County Master Gardeners, will be selling tree seedlings. While picking up seedlings, you can ask questions of the experts – like how to plant and care for your new trees.

DATE: Saturday, February 20th
TIME: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
LOCATION: DeKalb Tax Commissioners
Office/DeKalb Extension Service
4380 Memorial Dr
Decatur, GA 30032

All tree seedlings will be priced at $3.00. Seedlings are sold bare root, but will be packaged in plastic bags with compost. Seedling choices include: Red Maple, Dogwood, Red Cedar, Bald Cypress, Cherrybark Oak, Crepe Myrtle, and Redbud. For more information on this event and to pre-order, please contact KDB at 404-371-2654 or email

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Eagle Scout Project - Handheld Games for Children's Healthcare at Scottish Rite

Adam Nall, a young man from Dunwoody needs a little help with his Boy Scout Eagle project collecting handheld video games for children to use while at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.  If you are able to help, please see the directions at the bottom or e-mail me at and I will connect you to Mr. Nall.

Adam says: 
I am conducting a handheld video game donation drive to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. I was inspired to do this by my personal experience as a patient of the hospital in the Intensive Care Unit and primary care floors.

Due to my Crohn’s Disease, I have had five hospitalizations at Children’s Healthcare between sixth grade and this past Thanksgiving (11th grade). Two of those were in the ICU for more than a week each. I was not ambulatory and the only thing the hospital had (at the time) to entertain me was kid videos, coloring books, and other rather uninteresting things to do. The exception was the TV in my room, but it stopped playing my channels later at night. One of my father’s business associates gave me a Nintendo DS, for which I was very grateful because it gave me something to do besides the uninteresting activities. Since each of my hospitalizations lasted a long time (twice I was there for two weeks), all that time in bed was really difficult. 
The hospital now has a Teen Activity Room. That’s a great thing, but it doesn’t help patients who can’t get out of bed. So the Volunteer Services department is really excited about this project and the entertainment value for kids who are too old for coloring books and cartoons.
The hospital's Volunteer Services staff will loan patients a handheld system and games during their stay. Each set will be packaged in a sturdy plastic container and labeled according to the age range of the games and gender, if applicable.

Adam and his fellow Scouts are collecting used, working-condition Nintendo (DS, DS Lite, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Color), Sony PSP, battery packs, power cords, styluses, and games (lots of games) for these systems rated E or T (no mature). The project goal is 30 individual handheld game systems plus at least 2 games per system and necessary cords, adapters, and power packs.

If you have a neglected, out of date handheld game system, consider a donation to benefit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.

An Eagle Project by Adam Nall, Troop 764
(St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Dunwoody)

Scouts will arrange for pick-up anywhere in the Atlanta metro,
or you can deliver to St. Luke's, 1978 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody 30338
(place his name (Adam Nall) and "Eagle Project" on the package).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dunwoody City Council Work Session Meeting Agenda

Monday, February 15th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
7:00 p.m. - Watch Live

1. EMS response discussion.
2. Solid Waste Management Plan discussion.
3. Recycling options discussion.
4. Appointment of four additional members to Design Review Advisory Committee.
5. Wintercrest subdivision street renaming discussion.
6. Residential fire suppression sprinkler systems discussion.
7. Ordinance to amend Chapter 16 Offenses and Violations re: Noise.
8. Discussion of text amendment for regulation of taxi cabs
9. Town and Gown discussion.
10. 2010 City Council Meeting Schedule.
11. Initiation of text amendments.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Is Marta planning on cutting the bus line to Georgia Perimeter College?

MARTA has announced proposed service cuts in order to save a few bucks and Thomas Wheatley over at Creative Loafing gives a nice overview and links to the proposal for the Governor to save the day (at least for now). 

The one item that jumps out at me is the "Discontinued Service" of the Tilly Mill Bus, # 132 which goes directly past Georgia Perimeter College.  It looks as if college students will now be walking from Peeler and North Peachtree Road.   Check out this spreadsheet, especially bus routes 103 and 132 since maybe I'm reading it incorrectly. 

I called MARTA for clarification at 404-848-5000 and the representative didn't have a future map nor could understand the terminology used either? So if anyone gets a good answer on Marta continuing on Tilly Mill up to Womack, please share.  Thanks.

Imagine the top end of Atlanta as a technology hub tied together with the fastest internet. Let's ask Google to help make it happen.

