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.