Monday, July 25, 2022

Dunwoody Events - Bingo on Thursday, Nature Center concert on Friday, Groovin Update, Aha Connection!, Discover Dunwoody, & Wine Stroll will sell out!

 Just passing information along.  Enjoy.

 Bingo Thursday July 28th at All Saints

All Saints Social Hall     2443 Mt. Vernon Rd.  Dunwoody, 30338

“Authentic” Delicious Homemade Italian Food   Pricing Variable but Affordable
Our June Food Selection:  Pasta e Fagioli     (Pasta and Beans)
Beer & Wine    $4.00  each      Soft drinks  $2

Over $1000 BINGO cash prize money that  increases with higher attendance numbers
A 50/50 split the cash drawing between our last two games of the evening

3 Free July gift card raffles:
1. Fleming’s Steakhouse, Perimeter Mall Area  Valued @      $25  
2. Seasons 52 Restaurant, Perimeter Mall          Valued @      $25
3. Two free Dinner Bingo Coupons along with two Drink Coupons  Valued @      $22

$18 admissions included for all 10 games

Fun For All Ages

A Special Thanks to our Sponsor at:   The Dunwoody WalMart
Proceeds go to the Knights of Columbus, Charities

Limited to the first 175 guests - they sold out in June please come early to obtain seat.

Dunwoody Nature Center Summer Music Fest - Friday the 29th

Join the Dunwoody Nature Center for an evening of great music and even better vibes! This concert will feature four unique groups and solo acts made up of local, up and coming musicians. This summer concert will take place under the canopy of trees on Austin Lane, and is sure to be a rocking good time!

Bands and artists include Lahar, Goodfire, Midsummer Motel, and Maria Deirisarri.

Friday, July 29 @ Dunwoody Nature Center

Doors open at 6pm, music starts at 6:30pm. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase.

Tickets $10 — DNC members get in FREE! Contact for the member discount code.

Buy your tickets today!

Groovin’ on the Green - Updated Rain out Date

FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2022 AT 6 PM – 9 PM

Mark your calender's - Join the City of Dunwoody for the Parks & Rec Month Celebration makeup concert, featuring Sassfolk. Guests are encouraged to walk or ride bikes to the concerts. Bring your own picnics or pick up dinner from a featured food truck. Dogs (on a leash!) are also welcome.

About the band: Sassfolk is the melodic big bang of long lost friends, Jana Wolf & Ana Pike. Sassy harmonies & nostalgic melodies are the bread & butter of their sound. After crossing paths for over two decades through family & friends, the musical soulmates found each other & formed a duo in 2018. From there, Sassfolk started playing the Atlanta & Decatur scene, creating a fierce following at the likes of Eddie's Attic & Oakhurst Porchfest.

Food trucks: Willie B's Sisters Southern Cuisine, Mac Queen, Bento Bus, Different Twist Pretzel Co., Moondog Growlers, Frozen Sweets

Groovin' on the Green is a free series held at the Brook Run Park amphitheater. All concerts begin at 6pm and are family friendly.

Discover Dunwoody instagram is putting out some nice event content.  Worth a follow.

Aha! Connection - covers lots of Dunwoody News & Events. 
If you are unaware, I highly recommend you check out or register with this outstanding website.

Dunwoody Wine Stroll
Sat, Sep 17, 20223:00PM - 7:00PM

FYI - this future event sells out and I recommend buying tickets far in advance.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Thursday, July 14, 2022

City of Dunwoody calls special Capital Committee meeting for Friday morning to discuss possible bond items Nov 2022 referendum.



JULY 15, 2022 - 8:00 AM

In person only - no video.  Come join us.

Agenda - City Site   Packet Items

Friday morning at 8 am, a special called meeting of the Dunwoody Capital Committee will meet to discuss if the City of Dunwoody is prepared to ask the citizens of Dunwoody to vote in favor of a tax increase to complete a specific list of projects.  We will be comparing the lists previously discussed in committee against lists and edits that were discussed in open Council session on July 11th.

The Committee members as named by the Mayor are myself, Catherine Lautenbacher and Joe Seconder and as we are just three of the seven members of Council, I see us as a working group for ideas as the decisions / ideas raised in that committee meeting are not binding and could be easily overturned by the full council.

Monday July 11th there was a detailed discussion as to where each member of Council outlined where they were on the idea of a proposed bond.  I missed that meeting as I was in Chicago caring for an ill parent and I was not allowed to video into the meeting as Georgia State Law allows Council a maximum of two allowances of remote attendance unless under a city wide declared emergency or a medical condition of the Council Member.  Councilman Joe Seconder also missed the meeting because of a death in the family.

