Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Big Night for Dunwoody - Local Swim Meets

As I sat though a Dunwoody City Council Meeting on a rare Tuesday night, my friend Rick Callihan and a large contingent of the Dunwoody community attended one of the many local swim meets in the area.  The Callihan's are a big swimming family who take the subject very seriously, while besides cheering on my three run of the mill swimmers, my biggest joy of the season will probably be seeing my 6 year old Declan graduate from the "pre-team" by completely swimming across the pool during a competition where the goal is to not drown.  My son's main motivation in completing this feat is that he knows that once this happens, he will have earned the right to sport a mohawk like he has seen his brother's sporting earlier in life.

Rick wrote a nice article highlighting all of the Tuesday night swim meet results and if he gets enough positive feedback maybe he will cover the entire season.  Below is a taste of the full article, so please read the rest on his Dunwoody Talk Blog.
There are events during the year that stick with us, and last night was one of them. Thousands of people, all bonding behind a single issue, come together. Lots of time and money involved. Tough decisions to be made. People going on the record, people struggling to finish a job started. Parents and kids involved. And it's a race against not only the clock, but against friends and neighbors:

Welcome to Swim Season 2012. Who swims the IM? What kid will be in lane 3 of the first relay? How many hamburgers do we cook? Do we have fresh batteries in the stop watches? Where is the bullpen parent? Why did your kid go to the playground and miss his relay? Why is my swimmer in race 19 then not in the pool again until race 79?

Yes, it's time to dedicate the next few Tuesdays to the swim meet. Last night some local teams had their swim caps pulled over their eyes then received a royal dunking.
Continue to

Donaldson Farmhouse Opens to Public for “Preservation Celebration” on Sunday, June 3 from Noon to 4.

DUNWOODY, Ga. – For the first time in its 142 years, the Donaldson Bannister farmhouse at the corner of Vermack and Chamblee Dunwoody Roads will be open to the public.  On Sunday, June 3, the Dunwoody Preservation Trust (DPT) will open the gates to the familiar site for Preservation Celebration, a celebration and fundraising event for the historic home.

The event is hosted by the DPT and is made possible with a donation from City Council member Adrian Bonser, her husband Brian Bonser, and the Gendell Family Foundation, along with numerous other volunteers and sponsors. The first of two planned events, Preservation Celebration is meant to raise awareness and educate the community on the restoration needs for the house, now a City-owned park, in order for it to be fully enjoyed by the community. 

People of all ages are invited to visit the property for an afternoon of food vendors, guided tours of the grounds, and children’s activities and games reminiscent of the past. Some of the activities include corn hole, horseshoes, a petting farm, 3-legged-races and more.  The familiar band from the weekly Dunwoody Green Market, “Smokey and the Farmland Band”, will be providing entertainment.

For those with a sweet tooth, don’t miss the cake auction that will take place mid-afternoon. To register a cake for the auction, please call 678-641-1186. The person whose cake sells for the highest amount at the auction will win a spa certificate to Perimeter Spa Salon.  Raffle tickets will also be sold throughout the event and winners do not have to be present to win one of the many assorted prizes.

Admission to the event is free, as are most of the activities and games. All proceeds and donations from the event will go to the restoration of the Donaldson Bannister farmhouse and property.

Event hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. Parking will be available on the street and at Independence Square. A limited number of handicap spots will be available on the property. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs; no coolers nor pets are allowed.

For more information about the event, visit or call 678-244-9800. Volunteers are still needed and those interested can contact Cheryl at

Greater Perimeter Business Expo on June 1, 2012

Dunwoody and Sandy Springs Chambers of Commerce 
have come together to showcase Perimeter-area businesses.

Westin Atlanta Perimeter North Hotel 
7 Concourse Parkway, 
Sandy Springs, GA 30328 

Video of the May 29th Dunwoody City Council Meeting.

Award of Brook Run Park Trail Design-Build Contract. Passed

Award of Full Depth Reclamation Paving Contract-Multiple Streets. Passed

ACTION ITEM: Resolution - City Attorney Resignation.  Passed

ACTION ITEM: Resolution - City Attorney Termination. Mute - Resignation Accepted.

Public Hearing & Second Read: Ordinance to Grant Special Land Use Permit to Congregation Ariel,
Located at 5227 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody, Georgia 30338, Tax Parcel Number is 18 369 03
008. Passed with conditions for some parking to be installed first.

Award of 2012 Capital Paving Contract. Passed

Award of Mount Vernon and Chamblee Dunwoody Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements Contract. Passed Mt Vernon and deferred Chamblee Dunwoody for possible grant.

Award of Womack at Vermack Intersection Design Contract.  Passed

Award of Contract for Final Design-Tilly Mill at North Peachtree Intersection Improvements. Passed

Public Hearing & Second Read: Ordinance to Amend Chapter 27, Zoning, re: Planned Development DistrictPassed

Project Renaissance: Resolution Appointing Members to the Urban Redevelopment Agency. Passed

Project Renaissance: Resolution Authorizing John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods to Apply for RezoningPassed

Project Renaissance: Authorize and Direct the City Manager to Extend Closing on the 19 Acre Former Emory Dunwoody Hospital Site No Action

 Approval of Donaldson-Bannister House Community Awareness Special Event SignageRequest. Passed

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Monday I placed a flag to honor a forgotten soldier laid to rest in Dunwoody, GA.

