Saturday, March 31, 2012

DeKalb Senior Olympics - Registration is Open

Event:  May 1 - 11, 2012
Register:  March 26 - April 20, 2012
Fee:  $10 per person (fee includes 2 sports and souvenir shirt)
Table Tennis (Singles)
Line Dancing Competition
Water Volleyball
Track and Field
Wii Bowling
Talent Show
Fun Walk
Health Expo
Free Throw Basketball

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tonight is the last night for the All Saints Friday Fish Fry

The Knights of Columbus, Council # 11402 based out of All Saint's Catholic Church in Dunwoody, GA serves the “WORLD FAMOUS” FISH FRY offering over 1,000 dinners every Friday night during Lent with tonight being the last offering.

Adult meals are $8 (except salmon $9) with child meals only $4. Seniors (60+) get an “early bird” $1 discount between 5 & 6pm only. Fried & baked Icelandic cod, baked salmon, & fried shrimp with coleslaw, green beans, red potatoes or fries, and hush puppies complement meals. Special Knight recipe clam chowder at $2 per bowl. Numerous desserts & adult beverages too.

Take-out is available but come join in the fun by taking the entire family out for a great meal.

All Saints Catholic Church - Gym
Tonight from 5 pm to 8 pm
2443 Mount Vernon Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338

This year, in order to allow an expanded dining area the fish dinners will be offered in the Gym which is accessible in the lower parking lot at the back of the property.   The parking spots near the gym will be reserved for take-out patrons, the elderly and infirm who can’t walk far. Below is a menu and I hope to see you there as it is quite a community social gathering.

City of Brookhaven and Doraville Annexation approved by the Legislature

Brookhaven HB636 and Doraville SB532 are now both on the Governor's desk.

The area to be annexed by Doraville is shown at the top in this map are the two red striped areas.

The new City of Brookhaven map is shown here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

DeKalb County - let's have our cake and eat it too.

 The tail of two AJC articles, you figure out the math.

DeKalb not ready for possibility of Brookhaven

The threat of a new city being carved out of a swath of north-central DeKalb County later this year could mean higher taxes for county residents come 2013.

If voters in the area between Buckhead and Chamblee vote to become Brookhaven this summer, DeKalb stands to lose between $25 and $27 million in revenue, some of it as early as December. Tuesday, the county administration said it had yet to plan exactly how it would deal with that blow.

“Our only options are to raise revenues, reduce expenses or draw down our reserves,” said chief operating officer Richard Stogner, adding a mix of those options will be the most likely outcome.

DeKalb exploring employee raises, perks for 2013

After years of holding worker salaries steady, DeKalb County is starting to look at ways to offer raises or other perks to boost morale.

The County Commission’s budget committee has asked the human resources department to come up with ways to conduct a salary study for DeKalb workers.

The commission could review that information to offer department- or job-specific raises or may develop other benefits.

Any change would likely come during 2013 budget talks, which begin next summer.

Police Perspective - Chief of Staff for DeKalb County Commission District 1 perspective - Fran Millar

Exciting Programs from the Marcus Jewish Community Center which are Open to the Entire Dunwoody Community

Community Passover Seder
Friday, April 6 • 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Zaban Park (5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody)
The price is: $50 per/adult, $25 per/child (8 & under), FREE for children (3 & Under).

The MJCCA invites you and your family to a special Community Passover Seder led by Rabbi Brian Glusman. Enjoy a unique Passover Seder experience with readings from the Haggadah, engaging explanations, festive songs, and a delicious catered Kosher meal. The menu will include your choice of chicken or brisket, matzah ball soup, gefilte fish, matzah kugel, vegetables and dessert. Reservations must be made in advance. To RSVP, please contact the MJCCA Registration Team at 678.812.4010. For more information about the MJCCA Community Seder, please contact Rabbi Brian Glusman,

National Dance Week
April 20-April 29 • 9:00-11:45 am
Zaban Park (5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody)

In honor of National Dance Week we have a full week of events that you and your family will enjoy!
  • April 21 - DAY OF DANCE
  • April 25 & 26 - ADULT BARRE CLASS
  • April 24 & 26 - ADULT ZUMBA CLASS
For more info contact: Erin Lesure 678.812.4049.

