Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Jersey Mike's Subs to donate 100% of all sales to Special Olympics on Wednesday - Dunwoody's Jett Ferry / Mount Vernon location is looking forward to your visit.


I wanted to make you aware of a corporate benefit sponsoring Special Olympics whereby 100% of all sales at Jersey Mike's sub shop will be directed to the worthy organization.   Please make a point to stop by for lunch or dinner to support the cause.  The restaurant opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. and all purchases during that time period count towards the donation.  If you make it in, please say hello to my friend Allegra behind the counter because she is awesome!

Jersey Mike's Subs
2458 Jett Ferry Road; Suite 220
Dunwoody, GA 30338-3060
(770) 394-1999

Order on-line    https://www.jerseymikes.com/5001/dunwoody-ga

At Jersey Mike's Subs, they're all about quality. High quality meats and cheese sliced in front of you, store baked bread, and the authentic taste – served Mike's Way, fresh lettuce, onions, tomatoes, oil, vinegar and spices! Of course, everything is served with a smile.

Dunwoody resident Mr Kim McGrady named Carnegie Hero

Kim A. McGrady

Dunwoody resident Mr Kim McGrady named Carnegie Hero. The Carnegie Medal is given to those who enter extreme danger while attempting to save the lives of others. Only 10,291 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since 1904.

18 Americans to receive Carnegie Medal for acts of extraordinary heroism

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Monday March 28, 2022. (Chamblee Dunwoody / Mt. Vernon Design, Financial Advisor for possible bond, Trees for your front yard)

March 28, 2022

Participate via Zoom - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81992407366

Or One tap mobile:  +14702509358,,81992407366# US (Atlanta)

Or join by phone:  US: +1 470 250 9358  Webinar ID: 819 9240 7366

Agenda - City Site Agenda


PUBLIC COMMENT - in person or raise hand in Zoom.

Approval of Contract with NV5 for Final Design of Mount Vernon Road Corridor Improvements between Corners Drive and Mount Vernon Place 

SECOND READ: RZ 21-04: Rezoning for 4553 North Shallowford Road from the Current PD District to the O-I District and a Concurrent Variance from 27-72

Approval of Construction Contract for Intersection Improvements at Chamblee Dunwoody Road and Womack Road

Contract Award for Sidewalk Construction at Brook Run Park

Discussion - Conceptual Design for Village Crossroads - Chamblee Dunwoody Road from Womack Road to Roberts Drive Corridor Improvements

Discussion - Approval of Financial Advisors for possible future Bond

Discussion - Resolution Requesting Approval to Surplus Police Vehicles

Discussion - Trees Atlanta Front Yard Tree Planting Program

Friday, March 25, 2022

Recap of the 2022 Dunwoody City Council Retreat, City Finances and a lot of other stuff were discussed. Electronic documents are available.


Earlier this week the City of Dunwoody hosted a two day Council "retreat" talking about operations, finances and future plans.  We stopped in Suwanee for a walking tour with their City Manager to discuss Public Art and as that happened I also chatted up the Asst. City Manager to discuss the highly successful Suwanee Beer Festival that just occurred as I want to bring the Dunwoody Beer Fest back to Brook Run Park in the Fall.

After lunch, we ran up to Dahlonega to hold the rest of the meetings. If you read my March 22nd Blog announcing the retreat, my guess of topics were spot on with the main issue being long-term funding strategies moving forward. One thing to know about a "retreat" is that no official votes occurred and that everything discussed at that meeting will be discussed again and even more fleshed out with a great deal of more detail. A retreat is a place to raise questions to discuss options and data but the fast pace of the conversations really just give staff an idea as where we were individually as council members but with no details to the specifics, there are a lot more discussions to be had.

Below are all the documents that were placed in the City Council binders and though we didn't get to everything, I can say that we spent most of our time on financing strategies for everyday operations and the financing of capital needs. As I explained last Monday, Dunwoody's financing mechanisms are different than surrounding municipalities as we have locked in taxable valuations and an automatic 1 mil rollback to homeowners therefore, creative options need to be offered, and Mayor Deutsch is doing just that with a possible parks special tax district for the entire city.  At incorporation, the parks committee to start the city said we needed $300K to run the parks and we are now averaging $3 Million per year therefore this is an idea being floated to lower that delta.

