Thursday, June 23, 2022

Emergency Medical Services & Sanitation provided by DeKalb County in Dunwoody under a Service Delivery Stategy @ItsInDeKalb @DCFRpubaffairs @CommissPatrick @tedterry1

Promises Made

On Facebook, there is a thread of a scary medical situation where there was a delay in medical and ambulance services (luckily the child will be OK) and there are numerous comments as to needed service improvements.  The City will be making inquiries to the County for specifics from the 911 data, DeKalb Fire Rescue data and also from AMR, the ambulance service contracted with the County.  The initial fire truck should be providing immediate advanced medical attention enough to stabilize the injured and the ambulance then transports you to the hospital.  When a loved one is in pain, every minute counts!

Questions were raised in the Facebook thread if the City Council was aware of issues and we keenly are, we even questioned a DeKalb County representative who presented to the City Council just last week, asking him to bring the issue back to the CEO as the citizens of the county are not adequately being served. It is my hope that the DeKalb CEO and Board of Commissioners improves the services county wide on this topic as it is becoming life and death situation.  Below is my comment on the Facebook thread as well as the video from the last meeting.

As Mayor Lynn Deutsch stated, EMS (and Sanitation) are County Services that are constantly on the mind of the Dunwoody City Council. If DeKalb is not providing adequate services on Sanitation, we have the power to either start providing our own services (like Chamblee) or contract out to a private contractor but until then we hope that DeKalb Sanitation improves the services to meet expectations. Unlike Sanitation, we can not pull away from DeKalb County for EMS services and are at the mercy of DeKalb County to step up with adequate coverage. Dunwoody could "supplement" coverage with our own via a special service tax district but DeKalb would scale back services even more which would then double tax Dunwoody citizens. This is a possibility moving forward but we expect DeKalb County to modify the upcoming County budget or modify the SPLOST funding to improve this necessary service.

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond signed an MOU with Mayor Shortal improving the EMS services but there needs to be adequate funding and staffing levels as well as contractual compliance by the sub-contractor (AMR) to make the system work.

At our last City Council meeting, there was a DeKalb representative there to chat about our Service Delivery Agreement, and if you watch the meeting video at the 1-hour, 11-minute start point you can hear me question EMS services and the lack of DeKalb County funding/staffing to properly serve the community.

Here is the most recent Service Delivery Strategy which identified DeKalb for EMS & Sanitation.

Here is the link to the video from June 13, 2022, where I question the DeKalb representative on EMS Funding.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Dunwoody Special Called Meeting to discuss first millage tax rate increase in 13 years. Friday, June 17 at 8 am




JUNE 17, 2022 - 8:00 AM





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Public Hearing for Establishing 2022 Millage Rate

Presentation Link  

Friday morning is the first of three public hearings that the City is holding to discuss a possible city tax rate increase that would fund inflationary pressures for operational expenses, and as part of those inflationary preasures I am lobbying my fellow council members for a mid-year pay raise for our police department.  Our City millage (Tax) rate has not changed in 13 years and we are currently burning reserves as we have done in other lean years but now the financial experts are estimating we can't do that very much longer and with higher operational costs facing the city, I believe it would be prudent to think about such a raise in 2023.

As I discussed last Tuesday on my blog, our home values are locked for City Tax rates (the Schools are not) therefore with no raise of the actual millage (tax) rate, my city taxes have been the same since 2009.  My total DeKalb County Tax bill is $4,715 and of that I only pay $218 for general City Operations.  Dunwoody has the lowest tax rate in the County because we have so many businesses that pay a large share of our taxes, we are able to keep residential taxes low.   My bill is similar to the home with the $400,000 value listed below therefore if we decided to raise the tax rate from 2.74 mills to the 3.04 mill cap, my expected tax rate might go up $45 in 2023 for City Operational Services.

This possible raising of the millage tax rate would bring in about One Million Dollars and I believe that would be allocated very quickly for Public Safety and other operational needs.  Public Safety is Council's highest responsibility and this possible tax increase would go a long way to funding these increases.

