Monday, November 29, 2010

Election, Dunwoody Updates

A reminder that the runoffs from the November 2 election are tomorrow.  The race with the greatest impact locally is that for DeKalb County School Board, District 1.  Incumbent Jim Redovian is trying to fend off a strong challenge from Nancy Jester.  Passions run high in this race.  Many feel that Jim, a longtime Dunwoody resident, would continue to make sure our neighborhood schools are not overlooked by the board (I know my neighborhood is appreciative of his hard work over the last 4 years, as well as Jim stepping in to right a wrong), while other think Jester is the right person to hire a new superintendent and oversee his or her work. 
Be sure to make your voice heard by voting!

Update from Councilman Wittenstein

Dear Dunwoody Friends and Neighbors,
We continue to work through alternatives for providing 911 service. At the moment we are focused on two alternatives, staying with DeKalb County or moving over to ChatComm, the joint Sandy Springs/Johns Creek 911 center. It really comes down to how much to spend for what level of service.

A 911 center is really two different call centers in one building. On one side you have call takers. They spend their time talking over phone lines to folks who call 911. They figure out what kind of emergency it is, who is calling, and where the problem is. Then they enter all of this information into a computer system. On the other side you have dispatchers. Once a call taker transfers a call to the dispatcher, the dispatcher works with responders to coordinate emergency response. Both teams have to function well for a call to be handled quickly and efficiently.

Industry standard benchmarks require call takers to answer 90% of calls with no delay and to complete the information gathering process within 60 seconds on average. DeKalb County 911 habitually misses both of these benchmarks. ChatComm (after their initial 6 month startup) has a consistent track record of exceeding these benchmarks. Seems like a simple decision, right? Well, maybe or maybe not.

ChatComm will cost Dunwoody as much as $300,000 per year more. That is $300,000 we can’t spend on Roads, Parks and Police. While DeKalb hasn’t hit the 90% mark in years, they do manage to hit 88% with some regularity. They don’t average 60 seconds, instead they average 99 seconds. Is that good enough? How much is 30 seconds per call worth? Is it worth almost a thousand dollars a day?

There are other issues as well. One advantage of ChatComm is their ability to coordinate response between Sandy Springs police and ours. That could be an important service improvement for both cities. Another big advantage to ChatComm relates to cell phone towers. When someone calls 911 from a cell phone, they are transferred to the 911 center related to the tower their phone connects to. If you are calling anywhere along our borders, that tower may not be in Dunwoody. If you are transferred to the wrong center by the cell network, valuable time is lost when the call is re-routed to the correct 911 center. With ChatComm, because Sandy Springs wraps around us, our Dunwoody residents would be insulated from that problem along half our boarder. If we go with ChatComm, whether your phone connects to a tower in Dunwoody or Sandy Springs, you will still be connected to the correct 911 center.

Finally, DeKalb’s 911 center has been in disarray for many years. They are trying to bring in a new director and they are in the process of acquiring a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system but the department has been understaffed and poorly managed for years. I tried to find out how many callers were on hold for two minutes or longer and was told, “no one knows how to get that information.” That is a bit scary.

On the other side, there is a disadvantage to ChatComm: Fire and EMS service will continue to be provided by DeKalb. While Fire and EMS make up a small portion of the total call volume, calls for those services to the ChatComm 911 center will need to be transferred to DeKalb for dispatch. There is also a one-time equipment and setup cost of $500,000 to transfer to ChatComm.

I’m not sure which way the City Council will ultimately decide to go, or when the decision will be made, but it is clearly not an easy call.

In other Dunwoody news, we have just received a grant to study the feasibility of creating a Dunwoody Greenway along the Georgia Power high-tension power easement that runs through Dunwoody from Sandy Springs to Gwinnett. This is a very exciting potential opportunity to create a path for runners, walkers and bicyclists.

Have a wonderful holiday season!


