Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dennis Shortal's Update on Dunwoody

Below are the most recent thoughts from Councilman Denis Shortal on the City of Dunwoody.

Fellow Citizens of Dunwoody ... Just a quick update on some current issues:
1. Dunwoody City Property Taxes ... There has been some misunderstanding about the headline of a recent article in the Crier entitled "Tax Increase for Dunwoody?." If you read the entire article it clears up the headline to some extent. Here is what you need to know in plain words. There will be no increase in the millage tax rate for your Dunwoody City Property Tax ... it will remain at last years rate of 2.74 mills. I assure you I will note vote for any tax rate increase this year and I think that is the consensus of the entire City Council. I know for sure the majority will vote not for a tax rate increase. There is a quirk in the Georgia State law that requires a new city to advertise any public hearings to establish the first year's city tax millage rate as a tax increase. The rationale is that since the City did not have a tax millage rate last year that any tax rate the City sets for this year will be a tax increase. If you can figure out that type of reasoning you have a special talent that can be used in some very odd jobs in this world. FYI, we will have three public hearings (8 JUN @ 7 PM, 15 JUN @ 11:45 AM and 15 JUN @ 6:30 PM) concerning setting the City tax millage rate. The location of the hearings is in the new City Hall. DeKalb County is currently discussing increasing their tax rate for this year by approx. 4%. If that increase passes it will not effect your City tax rate and therefore you will be saving approx. 4% on your City tax this year. Remember, that the City Council only controls the City tax portion of your property taxes which amounts to about 6% of your total tax bill. This amount was shown as "UNIC TAXDIST, STORMWTR FEE and STREET LIGHT" on your 2008 DeKalb County Real Estate Tax Statement. I know the above is rather lengthy but I hope this explains the City tax millage rate situation .... if it doesn't contact me personally.
2. Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) .. As promise we have contracted to create a CLUP this year. It is common to relate the CLUP to zoning. Zoning is part of the CLUP but the CLUP is much more in depth than just zoning. This plan will be what we want our City to look like through the year 2030. The Pond & Company was awarded the contract and the cost of the contract is within budget. This is a lengthy process and is currently on it's scheduled timeline to be completed by the end of 2009. There are a lot of government regulations that control this process. We have created a required Steering Committee of some very talented folks all of whom have a vested interest in our City. There will be several public meetings and I urge you to attend as many as possible as I strongly believe this is the number one issue that faces our citizens. You confirm my belief when you listed land use / zoning as the major issue of why you wanted you own City in the poll that was taken during last years march to city hood. The dates of the public meetings are 2 JUN (that is tonight), 23 JUN, 7 JUL, 3 AUG, and 24 SEP. All of the meetings start at 7PM and the location is at the Dunwoody United Methodist Church. Come and be part of this most important process.
3. Committee Membership ... At our last meeting your City Council passed what I believe is a very important resolution. This resolution requires that any member of a Dunwoody committee have a vested interest in our City. Basically that is defined as being a resident, owning a business in Dunwoody or being an officer in a business in Dunwoody. I strongly supported this resolution as it is in keeping with the motto of "Dunwoody Yes" .... "Local Decisions Close to Home."
4. Security ... Security is the business of all of us. Our police are doing a great job but they need us to help be their eyes and ears. If you see something or someone suspicious that "makes the hair stand up on your head or just doesn't pass the smell test" call 911 ASAP. When you call 911 identify yourself as a Dunwoody resident ... the 911 operator should know this information but identifying residency helps clarify your location. Any information that you can give our police like a description of the person and/or the vehicle (color , make, model and/or license number) is extremely helpful. I would caution you not to personally confront anyone as that is a job for the police. Lets all do our part for the security of our City.
5. Crosswalks ... Remember, drivers must yield to pedestrians who are crossing the street in a crosswalk. We have had incidents of drivers not yielding to pedestrians ... please drive careful and be courteous ... also please pass the word to your friends, neighbors and other drivers in your household.
As usual thanks for your support and efforts to enhance our City. I ask that you please forward this to all your fellow citizens in Dunwoody. If anyone would like to be added to my email list please contact me.
Denny Shortal
Dunwoody City Councilman
District One, Post 1,
Mayor Pro Tem

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