Last year, we raised police pay and restructured the entire pay chart as requested by DPD Management but yet the cities all around us doubled our proposed salary increases therefore we actually lost ground on the salary comparisons between cities but we provide an excellent compensation package over all.  I recently saw Chief Billy Grogan on TV talking about officer pay and the many reasons that officers leave law enforcement. In discussions with Mayor Deutsch, I am looking forward to moving forward with additional funding for our officers.    Thanks,   John

Press Release - The Dunwoody City Council is considering an increase to the city’s General Fund millage rate, matching the cap instituted by the city’s founders of 3.040 mills. This would result in an increase of $33 to $69 a year for a typical Dunwoody home.

“We have been watching closely the relationship between revenue sources and service expectations of residents and businesses,” said Dunwoody City Council Member John Heneghan. “We have found that the revenue sources proposed at the start of incorporation in 2008 do not match the current operational levels. We’re eager to hear the community’s input on funding options.”

The base service level for the city created in 2008 was based on a much lower level than expected today. For example, the parks budget proposed at incorporation would be about $450,000 today if indexed for inflation. Compare that to current operations and programming costs, which run about $3 million. For public safety, the current number of authorized police officers is almost triple what was recommended in 2008.

Dunwoody has never raised the millage rate before. As a result, revenue from residential property taxes has remained relatively flat, going from $2.88 million in 2008 to an estimated $2.94 million today. The city has one of the lowest millage rates (2.740 mills) in the area for cities that levy a tax. In addition, all homestead properties have a 1.000 mill exemption, effectively making the rate 1.740 mills. On top of that, all homestead properties in the area are eligible to have their property assessments frozen from any increase in city taxes.

A typical Dunwoody home assessed today at $500,000 does not pay city taxes on the full amount, which would equal $321. Instead, when the average freeze value is taken into account, that same house is taxed as if it is assessed at $375,000, and the city taxes drop to $234. Raising the millage rate to the cap of 3.040 mills would be an additional $42 a year. Note that the freeze does not include school taxes.

City Council passed the 2022 Budget with a known structural deficit in the General Fund. Starting with the onset of COVID, the city proactively dropped revenue and proposed using fund balance to maintain operations. But in neither year (2020 nor 2021) did the city use any fund balance, so it grew.

When this year’s mid-year revenue numbers were reviewed, the deficit shrank to $2 million from the previous projection of $3.9 million. This millage increase would change that structural deficit to approximately $1 million.

A city can have a high fund balance and still have a structural deficit. In those cases, fund balance is generally used to keep operations at the same level. One-time costs, such as the contributions to the Arts and Nature Center, are not considered ongoing costs and do not count against the structural deficit.

Staff has recommended advertising the millage rate for 2022 at 3.040. Dunwoody’s Mayor and City Council invite the public to provide input during three public hearings on the millage rate at Dunwoody City Hall:• Friday, June 17 at 8 a.m. • Monday, July 11 at 8 a.m. • Monday, July 11 at 6 p.m. – this public hearing will be followed by a vote by Council

Raising the millage rate to 3.040 would generate approximately $1 million of new revenue. Staff recommends that $250,000 of this increase be earmarked for pay adjustments for staff, including police, in the third or fourth quarters to continue being competitive with neighboring jurisdictions. The rest of the increase is recommended to be used to shore up the structural deficit. All combined, these actions should reduce the structural deficit to approximately $1 million. If approved this increase would appear on the tax bills sent out this fall. The city’s tax share of most tax bills represents only 5% of the overall total bill.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

A month of Dunwoody Police Activity as reported in the City Manager's June report

At this evenings Dunwoody City Council Meeting, there was a glitch where the City Manager Monthly Report slated on the agenda for discussion, was missing from the City Council Packet therefore Mr. Eric Linton provided it to Council just before the meeting and I am sharing it here. To me the Police report is always the most interesting as well as troubling as it shows a side of humanity that most would not want to believe happens here in Dunwoody.   Let me tell you now that Dunwoody is not Maybeery.

