Monday, October 26, 2009

Springfield Halloween Celebration: New Date & Time

If you haven't seen the signs at the various entrances to the subdivision, there is a date and time change for the Springfield Halloween Bash. It is 3:30pm on Saturday. All the information is below.

When: Saturday, October 31
3:30 - ???

Where: Springfield Court cul-de-sac (off Springfield Drive)

What Should I Bring:
A - K Entree (for 12)
L - Q Dessert (for 12)
R - Z Side Dish / Salad (for 12)

Everyone Please Bring: Your own drinks, lawn chairs

Pumpkin Carving Contest
(Bring an already carved pumpkin if you want to participate)

Face Painting

Fun Crafts & Games

Cake Walk

Meet New Neighbors and See Old Friends
(Please bring a small donation to help cover costs)

If you have any questions, contact Betsy Wagner -

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dunwoody Fall Festival

The first annunal Dunwoody Fall Festival, sponsored by the chamber of commerce, is ths Saturday at the Village. The schedule is listed below (click on the schedule to enlarge). It should be a great time. By the way, the chamber is searching for volunteers to staff the beer tent. If interested, call Phil Minnes at 678-259-9220. Oh by the way, your beer will be FREE!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random Thoughts

I was unable to attend the city council work session last night, but thanks to tech-savvy councilman John Heneghan, the entire meeting is available online; not only the audio but video as well (click here to view, you can also find it on John's blogsite at! I can not say the session was compelling viewing (it lasted over 3 hours and I certainly didn't listen to it in its entirety), but it did have its moments.
I keep reading in The Crier about the council's on-going efforts to transfer the parks from DeKalb County to the city of Dunwoody. The latest has the city paying DeKalb $4 million to obtain the parks. My response to that is, "are you kidding me!" At one time the county offered the city a long-term lease on the parks for a nominal amount. I strongly believe city officials ought to revisit this. The city has a lot more pressing issues than "owning" parks; and use of that money would go a long way towards repaving roads and reworking intersections. Heck, I think the lease even would allowed us, to a large degree, to control the parks (of course we'd have to pay for maintenance). Com'on council - tuck your egos and pet projects in your pocket and do the right thing!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Alleviating Traffic in Dunwoody

It's amazing to me how many articles I read in The Crier from Dunwoody residents who think if we add turn lanes to congested intersections - such as the one at Mt. Vernon and Vermack - or basically make any attempt to alleviate drive-time traffic jams within the city boundaries (specifically on Tilly Mill near Georgia Perimeter College), that all it will accomplish is increase cut-thru traffic and make the situation worse. They are adamant that fixing the former will only worsen the latter. Hogwash!
Some 250 years ago no one thought electricity could be harnessed. Some 100 years ago the naysayers put the kibosh on aircraft actually flying. Well if ingenious Americans can figure out how to climb those mountains, certainly we find a solution to our thought-to-be unsolvable traffic dilemmas.
Unfortunately I am not a Thomas Edison or Orville Wright when it comes to traffic, but those individuals exist, perhaps even right here in Dunwoody. Please don't tell me it can't be done, because it can. To quote Franklin Roosevelt, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Click on photo to listen to Roosvelt's speech.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Light Up Dunwoody is Set

Presented by
The Dunwoody Crier
The Dunwoody Homeowners Association &
The Dunwoody Preservation Trust

Sunday, November 22, 2009
Save the date for Dunwoody’s annual welcome to the Holiday Season
All events to occur around the Shops of Dunwoody in the heart of our city
Holiday Kick-Off Parade begins at 4:00 PM
Tree Lighting at sundown.
Don’t miss the chance to create added visibility and recognition for your products and services to thousands of Dunwoody homeowners and residents
· Contact Sharon Collins today at for sponsorship opportunities at the Elite, Premier or Partner Level

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The New Dunwoody High School

The DeKalb County School System on Tuesday night unveiled it's architectural drawings for the $15.5 million renovation to the 36-year old school, to be completed by August 2012. At a meeting at the high school, the architecture fire of Perkins & Will said the renovation includes a new 500-seat auditorium and 24,000 additional square feet of instructional space. An addition floor will be added to the entire portion of the building that faces Vermack Rd. giving the school some much needed presence. The renovations will create an outdoor amphitheatre and plaza. The next step for DCSS is hiring a general contractor. (Click on rendering to enlarge)
While the drawings look great, it's too bad the DCSS didn't incorporate more of a Dunwoody Williamsburg feel into the design (ditto for Dunwoody Elementary)!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Learn About the Expansion at Dunwoody High; Update from Councilman Wittenstein

