Friday, April 30, 2010

Doug Thompson announces that he's in it to win it for District Three Dunwoody representative.


It is with great excitement and with the support of my family, friends, neighbors and colleagues that I announce my candidacy for the local District 3 City Council post with the City of Dunwoody. Tom Taylor has done a wonderful job in this position before stepping down to run for State office and has agreed to endorse my candidacy.

I will shortly begin the process of fund raising and campaigning.

Having run for this position in the inaugural election, I am well aware of the financial and time commitment required.

I look forward to your support and the opportunity to serve the citizens of Dunwoody.

Doug Thompson
(770) 396-3661-w

City of Dunwoody Prepares to Elect New City Council Member - Dunwoody Press Release

Dunwoody –April 30, 2010 – The City of Dunwoody will hold a Special Election on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 to elect a representative to fill the vacant Council seat for District 3, Post 3.

The qualifying period opens on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. and closes on Friday, May 14, 2010 at 4:30 p.m. The hours of qualifying each day are 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Any person desiring to run for office shall qualify in the office of the City Clerk by filing a Notice of Candidacy. The qualifying fee for a Council post is $360.00 (three hundred sixty dollars.)

The qualifications to run for office include: candidate must be a resident of the City of Dunwoody for a continuous period of at least 12 months immediately prior to the date of the election; candidate must continue to reside in the City of Dunwoody during their period of service; candidate must continue to be registered and qualified to vote in the municipal elections of the City of Dunwoody. In addition, no person will be eligible to serve as a council member representing a council district unless that person has been a resident of the district they seek to represent for a continuous period of at least six months immediately prior to the date of the election and continues to reside in their district during their period of service.

The last day for voter registration in the 2010 Special Election and, if necessary, Runoff Election, is Monday, June 21, 2010. Registration forms are available at Dunwoody City Hall, 41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 250, Dunwoody, Georgia 30346, through the Chief Registrar of DeKalb County, Georgia or through the Georgia Secretary of State website:

The polls will open for the July 20, 2010 Special Election at 7:00 a.m. and will close at 7:00 p.m. at your designated voter precinct. If no candidate receives a majority vote, then a runoff election will be held on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at the same precinct locations.

Voters will be allowed to vote by absentee ballot by making application for an absentee ballot; reasons for voting absentee are not required. The application must be in writing using the application form provided by the State or by written request and may be made in person, by mail, or by fax. The form can be found at:

Advanced/early voting begins on Monday, July 12, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. and closes on Friday, July 16, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. at the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Office, 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032.

For questions or for more information please contact Sharon Lowery, City Clerk, at 678-382-6711 or

Dunwoody to hold city council election July 20 - qualifying starts May 10

Dunwoody will hold a special election July 20 to replace Tom Taylor, who resigned to run for the state House.

City Clerk Sharon Lowery said qualifying will be May 10-14 at city hall. Only voters in District 3 will cast ballots.

Mayor Ken Wright said the city council considered delaying the election until Sept. 21 or Nov. 2.

"The overall consensus was to not leave the seat vacant that long," Wright said.

Lowery said the DeKalb elections office won't charge the city much because the election will be held in conjunction with the General Primary. Numerous legislative seats will be voted on that day.

City Councilman Tom Taylor Sets Sights on State House - Dunwoody Press Release


Dunwoody – April 30, 2010 – On Monday, April 26, Tom Taylor, Councilman for the City of Dunwoody, announced his qualification for the Georgia House of representatives District 79 House Seat previously held by Representative Fran Millar. Today, Taylor announced he has vacated his District 3 City Council seat.

“Tom has been an integral part of the formation and development of the City of Dunwoody,” said Mayor Ken Wright. “His contributions helped make our City what it is today. He will be missed as a Council member.”

The City of Dunwoody will hold a special election on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 to fill the vacancy on Council, with residents of District 3 voting to elect a new representative. For those interested in the position, the qualifying period opens on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. and closes on Friday, May 14, 2010 at 4:30 p.m. The hours of qualifying each day are 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with the exception of Friday. Any person desiring to run for office shall qualify in the office of the City Clerk by filing a Notice of Candidacy. The qualifying fee is $360.00 (three hundred sixty dollars.)

For more information please contact Sharon Lowery, City Clerk, at or at 678-382-6700. Media Contact: Edie Damann, Marketing & PR Manager, 678.382.6712

Dunwoody City Council Seat may be available. Are you interested in serving or know someone who would be a great Dunwoody representative?

Monday night I missed my first Dunwoody City Council meeting since being sworn in because of a week long business trip and unfortunately that also meant I missed Thursday night's special called meeting whereby the Mayor added a last minute agenda item to discuss a Special Called Election to fill a vacancy.  Though I missed the meeting, Rick Callihan attended and you can read his recap here.

