Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tuesday Nights are Swim Meet Nights in Dunwoody - 10 feet allows Safe Parking for Safe Swimming

Last year I attended one of my children's swim meets at an away pool and as is usually the case, I was running late and I parked what seemed like several blocks away. As I walked closer to the event, vehicles were parked on both sides of the street leading up to the pool whereby a firetruck or ambulance would not have had enough room to squeeze by the cars to make to it to the pool in the case of an emergency.

Remembering that event, I requested that the City of Dunwoody partner with all ten of the swim tennis communities to make them aware of the issue and each was offered a customized flyer like you see above for my home pool. (Go DNDC Fins!)

I am told that each organization’s strategies to encourage safe parking is a little different, from e-mailing all members, to posting signs at their club houses, to even emailing their flyer to visiting teams. If your involved with your swim team's communications and have not seen your customized City of Dunwoody flyer, please contact Ms. Edie Damann at 678-382-6712 and she will happily email you the electronic document early Tuesday morning after the holiday.

So when you are running late to your children's swim meet, like I know I will, please remember to keep this ten foot spacing lane in mind as the safety of the event and the surrounding community are directly at stake.


Remembering Memorial Day & providing 18 pages of 2011 Summer Activities

This long Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional kickoff of summer but let's also remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as it is a time to honor and reflect on the sacrifices made by Americans in combat to secure our freedoms.

For the last several years I have been receiving various lists of Summer activities available in the Atlanta area and I always found them helpful in finding something to do with my boys. I just received an 18 page document that was complied by two ladies living in the Alpharetta / Roswell area and since I wanted to share this information with a wide audience but didn't want to unwittingly share their private email addresses, I have edited them out for that reason only. Though I do believe the list is credible and reliable, you might want to phone first on some of these events. I hope you find this list worthwhile as my wife and I do. Thanks, John

2011 Summer Activities

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dunwoody Families can help Families in Joplin, Missouri!

 This morning I received a call from a neighbor and school council member at Chesnut Charter Elementary School asking if I could help Ms. Jan Jordan, a first grade teacher at Chesnut collect disaster relief supplies that she is willing to personally drive to the Joplin area.   Of course the answer was yes and I am copying her email and posting it below.   Besides having the Dunwoody Police Station near Perimeter Mall as a drop off point, I am also willing to collect what ever supplies you would like to drop off at my home by Monday Afternoon and I will make sure Ms. Jones gets the supplies for the trip to Joplin.

My home address is 4624 Buckley Court, the corner house at Buckley & Riverglenn Circle in the Dunwoody North neighborhood directly across from Peachtree Middle School.  My driveway faces Riverglenn and if you see a basketball hoop you are at the correct location.  It would be appreciated if you place the supplies either near the garage door or on the table under the tree (if it is raining) and I will take care of the rest.  Thanks and remember it could have been, or once was us that needed the help.
Dunwoody Families can help Families in Joplin, Missouri!

While watching the evening news last night, I saw the devastation caused by the tornadoes in Joplin, MO, as I'm sure many of you did. Seeing the devastation after just completing the school year at Chesnut… thinking of how blessed our community is to be intact, healthy, and have wonderful schools for our kids….I knew I must do my part to help put that city back together.

Although it’s not clear right now whether I will be doing this on behalf of Chesnut, all Dunwoody, or just as a private citizen, I am writing to ask for your help. I will drive out to Joplin in a U-haul on Tuesday or Wednesday, 5/31 or 6/1. I will be taking with me ANYTHING that could be useful to the families there.

New or lightly used items from the following list would be MOST appreciated: water, clothing, furniture, blankets, books (children and adult), board games, playing cards, toys – whatever your family would need to survive in a shelter for a period of time, or to help rebuild later. In addition, there is ALWAYS urgent need for diapers and formula in any catastrophe like this.

You can also donate financially directly to the Red Cross via their website’s Missouri update page:

We will be waiting for the state of Missouri to post information about the search and rescue, as well as the sorts of donated items they would welcome. In the meantime, we can get started with a collection of our own to be ready for Monday. (Anything that I cannot deliver once I arrive will go to the nearest Salvation Army or other donation center.)


Check for new information on this effort on

If you have any questions, feel free to reach me at:

Thank you for ANYTHING that you can do to help!

Jan Jordan

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

City of Dunwoody Update by Councilman Robert Wittenstein

Dear Dunwoody Friends and Neighbors,

Last week Mayor Ken Wright announced that he would not seek a second term as mayor. Ken has been the perfect first mayor for Dunwoody. Ken has been a voice of reason and a force for consensus. We will all miss his calm and understated leadership.

Over the last week a number of people have asked me if I plan to run for mayor. I do not. I will, however, go ahead and announce that I plan to run for reelection for my current city council post in November. It has been a privilege to represent the residents of Dunwoody and I would be honored to be able to continue to do so. It is too early to start the campaign season but I thought I would go ahead and put the speculation to rest.

We are engaged in three major activities at the moment.

