Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Conflict and chaos in DeKalb County Schools - Probation, possible Board recall by Gov. Deal and Nancy Jester telling it like it is.

"There is significant and irrefutable evidence that the DeKalb School District is in a state of conflict and chaos,” he said. “There’s been a decline in student performance, and there’s been a depletion of the financial resources of this system to a position today that is very dangerous.

AJC - DeKalb school board: Save the governor the trouble and step down if you are part of the problem

DeKalb board member says audit shows 'troubled' district
A DeKalb County school board member says the final results of an audit he requested prove mismanagement and lack of oversight in an already troubled district. Womack says in his 16 years on the school board, he's never been as fed up as he is now.

State summons DeKalb School Board to Jan 17th suspension hearing 

The State Board of Education summoned the board members to a Jan. 17 hearing at 1 p.m. “regarding whether the state board should recommend to the governor that he suspend the members of the DeKalb County BOE.”  At the Jan. 17 hearing, DeKalb will get a chance to present its side of the story, including a list of witnesses who will speak on its behalf. Critics of the board will get the same opportunity.

As in a trial, the two sides will have to describe their witnesses’ anticipated testimony and reveal their facts and evidence to each other before the hearing. Both are entitled to a “pre-hearing” by phone if they request it by Jan. 4. Under the new state law, the state board can make an immediate recommendation to the governor for possible action or give the DeKalb board time to make improvements.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

#26acts Imagine if everyone could commit to doing one act of kindness for every one of those killed in Newtown.

Over the weekend NBC correspondent Ann Curry posted on Facebook: "Imagine if we all committed 20 acts of kindness to honor the lost children of Newtown..(or 26 acts, including the heroic teachers.) I'm in."

Connecticut native and Dunwoody resident offering to help Dunwoody help Sandy Hook School

Looking for a way to help?

Dunwoody resident McDaniel Leask,  approached The Aha Connection to help her spread the word about ways to help the victims’ families of Friday’s shooting and I have taken the liberty to "Copy & Paste" in case your looking for an outlet to lend support.   McDaniel is from a town in Connecticut near Newtown and describes the area as being much like our community in Dunwoody.   Her sister still lives there and is heading an effort to collect stuffed animals for the children of the school.

They should be new and not used of course. I would also encourage folks in Dunwoody and surrounding communities to donate to any of the established funds.  McDaniel will send any donations to the bank listed below as a collective effort from the “Dunwoody friends of Sandy Hook”.

 Click here for an article in the Wall Street Journal that is a beautiful testimony showing portraits and profiles of the victims.

Local Collections efforts organized by CT Native, McDaniel Leask:

McDaniel’s Address is:

McDaniel Leask
5199 Stratham Drive

Dunwoody, GA 30338

Stuffed Animals: There are two bins on her front porch.  McDaniel will be collecting until 5 PM Wednesday.  Then they will be delivered to the Newtown United Methodist Church, which is one of the sites for grief counseling.

Financial Donations:
  • McDaniel will accept checks made payable to:
Sandy Hook Support Fund
C/O Newtown Savings Bank

Donations will be specifically earmarked for funeral expenses and counseling for families and first responders.

Peace Service at Jones Bridge Park for Sandy Hook Elementary Community

The Peachtree Corners community will host a non-denominational CHILDREN'S PEACE SERVICE on Thursday, December 20th, 2012 at 5PM at Jones Bridge Park.
Please wear white and bring candles for adults, bubbles for children. We will pray, sing, and read letters to our friends in Connecticut. We will send the video of our service to the Sandy Hook Elementary community. This is a chance to grieve together as a family and community in a way that's safe for children.

When choosing whether or not to attend with your children, please know we will mention “the tragedy,” “the disaster,” “the sad events, etc.” We will not say “gun” or “shooting” or other graphic terms. We will pray for “people we lost,” but we will not say “dead.” The tone of the service will be poignant, hopeful, comforting, and peaceful. Weare not anti-anything. The service will not have soundbites, agendas, platforms, orspin. We will feature innocent children loving other innocent children.

