Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Dunwoody Update: Election, Paving, New City Hall, Recycle Events, Concert, Veteran's Day

1. Election … I ask you to please exercise your privilege to vote. Thousands of our fellow Americans have sacrificed their lives for us to have this privilege.
Early Voting continues today thru this Friday at the Dunwoody Library from 7 AM to 7 PM. As of yesterday 115,000 DC citizens have voted early or absentee.
Normal Voting Day is next Tuesday, NOV 8th. Vote at your normal voting polling location. Polls will are open from 7 AM to 7 PM.

2. Voting … Citizens keep asking me who to vote for and how to vote on the Constitutional Amendments and the DC Special Election issue. It is not my place to tell you who and what to vote for … that is your decision. I will tell you how I am voting and you can use that for what ever it is worth.
President … Trump, US Senate … Isakson, Public Serv Com … Echols, US Representative 6th District … Tom Price, State Senator … Fran Miller, State Representative … Tom Taylor, District Attorney … Sherry Boston, Sheriff … Jeff Mann, DC Tax Commissioner … Irvin Johnson, Chief Executive Officer … Thurmond, DC Bd of Commissioners - Dist 1 … Nancy Jester and Dist 6 Kathie Gannon. Constitutional Amendments …
1 … Yes, 2 … Yes, 3 … Yes, 4 … Yes. DC Special Election - Homestead Exemption … Yes.

Again, how you vote is your decision but however you vote …. PLEASE VOTE!

3. Paving … All the streets `on the 2016 scheduled and supplemental paving list have been completed. The 2017 paving list will be coming out in December and the request for bids will be released NLT January.

4. More Paving … Paving of Chamblee Dunwoody Road (CDR) from Womack to Cambridge was not scheduled to be paved this year. However, due to the warm dry weather we have been having we have moved forward to try to get it paved this year. We have been delayed the last few days awaiting DC to finish the water line work. We have been told they would finish that this morning … stay tuned. We have been working on completing the necessary “deep patching” and most of that is completed. Final “top-coat" paving on this area of CDR will take about a week. As I have said before … patience will be required from all of us but the final results are worth it!

5. New City Hall … We are continuing to move forward on the overall process. We have the same Program Manager in place that did the pre-purchase evaluation of the building and parking lot. They will oversee everything until move in day. The bids are in and we are in the process of final selection for an architect for the build-out of the interior of the building. The next process will be to select a Construction Manager (in basic terms this is the general manager of the interior build-out construction). There are still four tenants in the building and we are in negotiations and assisting them with their with moving plans.

6. Recycle Events … We have two more recycling event this year. Preregistration is required … to register email Andrew Russell at …  andrew.russell@dunwoodyga.gov. Please remember that these events are for Dunwoody residents only (bring an ID with an address).
Electronic Recycling … NOV 13th from 1 - 4 PM at St Luke’s Presbyterian Church parking lot on Mt Vernon Rd. All electronic items accepted. Deadline to register is 4 PM on Friday NOV 11th.

Household Hazardous Waste Recycling … DEC 11th from 12:30 to 4 PM at our current City Hall Parking lot located at 41 Perimeter Center East.  Items accepted … aerosols- adhesives, resin & epoxies- mercury debris/articles/devices- lawn care products- automotive products- fluorescent bulbs- pharmaceuticals- photo chemicals- hobby & artist supplies- paints- cleaners and swimming pool supplies and poisons & pesticides. Deadline to register is 4 PM on Friday DEC 9th.

7. Concert … The U S Naval Academy Gospel Choir will preform a free concert themed a “Salute to America’s Heroes” Friday, NOV 11th (Veteran’s Day) at Dunwoody Baptist Church. Doors open at 6:30 PM and the concert starts at 7 PM. If you have not heard this choir you are in for a real treat.

8. Veteran’s Day … The annual Dunwoody Veteran’s Day Ceremony will take place on NOV 11th at 10 AM at the Veteran’s Memorial in Brook Run Park. Every year more and more patriotic Dunwoody and surrounding area citizens attend this event to honor those who have served to preserved our Freedom. We look forward to seeing everyone there.

9. Volunteer Day … My thanks to all the members of the Dunwoody Volunteer Coordination Committee and our City Park Staff for a successful “Volunteer Day” last Saturday. This annual event is a great show of community spirit.

10. Safety … I ask everyone please do not exceed the speed limits on our streets around town and also when you see some one in a crosswalk to stop and give them the right-of-way to cross the street. Speeding and crosswalk violations are two of the biggest complaints I receive from citizens. Remember we are all family in Dunwoody so lets take care of each other.

