Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day! I hope, at some point during the day, each and every one of us spend a moment in thought remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country. And thank those that have served or are serving in our military.
I never wore the uniform, but my father is part of our country's greatest generation, having served in the Navy during World War II. A couple of days after his 18th birthday and prior to graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Navy. Just a few months later, he was on an aircraft carrier, the USS Randolph, in the south Pacific fully engaged in the war. I can't even imagine it! Thanks Dad - I'll talk to you later today.
The video below (click on the photo to watch) is most appropriate for this Memorial Day.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Homes for Sale in Springfield & All of Dunwoody

The Memorial Day weekend is always a good time to update the real estate market. There are currently 5 active listings in Springfield ranging in price from $329,900 to $425,000 (click on the link below to view any of these homes). This week the listing on Courtleigh (pictured above) went under contract.

There are currently 194 active listings in the city of Dunwoody in the 30338 zip code ranging in price from $155,000 to $1,295,000 (click on the link below to view any of these homes). I try to preview as many listings as possible in person - and let me tell you the one on Goodchild Court (listed for $1.29k) really caught my attention. It is a farmhouse situated on more than 6 acres of wooded land with a private lake in the heart of Dunwoody (behind Renfro Lake off Tilly Mill). If you didn't know better (and if it weren't for the power lines), you'd think you were in the foothills of the north Georgia mountains.

As always, if you know of anyone buying or selling, please send them my way. I work with a fabulous team of agents whose experience and knowledge of the Dunwoody market is unsurpassed!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Update from Councilman Wittenstein, Online Survey for 911

The following update was provided by Dunwoody City Councilman Robert Wittenstein. In the middle of the update is a link to the online survey Robert speaks of. It is important that you make your voice known.

Dear Dunwoody Friends and Neighbors,
On a personal note, I'd like to congratulate my son, Eric, on his graduation from Chamblee Charter High School. Eric will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall and Susan and I are very proud of him.
We have requested turnover of the parks property in accordance with the recent legislation passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Perdue. If all goes according to plan, we will assume ownership of Brook Run, Dunwoody Nature Center, Donaldson-Chesnut house, Dunwoody Park baseball fields, Windward Hollow and a couple of other smaller properties around June 18. We are excited about the opportunity and the challenge to begin investing in our parks properties. We are currently looking for a parks manager to work in our Public Works department.
We have received the property tax valuations from the county. The total value of our residential property in Dunwoody went down by 1.3%. Commercial property values were up about 2% and the result is that the value of property in Dunwoody is virtually unchanged from last year. In June, we will set our property tax rate for 2010 and we will leave it unchanged from last year--so no tax increase.
In June we will also consider whether to give DeKalb notice that we want to terminate our agreement for them to provide us with our 911 dispatch service. This is a big deal. DeKalb's 911 dispatch services have been uneven and inconsistent. It is clearly the weakest link in our emergency responder chain. Often DeKalb's 911 center answers quickly and dispatches efficiently. But at other times they have more incoming calls than they can handle and calls are put on hold for 1-10 minutes before a dispatch operator answers the call. This delays dispatch of police, fire and emergency medical.
This is a big deal because we can't bring this service in-house or afford to partner with another nearby city without committing approximately $400,000 in general operating funds. We can provide a much higher level of service but at a higher cost. If we funded this through property taxes, the average Dunwoody family would see their taxes rise by $22 per year in 2011.
Below is a link to an on-line survey. (It only has one question.) Please take a moment and give me your thoughts on this issue.
Take 911 on-line survey.
I will share the results in my next e-mail update. I am inclined to support this but with great caution. We do not want this to be the first of many requests to voters, "If you give us more money we can do all these wonderful things..." as it cannot become a habit. I believe strongly in living within our means and keeping government to a minimum. I also realize that all of us have suffered in this economic downturn and money is tight. All of that said, I think this is something we should consider because of its impact on our ability to provide emergency response when our residents need it most.
Finally, congratulations to Doug Thompson, our newest city council member. Doug replaces Tom Taylor who has resigned to run to represent Dunwoody in the Georgia House in the seat Fran Millar is vacating. Fran is running to replace Dan Weber in the Georgia Senate.
Robert Wittenstein

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Springfield Neighborhood Association Update; 911 Service

We have a very generous neighborhood! At last check we have approximately 40 neighbors who have paid voluntary dues to the SNA for the up-keep of the front entrance as well as future projects and parties. That total represents more than one-forth of the neighborhood. Hopefully by the time the yearly capital campaign is over, we will be closer to 50 percent. A big thank you to all of you who contributed!!
Among the immediate use of the funds: we have hired a lawn-cutting service and a lawn maintenance service. Hopefully we will be doing some annual planting as well.
At present, we have not scheduled our next meeting. As soon as we do, we will announce a date and place. All members of the neighborhood are invited to join us.

911 Service for Dunwoody
Does the city of Dunwoody need its own 911 service, servering ties with DeKalb County? That question was asked at last night's city council meeting. For more go to and Channel 11 even had a story on the issue last night (click on picture above).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Dunwoody Beltline & Endorsing Tom Taylor

I listed to an hour presentation on Thursday about the Atlanta Beltline. The Beltline's president & chief executive officer Brian Leary updated a small group of commercial and resident realtors on the progress of the $2.8 billion dollar project.