If I was in attendance this last Monday I would have stated (what I said at the previous meeting) that I have concerns over us being ready to present a comprehensive, fully vetted, bond list to the community and that I believe we should start working towards that goal for a November 2023 decision by the citizens. 

Between now and then, Council should put forward a reimbursement resolution for infrastructure and parks planing, engineering, utility & sewer work on several of the projects so that the residents can see what they will be getting for the money and that way we will be shovel ready soon after the election / bond referendum.  This reimbursement resolution was mentioned on Monday and it would be the equivalent of us moving forward asap on all projects and the delay of the year wouldn't slow the development of the parks as that work should be done anyway and with this method the citizens would know what to expect at future parks and the costs between now and then could be rolled into the bond if successful.

Looking at the list that was raised by Asst City Manager Jay Vinicki at the July 11th meeting, was previously discussed by the Capital Planning Committee and a number of the projects were parred back by Council comments on the 11th.  I will list my concerns / thoughts on the original list of 17 items below.

1. Roberts Drive Park - Shows Girls Softball there and that was the last vetted plan, Changes? Nothing has been vetted recently, there has been no public meetings announcing possible changes?
2. Land Acquisition - nice to put in bond, not needing to use but what if we were offered needed green space or Post Office in Village?   It would be nice to have ability to get those funds but this is fully conceptual and Council could not know if really needed or not.  Big Trust by citizens to vote yes.
3. 4. 5. Trail development, especially 12 foot paths in front of single family residential are in question and will not be part of a 2022 bond if council moves forward.  Several Council members met with the PATH Foundation recently and are looking for ways to put more paths though our community and may be proposing other ideas soon.
6. Citywide Sidewalk completion on major thoroughfares is an idea that many residents could get behind, it would probably serve a wider segment of the community including those who do not live near the other parks that are listed for improvement.  There is a sidewalk map listing possible sidewalk ideas that may not be universally liked as it may include little known personal paths across private land or follows creeks (also on private land).  This map has ideas but not hard plans as far as I am concerned and would need further vetting.
7. Brook Run future development will be parred way back to include a few more restrooms, pavilions, sand volleyball area near treetop and additional handicap parking near the music bandshell.  There is also an ask to rebuild the maintenance facility near the back gate and based on what I know, I agree that it should be done, unfortunately staff has not vetted that need publicly, there are no plans, drawings or costs vetted either.  The Brook Run Master Plan should be amended, updated and the scope of the work on the maintenance facility should be engineered to be shovel ready in the future.
8. Vermack Park - not sure this park has been fully vetted nor shovel ready but guessing the planning is further along than Roberts.  Water features / splash pads are being removed from Brook Run Plans and there was talk of moving it to Vermack and/or adding several of them around the city including Windwood Hollow.
9. Peachtree Middle School turf - Dunwoody has a 20 lease on the football field at PCMS and the field is in really bad shape to where we can not maintain it to our standards, therefore since we have already invested in the lease, the lights, a storage facility that it would make financial sense to turf that field so that the usable playable hours greatly increases and the field could be used for Lacrosse and Football as those spaces are also in high demand.  This idea is not applicable for a bond because first an IGA modification would be needed with DeKalb Schools and there is an argument that we don't own the land therefore should not improve the land but putting a twenty year turf on a twenty year lease sounds acceptable to me as a win / win situation.  This project can be done with city funds outside a bond.
10. 285 right of way trail - waiting for more GDOT planning and the topography / elevation changes along the highway are huge therefore mainly because of timing, this can not be part of a bond.
11. Peeler Trail along Waterworks - cutting down trees to overlay a 12 ft path over the current 6 ft path makes no sense to me and it would remove the beauty and remove the functionality. Not going on a bond.
12. Dunwoody Art Center Spruill Expansion - Done.  City already allocated 1 million dollars for expansion. No Bond needed.   No Bond.
13. Dunwoody Nature Center Expansion - Done.  City already allocated 1 million dollars for expansion. No Bond needed.  No Bond.
14. Dunwoody Nature Center Board Walk Replacement - City was granted storm water funds from the Federal Government and this fund can cove this work.   No Bond.
15. Dunwoody Cultural Center (Library) parking lot redo / once expansion is complete (or when all the heavy trucks are done, this can be completed. (We may need to plant a few trees too.)  Based on the timing this should not be on a 2022 bond as it wouldn't happen until 2024?
16. Waterford still needs a playground (contractual agreement with the neighborhood for donation) and we can add that to bond if needed, the boardwalk over the marsh might be able to be completed with stormwater funds so maybe this doesn't need to be on a bond?
17. There are plans to rebuild / renovate the Brook Run Veterans Memorial but as this was built by DeKalb County as a County memorial - they may be paying a large portion. Talks are on-going - not on a bond.

