Sunday, September 27, 2020

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Tuesday September 29, 2020 (Updated Comp Plan & proposed Athletic Association Manual)

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2020   6:00 PM

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Agenda  - City Agenda Page

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Proclamation in Recognition of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month

Presentation of Intersection Improvement Recommendations on Perimeter Center West

Presentation from Stage Door Players (Debbie Fuse) - Current Use Agreement - Letter Sep 20

Presentation of the Comprehensive Plan Update Draft

Resolution Amending the CARES Budget

Public Art Implementation Plan (Michael Starling)

Resolution Appointing Member to Serve on Discover Dunwoody Board - Cher Breslin

Contract with Outside Legal Counsel (Eric Linton, City Manager) - document not yet available.

Discussion of the Athletic Association Manual 

The proposed Athletic Association Manual is being presented to the full City Council (and the public) for the first time on Tuesday for discussion purposes only. I was not on the developing committee, therefore I will need to thoroughly review the pros and cons of the proposed changes and see what benefits it will bring.  As a City we need to review the costs related to using our park facilities, set up a sinking fund to slowly save for the replacement of the turf fields, the financial charges to the organizations using the facilities, the availability of the facilities to organizations or groups that are not part of a use agreement (like Dunwoody High School teams), the allowance of rentals to outside organizations by the various Athletic Associations, the historical agreements that may have been in place for years and how these proposed changes will affect the established users.  One of the possible changes being proposed is allowing the Baseball Fields and Soccer Fields to a wider more diverse group of users who are not currently using the fields.  At the moment those uses are not organized, as the open time on some of the fields does not envision a wider use than what is already there.

Council has received a number of inquiries from Dunwoody Senior Baseball (and the residents who participate in this activity) asking for clarification of the modifications and opposing any change in the current financial agreement between that organization and the city, therefore I am guessing at the Tuesday meeting we will be hearing from that organization and possibly others.

In Feb of 2020, the internal auditor for the City provided a review of the Dunwoody Senior Baseball program which I believe is driving some of these proposed changes especially as it relates to the current use agreement.

Update on CARES Not-for-Profit Efforts

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Monday, September 7, 2020

City of Dunwoody Budget Committee meetings to be held this week on Wednesday & Thursday via Zoom



and via Zoom

The City of Dunwoody Budget Committee is comprised of three current council members that are on staggered three year terms.  This year the Budget Committee is comprised of Council Members Jim Riticher, Pam Talmadge and Tom Lambert.  Budget committee recommendations will be brought forward to the full Council later in the month.

Wednesday Agenda - 9 a.m. Start

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Thursday Agenda - 9 a.m. Start

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Two Day Meeting Packet - Highlights of the report are stated below.

2021 Budget is without a doubt that the most challenging one to put together in the history of the City. However, it can also be said, that prudent planning by this Council, and Councils before it, have put Dunwoody in a better position for this event. This budget, in conjunction with the midyear adjustments, allows for the following:

Creates a budget that combines strategic reductions in current operating efforts and uses fund balance to create an operating budget still meeting constituent needs and desires. It prevents reductions in department operations from what would have been extreme cuts by judicially planning a draw down of fund balance over two years,while still maintaining a healthy four-month reserve at the end of 2021.

This budget is submitted with a strong caveat for the City Council. The City must engage in a robust discussion about revenue and expenses prior to development of next year’s budget. The current status of most all residential property values being frozen severely hampers the City being able to maintain high service levels in all operations.

If the Council passes this budget as is, the City will have kept the same rate of 2.740 since inception (1.740 for homesteaded properties). That rate means Dunwoody residents have one of the lowest city tax bills in the metro area. Your typical home of $450,000 pays only $286 for the year. 

While having this low a tax rate has been a matter of pride for many years, the City must revisit this decision, especially in light of reductions in businesses licenses, commercial property values, and hotel/motel taxes. This in combination with the current citizens of Dunwoody asking for more services does not work in the long term. The City was designed to reduce residential taxes by subsidizing them from a robust commercial tax base. That base has been dramatically affected by recent events.

One of the biggest challenges in this budget is that overall revenue of $20.1 million (a 21.4% decrease from 2020’s original level) is closer to the revenue of a decade ago.

This feat of maintaining service delivery without a tax increase in this proposal is accomplished through using the City’s rainy day fund, both in 2020 and 2021. While this budget shows a diligence in financial planning, the budget should be reviewed with warning that this structure is not sustainable over the long term.