The first is repaving. We have approved the repaving plan for 2011 and are in the bidding process. We have budgeted $2 million for repaving this year and plan to address the following city streets in 2011:

Meadow Lane Road from Ashbury Square N to Wal-Mart
North Shallowford Road from Cotillion Drive to Peeler Road
North Peachtree Road from Brookhurst Drive to Barclay Road
Peeler Road from North Shallowford Road to Dunbar Road
Perimeter Center North from Meadow Lane Road to Ashford-Dunwoody Rd
Roberts Drive from Chamblee Dunwoody Road to city limits (near Spalding)
Tilly Mill Road from Stonington Road to Peeler Road
Fleur de Lis Court from Fontainebleau Drive to the end
Hensley Drive from Vanderlyn Drive to Trumbull Drive
Holliston Court from Holliston Road to the end
Manhasset Farm Court from east end to west end
Trowbridge Drive from Ball Mill Drive to Vernon Lake Drive
Ralston Court from Whitmere Way to the end
Strasburg Court from Luray Drive to the end
Chateau Court from Chateau Drive to the end

Here is a map that shows the streets to be paved this year and the ones paved last year.

Second, when the city started up two and a half years ago we entered into a series of three-year contracts with private companies to provide city services. We are now in a selection process for a new series of contracts. The deadline for submissions was Monday and we got a strong response with multiple bidders for each of the seven service areas. That response promises a competitive process. All three of our current contractors have submitted proposals. We will be scoring all the proposals and meeting with the finalists over the summer.

Finally, we continue to work on a long range Parks Master Plan. This has been tough. We have had a very open process with a lot of community input. The hard part is that while everyone loves parks, there are a lot of different views on how the parks we have should be developed. We have been seeking common ground but we may have trouble finding it. The main sticking points revolve around the Dunwoody Nature Center/Ball Fields at Dunwoody Park on Roberts Drive and Brook Run. Everyone will find things to love in the plan and I’m sure everyone will be disappointed in some other elements as well. We will wrap-up work on the Parks Master Plan in June.

In June I will attend the annual Georgia Municipal Association conference in Savannah and take a one-day course in Municipal Law taught by UGA. With this course I will complete 42 hours of training and qualify for a Certificate of Recognition from the Georgia Municipal Association.



Video of May 23rd Dunwoody City Council Meeting

Below are two videos, the first is the council work session were we discussed the park plan and next is the video of the voting session where we honored our police officers, our student athletes and a fine educator of our children.  We also approved the Sunday sales referendum in November as well as other miscellaneous items.

If you haven't been following the Dunwoody parks plan, I recommend you watch the work session video as it clearly shows some of the differences among the various council members

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dunwoody City Council adds proclamation to support Dunwoody High School Lacrosse

There was a last minute addition to the Dunwoody City Council agenda in order to add support for Dunwoody High School being able to play in GHSA sanctioned Lacrosse. I have been informed there will be a DeKalb County School Board, Committee of the Whole meeting taking place on Friday, May 27 at 9:30 am where this topic will be discussed and I am told there will be good number of Dunwoody area families in attendance to support the initiative.

  • WHEREAS, research shows that when children are fit and receive the proper amount of exercise, such as lacrosse and other active sports, they perform better in school and are able to learn at a higher level; and
  • WHEREAS, student athletes from Dunwoody High School fielded a club level boys lacrosse team the past two seasons in the North Georgia Lacrosse League; and
  • WHEREAS, student athletes from Dunwoody High School fielded a club level girls lacrosse team this season in the North Georgia Lacrosse League; and
  • WHEREAS, nearly all metro Atlanta area county school systems (including Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Forsyth, and Cherokee) field Georgia High School Association (GHSA) sanctioned lacrosse teams; and
  • WHEREAS, per GHSA rules, sanctioned teams are not allowed to play club level teams; and
  • WHEREAS, the student athletes participating in boys and girls lacrosse at Dunwoody High School strongly desire to play on GHSA sanctioned teams; and
  • WHEREAS, the Dunwoody High School boys lacrosse had a winning record and won their bracket of the league tournament in their second season; and
  • WHEREAS, the Dunwoody High School boys and girls lacrosse programs are not requesting any funding from DeKalb County School System and will be completely self-supporting; and
  • WHEREAS, having a lacrosse program will make Dunwoody High School more attractive to prospective student athletes and homeowners.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Dunwoody that the City fully supports the Dunwoody High School lacrosse program’s petition to the DeKalb County School System to approve its application for GHSA sanctioning.

SO PROCLAIMED AND EFFECTIVE this 23rd day of May, 2011.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Mon May 23rd

Monday, May 23rd
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
Work Session at 6:00 p.m.

Work Session Agenda & full city packet
Voting Session at 7:00 p.m.
Watch Live

Voting Session Agenda & full city packet

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dunwoody Mayor Ken Wright's note to Council about not running for reelection.

As you may have already read elsewhere, Mayor Ken Wright has decided not to run for reelection in November.  I was aware this decision was forthcoming, none the less, I loathed reading the short message Ken sent to council on Monday night making it official.
Fearless Council,

I've decided to retire from this chapter of my life after this term. It's been a great run and I appreciate all of your diligence, hard work and camaraderie during these past years. I look forward in continuing to work with each of you these final months for the greater good of Dunwoody.

