Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Communications Coordinator wanted - Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau seeks to hire a Part-Time Communications Coordinator.  We are looking for someone who wants to join ranks in a high-energy, emerging destination marketing organization for a fast-growing city and sub-market located just above Atlanta.  The ideal candidate will be creative in thinking, talented with words, filled with expression, and ready to crank out content that is above and beyond the rest of the Web.

Job Functions:
  • Assist the Marketing Director to effectively execute the annual Marketing Plan.
  • Compose, edit and keep current all CVBD website page content while maintaining a tone that reinforces the brand positioning of Dunwoody.
  • Research and write narrative copy, articles, monthly e-newsletter content, blog content and other editorial features that showcase the unique aspects of Dunwoody.
  • Oversee writing, editing and proofing of all CVBD print materials and marketing collateral and coordinates approval and signoff of all materials prior to print and publication.
  • Assist the Office Administrator with editing and writing venue listings and descriptions for Dunwoody accommodations, restaurants, retailers, attractions and events on the CVBD website.
  • Manage the monthly content calendar to be used across all marketing platforms.
  • Maintain the CVBD library of images, online publicity coverage archives, online press release page, partnership websites (Explore Georgia, Trip Advisor), and other tools required by the CVBD staff.
  • Other duties as assigned including special projects, marketing and general support to the Marketing Director.
  • Bachelor’s degree in business, communications, hospitality & tourism or related field of study.
  • A minimum of two years of writing experience or online publishing is desired (preferably with some Web and travel writing experience).
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs, Internet browsing software, familiarity with blogs and RSS platforms as well as accessing and editing profiles on social network websites.
  • Exceptional writing skills, including the ability to write in a specific voice and style.
  • The ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously and effectively juggle diverse writing demands.
  • Proven aptitude for quick creative thinking with acute attention to detail with demanding deadlines.
  • Self-starter with strong organizational skills.
This position is part-time and is not eligible for medical insurance or other benefits. The schedule will be set at 20 hours per week Monday – Friday. This position will begin February 1, 2016.

Send resume, cover letter, and three writing samples to KatieB@CVBDunwoody.com.

City of Dunwoody is installing sidewalks on Peachford this week.

FYI great progress has been made on the Brook Run Trail extension from the back of the park towards Shallowford.  I am really proud of the trail and the way it ties communities together - let's keep it going.    Where should the next trail be built within the City Limits?   Suggestions encouraged.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Local Father / Daughter dances in Chamblee & at Georgia Aquarium coming in January & February.

As the Father of three boys, this is one (of many) experiences that I miss out on.   If I had a daughter, I would be doing things like this because hey, Prom Night shouldn't be her first dance.

  • 2016 Date: Friday, February 5th
  • Time: 7PM- 9PM
  • Chamblee Civic Center - 3540 Broad Street


You are invited to the 11th annual My Princess Dance on January 23rd in Atlanta, GA!
Join us this year for the best My Princess Dance yet, hosted at the Georgia Aquarium! This year will be a magical Night Under the Sea! The My Princess Dance will take place in the Oceans Ballroom beginning at 6:30 PM. Dessert and refreshments will be provided.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Dunwoody Spruill Gallery offers 20% off Unique Gifts at Wednesday's Holiday Market


Last Minute Shoppers SALE: 

Wednesday, December 23
Take 20% off your entire purchase during the final shopping day of the market!

gallery logo
4681 Ashford Dunwoody Rd
Atlanta, GA 30338

North Peachtree Road is now Open

The City of Dunwoody has announced that the work on the culvert replacement project was completed ahead of schedule and the section of North Peachtree Road is once again open to vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Work at the project site will continue as crews coordinate additional project activities, site clean-up and restoration. This critical infrastructure upgrade project helps to address stormwater overflows on this portion of North Peachtree Road during significant rain events.  Crews have installed a larger and stronger culvert, and replaced the failed 6 foot corrugated metal culvert with a new 9 foot by 4 foot reinforced concrete box culvert.

Please be alert and use caution when driving or walking through the area as construction activities continue.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday evening fire displaced 10 Dunwoody families and donations are being accepted by I Care Atlanta

At 5:56pm Sunday evening, the Dunwoody Police Department and DeKalb Fire Department responded to a fire at the Dunwoody Crossing / Dunwoody Village apartment complex off North Peachtree Road near I-285. When emergency personnel arrived, the building was fully engulfed. All residents were able to vacate the building and no major injuries were reported. The DeKalb Fire Department did an excellent job in containing and extinguishing the fire. The Red Cross and I Care Atlanta were contacted to provide services for the approximately 10 displaced families.