11. That is all for this morning. Please pass this on to your friends, neighbors and members of your HOA, etc. If anyone wants to be added to my email list just let me know. Thanks for everything each of you do to make us a great city family and create an atmosphere of mutual respect and quality of life that we all desire!

Let Us Continue to Build Our City Together!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Dunwoody Update: Dunwoody Park/Austin School, Elections, Haunted Farm Tour, Drought, Security

1. Dunwoody Park / Austin School … The City has entered into a "letter of intent” (LOI) with the DeKalb County Board 0f Education (DCBE) to exchange certain properties via an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA). The LOI does not bind either party to the agreement until it has been formally approved. Basically to City would give the DCBE approx. 10 + acres which is the Dunwoody Senior Baseball fields in Dunwoody Park in exchange for 9.8 acres of the current Austin school site and 7.9 to build baseball fields at Peachtree Middle School. There are a lot of other details included in the IGA. The details, drawings, finances, etc. will be fully explained at two “town hall” type meetings to be held at 6 PM on OCT 17 (that is tonight) and OCT 25 at the Dunwoody City Hall (41 Perimeter Center East). The format of these “meetings” will start citizens having time to view the displays followed by a formal presentation by the city staff and then questions & answers (this includes statements). Representatives of the DCBE will also be in attendance. In my opinion there are details to be worked out to protect the “quality of life” of the neighbors (to clarify I am one of those neighbors) just as we should do in any residential area in our city.  Also of important is to ensure the long term survivability of Dunwoody Senior Baseball program. These meetings are very important for the future of our entire community and I urge each of you to attend. Your input is important and valued.

The plan is to also discuss this issue as a “First Read” at the OCT 24 City Council meeting with a vote to the taken at the NOV 14 City Council meeting.

2. Elections … Election Day is NOV 8, 2016. This is a Federal (President, US Senator and US House of Representatives) and GA State Senate and Representatives.  Voting will be at your normal polling locations from   7 AM - 7 PM.

Early Voting … In DC Early Voting starts today and goes through NOV 4. Locations close to Dunwoody with dates and times when the polls will be open for early voting are ….

North DeKalb - Tucker Recreational Center, 4898 LaVista Rd, Tucker, GA … M - Fr 10/17 - 11/4 7 AM - 7 PM and Saturdays 10/22 & 10/29 7 AM - 7 PM (No Sunday voting)

Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd and Brookhaven City Hall, 4362 Peachtree RD, NE, Brookhaven, GA … M - Fr 10/31 - 11/4 only … from 7 AM - 7 PM. (No weekend voting at either of these locations).

Absentee Voting … You may vote absentee by submitting an absentee ballot application electronically, fax or by mail not later than OCT 29, 2016.

Submitting by Fax or US Mail … go to  http://web.dekalbcountyga.gov/Voter/pdf/absentee.pdf then on the left side of the page select “Applications and Forms” and then select “Absentee Ballot Application” (in the middle of the page) fill out the application and fax to 404-298-4038 or mail to DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections, 4380 Memorial Dr, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032. You will receive your ballot very quickly then fill out your ballot and mail in the envelope you receive with the ballot.

Submitting Electronically follow the instructions above then after you have fill out your application, scan it and then attach it to an email to VoterReg@DeKalbCountyga.gov.

3. Haunted Farm Tour … This event, sponsored by our Boy Scout Troop 477, is on OCT 22 from 3 PM to 9 PM at the Donaldson-Bannister Farm located at the corner of Chamblee Dunwoody Rd and Vermack Rd. You will meet all kinds Dunwoody historical characters and the event also includes games, crafts, music, food and … Fun for the whole Family! The money raised go to help send boys to summer camp and provide funds for boys who can’t afford to participate in scouting.

4. Drought … The GA Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has declared DC and 52 other counties in GA as "Level 1 Drought.” The main restriction is a Georgia law that limits outdoor watering to the hours between 4 PM  -  10 AM. For more details visit GA EPD’s “My Drop Counts” on the GA EPD’s website … http://epd.georgia.gov/sites/epd.georgia.gov/files/related_files/FINAL-MDC_ConservationBrochure_Final.pdf

5. Security … The Christmas shopping season is already starting. Almost all of us shop in stores and on-line. However, there are a few of the "bad guys” that shop by looking in cars where folks have left valuables, gifts, etc. in plain sight. Don’t be a victim this Christmas season and as well as all year round … keep your gifts, valuables, etc out of view in your car. Also be aware of your surroundings as you walk to you car in a parking lot with your gifts in hand. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

6. That is all for this afternoon. Please pass this on to your friends, neighbors and members of your HOA. If anyone wants to be added to my email list just let me know. Thanks for all each of you do to make us a great city family. Let us all work to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and quality of life that we all desire!