Google is test-marketing blazingly-fast ultra-high-speed Internet service in a few markets. Lucky residents will be able to purchase Internet service at speeds up to 1 Gb. This is orders of magnitude faster than current Internet offerings.

What if the Cities of Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Chamblee & Doraville partnered with Google on providing a fiber-optic network to every home and then every business in the area? This type of infrastructure would be a fantastic boon to the residents as well as the many corporations in the area. It is my belief that a multi-city partnership like this would not only be feasible but it would be highly successful on many levels.

Together the cities have population of about 150,000 but the day time office populations jump to approximately 300,000 people.

The area is served by a mix of single & multi-family residential as well as established commercial centers that need and would thrive on the faster internet service provided. The area has the corporate headquarters of InterContinental Hotels, United Parcel Service, Mirant, Cox, AFC Enterprises and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. It has a thriving business community which is supported by local governments who know how to work together for a common goal. The "Pill Hill" area of Children's, St. Joes & Northside Hospitals along with the 100's of small doctor's offices in the area would be a fertile testing ground for high speed data transmissions of medical images and records. Federal data centers (both the IRS & CDC) could harness the power of Fiber.  New technical communities and businesses could be built replacing the long shuttered factory of long ago.

Become a fan on Facebook by the link below and talk to your city leaders about joining together on this collaborative project for the good of our community.  Together our proposal would be stronger then any one of us apart.

Topend Perimeter Partnership of Atlanta for Fiber

As a member of the Dunwoody City Council, I will be requesting that the City immediately start reviewing the application as well as start discussions with our neighboring cities.

John Heneghan
Dunwoody City Council

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Backyard Chicken issue goes in front of the Dunwoody Planning Commission

Due to family obligations this evening I missed tonight's Planning Commission meeting where they were scheduled to discuss the issue of backyard chicken raising, on a very limited basis. I have received e-mails from both sides of the coop since the issue was first hatched and I imagine that feathers will be flying until this matter is finally settled in mid-March when it comes in front of council. I was copied on an e-mail last week that was sent to the Planning Commission that included the "Myths & Facts document" below as well as proposed ordinance changes. Since these are now part of the record and I believe part of the official meeting; I thought I would share them here.  Linked  is the staff memo outlining the issue and here is the current version of the proposed ordinance that would limit the number of chickens to six (no roosters) unless the property was very large and then the number could only go up to a maximum of eight.

I will be interested in hearing feedback from the Planning Commission meeting to see how they voted.  Did anyone attend?  (Update Rick Callihan attended stating that the chicken issue passed 7 - 0 and he posted a recap here.)


Spruill Center for the Arts Guild presents their Artistic Affair 2010 - Three Coins in the Fountain

Pictured above are Joanne Dietrich, Fannie Lou Butler, Carolyn Jones, Sandy Fillipo, Barbara Robinson and Terry Kemp, co-chairs for this year’s Artistic Affair, and Beth Saxe, President of the Guild. Photo taken at the Dunwoody home of Kelly Wolfman.

The Spruill Center for the Arts Guild will host their 24th Artistic Affair at the Atlanta Athletic Club on March 6, 2010. This year’s theme is “Three Coins in the Fountain” with the entire evening filled with Italian music, food, wine, décor, and art. Net proceeds will benefit the Spruill Center for the Arts.
Artistic Affair 2010
“Three Coins in the Fountain”

Atlanta Athletic Club
1930 Bobby Jones Drive
Duluth, Georgia 30097

Cocktails , Hors d’oeurves and Silent Auction begin at
6:00 PM with live Mandolin music provided by
David C. Cooper
Dinner and Live Auction begin at 7:30 PM
Dance to the Music of Maxwell Taylor

Tickets $125 per person
Black Tie Optional - Cash Bar

Please Respond by February 19, 2010

Please contact Sandra Bennett at 770-394-3447 x 226
if you are interested in receiving an invitation.

Presentation of DeKalb Public Safey Director, William Miller to Dunwoody City Council

Issues of 911 in DeKalb County raised at Dunwoody City Council Meeting


Monday, February 8, 2010

Dunwoody Police Department Strategic Plan - 2010

The Dunwoody Police Department began operations on April 1, 2009. In our first nine months of operation, the department has worked hard to address the needs, issues, and concerns of the community as well as establish various partnerships within the community. The dedicated men and women of the Dunwoody Police Department have exceeded all expectations. In addition, the citizens of Dunwoody have been overwhelmingly supportive of the Department’s efforts.