Update from Councilman Shortal

My Fellow Citizens .... The following are a few update items of interest:

1. Thanksgiving .... My hope is that each of you and your Family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for as we are so blessed to live in this great Country. My thankfulness go out to all those Americans in foreign lands, away from their Families, who are facing off against the tyrants of the world. I am also thankful for the vast majority of my fellow citizens who demonstrate can-do positive spirit by putting the welfare of all our city's citizens ahead of the welfare of self.

2. 911 ... This topic has received a lot of publicity. The update is that no final decision has been make to date. Our choices are staying with DeKalb County (DC), going with Chat-Com (Sandy Springs & Johns Creek) or starting our own 911 service. About two weeks ago the discussions with DC intensified starting with a face to face meeting between our 911 committee (I am a member of that committee) and the DC 911 principals. We have received a proposal from DC and have sent them a counter proposal. If we can come to a mutual agreement with DC it would be the most economical route for us as the cost would be paid by the monthly $1.50 fee that each of us pay with our phone bill. Both Chat-Com and internal 911 service cost estimates are in the $300,00 range annually from our general funds plus an initial start up cost. I will keep you informed on this important issue.

3. Parks Survey ... As you know we have hired a firm to do a Master Park Plan (MPP) for our City. We are seeking input from each of you. I ask you to go to our city website and fill out the on line survey. The survey can be found our Parks and Recreation website at ... ... the survey will only take a few minutes of your time. Also, be alert for future town hall meetings concerning our MPP.

4. Recycling .... There is an old saying that there is nothing worst than a reformed smoker. I guess I can now call myself a reformed non-recycler ... yes, after listening to my conscience and being encouraged by the work of our Sustainability Committee Meredy and I have joined in and become "recyclers." Actually I am very happy that we started recycling. As a rough measurement, I have noted almost one-half of our total trash output has proven to be recyclable items. This means that the Shortal's trash contribution to the sanitary landfill has been reduced by 50%. Also this means 50% of our trash is being recycled into usable items. Recycling is easy and cheap to get started .... simply go to this DC website .... and about half way down the page you will see this paragraphs:

"How to Participate ... Call the Sanitation Customer Service (404) 294-2900 or email and subscribe to the residential recycling program. Initial subscription cost is $30.00 which includes the bin and bags as described above. To subscribe to our recycling program, please fill out the application form below and send it along with your check or money order of $30.00. to our Sanitation Division at 3463 Camp Circle, Building B Decatur, GA 30032. Make checks payable to DeKalb County.

Residential Subscription Curbside Application ."

You will note there is an initial subscription cost of $30 .... $15 for the "Blue Recycle Box" and $15 for 200 blue bags (that is a two year supply). I highly encourage each of you the join the "Blue Box/Bag Recycle Brigade," .... like us, I think you will be glad that you join!

5. Voting ... The Runoff Election voting is this Tuesday, November, 30th. Voting will be at your normal polling place from 7 AM until 7 PM. Because of the historical low voter turnout in runoff elections your vote is extremely important. There are four Nonpartisan Election Runoffs on our ballot. To see a runoff ballot go to DeKalb Election .... and under Current Election Information the 4th item in "Sample Ballot-Voter Specific" ... click on this, fill in your info and hit submit .... when the next page comes up about half way down the page in blue is "Sample Ballot." In these four elections ... please take it for what it is worth ... the following are the candidates I will be supporting and that I believe are worthy of your considerations:

Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia .... David Nahmias .... A Dunwoody resident with high moral values.
Judge, Court of Appeals of Georgia.... Chris McFadden .... The most qualified IMO.
Judge, Superior Court of the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit ... Michael Rothenberg ..... IMO, definitely the best of the two choices.
DeKalb County Board of Education District One .... Jim Redovian .... A Dunwoody resident who has had several children go through the local public schools. During his tenure we have several million dollar worth of new and renovation construction on our public schools in Dunwoody..... including construction of Dunwoody Elementary School and the ongoing major addition/improvement to Dunwoody High School. A strong proponent of charter schools and keeping taxes low.

Of course, whomever you vote for is solely your choice but what ever you do ... PLEASE VOTE THIS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30TH!!!