We hope to navigate a thin line between honoring those who perished and protecting our own children from unnecessary violence.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dunwoody Community Chanukah Celebration at MJCCA, December 10-12

Our friends at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta are hosting
this free community event next week – all are invited!
Celebrate Chanukah at the MJCCA with a community Menorah Lighting
and special performances.
Free hot chocolate and jelly doughnuts!
December 10
Hosted by the MJCCA Gymnastics Program featuring a performance by
the Little Sparks
December 11
Hosted by Company J at the MJCCA featuring a selection of songs from
their upcoming performance of Fiddler on the Roof
December 12
Hosted by the MJCCA Dance Program featuring a performance by
the J Dance Company
Rain or shine.

Question: What can and cannot be disclosed by the City to Dunwoody citizens? Georgia Open Records Law

Blog Comment Question by Ken Thompson:  Is there a document or training materials available that cover what can and cannot be disclosed by the City to citizens and under what conditions previously withheld information could be made available?

Yes Ken, the City of Dunwoody recently hosted Senior Assistant Attorney General, Stefan Ritter who gave a training session on the new Open Meetings and Open Records law to a large room of elected officials and City Clerk's.   Below is the full presentation.

Though I have written on this subject quite a bit and have previously filed many open records requests, I consider the Georgia First Amendment Foundation the go to authority on the subject other than the State Attorney General's Staff.

Check out the informative documents below for the general open records rules as well as those that govern law enforcement and public schools.
  1. Red Book: open records and meetings
  2. Blue Book: open records and law enforcement
  3. Green Book: open records and public schools
  4. Sample Open Records Request
  5. Georgia Open Records Act
  6. Georgia Open Meetings Act
Regarding your question as to under what conditions previously withheld information could be made available?  Ken, I guess the answer depends on the subject be it real estate, executive session or a legal item.  For example you asked me in a blog comment if I could provide a link to the "Hirsch v Dunwoody" settlement agreement?  I guess officially that could be considered an open records request though it should have gone to our City Clerk, Ms. Sharon Lowery but I replied that under the advise of council it could not yet be released.  The reason may be that it is not yet settled and/or is a topic of a future executive session or some other reason of which our legal staff did not inform me.

I am guessing that once that exclusion is no longer valid the information would have to be released (if officially requested) therefore if you are interested, please contact Ms. Lowery.  If you were to ask Ms. Lowery for the document and it was still unavailable, she would tell you the exact exclusion the city is using to hold it back and an anticipated date that it may be available.  In this case, though it is an agenda item that I would normally publish, I am only following advice of council and can't officially quote the reason but guessing that it has to do with the still open lawsuit.  All that being said, my legal council can't force me to vote on something that I don't believe had a proper public airing.

I hope this information helps.

Dunwoody residents can check the police calls and accidents near their home.

I had a number of conversations this weekend regarding neighborhood crime and one of the tools I used to explain what was happening in a specific subdivision was the Police to Citizen Portal, event search shown above and available at the link below.

I just put in the address and the search range and he was able to see everything that happened near his home and he then clicked individual items of interest to read the complete police report.

Since many accidents showed up in those results, I thought I would check to see the accidents near Dunwoody High School and the results for the last year are shown above.  The full accident reports are not available on line but they are available from the police department.

The other tool on the Portal that I (and know many others) review on a regular basis is the Daily Bulletin which lists not only the Dunwoody Police events of the specific day but also the names of those cited.

These items are not new as I have mentioned them previously, but a neighbor who was unaware of the tools was really impressed and thankful they were available.  You may want to check it out?

Here are a few previous pieces I provided on the tool.

Real Time Dunwoody Crime Stats Hit The Web

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

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas for Kids Wrap-Up Event, Saturday 2 p.m.

This Saturday, December 8th from 2:00 p.m. until approximately 4:00 p.m. is the annual Dunwoody Police Christmas for Kids Gift Wrapping Party event! Please join us at First Baptist Church Atlanta (4400 North Peachtree Road, 30338) in the Children’s Theater (East Entrance) for Holiday treats and lots of fun wrapping presents for needy Dunwoody children. 

If you would like to bring an unwrapped toy for a child, please do so along with a roll of tape; and let’s start wrapping! 