Let Us Continue to Build Our City Together!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dunwoody Update: City Hall & Attorney Legal Opinion

1. City Hall … Big day forward for Dunwoody! As of today the citizens of Dunwoody own the building that will be our new city hall. The much advertised building is located at 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd and
the current name on the building is Community & Southern Bank … just north of Chili’s restaurant. The owner ask $8,500,000 and we paid $8.050,000 or approx. $179 / square foot which is $50 -70 below new construction cost. The new city hall, which was completed in 1995, sits on 3.26 scares and includes 180 parking spots. The building is 45,000 square feet and when the "build out” is complete the city will occupy the entire building. Some tenants will have to move and this will be followed by the “build out” to fit our needs. Conservatively we will occupy the building in the first quarter 2018 but our push is to be in earlier. We have secured a loan at a 1.98% interest rate.

2. Attorney Legal Opinion / Dunwoody Boards and Committees Conflict of Interest Issue and Meeting Legality … On 24 JUN 2016 at a Special Called meeting the Dunwoody City Council voted to seek outside legal opinion to address two issues (1) whether the 13 JUN 2016 executive session was proper and (2) whether the outside firm agreed with the 6 JUN 2016 Memorandum from our city attorneys regarding conflicts of interest of DHA Officers, Boards Members and Members serving on four ( Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals, Design Review Advisory Committee, Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals) of the 13 Dunwoody City Boards and Committees. After an open and competitive bid the law firm of Hulsey, Oliver and Mahar, LLP out of Gainesville, GA was select by the city manager. This firm has or is currently representing 35 GA State agencies or authorities and county and city government on various governmental legal matters.  The lead attorney was Abbott Hayes. The findings and opinions of the firm are attached below and basically the firm determine that (1) the executive session of 13 JUN 2016 "was proper” and  (2) that “active participation by Dunwoody elected officials and appointees in DHA activities, such as service on committees, service as an officer, and attendance at meetings to consider rezoning and other applications made to the city, is a conflict of interest that arguably tends to impair the independence of his or her judgement or action in the performance of official duties, in violation of City Charter 2-213(a) (1).”  Many of you have voiced your opinion on these two issues … I ask you to read the document and then send me feedback to … Denis Shortal <denis.shortal@dunwoodyga.gov>. I am interested in what you have to say. Where do we go from … at the 12 SEP 2016 city council meeting Abbott Hayes will personally be at the meeting to brief us and take questions from the Council. At a later regular open meeting the Council Members will decide what action to take.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dunwoody Update: Tonight's Storm, Paving

1. Tonight’s Storm … I just received a call from Georgia Power and I know some of our citizens are without power especially on the south end of Dunwoody tonight. The Georgia Power representative informed me that one of their main transformers got hit and that they have all crews out working on the problem but they do not have an exact time when full power will be restored. You can go online to GeorgiaPower.com and click on storm/power outage and you can get updates from that page by putting in your address or ZIP Code. They also advise that we should consider any wire that is on the ground to the hot/live and to stay away from the wire. Unless you have emergency backup power you probably can't receive this email so I'm asking those in your neighborhood that can receive this email to please pass the word to our citizens w/o power.

2. Paving … Due the diligent efforts of our city staff we were able to locate a replacement milling sub-contractor in Augusta, GA to do the milling on Chamblee Dunwoody Rd from Robert Dr to Womack plus Nadine Lane. There will be no increase in cost to the city. They started yesterday morning. The milling will be followed by some extensive patching and then the final paving layer will be applied. The finish product will be an outstanding enhancement to the Dunwoody Village area. Be advised there will be delays encountered in the paving area while this process is ongoing. During the milling process the pavement will be very rough so please drive carefully. I strongly urge to seek out and take alternate routes for your travels during the paving process. This process will take at least two week to complete and that is with factoring in good weather condition. This will take a lot of patience on the part of all of us but the end results will be well worth it.

3. That is all for this evening. Please pass this on to your friends, neighbors and members of your HOA. If anyone wants to be added to my email list just let me know. Thanks for all each of you do to make us a great "city family.” Let us all work to create an atmosphere of mutual respect that we all desire!