6. Thanks ... My special thanks to the over 700 volunteers who took park in the "Clean, Fix and Shine-Up Dunwoody Day." This effort was spearheaded by North Atlanta Church of Christ, Dunwoody Baptist Church, Life Center Church and All Saints Catholic Church. The head of the Dunwoody Volunteer Coordination Committee ... Mr. Bill Tobin .... coordinated the effort that included trash pick up, major park improvements and painting fire hydrants with shiny yellow paint donated by Sherwin Williams.

7. Thanks # 2 ..... If you have driven by the Donaldson Chestnut Farm lately you have the notice the beautifully decorated mailbox compliments of one of our citizens .... Linda Shulin. Thanks Linda for your community spirit!

8. Litter Ordinance .... We recently passed a new City Litter Ordinance. We hope this will discourage folks from throwing litter around our City. Part of this ordinance prohibits blowing / throwing leaves, grass clipping and other yard waste into the street. The main purpose behind this effort is to keep these items out of our storm sewer and thus reducing costly future repairs.

9. I best close as I have to get up in the morning and get is a "workout" in an effort to work off the effects of the superb Thanksgiving food. Please forward this to any of your friends and neighbors that maybe interested. Anyone who wants to be added to my email list just let me know and I will make that happen. Again, thanks for you support!

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

Friday, November 26, 2010

Music Hall of Fame in Dunwoody?

Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon
Dunwoody City Councilman Danny Ross is looking into the possibility of relocating the Georgia Music Hall of Fame to Dunwoody.  The Hall of Fame, currently located in Macon, is in financial distress.  The state of Georgia has been subsidising the Hall, but state legislators have no interest in continuing to funnel money its way.  Would the Hall be profitable in Dunwoody?  That is the question.  Click on the photo to watch a video of the Hall, forwarded by Councilman Ross, and please vote (top left) on whether you want the Hall to come to Dunwoody.

City Hosts Brook Run Park Planning Meeting
Brook Run Park

The City of Dunwoody Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a public meeting to discuss the future of Brook Run Park.

WHAT: The Dunwoody Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a public meeting to develop plans for the future of Brook Run Park. Lose and Associates will lead the meeting to guide participants in developing possible options for the park’s future. The meeting will include a review of the 2003 Brook Run Master Plan, information collected from previous public meetings, and the current site analysis.

WHO: Everyone is invited to participate in the public meeting.

WHEN & Saturday, December 11, 2010

WHERE: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church
4755 North Peachtree Road
Dunwoody, GA

A Wondeful Thanksgiving
I sincerely hope that you had a happy Thanksgiving.  Despite my beloved Longhorns losing to hated-rival Texas A&M Thursday evening to finish their worst season in 54 years, it was a fabulous day with family and friends (not to mention, the kids' noon football game at Dunwoody High School, pictured below).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fun at Light Up Dunwoody

Dunwoody High School Band

Dunwoody Elementary Singers

Police Chief Billy Grogan with Councilman Wittenstein & wife Susan 

Christmas Tree at the Farmhouse

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dunwoody Shooting

Below is the latest from WBS on the shooting in Dunwoody Village yesterday that resulted in the death of 36-year old Russell Sneiderman.  Click Dunwoody Police to read the official report.

DUNWOODY, Ga. WSB -- Dunwoody police said they continue to review surveillance video in the hopes it will help them figure out who shot and killed a father in front of a preschool.

Russell Sneiderman
Police said a man shot and killed 36-year-old Russell Sneiderman, a father of two, outside Dunwoody Prep Preschool on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road on Thursday morning.
Detectives returned to the scene on Thursday night in search of evidence.
Police said someone shot Sneiderman in the chest multiple times after he dropped off his 2-year-old son. 
Click on WSB to read the rest of the story - click here to see photos. 