The need of a Special Election is being proposed because Dunwoody Councilman Tom Taylor "qualified" to run for the State Legislature on Monday to fill Fran Millar's vacant Georgia house seat and it appears that the Georgia State Constitution, shown below, states that Taylor's Dunwoody City Council seat is now vacant and that a City election should now be held. Councilman Taylor states that the Dunwoody Charter is not in agreement with State Law and that he is obtaining an outside legal opinion and will be stepping down if is the proper thing to do.
"The office of any state, county, or municipal elected official shall be declared vacant upon such elected official qualifying, in a general primary or general election, or special primary or special election, for another state, county, or municipal elective office or qualifying for the House of Representatives or the Senate of the United States if the term of the office for which such official is qualifying for begins more than 30 days prior to the expiration of such official's present term of office. The vacancy created in any such office shall be filled as provided by this Constitution or any general or local law. This provision shall not apply to any elected official seeking or holding more than one elective office when the holding of such offices simultaneously is specifically authorized by law."
Waiting on the formal resignation of Councilman Taylor and/or a decision of the City Clerk, Ms. Sharon Lowery to announce the seat vacant based on the legal interpretation of the City Law Department; the residents of District 3 who live on the East Side of Dunwoody should be aware that the City of Dunwoody may be looking for a candidate to step forward to serve as the local representative. If an election is to be held to replace Councilman Taylor, only the residents of District 3 will be voting in this special election in order to elect the local district representative who also lives in the same district.

City Hall has been aware of this situation since last Monday night and I am sure they could pull off the July 20th election with a qualification period happening the week of May 10th.

This weeks two council meetings were both held with the minimum quorum of only four members, therefore I am in favor of an election as soon as possible in order to assure that future city meetings are not negatively affected by a lack of quorum.  I am also aware that our City Charter does not allow a tie breaking mechanism therefore a three / three tie among the reduced six city council members could easily hamper the movement of city business.

If our Dunwoody City Election were held on July 20th, the date of the general election primary and there were three evenly supported candidates causing a runoff because no candidate received 51% of the vote, then I believe the runoff would move to the November general election date.  If we wait until November to hold our election, there is a possibility that a runoff election if needed wouldn't occur until January 2011 and I don't think we can wait that long.

Please help me find a qualified community leader who currently lives in District three shown above (which basically correlates with the Dunwoody North, Kingsley, Four Oaks, DeKalb Highlands, Fontainebleau, Brooke Farm, or Waterford subdivisions) and is willing to serve the residents of Dunwoody.   If there are any residents who are interested in running and have questions, please feel free call me at (678) 348-0234 and I will do my very best to answer what I can regarding the position. I have pulled a few tidbits of information that people may be interested in and posted links below.  Thanks, John

City Wide Results from 2008

2008 Election Citywide breakdown by precinct for my at-large post.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dunwoody, Sandy Springs & Johns Creek have formed the North Metro Swat Team

The police departments in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Johns Creek have contributed money, manpower and equipment to form the new North Metro SWAT team.  The North Metro SWAT team's primary response will be to answer calls in the three cities. Team leader William Hegwood with the Dunwoody Police Department tells Channel 2 Action News "hopefully we're never called, but when we're called, we're ready and prepared to handle whatever situations we can."

Each police department contributes $45,000 a year to help fund the SWAT team.

Will the Dunwoody schools be able to operate enmass as a Charter School System?

SB 457: Empowers a high school cluster to petition the local board of education to become a conversion charter. Requires a 60% favorable vote by parents and faculty in all the schools in the cluster and approval by the local school councils.  

Kudos to Dan Weber and Fran Millar who both pushed this legislation and it appears to be very close to being on the Governors desk for signature.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dunwoody's Legislative seats up for changes with Senator Dan Weber possibly deciding not to run.

Today was the first day of qualifying for the Georgia State Legislature with candidates stepping forward to throw their hats into the ring. By all accounts it appears that State Senator Dan Weber (R-40) who serves the Dunwoody, Chamblee, Doraville & Tucker areas will not be returning to the Senate since he has not yet registered and House Representative Fran Millar has already qualified to replace Mr. Weber in the Senate, instead of re-running for the District 79 House seat that he currently holds.

Registration closes Friday therefore anything could happen between now and then but the candidates currently registered for Dunwoody seats are as follows.

State Senator, District 40

Fran Millar
5249 Brooke Farm Dr.
Dunwoody, GA 30338

James Sibold
2317 Littlebrooke Ln
Dunwoody, GA 30338-3188

State Representative, District 79

Tammy Anderson
5250 Meadowcreek Dr
Dunwoody, GA 30338-3807

Tom Taylor
4926 Four Oaks Ct
Dunwoody, GA 30360-1743

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dunwoody Soap Box Derby is looking for drivers and sponsors.