If you would like to make a donation to help the displaced families, you may contact I Care Atlanta at 678-615-3341.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Note from Dunwoody Mayor Elect Denny Shortal - Town Hall Jan 21

Good evening my fellow citizens. The following are some updates and items of interest …

1. Thanks … My sincere thanks to each of you for your support and encouragement through my campaign and election process that started on June 8, 2015. You were a major source of my strength! The welcome I received while walking through your neighborhoods reinforced something I already knew … Dunwoody is full of great citizens. Again THANKS!

 2. Swearing-In Ceremony … My swearing-in ceremony will take place at city hall on January 4, 2016 at 6 PM. It will be the only item on the agenda that night so the meeting will be very short. Everyone is invited and I hope to see all of you there. Maybe we can go somewhere for a “beverage” after the ceremony.  (Correction - Council members Deutsch, Nall, & Heneghan will also be sworn in at this meeting and we all need to swear and confirm that we are not members of the Communist Party.)

3. Town Hall Meeting … My first Town Hall Meeting (THM) will take place on January 21, 2016 from 6 PM to 8 PM at the Social Hall at All Saints Catholic Church. In addition to the meeting I intend to conduct a short survey. Going forward my THMs will take place periodically at various locations throughout the city. Specific locations will depend on our ability to secure meeting space.

 4. North Peachtree Rd and Delverton Dr Storm Sewer Project … I visited both of these projects yesterday with our city storm sewer expert, David Elliott. The N. Peachtree Rd project is one of the largest storm sewer projects we have had since becoming a city. Good progress has been made on this project to date and the weather will be a big factor in completion …so, pray for dry weather. The Delverton Dr project is also moving forward, but because the road has remained open, traffic flow is normal. Request you please drive carefully and slowly in the these construction areas and also respect the property of the neighbors.

5. Paving … Due to the delays with replacing the water pipes on Mt Vernon Rd the good weather for paving has passed. Thus the decision to pave Mt Vernon Rd has been rescheduled to early 2016. As one who has worked on a paving crew I fully agree with this decision. The weather that we have now is well below optimum conditions for paving. Paving in these conditions affects the quality and durability of the paving job. As most of you know, hot and dry conditions are optimum for paving. On another note, the DeKalb County (DC) Commissioners have approved the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Dunwoody for installation of the water line on Chamblee Dunwoody Rd from Womack Rd to Roberts Dr. This IGA is structured like the Mt Vernon Rd Project. The project is bid as one contract with DC responsible for supervision and payment of the water line replacement and Dunwoody responsible for supervision and payment of paving, sidewalk, etc. This Chamblee Dunwoody project is slated to start in early 2016.

6. Christmas for Kids … Again this year our Dunwoody Police Department (DPD) continues its great work of collecting toys and non-perishable food items to bring to those in need this holiday season. The DPD will continue to collect these items through Christmas Day. They need new unwrapped toys and gifts for ages newborn through 15. You can drop these items off 24/7 at the Dunwoody Police Headquarters located at Dunwoody City Hall. I encourage you to share you blessings by supporting this most worthy cause.

7. Donation Dine-In … All day on December 21, Marlows Tavern will donate a percentage of your food and drink bill to our own Stage Door Players. Stop in and get a good meal and a beverage and you will be supporting the Performing Arts in our city at the same time.

8. Communications … It is important that all of us stay informed on what is happening in our city. I ask you to attend as many of our various meetings as possible, check our website (dunwoodyga.gov) frequently, and sign up for Dunwoody E-News. Dunwoody E-News, which now has approx. 13,000 subscribers, is a brief email sent out weekly by the city and is full of information of upcoming events, etc. Sign up is easy … just go to this website … https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/DUNWOODYGA/subscribers/new?topic_id=DUNWOODYGA_1 

9. That is all for tonight. Meredy and I send our greetings for a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah or whatever you celebrate this special season of the year. We also send our best wishes to each of you for a New Year filled with good health, continued success and most importantly …Happiness. In the New Year let each of us work to create an atmosphere of mutual respect that we all desire!

 Let Us Continue To Build Our City Together!

Denny Shortal
Dunwoody Mayor-Elect
C 678-246-9006

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The long forgotten videos of Dunwoody High School





Dunwoody's All Saints Catholic Church is hosting monthly Bingo this Thursday evening, offering generous prizes and great food.

This Thursday!

All Saints Catholic Church
2443 Mount Vernon Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338

BINGO is open to the entire community on Thursday December 17th. in the All Saints Social Hall. Doors open at 6:30 pm, games start at 7:30 pm with attendance averaging over 150 participants the cash prizes are usually close to the $1,000 mark, so it is recommended that you get there a little early in order to get a good seat.