Besides finances, we discussed pedestrian safety, traffic calming, sidewalk construction, crime statistics, police retention and pay, and a few tweaks to our mission statement and council meeting rules. All documents presented to Council for discussion are linked below.
 01a 2022-03-21 City Council Meeting Agenda.pdf
01b 2022-03-22 City Council Meeting Agenda.pdf
02 2022 Retreat Topics Slides.pptx
03 2022 City Council Retreat Day One Finance.pptx
04 2022 Council Retreat Pedestrian Safety.pptx
05 Edge City Retreat Slides.pptx
06 Dunwoody Village Retreat Slides.pptx
07 Resolution Amending the Rules and Procedures for City Council Meetings ORIGINAL.docx
08 Dunwoody Council Training 1-31-2022 Final.pptx
09 SLFRF-Final-Rule-Overview.pdf
10 Capital List Unfunded 2021.pdf
11 Police ARP and Exit Trends.pptx
12 2014-05-09_PedSafetyStudy_FinalReport.pdf
12 2016.12.12 Traffic Calming Policy Final Approved.pdf
12 Complete Streets Policy.pdf
12 Sidewalk_Program_edited 2015.07.08.docx
12 Vulnerable Road User Ordinance.pdf
13 Mission and Vision 2022 Retreat V2 (002).pptx
14 Police Annual Report.pdf
15 2022 Pay v CPI-U.xlsx
16 How We Make a Difference ARP.pptx

Kudos to the Dunwoody Crier and reporter Sydney Dangremond for joining the Council at the meeting and writing a nice recap as linked below.

After two days of meetings up in the mountains, Wednesday morning found Councilman Lambert, Public Works Director Michael Smith and I downtown talking to GDOT about the proposed express lanes on 285, but I guess that is a story for another day.

Crier Article

Sunday, March 20, 2022

City of Dunwoody schedules 2022 Strategic Planning Retreat






MARCH 21, 2022




MARCH 22, 2022




The Dunwoody City Council will be holding our annual planning "retreat" to come together as a Council to set Strategic Planning for the coming year.  Retreats are a powerful management tool for local government leaders to refocus on a city's mission and develop priorities that are in line with a City’s core values. They are opportunities for elected officials and city staff to step back from the day-to-day routine and organize around the foundational elements of our service – who we serve, what values we uphold, and what direction we are headed.


With two new Council members it is an opportunity for existing Council & staff to get to know them as we all discuss our priorities.  The first session is usually a recap of the year's challenges & accomplishments, special presentations, updates from staff and eventually we move into setting goals/priorities for the future.  This retreat seems a little different as we are heading to Suwanee City Hall for the morning meeting followed by a trip up to Dahlonega for an overnight stay & a second day of meetings.  Last year we had special training and discussions on re-zonings (probably because we had the Dunwoody Village and other rezonings in the works) and then talked about City Operations in the time of Covid.

There are no read-ahead documents for the meeting, which I believe will be recorded but unsure if it will be live-streamed.  City Council members have no real advanced notice of the retreat conversations but I am guessing both short and long term city finances will be a huge topic.  The City has American Rescue Plan funds to spend and we want to make sure we follow the appropriate rules.  The 2022 budget is set but we now have escalating operational, material and personnel costs with more desired services like events, concerts and quality of life improvements while we are also adding additional park infrastructure to maintain.  Long term, these circumstances of rising costs and service increases along with the residents continued desire for high level of service are not long term sustainable on our fixed revenue streams without some future adjustments. 


Some might suggest an infrastructure bond referendum is needed to cover capital improvements (intersection / trail / park improvements (including Nature Center, Spruill Arts Center, Austin, Vermack) and others) so that our residents can enjoy the use of those improvements short term while also paying for them vs us saving for those improvements for many years so that future residents can enjoy them at a later date.  With inflationary pressures making material costs rise faster than the bond funding cost, I am sure this topic may be discussed but then again we are attempting to sell a property whereby those funds could be reinvested into the capital needs if that sale were to go through (which is not a guaranteed as there still contingency hurdles to overcome).

With the City of Dunwoody having a residential property tax assessment freeze in place, a one mil credit to homeowners and a mileage rate that hasn't increased since incorporation 13 years ago, the typical Dunwoody Homeowner is now paying about the same for sanitation ($265) than they are for city taxes that funds all other city services.  


We have known of these budgetary issues for years (and placed cautionary statements directly into our budget documents as shown below) but we have worked around the issues by setting priorities & reducing costs but with inflationary pressures now hitting the city, I am guessing this item will be discussed.  