The Dunwoody Police Department is not content to relax after our first year of successes. Instead, we are determined to challenge ourselves as we move forward. The successes of our first year are merely a snapshot of our future efforts.

The 2010 Strategic Plan of the Dunwoody Police Department is not a document that will simply sit on a shelf or occupy space on our website. It is a vital tool that we will use to measure our performance and progress throughout the year. Our strategic plan is a living document that guides our daily activities and provides clear direction to every member of the Department. It is a guide and a commitment that working together, we can make a difference in Dunwoody.  Billy Grogan, Dunwoody Chief of Police

2010 Dunwoody Police Department Strategic Plan

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dunwoody Garden Club's Card Party/Luncheon & Fashion Show on Tues Feb 23rd at DUMC

Dunwoody Garden Club's
Card Party/Luncheon/Fashion Show
Tuesday Feb 23rd @ 10 a.m.
Dunwoody United Methodist Church

Dunwoody Garden Club's annual Card Party / Luncheon / Fashion Show provides a great day for the attendees while raising revenue for the many projects the club sponsors. The club was formed in 1967 and has been beautifying the community for 43 years! This year's theme is "Shop Dunwoody First!" Many local businesses have generously donated prizes and local shops are providing the fashions, hair styling, and make up. You'll probably see someone you know in the fashion show, as models are drawn from various women's groups in Dunwoody. Purchase tickets for your group from any club member or call Bonnie Barton at 770-671-0863. See for more information.

St. Baldrick's - Who else is going to join me in fighting childhood cancer?

Thank you.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

DeKalb Public Safety Director William Miller to speak at Monday's Dunwoody City Council Meeting

Monday, February 8th
Dunwoody City Hall
Dunwoody, GA 30346
7:00 p.m. - Watch Live

On Monday at the request of the Mayor and Council, Mr. William Miller the Public Safety Director of DeKalb County will be addressing the Dunwoody City Council; and I believe answering a few questions from the Council.  Let me personally thank Mr. Miller in advance for agreeing to come to our meeting to address the tragedy that occurred on Houghton Court even though the full investigation is not complete.  It is my personal belief after talking to hundreds of citizens prior to incorporation about what changes they wanted for the new city of Dunwoody, that the fire rescue services were not only considered adequate but they were touted as being very good.  One very sad event does not change that perception for me and I am still very proud to have the men and women of DeKalb Fire Rescue serving the City of Dunwoody.  

Does that mean that I don't want to ask tough questions about the level of service being provided?  Ask about the level of training and certifications like paramedics available at each station house, on each shift?  Ask why one of the pieces of equipment failed to start when needed?  It is that line of questioning that I want to take up with Mr. Miller because again it is my personal belief that the DeKalb Fire Officers will be thoroughly retrained because of this incident and the policies updated whereby a citizen like Ms. Bartlett will never again be left to face the fire in her home alone.

Please do me a favor if you see a DeKalb Fireman, Thank him.   Thank him for his service because that officer has more then likely risked his life for the good of the community, more than once.   Thank him for continuing to serve this fine community with the dedication that has always existed and that he will continue to do so.  Remember that God made Firemen so Policemen would have heroes and I would hate to have this community turn on these service men when collectively they too are in mourning because of the sad situation that occurred. 

DeKalb Fire Update.

Resolution to re-appoint members to Board of Ethics.
Janet Webb & Wade Wright- Term to expire on 01-26-2013

PUBLIC HEARING & FIRST READ – Ordinance amending Chapter 27 of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances by amending certain public notice signage requirements for zoning actions.

PUBLIC HEARING & First READ – Ordinance amending Chapter 27 of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances by amending composition of the Design Review Advisory Committee.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dr. Crawford Lewis discusses funding of Hollywood trip for DCSS Employees

Dunwoody High School fires its first-year football coach

Dunwoody High School Principal, Dr. Kevin Harris was captain of the Kent State University football team in 1992, and in 1993, Dr. Harris was a free agent for the NFL Denver Broncos.

 Prep Zone: AJC High School Sports - Dunwoody High’s Michael Youngblood was fired as head football coach on Thursday. “Mr. Youngblood is no longer the coach, that is correct,” DeKalb County Schools spokesman Dale Davis said.

When asked for the official reason, Davis said, “We decided to go in a different direction.”
Youngblood was still in a state of disbelief on Thursday evening. Dunwoody was his first head coaching job, and he led the Wildcats to a 7-5 record and appearance in the state playoffs this past season. He was informed of the news by Dunwoody principal Kevin Harris.