Keyboard Conversations® Returns to the MJCCA!
April 15, 4:00-6:00 pm
MJCCA at Zaban Park (5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody)
Fees: $18 - $25

Pianist Jeffrey Siegel's popular “concert with lively commentary” program returns to the MJCCA, with Russian Rapture – Music of Rachmaninoff & Tchaikovsky. Enjoy the soaring melodies and sumptuous sonorities of these ever-popular composers, from expressive romantic Preludes and captivating virtuoso Etudes to scintillating, charming Humoresques.
To purchase tickets, call 678.812.4002.

Love and Logic: Helping Parents Have More Fun & Less Stress
Mondays, April 16-May 14 • 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Zaban Park (5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody)
Fees: Member $125, Non-member $135

Five sessions: Make parenting fun and rewarding, rather than stressful and chaotic.
Through video clips, discussion, and practice exercises, you will pick up skills that will allow you to create a "less-stress" home for your family.
For more information, contact

Community Yom HaShoah Commemoration
Sunday, April 22 (Rain or Shine), 4:00 - 5:00 pm
Zaban Park (5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody)
Free and open to the community

The entire community is invited to a Yom HaShoah Commemoration sponsored by the Atlanta Rabbinical Association and the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. The ceremony will feature remarks from Caroline Stoessinger, author of A CENTURY OF WISDOM: lessons from the life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the world’s oldest living Holocaust survivor. The ceremony will also include the lighting of the torches and a special musical presentation featuring Cantor Daniel Gale from Temple Beth-El, Birmingham, Alabama. The program will take place in the beautiful Besser Holocaust Memorial Garden at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road in Dunwoody. Prior to the Yom HaShoah Commemoration, at 2:00 pm, all are invited to a special presentation by Carolyn Stoessinger in the Morris & Rae Frank Theatre at which time she will discuss the release of her new book. For more information about the MJCCA Yom HaShoah Commemoration, please contact Rabbi Brian Glusman,

School Readiness Series: Kindergarten
Thursday April 26 • 10:00-11:30 am OR Wednesday, May 2 • 7:00-8:30 pm
Zaban Park (5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody)
Fees: $18 per person or couple

How is kindergarten different than Pre-K? What will my child be learning and what are some tips for success? How do I prepare my child for the changes? How important is routine? Answer these questions and maximize your child's success in kindergarten, plus hear what other parents are thinking!
For more information, contact

Yom Ha’Atzmaut - Israel Independence Day Celebration
Thursday, April 26 • 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Zaban Park (5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody)
Free and open to the community

Celebrate Israel's birthday outside with your family and friends in the beautiful courtyard of the MJCCA. The program will feature activities and crafts for children, Israeli dancing, face painting, a choir performance by the Greenfield Hebrew Academy Choir, sports games and more. Delicious kosher food will available for purchase from Goodfriend’s Grill. Complimentary dessert will be served. Bring your friends! This event is free and open to the entire community. For more information about this and other community outreach programs, please contact Rabbi Brian Glusman,

Infant/Child/Adult CPR and First Aid/AED
Sunday, April 29 • 12:30-5:30 pm
Zaban Park (5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody)
Fees: Member $70, Non-member $85

Get trained, get certified! We will provide a comprehensive training with easy-to-understand instructions. This course trains individuals how to help prevent and recognize the symptoms of sudden illness and injury, and how to provide basic care. The training also gives participants the knowledge and skills to recognize and care for life-threatening respiratory and cardiac emergencies in adults, infants and children until more advanced medical personnel arrive and take over.
For more information, contact

Dunwoody Nature Center presents Monarchs and Margaritas on April 21st

Get your tickets now to the Dunwoody High School Wildcat Royale

Register at the Dunwoody High Alumni Page

Monday, March 26, 2012

Video of the March 26th Dunwoody City Council Meeting

Recap, everything was passed as presented except the Growler item was modified quite extensively from the last first read therefore we conducted another first read and this will be on the next agenda for approval. Discussions on the Georgetown proposal, grading, growlers and garage sales were all interesting and all will be back in front of us at some time.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Holocaust Days of Remembrance Proclamation and a discussion of what is a "Garage Sale" are both topics for Dunwoody's Monday Night Meeting.

The Dunwoody City Council added one last minute item to the Monday night agenda and I mistakenly forgot to mention an other important item as there was no attachment in the packet for me to link.

