Friday, July 13, 2012

City of Dunwoody, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Clint Eastwood Autographed Baseballs
Being sold by Dunwoody PD for Charity

Peachtree Charter Middle School is looking for corporate and family sponsors now for the CV Classic 5K run which will take place on Saturday October 20th.  The funds are designated to replace the track therefore if you know of someone interested in sponsoring please help spread the word.  Corporate Sponsor, Family Sponsor and Race Registration Forms are available and need to be turned in soon.

Movie on the Lawn – We Bought a Zoo on Wed July 25th at Dunwoody Baptist (great family movie!)

DeKalb school board approves higher tax rate - AJC from a week ago.
DeKalb County Schools face even deeper cuts, teacher layoffs - CBSAtlanta - Video

Council infighting embarrasses Dunwoody residents who expected better - AJC
Councilman John Heneghan, speaking at a June 26 City Council meeting, said he wants the whole matter put behind him.  "I'm disheartened with the money wasted on this process," he said, "and even more disappointed that this subject has distracted this city government from actually doing the people's work."
I have been quiet on the blog regarding the Ethics issue but received several emails from people that were very surprised to learn that I too was accused of an ethics violation.  As this is now front page news, including the AJC; I need to acknowledge on the blog that this is going on. An ethics counter charge against myself, the Mayor and other Council Members was filed by Councilwoman Adrian Bonser and then was publicized widely by her and is posted on her website.

Because of the charge against me, I need to reply to the ethics charges within 30 days - my reply will clearly state that the compliant filed against me quotes no violation of any section of Article VIII Ethics in the Dunwoody Code as it is required in section 2-258(a) of Dunwoody Code, instead the complaint states that I violated Georgia State law.  Complaints 1 & 2 against myself and the others should be immediately dropped in Dunwoody as it the wrong jurisdiction and raised instead with the State Attorney General by filing a petition in superior court.  Once that is done and formal discovery is had, I am guessing that the Attorney General will decide that that when a single real estate transaction is both buying and selling simultaneously whereby the transactions could not be divided that this transaction is allowed to be discussed behind closed doors.  Also if a City Attorney is in the room and he already verified those circumstances, then should the people in the room for those supposed violations be held individually liable or would the city be liable as a whole as the individuals might have been acting within the scope of their duties acting upon advice of a trained professional?  By a coincidence, I was also not in attendance at the Feb 3rd meeting therefore it is just another reason that complaint number 1 against me, should be dropped.

This matter needs to come to a close and if I could find a way to settle this, I surely would.  Our ethics code was written very restrictively and placing the responsibility of reporting supposed ethics violations on the elected officials, otherwise we would be in violation for not reporting.  It was because of this requirement that I, and am guessing the other members of council, signed the complaint so that the ethics board could review the Wilson Report and air it out because it was the only legally appropriate method available to have that done.

As I have said previously, this whole process is a waste of time, energy and money whereby even if I or someone else was found guilty as charged, I am guessing the penalty for this would likely be a slap on the wrist admonishment or a very small penalty ($500) if levied by the State.  That being said, there is a legal process in place and everyone has the right to use it (even is flawed).  In the mean time, we pay through the nose for "justice".

Look for changes to be proposed to the ethics ordinance in the near future.

Thoughts on this design, please tell us.

City staff just released the proposed signs for branding the City and I haven't heard one positive comment yet, therefore I am putting the documents out there, along with the official email address to provide the comments on how we should go forward.  Please let us know, both positive and negative comments are welcome.  Thanks.

"A successful Wayfinding system is also fueled by citizen involvement. Join with the City to help create a signage plan which assists in telling our story to visitors, new residents, friends and family. Be a part of guiding their experience into and through our dynamic City. Follow this link to artist renderings and images within the current proposed sign family. Please provide us with your constructive thoughts and opinions by sending an email to"

City signage plan gets cold response  - Dunwoody Reporter


skigator93 said...

I think the logo too closely resembles that of Wal-Mart. Is that how we want to portray ourselves?

Bob Lundsten said...

A terrible city of Dunwoody logo was the basis for this terrible sign campaign.
We look like something from 1990 Walmart Convention.
Talk about throwing good money after bad.

Back I say, back t the drawing board.
Follow Pattie's advice"

"Big city appeal, small town feel" as found in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Think sophisticated charm.

Anonymous said...

I am hopeful that keeping Dr. Bonser's official ethics charge 'Response' confidential signals a serious attempt toward resolution without further ado.

Sometimes we find ourselves in a place where there is no 'easy out.'

Dunwoody citizens recognize ALL the hard work and truly important decisions made by our part-time Councilors. I believe there is ample room for everyone to resolve this matter so we can move forward.

Speaking of forward, John, please explain the 'lit' crosswalk you are proposing for Tilly Mill. I rarely see anyone trying to cross Till Mill at that point, and I drive there at least twice per day.

Kerry de Vallette said...

John, with all due respect, while I share your concern about the cost, and agree that it would be nice to have those dollars to spend elsewhere, I strongly disagree that this is "a total waste of time and money". It is the cost of transparency in government.

No one could have foreseen the events that have unfolded over the last 4 months and predicted the City would be where it is today with this issue. The fact is we have now learned that the the Board of Ethics lacks proper procedural doctrine to proceed with such cases, along with ordinances that force the process from that of a true "board review" to that of an almost full blown trial. I'm sure this Council will make it a priority to address this and we will learn from this, and be a stronger community as a result.

You and your peers on Council have absolutely done the right thing by pursuing this path, as unsightly as it looks and feels. Know that there are many citizens that understand the absolute necessity for Executive Sessions, that these are not "secret meetings", that you and your peers are acting in the most prudent manner possible in fulfilling your obligation, duty, and responsibility to the citizens of the City!

Like it or not, Council was suffering from a perceived "look the other way" reputation. I think this Council has answered the bell this time.

As you and I have discussed, there have been many opportunities for this issue to have been resolved in a timelier and honorable manner, beginning with the opportunity to walk out of the Feb. 3rd session if there was a concern that the meeting was illegal.

I urge you and all our elected officials to remain true to your oath of office. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.”

Kerry de Vallette said...

Regarding the City's a Nogo.

Just Sayin'.....

Bob Lundsten said...

not releasing Bonser;s response is a terrible idea.
The response is not part of any investigation and not subject to the open records exception
It is a public document required by our code.
Since when is a response, an investigation
Max I think you hope is is going to result in exactly the opposite. If she is innocent she should insist her response to the charges be made public.
Her lawyer's faux response was written as part of a spin campaign. Her responses on TV was part of a spin campaign.
Her posts to different Blogs were part of a spin campaign.
Now when the official response is in the one she was telling everyone was coming. it is NOT to be released?
This is far from an easy out.

Bob Turner said...

The councilwoman has taken far too much unfair criticism for defending herself publicly, but she MUST defend her honor against this libel in a public forum. Libel is the only weapon by which honor can be attacked from without; and the only way to repel the attack is to refute the libel with the proper amount of publicity, and a due unmasking of him or her who writes the libel or utters the slander.

The unnamed source, if there truly ever was a "source", MUST be revealed as well as a disclosure of the true motives of the good councilwoman's persecutors!