Kudos to our brave Dunwoody Police Officers, as they risk getting shot at, saving those who have overdosed, dealt with suicides, double homicides, armed robberies, large drug seizures, heart attacks, and many more unsettling aspects of society.

Here is the full City Manager report for your reading pleasure and based on police committee meetings and tonight's City Council meeting that I attended, I have advocated for mid-year police raises that will assist with pay inequities based on our neighboring cities and will hopefully assist those officers that might want to jump ship for greener pastures, will now stay here in Dunwoody.

 Dunwoody Police Workload/Activities:

  •  Officers responded to a report of a Suspicious Person. A male subject walked into Camp Run-a-Mutt at 2a.m. Officers located a subject in the parking lot, and he could not provide a valid reason for being in the shopping center at that time of day and was arrested for Loitering & Prowling.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Fraud committed against an elderly woman. The victim received a call that she won $2.5 million in the lottery. The victim paid out $18,000 cash to get the money before she realized it was a fraud.
  •  Officers responded to a report of an Aggravated Assault. An employee verbally accosted a waitress and when the manager intervened, the suspect pulled a steak knife out and made threats. A warrant was secured for the suspect’s arrest.
  •  Officers responded to a report of Public Indecency in the parking lot of Michael’s. A male subject approached two juvenile females and exposed himself. When the father confronted the suspect, the suspect threatened to kill him with a knife. Officers were able to locate and arrest the suspect.
  •  Officers responded to a report of an Overdose by a male subject. The victim regained consciousness after Officers delivered two doses of Narcan.
  •  Officers responded to a report of Cruelty to Animals in the parking lot of Walmart on Winters Chapel Road. The complainant spotted a dog locked inside a hot vehicle. After being advised not to break the window until Officers arrived,the complainant broke the window out of the vehicle to rescue the dog. The dog owner was cited for Cruelty to Animals and the complainant was cited for Criminal Trespass.
  •  Officers responded to the area around Spalding at Winter Chapel to assist the Gwinnett County Police Department. They were pursuing Burglary suspects when one of the occupants of the vehicle fired an unknown number of shots at the Officers. Two of four suspects were arrested.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Peeping Tom at Hobby Lobby. A white male suspect was trying to take a photo or video up the victim’s skirt. The suspect fled the scene prior to Officer’s arrival.
  •  Officers attempted to conduct a Traffic Stop. The driver then jumped out of the vehicle and ran away. K9 Ranger alerted on the vehicle and drugs were located inside.
  •  Officers responded to a Welfare Check of a female on the ground with her clothes partially removed in medical distress. The female had apparently overdosed and was given Narcan.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Sexual Assault. The victim believes she was sexually assaulted during a medical exam.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Suicide Threat. A female had made threats to shoot herself. She was located and transported to the hospital.
  •  Officers responded to a report of Stalking. The victim located an Apple AirTag in her vehicle after she had it serviced.
  •  Officers conducted a Traffic Stop and attempted to arrest the driver for an active warrant. The suspect attempted to jump in the vehicle to leave, but after a short struggle, he was arrested.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Peeping Tom on Peachtree Place Parkway. An unknown Hispanic male was peeping through the victim’s bedroom window. The suspect was gone before Officers arrived.
  •  Officers responded to the area of 4503 Ashford Dunwoody Road to a Disorderly Person. While checking the area, Officers observed a suspect climbing through the window of a vehicle he had broken into. The suspect fled toward Perimeter Mall and climbed up on top of Perimeter Mall. Eventually, he was located and arrested.
  •  Officers responded to a Shoplifting at Old Navy. The suspect fled on foot from Officers and attempted to jump in his vehicle and drive away. After a short struggle, the suspect was arrested.
  •  Officers responded to a report of an Attempted Suicide. The 16-year-old victim had taken pills and was transported to a hospital for evaluation.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Person Dead. There is evidence to suggest this death was a suicide, however CID is investigating.