Please see the link below for program details and additional information. We look forward to seeing you this Saturday!    Deb Parsons 770-234-8347 

Dunwoody proposes 2013 paving plan

Full Document

Dunwoody Senior Baseball Diablos baseball club help Toys for Tots

The Dunwoody Senior Baseball Diablos baseball club hosted a Toys for Tots drive at the home of Michelle Kovitch.  The idea was that so many of these boys have the great privilege to play in a terrific program through Dunwoody Senior Baseball at Dunwoody Park.  They and their families wanted to find a way to give back at this important time of year.  The 1st annual drive was a strong success with over 100 unwrapped toys donated. 

The Diablos program consists of five travel teams made up of 13U, 14U and 15U players from the area including Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Brookhaven and whose coaching staff includes former Dunwoody H.S. coach Tom Bass. 

The event included Sgt. Calvin Johnson representing the United States Marine Corps.  He shared words of encouragement with the boys including the importance of education, following their dreams and giving back to their communities.

Agenda for December 10th Dunwoody City Council Meeting

Monday, December 10th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
5:00 p.m. - Exec Session
6:00 p.m. - Work Session
Agenda (my comments in RED)
Recognition of Government 101 Graduating Class.
Proclamation Recognizing Dunwoody High School Cross Country Team and State Champ Ms. Alex Cameron.
Update on the CAD-to-CAD Interface Project. (Getting very close.)
Approval of 2013 Planning and Zoning Meeting Schedule.
Approval of Position Allocation and Compensation Chart. (Staffing levels & Salary)
Resolution Appointing Board of Ethics Members. (Janet Webb & Wade Wright)
Resolution Appointing Community Council Members. (Steve Barton & Susan Harper)
Resolution Appointing Development Authority Members. (Augustine, Gaddis, Miller)
Resolution Appointing Planning Commission Members. (Anders, Converse, Dwyer)
Resolution Appointing Board of Zoning Appeals Members. (McCahan, Mitchell, Penn)
Resolution Adopting 2013 Legislative Priorities.
Approval of Settlement Agreement re: Litigation. (Joseph Hirsch v. City of Dunwoody - will be removed from consent)
Resolution Authorizing and Approving an Intergovernmental Agreement With DeKalb Countyfor Water and Sewer Pavement Repairs.
False Alarm Research Report.(follow Sandy Springs model?)
Resolution In Support of DNR Recreation Trails Grant Application.
Approval of 2012 Capital Paving Contract Amendment.
Approval of Five Year Paving Plan.
Approval of 2013 Paving Plan.
Approval of Contract for Road and Stormwater Maintenance.
Resolution to Approve an Intergovernmental Agreement with DeKalb County for theEstablishment of an Excise Tax on Energy used in Manufacturing.
Acceptance of Georgia Emergency Management Agency Grant. (Missing from Agenda packet?)
Approval of Amendment to Jacbos Engineering, Inc. Contract. (additional civic engagement)
FIRST READ: Ordinance to Authorize the Lease of a Fire Station to DeKalb County.
FIRST READ: Ordinance to Authorize the Lease of the Dunwoody Library to DeKalb County.
FIRST READ: Ordinance to Authorize Transfer Water Tower Property to DeKalb County.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dunwoody residents - please dispose of Household Hazardous Waste - free of charge. Sat Dec 15th at GPC

Click photo above for larger photo.

Dunwoody Police shooting near Perimeter Mall.

Dunwoody police say one of their own officers shot and killed a man after he sped through an intersection and hit several cars near Perimeter Mall on Wednesday night.

Investigators say officers were directing traffic at the intersection of Perimeter Center West and Ashford-Dunwoody Road due to heavy holiday shopping traffic saw a vehicle driving erratically headed toward the intersection. They were able to flag him down and divert him into a nearby gas station.

When officers approached the car, they say the man sped off and hit at least two other vehicles. Officers fired shots at the vehicle, and one bullet went through the windshield and hit the driver in the chest. The car kept going for a few blocks before coming to a stop.

The driver of the vehicle, who has not yet been identified, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No officers were injured.

The incident is now under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave.