The forgotten item was a proclamation for a National Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust.
During a recent family trip to Washington D.C. I took my 12 year old son to the The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in order to accentuate the topic he had studied in school and it was a quite a learning experience for the both of us.   Then recently during a trip to the Marcus Jewish Community Center we stopped by to visit the Holocaust Memorial Garden and he then understood that what happened 70 years ago in Europe still very deeply affected the families many of whom are now part of the Dunwoody community.

At the start of the meeting there is public comment segment which allows anyone to come to the podium to speak for three minutes and I would welcome anyone from the community to help us never forget.

On April 24, 1979 the first National Civic Commemoration of the Holocaust was held in the Capitol Rotunda, with the following address delivered by President Carter:
Although words do pale, yet we must speak. We must strive to understand. We must teach the lessons of the Holocaust. And most of all, we ourselves must remember. We must learn not only about the vulnerability of life, but of the value of human life. We must remember the terrible price paid for bigotry and hatred and also the terrible price paid for indifference and for silence.... To truly commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, we must harness the outrage of our memories to banish all human oppression from the world. We must recognize that when any fellow human being is stripped of humanity; when any person is turned into an object of repression; tortured or defiled or victimized by terrorism or prejudice or racism, then all human beings are victims, too. The world's failure to recognize the moral truth forty years ago permitted the Holocaust to proceed. Our generation--the generation of survivors--will never permit the lesson to be forgotten.

The last minute agenda addition was a request in response to City Staff investigating and then allowing a garage sale which on the surface looked to be the equivalent of a licensed business (addressed out of a home), having customer contact for sales out of the home which is not allowed per the residential zoning code.

Councilman Nall has asked that a discussion be had on ... "Garage sales as a conduit for a licensed business owner conducting onsite retail sales event within a residential zoning district."

Friday, March 23, 2012

Agenda for the March 26th Dunwoody City Council Meeting

Monday, March 26th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
6:00 p.m. - Work Agenda (Exec Session?)
7:00 p.m. - Voting Agenda
Watch Live at 7 pm

The twelve items below are on the consent agenda as there seemed to be consensus of support for these items from most council members at the last work session.  These will be voted enmass unless a council member requests an item to be pulled off for questions or a separate vote.

1. Award of Contract for 2012 Sidewalk Design to The LPA Group, Inc.
2. Approval of 2011 Paving Contract Modification.
3. Resolution Appointing Members to Serve on the City of Dunwoody Sustainability Commission.
4. Resolution Adopting and Approving Geographic Information System (GIS) Bulk Data Fees.
5. Approval of Art Festival Special Event Signage Request.
6. Approval of Sprint for Cancer Special Event Signage Request.
7. Starbucks at Ravinia Waiver to Development Standards from Section 16-488.
8. 2012 Planning & Zoning, Mayor and Council, and Zoning Board of Appeals Calendar.
9. SECOND READ: Ordinance Amending Chapter 8, Buildings and Building Regulations re:Annual Building Code Update.
10. SECOND READ: Ordinance to Amend Budget for the Year Ending December 31, 2011.
11. Resolution to Amend City Council Rules and Procedures for City Council Meetings.
12. Resolution Appointing Members to Serve on City of Dunwoody Board of Ethics.

Last minute contract negotiations resulted in better terms therefore a formal rescission and modification is being made to the hospital contract.

Public Hearing & Action Item: To Rescind City Council Action on March 12, 2012 Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Modification of the Real Estate Purchase Contract for the 19 Acre Dunwoody Emory Hospital Site.

Public Hearing & Action Item: Authorize the City Manager to Execute a Modification of the Real Estate PurchaseContract for the 19 Acre Dunwoody Emory Hospital Site.

Award of Contract for Ridgelock Court Stormwater Project to Blount Construction Company, Inc

Public Hearing & Resolution Naming the Street that Bisects Harris Circle.

The item below is to allow Growlers - packaged tap beer.  I plan to do some research here.

SECOND READ: Ordinance Amending to Chapter 4 of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances by Authorizing an Exception to the Full-Service Kitchen Requirements for RetailConsumption Licensees.

Discussion of Urban Redevelopment Plan for Project Renaissance: A New Georgetown.

FIRST READ: Ordinance Amending Chapter 16, Section 16-86 of the Land Development CodeRelated to Grading.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

FAA getting closer to setting rules that might affect PDK and Dunwoody

 Dunwoody is directly in the line of PDK runways.

April Hunt of the AJC did an update on the FAA changing procedures which may affect PDK flight operations, whereby final comments on the proposals are due to the FAA by April 3rd.