  • Officers responded to a report of an Overdose. A 32-year-old male subject was in a restroom with a used syringe in his hand. The subject was transported to the hospital.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Missing Person. The victim’s mother was supposed to pick her up after a meeting but could not locate her. Officers located the victim hours later and she was transported to the hospital for an evaluation.
  •  Officers responded to the Shell Station to a report of Terroristic Threats. The victim told Officers the son of an ex-girlfriend pulled a knife on him and threatened to kill him.
  •  Officers responded to two reports of Pickpocket Theft of an elderly person, at Ulta and Publix. The suspects used the credit cards or attempted to use them at multiple locations.
  •  Officers responded to a report of an Attempted Burglary at an apartment. While on scene, Officers observed multiple credit cards with different names on them. After securing a search warrant, Officers located 80 different credit cards with various names on them. A female suspect was arrested.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Disorderly Person in the food court of Perimeter Mall. The suspect was located and arrested but was combative and became disorderly at the jail. As Officers were securing the suspect, an Officer’s finger was injured.
  •  Officers attempted to conduct a Traffic Stop of a vehicle where the owner was wanted for Aggravated Assault with a gun. The suspect fled from Officers who pursued him until the driver began driving too dangerous, so the pursuit was terminated.
  •  Officers responded to a Traffic Crash on I-285 westbound at Ashford Dunwoody Road. There were 4 vehicles involved in the crash including one that overturned with 2 people were injured.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Traffic Crash on I-285 and 18 vehicles sustained damage due to striking a large metal object.
  •  Officers attempted to conduct a Traffic Stop. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene.
  •  Officers received a License Plate Reader hit on a Wanted Person. Officers were able to locate and arrest the suspect.
  •  Officers received information on a Wanted Person out of Ohio was in Dunwoody. The suspect’s vehicle was entered in Flock and Officers received a License Plate Reader hit later in the day and was able to arrest the suspect.
  •  Officers responded to a report of Disorderly Juveniles on Vermack Road. Officers encountered dozens of teenagers having a house party with underage drinking. Officers crashed the party and contacted the parents of the juveniles.
  • Officers responded to a report of a Damage to Property at the baseball fields on Barclay. The handicapped stall door was ripped off the hinges and was damaged with graffiti.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Discharged Firearm. The victim was putting his handgun away when he accidently shot himself in the foot.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Suspicious Person. The suspect became irate and attempted to leave, but ultimately was arrested.
  •  Officers were investigating a Trouble Unknown call. While on scene, a male burst out of an adjoining apartment and fled on foot. Officers peered into the apartment and observed evidence of narcotic sales. After securing a search warrant, Officers located 118 grams of Fentanyl, 12 lbs. of Marijuana, 2 lbs. of Ecstasy, 656 assorted pills, and one AK pistol and two semi-auto pistols.
  •  Officers responded to a Discharging Firearms call on Peachtree Place Parkway. Officers were able to determine a subject bought a handgun and fired 7 to 10 rounds into the wood line to test it; several shell casings were recovered.
  •  Officers responded to a report of an Aggravated Assault. A juvenile was accosted by other juveniles and one of them pulled a knife and tried to stab him.
  •  Officer responded to a Medical Call and found a 75-year-old woman had collapsed and with no pulse. Officers deployed their AED, but no shock was advised. Officers performed CPR until DeKalb Fire arrived.
  •  Officers responded to a Person Shot call at LaCota Apartments; two Hispanic males were shot and killed in their vehicle while parked in the parking lot. One suspect has been arrested and CID is currently continuing their investigation.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Vehicle Crash with an entrapment. Officers located the single vehicle crash on Tilly Mill Road. The driver, who was driving under the influence, drove through several yards and then went down a ravine. The vehicle was on fire when Officer’s arrived.
  •  Officers assisted the Georgia State Patrol after they chased a vehicle into the city that was racing on GA400 southbound. The vehicle was found abandoned at The Bricks Apartments.