 Grave of Pvt James F. Adams

Today I attended the Dunwoody Memorial Day Ceremony where I was given a small flag and afterward I placed that same flag at the forgotten grave of Pvt James F. Adams of the Confederate Army who is buried in a single marked grave among a stand of trees just a few feet away of Shallowford Road. 

A little research found the following information:

James F. Adams, was a Private in the 36th Regiment
Company F, GA Volunteer Infantry
Army of TN, CSA April 10, 1862
Captured at Vicksburg,MS July 4, 1863, and paroled there July 9, 1863.
He married Caroline G. Rainey December 21, 1867 in DeKalb Co., GA
They had eight children, five girls and three boys.
James passed away in 1882 succumbing to pneumonia and complications received in the war.
Several years later Caroline lost four of the children in the smallpox epidemic of 1885.

City of Dunwoody - Mission, Vision and Values

Mission Statement

The mission of the City of Dunwoody is to provide the highest quality of life for those who live, work or play in our community and to foster an environment where business can prosper. We will serve all stakeholders in a transparent manner with resourceful, efficient, progressive and professional leadership.


Dunwoody is a city located in metro Atlanta, in northern DeKalb County, Georgia. Dunwoody o officially incorporated as a city on December 1, 2008. The City of Dunwoody will provide quality service to its citizens and support the largest economic engine in the Southeast by planning in a careful and thoughtful manner. Th e City of Dunwoody will be inventive, transparent and embrace responsible progress, tempered by the city’s rich history and strong desire to maintain a close and vibrant community atmosphere that values family life and the entrepreneurial spirit. Th e City of Dunwoody will continue to support and nurture a community dedicated to the preservation of family, education, religious institutions, and the environment.


The goals of the City of Dunwoody and its governing body are to make Dunwoody a better community, built on mutual respect and trust, and to promote and maintain the highest standards of personal and professional conduct among all involved in City government – elected officials; City staff; volunteers; and members of the City’s boards, commissions and committees.

The proper operation of democratic government requires that decision-makers be independent, impartial, and accountable to the people they serve. The City of Dunwoody representatives intend to act pursuant to the ethics as delineated in the Charter in order to promote and maintain the highest standards of personal and professional conduct in the City's government. All elected and appointed officials, City employees, volunteers, and others who participate in the City's government will subscribe to those ethics, understand how it applies to their specific responsibilities, and practice its values in their work. Because we seek public confidence in the City's services and public trust of its decision-makers, our decisions and our work must meet the most demanding ethical standards and demonstrate the highest levels of achievement in following this code.

As the governing body of the City of Dunwoody, we represent as follows:

(1) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be ethical.
(a) We are trustworthy, acting with the utmost integrity and moral courage.
(b) We are truthful, do what we say we will do, and are dependable.
(c) We will make impartial decisions, free of bribes, unlawful gi fts, narrow political interests, and financial and other personal interests that impair the independence of our judgment and actions.
(d) We will be fair, distributing bene fits and burdens according to consistent and equitable criteria.
(e) We will extend equal opportunities and due process to all parties in matters under consideration. If we engage in unilateral meetings and discussions, we do so without making voting decisions.
(f ) We will show respect for persons, confidences, and information designated as "confidential."
(g) We will use our title(s) only when conducting offi cial City business, for information purposes, or as an indication of background and expertise, carefully considering whether we are exceeding or appearing to exceed our authority.

(2) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be professional.
(a) We will apply our collective knowledge and expertise to our assigned activities and to the interpersonal relationships that are part of our job in a consistent, con dent, competent, and productive manner.
(b) We will approach our job and work-related relationships with a positive attitude.
(c) We will keep our professional knowledge and skills current and growing.

(3) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be service-oriented.
(a) We will provide friendly, receptive, and courteous service to everyone.
(b) We will be attuned to, and care about, the needs and issues of citizens, public officials, and city workers.
(c) In our interactions with constituents, we will be interested, engaged, and responsive.

(4) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be fiscally responsible and transparent.
(a) We will make decisions a er prudent consideration of their financial impact, taking into account the long-term financial needs of the City, especially its financial stability which are transparent to the City residents and businesses.
(b) We will demonstrate concern for the proper use of City assets (e.g., personnel, time, property, equipment, funds) and follow established procedures.
(c) We will make good financial decisions that seek to preserve programs and services for City residents.

(5) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be organized.
(a) We will act in an e fficient manner, making decisions and recommendations based upon research and facts, taking into consideration short and long term goals.
(b) We will follow through in a responsible way, keeping others informed, and responding in a timely fashion.
(c) We will be respectful of established City processes and guidelines.

(6) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be communicative.
(a) We will convey the City's care for and commitment to its citizens.
(b) We will communicate in various ways that we are approachable, open-minded and willing to participate in dialogue.
(c) We will engage in effective communication, by listening carefully, asking questions, and determining an appropriate response which adds value to conversations.

(7) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be collaborative.
(a) We will act in a cooperative manner with groups and other individuals, working together in a spirit of tolerance and understanding.
(b) We will work towards consensus building and gain value from diverse opinions.
(c) We will accomplish the goals and responsibilities of our individual positions, while respecting our roles as members of a team.
(d) We will consider the broader regional and Statewide implications of the City's decisions and issues.