Police Need Gift Wrappers

The Dunwoody Police Department's 2nd annual Christmas for Kids drive needs volunteers to wrap gifts on December 5 from 9am-1pm at Dunwoody Baptist Church.   For more information go to Christmas for Kids, or contact Liz Stell at the Dunwoody Police Department at

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shooting at Dunwoody Village

The story below is from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  I spoke with someone who arrived on the scene shortly after the incident.  They said there was a visable pool of blood, and from what they saw, the shooting may very well have resulted in a fatality. 

By Kristi E. Swartz
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Gunfire broke out Thursday morning in the parking lot of a Dunwoody preschool.
An unidentified bearded man believed to be in his mid-30s pumped four bullets into the victim, who was taken to Atlanta Medical Center, said Dunwoody Police spokesman Mike Carlson. His condition is unknown.
"All we know is that he pulled up about 9:10 in the morning, and the witnesses, they saw another white male walk up to him and start firing," Carlson told the AJC.
Carlson said investigators do not know if either the shooter or the victim had ties to the preschool.
"We're looking at all possibilities," Carlson said.
The shooter was spotted leaving the Dunwoody Prep Preschool in a silver Dodge Minivan, Carlson said. Shortly before noon, a silver Infiniti was towed from the school parking lot.
The school's staff and children did not witness the incident but parents' nerves were frazzled nonetheless.
Click on AJC to read full story.

Light Up Dunwoody

Dunwoody's Tree?  Close
 A reminder that Light Up Dunwoody is this Sunday from 4:30-6pm.  If you have children under the age of 13 - Light Up is a must (and parents like it too)!  Sponsored by the Dunwoody Homeowners' Association, this year's event will begin with a parade at the DHA office (on the side of Dunwoody Village that faces Jiffy Lube) and conclude with a magnificent tree lighting at the Farmhouse.
I just got off the phone with organizer Renate Herod - who, by the way, is doing an amazing job - she says in between the parade and tree lighting, Santa will be on the Farmhouse porch from 5-6pm for photos (bring your camera as pictures are free), the Dunwoody Elementary School singers will perform, there will be a balloon sculpturer, and Jim Jarrell with lead residents in Christmas carols.
And if that's not enough:  SunTrust Bank is providing hot chocolate with Primrose School decorating cookies.
Renate tells me many of the area restaurants have donated gift cards that will be raffled off - for FREE!  For example, the New York Butcher Shop is giving away fillets, with free gift cards courtesy of, among others, Village Burger, Wright's Gourmet, Old Hickory House and Jason's Deli.
Hope to see you Sunday afternoon.

Mortgage Rates on the Rise

In the last couple of weeks, record-low mortgage rates are starting to creep up.  30-year fixed rates for folks with excellent credit were as low as 3.875, but have now risen to 4.375, which is still pretty darn good.  For more questions concerning home mortgages, contact Julie Devine at Brand Mortgage - she's one of the best in the business.  Julie's number is 770.639.4022.  Her email is

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Smaller School Board?

DeKalb School Board
The following story appears in today's Atlanta Journal Constitution. In my humble opinion, decreasing the size of the DeKalb County School Board would be fabulous!  The current nine-person board is simply too big.

By Megan Matteucci
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DeKalb County voters may get the chance to cut two of their school board seats next year to help save the troubled district’s accreditation.
On Monday, DeKalb legislators called for a November 2011 referendum to ask voters to decrease the school board from nine seats to five or seven.

“Smaller boards create better opportunities for the board to work together,” state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This is about making a more effective school board to ensure we keep our schools’ accreditation.”
Click on
AJC to read the full story. 

Nothing Like College Football

I know there are some who feel football, in general, is a much too violent game.  I won't argue the point.  But I will tell you there is nothing like father and son bonding at a football game.
I took my son Jack to his first college football this game weekend for his 12th birthday.  We flew down to Houston, then made the 2-1/2 hour drive to Austin to watch my Alma mater, the University of Texas, take on Oklahoma St.  And while my beloved Longhorns suffered another humiliating loss (we're in the midst of our worst season in 54 years), we couldn't have had more fun!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dunwoody Celebrates Veterans Day

The City of Dunwoody will honor local military men and women in a Veterans Day ceremony held at Brook Run Park today at 3:00 p.m. The event honors all those who have served or are currently serving in all branches of the United States Military. 
The event will be hosted by Dunwoody Councilman and retired Marine, Gen. Denis Shortal. Several speakers have been invited to participate including retired Army Sgt. Maj. Ray Jones and veteran Army 1st Lt. Robert Hopkins. Special musical performances will be provided by Greg McLean, Associate Professor of Music and Michael McClary, Assistant Professor of Music from Georgia Perimeter College.
The event is open to the public.