The Dunwoody Soap Box Derby race directors have been tweaking last year's event and have made a number of changes - including moving the track and putting up tents so spectators will be able to be in the shade, kids's activities, food vendors, etc., etc., so they're looking for even more drivers and spectators this year.

The Derby is open to both boys and girls from ages 8-17.  They'll be racing two classes of cars again this year:  stock and superstock.  There's still time for kids to register and obtain cars.  Complete Derby information and applications can be obtained by going to our website:

They're doing car clinics every Saturday morning from now until the race, which is scheduled for June 5, to help kids and their parents build their cars to gain optimal results.   They'll have folks on hand to give pointers and tips as well as offer building assistance wherever possible.   All clinics will be held at the KofC Hall at All Saints Catholic Church from 10 AM - 2 PM.  It's important that they/their parents attend the clinics to get complete information.  Kids need not have their cars with them in order to attend, but should be looking to order kits ASAP.

Our clinic schedule (including topics being discussed) follows:

April 24 - axle/kingpin install and suspension
May 1 - weight and how it affects speed
May 8 - weight design, calculation, and order
May 15 - Alignment/testing Part One
May 22 - Alignment/testing Part Two
May 29 - Driving and race day procedures
June 4 - Car Inspections and Weigh-in
June 5 - Race Day

We're continuing to welcome sponsors like the Dunwoody Crier and the Bank of North Georgia to help fund the race and everything connected with it (including paying to send local champions to Akron , accompanied by one parent each, and transporting the cars to-and-from Akron as well), so if anyone is interested in becoming a Derby sponsor, all they need do is contact either Brent Morris  at  or Heyward Wescott at

Help the Odyssey of the Mind, Middle School team raise money for a trip to Michigan State.

Car Wash on Sunday & Ice Cream next weekend

The Dunwoody Homeowners Assocation-sponsored Odyssey of the Mind Middle School team took second place in its division at the State Competition this month.  As a result, they will compete in the World Finals at Michigan State University May 25-29

The team is coached by Karen Bass, who was inducted into the Georgia Odyssey of the Mind Coaches Hall of Fame at the state tournament.  Team members are Will Bass, Sofia Gonzalo, Jack Jarrell, Jennifer Kiser, Kendall Lowrey, Anna Grace Nall, and Max Noto.

The costs for the 5-day World Finals tournament is $6,300 for the team members and coach.  Parent chaperones will cost an additional $3,000.  The team has several fundraising events scheduled. We hope to cover the team/coach costs and a portion of the chaperone costs.  We would appreciate your support!

Individual donations can be sent to Pat Noto, 1409 Holly Bank Circle, Dunwoody, GA 30338 (phone 770-522-9147).  Checks should be made out to Pat Noto, with OotM on the description line. 


THIS WEEKEND:  Sunday April 25, 1-4 p.m. - Car Wash in Burger King parking lot (weather permitting)

Sunday, May 2, 3-5 p.m. - Ice Cream Sundae Party at Dunwoody Nature Center
    (The team will perform its skit at 4:00.)

Saturday, May 8, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Dunwoody Arts Festival booth
    (The team will sell fun items at a booth near the Children's area.)

Sunday, May 9, noon - 5:00 p.m. - Dunwoody Arts Festival booth

Dunwoodyschooldaze - a new blog dedicated to Dunwoody Schools.

"Dunwoody Mom" has been a regular commenter and participant on both this and the DeKalb County School Watch Blog and today I would like to point the entire Dunwoody community over to her new blog dedicated to Dunwoody's Schools.

As she states, "My hope is that this blog will turn into a gathering place for information concerning our Dunwoody schools. Our community is blessed in that we have some wonderful schools with caring, giving administrators and teachers. This is a place also to share our stories - good and bad, happy and sad."

Since no one person could know what is happening in all of our schools, I would like to ask community parents involved in various aspects of Dunwoody's fine schools to please regularly feed Dunwoody Mom with information to post. If the postings get to be too much for one person, Dunwoody Mom could grant posting permissions to trusted representatives of the various schools.

The Dunwoody schools are an important part of what makes the Dunwoody community so special and if we together can promote, participate and celebrate in their successes then we as a community all are benefited.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dunwoody City Council agenda for Monday April 26, 2010

Monday, April 26th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346

Work Session at 6:00 p.m.
Voting Meeting at 7:00 p.m.
Work Session Agenda - 6 p.m.

Voting Meeting Agenda - 7 p.m.

State Legislation - DeKalb parks pass to Dunwoody along with $7 million dollars in bond proceeds.

Today was a great day for the City of Dunwoody.
House Bill 203 moves to the Governor's desk.

Today legislation passed on both the Senate and House floors of the Georgia Legislature transferring parks from DeKalb to Dunwoody for a nominal price along with the $7 million dollars the County promised during the last parks bond referendum.