The food the Knights of Columbus prepare is always homemade, complimentary, and very delicious.  I am told that the specialty of the kitchen is Nona’s Famous Italian Sausage sandwiches with Peppers & Onions.

They will also have 3 giveaway prizes on Thursday worth at least $25 each, and this month one of those giveaways will be a one night weekend stay at the Perimeter Marriott, along with breakfast for two, worth well over $150 !   At upcoming bingos you can expect to see: more Season's 52 gift cards, P.F. Chang gift cards, Brio's, Flemings Steak house, Taco Mac, and Dantanna's gift cards too, plus other fine restaurants in the area. More golf packages for four, massage therapy gift cards, compliments of Massage Heights in Sandy Springs, CineBistro movie theatre tickets in Brookhaven, and much, much more!

The Knights of Columbus are committed to provide a fun filled evening of BINGO, and the cost is still only $15 per player. This entitles you to 90 chances to win large CASH bingo prizes, of course the COMPLIMENTARY food with desserts, an our optional 50/50 cash drawing.

All money raised benefits All Saints Knights of Columbus Charities

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

City of Dunwoody will be upgrading Tilly Mill from N Peachtree to Womack with Sidewalks, Bike Lanes and Paving.


The Dunwoody City Council directed staff to return to the drawing table to prepare final design options putting sidewalks on both sides of Tilly Mill Road, retention of the middle turn lane as requested by the residents who live on Tilly Mill, and reduced lane widths in order to allow bike lanes along this route to be squeezed in.  

As a Complete Street community the Dunwoody city council attempts to correct all infrastructure needs be it roads, sidewalks, crosswalks and bike lanes when a major infrastructure component is being installed because attempting to retrofit these items after the fact is either impossible or unfeasible.

December 14 proposals & May 26 proposals are linked with final design coming soon.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dunwoody - Could a series of Neighborhood Traffic Circles in the intersections help slow North Peachtree Road?

Could a series of small neighborhood traffic circles on North Peachtree (at Sandell Drive, Saffron Drive & North Peachtree Way) slow the speeding problem along this down hill route?

Neighborhood traffic circles are circular islands, typically found at the intersection of two residential streets, used to reduce vehicular speeds through the intersection. Traffic circles are not intended to be a stop control device and are different from roundabouts. Traffic circles should be considered at residential intersections that are wide enough for vehicles to travel in a circular direction and where speeding is a persistent problem.  The center of a traffic circle can be used for landscaping or other uses, as long as it does not limit vehicular sight distance.

If this is a viable solution after an engineering study and reviewing the affects on Emergency Services, the current traffic calming policy requires a 65% approval rating from the "affected" residents all of whom would need to pay an additional fee / tax of $25.00.   If speed data and traffic studies show that traffic calming is needed, shouldn't the city be willing to install these devices for the greater good of all?   Today that is not the case.

Tonight (Monday) the City Council will be reviewing the City's traffic calming policy at my request whereby we have only had one successful application out of the nineteen initiated to make its way through the full process.  I keep coming back to the speeding issues identified on North Peachtree (that I am sure also happen in other parts of the city) and how can we the elected officials assist in finding ways to solve these problems while being assured that we don't cause more or different problems to be raised?

I was informed by our Public Works Director that the South bound section of North Peachtree coming from Mt. Vernon to at least Saffron Drive met the threshold that 85% of the drivers are driving in excess of 11 mph over the 25 mph limit. On a two lane, heavily traveled residential road; I see these speeds far in excess of the maximum posted speed as unacceptable, yet the current traffic calming policy stops me from recommending possible solutions from a City perspective as the current policy states that this is a resident driven initiative.

Under the current policy, the city requires 20% of "affected" residents must be polled to request that the area be studied and then a traffic calming report is drafted by the city, after that 65% of the "affected" residents will need to approve the measures to be installed and then each of the "affected" residents will need to pay $25 per year, every year going forward in order to pay for the installation and maintenance of the measures installed.   Mr. Thomas O'Brien of the Dunwoody North Neighborhood documented his attempt at getting traffic calming devices on his street and in the end, little was done except a little more enforcement where allowed.

The definition of affected area is hard to pin point and if an expanded area is defined by the city, this could work against the community hoping to get this measure approved.  Also getting 65% approval from the owners of the property is a very difficult task when dealing with renters, owners in assisted living, divorced spouses who's name is still on the title and retirees on a fixed income who can't afford the additional $25.00 annual expense.  As a City who encourages aging in place, it should be acknowledged that fixed income seniors who might otherwise support a calming plan will likely be disproportionately affected by the $25 perpetual charge on the affected area residents for the improvements.

