Monday, December 14, 2009

Update from Councilman Shortal

The update below is from Dunwoody City Councilman Denis Shortal.

Fellow Citizens .. the follow are some items of interest:
1. Dunwoody Village Parkway (DVP) flood .... For those of you who tried to drive on DVP after approx. 10 AM during the heavy rains of 10 NOV found all four lanes closed due to flood waters. Our Public Works folks responded rapidly but to little avail. We tried manually cleaning the storm sewer drains and even brought a vacuum truck to try and suck out the blockage but neither effort helped. The next day when the water level went down making it safe for our crews to climb down into the storm sewer we found the culprit to be a large piece of lumber that was stuck in the storm sewer and was acting as a catch basin for leaves. That has all been removed and we should not have a recurrence of that problem. Please be vigilant not to allow any trash be thrown in the storm sewer system.
2. Ashford Dunwoody and Mt. Vernon intersection .... The intersection enhancement has now been mostly completed. As you know this was a PCID managed and funded project with the contract being let before we became a city. Overall I think the result are very good but we are still working of softening the appearance of the large silver pole in the middle of the intersection. The PCID folks have had their landscaper out to the sight and they will be planting some medium height "skinny" trees/bushes around the base of the pole. We are also working on getting the pole painted but that issue is still being worked.
3. Chamblee Dunwoody and Spaulding intersection .... There have been some accidents at this intersection. The problem arises when drivers coming southbound on Spaulding and while attempting a left turn onto Chamblee Dunwwody fail to yield to oncoming northbound Spaulding traffic. The line of sight for the southbound Spalding traffic is very adequate but I guess folks just get in a hurry and/or use poor judgement. I spent about 45 minutes at this intersection with one of the neighbors and we determine that one of the problems was the stoplight timing .... we are currently running a model to determine how best to retime the lights. The thrust is to lengthen the time for the green light for the north and southbound Spalding traffic. We are also measuring the intersection to determine if there is enough room, with the current road dimensions, to install a left turn lane for the southbound Spalding traffic. 4. Speaking of accidents .... Some you have spoken to me about the number of accidents at various locations. I spoke to Chief Grogan and he gave me some rather eye opening statistics. During the period of 1 APR 2009 thru 31 OCT 2009 our police have responded to 1,167 accidents in Dunwoody which computes to 167 accidents / month or approx. 6 accidents / day. My point is there are a lot more accidents in our city than I would have thought. Lets all drive courteously and safely out there and try to reduce this accident rate.
5. Cutting down trees .... Remember you have to have a permit to cut down trees on your property. This is to protect the tree canopy of the city as a whole. You can get the permit from our Community Developing Dept. and there is no cost involved. There is a minimum number trees - assuming you have trees - that must be kept on your property in relationship to the size of your lot and this number is noted in our city ordinance.
6. Convention Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody (CVBD) .... In a recent "Talk Back to the Crier" section of the Crier a writer, in addition to other items, wanted to know basically why the city was giving over $750,000 to the CVBD. I have explained this once before but to clarify, this amount is 2 of the 5% tax that hoteliers pay the city.
This portion of the hotel tax is requires by law to be reinvested in the city to promote tourism, businesses and our city as a whole. Your City Council does not have an option on this portion of the 5% hotel tax. The other 3 of the 5% hotel tax goes into the general revenue account of the city. FYI, there are nine very talented men and women on the CVBD committee. I encourage each of you to always look to do business in Dunwoody first.
7. Budget .... We will close out our 2009 Fiscal Year budget in the "black." HOORAH! We are projecting a small surplus for 2010. If you have been reading the AJC articles this passed week concerning property tax assessments you would note there is reason to be concerned about 2010 property tax revenues. I am one that is a lot more confident in a budget towards the end of the budget period than I am in the early stages of the budget period. I believe it is very
prudent to build an adequate size reserve / "rainy day" fund for
unforeseen circumstances. We know that there will be those "rainy days" and we must be prepared. To that end, I ask each citizen to be vigilant of your City Council's fiscal stewardship.
8. Meetings .... I ask each of you to keep abreast of the agenda/ issues that are before our various city boards, committees and councils and to attend the meetings. I have seen a very small number of folks influence the decision at some of these meetings when there is no one present with an opposing view. I strongly feel that the decisions made in these meeting should be in the best interest of all our citizens and that their opinions must be taken into account. There is no better way to have your opinion heard than being at the meeting and voicing your opinion .... that is the bases of our democracy. The key to staying abreast of all the issues is our city website ... In addition to a lot of very helpful information, on the left side of the website's "home page" is a column titled "Quicklinks." The first item under "Quicklinks" is "Agenda and Minutes" which list the upcoming meeting's agenda and the minutes for previous meetings. The agendas for most meetings are listed approx.
six days prior to the meetings and the City Council's agenda is listed the Thursday prior to the Monday meeting. The last item under "Quicklinks" is titled "Calendar of Events" and this page list the meeting dates for the various boards, committees and councils for that month. Just click on the event of interest and you will see the start time and location of the meeting. As a general guideline, the City Council meets the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Monday of each month, the Zoning Board of Appeal meets the 1st Thursday of each month, the Planning Commission meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month and the Community Council meets the 2nd Thursday of each month ... all meeting usually start at 7 PM. Please see the "Calendar of Events" for the listing of all other meetings. Now you have the information that will assist you in staying informed. The next city meeting is the City Council meeting tomorrow night - 14 DEC - at 7 PM at the city hall and there are some important issue that will be discussed.
9. That is it for tonight. Please pass this on to your friends and neighbors and if anyone wants to be added to my email list just say the word and I will make it happen. As we approach the end of our first fiscal year as a city, my sincere thanks for your continued involvement, interest and support of our City. You are simply the best citizens around and you are the reason that Dunwoody is a class place to live and do business! Meredy and I send our best wishes to each of you for a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever you may celebrate this special season of the year .... and of course a Happy
and Prosperous New Year to all!
Denny Shortal, Dunwoody City Council,
District One, Post - 1 / Mayor Pro Tem


Rick Callihan said...

I'm interested to see how Councilman Shortal votes tonight on the bonus issue. His emails speak of keeping the purse strings tight. Hopefully he'll vote 'no' on the issue.

Bob Fiscella said...

Denny has talked about being "lean and mean" so it will be interesting.