I was home from work today attempting to get over a stomach bug so I was able to watch the live stream of Dan Weber from the Senate floor convincing fellow legislatures that HB 203 was the right and just decision on the transfer of property since the citizens of Dunwoody have paid for these parks with their taxes for many years.

I was able to see Rep. Mike Jacobs bring that same piece of legislation back to the House floor for the final passage of the amendments which were made to the original bill.  A short break was called then about 5 minutes later as I was listening to the chit chat on the podium I was able to hear the call for reconsideration live on the web via an open microphone.  Knowing that this was unexpected during a break when many of the representatives had left the floor, I quickly called our City Attorney, Brian Anderson and Councilman Tom Taylor who have been working diligently at the Capital to push this legislation.  Luckily they were able to round up representatives like our good friend from Sandy Springs, Representative Wendell Willard to assure we had the votes in the room when the reconsideration happened.

When the reconsideration for the last vote was finally proposed by Rep. Howard Mosby, the arguments made against the measure were firmly struck down by the level headed Representative from Dunwoody, Mr. Fran Millar.

Kudos to all involved, including Mayor Wright, our City Manager, Warren Hutmacher, members of Council and especially Councilman Tom Taylor who has very effectively served behind the scenes as Dunwoody's legislative point person for a number of years bringing us to where we are today.  Thank you.

On to the Governor's desk... or would a signing ceremony at Brook Run Park be more appropriate?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

City update by Councilman Robert Wittenstein

Dear Dunwoody Friends and Neighbors,

I don't usually use my monthly e-mail to distribute news flashes, but today I'm going to make an exception.

Today the Georgia House and the Georgia Senate passed identical bills establishing the conditions under which we can purchase the parks located in Dunwoody from DeKalb County.

The price is $100 per acre which is a token sum that fully recognizes all the years of taxes paid by Dunwoody residents for parks acquisition and capital improvements. The ownership of the parks properties will transfer to the city on the signature of the Governor.

Included in the arrangement are Brook Run, The Dunwoody Nature Center, The Spruill Center for the Arts/North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, the Donaldson-Chesnut farm at Chamblee-Dunwoody and Vermack, the two baseball fields at Dunwoody Park (Dunwoody Senior Baseball's home) and a number of other smaller properties. We will also assume ownership of the land the fire stations and DeKalb Police precinct sit on and will lease those properties back to the county for a token amount.

The bill passed by the legislature also has provisions that should ensure that the bond money earmarked for Brook Run will be spent at Brook Run. We will probably have to go through a court process with the county before payment, but we should eventually get $6-7 million for capital improvements at Brook Run.

This is a huge victory for the city. I firmly believe that a city cannot thrive while its parks languish.

It is also a major responsibility. We must now work to reverse years of neglect and underfunding. As with the roads, we will want to do more than will be practical in one or two years. A revised master plan for Brook Run that provides lots of opportunity for community input should be high on our to-do list.

A lot of people worked very hard to ensure this outcome. We owe Senator Dan Weber and Representative Fran Millar a tremendous thank you for their efforts. The city staff, the mayor and the members of the city council all played important roles but it would be negligent not to single out Councilman Tom Taylor for the hundreds of hours he put into this effort as our legislative point-person.

This is truly cause for celebration. Congratulations Dunwoody!



Another late night establishment proposed for Friday's Plaza - public meeing Sunday

The flier below is for an Open House on Sunday afternoon at 2pm located at the old TGI Friday's building.  With your help the opening of El Reventon was denied at the same location on January 26, 2010.  There was an open house two weeks ago where the owner advised those present that his desires were to open a "24 hour dine, dance, entertainment" and was requesting pouring hours after 12:30pm.

It is imperative that we meet on Sunday and show the owner our opposition to his business proposal.

We, Doraville, Dunwoody, Unincorporated DeKalb want a Family oriented shopping center where we all can enjoy and be proud of.

Please join me on Sunday, April 25  2pm and inform all of your neighbors and friends to attend.

Very Respectfully,
Pam Fleming, Doraville City Council Member District 1



6331 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Doraville, Georgia 30360

SUNDAY APRIL 25th, 2010
@ 2:00 P.M.

Dear Resident,

The Valley restaurant and lounge is holding an open house from 2:00 P.M. until 3:00 P.M on Sunday April 25th, 2010 in order to discuss the application for a Special Land Use Permit in order to open and operate a restaurant and lounge at 6331 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Doraville, Georgia 30360.

We are inviting all surrounding residents in order to discuss any concerns or issues that they might have with the opening of this business. 

The owner, Sampson B. Monger and his attorney, Christopher Taylor will be present to address any concerns. 


Sampson Monger

Sampson B. Monger

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Legislature proposes transfer of parks to Dunwoody along with all bond proceeds.