In talking to residents who currently live on a street with speed humps, I am told that the residents of this street pay collectively about $1,000.00 per year and that the installation from 5 years ago should have paid off the cost of installation with little or no maintenance in this time frame.   Is the $25.00 now being paid by the residents just an additional tax because they live on a popular cut thru street?

Another issue that we are dealing with in attempting to slow traffic on North Peachtree is as follows...   The posted speed limit is only 25 mph and state law states that local jurisdictions can not ticket until the driver's speed exceeds 10 mph over the limit (35 mph) on flat ground but there is also a rule that states there can not be enforcement on steep down hill slopes (like parts of North Peachtree) no matter what the speed; therefore these state regulations hinder our officers enforcement efforts at traffic calming.  At one time, I started a conversation regarding lowering the speed limits on some streets but this effort went nowhere except initiating some interesting conversation.

I am under the belief that something needs to be done to cut down the speeding on North Peachtree, but the state has tied our hands on reasonable enforcement and our own traffic calming policy appears to be to onerous for implementation, therefore I am hopeful that something will change soon.

I don't have all of the answers, but I enjoy being part of the conversation.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Dunwoody City Council is set to expand park system once again - this time in Perimeter Center.

On Monday night the Dunwoody City Council will be considering a purchase of 1.6 acres of property that directly abuts a wooded area that the City already owns within the Perimeter Center area for a price of $375,000.00.    This acquisition will add to the property and will increase the options for future park use and it should be tied into the multi-use trail being constructed as part of the town home development directly to the South

Could a pedestrian / bicycle bridge connecting this trail across the creek to Georgetown be far behind?

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Monday December 14, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015
Dunwoody City Hall

41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346

6 pm Agenda

Administer Oath of Office to New Police Officer Joshua Carruth.

Proclamation Recognizing Dunwoody High School Girls Cross Country State Champions.

Update on CAD-to-CAD Interface Project

Resolution Authorizing a Merit Increase for the City Clerk.

Resolution Amending the City Manager's Employment Agreement.

Resolution Appointing a Member to the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody.

Resolution Appointing Members to the Dunwoody Design Review Advisory Committee.

Resolution Appointing a Member to the Dunwoody Planning Commission.

Resolution Appointing Members to the Dunwoody Sustainability Committee.

Award of a Contract to Corblu for Stream Classification.

Funding Authorization for Stormwater Pipe Repair and Lining on 5113 Meadowlake Drive.

Consideration of Pole Attachment Agreement with Mobilite.

Consideration of Pole Attachment Agreement with Crown Castle.

Resolution Authorizing the City to Purchase Property Located at 50 Perimeter Center East and 185 Perimeter Center West.

2016 Paving Plan.

Tilly Mill Road Sidewalk Alternatives.

Traffic Calming Policy Discussion.  -  Does current policy need to be modified in order to slow North Peachtree?

Dunwoody High National Honor Society collects 370 books for Community Assistance Center

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Have you hugged your City Councilman this week? Over 200 Dunwoody High students have.

As the father of three boys, I am well aware that the life of a teenager is tough therefore during a recent City Town Hall meeting at the high school; I wanted to find a way to let them know that I care. I wanted to personally connect with them and in turn have them connect with one another on a level that social media just doesn't work.

I offered them a simple gesture of kindness, I looked them in the eye, asked for their name and offered a hug. I told them that they have value, that they are important and that they matter.

It may have been the most important lessen they learned all year?

This Town Hall meeting with high school students wasn't advertised by the city (other than my personal blog) as it wasn't intended to be open to the general public on the school's secured campus nor have a quorum of City Council members in a group discussion.  That being said, I would like to thank Ms. Ellen Eldridge of the Dunwoody Reporter Newspaper for capturing this moment as it honestly ranks as of one of my better days of the seven years that I have served this community.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Does the data say that it’s time for a new Doraville High School in order to alleviate DeKalb School overcrowding?


  • Red for schools that are currently at 105% of capacity or higher
  • Green for schools between 70% and 105%
  • Blue for schools that are under 70% of capacity

Please read the full article on the "The Owl's Nest" blog which has been focused around DeKalb County School System issues but it says that it will provide commentary on random topics, with a focus on the City of Dunwoody, DeKalb County, Education, and Politics. I don't know who the author is but so far I am enjoying the thought provoking issues being raised.

"Over at Dunwoody School Daze, Kirk Lunde makes a very strong case for the need to redistrict to help solve the overcrowding in the Cross Keys cluster.

The visualization above reinforces Kirk’s statement that we need to address more than just Cross Keys’ overcrowding.  One third of our high schools are overcrowded.  And almost all of them are clustered in the Druid Hills/Lakeside/Tucker corridor.  This can’t be solved by simply carving out a neighborhood here and there.  The fastest way to alleviate this is a southward shift in attendance.