(8) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be progressive.
(a) We will exhibit a proactive, innovative approach to setting goals and conducting the City's business.
(b) We will display a style that maintains consistent standards, but is also sensitive to the need for compromise, "thinking outside the box," and improving existing paradigms when necessary.
(c) We will promote intelligent and thoughtful innovation in order to forward the City's policy agenda and City services.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dunwoody Memorial Day Ceremony - Monday 10 am at Brook Run Park

Date: May 28, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

The City of Dunwoody will host a Memorial Day ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 28th at Brook Run Park. We will gather as citizens to honor those who died in service to our country. In doing so, we join the 3rd Infantry soldiers who place American flags on 260,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery, scouts across the nation who place small American flags at many other cemeteries, and cities and towns who hold parades, ceremonies and vigils on this special day. It is a very special and solemn day as we honor those who gave their life during times of war in service to our country.

All citizens of Dunwoody are invited to attend this ceremony and help us honor those who gave their life in service to their country.

The African Experience Festival hosted in Brook Run Park on Sunday May 27th

On Sunday, May 27, 2012, TAFEX: The African Experience Festival will take place at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody.  Brook Run Park is located at 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody.

From 2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., you can shop the marketplace for fine art, jewelry, African wear, drums, food, & more. And there’ll be live performances by Kola Ogunkoya and SolStar; seminars, including a head-tie (gele) lesson during which you’ll learn how to tie-your-own head piece; and an African-themed fashion show.   Festival Website

Friday, May 25, 2012

Kingsley Charter Elementary School is named Top Safe Routes to School in Metro Atlanta

Kingsley Charter Elementary School began its partnership with the Georgia SRTS Resource Center in 2009.  Joining the Resource Center Partners was an easy decision as Kingsley Charter Elementary School already had a Safe Routes to School program in progress. One of the most outstanding features of the Kingsley Charter culture is Captain Kingsley, a superhero who encourages students to get involved in school activities and practice a healthy lifestyle. As a result, over 90% of Kingsley Charter students routinely walk to school. Their example has inspired other neighboring schools to join the movement and now they participate in walking and biking events as well.

I-285-Ashford Dunwoody Bridge to Close Friday June 1, Reopen to Crossover Traffic Monday June 4

Conditions permitting, the I-285-Ashford Dunwoody Interchange Bridge will close for Diverging Diamond Interchange construction beginning at 9 p.m. Friday, June 1 and will reopen at 5 a.m. Monday, June 4 for crossover traffic.

Only the bridge ramps will be open during the weekend bridge closure and traffic will be detoured through the I-285 Perimeter Center Parkway "flyover" bridge.

When the crossover opens, traffic on Ashford Dunwoody Road will cross from the right side of the roadway to the left side at a ramp intersection signal so vehicles may make free left turns onto the I-285 freeway on ramp.  Traffic will then cross back to the right side of the road at a second ramp intersection. A loop ramp used to access I-285 East from the interchange bridge that has been a major contributor to the congestion in the orridor will be removed.

Signage, lane striping and curbs will be in place to guide and safely separate opposing traffic as it moves through the interchange. Police officers also will be on duty at the interchange throughout the weekend and after the bridge reopens to assist motorists with the new configuration.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Tuesday, May 29th

Tuesday, May 29th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346

Recognition of Officer Aaron Belt for Earning his Bachelor of Science Criminal Justice Administration Degree from Columbia Southern University.

Recognition of Sergeant Michael Carlson for Earning his Master of Public Administration in Justice Administration from Columbus State University.

Proclamation - Intellectual Disability Awareness Month

Award of Brook Run Park Trail Design-Build Contract.

Award of Full Depth Reclamation Paving Contract-Multiple Streets.

ACTION ITEM: Resolution - City Attorney Termination.

Public Hearing & Second Read: Ordinance to Grant Special Land Use Permit to Congregation Ariel,
Located at 5227 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody, Georgia 30338, Tax Parcel Number is 18 369 03

Award of 2012 Capital Paving Contract.

Award of Mount Vernon and Chamblee Dunwoody Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements Contract.

Award of Womack at Vermack Intersection Design Contract.

Award of Contract for Final Design-Tilly Mill at North Peachtree Intersection Improvements.

Public Hearing & Second Read: Ordinance to Amend Chapter 27, Zoning, re: Planned Development District.

Project Renaissance: Resolution Appointing Members to the Urban Redevelopment Agency.

Project Renaissance: Resolution Authorizing John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods to Apply for Rezoning.

Project Renaissance: Discussion of the Development Agreement with John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods.

Project Renaissance: Authorize and Direct the City Manager to Extend Closing on the 19 Acre Former Emory Dunwoody Hospital Site.

Discussion of Donaldson-Bannister House Community Awareness Special Event SignageRequest.

Cancellation of June 25, 2012 Council Meeting and Scheduling of Special Called Council Meeting on June 26, 2012.

Media Statement of Dunwoody Councilwoman Dr. Adrian Bonser on the Investigative Report of Bob Wilson

May 24, 2012

I am writing this statement as my initial response to the “investigative” report commissioned by the City of Dunwoody and the events that led up to it.