Dunwoody School Redistricting - long term discussion starts again.

Click here for the draft version of Dr. Atkinson's presentation to the Board on 11/27.  You can also find the presentation on the DCSD Website under Community/SPLOST IV or on Nancy Jester's site.

Notes of interest from report:

1.  House Kittredge at Midway ES during Austin Construction
2.  House Austin ES at Kittredge during Austin Construction
3.  Possibly move up Austin construction by 2 years to open 2016-2017 school year if bonds are issued to accelerate the project.
4.  New Austin Elem to house 900 children
5.  Recommended Dunwoody Cluster Attendance Lines after new Austin ES.

Dunwoody listed as most expensive real estate market in Georgia with an average price of $349K


Atlanta Business Chronicle by Jacques Couret

College Park has the most affordable single-family housing market in Georgia and second most affordable market in America, according to new data from Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC’s annual Home Listing Report.

In College Park, a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home costs an average of only $62,080.
Jonesboro ($79,686), Augusta ($83,936) and Ellenwood ($97,850) also were among the 20 most affordable cities in the United States.

The most expensive Georgia market is Dunwoody, where a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home costs an average of $339,835.

Atlanta is the state’s ninth most expensive market with a price for the same size property averages $230,043.
Click here to see how your area in Georgia fared.

The average price for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Georgia is $169,625, compared with the national average of $292,152. The Peach State is the third most-affordable in the union.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Looking for some special kids to join me for a Magical Journey Experience at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus.

For the last several years the Metro Atlanta Mayors Association, Gas South and Feld Entertainment have presented a "Magical Journey Experience" at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus. The Magical Journey Experience is a special pre-show interactive experience for local children with special (physical or developmental) needs and their families.

25 family (four packs) of tickets have been made available to the City of Dunwoody for this event taking place at the Philips Arena on Friday, February 15th starting at 5 pm. These special children and their families will not only see the preshow but they also get tickets for the circus show that evening. I attended this event last year, filling in for the Mayor, and I can tell you that the preshow was fabulous and that the love and caring attention that was paid to the children was just overwhelming.

Anyway, I have about 20 family four packs of tickets (actually special registration codes) still available that need to be distributed and used ASAP in order to get the physical tickets mailed to you.   If you are a Dunwoody resident and have a child with special needs and you want to attend, please send me an email to with your full contact information (Name, Address in Dunwoody, Phone & Email) and I will reply on a first come, first served basis with instructions on how to go on line with a special registration code to get up to four tickets.

Magical Journey Experience
Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus
Philips Arena
Friday, February 15th starting at 5 pm

Request tickets from

Thank you to Gas South, Metro Atlanta Mayors Association & Feld Entertainment for making this great event possible.

Frontier Baseball League at Murphy Candler for kids with Mild Challenges - Registration is Open / Space is Limited.

Several months ago I stepped outside my comfort zone and volunteered to coach my sons baseball team as he and a group of special boys joined together to play in the new Frontier League at Murphey Candler. Many of the boys, like Jackson shown above, had never played organized baseball and though eager to play, they too were far outside their comfort zone. Together the boys and I learned the fundamentals of baseball, had fun and the boys as a team encouraged and cheered for each others successes. This evening I just signed up to coach baseball once again.

The Frontier League at Murphey Candler Baseball is designed for kids between ages 7 and 12 with mild life challenges. Teams are very small with about 10 kids each and the league is divided into younger and older age brackets. Due to field space, there will be a fixed limit of just 80 kids this Spring Season, 40 for Frontier I and 40 for Frontier II. There will be a total of 8 teams, 4 in each league and all practices and games will be at 1:30 on Sunday's.

Spaces are still available for this ground breaking league and I would like to encourage anyone with a child interested in baseball who fits the medical requirements below to join.

For Kids With Mild Life Challenges like ADHD, Appraxia, Auditory Processing Speech delays, Dyslexia, and Other Executive or Sensory Challenges.

Additional Information:
Games Will Be This Spring Starting In Early March For 9 Weeks
1 Day Per Week Commitment on Sunday Afternoons at 1:30
Early registration rate before January 6th is just $115.00
All Counties Are Welcome

There Will Be Two Age Groups:
Frontier I Will Be For 7 To 9 Year Olds
Frontier II Will Be For 10 To 12 Year Olds.