See blog post and spreadsheet from Feb 12, 2009

There are currently several bills in the Georgia Legislature (SB 58 as amended & HB 203) which are on parallel tracks, tied together proposing a transfer of park property from DeKalb County, who can not legally operate a park within city limits, to the City of Dunwoody, at a purchase price of $100 per acre.   These bills also schedule a future transfer of fire stations located in the City (if so needed) at a transfer rate of $5,000 per station.  An amended Senate Bill 58 passed out of committee Monday afternoon by an 8 to 4 vote and looks to be headed to the House for a final determination.

House Bill 203 has much of the same language as SB 58 approved in committee but it allows development authorities to bond without a referendum.  HB 203 also passed out of committee last week and should be headed to the Senate for a final determination in the last three days of the session.

Both bills state that bond proceeds from prior bond referendums must be paid as the issuer intended therefore by my calculation and by DeKalb County's own records, Brook Run Park was promised $11.5 million dollars and it is still owed about $7 million.  

Dunwoody residents have been paying for these parks for years and the transfer price of $100 per acre was based on the same solution that Sandy Springs paid to Fulton to transfer their properties.  The only major difference once Dunwoody takes over the operation is that the City of Dunwoody will be responsible for all up keep and maintenance of park facilities; as well as staffing on going endeavors like the Brook Run Skate Park.  Since the City of Dunwoody will also be paying for the 2006 Parks Bond referendum for many years to come, the funding promised to the park should rightfully remain with in the community who will be paying those taxes.

If these two bills pass and the park property is transferred to the City of Dunwoody, I along with the Mayor and City Council, look forward to taking quick action on making basic improvements that have been lacking such as proper building security, increased park benches, a complete safety audit and repaired water fountains.  After that I will be looking forward to holding public meetings to see what the community would like to do with its parks system; since I don't think an aviary is going to cut it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dunwoody Divas Shopping Extravaganza on Tues & Wed @ Mudcatz

Invited to Dunwoody Divas
Calling all Divas!
Come join us and support wonderful local artisans at the Dunwoody Divas Shopping Extravaganza 2010!
Mudcatz Bayou Bar & Grill in Dunwoody Village
For a map and directions to Mudcatz:
Day Shopping:
Tuesday, April 20th & Wednesday, April 21st
Evening Shopping:
Tuesday, April 20th
The Dunwody Divas 2010:
The Stitch Chick
Monogramming and embroidery - both things you bring us and things we sell. Your local source for personalized gifts.
Tastefully Simple Gourmet Foods
Easy to prepare gourmet foods that are perfect for easy entertaining, quick healthy meals, and gifts for all occassions.
Chocolatey Clair
Felted flower headbands and skirts embellished with felted flower brooches.
Pitter Platters
Hand painted and personalized platters for babies, births, graduation, wedding, confirmation, 1st holy communion, bar/bat mitzvah, etc. Wine toppers, frames and keychains.
Honeysuckle Soap
A variety of handmade natural soaps, 5 body lotions, and several facial creams. These products are sold individually or packaged in gift baskets.
Personalized stationery and inspirational greeting cards.
Beads by Meg
Handcrafted beaded jewlery including necklaces, bracelets and earrings from petite seed beads to the chunky stones -- something for everyone!
Ladybug Designs
For all your sewing needs: original designs, custom sewing for your wardrobe or home, alterations, and our new offering - upholstery. (under construction)
Promom Couture
A lifestyle brand that specializes in celebrating motherhood. As seen on Oprah with Cindy Crawford calling us one of her favorite things to wear and Stacy London on The Today Show calling us "what stylish moms wear".
Emily G's Jam of Love
Delicious hand-poured jams and jellies.
Vintage silk sari skirts, handblown glass bottle stoppers, and recycled handbags.
Claire Was Here
Creative and artistic items from magnets and mugs to handpainted windows and prints.
"Art for your Hips", these crystal buckles are must haves for all trend-setting Divas!
Colorful Crowns
fine, hand-knit baby hats, sure to please both mom and child!
Mavis Stevens Fabric Art
Folk art, purses, and pillows with a yarny twist.
Jockey for Her
Everyday basics that feel like luxury.
Board Silly
Decorative magnetic boards.
Beijo Bags
Wonderful  Bags and totes.

Recent Dunwoody items that crossed my desk.

Real Forward Progress on Becoming Bike-Friendly -Bike ride around Dunwoody recap

House committee to consider Dunwoody parks bill - Anything could happen with the legislature in session?

A Newspaper Leaves Behind Its City Roots - NYT notes that the AJC has moved to Dunwoody

Dear AJC: Welcome to Dunwoody by Dick Williams of the Crier

Thank you Lynn & Mellie for serving - Tough job - you represented us well.

Thank you Stacey & Tom - Stepping into big shoes.

Planning Commission to vote Tuesday on Comprehensive Plan.

