Sunday, December 30, 2018

Random Dunwoody tidbits that have crossed my desk.

Have you met Speedy?  He is a free range tortoise at Petland near Walmart.

I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season, spending time with family, re-centering away from the daily grind in order to recharge your internal batteries.  I am doing the same but here are a few things that crossed my desk or items people have asked me about.

DeKalb Fire Job Fair - Jan 5th.

Grand opening of Chamblee's new favorite oddities shop Rainy Day Revival - Art show, Magic, Circus acts, Snake Lady, Aerial arts, Music, Food & Drinks - January 5th. Support the Arts!

Fox News Anchor & Dunwoody guy Bret Baier, Raps On Stage With The Sugarhill Gang but my favorite Dunwoody Rap star is still DHS class of 2015 grad Calvin Kennedy (Young PK) who at 16 with a few talented friends cut a rap album that is both fun and intellectually deep.  (Never Alone, Speed Limit, Nightmare & Bounce are all worth a listen.)

This warmed my heart for the Christmas Season.

Dunwoody High School is getting Lights - funded by community. Thank you!

Calling all Dunwoody Dads - Michael Wilensky to speak Jan 9th.

Time for me to try to lose a few pounds.

How fast can you solve a Rubik's Cube - Dunwoody competition is primer for worldwide fame!

New restaurants planned at Dunwoody's Crown Pointe (new Embassy Suites Hotel)

Another proposal to “redevelop and revitalize” Perimeter with a grocery store, restaurants and hotel?

Frustration after fake bomb threats target DeKalb schools.

The Heneghan family has been known to host a fire pit with the neighbors every once in in a while and the bride is overjoyed with our new Solo Stove fire pit for the driveway.

Dunwoody PD Daily Bulletin is always an interesting read.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service - Brook Run Park event planned.

Council okays 900 condos, offices in Perimeter - I voted against this development because I didn't believe it fit the needs of seniors or handicapped because of distance between residence and parking.

Everyone knows that Dunwoody Police Chief has served for ten years but do you read his Top Cop Leadership Blog?  I do.

A special thank you to the DeKalb County Sanitation crew that removed a large deer carcass on Christmas morning from the side of the road.  Your efforts were greatly appreciated as one little boy thought he looked a lot like Blitzen.

ALL-GIRL Boy Scouts of America Troop NOW Forming in Dunwoody, Georgia !

Dunwoody Girls between the ages of 11 and 17 who love outdoor adventure and want to be an awesome leader, here’s your chance! You can now officially join the Boy Scouts of America and enjoy the fun, achievements and adventures you’ve always heard about:

• Camping
• Hiking
• Backpacking
• Life Skills
• Outdoor Code
• Citizenship
• Confidence – Building
• Service to Others
• High Adventure Outings & Trips
• Leadership Training
• Become an Eagle Scout
...and MORE!

For More Info on the next parent meeting or to Join the Dunwoody’s first ALL-GIRL BSA Troop Contact: Karen Zeliff -

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Dunwoody / DeKalb school safety meeting Thursday night 6:30 pm at City Hall - scheduled to be streamed by Dunwoody PD on Facebook

The Dunwoody Police Department in cooperation with the DeKalb County School District Police and the DeKalb County School District will host a community meeting with parents and other interested individuals in the recent threats called into many of the schools located in Dunwoody. The meeting will take place on Thursday, December 20th from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at City Hall at 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd. There will be several presentations and an opportunity for questions afterward.

If you are unable to make it to City Hall on Thursday, the event will also be streamed on Facebook Live by the Dunwoody Police Department.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Huge Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Monday, includes Village Overlay Changes, Condo proposal, Arts Master Plan, New Trail, Brook Run Construction Plan

Monday, December 10, 2018
Dunwoody City Hall
4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd
Dunwoody, GA 30338


Administration of Oath of Office to Officers Anthony Alexander and Matthew Carley

Recognition of Dunwoody Police Department Officer and Employee of the 3rd Quarter

Dunwoody Presentation on Motorized Scooters
    Bird Invasion: Atlanta’s electric scooters are fun, dangerous, exciting, annoying, and unstoppable
    Decatur considers response to ‘Bird’ swarm
    As regulation looms, Atlanta’s shareable scooters are becoming more accessible

Presentation of 3rd Quarter Internal Audit Report

Program Manager Update- Brook Run Park/ Shallowford Annex

Approval of a Contract for Design of Ashford Dunwoody Commuter Trail Phase II
     PCID Trail Master Plan

Resolution Authorizing a 9-1-1 Charge on Postpaid Wireline, Wireless, and Voice Over Internet Protocol (“V.O.I.P.”) Telephone Service

Amendment to Contract 15-13, Parks and Right of Way Maintenance

Resolution Appointing Members to Serve on the Dunwoody Development Authority

Resolution Appointing Members to Serve on the Dunwoody Sustainability Committee

Resolution Appointing a Member to Serve on the Dunwoody Volunteer Coordinating Committee

Resolution for Approval of 2019 Legislative Priorities

Amendment to Reeves and Young Contract for Brook Run Park Construction Management Services

CVBD 2019 Budget and Business Plan.