Let Us Continue to Build Our City Together!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dunwoody Update: Public Information Meeting, Communications, Paving, Voting, Safety, Dunwoody Restaurants

1. Public Information Meeting … There will be a public information meeting tonight on the Mt Vernon Rd / Tilly Mill Rd intersection project. The meeting is tonight - Tuesday, AUG 16 - from 6 - 8 PM at All Saints Catholic Church located at 2443 Mt Vernon Rd in Dunwoody. Come and listen to the possibilities for the intersection improvements and provide your input.

2. Communications … Repeat item. It is important that all of us stay informed on what is going on in our city. We have several initiatives that we in the city have to keep you informed. These include items of interest in the local media, our Dunwoody website - dunwoodyga.gov - that you should check frequently and our “Dunwoody E-News.” The Dunwoody E-News is put out in an email forum every Friday afternoon by our city communications personnel. It is full of the events, new updates, etc. of what is going on in our city. To get this valuable weekly email you have to sign up … there are currently over 13,000 subscribers. This is not a political document nor are we trying to sell you anything … we are just trying to keep you informed. I highly recommend you sign up for this service. Sign up is easy … just go to …. https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/DUNWOODYGA/subscribers/new?topic_id=DUNWOODYGA_1

3. Paving … Paving on many streets continue though out the city. The paving on Chamblee Dunwoody Rd from Roberts Dr to Womack is another story. On Thursday, July 28 our paving contractor, for this project, told our staff in a meeting that they would start milling on Chamblee Dunwoody Rd on Sunday night July 30. This is the origin of the paving information in my email update of July 29. On Friday evening July 29 we were informed that there might be a problem and they would call us Sunday night to let us know. We did not get a call Sunday night. The miller was a sub-constructor.  We were supposed to start milling earlier in July but that was delayed due problems that arose from the water pipe installation by DC. We are working daily with our contractor as well as contacting every contractor in the area to get the milling started without positive results. The problem is paving business is good and all the contractors we have contacted are busy. We will keep you informed … as soon as we know something it will be passed. See # 2 above.

3. Voting … For those of you who have not registered to vote or have moved to a new location since you last registered the deadline to registered in OCT 11, 2016 … this is for the NOV election. For information to register to vote you can call 404-298-4020 or got on line … https://registertovote.sos.ga.gov/GAOLVR/welcome.do#no-back-button.

4. Safety … School is back is session. Please drive safely and take extra care in your driving habits to keep our children safe.

5. Dunwoody Restaurants … There is an outstanding selection of restaurants in our great city for your dining pleasure. For a list of all the restaurants go to the Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website … www.cvbdunwoody.com/restaurants/

6.That is all for this afternoon. Please pass this on to your friends, neighbors and members of your HOA. If anyone wants to be added to my email list just let me know. Thanks for all each of you do to make us a great city family. Let us all work to create an atmosphere of mutual respect that we all desire!

Let Us Continue to Build Our City Together!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dunwoody Update: Paving Update, Dunwoody Village Townhomes, Dunwoody Butterfly Festival

1. Paving Update … Alert, the paving of Chamblee Dunwoody Rd between Roberts Dr and Womack Rd, barring the unforeseen like weather, etc., is schedule to start this Sunday night, July 31. This includes paving Nandina Ln. The process will start with milling on the roads Sunday night. This will be followed by some patching and then the final paving layer will be applied. The finish product will be an outstanding enhancement to the Dunwoody Village area. Be advised there will be delays encountered while this process is ongoing. I strongly urge to seek out and take alternate routes for your travels during the paving process. This process will take at least a week to complete. This will take a lot of patience on the part of all of us but the end results will be well worth it.

2. Dunwoody Village Townhomes … It has been announced that Cal Atlantic Homes has been selected as the building for the townhomes in Dunwoody Village. Their reputation is of being a builder of quality homes.These townhomes will be located across the street behind the Dunwoody Post Office where the two story red brick buildings are currently located. Cal Atlantic is a national builder that has developments at 22 locations in the Atlanta area. Their website is www.calatlantichomes.com. With development planning, permits, etc. it will be awhile before construction commences.

3. Dunwoody Butterfly Festival … This annual “fun for the whole family event” at the Dunwoody Nature Center will be held this year on Saturday, August 20 from 10 AM - 3 PM. You can venture inside two enormous tents overflowing with hundreds of beautiful, free roaming butterflies. Other live animal encounters, such as a reptile showcase and Birds of Prey show, will be featured. It is a good idea to get your tickets in advance and lock in your show time. For more information go to … http://www.dunwoodynature.org/Butterfly-Festival

4. That is all for this morning. Please pass this on to your friends, neighbors and members of your HOA. If anyone wants to be added to my email list just let me know. Thanks for all each of you do to make us a great "city family." Let us all work to create an atmosphere of mutual respect that we all desire!