I fundamentally disagree with the findings and believe the integrity of the investigation itself is highly questionable and, the expenditure of an estimated $50,000 of Dunwoody taxpayer monies on said report wasteful.

1. As to the report itself, I am troubled by the lack of transcripts, recordings and other source material so the Council and people of Dunwoody can make judgments based on actual evidence, rather than a subjective interpretation of selected “evidence”.

2. As noted in media sources, this investigation was sloppy at best and politically motivated at worst. A demonstration of that is on Page 13 of the report which states “there was nothing acrimonious or hostile about the meetings.” Yet later Mr. Wilson attempts to describe me as “angry” and “unhappy”. He can’t have it both ways.

3. As to polygraph tests, the investigators seemed to hone in on the City Attorney Brian Anderson and myself from the outset. We were the only two asked to submit to a polygraph examination. If this investigation were a search for truth, at least 10 people in the room should have been asked to submit to a polygraph test. I initially agreed to take the test, but Investigator Wilson himself suggested my health issues may make me a poor candidate for such testing (he implies I avoided the test in his report, which is untrue).

4. In the report, it states that I “admitted” only after being confronted, about discussing the meeting with fellow Councilman Nall. First, I had forgotten that Mr. Nall had called me until, Mr. Wilson reminded me of it. At the time Terry called, I was busy packing for a three week trip overseas early the next morning. Secondly, the implication in how this “evidence” is presented is that I broke Executive Session rules. That is not possible as Councilman Nall was in the meeting as well, and people in attendance at the meeting can obviously discuss it after the fact. So through innuendo, the report is impugning my integrity.

5. Fundamentally, under O.C.G.A. §§ 50-14-3 paragraph 4, discussions of the sale of a property are not eligible for the exclusion from open meetings. The report simply ignores the law on this point. The City of Dunwoody had the second piece of land involved in these discussions under contract. This fact had not only been made public, it had been advertised by the City during what eventually became a failed Parks Bond Referendum.

6. The e-mail I sent in response to two constituents’ questions is cited as another example the investigators believe I broke executive session. In the report, the date of the e-mail is omitted. I was responding to questions based on information that by that time (8 days later) were in the media and public domain.

7. The only “direct” implication that I broke executive session procedures is an “anonymous source” of DeKalb County employee Bob Lundsten. This gentleman has a history of opposition to myself and some positions I have taken on Council. An even-handed investigator would know this and discount such uncorroborated testimony. Further, the information he released on his blog from this “source” was, in most facets, incorrect. Another point not noted in the report.

8. According to the report, Nall and Lundsten spoke to each other about the executive session meeting. One would think such an admission from Mr. Nall would make his discussions suspect as well. However, the investigator delved no further.

9. The investigator makes reference to several interviews with me where my recollections “evolved”. We had two interviews. The first being one hour and the second being an hour and a half. In each, Mr. Wilson never asked the same questions, so there was no avenue for my story to evolve.

10. Finally, the outlines and characterizations of the meetings were taken from interviews. Mr. Wilson’s subjective judgment was used to essentially supplant the meeting minutes, which exist and, were seemingly ignored by the investigator, as they are never referenced in the report.

Given these facts, I believe it is obvious that the investigators did not approach this as a search for truth. Mr. Wilson and his associate had a specific agenda and set of targets. The language throughout the report illustrates this. They state as a “fact” that I was “not truthful” in my responses, with no evidence to support it. The only support of their contention is their opinion.

In a broader sense, I am concerned that the executive sessions and the issues surrounding the “PVC Farm” have taken us to this point. As we began our city in 2008, we managed to avoid “politics” and focused on getting things done and making Dunwoody an even better place to live.

As we have moved forward, many in Dunwoody are watching what we are doing and, are becoming disenchanted with how we are conducting City business. All of us on the Council are grown ups, each with different life experiences and skills. We should have been able to talk to one another and work this out without drama and $50,000 expense.

The investigation was needless and, used as a tool to try to discredit and defame my character. This investigation was no more than a nicely typed, biased regurgitation of essentially he said/she said ad hominem attacks.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many Dunwoody residents who have taken their time to call, write and email their support. It is truly heartening to know, that even under such circumstances, there are so many of you out there who support my efforts on the Council to continue to make Dunwoody an even better place for our people, businesses and families. I look forward to this unnecessary chapter in our city’s short life being put behind us and, the Mayor and Council working together to do the people’s business.

Dunwoody resident needs a little help and a related organization that could probably use some volunteers.

Serving on the Dunwoody City Council and writing this little blog has allowed me to meet so many people that I wouldn't have had the pleasure of meeting otherwise.  A Dunwoody resident by the name of Gail reached out to me a few years ago and after we walked her neighborhood I was able to assist her with a City service that she desperately needed.  Gail is a lovely lady who is highly educated, a witty conversationalist whom I have actually written about previously as she is truly inspiring.  Gail has a visual impairment that doesn't seem to slow her down but that being said, she is looking for a little help as she occasionally needs transportation assistance to her doctor's appointments. 