Dunwoody Yours,

Ken Wright
City of Dunwoody
Thank you Ken for admirably stepping up in serving the Dunwoody community as our first Mayor, a difficult task that you took head on by partnering with Council and the Community in order to set the groundwork of an effective administration. Kudo's my good man, job well done and it has been my distinct privilege in serving along your side.   John

Proposed Dunwoody Map for redistricting Council districts.

The map above (if approved) will shift the lines between the three voting districts a little to the West in order to compensate for population changes. This may effect future candidates for City Council whereby they might soon be in a different district then originally anticipated. Not that this was done on purpose but no sitting council members are affected by the proposed line and district changes.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dunwoody wants to play Lacrosse at the sanctioned Georgia High School Association (GHSA) level but is not being allowed by DeKalb County School System.

Dunwoody Lady Wildcat Lacrosse Team

I have received a number of emails requesting my assistance in pushing for the furtherance of the sport of Lacrosse in the Dunwoody area and several of them have mentioned that Dunwoody High School's Lacrosse Teams are having a hard time being allowed by the DeKalb County School System to play other teams at the sanctioned Georgia High School Association (GHSA) level.  I have never seen a Lacrosse game in my life but know that Dick's Sporting Goods and Sports Authority have big displays in the spring therefore I know someone, somewhere is playing it.

I have no authority over the DeKalb County School System and I don't know the facts related to sanctioned vs non-sanctioned play for the Dunwoody Lacrosse team but as a Dunwoody City Councilman I am able to plan for green spaces for the community to play the game and I have attempted to do that. As a blogger with a voice and a following within the community, I am happy to raise the issue for discussion.  Here is a Crier article from March and below is a snipit of an email I received on the subject.  What are your thoughts?
For a number of years, there has been a burgeoning Lacrosse program at the high school which has played at the club level. It is now time to elevate the teams (both boys & girls) to the sanctioned Georgia High School Association (GHSA) level so that we can play other sanctioned teams from the area. At present, DeKalb County is the only county which does not offer sanctioned Lacrosse teams. If you live in Gwinnett, Fulton, Forsyth, Cobb or City of Atlanta you have the option of playing on a sanctioned team. Or you can also choose from a myriad of private school options in the area.

Because of the failure of providing this as an option for student athletes, for many incoming transferees whose children have played the sport in other areas of the country, DeKalb (and thus Dunwoody) is eliminated from consideration as a place to buy a home.

Lacrosse parents have met with DCSS employees and have basically been told that sanctioning is not an option as long as the school system can’t afford to offer lacrosse to all schools – this in spite of the fact that the Dunwoody lacrosse teams will be completely self-supporting and will not require any funding at all from the school system.

Dunwoody loses young boy to “the Choking Game”

A young Dunwoody boy who was a Kingsley Elementary student and Murphey Candler baseball player passed away last weekend as a result of playing the deadly "Choking Game". He was a happy 10 year old boy. I read that his parents asked that in his memory people pass along this information to educate other parents.

His parents, Henry and Maggie Wang, requested that you please forward to any parents with children in their families. They would like anyone who receives the E-mail to also forward to people they know with children in their families.

The Wangs have requested that adults go to, scroll down to the “How Does the Choking Game Work?” video and view the entire video. After viewing the video, they would like the adults to educate their children or relatives on the dangers described in the video in whatever means they feel is appropriate.

Thank you for helping them with this request. Please do not share actual video with your child.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Brook Run - Update by Councilman Robert Wittenstein

 Huge Flat & Grassed over for Open Play

The Dunwoody City Council has been kicking around a proposal to modify the Dunwoody Parks Plan by properly grading and grassing over the open field at the back of Brook Run to allow a wide range of activities.  This change will improve drainage issues at Brook Run as well as reduce the number of trees that will need to be removed if the proposed baseball fields were to remain at that location.  It appears that Councilman Robert Wittenstein just sent the e-mail below to a number of residents that have been writing us on a regular basis, therefore I thought I would share.

I wanted to provide those of you who have expressed interest in the Parks Master Plan with a brief update.

Several of us, led by Councilwoman Bonser, are working on an alternative proposal for the Parks Master Plan that removes all three ball fields from Brook Run and replaces them with an open, level field with terraced steps down for theater style viewing (without lighting). Care will be taken to ensure that any changes are runoff-neutral or result in a net reduction in runoff.

Our revised proposal will call for the three ball fields to be placed at another location to be acquired by the city. 

We are all working on crafting this proposed change in the interest of building a consensus on moving forward.  We have a lot of work to do to work out the specifics but my hope is that we will have a revised plan prior to our city council meeting on May 23rd.  Stay tuned for more information, which we will share as the plan changes get worked out.



Robert Wittenstein
Dunwoody City Council

Walk or Bike to "Your Village" in Dunwoody - Saturday May 21

On Saturday, May 21 Dunwoody citizens are encouraged to bike or ride to a village - be it Dunwoody, Georgetown, Jet Ferry or PCID. Dunwoody businesses are encouraged to give a discount or incentive to those people who do so. The idea is to celebrate the start of summer (DeKalb schools are out May 20) by biking or walking to a village.

The event is in cooperation with the city of Dunwoody, Chamber of Commerce and Sustainability Commission. Alexa Becker, a Dunwoody High School junior, drew the poster that is being used to promote the day. The DHS Environmental Coalition and the DHS Art National Honor Society were involved as well.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Help Dunwoody PD catch these thieves that are looking for unlocked car doors.

Going shopping with stolen credit cards found in unlocked car.

Dunwoody police said two teenagers may be responsible for as many as 19 car break-ins this month. They released a video of the two suspects using stolen credit cards at a Walmart in Ellenwood hoping someone can identify them.

They also released a video from a surveillance camera at one of the homes the thieves targeted. That video shows a suspect approach a car in the driveway; he tries the door handle on the car but then leaves because the car is locked.

That same teenager and another one were also on the video at Walmart where they purchased two Xboxes and some clothes with credit cards they had stolen from cars that were unlocked. The person in the video is wanted for questioning for eight incidents of auto break-ins in the area of Ellisbury Dr., E., Kings Point Cir., Sharon Valley Ct., Brookhurst Dr., and North Peachtree Rd in Dunwoody.

Both suspects are white men who appear to be in their late teens or early 20s and most likely lives in the area of the thefts, said Sgt. Mike Carlson in a press release. One has a buzz cut, while the other has bushy hair. They drove to the Walmart in a silver Ford Edge.

Police said auto break-ins are the easiest crime to prevent, and the one that gives them the most headaches. Police say the easiest way to keep criminals out of your car is to take valuables out or keep them out of sight but the simplest one is just locking your doors.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call Detective Andrew Thompson with the Dunwoody Police Department at 678-382-6921.

ANONYMOUS TIPS: via SUBMIT A CRIME TIP, or, or text via TIPSOFT program, Each of these methods are confidential, encrypted, and completely anonymous.
Dunwoody Case # 11-002240

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Should a violin teacher be allowed to work out of her home in Dunwoody? Special Land Use Permit requested.

 Meeting tonight to discuss allowing in home Violin lessons in Dunwoody.

Thursday Night the Dunwoody Community Council will be hearing a number of items but the one that peaks my interest is the case of the violin teacher who is following procedures and is officially requesting a special land use permit to allow customer contact at her home for individual violin lessons.

As a member of the City Council, I will listen and read what is discussed all the way up to the public hearing when it comes before Council in a month or so, but as policy dictates I will not comment on my personal feelings of the matter.

I have already seen both pro and con emails regarding this application and as many of you know this is not the first time the Dunwoody community has addressed the issue of in home music education.  That being said, it will be the first time the new City of Dunwoody will attempt to tackle the subject.

As some long time readers will remember, acting as President of my homeowners association, I along with the Dunwoody Homeowners Association were against a rezoning from Residential R85 to O&I (office and institution) for a house on North Peachtree Rd requesting full time conversion for educational purposes. The circumstances between this rezoning case and the SLUP requested by the violin teacher is not identical, but people will draw conclusions and/or comparisons therefore wanted to point it out.

If you are interested in this topic, please check out the agenda on the city site and then click F1 under new business, after doing so the application documents are located at the top right of the page. Public comment is an important aspect of this meeting therefore if you feel strongly one way of the other, please feel free to do so.

The Community Council also has a group email account at where you can send them messages if you are so inclined to do so.  The planning commission will also be hearing the same facts soon after the community council therefore you might as well send them your opinion too at While your at it, copy me as I don't get enough emails already; my email address is

The meeting starts at 7 pm at City Hall and if the wife lets me I will be sitting in the audience as I want to listen to the discussions that will be taking place. The city video camera system may or may not be streaming this meeting but my hope is that all city meetings will be online someday soon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dunwoody Parks and Rec is offering a Children’s Bike Rodeo at Brook Run Park this Sat morning at 9 am.

Children's Bike Rodeo

The City of Dunwoody Parks & Recreation is proud to present a Children’s Bike Rodeo at Brook Run Park this Saturday morning. This event is free and open to the public. Bring the kids for some great fun and learning about safe riding! Kids need to bring their own bikes and helmets. We will have a limited number of helmets for children in need of them. There will be a raffle of door prizes, too!

  • What: Children’s Bike Rodeo
  • When: Sat May 14, 9am-12pm
  • Where: Brook Run Park, at the former administrative buildings
    Immediate left from North Peachtree entrance. Park your vehicle on right, near Skate Park – or ride your bikes!
  • Why: Teach your kids to ride safely and have fun doing it!
The rodeo will consist of several stations:
     Helmet fitting station
     Bike inspection station
     Obstacles, (safe riding lessons)
     Bike Security
     ”Graduation” Bike Ride in the Park with Dunwoody Police and Much More!

Participants should bring their bikes and an adult for registration
Click here for City Calendar
Click here for Facebook Event

Brent Walker
Dunwoody Parks & Rec Director
(678) 382-6850

Joe Seconder
Volunteer Coordinator

Norcross Police Department Proudly Presents the C.H.U.K. Run (Cops Helping Unique Kids) to benefit United Cerebral Palsy of Georgia

The Norcross Police Department is holding a 5K run this Saturday followed by a free family fun festival with entertainment and activities for Kids of All Abilities!!!

If you have never been to Thrasher Park, it is one of my families favorites with a semi-shady playground, new equipment, picnic pavilion, small band shell, local shops across the street and the kids get the opportunity to wave as the train goes by.

5K Run Saturday, May 14, 2011
Downtown Norcross

5k Run starts at 8:00 a.m. Fun Run/Walk starts at 9:00 a.m. Family activities in Thrasher Park will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will go until 1:00 p.m. Strollers and Joggers are welcomed.


- Norcross Police Department
- City of Norcross
- Chick-fil-A
- Bridge Trust Title Group
- AMS Vans
- Atlanta Dream
- Malibu Grand Prix
- Kapp Koncepts, Inc.

Planning for the Future? North Peachtree & Tilly Mill Intersection Improvement

For more information, please contact Mr. Rich Hampton, Purchasing Manager at 678-382-6750.

Dunwoody Police Photo Contest initiated for National Police Week

Photo Contest dates: May 15th - May 21st, 2011

The week of May 15th-21st, 2011 is National Police Week across our nation. To celebrate this occasion, the Dunwoody Police Department is holding a photo contest in our continuous effort to connect with the community.

Many of you have already had the opportunity to meet some of our officers and have gotten to know them through their assistance in response to a call, or while attending a community event, or even while they were driving through your neighborhood.

This photo contest gives our citizens, especially those who haven’t yet met one of our officers, an opportunity to get acquainted in a non-official capacity. From May 15th-21st, 2011, we are encouraging members of the community to take a photo with one of our DPD officers if you happen to see one. We ask that you send this photo to us during National Police Week.

You can share the photo in one of three ways:
  1. Email it to us at:
  2. Upload it to Twitter and include @dunwoodypolice in your tweet so we get it.
  3. Post it on our Facebook page at\dunwoodypolice
We are looking for creative photos with good taste. Remember, it is a photo contest – so use your imagination! The winner will receive a DPD gift package loaded with all kinds of good stuff.
Here are a few guidelines:
  1. While approaching the officer, introduce yourself and let him know how you heard about the photo contest.
  2. If the officer is on a call for service (i.e. accident/traffic stop) please do not disturb the officer.
  3. If the officer is busy when you approach him, he will let you know. Please do not be offended.
  4. There may be some officers who do not wish to have their photo taken for a variety of reasons. Please respect their wishes and do not be offended.
We plan to post all of the photos on the City of Dunwoody’s Flickr account: for everyone’s enjoyment.

The chosen winner will be notified by the same means in which we received the photo.

We hope this contest will be a fun way for citizens to get to know Dunwoody Police Officers and for them to get to know you. Together, we can make a difference in our community.

Video of Monday May 9th Dunwoody City Council meeting.

Monday, May 9, 2011

10th Annual Dunwoody Beer Festival is Saturday, May 14th from 2pm to 7pm at Perimeter Mall

From humble beginnings to one of the most imitated and recreated events in Atlanta....Rock 100.5 is pleased to present The 10th Annual Dunwoody Beer Festival benefiting Camp Twin Lakes. That's right. The Dunwoody Beer Festival is 10 years young and set to pour on Saturday, May 14th from 2pm to 7pm in the Perimeter Mall parking at the intersection of Ashford Dunwoody Rd and Perimeter Center West.
As always the Dunwoody Beer Festival will feature over 150 different beers representing countries and breweries from all over the globe. With live music from Generation Now (pop, rock and alternative covers), Tomorrow People (reggae) and the Overblown Bastards (Rock and classic rock covers), carnival games, dunk tank, a day long raffle, and countless flavors of beers for the tasting; this beerfest is the granddaddy of Atlanta beer fests. 

Tickets are just $30 in advance and $35 at the door and includes a souvenir glass to hold all the beer you can safely consume as well as directly benefit Camp Twin Lakes. Of course this is a 21 and older, rain or shine event.  Attendees are encouraged to take MARTA to the Perimeter Mall stop. That's the 10th Annual Dunwoody Beer Festival. Saturday, May 14th from 2pm to 7pm in the Northeast corner of the Perimeter Mall parking lot.   CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

For more information on the event head to

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Ladies, leave hubby in charge this afternoon and go spend some time away wandering the Dunwoody Art Fest.  He promises to have dinner ready at 6.

Art Festival is open Sunday from 12:30PM to 6PM
Chamblee Dunwoody Road between Mt. Vernon Road and Dunwoody Village Parkway

Help Dunwoody win $10,000 to support 4th of July Parade

Nothing says “Fourth of July” like a parade down Mount Vernon, fireworks or a ceremony to thank our veterans.

From May 4th through June 14th, 2011, Liberty Mutual Insurance is hosting Bring Back the 4th™ an online contest allowing cities and towns across America to compete for one of ten $10,000 grants to support their official 4th of July celebrations.  Want to help Dunwoody win? Click on the link above to take a brief quiz on “Responsible Moments in U.S. History.” The quiz features eight questions about Americans who helped shape our nation and inspire others, from historical icons to everyday people with big contributions.  Each completed quiz counts as one credit towards your town. The 10 U.S. towns with the highest level of quiz participation among their residents will be eligible to win grants, divided by small (4 grants), medium (3 grants) and large (3 grants) towns.

Please click here to obtain the official contest rules.  Winners will be notified and announced during the week of June 20th. Good luck and don’t forget to check out our Bring Back the 4th™ Town Toolkit, to help spread the word!

City of Dunwoody Prepares to Hold Municipal General Election

Thinking of Running for Office?

Ms. Sharon Lowery the Dunwoody City Clerk announced Friday in a press release that the qualifying period to throw your name in the hat to become the Mayor of Dunwoody or an at large City Council member is the week of August 29th to September 2nd.  I already received a call asking about the compensation which was implied but not specifically stated as the Mayor receiving $16,000 per year and the Council Members receiving $12,000.  If you are interested in serving and have other questions, please don't hesitate to talk to me or Ms. Lowery.
The City of Dunwoody will hold a Municipal General Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 for the purpose of electing a representative to serve as Mayor (currently held by Ken Wright), a representative to serve as City Council Post 4 (currently held by Robert Wittenstein), City Council Post 5 (currently held by Danny Ross), and City Council Post 6 (currently held by John Heneghan).

The qualifying period opens on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. and closes on Friday, September 2, 2011 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 (Georgia Election Code 21-2-132). The qualifying fee for Mayor is $480.00 (four hundred eighty dollars); the qualifying fee for a Council post is $360.00 (three hundred sixty dollars), which is 3% of the total gross salary of the preceding year (Georgia Election Code 21-2-131).

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 a person to register to vote in the Municipal General Election and, if necessary, Runoff Election, is Tuesday, October 11, 2011 (Georgia Election Code 21-2-224(a)). 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 November 8 Municipal General 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, December 6, 2011 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

Advance voting begins on Monday, October 17, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. and closes on Friday, November 4, 2011 at 4:00 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

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Agenda for Dunwoody City Council Work Session of Monday May 9th.

Monday, May 9th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
Work Session at 7:00 p.m.
Watch Live
Agenda Work Session & full city packet

First Quarter Financial Statement, ending March 31, 2011

Approval of Positions Being Transferred From Contractor (Deputy Clerks/Assistant to City
Manager) Job Descriptions & Position Allocation Chart/Salary Table

Discussion of November Election/Referendums.
Special Event Signage for Save Our Skin 5K.

Special Event Signage for Magnolia Run.

Discussion of Changing the Name of a Portion of Eidson Road.

Discussion of Adopting E911 Fees for Wirelines, Wireless, and VoIP.

Discussion of City Council Rules and Procedures.

Discussion of Administrative Guidelines for Special Event Sponsorship.

Discussion of Reconfiguration Options for Existing City Hall Space to Increase Utilization.

FIRST READ: Ordinance to Amend Chapter 2, Membership, Section 2-109.

FIRST READ: Ordinance to Amend Chapter 16, Land Development, Article 2 (Environmental Control) to Designate the Criteria Contained in the Georgia Storm Water Management Manual the Standard for Implementation of Water Quality Measures.

FIRST READ: Ordinance to Amend Chapter 24, General Offenses, Section 24-3, Solicitation.

Municipal Redistricting Discussion.

Dunwoody at a Crossroads - Bond Referendum?

The Road Less Traveled?

Three years ago the Citizens of Dunwoody approved a City Charter and set in place a government to provide a better level of service than DeKalb County was providing, doing so at the same tax rate being charged at the time of incorporation. The battle cry was local control, close to home on important zoning and city decisions. I believe the Dunwoody City Council has delivered on that promise.

The millage tax rate for City Services at the time of incorporation was 2.74 mills and the City Charter stipulates that the city millage tax rate cannot be raised by the City Council above 3.04 mills unless it is approved by a referendum of the citizens. That being said, your current Mayor and City Council has delivered on the promises of better city services without increasing the tax rate the slightest amount, therefore today’s tax rate is still the same 2.74 mills that we started with. We have guided the city though the period of setting up the city management structure, the police and other city departments, we installed an intelligent state of the art computer infrastructure system which reduces manpower and therefore reduces long term costs, and finally we set policies and procedures for fiscal sustainability at the current level of service.

Here is the issue facing the council.  I believe we need to stop looking backward comparing ourselves from where we originated and start looking forward to see if the current level of service is adequate to bring the City of Dunwoody to where we want to be in 10 to 15 years.  Do we need to start making long term structured improvements to the city to maintain and improve the quality of life for the people and businesses who someday might want to locate here? Without continuous improvement, will young families, active seniors and community minded business people choose to go to a different community where they have already made that improvement?

We as a community have been through an extensive planning process on Transportation, Parks, and various Community Redevelopment Plans. Council has listened and heard of the communities’ desires to move forward with expensive capital transportation projects, as well as purchase and develop additional park land now at the lowest prices in a decade. Unfortunately the current city budget of 18 million dollars will not allow us to move forward on these citizens’ desires without a tax increase or bond referendum as stipulated in the city charter. Currently a $400,000 home pays about $250 dollars per year in ad valorum property taxes to the City of Dunwoody and unfortunately this will not move us from a state of where we currently are, to a place that we might want to be.

The City Council just budgeted Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000) for road repaving which will start in late July or mid-August and we intend to invest Two Million Dollars each year going forward. Unfortunately our paving study stated that we should be spending about 2.5 Million each year in order to go deeper into the neighborhood streets. Currently we are using about $500,000 of Host funds to do sidewalks and street capital improvements but it will take many years to have enough money to start moving down the Transportation checklist. In 2012 there is a chance that a state proposed 1 cent sales tax referendum may add about $800,000 to fund these transportation projects but with DeKalb & Fulton already paying a penny sales tax for Marta when the rest of the Atlanta Metro doesn’t, it makes this proposal inequitable and therefore questionable on passing in these two counties.

The question is then raised; without any other source of funding does it make sense for the community to raise the tax millage rate in order to dedicate funds to do the capital roadway improvements that the community has asked for? I am well aware that these are trying financial times for many people but I do believe that a small tax increase dedicated to transportation improvements would be an investment in the community. Such an increase in dedicated Capital improvement dollars would start moving projects off the transportation list and then free up other funds currently used in capital to increase funding on surface paving up to the recommended $2.5 million dollar amount.

The Parks and Greenspace Master Plan is the only master plan that is yet to be finalized because Council wanted a few questions answered before moving forward, but that being said I believe it will be brought back before council some time soon. The parks plan was conducted with a specific set of park properties in mind (those we currently own) and was done holistically looking at the needs of the community and how the current acreage could be arranged to best fit those specific needs.

Though no plan is perfect, this and all city plans will need to be fluid because of changes that happen. In the case of the park plan, new park land is and will be obtained and therefore it will then make sense to then do something that wasn’t part of an original plan. If money was available for land acquisition, maybe Council could find vacant properties for purchase that would drastically change the landscape of the civic and play areas of the city? Council has already found a way to possibly purchase 16 acres of prime real estate known as the PVC Farm but the money the Council has been saving is now gone, therefore this type of purchase can’t happen again without a decision of the citizens to make it happen.

Think of underutilized or vacant properties near your home, if we as a city invested in purchasing and developing those properties as a park or a better civic use, would you see an improvement in the quality of life in this community? Even if you never stepped foot onto that property, would your home value increase because it was now a city park? Now imagine not purchasing and improving that property for public use, could it cause a domino effect on the community that would have a detriment to your quality of life and/or long term property values? The City of Dunwoody is currently under served with available parkland and I believe that now is the time to have a community discussion and possible vote to see what the desires of the community are.

The parks study found that the Northside of Dunwoody was under served and needed a traditional park for children of all ages to run, play and relax. In rectifying that need the baseball fields at Dunwoody Park that are in poor shape needing millions of dollars in renovation and capital improvements to bring them up to ADA specifications, are being proposed to be moved into Brook Run where there are 40 acres of open space for them to be located. One of the current ball fields in Dunwoody Park would be converted into a playground and open field with a small pavilion and the other ball field would allow expansion of the Dunwoody Nature Center, giving them a permanent home so that they could then raise their own funds for a permanent structure on the expanded space. These proposed changes were done with close coordination with the neighboring community to mitigate noise and negative impacts.

This type of plan modification and community coordination has also been done at Brook Run too as drawings have been modified to reduce noise, traffic, lighting and other concerns. One of the questions being researched by the city is the drainage and water impacts if that parcel of parkland at Brook Run were to be converted into ball fields. Another question is what is the amount of trees that would need to be removed (if any) to install those fields. I understand that the back 40 acres of Brook Run was originally “Master Planned” as an aviary and nature preserve but just as the Parks Master Plan currently in front of council will change, so must that master plan as it is no longer realistic.

The City of Dunwoody is at a crossroads. We are a community of 46,000 strong, living within 13 sq miles and we need to ask ourselves if the current level of service being provided by the City of Dunwoody on behalf of its citizens is adequate to bring the City of Dunwoody to where we want to be in 10 to 15 years? Not moving forward won’t be bad but I believe we as a group could & should do better.

That being said the final decision isn’t mine; it’s yours as the City of Dunwoody Charter ties my hands and forces me to live with the money provided.

If I get the chance to vote on this in November, I'm voting for the road less traveled, as it might make all the difference.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dunwoody adds another prominent figure to blogging community - Bob Lundsten.

Mr. Bob Lundsten is a person I deeply respect for many reasons and truly look forward to what he posts on his blog. If you don't know "Farmer Bob", he is regular at Dunwoody City Council meetings, a Past President of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, has served for 25 years on DeKalb County Zoning Boards and is now the Chief of Staff to DeKalb Commissioner Elaine Boyer.

Bob has recently taken to gardening and was instrumental in the creation of the Dunwoody Community Garden. Bob also has a big heart that he wears on his sleeve and is known for actually rolling up those sleeves when there is work to do. The City of Dunwoody is forever grateful for Bob working to ensure that every Dunwoody Police car has an Automated External Defibrillator but besides that little project Dunwoody wouldn't be the same without him as he is a person who makes things happen.