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Did you know that Taggart's Driving School in Dunwoody Village offers free Driver's Education with a State Scholarship available to all?

At least two, if not all three of my teenage sons took advantage Georgia Driver's Education Grant for free driving school at Taggert's Driving School in Dunwoody Village and here is how to go about doing it.

Teenagers can not get a drivers license until their 16th birthday in Georgia, and not until the proposed new driver has been driving under an instructional permit for one year before that.  A right of passage for many 15 year olds is to go to the DMV on or soon after your birthday to get your permit.  There is a vision test and a basic written examination to pass plus there will be numerous id cards, utility bills and school documents to bring to prove age, residency and school attendance, so be prepared.

After the permit is obtained, the permit number is the key to being able to register for the Georgia Driver's Education Grant and you would want to do that as soon as the permit is obtained.  The application criteria is needs based but if there are no needs applicants the grant is given out on a first come first served criteria.  In my sons case, we were selected for the educational grant several months after completing the application which is perfect as we used those first several months driving around empty school parking lots and cemeteries where he couldn't kill anyone but his father.

After filling out the application, and you are eventually chosen for the grant; the State notifies you with a redemption code and you register with Taggarts with that number and the class cost for the 30 hours of instruction and 6 hours of driving are waived (a $535 value).

Once driver's ed is completed, there is also a requirement to provide 40 hours of supervised driving with parent or guardian in order to get the license and then for good measure my Dad forced me to change the oil in the car, know how to jump the battery and change a tire.

Good luck with your young driver as it is truly a memorable right of passage for our youth and a for some of us older folks, it can also be a traumatic parental period as well.  

FYI, there are no break pedals on the passenger side.   Enjoy.

Dunwoody area Prom Dress Collection Drive happening at the Village Threads Apparel Store in Dunwoody Village & DHS

Please help to collect gently used formal and semi-formal dresses! Let's help provide dresses for girls that may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend prom! See above for details!

Want to support the project but don't have a dress? We are also able to accept monetary contributions here: https://givebutter.com/prom

Special thanks to Village Threads in Dunwoody Village for serving as a collection site, along with Dunwoody High School!   Local friends, thank you for sharing!

PS: Ladies if you haven't visited Village Threads, please watch the video below or click the link above to read about the Highly curated Fashion Boutique as the store is unique and the type of local small business we want to thrive in our community and that can't happen if we don't visit to check out their wares.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Are you interested in becoming a Judge for the City of Dunwoody? Application process is now open.

RFQ 22-02 Municipal Court Judge

City of Dunwoody contracts with Municipal Judges who operate on four year terms and it appears that we are entering a renegotiation or replacement phase at the end of June 2022.  Dunwoody has had a fantastic history of hiring outstanding Judges therefore if you are interested in serving and have the requisite qualifications, please review and complete the RFQ requirements.  In my own reading of the RFQ, I noticed the pricing was left blank and is part of the bidding process but if you are interested in seeing what we currently pay judges you can review the City's Open Checkbook and select the expenditure type as Municipal Court, Purchased & Contracted Services.

An RFQ has been issued by the City of Dunwoody (“City”) to seek proposals for the position of Municipal Court Judge from qualified individual attorneys. The City desires to enter into a professional services contract with a qualified Proposer who can demonstrate competency and experience in providing such legal services to municipal governments. Interested parties who possess the desired qualifications listed and are experienced in providing such legal services are encouraged to submit a Response to this Request for Qualifications.  At its sole discretion, the City may by direct negotiation, finalize terms with the service provider who is selected for the contract award. The City reserves the right to reject any or all responses for any reason.

• Experience, expertise and knowledge of municipal legal processes and procedures.
• Demonstrate knowledge, experience and ability in the operation of local governmental units in Georgia; court procedures and substantive criminal and civil law;
• Experience with the supervision of the proper handling of any discovery requests related to a pending citation; and experience ensuring that proper and accurate records of dispositions are maintained.
• Proposal’s presented approach to ensure the efficient use of time and resources to reduce delays in court proceedings.
• Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain impartial and effective working relationships with other judges, judicial personnel, city management, elected officials and the general public.
• General familiarity with the City of Dunwoody.
• Fee Proposal