There’s a section that is not within 2½ miles of any high school, yet has overcrowded schools around it.  As we enter the discussion for eSPLOST V, It’s time to think about something different.

A new high school in Doraville can alleviate overcrowding in Cross Keys, as it will draw off the northeastern end of that bizarrely shaped attendance zone.  It can alleviate crowding at Lakeside and Tucker by drawing off of some of their attendance zones.  It can even alleviate overcrowding at Dunwoody, as that attendance area borders Doraville.

It’s time for Doraville High."

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

City of Dunwoody initiates Teen Town Hall for Dunwoody High School Students - Thursday Noon to 4 pm #teentownhall #DwdyTTH15

Dunwoody Teen Town Hall – December 3, 2015

·         Engage students in public administration/management, decision making, and local government to generate ideas, take pulse/attitudes of students;
·         Create an event that is educational, informational and interactive;
·         Give students a chance to participate/have their voice heard

·         12:00 to 1:30 Dunwoody City Staff Set-Up on site in DHS gym
·         Accommodate two large groupings of students (students in classes: Government/civics, mass communications, finance/marketing) over two primary “shifts” and one Open House at the end of the school day:
o   1:40 to 2:25 (first group of approximately 100 – 120 students)
o   2:25 to 2:30 Transition between groups
o   2:30 to 3:15 (second group of approximately 100 – 120 students)
o   3:20 to 4:00 (Open House: stations for all interested students staying after school)

·         LOCATION: DHS Gym
·         FIVE different stations of activities; each sub-group gets a 15 minute session at THREE different stations
o   Perks for Parks – students provide ideas on park improvements and new amenities, wants and needs
o   Ideas for Infrastructure – students provide insights into issues and solutions for the city’s roads, traffic, transit, sidewalks, etc.
o   Development for Tomorrow – students provide ideas on growth, development and what they would like to see in Dunwoody, what would make them stay
o   Police Department Dialogue - students form into mini-teams and discuss community safety issues and priorities
o   Interactive Experience – Video statements & questions (statements to city leaders/questions for city leaders); record a Vine; post an Instagram; Send a Snapchat story (#teentownhall #DwdyTTH15)
·         City Staff on hand to staff stations, go through presentations/exercises or answer questions

·         Students spend 15 minutes at each station and participate in 3 rotations (each student would participate in 3 of the 5 stations).  
·         Mr. Berry and Mr. Boucher distributing signup sheet to students and working to secure even numbers at each station for each rotation.  
·         Teachers exploring potential post-event activities in class the following day where students from each group redeliver what they learned to the students who did not get to that station.

·         1st Session - Mr. Ward's 1st & 2nd period Accelerated/Gifted Civics classes and Mr. Aranson's 4th period Accelerated/Gifted Civics class (approx. 100 students; all 9th graders).  
·         2nd Session - Mr. Boucher's 1st & 2nd period AP Government & Politics classes, Mr. Berry’s 2nd period Constitutional Theory class and Mr. Fortenberry's 4th period Finance class (approx. 120 students; grades 10-12).
*All students from Ward, Boucher & Berry would receive a field trip permission form that allows them to leave their 4th period class to participate during their sessions.

GHSA new region alignments affect Dunwoody area schools sports programs.

If you are a high school sports fanatic or are someone who has kids who play, this might be the biggest news of the week as it may completely turn next years schedules around offering new opponents and different commutes.

The Georgia High School Association recently announced new alignments and a new Class 7A moved a lot of schools around. Dunwoody High School is now up in Class 6A with most of the North Fulton schools and Pope in East Cobb whereby we seem totally disengaged from DeKalb County Schools who are all in Class 5A. SPX and Marist are in 4A but play in different regions therefore may only see each other in the playoffs.

Today the reclassification committee placed schools in regions after taking requests from schools choosing to play in higher classifications. On Dec. 7-8, the GHSA will hear appeals regarding region placement. On Jan. 13, the GHSA’s executive committee will ratify the reclassification.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Dunwoody announces North Peachtree Road will be detoured for Critical Culvert Replacement Project

The North Peachtree Road Culvert Replacement project is about to be underway. Project crews will begin initial work starting the week of November 30th; the road closure and detour will begin December 2nd, weather permitting.

Based on the culvert’s existing condition and hydrologic modeling, it is necessary and prudent to replace the failing 6 foot corrugated metal culvert. The culvert is located on North Peachtree Road, just south of the intersection with North Peachtree Way. The new conveyance will be a 9 foot by 4 foot reinforced concrete box culvert. Hydrologic study and discussions with adjoining property owners indicate that stormwater overtops this portion of North Peachtree Road during significant rain events. It is estimated that this flooding occurs at a frequency of 5 to 10 years.