My Father and two of his grandchildren
On this Veterans Day, I want to send out a big salute and hug to my dad, George Fiscella.  A resident of Houston, my father, now 84-years old, served in the Navy in World War II aboard the C-class carrier the USS Randolph, which earned three battle stars during the war.  He was a 135-pound, 18-year old when he enlisted just days after graduating from high school  He served aboard a ship that saw extensive combat duty off the coast of Japan.

Dad, your three children might not say it enough, but we're proud of you!  See you on Friday. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Vote is In!

My poll asking what you thought of the City of Dunwoody's new brand expired this afternoon.  I have no idea who cast votes (and who knows, some folks might have voted twice, although the system disallows that from one computer), but the total was as follows:

Love it:       3      (2 percent)
Like it:       19   (15 percent)
Dislike it:   46   (36 percent)
Hate it        58   (46 percent)

Like I said, this was a very unscientific poll so the results do not represent a cross-section of Dunwoody residents.  However, when 82 percent say they either dislike it (that's how I voted) or hate it, it says something.  And judging from what I've read on other blogs (Dunwoody Talk) and in Dunwoody newspapers, my poll is not an anomaly. 
Will the city change the branding anytime soon (other than changing "Smart place" to "Smart city" once it realized Plano, Texas had already adopted that slogan)?  I doubt it - too much money was spent on it (I'm still wondering exactly what "research" Sky Design did).  However, perhaps it will change over time.  I don't really mind the Walmart-like *asterisk, but I agree with those that the said the branding makes Dunwoody seem pompous and presumptuous.  To borrow a phrase from a thousand different coaches, "act like you've been there before."  This branding doesn't.
While I don't believe the city will change the branding anytime soon, I do love what the Comp Plan Steering Committee came up with, "Small town feel - Big city appeal."  To me, this phrase better defines what Dunwoody is - who we are.  It does a much better job of capturing the essence of our community.  And it is not braggadocio. 
Perhaps city officials are listening, and will fall on their swords.

Chamblee Charrette

I was unable to attend the DeKalb County School System charrette that was held last night in the Bulldogs gymnasium.  Fortunately, DeKalb School Watch was there.  Click on the link for a recap.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chick-fil-A is the Hot Topic; Free Tickets, Community Service Day

Sketch from Chick-fil-A representatives at DHA meeting 
Last night's Dunwoody Homeowners' Association meeting was the liveliest that I've attended in my time on the board.  The hot topic was Chick-fil-A's interest in placing a store at the location of the old Blockbuster/UPS at the intersection of Dunwoody Club Dr. and Mt. Vernon Rd.  Representatives from Chick-fil-A were on hand to give a short presentation.
Seemingly everyone I've spoken to would like to see a Chick-fil-A store at that location.  Even many of the nearby neighbors are gung-ho.  The problem is, that shopping center is zoned NS (neighborhood shopping) and a drive-thru is not permitted.  Also, there are questions as to whether a drive-thru restaurant fits within the confines of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
So if most everyone wants a Chick-fil-A, but current zoning won't allow a drive-thru, what can be done?  What shouldn't be done is allow the shopping center to be rezoned commercial (Bob Lundsten - our zoning guru - if I'm getting this wrong, please correct me).  Once it is zoned commercial, it opens up Pandora's Box to a whole lot of establishments in that location that we probably don't want (see Tilly Mill Rd. east as it crosses from Dunwoody into Doraville.  Can you say unsightly?).
One solution might be changing NS to allow for a drive-thru.  Is this a good idea (Bob, you tell me)?  I don't know, but it seems to be worth exploring.  Of course if it is possible to change NS to allow a drive-thru, does it fit the CLUP?  