It's a wonderful concept that is connecting 45 Atlanta neighborhoods with 22 miles of light rail, 33 miles of walking, running and bike trails and 1,300 acres of parks and green space (click on map above for larger view).

Will Dunwoody have a beltline? Not sure, but next Monday the council has called a special meeting to discuss Dunwoody's Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is a a "policy guide that details the community’s vision and goals for the future." If you haven't been involved in the community meetings concerning the plans, it's not too late to have your voice heard.

Taylor eyes State House

Earlier this week I had a lengthy conversation with former Dunwoody City Councilman Tom Taylor, who has given up his seat to run for state representative (the seat currently held by Fran Millar, who is running for Dan Weber's seat in the senator. Weber is retiring). If Taylor wins the election, he certainly has the experience under the gold dome to hit the ground running. He's spent a large part of the last four years at the capitol lobbying for, first, the creation of the city of Dunwoody, and then for Dunwoody obtaining ownership of its parks. He's 2-for-2.

I really didn't know what to make of Tom when he first ran for council. And even when elected, he was one of the quieter council members. But he appears to have done a great job behind the scenes, and has my support in his election for state representative.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Arts Festival a Smash; Update from Councilman Shortal

By all accounts, the first annual Dunwoody Arts Festival was a smashing success. According to John Heneghan's blog, over 30,000 attended the festival on Saturday (although Dunwoody Preservation Trust chief Tom Florence says it was about half that number), and I can tell you first-hand, there were even more folks on Sunday! The art was fabulous - albeit a little pricey - and the food and entertain sensational (not sure of the name of the band that performed Saturday afternoon, but it was terrific)! Surely there will be a 2nd annual festival next year. Congrats to all those involved - including a great job by the city.

PS I included the picture below - a work from one of the out-of-town artists - because obviously the artist was unaware of the fact that Dunwoody has a ban on chickens (but on closer inspection, they appears to be roosters)!

For tons of great photos go to

Update from Councilman Shortal

The following is an update from Dunwoody councilman Denis Shortal that I received late Sunday night.

Fellow Citizens of Dunwoody:
The following are four quick update items ...

1. Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP). .... Your City Council will be discussing the rough draft of the CLUP at our work session tomorrow night - 10 MAY. The work sessions starts at 7 PM with the CLUP currently being item # 9. The CLUP is currently scheduled for public hearing and Council vote at the regular City Council meeting on 24 MAY. The rough draft of the CLUP in available for your viewing on the city website - This is an important document for the future of our City and I urge you all to stay involved.

2. Paving ... The first Dunwoody paving Request for Proposal (RFP) is being issued with a selection of the winning bid being in the June timeframe. If all goes well, the timeframe for our initial street paving project should be mid to late July. This is an event that will mark an important turning point in our City. As I have said before, our roads have suffered from poor initial construction quality and numerous years of neglect. Patience and understanding will be required and to bring our roads up to the quality we desire will be a very long term project considering the road conditions and funding requirements.

3. Art Festival ... The initial spring Dunwoody Art Festival came to a close just a few hours ago. The weather was outstanding and the crowds were large. I am very interested in your feedback and constructive comments. Please pass your info to me and I will pass it to the folks in charge. I spoke with many of you at the festival today and also went around the Village talking to business operators. My initial overall impression was positive.

4. Parks ... As you are aware HB 203 ( legislation dealing with us acquiring the parks and certain facilities within our city limits from DeKalb County ) passed the GA House and Senate. The Bill is currently on the Governor's desk awaiting his signature. We will keep you informed of the progress.

My thanks for your continued support and community volunteer spirit. If you feel any of your friends and neighbors maybe interested in my updates please forward my email.

Let Us Continue To Build Our City Together

Denny Shortal
Dunwoody City Council, District One, Post-1 Mayor Pro Tem PH (O) 678-382-6700 (C) 678-246-9006

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Thompson to Run for City Council; Huge Garage Sale

The following announcement is from Dunwoody resident Doug Thompson, who plans to run for the city council seat in District 3 that is being vacated by Tom Taylor (Taylor is running for state representative, a position currently held by Fran Millar, who is running for the state senate seat currently held by Dan Weber, who is retiring).

It is with great excitement and with the support of my family, friends, neighbors and colleagues that I announce my candidacy for the local District 3 City Council post with the City of Dunwoody. Tom Taylor has done a wonderful job in this position before stepping down to run for State office and has agreed to endorse my candidacy.

I will shortly begin the process of fundraising and campaigning.

Having run for this position in the inaugural election, I am well aware of the financial and time commitment required. I look forward to your support and the opportunity to serve the citizens of Dunwoody.

Doug Thompson
(770) 396-3661-w

Garage Sale

Looking for a Saturday morning garage sale? One of our neighbors asked me to pass along the sale going on this morning (until 1pm) at 4756 Ashford Club Dr. Among the items for sale: antiques, lladros, Royal Doultons, Gorham set/36 glasses, bedspread ensemble, collectibles including Coke, Wiz of oz, a fantastic unique child’s old school desk w/ bk storage, jewelry-silver, gold and costume, framed pictures to include Judaica as well as some other Judaic figurines/music boxes etc.