Schools to be More Crowded Next School Year, 293 Kids in Trailers Next Year at Vanderlyn.

Thinking of running for DeKalb County School Board?  Read this and join group

Latest from Councilman Shortal
- Dunwoody HS Construction News and much more

Comprehensive Transportation Plan - has been rebid.

An ode to our fine City of Dunwoody - new blogger giving his opinions of Dunwoody Council.

Dunwoody Celebrates Georgia Cities Week with tours & blood drive.

Dunwoody Earth Day 2010 Shredding Event - April 24

Holocaust Memorial Garden a teaching tool for future generations at the MJCC

Farmer gets support from local Dunwoody residents - Join the CSA today

2010 Dunwoody High School Baseball Highlights

Dunwoody Beer Fest - May 15th at Perimeter Mall (Hey Rick, Hoegaarden is on tap.)

Dunwoody Butterfly Festival - Save the Date of June 12th

Branding conversation - a statewide perspective

New York Butcher Shoppe in Dunwoody is open - nice looking lunch menu

Friday, April 16, 2010

Review of Dunwoody Lemonade Days by Rick Callihan of Dunwoody Talk Blog

This blog post was written and photos were taken by Rick Callihan and I will admit that I shamelessly copied it in order to plug a major community event. If you don't follow Rick, I encourage you do so since he puts a nice spin on events happening in the community.

Had a great family night tonight over at DeKalb County's Brook Run Park, site host of the annual Lemonade Days festival.  If you have kids from age 5-15, I'd say the $15 ride bracelet (after using the $5 off coupon) is a real deal. I suggest you buy the bracelet instead of individual tickets. There's no way you can take a kid there, ride only four or five rides, then leave.  The bracelet (with coupon) is the way to go.  If you kid is six or older then the parents really don't need to go on the rides.

With tonight being the opening night, and most kids required to go to school tomorrow, attendance was the lowest of the four day event.  A perfect night for no lines.  I'm sure the wait for rides will be tolerable all weekend, and the weather seems to be cooperating, so I recommend you head over.

Lots of good food selections as well.  Hard to pass on a funnel cake.  I opted for a Varsity chili dog, while some in my group ate some chicken fingers from Guthries.  The food vendors are both local and part of the amusement company.

The whole carnival scene takes me back to my years growing up in PA.  I left home for a while (from age 9 until 11) and traveled up and down the east coast as a Carny.  It was quite enlightening. Eventually I escaped returned home to lead a normal life, ending up here in Dunwoody years later.

A favorite thing of mine is the old-time style art work on the sides of the carnival rides.

The event organizers thought ahead and had special areas for dropping off plastic bottles.

There was also PLENTY of WATER available for the carnival booths and their RVs. 

Not sure who was in charge of printing and hanging the Sponsor signs, but they did a nice job as well.

While watching the kids on a ride I glanced down on the ride's motor housing and saw a few well-worn inspection stickers.  After a closer look, I see Dunwoody now has an Inspector for our Parks and Recreation division.  I did not even know we had such a thing.  (see images below)

The fastest ride on site is the Himalaya.  The Spyder was quick as well.  Bumper cars and the Ferris Wheel are classics.  As the sun went down, so did the temperature.  The bright lights of the Carny booths filled the night with excitement.

Plenty of portable toilets

Being a former Carny (I worked the dart throwing booth, awarding skilled throwers their choice of a Styx mirror or a Coke bottle filled with colored sand or a dark-light poster with a mushroom on it) I avoid the games of chance.  Although I was tempted to win my wife a Teddy Bear at the basketball game, I resisted.  The kids will nag you to play the games (and the game operators will try to lure you in) but stay strong and stick to the rides and food.

Here a couple of photos, one with a FarmHouser doing last-minute sign work.  The park was very clean and all in attendance were well behaved. 

I was told the dunk tank will be open on Saturday this year, instead of Sunday.  See the list below for the folks scheduled to be in the tank. Expect long waits to throw when some of these folks are in there.

(NOTE: schedule may vary and subject to change or be canceled)

12:00 - 12:30  Farmer Bob
12:30 - 1:00    Councilman Ross
1:00 - 1:30      Warren Hutmacher
1:30 - 2:00     Sustainable Pattie
2:00 - 2:30      Rick Callihan
2:30 - 3:00      Fran Millar
3:00 - 3:30      Mayor Wright
3:30 - 4:00      TBD
4:00 - 4:30      Police Chief Grogan
4:30 - 4:35     Dick Williams
4:35 - 5:00      Councilman Shortal

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dunwoody Lemonade Days @ Brook Run starts Thursday, runs thru Sunday

Brook Run Park
Dunwoody, GA 30338

When not doing other scheduled events (soccer & Beck Bash) this weekend, my family and I will be attending Lemonade Days several times through the weekend.  Check out the official festival website for more details and I also recommend following the event on Twitter @LemonadeDays for last minute updates and because if memory serves me right, I scored free ride wristbands that were being offered via a contest on there last year. Again??