All Experience Levels Are Welcome, Space Is Limited

For More Information Contact: Adam Wickley at 770-722-4837

To Register Please Go To Click on Register Now, Then Frontier

Friday, November 23, 2012

Dunwoody Police Department is tweeting all of its live calls today. @DunwoodyPolice #dpdcalls

Twitter is a service available on the internet and smart phones whereby you can send a text message to the internet and anyone can sign up to follow what you say.  Public two way conversations can be had and photos and websites can also be sent via links provided in the tweet.  The Dunwoody Police Department is cutting edge as I can think of no other department who uses social media to the extent that they do. 

If you are not on twitter and you want to see what this is all about, the Dunwoody Patch has dedicated a simple webpage to watch the tweets as they happen and it can be viewed here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Light Up Dunwoody this Sunday from 3 - 6pm at the Farmhouse

Sunday, November 18, 2012; 3:00 to 6:00pm

An annual community event to welcome the holiday season, Light up Dunwoody Christmas Village opens at 3:00 pm and concludes with the lighting of the tree at 5:45 pm.

A cozy warm atmosphere is supported by vendors offering treasures and refreshments.

The Cheek-Spruill Farm House is the center of activity Santa and elves will welcome children on the front porch reindeer with a Santa sleigh will be available for more photo opportunities. Bring your own camera!

Everyone is invited, and there is no cost to participate in this family friendly festival.Everyone is invited, and there is no cost to participate in this family friendly event.

Click for Facebook Event details.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dunwoody Community Wide Thanksgiving Service to benefit the Community Assistance Center - Tues Nov 20th - 7 pm at Dunwoody High School

Tuesday, November 20th - 7 p.m.

Dunwoody High School Performing Arts Center
5035 Vermack Road
Dunwoody, GA  30338

Join me and my family on Tuesday, November 20th as eight Dunwoody churches are joining together to offer a unique, community-wide Thanksgiving service complete with music, inspirational messages and good cheer.  This first-ever gathering will be hosted by the Village Church in Dunwoody High School's Performing Arts Center and begins at 7p.m. Admission is free.

A group of Dunwoody clergy, which meets regularly throughout the year, came up with the idea for the special evening of thanks-giving.  The pastors' group envisions future annual services at participants' various home churches.

Pastor Wiley Stephens of Dunwoody United Methodist Church will give the message and other pastors will participate with readings and prayers. Doug Allen, from The Village Church,  will be leading worship, with band members from The Village and other participating churches. Pastors and churches participating include Wiley Stephens, Dunwoody United Methodist Church; Jim Reiter, The Village Church of Dunwoody; Brian Dale, Kingswood United Methodist Church; Mack Hannah, Dunwoody Baptist Church; Jason Whitener, St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church; Ed Fuller and Dick Game, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church; Msgr Hugh Marren, All Saints Catholic Church, and Jeff Jansen and Bryan Marvel, Dunwoody Community Church.

In addition, Tamara Carrera, CEO and Executive Director of the Community Assistance Center (CAC) will be speaking about the organization's efforts to help Dunwoody and Sandy Springs neighbors in need. A special offering will be taken to benefit the CAC's work to provide compassionate assistance and promote self-reliance.

Hope to see you there!

PS: Facebook is not my expertise but added an event to spread the word.  Thanks.

Tilly Mill Road Metal Plates are Gone, Road Repaired

Dunwoody High School honors Ms. Debra Hodge after Thirty Two years of Service.