The charts above and below have some costs of the projects and some estimated on going costs for maintenance but I'm not sure I can trust either?  There may be possible major changes to Roberts Park, those costs are up in the air.  Brook Run changes and a redo of the maintenance shed, costs up in the air.  Things need to be better planned before these small items be presented to citizens.

Another aspect of capital funding is not only reviewing what was presented but also what is missing.  Who is not being served by our proposals?  If we are going to raise everyone's taxes, shouldn't there be some equity of added amenities and benefit for all aspects of the community?  What are we doing for Seniors, babies, people with disabilities?  Are we serving those with the greatest need or are we serving those in parks where it is is easy to do so no matter if all the residents don't need or want the amenity?   Where are the gaps in service?  Is there something else that we should be funding?   

Maybe we as a city need to purchase four ambulances with city funds and find a way to have them supplement DeKalb County's EMS system without DeKalb completely abandoning their responsibility to provide service?    Maybe we need (or just want) to buy two leaf sucker trucks and provide the service the City of Chamblee provides?    The on going costs of running those ambulances / leaf sucker machines is where the problem really hits us long term, the bond can buy us stuff but everything after that is all on us.

The City of Dunwoody is now at our maximum operational millage with the tax increase ratified earlier this week, therefore operational costs for everything needs to be evaluated.

Having just raised the tax rate for all citizens, I am very reluctant to do it again for these back of the envelope ideas that have not been completely flushed out. 

Maybe next year as far as I am concerned, but I am only one vote.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Dunwoody City Councilman Heneghan thoughts on 12 foot city paths and delaying possible bond referendum for improved list of projects.

Councilman John Heneghan questions 12 foot path plan, suggests path reduction and increased tree / shade coverage.

Facebook video - starting at 05:19:52 to 05:26:00

Councilman John Heneghan thoughts on possible Bond Referendum and plans that need to be finalized before asking citizens to consider tax increase.

Facebook video - starting 06:12:10

On June 13th the Dunwoody City Council had a 6 plus hour city council meeting with important topics being discussed with very few citizens in the audience but that being said the meetings are recorded and the meeting of June 13th can be replayed at a later point

At this meeting there was a discussion on possible multi-use (bike, walk, scooter) 12 foot path plans on Tilly Mill between Mt. Vernon and Womack whereby staff wanted Council to decide whether advanced planning documents should be created for either the East Side (Congregation Ariel) or the West Side (JCC) and staff recommended the East side because of a number of factors and I agreed with that proposal for doing the advanced planing there, mainly because of the high number of walkers commuting to and from Congregation Ariel.  Once the advanced drawings are created, staff meets with every affected property owner / subdivision to work out issues where the city would be changing the area within the City's right of way.

Residents in various sections of the city where these 12 foot wide paths are planned are worried & upset with the city as this is not what they want on their property or abutting their community.  This is probably the number one topic of emails received by the City Council in the last month as there has been numerous concerns of safety, security, loss of privacy, changes to subdivision entrances, loss of trees & landscaping and the fact that a 12 foot concrete sidewalk without any shade is just an ugly amenity that no one wants.

At the June 13th meeting I questioned 12 foot path widths, asked for reductions and dedicated landscaping plans for each segment of proposed paths. When City surveys state that residents say they want paths, I believe they are dreaming of tree lined, shaded paths in Brook Run Park and not a 12 foot area in front of their home where trees and vegetation was removed from landscaped areas that will now be devoid of tree or shade coverage to install that 12 ft wide concrete path. I think my point was understood by staff and members of Council but unsure where this topic is going.  If any path advanced plans or drawings remove tree canopy I would also want those advanced planning documents to show the needed landscaping and replaced tree shade to make this amenity beautiful and desirable to walk, and if this landscaping is not part of the plan, then I believe we would have failed in the planing and construction of the project.

Because of the numerous email inquiries and opinions being raised regarding paths, I have started doing research as to path width reductions, minimum requirements and other cost savings that could still facilitate movement yet be a reduction on the impacts to the homeowners being directly affected.  In one document, I see a possibility of 6 ft paths (sidewalks) being acceptable and if these paths (sidewalks) were installed on both sides of the street it might alleviate the fears of the citizens that these 12 foot path plans being pushed by the Staff & Council might do more harm to the community than the proposed long term benefits.  