I am forwarding her request below in the hopes of finding a volunteer.
I’m a Dunwoody resident with a visual impairment and no longer drive. I’m looking for a driver or two to give me rides to doctor appointments, shopping, the bank, the library etc. I’d like someone retired with free time during weekdays. I prefer a nonsmoker as the smoke can activate my asthma. I would like a possible commitment of one day per week although not necessarily the same day each week. I am agreeable to being dropped off and picked up, or you’re welcome to come along and do your shopping as well. Most places I go are in the Dunwoody/Sandy Springs area, but I do have one doctor in Lilburn and sometimes visit friends in Lilburn. Occasionally I like to go to the DeKalb Farmer’s Market on E Ponce de Leon. I am willing to negotiate a fee with you (gas money, per mile or per hour). I am capable of using MARTA buses and trains but they don’t go to all the places I need and the circuitous route I must take often adds an additional hour and a lot of wait time. If you’re interested in this opportunity or know someone who might fit the bill, please contact me. Thank you!   
Gail   770-455-6734
Related to finding assistance for Gail, I remembered that the All Saints Knights of Columbus had members who actively volunteered for an organization called Icare - Volunteer Drivers for Seniors which assists in providing transportation to medical appointments.  After reading what this local organization is about, I see this as a great volunteer opportunity for those who are retired to assist those locally who could use a little help.  If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity please reach out to them and/or Gail, as I know she would be very thankful.

Dunwoody's Becky Springer is an insperational model for Aimee Copeland and all of us.

Thanks to Jennifer Leslie of 11Alive for doing this story.

DUNWOODY, Ga. -- A Dunwoody wife and mother wants the family of Aimee Copeland to see how she recovered from surgeries to amputate her hands and feet.

Becky Springer, 44, battled a different kind of bacterial infection than Copeland, but she faced a similar outcome.

"It's going to be a tough road ahead, but it's doable," Springer said. "It takes time and patience and love and support, of course."

Springer became very sick very suddenly just after Valentine's Day in 2008.

She was diagnosed with Haemophilus Influenzae Type B, known as Hib. Doctors still have no idea how she contracted the rare disease.

"I had to stay alive for my girls," Springer said. "They couldn't not have a mom."

At the hospital, Springer went into septic shock.

She was still unconscious when her hands and feet had to be amputated.

"From the moment I kind of woke up, I never got upset," Springer said. "And that's not like me. I would have absolutely freaked out."

As a former model who once traveled the world, she took special pride in her hands and feet.

But she understood the life-saving decision her husband and doctors made together.

"It's very difficult to talk about this situation without bringing God into it," she said. "He gave me the peace in my heart that I had and still have about the situation."

Today, she uses prosthetic legs but found prosthetic hands too difficult to maneuver.

Instead, she eats and brushes her hair and teeth with cuffs that she helped design.

She can work a computer and sign her name.

"I've got all kinds of tricks," Springer said. "I'm constantly looking forward. I try not to look back, and I'm always looking to improve."

She wants to find a way to help Copleand and her family. The University of West Georgia graduate student is suffering from necrotizing fasciitis caused by a bacterial strain called Aeromonas hydrophilalost.

In Copeland's case, she was conscious and helped make the decision to amputate her remaining foot and hands.

"That takes a lot of confidence and courage," Springer said. " She's young. She's strong. She can definitely bounce back. She's got a lot of years left in her. She can live a full life. I know she can."

Springer spent three months in ICU and went through 11 surgeries, including a kidney transplant last year.

She's married with three daughters: Ashley, 13, Mary Catherine, 11, and Gretchen, 6.

Springer describes her husband Paul as a saint.

"A lot of men would have tucked tail and run," she said. "My husband has not only stepped up to the plate, but he went above and beyond. I couldn't believe it."

Springer's husband does most of the cooking, but she handles the grocery-shopping.

"I've tried my hardest to learn and do the best I can," she said.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dunwoody Executive Session Leak Report Released - Councilwoman & City Attorney named.

Rebuttal to the findings?  That can be presented to the Dunwoody Board of Ethics but the final outcome of this report or further investigation by the Ethics Board has no bearing on the resolution presented by the Mayor last week to let the City Attorney go for a lack of confidence.

That resolution can be brought back up at any time.

Dunwoody High School attempts to quell rumors over Principal Swanson leaving and Asst Principal Tom Bass applying for position.

A Letter From Your DHS School Council
Dear Dunwoody High School Families,

There are so many rumors surrounding the replacement of DHS Principal Rodney
Swanson and the resignation of DHS Assistant Principal Tom Bass. The School Council would like to put some of these to rest.

Mr. Swanson did not ask for this re-assignment. We were notified Friday, May 18 that he will be the principal at Arabia Mountain High School. He is being moved as part of a large shuffle of principals by DCSS Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson. This is not done to "punish" Dunwoody -- our new superintendent does not work that way. There are many rumors about who will replace Mr. Swanson, however, NO decision has been made by Dr. Atkinson and candidates are still being considered.

Mr. Bass has resigned in order to take a position at a school closer to his home and family. This decision was made well before the principal shuffle was announced. In order to be a principal of a DeKalb County school, an assistant principal must have three years experience. That anniversary has just occurred. There are rumors that Mr. Bass was "passed over" two years ago. This is incorrect as he had only been an AP for one year at that time. He has submitted paperwork to be considered for the principal position at Dunwoody High School.

All the emails to Superintendent Atkinson and the community's preferred candidate have been noticed. Please continue to share your thoughts in a positive manner. If there are concerns or questions about rumors, please contact one of your DHS School Council representatives. We will be in communication with the County office as this process continues. As soon as we have more information, we will let you all know. 