Please join the Math Dept to honor Ms Hodge
Thurs Nov 15th
4 pm - 6 pm
DHS Auditorium

In 1989, Debra Hodge moved from Kansas City, Kansas to Atlanta and was immediately hired by DeKalb County Schools. She was assigned to then Peachtree Junior High School. While at Peachtree, she was appointed Math Department Chairperson, she was trained by the County to become a Teacher Support Specialist, and was voted Teacher of the Year in 1996. Debra transferred to Dunwoody High School in 1999. Since arriving at Dunwoody, she has been sophomore class sponsor, JV football cheerleader coach, JV and Varsity basketball cheerleader coaches, and is presently the senior class sponsor. In 2005 she was voted "Teacher of the Year" at Dunwoody. Up until last year, she has scheduled students to sing or play on their instruments the National Anthem at all home varsity basketball games, and she has been in charge of the Senior Night for the basketball team.  She has tutored countless students of her own and students preparing for the Graduation Test. Debra Hodge has supported many of the team sports and is known for wearing her red hat at the games. Over the years she has mentored new teachers, students, and athletics. The results of her passion for teaching with high expectations for her students have yielded her students to either come back to visit or written emails proclaiming to let her know how well they performed in their college math classes. As well as being inspirational in their everyday life.

Debra Hodge wrestled with the decision about when she should retire because she loves her job, her co-workers and many of her students! On November 30, 2012 it will be "so hard to say good-bye to yesterday."

Dunwoody School System idea has a long road ahead.

Current situation - Georgia constitution has locked the number of school systems whereby no new ones can be created.   Changing this requires a Georgia Constitutional amendment and "Only amendments which are of general and uniform applicability throughout the state shall be proposed, passed, or submitted to the people."   An amendment can be proposed starting in either chamber of the assembly, i.e., the House of Representatives or the Senate.   A proposed amendment must be approved by 2/3rds of the membership of each chamber before going to the state's voters for approval.   Once passed Statewide to allow cities to break away to form separate school systems, the City of Dunwoody would have to have a plan and a referendum actually break away.   If current school taxes were to be used for general operations, would additional start up costs be needed and to what level?  I am told DeKalb wouldn't have to transfer the schools over to us for free, instead Dunwoody could buy them at the appraised value if DeKalb was willing to sell or we could build our own schools.
As much as I like the idea of a Dunwoody School System and would be willing to work toward that goal, I think my wife and I will continue to devote much of our time in making sure that we are involved in the day to day education of our children.  Even if a Dunwoody system were in place, parental involvement both individually and collectively is what is needed to have a successful educational system for all children involved.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dunwoody City Council recap Mon Nov 13th - Roundabout, GIS Tool and the Dunwoody School System

There will be no video from tonight's meeting from me as I was having network issues with Ustream whereby it was kicking me off the system repeatedly time after time.  Hopefully the city gets its video up quickly and it should be available here when put on line.

There were no big decisions for council on Monday's agenda as most items that needed a vote have been discussed previously or were just common sense items.  For example, we voted to take over the top layer of street paving repair when a water or sewer issue is repaired by the county but they then have to wait for a subcontractor to be hired to repave the street. Dunwoody wants to be that subcontractor so that the streets are fixed to our satisfaction and it should drastically cut down on the number and longevity of the steel plates on our roads.

There were a number of presentations and discussions but no real surprising issues or votes.

The big issue of the evening was the Womack / Vermack intersection and the discussion on the intersection design contract that is already in place.  At the last meeting the City Council voted to pull all construction funding from both the 2012 and 2013 budgets to halt any movement on the suggested roundabout at Womack and Vermack by Dunwoody High School.  Months previously council approved funding for full design of the intersection and more than 50% of that contact has been used therefore I and most of Council (Shortal was against and Bonser was absent) agreed to allow that contract to move forward as originally intended.  The original intersection design contract was not specifically for a roundabout but instead for the safest and best design that the engineers could come up with for that intersection.  Future councils may or may not agree with the recommendation but it will be that design which will be vetted to the community to see it that proposal is a good fit for that location.  Doing nothing is always an option for council on capital projects if the engineering study recommends a fix that the community as a whole may not want. 

Besides the numerous public comments against the roundabout that we received, these two precious children from the Chesnut Charter Elementary School Robotics Team wowed the crowd with a suggestion on a mapped walking path (in the streets) of the Dunwoody North Subdivision whereby about Five Miles of streets could be marked off on light polls.  Once identified a Senior Citizen Walking Club could be started to improve the health of the residents.  Myself, and the Public Works Director will be meeting with them on Thursday for more information.