Also sign up for the Bike Ride Around Dunwoody early and save $5 per rider and if you want true entertainment value get a wrist band for the kids for Thursday since it is the lightest night and there are little or no lines.  I think I had one son and his friends who rode the bumper cars for an hour straight last year.  What's not to like about that if your 10 years old?

Thursday - April 15, 2010
5:00 PM - 10:00 PM - Rides, Games & Concessions - Come out and join us on the first night of Amusement Park Rides, Inflatables, Midway Games & yummy treats!

Friday - April 16, 2010
5:00 PM - 11:00 PM - Rides, Games & Concessions - Come out and enjoy Amusement Park Rides, Inflatable, Midway Games & Concessions at Brook Run Park!

Saturday - April 17, 2010
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM - Bicycle Ride Around Dunwoody (BRAD) - Register for the 2010 Brad on our website.

10:00 AM - 11:00 PM - Rides, Games & Concessions - Amusement Park Rides, Inflatables, Midway Games, Concessions and SO MUCH MORE!

10:00 AM - 8:00 PM - Craft Fair - Presented by the Dunwoody Arts and Crafts Guild, the annual craft fair will feature works of artisans from across the Southeast.

12:00 PM - 8:00 PM - Face Painting - Let your child enjoy the fun of face paint!

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Skate Park Exhibition - Come out and watch exhibitions at the skate park!

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM - Petting Zoo - Let your kids see all kinds of animals at the Petting Zoo!

Sunday - April 18, 2010
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM - Craft Fair - Presented by the Dunwoody Arts and Crafts Guild, the annual craft fair will feature works of artisans from across the Southeast.

12:00 PM - 6:00 PM - Rides, Games & Concessions - Enjoy the last day of Amusement Park Rides, Inflatables, Games & Concessions!

12:00 PM - 6:00 PM - Face Painting - Let your child experience the fun of face paint!

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM - Petting Zoo - Final day for the Petting Zoo!

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Skate Park Exhibition - Come out and watch exhibitions at the skate park!

Happy Tails, therapy dogs - a “promise honored” has become a life’s commitment.

I have never heard of therapy dogs until I picked up today's Dunwoody Crier and read the touching story written by Carol Niemi on Dave & Stephanie Frew. When I saw the tv piece, I thought I would share not only the video but a link to the Happy Tails organization.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm so very blessed !! Happy Anniversary Kristin

Take a break from Lemonade Days on Friday to honor one of Dunwoody's own - Jeanette Beck

Ms. Jeanette Beck
Dunwoody Resident & Teacher

My family and I will be spending quite a bit of time at Brook Run park this weekend but Friday evening we will be walking down the block and across the street to Kingswood Church to support and honor a fine Dunwoody resident and teacher of our children, Ms. Jeanette Beck. Please think about joining me there.

From the Dunwoody Crier - It Takes a Dunwoody. If there’s one thing this community is good at (and there are many), it’s opening its heart for neighbors in need.

Many members of the community are familiar with the Jeanette Beck-DeBlasi, her husband Iggy, and three children — 20-year-old twins and teenage son — who have been contributing members of Dunwoody for many years. Jeanette, a teacher at Dunwoody Elementary and a formerly of Chesnut Elementary Charter, and her family have been at the heart of many groups and organizations and are always front and center when it comes to participation and volunteerism.

Some very difficult financial years have been magnified with Jeanette’s recent diagnosis of breast cancer. The onslaught of chemotherapy and radiation treatments have already filled all her vacation days and sick leave from school, thus leaving yet another strain on their family income.

The bright side to all this? A lot of friends, neighbors and family who love the Beck-DeBlasi family are coming to their aid with a fund raising spaghetti dinner. The whole community is invited for this $5-per plate “Beck Bash” dinner scheduled at Kingswood United Methodist Church on Friday, April 16 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Want to know where crime is happening in Dunwoody, there’s an app for that.

A quick trip to is all it takes for Dunwoody residents to find out what sort of dangers lie outside their front door.

"It's not as safe today," said one resident. "You have to lock your doors, and knowing where these things happen is important."

The Dunwoody police have started uploading their crime statistics to the Web site daily, and you don't even need to be near your computer to stay up to date.

"You can set it on your iPhone," said Sgt. Mike Carlson. "So with just a touch of a button you can know what's going on at your location."

If once-daily reports aren't enough, there are even more details on the Dunwoody police Web site. The new police-to-citizen portal offers access to reports right from the patrol cars.

"Any time the computer is uploaded during the day, it will show you the work officers are conducting out on the road," said Carlson.

Everything from speeding tickets to break-ins are posted on the site, including when, where and who was involved. Some residents said it offered too much information.