In addition to using a larger and stronger culvert, the city will also raise its invert to accommodate higher stormwater flows. The new culvert will convey the 100 year flood.

The construction project has been coordinated with both the Kingsley Lake Association and the adjoining property owners impacted by construction. The Kingsley Lake Association has agreed to lower the lake level 4’ to accommodate the construction in October, when fish populations and recreation will not be significantly impacted.

For additional information on this culvert replacement project please contact Public Works at 678.382.6850 construction@dunwoodyga.gov or visit the North Peachtree Road Culvert Replacement project page.

 P.S. - Don't speed through this detour as I believe it will be closely monitored.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fiber Internet to the home has arrived in Dunwoody as AT&T Uverse with #Gigapower is now being installed.


AT&T has been stringing fiber for months and today my regular Uverse service was finally converted over to the Gigapower version with lightning fast speeds.   Below is a comparison of my line speed before and after installation.

The price is a bit more than I was paying previously but the productivity gained on large uploads should cut my processing time way back.   I hope it comes to your neighborhood soon as I am told that it is just a matter of time and unlike other fiber providers, I believe this service is also available to business customers too.

Finally I have received a bunch of questions asking, how do I know if fiber was strung on the poles in my neighborhood?  Well, here is what my pole looked like in June after line installation was strung on the poles.

Dunwoody's Jewish Family and Career Services is about to expand facilities for wide array of community social services.

4549 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd,
Dunwoody, GA 30338
 (770) 677-9300

The article below is written by Mr. David  Pendered of the Saporta Report Blog.

Following the success of building a new Ben Massell Dental Clinic, the Jewish Family and Career Services of Atlanta is preparing to complete its campus in Dunwoody as it continues to collaborate with other social service agencies.

“We need to band together to make sure the social needs that are important to us are provided,” said John Perlman, president of JFCS’s Executive Committee and co-chair of the agency’s Campaign to Complete the JFCS Campus. “We need to work with others so we don’t duplicate efforts.”
The organization is nearing the end of a $5.1 million fund raising campaign. Perlman said the campaign is now being opened to the general public in order to raise the final few hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to complete the planned construction.

The organization serves a client base that’s about 50 percent Jewish and 50 percent who aren’t Jewish. The board of directors was diversified to represent the evolution of the client base, Perlman said. The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta awarded JFSC the Managing for Excellence Award in 2012-2013.

The capital campaign, and the expansion it is to fund, was started under the leadership of former CEO Gary Miller. Miller led the organization for 24 years and stepped down in July to take a strategic advisory role. Miller was succeeded by Rick Aranson, who had served as COO for 11 years, according to a statement released in January.
At the time, Miller wrote:
  • “We are building needed and specialized space for the vocational training/support programs serving adults with developmental disabilities. In addition the plan includes the reconfiguration of space serving counseling clients with psycho-social service needs that embraces a private practice model. I am, indeed, proud to continue to participate in this exciting expansion.”
According to Perlman, modifications to the existing building are intended to increase the confidentiality of clients and increase physical security. A new building will provide services for clients with developmental or intellectual disabilities. Perlman serves as president of Adams & Co. Real Estate, Inc., and has overseen JFCS properties and buildings for many years
At the existing center, the work includes adding a new entrance for those seeking career counseling. This will prevent the need for them to interact with those visiting for help battling substance abuse or for educational testing.

Cameras that will be linked to a secure Internet connection are to be added to enable parents to watch their child’s test from a remote location. Currently, parents must attend with the child and watch the procedure through a one-way mirror.

Electronic door locks will be added to counseling rooms, to increase the level of security. Perlman said safety has not been an issue. Sound-proofing will be enhanced.

The new building is to provide room for programs that already have prompted the center to expand. Services were moved from the basement of a house to a 3,300-square-foot facility in Chamblee. The new building will provide 8,300 square feet of space on the main JFCS campus.

“We’re building a state of the art facility where we can help each and everyone reach their potential,” Perlman said. “We’ve needed more space and better facilities. A lot of clients are in wheelchairs and use public transit. We need a covered space where MARTA can be out of the way and where clients won’t get wet in the rain as they’re brought into the building.”

JFCS has grown significantly since moving to Dunwoody in 1995 from the basement of a homeless shelter in Midtown. The organization has reshaped its programs over time to focus on needs that aren’t being met elsewhere, and downsizing or eliminating programs that are better handled by others, Perlman said.

“We used to do homeless, but we don’t do it as well as others,” Perlman said. “Similarly, Meals on Wheels. We used to make an effort to deliver kosher, but we discovered that kosher wasn’t important – they wanted good, fresh and hot. So now we collaborate. They take care of clients we used to have, and if they have clients who needs counseling, they bring them to us.