Talking of mapping, the City released the new GIS Mapping tool and it has a number of neat features including measurement tools and hyperlinks to Tax data.   Please check it out.

Finally, a discussion was had on the City of Dunwoody's Legislative Priorities for the Georgia General Assembly and the thought of a City School System was discussed.  In my four years on Council, I can tell you that this is the number one request of residents and that I hear it on an almost weekly basis.  This idea is not new, nor solely a Dunwoody issue as a constitutional amendment will need to be voted statewide in order to allow the number of school districts to grow as the number is currently locked.  The charter school vote passed statewide with districts downstate as well as in rural areas approving therefore education reform should be on the Governor's agenda in this coming year. 

Just as the bloat and inefficacy of DeKalb County convinced us that we could govern the City functions at a lower cost to provide better services.  The thought that we could do the same within our borders educationally would be a dream come true to many who believe a Dunwoody School System would be the ideal situation.

Local control, closer to the people may be the end game for Dunwoody but this is a statewide issue and our local lawmakers will need to find consensus among those serving in the general assembly.  Gents I wish you well.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dunwoody Christmas for Kids needs your continued support.

Important Dates:

  • We are currently registering families in need. Please contact Sgt. Espinoza to determine eligibility: or 678/382-6913.

  • NOTE: Family registration for the private Christmas Party will CLOSE once we reach our 55 qualified children maximum. However, we will continue to accept applications for local organizations and families through November 16, 2012 for gift assistance as long as we can accommodate.

  • November 1 through December 6, 2012: Gift Collections at participating CFK Gift Drop sites.

  • Dunwoody Police Headquarters will continue to collect CFK gifts for families in need through December 21, 2012.

  • November 18, 2012, 3:00pm-6:00pm: Look for the CFK program at the Dunwoody Police tent during LIGHT UP DUNWOODY.Gift

  • December 8, 2012, 2:00pm-4:00pm: Join the CFK program at First Baptist Church Atlanta for our WRAP-UP Event. Individual and group volunteers are welcome to share some holiday cheer while we "wrap-up" our collected toys for each and every CFK registered child. Contact Deborah Parsons for more info: or 770/234-8347.  

    2012 Participating CFK Gift Drop Sites in Dunwoody

    Greetings Dunwoody!

    It’s that time again! The holiday season is just around the corner. Which means the Dunwoody Police Department and our CFK team is gearing up for Christmas for Kids 2012. Our team looks forward to this event because it's our way of "wrapping up" an already amazing year with something very near and dear to our hearts.

    For those who are not yet familiar with our Christmas for Kids program, allow me to fill you in on the "crown jewel" of DPD's Community Outreach programs. Christmas for Kids began in 2009 with the goal of bringing our community together to collect new and unwrapped gifts for Dunwoody’s under-privileged children. Once gifts are gathered up, the Dunwoody Police Department invites members of the community to join our CFK team for a "Wrap-Up Event" in early December to personalize a bag of individually wrapped gifts for each of the 50 or so children who will be honored at a private Christmas party later in the month. Santa himself (along with his Elves!) make an appearance at the private event to spend quality one-on-one time with our honored guests and to hand out the gifts. CFK is unique in that the Christmas party is an intimate affair for the pre-registered children and their families only. Keeping the party private allows our CFK team to focus only on what’s important – the children and the joys of giving.

    CFK 2009-2011 were a great success; but only because of the outpouring of support from Dunwoody’s citizens and businesses. Over the next few months, our CFK team will be organizing and planning for this year’s program.

    Now is the time to give back within our community! Individuals and businesses interested in supporting the Dunwoody Police Department’s Christmas for Kids 2012 program should periodically check our CFK webpage for more information on donating supplies and gifts, hosting a Gift Drop site, or just volunteering your time or talent toward our preparations.
    Here’s to another successful Christmas season of giving back to those who really need it!

    Yours sincerely,

    Sergeant F. Espinoza
    Dunwoody Police Department

    Christmas for Kids past Highlights:

    Christmas for Kids 2011

    2011 Christmas for Kids
    In 2011, there was an incredible outpouring of volunteers and sponsors who stepped up and performed like true Christmas Champions! Our only wish was that everyone who came forward to help with CFK could have witnessed first-hand the joy and elation on the children’s faces when they received their gifts from Santa at their private party! We know for a fact that for most of these children, these will be the only gifts they receive this year.