Fran Millar
Whether it fits the CLUP or not, this shopping center has become a wasteland of an eyesore, as State Senator-elect Fran Millar pointed out at last night's meeting.  Not only is the Blockbuster now vacant (UPS is still in business), but of course the Ace Hardware has been empty for the better part of four years.  And if we didn't want Goodwill at that shopping center (remember a year or so ago it wanted to move in, but the community put the kibosh on it), and we won't allow Chick-fil-A, then what?
One question Bob Lundsten asked last night was, if this wasn't Chick-fil-A but instead, say Krystal, do we feel the same way?  Would we still be interested in making the same push to change what is presently allowable?  Please respond to the poll in the upper left hand corner - let us know how you feel. 

Kroger Renovation

Not only were representatives from Chick-fil-A at last night's meeting, but so too were Kroger folks, pitching its complete overhaul of the Georgetown store.  Kroger is not only planning to increase its size from 48,000 to 70,000 square feet (taking over the old Tuesday Morning), but a top-to-bottom renovation of the interior, including skylights.  
Kroger also plans a complete renovation of the unsightly parking lot, adding much more desirable landscaping (actually, any landscaping will be a big improvement).  Kroger has made formal application to the city for nine variances.      

By the way, among those in attendance at last night's meeting - Dunwoody City Councilmen John Heneghan and Robert Wittenstein.  Also there, the two candidates in the runoff for the DeKalb County School Board, District 1 position - incumbent Jim Redovian and Nancy Jester as well as Dunwoody resident Michael Rothenberg, who's in a runoff for DeKalb Superior Court Judge.

Free Tickets to Motivational Seminar

There is a motivation seminar tomorrow at Philips Area featuring Bill O'Reilly, Laura Bush, Sarah Palin and Terry Bradshaw.  If you are interested in a free ticket, send me an email at  For more information, click on Seize The Day.

Community Service Day

This past Saturday was Community Service Day in Dunwoody.  According to Bill Tobin, chairman of the city's volunteer coordinating committee, approximately 1,000 volunteers took part in everything from de-littering the side of roads (that's my Knights of Columbus crew in the photo to the left, looking like prisoners as we picked trash from the intersection of I-285 and North Peachtree Rd.) to sprucing up Brook Run Park to painting fire hydrants.  A big pat on the back to North Atlanta Church of Christ on Roberts Dr. and Dunwoody Baptist for their help!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Don't Forget to Fall Back

The following is the agenda for Sunday night's Dunwoody Homeowners' Association meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night at the North DeKalb Arts Center (next to the library). 

Welcome Board Members and Visitors

1. Approval of Minutes – for October 3, 2010 Regular Board Meet
2. Zoning and related issues
    a. Georgetown Kroger- Coro Realty
    b. Chick-fil-A @ Mt. Vernon and Dunwoody Club
3. Community Affairs
    a. Candidate Forum October 26 review
    b. Light Up Dunwoody 2010 update
    c. Chamber’s Dunwoody Music Festival review
    d. Code Enforcement update
4. Messages & Updates from President
    Membership mailing
5. Board only discussion:
    Votes as needed on any motions
6. Adjourn

The two items that I feel will be of most interest are the presentation/discussion on the plans to put a Chick-fil-A at the site of the old Blockbuster/UPS at the intersection of Dunwoody Club Forest and Mt. Vernon, as well as the renovation of Georgetown Kroger.  As always, the DHA meetings are open to the public.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dunwoody Real Estate; The Library; City News

The Branches
While this continues to be a trying time for homeowners to sell property (and an unbelievable time for first-time home buyers to purchase, as well as those moving-up to bigger homes), it is especially trying for Dunwoody homeowners.  Currently, there are only five Dunwoody single family homes in the 30338 zip code that are under contract; compare this with 163 active listings.  The good news is that in the past 30 days, 21 homes have sold.