I have read the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) several times and pulled a few key paragraphs out of the text and placed them down below.  I am not a pilot nor overly knowledgeable on this subject except that I have written about this subject before (here, here, here, here and hear) and did sign a resolution against possible changes once I understood the basics.   

I have asked the City Attorney to verify that the above multi-jurisdictional resolution has been filed with the Federal Aviation Administration at least once and to do so again as required in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in opposition with the changes affecting PDK.

Here is a link to the FAA NPRM document and the key paragraphs that I thought relevant have been copied below.

 The Committee recommended that the current 8,000 feet and 6,000 feet Class B airspace floors over PDK be retained, or kept as close to the current altitudes as possible, in order to maintain efficient operations at PDK.
One commenter opposed the lowering of the Class B floor in the 
vicinity of PDK from 8,000 feet to 5,000 feet because it could cause 
compression of VFR aircraft given the fact that the PDK Class D 
airspace ceiling is 3,500 feet.
The existing Class B floor above PDK is 8,000 feet, while 
immediately to the east and south of PDK, the existing floor is 6,000 
feet. Under the proposed Class B changes, the floor of Class B airspace 
above the southern half of the PDK Class D airspace would be 5,000 
feet; to the northeast, the floor would be 6,000 feet; and to the 
northwest, the floor would be 7,000 feet. This would still give pilots 
room to navigate north of the PDK airport eastbound at 5,500 feet. It 
is true that the proposed change would eliminate the 5,500 foot VFR 
altitude over the southern half of the PDK Class D airspace. This may 
require the pilot to make a choice to fly eastbound below 3,000 feet 
AGL or to fly further north in order to fly above 3,000 feet AGL and 
below the Class B airspace.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Unincorporated islands between Dunwoody and Doraville proposed to be annexed by Doraville

On Monday March 19th at the DeKalb Delegation Meeting, Rep Elena Parent discussed issues related to some citizen opposition of several small islands of unincorporated DeKalb County that are proposed to be annexed by the City of Doraville. The issue being raised by these citizens has to do with the ongoing code enforcement problems related to an Islamic Mosque that is currently being handled by DeKalb County whereby those opposed to the annexation do not believe that the City of Doraville will adequately handle the ongoing enforcement of the issue.

If SB532 is approved in the legislature this year, Doraville will take over two separate islands of unincorporated land. The first starts at the Dunwoody border on Tilly Mill at the creek just north of PIB whereby the Texaco and that entire intersection will then be under the control of Doraville (now they only have the liquor store / gas station on the east side up to the dry cleaners near Stonington). Doraville will also take over the unincorporated Ridgeway Drive neighborhood to match up with the Carver Circle neighborhood which is already within the City of Doraville. The city line would then cross over PIB and Doraville would control the Adult entertainment establishment “The Oasis”, the Friday’s Plaza and the neighborhood behind the Home Depot where the Mosque is located. The second area proposed to be annexed is an industrial area with apartments South of PIB at Winters Chapel (near QuickTrip).

The unincorporated islands are definitely a police problem and if this legislation is approved it should be beneficial to the residents of the City of Dunwoody whereby the two city departments could partner in uniform enforcement and provide mutual aid to one another.

I wish we were able to clean up the City boundary lines whereby the City of Dunwoody would on this side of PIB and Doraville could be on the other but I guess that would just make too much sense?

The attached video was not purposely cut short on the last speaker, YouTube just has a 15 min limit.

Emily G's BIG JAM GARAGE SALE - Sat March 24th

Special Sale for those in the know.

Dunwoody's local celebrity chef, Ms. Emily Myers who is best known for currently being the winner of the prestigious Flavor of Georgia award for her jam is having a special sale for those in the know and I am going to let you in on the secret.

Emily G's Jam of Love has gone through a packaging update and needs to get rid of all the jars with the old packaging on them. They also have some discontinued flavors such as Watermelon, Pinot Grogio, and Red Zen (no tears!). These are still delicious jars of jam, they just have to go! Quarts for $7, 10oz jars for $4, 5oz jars for $2, mystery jars (no labels) free with purchase. Plus 5 gift sets! Stock up for Easter, Teachers Gifts, and more. Acceptable payments: cash, check, charge, or beer.

Saturday March 24th
2:00 to 6:00 p.m.
4685 Kings Down Rd
Dunwoody, GA 30338

Senate passes charter school amendment. Now, voters will decide the question in November.