“The Atlanta Community Food Bank lets us get kosher stuff to put in our food pantry,” Perlman said. “We collaborate with the Jewish Community Center, where they have an afternoon program where our guys can go play basketball, play sports. We send clients to visit at senior housing nearby. Anything where we can collaborate is good.”

Based partly on the success of the Massell Dental Clinic, Perlman is confident the new facilities will enable JFSC to help meet these other needs of the community. The clinic provides comprehensive dental care with social service and health screening supports.

“The Massell Dental Clinic is the largest in the country,” Perlman said. “It has 150 dentists and 10,000 individuals who come for everything from cleaning to dentures, and even implants. That was our capital campaign 10 years ago. We’re probably 40 percent over our initial goal.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

This afternoon starting at 3 pm, Light up Dunwoody community event kicks off at the Farmhouse.

A Dunwoody Tradition and Holiday Event
Sunday, November 22, 2015; 3:00 to 6:00pm
at the Cheek Spruill Farm House
Mt. Vernon & Chamblee Dunwoody Road

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

Santa will welcome children to sit on his lap, and a Santa sleigh with reindeer will be available for more photo opportunities. Bring your own camera!

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

PS: I have a special memory of a Light Up Dunwoody event from the past that I would like to share.  It was ten years ago this month that my wife Kristin was eight months pregnant with my son Declan when she was honored by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association for her community work by being named Dunwoody Mom of the Year. I remember this day like it was yesterday!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

City of Dunwoody calls Special Meeting for Monday morning to discuss Legal, Real Estate & Personnel.

Dunwoody Police Daily Bulletin shows traffic stop locations and who is being ticketed / arrested for what. Possible Murder investigation is on going.


The City of Dunwoody has worked very hard from day one to be transparent in everything we do and that includes telling the community what our police department is doing on a daily basis.   Yesterday Dunwoody residents told social media that they wanted more visibility on the roads, more enforcement and this public page could be a gauge as to what the department is doing to be responsive to the communities desires.  I believe the department has heard the residents concerns about traffic safety but lets understand that there are more important responsibilities that the department has. The data provided by Dunwoody in this tool probably gives just a snapshot of what our department is doing at any one time but it doesn't include the numerous hours of a possible murder investigation, a child molestation case or a prostitution ring being broken up - all of which happened in the last few days.  

You will note that I blacked out the names in the photo above but the Dunwoody site does not do this.  Juveniles age 16 and below are protected by not having their names in the database and the same goes for being the victim of specific crimes, but after your seventeenth birthday it is a different story for all offenders.  So if little Johnny is 17 and he gets arrested for shoplifting or gets a ticket for speeding, it will show up here for all to see.

In case you are not aware, below is the link to our daily bulletin.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dunwoody residents are demanding slower speeds & school bus enforcement from Dunwoody Police Facebook page.


If you look at the history of my blog, I have discussed speeding over 50 times with North Peachtree Road being a very prevalent mention, yet it continues to be a problem.  The photo above and all the comments and many more were posted to the very public Dunwoody Police Facebook Page complaining about drivers doing the speed limit on North Peachtree and being passed by other drivers who are in a hurry.   As a City Councilman, I forward items to the Dunwoody PD for their action and they are relatively receptive to doing spot checks for traffic violations, but this type of systemic issue may need to be reviewed for City initiated, targeted traffic calming where appropriate.

Few neighborhood traffic calming requests to change the structure of a road (by adding small traffic circles at minor intersections or narrowing road sections where appropriate) have come to the City Council for approval and I am unsure if our policy is flawed or people are unaware that it exists.  I had a neighbor who was in the process of requesting traffic calming in Dunwoody North at Stonington between the two stop signs but he decided to move and therefore stopped the process.  Anne, reach out if you want details in order to restart.

Below is the link to the current traffic calming policy that may need to be modified as the current policy would exclude the Council from installing the traffic calming where we believe it is needed unless approved by the citizens in the area.  This may need to be revisited and I will be asking the Public Works Director for background information. 

Traffic Calming Policy
The city's Traffic Calming Policy details the procedures for adding speed humps or other forms of traffic calming installed on your street.

When it comes to Traffic Enforcement, our large SUV's may not be the best vehicle choice therefore I will be exploring with Chief Grogan the thought of adding motorcycle officers to the mix in 2017.   I will be reviewing the radar certification levels and assuring that there is enough equipment to do speed enforcement and finally I will be asking for a strategy to increase compliance with School Bus stop signs as the video shot on Womack today near the High School is scary.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Huge Fire at Bombay Grill Restaurant on Savoy Drive in Chamblee may have been arson.


Bombay Grill on Savoy Drive which runs along the inside of 285 between North Shallowford and North Peachtree roads looks to be completely destroyed by a fire in the early morning hours of Nov 15th.   Savoy is now closed and police are recommending that Cotillion Road (just outside 285) be used as an alternative.  Due to the questionable circumstances of the fire, arson investigators are now on the scene.  The huge piece of property sits between the bowling alley & Wendy's and could be a catalyst for redevelopment of the area.  

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sgt. Marc Miller of DeKalb County Police Department is an example of a true American hero.

Police officers have sworn to protect the citizens and when a bad day happens these officers react and by doing so they put their lives on the line.   They don't think about the fact that their salary has not been increased in many years whereby officers are now forced to work second jobs to support their families, nor do they think about the fact they are paying more for insurance benefits while at the same time they are forced to watch the County eliminate retirees benefits.  These officers don't think about the fact that they are working for a County CEO and Commission that are tainted with corruption charges nor the fact that they are working for a Department that is woefully understaffed and has a hard time retaining officers.   They don't think about the actions of the County District Attorney whereby officers are now routinely brought in front of Grand Jury's to be the political punching bag for a politician during re-election season.   When a bad day happens and these officers have bullets flying past their heads, they stand their ground to protect the citizens they have sworn to serve because it's their duty.   It is my prayer that someday the elected officials in DeKalb County will recognize that they too have a duty to properly serve the Citizens and that this is done by fairly treating the officers who are willing to serve the citizens.

I know that as a Dunwoody City Councilman that I take this responsibility very seriously and even though I look at the long standing compensation problems within DeKalb County, I am overwhelmed by the professionalism shown by the two officers in the video.   They are an honor to the Department even though it is my opinion that the Department appears to not honor them with their everyday actions.        Hopefully that will chance soon.

Friday, November 13, 2015

3,000 shoppers are expected at Dunwoody United Methodist Holiday Festival on Saturday


24th Annual Holiday Festival

1548 Mt Vernon Rd
Dunwoody, Georgia

Dunwoody's best holiday festival benefiting Habitat for Humanity. Saturday, Nov., 14, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Dunwoody United Methodist Church proudly presents the 24th Annual Holiday festival. The festival is an indoor event that will not only feature a juried show of beautiful handmade arts and crafts items by over 120 talented artisans, but also a wide variety of other venues. We offer a huge Silent Auction online, Attic Treasures, Casseroles to Go, Breakfast, Luncheon, Children's Activities, Gourmet Shop, Photos with Santa, and more. Over 500 volunteers participate to help make each annual event a big success. The Dunwoody Community strongly supports our Holiday Festival and feels it is a wonderful way to begin their holiday shopping. Traditionally, over 3,500 shoppers attend our Holiday Festival.

All proceeds from this event will benefit our Habitat for Humanity Project. Our 2014 festival raised enough funds to build two houses this year. Members of our church will begin building the houses in April. As a result of the success of our 2014 show, we will make dreams come true for two families.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

DeKalb County School System enrollment data for the Dunwoody cluster.


If you have children in public school in the Dunwoody area, it is my opinion that the Dunwoody School Daze blog is a must follow as it has been a trusted source of quality information and spot on perspective as far as I am concerned, for many years.  Below is the current enrollment data and there are various ways to look at it based on your specific circumstances but what jumped out to me are the future enrollments at Peachtree Middle & Dunwoody High.  Wow!

The Georgia Department of Education has released the October 2015 FTE Enrollment Data.

A summary of the Dunwoody cluster enrollment data is below.  As you will notice there continues to be enrollment growth in the Elementary School lower grades and the 9th Grade Class at Dunwoody appears to be largest class in  years or ever. 

Austin ES
Chesnut Charter ES
Dunwoody ES
Hightower ES
Kingsley Charter ES
Vanderlyn ES
Totals by Grade 


Peachtree Charter MS


Dunwoody HS

The next chart outlines the DeKalb Schools Region 1 enrollment data categorized by Subgroup.  I used the 2014 school capacity data as the 2015 capacity data will not be released until MGT/DCSD complete their "assessments".

As the chart indicates, in the Dunwoody cluster, every school with the exception of Chesnut (and those familiar with Chesnut know the capacity number to be laughable), is over-capacity.  According to DCSD Planning Department, 347 of the 844 students at Hightower reside within the city limits of Dunwoody.  So, if a City of Dunwoody School District becomes a reality, where will you put these students in ES?  Anybody?

Dunwoody HS Cluster
Dunwoody ES
Peachtree MS
Dunwoody HS
Subgroup Total
American Indian
Pacific Islander
2 or more Races
Total School Enrollment

2014 Capacity

Capacity (+/-)

Total Cluster Enrollment