Monday, December 29, 2008

City Council with Final Session in 2008

The Dunwoody City Council will hold its final public meeting of 2008 at 7 p.m. Monday night at United Methodist Church. The council will review the proposed $14.4 million budget, of which $5.25 million is allocated for police. Newly named police chief Billy Grogan has proposed a 40-person staff with patrols working 12-hour beats.

In order to keep the budget as lean as possible, the latest plan for the police department calls for pool cars in the first year instead of each officer having his/her own take-home vehicle. While this sounds like a good idea on the surface, it has a major drawback. Take-home cars are an enormous perk for attracting quality officers. If the city of Dunwoody cannot afford such a perk, and with other benefits likely less than those at DeKalb County and neighboring Sandy Springs, how difficult will it be to hire top officers? This should be a major concern to the council.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Holiday!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Has Housing Crunch Hit Springfield?

How much is your home worth in today's market? Probably not as much as you think. Eight homes have sold in Springfield since the beginning of the year, with the average sales price $362,400. In 2007, seven homes sold with the average sales price $360,600. As a whole, the statistics say values are up slightly. That's the good news. However, if you breakdown 2008, the picture is not as rosey. The last three home sales in Springfield are, in order: $320,000, $385,000 and $295,000 (pictured - 4955 Springfield Dr. which closed last month).
The Atlanta housing market will probably not see an upward tick until late 2009 at the earliest. With that said, it is an amazing time to move into a larger home or for first-time homebuyers, as interest rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage are below five percent. Now may be the perfect time to refinance. If you need a qualified mortgage professional, please give me a call.
The glass is always half full!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dunwoody Player Eyes Georgia

(This is a re-print of an article that appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, written by Scott Bernarde)

Dunwoody High School defensive end Malcolm Mitchell says he will wait until January to take official visits, but he’s excited about a meeting at his school with Georgia recruiters.
As one of the AJC’s The Georgia 150 prospects, Mitchell said UGA plans to meet with him on Thursday. He says Georgia has been in contact with him for most of the season.
“I’m pretty nervous, excited,” said Mitchell, a 6-foot-2, 225-pounder, who has not been offered by Georgia. “But if they offer, I’ll probably commit there very quickly. … They’ve had one d-end already committed. I’m hoping I can be the second one.”
Mitchell said he will take official visits on consecutive January weekends to Alabama-Birmingham, Central Florida, Tulane and Troy. He originally had wanted to take some visits this month, but they could not be worked out.
Last week, recruiters from Tulane and Western Kentucky came to see him.
Other offers for Mitchell have come from West Virginia, South Carolina, Louisville, Marshall and Indiana. Georgia Tech has Mitchell on its recruiting board, but told him they are waiting to see what some other players are going to do before making a final decision on an offer.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tradition Continues at St.Luke's

One of the charms of the Holiday season in Dunwoody is the live Nativity scene at St. Luke's. Unlike past years when freezing temperatures made it unbearable for those participating, this year's balmy weather was warmly welcomed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Police Department, the Academy, DHA

Just when will the city of Dunwoody Police Department be up and running? April 1 at the earliest. Just named police chief Billy Grogan told the city council at Monday's meeting that it would be impossible to get a department up-and-running by March 1 but that April 1 was the goal, although he could not guarantee that date. Councilman Denis Shortal stressed to Grogan that he expected the department to be "lean and mean" and that he wanted as many officers as possible on the street and not in the office. Grogan said that was his goal as well.
Controversy at the new 4th/5th grade Academy over the proposed color of the new roof. For some bizarre reason DeKalb County School System chief operating officer Patricia Pope choose an eye-popping red roof. The Dunwoody Homeowners Association, which had a great amount of input on the construction of Peachtree Middle School but which has not be consulted on the academy, is suggesting a more neutral brown or green. (The Atlanta Constitution reported last week that Pope is the subject of an internal review over school construction contracts.)
Speaking of the DHA, I was invited to join the board and have graciously accepted. I feel as a member of the DHA, I will be able to give Springfield a greater voice in the new city.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Don't Forget to Vote

A reminder that Tuesday is the runoff election, not only for the hotly contested senate race between Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin, but a DeKalb County School Board position that will have just as much impact on our community. Dr. Pam Speaks is in a tight race with Pam Buncum. The letter below, which was circulated around our neighborhood, explains why Dr. Speaks gets our website's endorsement.
Dear Neighbors,

This is a simple reminder to vote on Tuesday! Not only is there an important senate race to be decided, but also a DeKalb County School Board election that is vital to our neighborhood, even if you don’t have children in the school system.

Dr. Pam Speaks is committed to the 4th/5th grade academy, making sure that it becomes one of the finest schools of its kind, which would not only benefit Dunwoody in general but all of the Vanderlyn neighborhoods south of Womack Rd. in particular. Her opponent, Pam Buncum, is non-committal on the academy. If Ms. Buncum eventually decides to vote against the academy, it would likely rezone our neighborhood to a new elementary school. And if that happens, the consequences could be devastating. It would likely put us into a school that could not ensure the same quality education as Vanderlyn, while at the same time have a negative effect on our property values.

Please make your voice heard on Tuesday by voting!


Your neighbors

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dunwoody Identifies Police Chief

Dunwoody City Manager Warren Hutmacher announced Monday that William “Billy” Grogan has been named as the sole finalist in the search for Dunwoody’s first Chief of Police. Over 100 resumes were received by Hutmacher since the position was advertised in October. Eight interviews were held and Grogan was named the sole finalist.
Grogan currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Police in Marietta, a city that employs 138 sworn police officers. Grogan has overseen every department of the Agency over his career. He has over 27 years of experience in law enforcement, the last 13 years in command positions. Grogan earned a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and will be awarded a Masters Degree in Public Administration this month. Both degrees are from Kennesaw State University. Grogan is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. For more on the man pegged as Dunwoody's first police chief, go to

It's Official: City of Dunwoody

As of midnight Sunday, Springfield is officially located in Dunwoody, which officially became a city. There are still issued to be resolved, one is finding a permanent home for city hall, which currently it located in Sandy Springs! While we are now a city, most of our services are still being handled by DeKalb County. The city of Dunwoody will take over many of these services on January 1. Meantime, the city's official website is up and running: