Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dunwoody Council Candidates explain why they should win seats - Dunwoody Reporter

The following article was published online at the Dunwoody Reporter newspaper site and I have copied the article verbatim. Reminder that all Dunwoody residents will be able to vote for each of the Council posts shown below, as well as the Mayor.

Dunwoody voters head to the polls Nov. 8 to choose a mayor and three members of Dunwoody City Council. Council candidates will run citywide for posts representing the areas in which they live. Three candidates, including incumbent Councilman Robert Wittenstein, seek the Post 4 seat. Two seek the Post 5 seat being vacated by retiring Councilman Danny Ross. Councilman John Heneghan faces no opposition for Post 6.

The Dunwoody Reporter asked the candidates for their opinions on the chief issues facing Dunwoody and why they felt they were qualified to be chosen for the council. Here are their replies, edited for space. 

Post 4
Rick Callihan

Rick Callihan
Rick Callihan
Director of Operations, AmeriGlo
What do you hope to accomplish as a member of City Council? I bring a common sense approach to our fiscal responsibilities. Just like your family, Dunwoody must live within its means. While we’ll be confronted with many worthwhile projects and ideas, we must prioritize the city’s needs. Dunwoody should build and maintain a safety net of cash in our operating account. I’ll work to ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely by carefully prioritizing our city’s needs. I will work with the Perimeter business district to make Dunwoody attractive to employers, and I’ll work with our state legislators to develop a plan to create a City of Dunwoody school district.
What is the biggest problem facing Dunwoody? One problem facing Dunwoody is our infrastructure. Although the city has a paving and sidewalk plan in place, I’d like to see it accelerated. Residents I speak with want roads paved, sidewalks installed, and intersections improved; they don’t want money spent on non-essentials like expensive branding and way-finding sign projects. This year Dunwoody will have a budget surplus due to a decision made earlier this year by DeKalb County on how HOST tax dollars are allocated. This is a unique and favorable development but we can’t rely on this type of windfall every year.
Why should the voters pick you? Voters should cast their ballot for me because I will bring a conservative, common sense approach to budgeting and spending priorities. I will work to maintain the quality of life that attracts families to and keeps them in Dunwoody. My volunteer work and commitment to keeping residents informed through my blog demonstrate my dedication to our city.

Terry Nall
Terry Nall
Terry Nall
President of U.S. insurance subsidiary for Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management
What do you hope to accomplish as a member of City Council? I will focus on accomplishing my key principle and positions. Key principle: small, efficient, disciplined government with accountability. Key positions: keep taxes low and protect against risks and excessive debt; maintain appropriate level of police protection; measured and balanced approach to growth and development; enhance parks incrementally with budgeted funds; stick to a plan of paving the worst first.
What is the biggest problem facing Dunwoody? Disciplined spending: Needs must come before wants. We must carefully budget and avoid decisions to spend when we do not fully understand all actual costs. If elected, I will be the only active CPA on the council.
Zoning: This next council will conduct a total re-write of our Zoning Code. I will insist on including the best zoning tools to achieve a measured approach to growth by increasing our tax base without overwhelming our infrastructure and schools with high-density development.
Why should the voters pick you? This election is about priorities. I bring conservative, comprehensive financial expertise to City Council and a belief that needs must come before wants. I believe we must carefully budget for our needs first and then our wants so that we may ensure disciplined spending at all times, but especially during the difficult economy that affects our government and our citizens.

Robert Wittenstein
Robert Wittenstein
Robert Wittenstein (incumbent)
Senior vice president, Alere Health
What do you hope to accomplish as a member of City Council? We have spent the first three years creating long-range comprehensive plans. The next four years will be focused on turning those plans into reality.
What is the biggest problem facing Dunwoody? he two biggest challenges facing Dunwoody are zoning and economic development. We have been using DeKalb’s zoning map and zoning classifications since incorporation. It is time for Dunwoody to decide how it wants to manage development.As the economy improves, we will need to work to attract high-end businesses to help revitalize the PCID and other commercial areas.
Why should the voters pick you? We have made a great start to our new city. I’ve worked with citizens across the city to understand their concerns, take their issues to the council and communicate why actions have been taken by our team. As a member of the budget committee, I helped craft budgets over the last three years that have generated budget surpluses and provided excellent city services

Post 5
Lynn Deutsch
Lynn Deutsch
Lynn Deutsch
Mom/volunteer (former public policy researcher)
What do you hope to accomplish as a member of City Council? I am passionately committed to ensuring that Dunwoody is a great place to live and work now and 20 years down the road. To reach this goal, I will work with the council and Dunwoody citizens to maintain a small and efficient government that works for the good of our community; operate in a fiscally conservative manner; work to preserve the character of our neighborhoods; repair and improve roads and sidewalks; improve parks; promote Dunwoody to businesses looking to relocate; continue to support public safety and other valuable city services; bridge communication with our local school system to ensure quality education; provide outstanding constituent services to our residents; strive to be a great example of good governance.
What is the biggest problem facing Dunwoody? Traffic, both the number of cars and the behavior of drivers, creates problems in Dunwoody. We must use our public safety and public works resources to address these challenges through road maintenance, improvements, education and enforcement. Our plans must include improvements that make our city pedestrian and cyclist friendly. The adoption of the Complete Streets policy is a step in this direction.
Why should the voters pick you? My education, experience and commitment. My education and experiences have given me the skills needed to be an effective councilperson. I can competently address the challenging land use, traffic, economic and other situations that will arise in our city. I serve on the Dunwoody Planning Commission, where I have had the opportunity to listen to Dunwoody residents and to work towards building consensus. I have served on the board of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, where I gained insight into the challenges and opportunities our community faces. As a long-time DeKalb County schools volunteer, I understand the actions that the City Council takes, especially related to land use and transportation, will have a tremendous impact on our schools.

Kerry de Vallette
Kerry de Vallette
Kerry de Vallette
Principal, The JKS Abbott Group – a Healthcare Information Technology consulting firm
What do you hope to accomplish as a member of City Council? Enhance our focus on the basic services that the citizens of Dunwoody anticipated with the move to cityhood – Police / Public safety staffed at appropriate levels, accelerate the repaving of our roads, installing sidewalks and bike lanes where appropriate, and addressing our traffic issues. And I will work closely with the business community, the Chamber of Commerce, and the PCID, to insure the stability of our tax base for the benefit of all homeowners.
What is the biggest problem facing Dunwoody? It’s not sexy, but it’s our infrastructure – our roads, storm water system, sidewalks and bike lanes, traffic flow and addressing several dangerous intersections.
I would work with the mayor and council to determine new options for accelerating these needed infrastructure improvements. We would then present all options, in detail and let the voters decide which, if any, cost to value equation makes sense. As I speak with our citizens during this campaign, there is one clear and consistent message I take away: “If council provides the citizens with the information needed to make sound decisions, they will support it!”
Why should the voters pick you? I am best qualified to serve because of my proven leadership and demonstrated ability to work with people with differing views to reach a consensus. I’ve not only served on Boards and committees, I’ve lead them. My qualifications include over 30 years of business experience and community leadership. These experiences have prepared me well to deal with the critical issues the city faces.

Post 6
John Heneghanm
John Heneghan
John Heneghan (incumbent)
Regional Director, U.S. Dept of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
What do you hope to accomplish as a member of City Council? Looking back I am very proud of my many personal accomplishments on the Dunwoody City Council but I am proudest of the group that I had the pleasure of serving with as each member brought something special to the table and it was the collective actions of the group that moved this city forward to where we are today. Looking forward to my next four years on council, I will continue to strive to make Dunwoody one of the greatest communities in Georgia.
What is the biggest problem facing Dunwoody? Traffic is a big problem, as our two-lane roads can’t handle the volume, yet nobody (myself included) would ever want to four lane residential streets like Womack, Tilly Mill or Chamblee Dunwoody. We need to work at the edges, reducing the choke-holds at the intersections, modifying the schools schedules and finding other ways to reduce the overall volume.
Why should the voters pick you? is truly my pleasure and a distinct honor serving the community on the Dunwoody City Council. I would like to say thank you for allowing me to serve for another four years, as I will promise to work with the same passion that I have in my first three years in office.


Repeal_Georgia_HB87 said...

I vote will vote for the candidate that helps Georgia agriculture and the state's economy by supporting the repealing of Georgia House Bill 87.

Colleen O'Casey said...

Based solely on their integrity and an uncanny political prescience that will benefit the community as a whole for its future, my votes shall go to Robert Wittenstein, Lynn Deutsch, and John Heneghan,

Sadly, though, it appears as though Dunwoody doesn't have a candidate for mayor with acceptable credentials.