Thank you,
Your DHS School Council

Caren Morrison -
Donna Nall -
Meg Firebaugh -
Debbie Emery -
Lisa Victory -
Brad Anchors (Business Liaison) -
Erik Vincent -
Adrienne Rowe - 

Georgia Open Meetings and Open Records Act of 2012 presentation by Stefan Ritter, Georgia's Senior Assistant Attorney General

The City of Dunwoody 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.

Above is the full presentation.

Update on the DeKalb County School System budget from Board Member Nancy Jester

Budget Update  
Last Wednesday, the Superintendent and CFO presented a summary of their proposed FY2013 budget to the Budget Committee.  Here are links to the documents that were presented: 

Budget Cover Letter
Budget Detail
Budget Summary

There will be two public budget hearings:
Tuesday, May 22nd at 6pm 
Wednesday, May 30th at 6pm

Administrative and Instructional Complex
1701 Stone Mountain Blvd.
Stone Mountain, GA 30083      

Please note that this proposal was drafted by staff for the Board and is a starting point for our budget discussions. For the past year, I have publicly inquired about, and expressed my frustration with, many line items that were significantly over budget.  Their consistent variances from the budget suggested that these items were not properly budgeted for years.  Still other discretionary items were also over-budget because of a lack of fiscal restraint.  These factors, along with a $15 million increase in benefit costs from the state, and falling property tax revenue have resulted in DCSD starting the budgeting process assuming a $73.8 million budget deficit.
The new Superintendent and CFO have also recognized the budget problems that I have pointed out consistently since before they arrived in DeKalb.  Their new budget has approached the fixed costs realistically.  The Superintendent has reorganized the central office and eliminated many positions there.  (I await her final tally regarding the number of positions.  When I have these numbers, I will share them with you.)  In my opinion we need to make even further cuts to the central office.  We will need to take a hard look at all of our services and programs.  We also need to usher in a culture of fiscal restraint.  I have shared my thoughts about this publicly at meetings and privately with the new leadership team.  While it is true that DeKalb's millage rate has not been raised in 8 years, it is also the highest in the metro area.  ( Click here for a listing of millage rates from around the state.) Sadly the opportunity to build greater reserves when the property tax base was expanding was not taken.

On Thursday, May 17th, the Superintendent and COO provided an overview of their planning for the upcoming SPLOST IV program.  Below are links to the documents that were presented to the Board.

SPLOST IV OverviewPresentation
SPLOST IV Schedule       

New tab on my website
I've added a new tab on my website called "What's Up With That?".  It's an interactive blog where I'll put up common questions that I receive along with my answers.  You can also leave your comments.  If you have something that you think might be a good topic for the blog, please drop me a line at:  

Dunwoody Green Market to stay at Village Post Office until at least July 11th

The Dunwoody Green Market announced that they have received an extension to stay at the Dunwoody Village, Post Office location until July 11th.  The extension will allow them more time to locate available space in the immediate area.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Common Cause Georgia panel discussion on ethics, hosted by Jim Walls, brings both Tea Party and Occupy leaders to the table.

It is an undisputed fact that Jim Walls is the most trusted name in Atlanta news and I have deepest respect for him and the job he does on his Atlanta Unfiltered website. Investigative & watchdog journalism is his specialty and he may be the ultimate expert on legislative ethics in Georgia.

It is my distinct pleasure to invite you to a panel discussion being organized by Common Cause Georgia where Mr. Walls will be discussing the findings of the Corruption Risk Report Card (shown above) along with his detailed analysis with other panel members who are usually on polar opposites of the political spectrum, leaders of the Tea Party and Occupy movements. 

Please join me on Tuesday, May 22nd at 7 P.M.

Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church
Fellowship Hall
Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Reception starts at 6:30 pm and discussion starts at 7:15pm.

Here’s the list of sponsors and speakers:
Jim Walls of Atlanta Unfiltered
Robert Feria of Occupy Atlanta
Either Debbie Dooley of the Tea Party Patriots or Julianne Thompson from the Atlanta Tea Party

*Jack Abramoff, notorious lobbyist turned ethics crusader can not be in attendance but supports the event.

Georgia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange will open June 4 at Ashford Dunwoody Road, test drive Saturday

May 19, 2012

Georgia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange will open June 4, weather permitting, at I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody Road and the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts want to be sure motorists are prepared to drive on the wrong side of the road.

The PCIDs are offering the public a test drive Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Perimeter Mall parking lot at the corner of Ashford Dunwoody Road and Perimeter Center West.

“In a DDI, the flow of traffic is shifted to the opposite side of the road to reduce points of traffic conflict,” said PCIDs President and CEO Yvonne Williams.  “We have created the slogan ‘Arrive, Crossover, Drive’ for the movements that will be required to drive through the interchange.  This is a low cost, cutting edge design for improving traffic flow and safety.”

Golf carts will be used Saturday on a simulated track to provide a “windshield level” experience of the new DDI interchange.  A current driver’s license is required to participate in the test drive.  “Can You DDI?” tee-shirts will be provided to the first 100 participants and there will be refreshments and music.