Possible ARC Transportation Projects for Dunwoody if votors approve the 2012 sales tax.

The Atlanta Regional Commission created a subcommittee called the Atlanta Regional Roundtable which is now presenting an interactive map of the transportation wishes of various communities if a one penny sales tax passes in 2012.  The projects offered must reduce congestion, enhance safety or provide economic development opportunities on a regional level to be considered.  As much as we would have wanted to ask that all the streets of Dunwoody be repaved in this call for projects, it wasn't what they were asking for.  If the regional sales tax is approved by the voters in 2012, these are some of the possible projects that have yet to be vetted and pared down by the roundtable.

The City of Dunwoody submitted five items that were already previously identified by the ARC in prior transportation plans and batted around adding other projects like Tilly Mill and North Peachtree but in the end went with our Public Works Directors recommendations. In using the map above, I drew a box around the City and extracted the possible project documents below.

BRT 285 Hammond TIA-FN-028.pdf
Chamblee Dunwoody Improvements TIA-DK-063.pdf
Cumberland BRT TIA-FN-009.pdf
Doraville Rail TIA-DK-058.pdf
Dunwoody Marta Station TIA-DK-005.pdf
Hammond Widening TIA-FN-010.pdf
KSU Bus TIA-CO-014.pdf
Marta Platform Lighting TIA-AT-015.pdf
Marta Station Improvements TIA-M-010.pdf
Marta Tunnel Lighting TIA-M-005.pdf
Marta Tunnel Vent TIA-M-006.pdf
Mt Vernon Improvements TIA-DK-069.pdf
Rail line Doraville to Dunwoody TIA-DK-004.pdf
Traffic management TIA-FN-038.pdf

Dunwoody's Marriott Perimeter Center Hotel to renovate everything but the I-Beams

h/t to What Now Atlanta blog

Marriott Perimeter Center is slated for a head-to-toe remodel beginning May 20, according to highly placed Marriott insiders.  The Dunwoody hotel at 246 Perimeter Center Parkway near Perimeter Mall estimates a $22 million property renovation to be completed by December, Marriott insiders shared with What Now Atlanta Monday.  Marriott Perimeter Center will renovate their guestrooms and suites, lobby, bar, restaurant, meeting space, concierge lounge, exterior and landscaping.

To begin the renovation process, the hotel will close the tower portion of the property in May to renovate 236 guestrooms, adding wired and wireless internet access and 37 inch HDTV’s. Meeting space and 164 guestrooms will still be available when renovations commence.  In August, the hotel will begin renovations to their public spaces:
  • Lobby reinvention– addition of work tables, “social cubbies,” sofa’s and a “day/night bar.”
  • In-house restaurant reinvention.
  • Addition of 3,400 square feet of meeting space to the lobby level.
  • “Revitalized concierge lounge” with a “window dining counter and soft seating.”
  • “Exterior and lush landscaping” renovations.
In September, the hotel will renovate the remaining guestrooms opening the newly renovated 236 guestrooms to the public.

DeKalb Police Alliance holds "Who Let the Dogs Out" Public Safety Day event in honor of National Police Week.

Bringing together dog lovers and peace keepers, the DeKalb Police Alliance (DPA) and North DeKalb Mall are teaming up to bring you “Who Let the Dogs Out” on Saturday, May 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at North DeKalb Mall. Bring your furry friends for pet-friendly festivities while also getting to know your local police officers and what they’re doing to keep DeKalb County residents (and pets) safe.

Brought to you by North DeKalb Mall, your dogs will relish in the fun at “Who Let the Dogs Out.” Enter your pooch in contests such as “Best Costume” and “Best Tail Wag” or have pet portraits made by Stork Photography. Pet-related vendors will be on hand to answer questions, offer advice and supply information.

Concurrently and celebrating National Police Week, May 15-21, the DeKalb Police Alliance will host a Public Safety Day showcasing DeKalb area police departments to provide public safety information and raise awareness about the efforts made by DeKalb’s officers. Take advantage of photo opportunities in police cars and prisoner vans, or watch and learn as the DeKalb County Police K-9 units demonstrate search and rescue. Enjoy food and drinks from Atlanta’s favorite restaurant, The Varsity.

"The DeKalb County Police Department is excited and honored to be a part of the DeKalb Police Alliance’s Public Safety Day. It’s an opportunity to generate awareness about the effort our officers make every day to ensure the residents and businesses in DeKalb County feel safe each and every day,” said DeKalb County Police Chief William O’Brien.

Through its partnership with North DeKalb Mall, the DPA will be the benefactor of all proceeds raised by the pet-related vendor companies. A member-based, non-profit organization, the DPA is dedicated to garnering public support for all DeKalb-based police officers and fundraising for its signature service, a $100,000 life insurance policy for all full-time sworn officers in DeKalb County and the municipalities.

For information on “Who Let the Dogs Out” or becoming a member of the DeKalb Police Alliance, visit