Proposer’s Qualifications
The Proposer shall comply with and be subject to all provisions of the City’s Charter and Codes, including, without limitation, the City’s Code of Ethics. Other specific qualifications include:
• Must be a resident of the State of Georgia and an Attorney-At-Law admitted to practice within the State and in good-standing with the State Bar of Georgia.
• Juris Doctorate degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and an active member and in good standing with the Georgia State Bar Association. Possess any other necessary and up-to-date required licenses, registrations, certifications and continuing education units.
• The attorney designated to perform the services of the Municipal Court Judge shall have at least five (5) years’ relevant experience practicing law and/or as a judge or substitute judge in the State
of Georgia in a municipal court or a court of record.
• The Proposer also shall demonstrate a high degree of practical experience, knowledge, and ability in the operation of local governmental units in Georgia; criminal procedure and substantive criminal and civil law; management of a courtroom and a large docket of cases; efficient use of time and resources to reduce delays that inconvenience other Court personnel; supervision of the proper handling of any discovery requests related to a pending citation; and experience ensuring that proper and accurate records of dispositions are maintained.
• Certification that the individual is not debarred and has all necessary and/or required insurance coverage in effect.
• Skills, capabilities, capacity and work experience of a demonstrated level that would assure completion of the scope of work in a timely and satisfactory manner.

Dunwoody Scout Troops 477 and 1919 to host Blood Drive at Kingswood Church on Sunday, March 27 from 9:00 to 4:00

Save a Life – Donate Blood!

Scout Troops 477 and 1919 to host Blood Drive at Kingswood Church on Sunday, March 27 from 9:00 to 4:00.  

There is currently a severe blood shortage.  Donating blood is a selfless act by one person to help save the lives of others. Blood cannot be manufactured, and local hospitals rely on blood donors to make sure blood is on the shelf to help patients in their moment of need. Approximately 37 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, yet less than 10 percent donate annually.  

You can help by signing up to give blood.  The whole process can take as little as 45 minutes.  Walk-ins are welcome but by signing up we can make sure we are ready for you and staffed appropriately.  A supervised game area for kids of ages will be available!

To save a spot (and pre-register to save some time), go to http://appt.lifesouth.org/BSA 

Address of Kingswood is 4896 N Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, Georgia 30338

Donors must be 16 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, and show a photo I.D.  16-year-olds require written parental permission.

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Monday March 14, 2022 (12 Foot Trail to Mt Vernon, Four people saved by Narcan, Chamblee Dunwoody & Womack will be improved)


March 14, 2022

Participate via Zoom - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83356609988 

Or One tap mobile:  +14702509358,,83356609988# US (Atlanta)

Or join by phone:  US: +1 470 250 9358  Webinar ID: 833 5660 9988

Agenda - City Site Agenda


PUBLIC COMMENT - in person or raise hand in Zoom.

City Manager's Report (Eric Linton)

FIRST READ: RZ 21-04: Rezoning for 4553 North Shallowford Road from the Current PD District to the O-I District and a Concurrent Variance from 27-72

Approval of Right of Way Dedication at 5349 Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Approval of Permanent Easement for Georgia Power Company at 5349 Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Approval of Contract Amendment with Lowe Engineers for a Part-Time Stormwater Capital Project Manager

Approval of Contract Award for the Construction of Perimeter Center East Park 

Approval of Art Easement for 4500 Olde Perimeter Way

Approval of Rezoning for 600 Ashwood Parkway to Amend the Conditions of the Current C-1c District to Allow a Retail/Restaurant Building

Construction Contract for Intersection Improvements at Chamblee Dunwoody Road and Womack Road 

Contract with NV5 for Final Design of Mount Vernon Road Corridor - 12 foot path on North Side improvements between Corners Drive and Mount Vernon Place

Contract Award for Sidewalk Construction at Brook Run Park

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Ms. Elma Orr is a Dunwoody Resident who is inspirational and someone I admire. Let me explain why ...

In October, the DeKalb School System decided that there would be no Homecoming Dance at, or associated with Dunwoody High School. Some parents were upset, and a few started looking for options to offer some sense of a Homecoming Experience for their teenage children. There were private parties in restaurants for small groups, private parties by invitation and those were wonderful for those who could attend. Outside of those efforts, there was a small group of parents that wanted a public homecoming dance where every Dunwoody High School Student was invited to participate, and the leader of that group was Ms. Elma Orr, who was driven to make that happen


I had not had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Orr previously but she reached out to me to see if the City could assist with space. Ms. Orr led a school-wide fundraising campaign on social media, and there were many generous donations from the community. After a proper outdoor space was obtained (large pavilion at Brook Run) details like a DJ, lighting, security, refreshments, photo booth, food truck and parental chaperones were all coordinated by Ms. Orr and her team. The event was just before Halloween and the decorations turned the pavilion into a Haunted House suitable for Michael Jackson's Thriller.