"I think they can name the street, but they should leave the victim's name out of it," said resident Maury Gerson.

Carlson said the information loaded on the Web site is public record, and was already available in person.

"We're not putting any information out there that is not readily accessible," said Carlson.

But Gerson said putting it on the Web makes access too easy.

"That takes effort to go down to the police station and get that information," said Gerson. "This is out to the general public."

Carlson said all reports are approved before they are uploaded to make sure children and victims of sexual assaults are not identified.

DCPC discusses Risky Behaviors - What Parents Need to Know


Beverages are served at 8:45am - Meeting start at 9:15am

Topic: Risky Behaviors - What Parents Need to Know

"The Choking Game"  - Judy Doyle
What's Going On in Our Neighborhoods?
Update from Sgt.Mike Carlson: Dunwoody Police Department and 
Sgt.Chris Newberry: Chamblee Police Department

             4576 NORTH PEACHTREE ROAD
TIME:      8:45am - 10:30am
PHONE:  678-676-7102 (Office)

Dunwoody City Council Work Session - Video of April 12

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan’s Perspective on Social Media

The Dunwoody (GA) Police Department began operations on April 1, 2009. On April 2, 2009, we created our Twitter account and began tweeting. We really needed a way to quickly connect with our community and Twitter provided that platform. Once we made it past the busywork of the start-up, we created a Facebook fan page for the department as well. Both Twitter and Facebook are being used to educate the public and get the word out about the good things happening within our department.

However, I felt something was missing. I had a number of questions about using social media in law enforcement and very few answers. I received an email about an upcoming conference which seemed to be an answer to my prayers. Social Media in Law Enforcement, Using Social Media to Improve Law Enforcement and Engage Citizens seemed like the perfect conference for me. I quickly signed up and brought Sergeant Carlson, who is in charge of our Community Outreach Unit, with me as well.

The SMILE Conference was all that I expected and more. We attended the LAwS Academy the first day and the conference itself for the next two days. Each day was jam packed with excellent speakers, from all over the world, which covered a variety of social media topics of importance. The topics covered included Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, Ning, social media monitoring, branding, podcasting, crime prevention, investigations, system integrations, adapting to the new media era and the future of social media to name a few. Each speaker was knowledgeable, provided great content and was able to engage their audience in meaningful conversations.

One of the highlights of the conference was a town hall meeting held one evening. Several of the speakers formed a panel and answered questions from participants at the conference. This was a great opportunity to discuss topics that were either not listed on the agenda for the conference or to discuss a topic that was listed more thoroughly.

Indeed, The SMILE Conference provided the answers to my questions and really filled in the missing pieces of the social media puzzle. I learned a great deal of specific, technical information about certain programs which will help me tremendously. However, there were three broad concepts which, I believe, will be the most beneficial.

The first is you need to have a plan when you get your department involved in social media. Unfortunately, when we first started using social media with the Dunwoody Police Department, we had no plan. After listening to all of the excellent speakers, I now understand the importance of having a plan and we will develop ours in the near future.

The second is you must have a social media policy. As of right now, my department does not have a social media policy. This will definitely be a priority prior to expanding our social media footprint in the future.

The last important concept I took away from the SMILE conference is you can’t do everything in social media. You should pick the social media programs that will be the most useful for your department and your community and use them. You do not have to do it all. This was a relief for me because I really felt overwhelmed by the large number of social media applications available and I struggled to identify the right ones for our department.

While at the conference, I tweeted about a program we are using at our department which has an iPhone application with it. One of the major metro Atlanta television stations, who follow us on Twitter, now wants to do a story about our program. This positive story would not have been picked up if it wasn’t for Twitter.

The SMILE Conference was a great benefit to me and my agency and the ideas I took away from the conference will light the way for my agencies future direction in social media. In addition, networking with leading thinkers and users of social media in law enforcement and outside law enforcement was especially helpful. I know that I am not alone and now I know who I can contact for help.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dunwoody Police Department's First Year

Dunwoody discussions on Branding, Apartment Inspections, 911, Sidewalk Policy, Impact Fees

Monday, April 12th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
7:00 P.M.

City Council discussion on branding open to the public 5:30

Work Session Agenda

1. Branding services update.

2. Multi-family code compliance and sweeps discussion.
3. Stream buffer exceptions discussion.

4. Discussion of Master Plan contract award - Dunwoody Village and Georgetown.

5. Enhanced 9-1-1 service provision update.

6. Sidewalk Improvement Policy.

7. Public Works Quarterly Report.

8. Discussion of Tilly Mill Road restriping options.

9. Community Incentives for Green Building Policy.

10. No Net Loss of Trees Policy.

11. LED Traffic Signals Policy.

12. Impact fees discussion.

13. Initiation of text amendment, Office-Institution Zoning District.