Let Us Continue to Build Our City Together!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dunwoody Update: E-HOST and SPLOST, Billboards, Dunwoody Polic, "Kiss Me Kate", Dunwoody Butterfly Festival, Keep Our City Beautiful

1. E-HOST and SPLOST Issue … The E-HOST and SPLOST were voted down last night by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners (DCBOC) by a vote of 5 - 0 … one commissioner was absent. We should applaud the commissioners for taking a strong stand on this issue. What does this mean to Dunwoody citizens:

The E-HOST (which would take the place of the current 1% HOST sales tax) and the 1% additional SPLOST sales tax will not be on the ballot on this Novembers election

DeKalb County total sales tax will stay at 7 % .. this includes the current 1% HOST sales tax

The current DeKalb County property tax assessment freeze will remain in effect

Support for the E-HOST and SPLOST tax was lost when it was determined that due to unintended language in HB-596 that if the E-HOST and SPLOST became law the DC property tax assessment freeze would cease to exist

Another problem was that DC's original intent was to use the SPLOST 1% tax for transportation infrastructure upgrades … the project list created by DC only had approx. 60% of these funds being used for transportation infrastructure

In SPLOST, based on population, Dunwoody would have received approx. 7% of the total SPLOST funds and the City Council had voted to allocate 100% of those funds for city transportation enhancements

FYI, the freeze on our city property tax assessment would not have been affected due to the E-HOST / SPLOST vote … the city property tax assessment freeze would have remained in place

What next …. in the next George legislative session starting in JAN 2017 I think the legislature will fix the language in HB-596 to continue and extend the DC property tax assessment freeze if another E-HOST and SPLOST is brought forth and passed by the voters. A couple of other enhancements to HB-596 would be to allow flexibility on selecting the election cycle to vote of the issues and, setting a minimum percentage of SPLOST funds received that must be spent on transportation enhancements.

2. Billboards … After more than 6 years in court the City of Dunwoody has won our court case vs the billboard company and within the last few days the LED flashing billboard at the corner of N Peachtree Rd and I-285 has been reverted to its original static billboard status as per the court order. We should all be pleased with the court’s ruling as this is a big win for all the residence of Dunwoody.

3. Dunwoody Police …  In an announcement yesterday Dunwoody Police Department have charged 10 people responsible for a series of car break-ins that have occurred across Dunwoody since early June. Those charged range from age 53 down to including four juveniles. One of those that was arrested was charged with 10 felony counts of breaking into cars at swim and tennis clubs in Dunwoody. The solving of this case is another example of the outstanding professionalism of the men and women of our Dunwoody Police Department.

4. "Kiss Me Kate" … This musical open last Friday night at our own Stage Door Players in a true broadway fashion to a sell out audience. Through the performance of a star-studded cast the audience was wooed by humorous acting and songs from one of the greatest composers of our time. It was definitely one of the best plays I have ever seen. If you only go to one play a year or one play in five years this is the one you should see. Show times are 8 PM Thursday, Friday and Saturday and a 2:30 PM Sunday matinee thru August 7. If you plan to go I recommend you get tickets ASAP … Ph #770-396-1726 EXT 6.

5. Dunwoody Butterfly Festival … This annual “fun for the whole family event” at the Dunwoody Nature Center will be held this year on Saturday, August 20 from 10 AM - 3 PM. You can venture inside two enormous tents overflowing with hundreds of beautiful, free roaming butterflies. Other live animal encounters, such as a reptile showcase and Birds of Prey show, will be featured. It is a good idea to get your tickets in advance and lock in your show time. For more information go to … http://www.dunwoodynature.org/Butterfly-Festival

6. Keep Our City Beautiful … One of the frequent complaints I received concerns trash and trash cans left at the curb. One of the things we can all do to help alleviate this problem is to do the neighborly thing of not taking our trash and yard waste out to the curb until the night before our trash pick-up and then taking our containers away from the curb the night of our trash pick-up. If you are going out of town ask you neighbor to perform these tasks for you. We all thank you.

7. That is all for this evening. Please pass this on to your friends, neighbors and members of your HOA. If anyone wants to be added to my email list just let me know. Thanks for all each of you do to make us a great city family. Let us all work to create an atmosphere of mutual respect that we all desire!

Let Us Continue to Build Our City Together!