Adoption of Create Dunwoody Arts and Culture Master Plan

SECOND READ: RZ18-02: SLUP 18-02 David C. Kirk of Troutman Sanders LLP, Attorney for the Owner, on Behalf of Grubb Properties, Owner of a Portion of 41, 47, 53 Perimeter Center East, Dunwoody, GA 30346, Seeks to Rezone the Property Currently Zoned O-I (Office-Institution) District to a PC-2 (Perimeter Center) District.  Seeks a Special Land Use Permit to: A) Section 27-104(f)(2) to Permit a Development of Regional Impact; and B) Section 27-105b to Modify the Build-to-Zone of a General Building.

SECOND READ: Review and Consideration of Text Amendments Regarding the Dunwoody Village Overlay (Chapter 27)

Award RFP for Dunwoody Village Overlay Master Plan and Zoning

Monday, December 3, 2018

Holiday spinning class benefiting Dunwoody's Christmas for Kids on Sunday Dec 9th with prizes from Woodhouse Day Spa @dunwoodypolice

I am a huge fan of the Dunwoody Police Department’s Christmas for Kids Program and as a Member of the City Council, I have attended the private celebration where the areas under-privileged children and their families are treated to a festive celebration.  Santa and his magical elves arrive at the Christmas for Kids party complete with gifts and activities for the kids as well as snacks for the whole family.  The amount of pure Joy that is brought to these families is just unmeasurable and I hope your family will find a way to support the cause!

Besides giving gifts, you may be interested in joining me at a special fund raising ride for Christmas for Kids being hosted by Cyclebar Dunwoody.  On Sunday December 9th at 4:30, Cyclestar & Dunwoody Resident Paige Castor will be leading the heart pumping 45 minute ride, with special prizes & refreshments afterward from Woodhouse Day Spa.  If you have never tried spinning, at Cyclebar I highly recommend it as I'm a regular there and will be on bike 40 for this ride.

Join me. by registering for the ride by making a minimum $20 donation (every dollar goes to the DPD-CFK program), entering your shoe size (they provide the bike shoes) then arrive early enough to get your water bottle, find and adjust your bike so that Paige can rock your holiday world for the next 45 minutes.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

DeKalb offers free curbside bulk pick up this week for some in Dunwoody - see schedule below.

The regular sanitation day in my neighborhood is Tuesday therefore all of the big stuff will need to be on the curb this Thursday evening.   If you are looking to clean out and get rid of some big stuff you might want to review this information.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

City of Dunwoody, my personal look back at ten years since incorportation by Councilman John Heneghan.

Councilman John Heneghan

Today marks the Tenth anniversary of the creation of the City of Dunwoody and I have had the distinct privilege of serving on the City Council since the very beginning. Please allow me to give some personal perspective for those who are not aware of our history.

Many years ago I was President of the Dunwoody North Civic Association, looking for ways to improve the quality of life for 1,200 residents within the subdivision boundaries in which I live therefore I had an extensive history of dealing with DeKalb County (our local government) on various zoning, transportation, infrastructure issues as well as police coverage, therefore based on what I had seen with the County I thought we could do better. I was a supporter of breaking away from the county for municipal services, pro Cityhood and along with many other people, we successfully worked toward that goal to become our own city.

Incorporation was a multi-year political struggle down at the Capital with partisan gamesmanship being played on both sides, but in the end the residents wanting the right of self determination won out allowing the referendum to take place. That summer many people worked to support the vote. Then on July 15, 2008 the residents of Dunwoody went to the polls, putting their faith in the pro-cityhood leaders passing the referendum by 82%. On December 1st 2008, "Atlanta's Classic City" of Dunwoody was incorporated, we passed lean budgets yet started a world class police force from scratch just four months later by offering fair wages, good benefits and offering every police officer a take home vehicle on day one.

There are lots of great memories from those early days as I remember running for office and standing in front of Bruster's Ice Cream on hot summer nights talking to whomever would listen about cityhood while standing in the long lines. After being elected to a citywide, at-large position, most of the City Council was sworn in on September 24, 2008 but the District 2 local race eventually won by Adrian Bonser was to be determined by a runoff at a later date. Several days later, on September 28th the first meeting of the Dunwoody City Council was held at Dunwoody Methodist Church and here is that agenda. I remember the work being put in to determine the service delivery plan, the late nights work sessions making decisions which still stand today; those of us who were on Council will never forget those early days. Here are a few videos detailing those startup memories, here is Mayor Wright and some of the other members of Council telling stories of incorporation and start up that are not widely known.

If you watched some of those videos I linked in the previous paragraph you may have noticed that I personally wasn't front and center in any of them but know I was the guy documenting, compiling data and influencing decisions at every level. One insight I can share on incorporation was that the political partisanship at the Capital with the tit for tat, back and fourth, you vote for mine and I will vote for yours on important subjects that seemed to be decided solely on personal relationships literally turned my stomach. Though I enjoy observing and studying politics, seeing the highly political sausage being made up close and personal in hearing rooms, as well as watching the petty arguments on the floor of the chambers spreading Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt made me never to want to become a politician.

Luckily the City of Dunwoody is a non-partisan city council election whereby we the elected officials can concentrate solely on doing what is best for the city, providing improved services, upgraded quality of life and focus on spending our collective tax money on paving, parks and police. Ten years on the Dunwoody City Council and I can honestly tell you that from my perspective; political politics nor tit for tat, you scratch my back & I'll scratch yours has ever happened between council members, we are elected officials and not politicians - for that I am grateful.

In my ten years of service, I have had the pleasure of meeting thousands of people and had more conversations on topics of substance shaping this community than I could even fathom measuring.  Proud of the personal service I have provided individuals.  I’m extremely proud that I have preserved 10 years of city documents on my private servers that I make readily available to whoever is interested, proud that I started live streaming meetings before it was in vogue and proud that I have maintained this blog from the beginning. Since the initiation of cityhood, I have written over 3,700 blog posts providing the community (and various new outlets) with the same information that I receive as a City Council member so that you can help guide us on policy and important decisions. For the last ten years, I haven't wavered from my Philosophy on Public Service which is when I have the ability to make a difference, I have a responsibility to do so and second, transparency in Government breeds self-corrective behavior.

At times my little blog has allowed you the opportunity to peer deep into my soul, to see my personality, to meet my bride Kristin, my boys Riley, Gavin & Declan, my family, over time if you were paying attention you have seen what makes me click by learning what is important to me. As an introvert, this electronic forum has allowed me to do all of this from behind a keyboard, yet it has also made me extremely accessible when someone needs help on a city matter. Helping people and affecting positive changes within these 12 square miles are the two most rewarding aspects of serving on the City Council.

Serving the community in this capacity doesn’t always make City Council members popular as we are required to make tough policy choices, make budget decisions that have long term implications on personal safety & public welfare. I have had to interpret the zoning codes we put into place in ways that do not always make everyone happy. I have been forced to tell neighbors and friends that the traffic laws in place (like the no Left hand turn into my neighborhood that was in place before cityhood) are there for them to comply with. I was an advocate for the Brook Run Trail and the Dog Park when members of our community were dead set against such projects saying that we were ruining the beauty of our park. I was pro-backyard Chickens when the issue was first brought up in 2010 and people had strong opinions on both sides of the coop. As much as I wanted to save the Theater in Brook Run, the renovation and long term operating costs without a viable tenant were something I couldn't support. In short, at times we the elected officials are the local throat to choke when things don’t go as planned, city services are lacking (as are restaurants with roof top bars) or when people believe there should be a different outcome. When people are unhappy we hear about it in our email, as comments in various social media accounts and people are not bashful about calling our home phones as we are all readily available to anyone who wants to reach out.

Looking back at historical blog posts I have written, the priorities I set for my governance have worked for me personally and they helped us get started.   I believe the City of Dunwoody which started during a deep recession has been very successful in being good stewards of your tax money. We started slow and only worked with the cash on hand and have made numerous solid investments into the community, be it a new City Hall, land swaps with the County, improved sports fields, new parks, intersections or miles of paving. The Dunwoody Crier in this week’s edition highlighted the changes since incorporation and when comparing that data to an interview now Mayor Shortal gave after we passed our first budget; I would agree that we have kept our financial promises. We haven’t raised the tax rate and yet the services for paving, parks and police have all been raised dramatically since before incorporation.  The future of Dunwoody looks bright with numerous projects ready to move forward and I believe we are planted on firm ground moving forward.

Looking back at photos and videos of that era, it seems like much of this stuff happened just yesterday, yet I now see that all three of my little boys are all taller than their mother. Ten Years moves pretty fast - Happy Birthday Dunwoody; it has been an honor and a privilege.

To the citizens of Dunwoody, I thank you for allowing me to continue to serve this fine community.