  •  Officers were attempting to conduct a Traffic Stop when the driver fled from Officers. The driver turned on Ravinia Drive and lost control of the vehicle and crashed. The driver left his injured girlfriend behind.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Person Stabbed at Perimeter Loft Apartments. Officers started life savings measures, which were continued by DeKalb Fire and AMR. The victim was stabbed in the back by his girlfriend, and she was arrested.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Theft by Taking. The victim agreed to sell a PlayStation 5 on Facebook Marketplace and meet the buyer in the parking lot of Best Buy. After the suspect had the PlayStation he fled the scene without paying. Officers were able to locate the suspect later in the evening and arrest him.
  • Officers received a License Plate Reader hit on a Wanted Person. Officers were able to locate the vehicle and arrest the suspect.
  •  Officers conducted a Traffic Stop on a vehicle. Officers observed a gun on the rear floorboard of the vehicle at the feet of a passenger and detected an odor of marijuana. K-9 Ranger alerted on the trunk of the vehicle and Officers located approximately 7 lbs. of marijuana.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a female being a Disorderly Person. The female armed herself with a tire repair kit rod that had a sharp end. She made threats to harm anyone who got close to her. Officers were able to deescalate the situation and the female was transported to the hospital for treatment.
  •  Officers responded to a report of an Armed Robbery at 4600 Peachtree Place Parkway. The victim was walking through the apartment complex when he was approached by three young Hispanic males. One of the suspects punched him while another one put a gun to his head. They took cash and his cellphone.
  •  Officers responded to a report of an Armed Robbery on Ashford Dunwoody Road. A deaf couple reported that two males came up behind them in the parking lot of the Cheesecake Factory and robbed them at gun point.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Burglary at the BP Station on N. Peachtree. There were 3 black males that broke into the BP and stole the ATM machine.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Peeping Tom at Marshalls. The suspect was using his cell phone to record a woman in the changing room. The suspect was arrested.
  •  Officers responded to a call of a Missing Persons. A 4-year-old and 2-year-old, children were located.
  •  Officers responded to a report of Vandalism at the Brook Run Park Amphitheater. There were approximately 50 juveniles playing around the Amphitheater and graffiti was located on the floors and walls after the juveniles left.
  •  Our K9 assisted Roswell Police, Chamblee Police and Doraville Police departments in various incidents.
  •  Officers received a License Plate Reader hit on a Wanted Person. The vehicle was located, and the driver was arrested.
  •  Officers received a License Plate Reader hit on a Stolen Auto. The vehicle was located, and the juvenile suspect driver was arrested. The driver and vehicle were also responsible for several entering autos.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Road Rage incident on Ashford Dunwoody Road. After a traffic dispute, the suspect driver pointed a gun at the victim and then left the scene.
  •  Officers responded to an Armed Person call. Officers observed a male running toward the woods armed with a knife. The suspect was detained. Officers discovered that the suspect began choking his mother in the middle of the night, grabbed a knife and threatened to kill her. There were four children in the home. The suspect knocked the phone out of the hand of a 9-year-old girl and slightly cut her finger with the knife. The suspect was arrested for five counts of Aggravated Assault.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Peeping Tom. When Officers arrived, the suspect was being held by residents. The suspect was arrested and is also a suspect in multiple other peeping tom incidents.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Suicide. A 47-year-old male committed suicide with a handgun.
  •  Officers responded to a Person Hit by Auto/Hit and Run, Ashford Dunwoody Road at Hammond Drive. The victim was in a crosswalk when struck by a vehicle. The victim had a leg injury and was transported to the hospital.
  •  Officers received a License Plate Reader hit on a Wanted Person. Officers were able to locate the vehicle and arrest the driver.
  •  Officers responded to a report of a Stolen Auto at Pernoshal Park. The victim was playing basketball and left the key to his vehicle in his shoes. An unknown suspect took the keys and stole the victim’s vehicle.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Dunwoody City Council Meeting Agenda for Monday June 13th (Tree Ordinance, Spruill & Nature Center both get expansion funding, ARP Funding, new Chamblee Dunwoody Bridge, Tilly Mill Path, Millage Rate)