As there are numerous technical journals and documents on the subject, I do trust staff's professional opinion about what is legal and proper when exploring best practices for paths, unfortunately having the proposed wide paths squeezed into our tight right of way, leaves little or no room for the beauty and shade that makes walking such paths desirable.   If we can't find consensus on Council for what size paths are appropriate on single family neighborhood streets, that allows for adequate shade coverage, I will be reviewing the plans moving forward for such amenities prior to me voting for the construction of such paths.

At the very end of the evening of the 13th, just before midnight, the Dunwoody City Council discussed feedback from Bond Referendum Town Hall Meetings.  I have posted my audio clip from that discussion as I believe we need to narrow the scope of the projects as to what is really needed and can be constructed in a reasonable time frame.  We need to better flush out our park designs so the residents have a better idea what amenities will be included at each park and if all of that is completed in the next six months then we can restart the bond referendum discussions for a possible vote in November of 2023.

This same type of Capital Project List discussion is again slated for deep into tonight's meeting and unfortunately I will be unable to attend to weigh in on the matter as I am back in Chicago for a short trip taking care of an ill family member; therefore I figured I would restate my opinion that I believe we as a city are not ready to move forward with a bond referendum at this time.  That being said, there is still much to discuss, facts to review and I am interested in what my fellow Council members bring to the table; therefore my mind is open to any and all possibilities.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Dunwoody City Council Agendas for Monday July 11, 2022 (Proposed Millage Rate Increase, Police Pay Raise, Funding expansion of Spruill & Dunwoody Nature Center, police firearms)

July 11, 2022    8:00 AM & 6:00 PM

8 AM Agenda for special called - City Site Agenda

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

They are also available for viewing (no two way communication) on Zoom,  or 

Public Hearing for Establishing 2022 Millage Rate

6 pm Agenda - City Site Agenda

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

They are also available for viewing (no two way communication) on Zoom,  or  +14703812552,,81765648093#

You can access the video after the meeting on the City of Dunwoody’s YouTube page.


Public comments - in person 3 min each / 30 min max with additional at end of meeting if needed. 

City Manager's Report (Eric Linton)

Public Hearing and ACTION ITEM: Resolution Establishing the 2022 Millage Rate

Lease Agreement with Georgia Power for Streetlights on Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Request for Approval of On-Call Stormwater Engineering and Design Contract

Approval of a Right of Way Agreement with Brookfield Properties for the Ashford Dunwoody Commuter Trail Phase I Project

Approval Police Pay Raise - Amendment of City Position Allocation and Compensation Chart 

Agreement concerning Funding for Expansion Spruill Arts Center and Nature Center

Project Agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation for the North Shallowford Road Path Project

Contract with TSW for Final Design of Gateway Signage

Capital Project List Discussion & Bond Financing Options

Authorize the Purchase of Replacement Firearms for Police Department

Authorize Dunwoody Police Pay Raise and Specialized Unit Pay

City of Dunwoody proposes midyear pay increase and other benefits for police force.

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. Monday night the City of Dunwoody will be proposing a mid-year pay raise.

Dunwoody, GA Press Release – July 8, 2022 – The Dunwoody City Council is considering a second pay adjustment in 2022 that will impact all city employees, with additional boosts for public safety employees. If approved, officers, detectives, and sergeants with the Dunwoody Police Department will have received an average pay increase of 20.8% since December 2020. This is well above the 12.2% increase in the national CPI and reflects the importance of public safety in Dunwoody.

In adopting the 2022 General Fund millage rate, the City Council is considering an increase that would meet the statutory cap of 3.040, up from 2.74 mills. Council Members have indicated that support for this action is dependent upon additional pay raises for public safety. The proposed increase is designed to keep Dunwoody Police competitive at a time when law enforcement agencies nationwide are facing challenges with recruitment and retention.

The Budget Committee is comprised of Councilmembers Stacey Harris, Joe Seconder and Tom Lambert. During their most recent meeting on July 1, they voted unanimously to recommend to the full Council a 6% raise for all police officers, detectives, sergeants and lieutenants. These increases are on top of the city-wide adjustments of 3% at the start of 2022. All other city personnel would receive a 4% raise under the current proposal.