What exactly does this mean for Dunwoody?

The state Senate passed the controversial charter school amendment this afternoon, enabling a constitutional amendment on the question in November. The amendment passed 40-16, which represents the two-thirds majority required. The amendment already had passed the House.

One of the reasons for passage is the assurance from its author, Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones, R-Milton, that the state would cover the costs of a state-approved charter school if its original charter application was not approved by a local school districts.

However, skeptics argue that the language is fuzzy enough that the state will still be able to divert money from local school districts to pay for state-approved charter schools.

The bill has become one of the most promoted pieces of legislation in the General Assembly this year, in part because of the assistance of the influential for-profit charter school industry, including online providers , which is looking to expand its foothold and profits in Georgia.

With final legislative passage of the charter school amendment today, Gov. Nathan Deal encouraged Georgians to vote for it this in November.
“The General Assembly has acted wisely and courageously to give Georgians the choice to implement true local control: parental choice. We must encourage innovation and the pursuit of excellence in our schools. Starting a state-chartered school is not done easily or without lots of hard work, but we need a system that allows for this option. State-chartered schools help students trapped in under performing schools and aid communities that want to invest in new and imaginative ways of learning for their children. Approving this amendment will simply restore the process for creating state-charted schools that existed before the state Supreme Court struck down the state’s system for granting charters, and I hope Georgians will cast their vote for protecting and promoting schools that have a strong record of student achievement.”
Maureen Downey AJC Get Schooled

Georgia Pundit - Todd Rehm

Peach Pundit - Jason Pye

South Cobb Patch with a video of press conference

Fox TV - Setting a National Precedent? video

DeKalb School Board Map Update
In semi related news, I had the pleasure of attending another DeKalb Delegation Meeting at the GA Capital on Monday and it appears that with only 5 legislative days left in the session the Senate and House will be looking to find a certifiable DeKalb County School Board map that can be approved by the end of the session.  The DeKalb Delegation will be meeting with hopes to hammer this out on Tuesday but the time and room has not been published for this meeting yet.  I am aware of several versions of the proposed school board maps, including one from the DeKalb School Board which supposedly meets the requirements but there is no telling how this may play out in the end.  If any reporters or interested parents have time, this would be a good meeting to attend as there is definitely a story there.

Proud Dad Moment
Monday I also had the pleasure of watching my 12 yr old son Riley serving on the floor of the GA House of Representatives as a Page. He really enjoyed himself, learned some history and felt really involved in the political process. I highly recommend the page program and a special thank you goes out to Representative Tom Taylor for helping to make this happen.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Free Rita's Ice on Tuesday to celebrate the First Day of Spring

Rita's Ice is one of my families favorite establishments and it is a wonderful low fat replacement when ice cream is just a little to heavy.  The local establishment located at 3530 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30319, ITP just across from Blackburn Park is offering free regular size ices for everyone who walks in the door and if you have never tried this confectionery, I highly recommend that you do.

Kudos also to the owner of this location Ms. Carrie Budd whom I personally see donating product and services at numerous events throughout the year.  Rita's is setting the standard for community stewardship and because of that I hope that you could sometime return the love by paying a visit.  thanks.

Dunwoody Rita's
3530 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319
Phone: (770) 986-9335

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dr. Cheryl Atkinson provides an "Update" on April 11th at Peachtree Charter Middle School.

Dunwoody Chamblee Parents Council
Final Meeting of the School Year

Date:  Wednesday, April 11, 2012 
Time:   9:15 am, refreshments at 8:45 am
Meeting Location: Peachtree Charter Middle School
Topic: "Update on DeKalb County School District"
Speaker: Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, DCSS Superintendent   

Chesnut Charter School will host Kindergarten Round Up on Tuesday, March 27; DES April 12 & Vanderlyn April 17th.

Chesnut Charter School will host Kindergarten Round Up on Tuesday, March 27 from 8:30 to 10:30 am. Will your child be attending Chesnut next year as a rising kindergarten or first grade student? If so, please bring your child to Chesnut’s Kindergarten Round Up for a chance to tour the classrooms, meet the teachers and experience Chesnut for the first time. The kids will love it, and parents will receive important registration information. New this year…an abbreviated evening program as an option for those parents unable to attend the morning Kindergarten Round Up event - sign in is at 5:45 PM, and the program will begin promptly at 6:00 PM. RSVP for the abbreviated program to Terri Young or 770-457-1519.