June 13, 2022    5:00 & 6:00 PM

5 pm Agenda for special called - City Site Agenda

City Council meetings are live-streamed on the City of Dunwoody’s Facebook page.

Update on Edge City 2.0 Project

The City of Dunwoody would like to develop a new vision for the future redevelopment of the Perimeter Dunwoody market that is shared by elected officials, the DeKalb board of the Perimeter CID, major property owners, governmental partners, and community stakeholders.

The City of Dunwoody and ARC anticipate the following outcomes from the study to be:

  •  Provide an updated vision that reflects current conditions and 20-year build out.
  •  Develop transportation investments that provide for safe movement of pedestrians, bicycles, and transit in, through and around the Perimeter LCI area.
  •  Develop case studies of comparable edge cities that provide real world examples of what the district could look like under chosen growth scenario.
  •  Develop a 3D GIS model of the growth scenario that is compatible with the City of Dunwoody’s ESRI ArcGIS based System, and can be revised by city staff.
  •  Develop a Fiscal Impact Model for the city, county and school system that can be adjusted in future years and future economic conditions.

City of Dunwoody moves forward with proposed Tree Protection Ordinance.

Full Proposed Tree Protection Ordinance

At the last City Council meeting, I raised concerns regarding the proposed Tree Protection Ordinance as I wasn't sure the specific problem we were trying to fix.  I asked for removal of Pine tree regulations and to add protections from clearing prior to construction in order to put more restrictions on developers vs individual homeowners, but those changes were not accepted by staff.   I thought the determination of compliance by the general homeowner was too difficult and that the administrative burden & financial cost to properly prepare for the permit was greater than the benefit to the community as I believe this ordinance impacts those who try to comply more than those who remove trees and risk being cited.  Based on what I am reading, I am not in favor of the ordinance as I believe it is an overstep that fixes a narrow issue with a broad brushstroke.

In order to better understand the proposal, I measured several trees on my property in order to determine their status.  I have a very large pine tree that measured 54 inches around, divided by 3.14 comes to a DBH of 17.19 therefore as it is under 20 there is no permit needed.  I can remove that one tree at anytime without coming to the city and I am guessing a great many pines are not subject to the ordinance as long as you only remove six.

I have two large oak trees in the front of my yard that far exceed the DBH of 24 therefore they are specimen trees and would be immediately subject to the ordinance.

I have several beautifully large magnolia trees that have three separate trunks and after researching I still have no clue if they are hardwood / softwood or understory?  Are they a specimen tree or not?  Am I subject to a permit?

I have read both pro and con comments, but a resident raised a concern that he wanted to remove a few trees to put up solar panels (in order to be Green) but that he might be required to replace the trees, the ordinance does not address this issue. 

The proposed implementation date was changed to January 1, 2023 in order to educate the community and the tree service industry therefore there is no hurry to pass this ordinance and because of that I will be asking for a deferral until the July meeting to allow this proposal to be fully vetted by the community and then modified by Council if needed.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

New Greek Orthodox Church slated to fill vacant space on Tilly Mill near Dunwoody / Doraville Border. @frnateg

Doraville Application for Conditional Use Permit. was approved in April and Church signs are up today.

Welcome to the Community St. Mark's

Weather looks to be clearing for Dunwoody Food Truck Thursday & Saturday's Groovin' on the Green concert with the 80ators playing the hits.


Hey Dunwoody! Food Truck Thursday will be back this week at Brook Run Park at 5 pm with live music by Todd Wells, (who has an amazing set list - check the link), beer from Moondog Growlers, an awesome food truck lineup and all your neighborhood friends!
Let's also support our community and our sponsor Discover Dunwoody, GA who is partnering with Community Assistance Center collecting canned goods! 

Saturday - 6 p.m.
Brook Run Amphitheater

Warmer temps have us ready for Saturday's Groovin’ on the Green! Join us Saturday, June 11 as we kick off the season with The 80ators at the Brook Run Park amphitheater from 6-9pm. Pack a cooler or grab dinner from one of the righteous food trucks: The Bento Bus, All Around The World, and Mrs Rosa. Cool off with ice cold drinks and stellar pops from Moondog Growlers and King of Pops.
NEW for 2022. Be sure to stop by the Atlanta Sport and Social Club tailgate in the Great Lawn for games and the cornhole tournament!