“When I asked (Harris) ‘What were the grounds for my removal?’ He said the things that they are going to say when the principal and football coach don’t see eye to eye … that they ‘are going to move in a different direction’ and not really give you an answer,” Youngblood said.

Youngblood speculated that his firing was related to an incident between the two men at at halftime of Dunwoody’s homecoming game against Cedar Grove on Sept. 25. Harris entered the team’s locker room and directed several players to leave the team meeting to participate in the halftime activities.

“It was a close game, and I had no idea (in advance) that some of our key players were going to be pulled out of the meeting,” Youngblood said. “I told (Harris), ‘No, please don’t do that.’ Then we went outside and talked about it. The football players ended up being in the halftime activities.”

“(But) I think he interpreted the entire situation as me trying to show him up in front the kids and other coaches.”
The following Monday, Youngblood says he was written up for “insubordination” by the principal, and Youngblood responded with a letter of rebuttal, explaining that “everything said in the report was not true.” Youngblood later apologized to Harris, hoping to ease the tension.

“However, from that moment on, I knew that things weren’t how they were supposed to be,” Youngblood said. “Every day, I had to look over my back, while also doing a good job on the football field.”
“The bottom line is that (Harris) never forgave me for that (halftime) incident.”

Youngblood, 30, was assistant head coach for Tucker High’s 2009 state championship team, and was Chattahoochee High’s defensive coordinator the previous two years.

DeKalb County School System sends 200 employees to Hollywood for $380,000.00

DeKalb County School Watch - America's Choice Sucking up the Stimulus

DeKalb County School Watch - Dr. Crawford fills the Tank.

DeKalb Fire recordings detail response to deadly Dunwoody blaze

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dunwoody Residents invited to City of Chamblee meeting on PDK Flight Path

City of Dunwoody Government and Citizens Invited to City of Chamblee Work Session
City of Chamblee set to Discuss Peachtree DeKalb Airport and Changes to Class B Airspace

What               City of Chamblee City Council Work Session Featuring Presentation by Peachtree DeKalb Airport

When               Thursday, February 11, 2010
                         Beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Where              Chamblee Civic Center
                         3540 Broad Street
                         Chamblee, GA 30341

Who                Lee Remmel, Airport Director for Peachtree DeKalb Airport (PDK), will be leading a presentation regarding the proposed changes to Class B airspace around Hartsfield Jackson Airport and Peachtree DeKalb airport.
Why                The presentation will address changes proposed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to restructure the Class B airspace surrounding Hartsfield. Suggested changes by the FAA include decreasing the lower elevation of Class B airspace to 5,000ft over PDK. The included changes will not only affect airspace near PDK but also the quality of life for those citizens living in the restructured flight paths. This includes neighborhoods within Dunwoody and Chamblee city limits. This presentation will aid in explaining the extent of the changes, the repercussions, and the best channels to support or oppose plan. Citizens of Dunwoody and Chamblee are strongly encouraged to attend this public meeting to learn more about these proposed changes by the FAA.

Info                 Parking is available at the Civic Center as well as the nearby Police Department.

Contact           Marketing and PR Department: Edie Damann, Marketing and PR Manager, at 678-382-6712.

"If I Were Mayor, I Would..." essay for 6th Grade students

Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), "If I Were Mayor, I Would..." essay competition encourages 6th grade students throughout Georgia to participate in this year’s state wide contest.

Twelve winners, one from each of GMA’s districts, along with their parents, teacher, and local mayor, will attend an awards luncheon in April. Prizes, including a $250 savings bond, will be awarded to each winner. GMA will also send a “Certificate of Participation” to each of the students who submit an essay, recognizing the efforts of each student. A statewide winner will be selected from among the twelve essay winners and will receive an additional $250 savings bond.

The contest gives students a chance to creatively use grade-specific language arts skills and civics/social studies knowledge. The essays may not exceed 350 words and have a deadline of Friday, March 5, 2010. Teachers submitting multiple essays can attach one entry form to the entire class's work; however, please be sure the student's name and school name are somewhere on the essay in case the essay gets separated from the entry form.

Essays should be mailed to:

   Georgia Municipal Association
   Attention: Essay Contest
   P.O. Box 105377
   Atlanta, GA 30348

For additional information regarding GMA and the “If I Were Mayor, I Would…” essay competition please contact Amy Henderson at 678-686-6226 or by email at