Dunwoody Elementary Kindergarten Registration
When: Thursday, April 12, 2012 from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Children must be age 5 or older as of September 1, 2012

Vanderlyn will hosting their Kindergarten Round-up on Tuesday April 17, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  During the morning session you can bring your rising Kindergartener to visit one of our Kindergarten classrooms.  This is a great opportunity for your child to see what happens in the classroom.

Austin & Kingsley information could not be found but please contact the school if you are interested in obtaining registration information.

Criminals pose as Dunwoody employees to rob senior citizens.

This is a heart breaking story for me, please be wary of anyone who knocks on your door, trust no one and please feel free to call 911 in order verify any concern that you may have.

WSBTV Story - Thieves posing as city workers targeted an elderly Dunwoody couple, getting away with thousands of dollars in jewelry and a handgun. Still shakened, the woman told Channel 2’s Michael Buczyner that a man, posing as a city worker, came to her home Wednesday afternoon while another man waited inside a tan truck parked on her driveway. “He said he worked with the city and that they were going to be trimming trees and cutting down trees in the area,” she said. The woman said she and her husband allowed the man into their backyard after he asked to look at the trees. She said the man was speaking Spanish on a hand-held radio to the other man who was waiting inside the truck. “He cleaned me out, except for what I had on,”

I really hope these two individuals are caught but please don't let this scam catch you unaware.

Dunwoody High students meet Ryan Seacrest on the set of American Idol

Kudos to Dunwoody HS Alum, Mr. Ryan Seacrest for hosting the Mass Communications class from Dunwoody on the set of American Idol.  The photos above of Ryan and American Idol judges Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson were posted by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation which builds build broadcast media centers within pediatric hospitals for children to explore the creative realms of radio, television and new media.

Now pitching for the Dunwoody Wildcats... Justin Timberlake.

The movie, The Trouble with the Curve staring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, John Goodman and Justin Timberlake will be filming at Dunwoody High School on April 5th & 6th.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis says Georgetown project a must.

“Stop buying stuff and start fixing stuff.” That was the mantra of my campaign while running for mayor. We are sitting on top of $87 million of aging stormwater systems that have to be replaced or repaired. We have 169 miles of roads that we are repaving as fast as we can. We need to concentrate on fixing stuff for the next few years. We have to concentrate on addressing our “needs” before considering our “wants.”

We need to figure out what to do with the land we own. The most important being the 16-acre former pipe farm in Georgetown. It was zoned and slated to become several hundred apartments. We bought it from the bank at a steep discount and have been holding it, waiting for the right time to do something special with the land. At the same time, the Emory Dunwoody Hospital site had been bulldozed and cleared for sale. In the two months that I’ve been mayor, I’ve had dozens of suggestions concerning what we should do with the pipe farm: big box retail, a grocery store, a park, a park with a city hall. Save it for a future school site, senior housing, small retail with restaurants and specialty shops. The list goes on!

My thought was, whatever we do, it needs to be a catalyst for the whole area. Something that would encourage other landowners and businesses to invest their own money into the area. I want something that is transformative. The problem is that I didn’t think the 16 acres was enough to jump start the future development of the area. We need a bigger and bolder statement that says we are serious about Georgetown and think of it as a gateway into Dunwoody. That’s where the Emory Dunwoody Hospital site comes into play. The city has this property under contract. Sixteen plus 19 equals 35 acres of prime real estate. That should be enough!

However, I said we would stop buying stuff and start fixing stuff, right? So, how do we trigger this transformation and not buy any more stuff? The answer? A “public private partnership.”

This past Thursday, the city announced “Project Renaissance.” The city has these 35 acres either owned or under contract. The goal for the city is to end up with approximately 16 acres of public space surrounded by a combination of many of the suggestions I have heard from citizens above. The dream is for parks, trails, an amphitheater, vast lawns and maybe a city hall in concert with a significant private sector investment in residential and commercial development.

That development will have to be appropriate for Dunwoody – low-density owner occupied single-family type housing and neighborhood level commercial property. Like Suwanee, we intend to build the ”beach” and partner with the private sector to build the “beachfront property.” We intend to do all of this for less investment then we have already obligated into the 16 acre pipe farm.

The right partner and the right mix of what we want for this area will truly catalyze Georgetown. Five or 10 years from now, we will be able to get off I-285, turn left, cross over the bridge and say “Ahhh… I’m home!

