Monday, March 1, 2010

Councilman Heneghan's Thoughts

In my last post, Dunwoody City Councilman Robert Wittenstein raised a number of issues that were/are or will be before the council. Below are the comments of councilman John Heneghan on how he sees the issues. John - thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Robert raised a number of issues which were discussed in council within the last month and like he said many of these have little, if any support, therefore they may not be going anywhere.
Council members are not allowed to discuss items away from the public eye therefore every once in a while an item is discussed at a work session to feel out the other members. Sometimes ordinances are drawn up based on the conversations had at the meeting and sometimes they die right there. As far as the items brought up by Councilman Wittenstein, I am already on the record for the following items…
• Addresses should be encouraged for public safety but not a finable offense. The Dunwoody Police Explorers were doing this as a public service project a while back. I will look into it in order to see if it is still going on.

• I am against mandatory Fire Sprinklers for new single family homes constructed in Dunwoody, but am on the fence for single family cluster homes built close together.

• I am against any ordinance restricting on street parking.
• I am against any ordinance restricting driveway parking.

• I am against mandatory recycling since it is already available to those who want it. I would like to find a way to encourage apartment complexes and businesses to participate at a higher level since that is where I believe the biggest gains could be made at little or no cost.
• I am in favor of some oversight of the taxi cabs working in Dunwoody but as with all regulations, the devil is in the details.A while back we had a taxi related issue come in front of us and in doing my due diligence, I compared taxi ordinances from what we originally adopted to that of our neighbors. What I discovered was that our regulations were vastly different from that of our neighbors of Doraville, Chamblee, Sandy Springs and many others.Their regulations attempted to assure the safety and oversight of taxis operating in their city where as Dunwoody only attempted to oversee the companies physically headquartered within the City Limits of Dunwoody. The State of Georgia defers taxi requirements down to the City level and it appears to me that there is a hole in our regulations where we in the City of Dunwoody are deferring the safety of our citizens to other municipalities’ oversight (or lack thereof). Because of this, I asked for review of the language in order to assure that we had originally adopted was correct and proper. I have posted the various city ordinances down below to highlight the differences in jurisdictional oversight.Dunwoody: A taxicab shall be deemed to be doing business in the City when its original terminus, that is to say, the place from which it operated and is subject to calls, shall be located in the City.Chamblee: Any person shall be deemed doing business in the city under this chapter if such person is picking up passengers in the city and accepting or soliciting any consideration, charge or fee which is determined by agreement, by mileage, by the length of time the vehicle is used, or by contract for the use of any motor vehicle or other vehicle designed or used for the purpose of transporting passengers.Sandy Springs: No person, firm, or corporation shall operate a taxicab in the city except in accordance with the terms and provisions of this article.As far as the Backyard Chickens, I know this item will be coming in front of Council this month therefore I will hold judgment on the issue but let me say that I am looking forward to the presentations, discussions and public hearing.

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