With a Sophomore son attending DHS, I know a fair amount of his classmates (at least the boys) so I volunteered to be a chaperone and/or be unofficial security at the dance. As a Dad, I was there to mix into the background, assist the others putting on the event, while keeping a watchful eye on the crowd to be assured that nothing out of the ordinary happened. As a Husband, my wife wanted regular updates on the boy and the event, and I sort of tried to make that happen too.


The evening was relatively cool but the event went on without a hitch and it was really uplifting for me to witness. The young ladies were beautifully dressed, and the young men did their best to clean up in a respectable manner. The DJ kicked off the event with Cotton Eyed Joe with a circle of friends started dancing, and then the circle got bigger, and bigger until the whole crowd was having a great time. Before you know it, there were awkward boys and girls talking to one another, laughing and experiencing real life without a mask to hide their smiles. 


In order to satisfy my wife's inquiries, I snapped a few photos of the boy and even offered her a small bit of video, but I wasn't there to invade anyone's privacy while having a great time. That being said, Ms. Elma Orr did this, she hosted an event that brought the community of DHS Students together for a good time; as witnessed below, the evening was a great success.

Fast forward to today, the City of Dunwoody contracted with local artists for Woman's History Month and there is Elma Orr doing a mural highlighting woman NASA Astronauts where her completed project is now hanging on the fence of the Brook Run Skate Park. Prior to this project, Elma painted the picnic tables for the Dunwoody Library, Stage Door Players and the Dunwoody Nature Center.

Check out the video Elma did to explain her artistic process for this project.

Elma, Dunwoody is more beautiful because of what you do but we are all richer because of who you are and I thank you for generously sharing your gifts and talents with the community.  We are all better for it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Dunwoody City Council sets into motion Chamblee Dunwoody / Womack Road Intersection Improvement Plan

Last night the City Council was in a deep discussion regarding the work scheduled for Chamblee Dunwoody and Womack and a segment of the discussion centered around the Right Turn Red that will be allowed after all the improvements were made.  At the end of the meeting as we were departing, a resident who was watching from home, drove over to the meeting to ask me a question.  She said she heard lots about the allowance of right hand on red but what we really need is a dedicated left hand turn lane!  I calmed her fears, fully agreed with her and assured her that the whole reason for the project was to add that dedicated left hand turn lane.

This post is dedicated to her, a very diligent resident who regularly watches our City Council meetings online and was unsure of the scope of the Womack / Chamblee Dunwoody Project.  If she was unaware of what is planned for that intersection, I am guessing that are others who might like an update too.

 Chamblee Dunwoody/Womack Road Intersection Improvement Plan


The Dunwoody City Council has made this intersection a priority whereby we earmarked 1.7 Million dollars in the 2022 Budget to reconstruct the Chamblee Dunwoody and Womack intersection, adding in a much needed Left Hand Turn Lane on West Bound Womack, improving sight lines on Chamblee Dunwoody which will allow right turn on red, as well as make numerous sidewalk and drainage improvements.  

This Monday night the City Council set into motion the right of way dedication and utility relocation needed for the project.  Our hope is that hard construction will take place over the summer months to reduce traffic impacts that regularly use the corridor. 

Right of Way Dedication for Chamblee Dunwoody Road at Womack Road Intersection Improvement

Full Construction Plans of Intersection

Currently, westbound drivers have only one lane on Womack Road approaching the intersection. This single lane serves the left, right, and through movement. As such a vehicle waiting to turn left must yield to oncoming traffic, thus causing a backup to other drivers. Similarly, if there is a queue of vehicles on Chamblee Dunwoody Road northbound, a vehicle cannot safely merge into the queue without blocking traffic.

This proposed layout adds a left turn lane along Womack Road to provide a safe location for vehicles turning left onto Chamblee Dunwoody Road. The proposed design also improves the sight distance of this right turn by re-grading the slope and reconfiguring the retaining wall at the AT&T building in the south east quadrant of this intersection.

Throughout the project limits, roadway drainage will be improved by adding a closed drainage network. This network travels down the west side of Chamblee Dunwoody Road to tie into the existing drainage network. As a result, the sidewalk along the west side of Chamblee Dunwoody Road will be upgraded to meet current ADA standards and will effectively match the recent sidewalk project on the east side.