For more information on Project Renaissance, I invite you to visit our new project website:

From the Crier.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hey Dunwoody, you can't always get what you want but sometimes you get what you need.

The Georgetown Renaissance project might be a great long term solution to the revitalization of the Georgetown area to foster economic redevelopment but this project directly affects the parks plan whereby I believe the back 30 acres of Brook Run Park should now be reevaluated to allow active recreation (team soccer, lacrosse, softball, baseball, ect.).

Got Dirt?
This field might need 5,700 cubic yards to level the fields?

Video from the Dunwoody City Council Meeting of March 12th

Recap, this was a work session were there were no real votes taking place but it was the first time Council could comment publicly on the new Georgetown Plan.  Besides that, we discussed the Tilly Mill / North Peachtree intersection, and 14 different things including a possible change to the alcohol ordinance to allow "Growlers" (Gallons of beer served to go from a tap) to be sold.  Unintended consequences was the big issue on this item and it needs to be crafted carefully so to protect the community from opening a loophole for establishments that were not intended.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Help a Local Dunwoody Mother in Walmart contest “Get on the Shelf”

Joi Sumpton of Dunwoody is the inventor of Step ‘n Wash, the first and only self-retracting step for public restrooms that enables children to reach the sink to wash their hands. Step ‘n Wash is being used by over 900 companies including Atlanta Airport, Georgia Aquarium, Whole Foods and the Mellow Mushroom here in Dunwoody.

Step ‘n Wash is participating in the “get on the shelf” contest. sells commercial products to small businesses and this would be a fantastic way to promote Step ‘n Wash.
The 10 products that receive the most votes will move on to the final judging round with the winner having their product sold on and promoted by!

Voting is very simple:
First, click this link’n-Wash

Then, select your voting method.

You can vote using your Facebook account


 From your mobile phone, text 3155 to 383838 (you can only send 1 text per day)

Friday, March 9, 2012

City of Dunwoody looking for joint venture to redevlop 35 acres of Georgetown

City of Dunwoody bids out Public / Private Development of 35 acres to become Parks, single family residential, commercial property with room for future City Hall.

The City of Dunwoody unveiled a new redevelopment initiative:  “Project Renaissance – A New Georgetown.”  This new initiative is a revitalization effort to develop 35 acres of property and promote a catalytic redevelopment opportunity for the Georgetown area. 

On the 16-acre parcel, the City intends to:
  • Retain approximately four acres to build a neighborhood park in the center of the site, and a playground with adequate buffering on the Chamblee Dunwoody side of the site
  • Integrate a concrete multi-use trail from the 16 acre parcel to, and across, the 19 acre property allowing for a possible future connection to Brook Run Park
  • Retain roughly three acres located along North Shallowford Road and Dunwoody Park Drive for the development of a future private-sector led neighborhood commercial retail development
The City anticipates successful proposals will likely include the following features:
16-Acre Parcel - Residential Proposals:
  • No multi-family residential units, no for rent residential products and no more than 70 owner occupied single family residential units
  • No more than any 2 units may share a common wall or abut by less than 10 feet
  • Minimum of 2,100 square feet of interior heated space per unit (excluding garages)
  • Construction of homes using only durable materials
  • No more than 40% of homes with front loaded garages
  • Pedestrian and cyclist connectivity throughout the development
  • Exterior elevations of no more than 3 stories, including garages
  • Construction shall include model variety, design variation and architectural integrity to ensure a non-repetitive streetscape within the development; all building elevations will be reviewed and approved by the City
16-Acre Parcel – Commercial Proposals:
  • No more than 30,000 square feet of commercial property
  • No more than 15,000 square feet of commercial property in any one building
  • Construction using only durable materials
  • Exterior elevations of no more than 3 stories; building elevations will be reviewed and approved by the City
On the 19-acre property, the City intends to:
  • Retain five acres to build an open field type park and three acres of passive and wooded nature area with soft-surface walking trails
  • Preserve five acres located to the south of Pernoshal Court for a future Municipal Complex to include City Hall and the Police Department
  • Relocate Pernoshal Court to the southern edge of the property line
The City anticipates successful proposals will likely include the following features:
19-Acre Property – Residential Proposals:
  • No multi-family residential units, no for rent residential products and no more than 40 owner occupied single family residential units
  • No more than 2 units may share a common wall or abut by less than 10 feet
  • Minimum of 2,500 square feet of interior heated space
  • Construction of homes using only durable materials
  • Pedestrian and cyclist connectivity throughout the development
  • Construction shall include model variety, design variation and architectural integrity to ensure a non-repetitive streetscape within the development; all building elevations will be reviewed and approved by the City
19-Acre Property – Commercial Proposals:
  • No more than 30,000 square feet of commercial property
  • No more than 15,000 square feet of commercial property in any one building
  • Construction using only durable materials
  • Exterior elevations of no more than 3 stories; building elevations will be reviewed and approved by the City

Agenda for March 12th Dunwoody City Council Meeting

Monday, March 12th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
6:00 p.m. - Work Agenda (Exec Session?)
7:00 p.m. - Voting Agenda
Watch Live at 7 pm


Kudos to my Uncle Jack, long time Red Cross Volunteer!

This man is quite an inspiration to everyone who knows him.

Congrats Phil Sadd for winning Peachtree Corners Election

Mr. Phil Sadd and Family

Phil will be representing District 1 in the City of Peachtree Corners which borders Dunwoody along Winters Chapel and I look forward to working closely with him on code enforcement and development issues. 

Phil took 70% of the votes in a three way race.  Very Impressive!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Love on an Atlanta MARTA platform, love of refugees and hate for Joseph Kony.

I have been under the weather for the last week with the flu. I was bed ridden over the weekend, missed work on Monday and went in on Tuesday because I was on the mend and swamped at work with deadlines that had to be met. I slogged through both a physically and emotionally draining day, leaving the office about 6 pm to catch the Marta train at Peachtree Center. I have ridden Marta for 15 years to work, with 5 of those being a daily commute back and forth from College Park, therefore nothing surprises me. I have seen, heard and smelled it all.

Tuesday, I entered a relatively crowded platform, walking towards the other end as that is where I would exit the train, observing the people I pass and the people around me. I settled into my usual standing spot with my nose buried in an electric device trying to stay up to speed on my night time job, which I love, but does have low points from time to time which adds additional stress to my existence. When out of the corner of my eye a beautiful well dressed brunette of about 22 years of age, entered my personal comfort zone, standing in front of me waiting for me to look up. As I glanced up, she said with a bright smile, “excuse me sir could you do me a favor?” Sure what could I do for you? “I think you need a hug and I would very much like to give it to you.” I smiled, looked around for the cameras and then felt that she was being very genuine and true to her word. I instantly trusted her, felt true love by what she said as I opened my arms to hug her as much as she hugged me. She then reached into a zip lock baggie and pulled out a paper heart, which she had cut from white office paper, handed it to me and said “I love you, GOD loves you and he made all of us so that we could love one another.” “Here is a paper token of that love, please reach out and share that love with those you touch.” I promised her that I would, I told her that GOD loved her very much and then thanked her for the beautiful hug. Three seconds later my train pulled into the station and I was gone without even knowing her name.

That night I hugged my wife and each of my three boys telling them that I loved them and GOD loved them. Now I have opened my arms and have shared the story (and heart) with you, find a way to pass it on.

Another story of love that needs to be shared comes from my friends Bob Lundsten, the Chief of Staff of DeKalb Commissioner Elaine Boyer and Pattie Baker, known about town as Sustainable Pattie as it is her writing passion. This dynamic duo cultivated a community as well as a garden where both would flourish to provide over 2,000 lbs of food to the local food pantry. This week they have branched out a bit to feed the Children of the World know as the Fugees here in Clarkston, GA. I will allow them to tell the story, here, here, here, here, here, here, here here and here.

Finally, a story of hate wrapped in love. Three days ago, March 5th, 2012 a video was posted to YouTube calling out to tell the story of Joseph Kony. The initial goal of the video is to make Kony famous through social media like this blog and in just three days the video has been viewed over eleven million times and I am guessing this will not be the last time you hear of this story. Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a guerrilla group in Uganda that has forced more than 60,000 children to fight in a murderous armed conflict. The video targets 20 celebrities including Dunwoody’s own Ryan Seacrest and 12 influential policy makers including Georgia’s Newt Gingrich, who are being targeted to use their influential voices to keep the deployed U.S. military advisors in Uganda until Kony is arrested. The filmmaker’s goal is a story of love for a friend in order to stop the refuges that are being caused by this conflict and though I am not fully versed in the political background, pro or con of the cause; open your arms, I am sharing this story too.