The DDI design was originally used in France and spread to the U.S. in 2009 when the first such interchange was built in Springfield, Mo.  The PCIDs initiated the Dunwoody project when they hired Moreland Altobelli Associates to find an interim solution for the busy I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody Interchange – a gateway to Central Perimeter, Metro Atlanta’s dominant office market and one of the region’s largest employment centers. 

The PCIDs then received funding from DeKalb County and the State Road and Tollway Authority for engineering and project design.  The Georgia Department of Transportation is funding the $4.6 million construction cost.

“We’re expecting that under normal, free-flowing traffic conditions on surrounding highways, the I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody DDI will reduce traffic delays in evening rush hours up to 20 percent,” Williams said.  “There are significant safety improvements also with DDIs,” Williams noted. 

To view a simulation of the I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody Interchange DDI, visit

Free Movie tonight at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody

You are invited to join in on a great FREE FAMILY EVENT as the City of Dunwoody presents the animated action film “THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN” (PG). It’s a free outdoor movie held at Brook Run Park on Friday May 18th brought to you by the City of Dunwoody and the Dunwoody Parks & Recreation Department.

Bring the entire family for this wonderful action adventure journey as Tintin, a young reporter and his faithful dog, Snowy, set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Captain Haddock's ancestor. Based on the classic comics by Hergé, TINTIN is sure to be an entertaining evening of fun.

Friday May 18th
Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m.
Movie begins at dusk.
Brook Run Park
4770 North Peachtree Road
Dunwoody, GA 30346
Click below for review and trailer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Click it or Ticket in Dunwoody

Dunwoody, GA. – Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts – beware. The 2012 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization kicks off May 21 to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up.

The Dunwoody Police Department is joining with other state and local law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates across the country to help save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws around the clock.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010 nationally, 61 percent of the 10,647 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes overnight (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, compared to 42 percent during the daytime hours.

“In my 30 year law enforcement career, I can’t begin to count the number of lives I have seen saved by a seat belt and the number of lives lost by failing to use one. Please use your seat belt at all times. Your life truly depends on it”, said Chief Billy Grogan.

Seat belt use saves thousands of lives across America each year and the Dunwoody Police Department is helping to spread the word. NHTSA statistics show that in 2010 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,546 lives nationwide.

Yet, too many motorists may need a tough reminder. In 2010, 22,187 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA, and 51 percent of them were NOT wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes.

Younger motorists and men are particularly at risk. NHTSA data shows that among teen and young adult passenger vehicle occupants in 2010, ages 18-34, who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, 62 percent were not buckled up at the time of the crash – the highest percentage of any age group. The number jumps to 66 percent when just men in this age group are included.

While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 21 through June 3, motorists should know that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.

For more on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit

Fine Beer Connoisseurs are looking forward to welcoming Moondog Growlers to Dunwoody.

Moondag Growlers - Dunwoody
5060 Nandina Ln
Dunwoody, GA 30338

June 3rd - Community Pool Day at the JCC

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) is pleased to welcome the entire community to its second annual Flip Flop Day at the J, on June 3 from 11:00 AM-2:00 PM. The event will be held at the MJCCA (5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody). Open and free of charge to everyone.  For information, call Membership and Customer Service office at 678-812-4060.

Flip Flop Day Highlights Include:
  • Music
  • Outdoor Pools
  • Splash Park
  • Inflatable Bounce House
  • Lunch available for purchase from Goodfriend’s Grill
  • Giveaways & Prizes
  • And much more!

News items from the various blogs around Dunwoody

The Dunwoody Nature Center has announced this seasons concert line up with the first one happening this Saturday.

Dunwoody Mom at Dunwoody School Daze tells us Mr. Rodney Swanson the Principal at Dunwoody High School is leaving and that we will have a 3rd Principal in 5 years.  Her twitter feed told me that there are now court dates stemming from DeKalb School Construction issues and the possible corruption of it's top leadership.

Bob Fiscella's Dunwoody USA blog tells us that the Arby's in the Williamburg Shopping Center (next to the McDonalds) at Mt. Vernon & Jett Ferry is closing and as it already has a drive thru is speculating that would make a good location for Chick-fil-A.

Dunwoody Working Girl reminds us that the new Brusters Ice Cream shop is open in Dunwoody Village and  Dunwoody Talk shows a press release that Marlow's Tavern will be opening July 31st also in Dunwoody Village.

Dunwoody Community Garden is still in the running to plan an orchard in Brook Run Park.

If you are ever looking for a nanny, job announcements, a local recommendation for just about anything or general topical information, I highly recommend that you subscribe to Audra Anders, The Aha Connection.

Besides the local blogs, our community is blessed to have the Crier, the Reporter, the Neighbor and the Patch all of whom are news sites to keep us informed and have advertisers from the community who need our support.

Animal Shelter Fund Raiser: Sunday 5 PM @ Stars and Strikes

Commissioner Boyer is co-hosting a fundraiser with Commissioner Watson & Commissioner Barnes Sutton this Sunday, 5/20 at 5:00 PM at Stars & Strikes in Stone Mountain. The fundraiser will raise money for spaying & neutering the pets of DeKalb residents that are not in a financial situation to do so, this in turn will reduce the large number of puppies & kittens being dumped at our DeKalb Animal Services every day. The spay/neuter program will be run through LifeLine Animal Project, a 501(c)3, our partner on this project. This is a fun family-oriented event, so bring the kids out & enjoy bowling, laser tag, video games, etc. with the Commissioners! Hope to see you there. To purchase tickets:

Stars and Strikes:

It is not that far of a drive from Dunwoody, Chamblee, or Doraville.  All the animals, regardless of whether they are in Cities or DeKalb, will benefit from your generous donations or attendance.  In addition you can let your kids beat you in bowling.