    There were a couple of special moments during the 2011 program that we wanted to share with you because they really capture the spirit of Christmas for Kids. The first occurred during the registration interviews. A mother of three asked CFK for help. When we told her we could help, we saw the stress and pressure lift from her shoulders. She began to weep and could barely speak the words, “Thank You” from her mouth. The second moment came during the evening ofCFK 2011 Bicycle the party event. A Dunwoody citizen had donated a very nice bicycle for a teenager and the plan was for Santa to choose the teenage recipient during the event. Santa chose a 14 year-old young man who seemed shy as he and his younger siblings came forward to receive their gift bags. Santa pulled the teen close and whispered in the young man’s ear. The teenager’s jaw dropped and he was smiling from ear to ear. We seriously thought he was going to suffocate Santa as he hugged him over and over again! Throughout the evening, this teen’s eyes were fixated on his new bicycle. We spoke with him later and he revealed that this was his very first bicycle.

    Time and time again, we hear Dunwoody citizens tell us how happy and proud they are to have us. Well as a matter of fact, the entire staff at the Dunwoody Police Department are proud to have YOU as our citizens.

    CFK 2011 Wrap-Up EventThanks to each and every one of our volunteers and sponsors for your endless generosity and dedication. The CFK program would not be possible without all of our hard-working volunteers each year including the many members of the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce, Dunwoody Chamber in Heels, Dunwoody Woman’s Club, and City of Dunwoody staff as well as many other volunteers representing families, businesses and other organizations within Dunwoody.

    CLICK HERE to view more photos from the 2011 event.
    CLICK HERE to see our 2011 Sponsors.

    Christmas for Kids 2010

    CFK2010The CFK program for 2010 was yet another success for the Dunwoody Police Department and its many Holiday Helpers. Nearly 70 Dunwoody children and their parents were special guests at a private Christmas party where they enjoyed festive games, crafts, food, and of course, a visit from "The Big Guy" himself.  The Dunwoody Police Explorers and several local Girl Scout troops teamed up with Dunwoody volunteers and the CFK "magical" Elves to help spread cheer throughout the evening.
    Seven-year-old Rishi Gowda of Dunwoody was in attendance once again this year - not only with donations of his own birthday presents, but CFK toys he collected throughout his own neighborhood.
    CFK toys were also distributed to several local shelters, hospitals, schools, and churches in time for Christmas.
    We'd like to thank each and every one of our CFK Committee Members and their teams of volunteers for the countless hours they have devoted towards making this year's program a success. Christmas for Kids could never happen without the tireless efforts given by these very caring and patient individuals and organizations.

    Visit with SantaFun with Elves


    CLICK HERE to view more photos of the 2010 CFK event

    Gift Wrap Volunteers CFK Toy Drive

    CLICK HERE to view Dunwoody Patch news article and photos linkRishi's Letter

    CLICK HERE to view Rishi's 2009 CFK story on CBS news

    Christmas for Kids 2009

    CFK Logo 2009
    santakidDunwoody Police Department's first annual Christmas for Kids can go down in the books as being an absolute success. The idea was to bring a little Christmas joy and happiness to a few of Dunwoody's less privileged children. However, instead of just a few children, well over 100 received a bag full of gifts and experienced a Christmas event that they are sure to remember for years to come.

    This event was only made possible by the tremendous outpouring of support from citizens, businesses, and neighborhoods. There were many individuals and groups who demonstrated what this time of year is all about and without them this campaign would not have been able to make so many children happy this Christmas.

    Christmas for Kids 2009 is just one of many community projects and campaigns that are to come and we are looking forward to working side by side with you in order to make our City of Dunwoody an even greater place to call home.

    A heartfelt thanks goes out to all volunteers and sponsors who made this event possible!
        Dinner for CFK kidsCFK2010

    CFK Volunteers
    CLICK HERE to view CBS News coverage of the 2009 event
    CLICK HERE to view more photos of the 2009 event