The millage rate adjustment and public safety pay raise are on the agenda for the next Dunwoody City Council meeting on July 11 at 6 p.m. If approved, the pay increases would be retroactive to the first pay period after July 1, 2022. The Dunwoody Budget Committee recommends two additional benefit enhancements:

1) The monthly housing stipend for police officers who live in Dunwoody would increase to $800 a month from $700

2) All new City employees would be able to take vacation earlier by starting their jobs with three vacation days on the books before accruing them. Dunwoody Police offer a competitive pack of benefits that includes the following:

• Take-home vehicle program
• 100% city-paid employee medical coverage immediately
• 90% city-paid family medical coverage immediately
• Employer retirement contribution up to 21.2%
• $6,000 signing bonus
• 100% city-paid life insurance, AD&D, and short and long-term disability insurance
• Up to $4,000 tuition assistance annually
• Free fitness center membership
• Paid monthly POAB (Peace Officers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Georgia) dues for officers
• 14 paid holidays
• $2,500 in additional pay for SWAT operators
• $200 longevity pay per year of service starting after 5 years

During the July 11 meeting, Dunwoody City Council will also consider a proposal to authorize the City Manager to implement specialized unit pay of $4,000 annually. This would create additional demand for specialized units, including the Crime Response Team, Community Outreach, K9 and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area group. This additional funding will come from the 2022 budget.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Dunwoody 4th of July Parade and other area events

4th of July - Dunwoody Parade 9 am Mount Vernon & Jett Ferry heading towards the Village.

I love the Dunwoody 4th of July Parade as it is the epitome of a community event where we gather to celebrate this country's independence, those who sacrificed for it and even in times of strife where we know our country and it's people are not perfect; we still celebrate America. For all her faults, she’s still a shining beacon, the hope of the world and the only country we have.

Dunwoody Homeowners Association and the Dunwoody Reporter newspaper will host the annual Independence Day Parade on Monday July 4th featuring marching bands, floats, clowns, animal units and local celebrities. In 2021 the parade attracted over 2,500 participants and 35,000 spectators!

The parade route is approximately 2.7 miles and steps off from the intersection of Mount Vernon Road and Jett Ferry Road at 9:00 a.m., proceeds west on Mt. Vernon to Dunwoody Village, turns right onto Dunwoody Village Parkway, circles around the Parkway, and left into Dunwoody Village in between First Watch and Citizens Bank . Volunteers will guide parade participants to parade parking (Post Office Side). The Festival Area will be on the Walgreens side of Dunwoody Village. It takes approximately 1 hour to walk the entire parade route.

Parade spectators are encouraged to setup chairs along Mt. Vernon and circle around the Dunwoody Village Parkway into Dunwoody Village. Spectators will be blocked from viewing on the east side of Jett Ferry on Mt. Vernon due to the staging and setup for parade participants. Viewing will start on the west side of Jett Ferry on Mt. Vernon.  (I always smile as see numerous parade viewing spaces reserved the night before be it with tents, blankets or chairs as it reminds me of the practice of Dibs after a Chicago snowfall.)

Mt. Vernon Road, between Jett Ferry Road and Dunwoody Village, will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. [times are approximate; contact the Dunwoody Police Department for specific questions about road closures and traffic information].The Parade Grand Marshal for 2022 is my friend and former Councilwoman Pam Tallmadge.

The parade will have many of the same participants as it has for many years, community organizations, politicians, old cars, swim tennis associations, Dunwoody High School participants, fire trucks, etc but I am personally exited for the 116th National Army Guard Marching Band, the Dunwoody Precision Lawn Chair Drill Team, the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable, the Atlanta Falcon Cheerleaders, a huge potato and my good friend Santa Claus.

After the Parade, please join the Dunwoody community in front of the US Post Office in Dunwoody Village for family fun and great food. Troop 266 will be selling delicious BBQ (chicken or pork), slaw, watermelon, homemade brownie, and tea or lemonade.  

Fireworks !!!!!

3rd of July - Lillian Webb Park & Downtown Norcross Fireworks - 9:30 pm

Downtown Norcross is a great little destination with a few great restaurants, drinking establishments, shops and public parks with a train running by to wave to.  When my children were little Thrasher Park was our favorite place to visit because of the big trees, shaded playground and the regular train running by.  Norcross does a nice family event on the 3rd; get out there by mid-evening to layout the blankets and set some chairs; more then likely there will be friends and neighbors from Dunwoody surrounding you. Walk the downtown, visit the shops, food trucks, listen to the band & DJ until the fireworks show kicks off at 9:30.

4th of July - Keswick Park Fireworks in Chamblee - 9:30 pm

For many years our family would do the Dunwoody parade, spend the afternoon doing numerous events (watermelon races, splash contests, diving for change or beer, water volleyball)  at my local swim tennis club and then if we still had the energy we would head over to Chamblee to see the fireworks show at Keswick.  The show is usually quite impressive.

4th of July - City Springs Fireworks in Sandy Springs - 9:30 pm

Living on the Southside of Dunwoody, Keswick Park in Chamblee is easy for me but I know many of you are closer to Sandy Springs who also puts on a nice fireworks show preceded by a band.