The Dunwoody High School Council design committee and DeKalb County School System will hold a neighborhood meeting Tuesday evening, 6:00 pm, October 6, 2009 in the school cafeteria for the purpose of briefing the neighbors on the plans for the addition to Dunwoody High School. The addition will bring a renovation of internal systems plus add additional classrooms and a new auditorium. The building will also have a new exterior treatment. Everyone is invited to attend. I hope to see you there.
Below is an update from Dunwoody City Councilman Robert Wittenstein.
Dear Dunwoody Friends and Neighbors,
October is budget month for the City of Dunwoody. On October 19th at 7pm at City Hall we will have a public hearing on the 2010 budget proposal. We will approve the budget a week later on October 26th. Budgets can be boring for some people but they are the most important way for us to set our priorities for the coming year.
We expect our revenue for 2010 to be about half a million dollars lower than 2009. This is primarily a timing issue. In December of 2009, we will collect over $2 million in franchise fees from Georgia Power. Our 2010 GA Power franchise fees won’t arrive at the city until early 2011 so we can’t include them in next year’s budget. To partially replace the GA Power franchise fees in 2010, we will be able to collect about $1.6 million in insurance premium taxes we earned in 2009 but that doesn’t get paid to us by the State until next year. The good news is that in 2011, we will be able to collect both sources of revenue and our income will jump.

Our 2010 budget proposal assumes the same property tax rate. I’m a little disappointed in that; I had hoped to make a small (5%) property tax rollback into the 2010 budget but the one-year gap in the GA Power franchise fees made that impractical. I promise to push harder for that millage rate tax rollback in 2011.

On the expense side, police service continues to be our largest expense, accounting for approximately one third of our budget. The current draft budget includes one additional detective and one additional officer who will join an area-wide narcotics task force. Not currently in the budget, but a source of a great deal of discussion, is Chief Grogan’s request for two additional patrol officers. Adding those two patrol officers would bring our sworn officer count to 44 and cost approximately $240,000. Several council members (Including me) have suggested we wait until our income increases in 2011 before adding additional patrol officers, but the council is anxious to support our police department so it isn’t clear which way this will get resolved.

A related item is a budget appropriation to conduct a feasibility study on switching from DeKalb’s 911 service to either our own Dunwoody 911 center or joining one or more of our near-by cities in a joint 911 center. I believe we can improve response time performance without increasing costs by joining Sandy Springs/Johns Creek or Chamblee or Doraville. I look forward to getting this study completed.

The budget proposal also includes a substantial amount of money for zoning and land use planning. We are setting aside $100,000 to start a multi-year process to completely rework our zoning code. When we incorporated in December of last year, we adopted DeKalb’s zoning code as a placeholder. In 2010 we will begin a massive rewrite to reflect what Dunwoody residents want and to begin to implement our newly minted 20-year Comprehensive Plan which will be adopted next Spring. We have also set aside $500,000 to complete master plans of Dunwoody Village and the Georgetown/Shallowford areas. These areas are ripe for redevelopment and the master plans will provide details to potential developers showing them exactly what the city would like to see (and will approve) for these commercial centers.

Our budget calls for over $1 million dollars to be spent on repaving our worst streets. Over the last several weeks a laser truck has driven over every mile of asphalt in Dunwoody and grading it. Late this year we will build a resurfacing plan and publish it. We will also commission a citywide transportation plan and fund engineering studies for two of our worst intersections: Mt. Vernon and Vermack and Tilly Mill and North Peachtree.

Finally, we have set aside funds to purchase and manage our parks if we can reach an agreement with DeKalb regarding the park turnover. At the moment I’m not optimistic that our ongoing discussions will yield an agreement quickly, but if they do, we will have money in the budget to operate the parks. If we don’t reach an agreement, that money can be reallocated elsewhere.

If you would like to view the budget, you can download it at this link (caution, it takes a while):
If you would like to learn more, or to comment, please come to our public hearing on October 19th, 7pm at City Hall.