See you on Sunday

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Future Dunwoody City Councilwoman Amelia touts Chesnut Charter Elementrary School

Miss. Amelia is about to graduate Kindergarten at Chesnut and if you watch the speech she wrote and read; chances are that you will agree with me that she is completely ready to serve on the Dunwoody City Council.

Amelia the Chesnut Community is as proud of you as I am of the Chesnut Community.  Congratulations!!

Dunwoody City Attorney under fire

Dunwoody City Council defers vote to terminate city attorney - Dunwoody Reporter
Earlier this year, Davis hired an investigator to look into the source of information about property sales being leaked from executive sessions. The council has heard the results, but has yet to read the report, he said.

“Because we have not received the report yet, we as a group decided to defer (the vote) until we could review it,” Davis said after the meeting.

Video of the May 14th Dunwoody City Council Meeting.

City Council Meeting recap, had a great time with a young lady named Amelia who helped me with some council duties then Council decided to defer the vote on termination of City Attorney.  Urban redevelopment meeting was also defered as was the confiscated property item.  We then discussed impact fees, Congregation Ariel, Planned Development District, E911 funds, Brook Run Trails, paving, rod projects and Project Renaissance.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Updated Dunwoody Agenda and other City Meetings

On Friday at 5 pm, Mayor Mike Davis added a matter of new business to the Monday Night 7 pm Dunwoody City Council Meeting agenda.   The City Clerk notified Council of the change and posted it to the city web site.  Because I would have posted any update to the agenda, I am posting this item as well, but it brings me no joy in order to do so.  Do me a favor, please don't jump to conclusions on this.

ACTION ITEM: Resolution - City Attorney Termination. (Mayor Davis)

There will be an executive session of the Council meeting at 6 pm which only allows us to discuss legal, real estate, and personnel discussions behind closed doors. All votes have to take place in the open, meaning the 7 pm meeting.

Also updated on the city website, it shows that the Council will be visiting a John Wieland development on Monday afternoon followed by an Audit Committee  Meeting and then Council will be attending a training session on Wednesday on the new Open Records / Open Meetings law that was just passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor. 

Dunwoody Pic in the Park - Brook Run - Friday May 18th

You are invited to join in on a great FREE FAMILY EVENT as the City of Dunwoody presents the animated action film “THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN” (PG). It’s a free outdoor movie held at Brook Run Park on Friday May 18th brought to you by the City of Dunwoody and the Dunwoody Parks & Recreation Department.

Bring the entire family for this wonderful action adventure journey as Tintin, a young reporter and his faithful dog, Snowy, set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Captain Haddock's ancestor. Based on the classic comics by Hergé, TINTIN is sure to be an entertaining evening of fun.

Friday May 18th
Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m.
Movie begins at dusk.

Brook Run Park
4770 North Peachtree Road
Dunwoody, GA 30346

Click below for review and trailer.

Brook Run Playground Closed on Monday & Tuesday for Repairs.

Brook Run Playground Receives Safety Advancements and Repairs on May 14 & 15

The City of Dunwoody will temporarily close the Children’s Adventure Garden playground at Brook Run Park from Monday May 14 to Tuesday May 15, 2012 to perform minor safety and facility repairs to the playground’s rubber play surface. The Children’s Adventure Garden will reopen on Wednesday May 16th at 7:00 a.m. and resume its normal hours of operation, Monday to Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to sunset.

The repairs are concentrated in and around the bases of the new shade structures and will provide a safe seal between the support structures and the rubber play surface. The maintenance is performed at this time to ensure the playground facility is operational in anticipation of increased summer use and traffic which coincides with the end of school year for many area students.

For additional information on this City park project please contact Brent Walker, Parks and Recreation Manager, at 678-382-6700 or by e-mail at

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dunwoody City Council agenda for Mon May 14th

Monday, May 14th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346

Proclamation - Chesnut Charter Elementary School

Proclamation - "Click It or Ticket".

Financial Report for the Year Through March 31, 2012.

ACTION ITEM: Resolution Activating the Urban Redevelopment Agency and Appointing Members.

Discussion to Declare Certain Confiscated and Unclaimed Property as Surplus Supplies.

Discussion of Impact Fees.

FIRST READ: Ordinance to Grant Special Land Use Permit to Congregation Ariel, Located at
5227 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody, Georgia 30338, Tax Parcel Number is 18 369 03 008.

FIRST READ: Ordinance to Amend Chapter 27, Zoning re: Planned Development Zone District.

Discussion of E911 Fund.

Discussion of Brook Run Park Trail Design-Build Contract.

Discussion of Womack at Vermack Intersection Design Contract.

Discussion of Three Paving Contracts Including Mount Vernon and Chamblee Dunwoody Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements

Discussion of Contract for Final Design-Tilly Mill at North Peachtree Intersection Improvements.

Project Renaissance: FIRST READ: Ordinance to Transfer Property.