The active listings range in price from $1,568,000 to $179,900.  To view any of these listings, in descending order, click on the Buyer Short Report below.  To view an easy-to-read list of all active listings, click on the CMA Buyer link. 

Buyer Short Report
CMA Buyer

Want to know how much that home down the street just sold for? Email me at and I'll be happy to place you on a Gateway that will track all the activity in your neighborhood (a new item on the near right-hand column).  I've also included a link to the page on my website that will give you give you a daily look at home listings in Dunwoody, broken down by price range.  If you know of anyone buying or selling a home, please call me at 404.644.5220 or email me at and I'll be happy to provide them with exceptional service.

Library Appreciation Day

This Saturday the Friends of the Dunwoody Library will celebrate "Library Appreciation Day" from 10am - 3pm.  Activities include a children's treasure hunt at 1:15pm, children's story telling at 1:45pm and a car show from 12:30pm-2:30pm.  The Friends of the Dunwoody Library donate to the branch, on average, $60,000 per year.

City of Dunwoody News

The City of Dunwoody will honor local military men and women in a Veteran’s Day ceremony held at Brook Run Park on November 11 at 3:00 p.m. The city is paying homage to all those who have served or are currently serving in all branches of the United States Military.  The event will be hosted by Dunwoody Councilman and retired Marine, Gen. Denis Shortal. Several speakers have been invited to participate including retired Army Sgt. Maj. Ray Jones and veteran Army 1st Lt. Robert Hopkins. Special musical performances will be provided by Greg McLean, Associate Professor of Music and Michael McClary, Assistant Professor of Music from Georgia Perimeter College.  The event is open to the public.  For more information, click here.

Dunwoody City Council release its agenda for this coming Monday night's meeting.  For more information go to Councilman Heneghan's Dunwoody North site.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

DCPC Meeting; Chestnut Book Fair; Mark Rudder

DCPC Meeting
24 hours after election day, with Nancy Jester and Jim Redovian set to square off in a runoff for the DeKalb County School, District 1 seat, I attended the Dunwoody Chamblee Parents' Council meeting at Dunwoody Elementary School with interim superintendent Ramona Tyson as the featured speaker.  I was under the assumption that Ms. Tyson was going to concentrate her time on redistricting.  And while she did touch on the subject during the time I was there (Ms. Tyson showed up late and I had to leave early), she said it was way too soon to talk specifics.  For a terrific recap of the meeting, go to DunwoodySchoolDaze.
Regardless of which candidate you supported in District 1, a bigger issue is the District 7 runoff where the woefully ineffective Zapora Roberts faces off against impressive challenger Donna Elder.  There are interesting comments worth reading on DeKalbSchoolWatch.  A change in this seat could make a major difference in the success of the board.
Back to the DCPC meeting, among those in attendance was Nancy Jester, who says she looks forward to the next 4 weeks, as well as state senator-elect Fran Millar and state representative-elect Tom Taylor.  Congrats to both on their Tuesday night wins!

Chestnut Book Fair

I made a quick run over to Chesnut Charter Elementary Wednesday afternoon to help move stock a few books for their book fair, which starts Thursday and continues through next Wednesday.  For more information on the book fair and this evening's Family Dinner Night click here.

Mark Rudder Wins Ironman

Mark Rudder
Congrats to Dunwoody's Mark Rudder, who recently finished 2nd in his age group (45-49) in the brutial Xterra World Championships (1.5L swim / 30K bike / 10K run) in Maui.  The man is an amazing athlete whose training schedule is nothing short of maniacal!  He's like the Army (as its slogan used to read) "we do more before 9am than most do all day."  Mark - thanks for putting Springfield on the map!

Discounted Falcons Tickets

Want to attend a Falcons game this season, but don't want to pay full price?  Click on the photo below to check out a great offer from Groupon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

School Board Race Headed to Runoff

Nancy Jester
This is probably the last thing that candidates Jim Redovian and Nancy Jester wanted to hear.  That their hotly-contested race for DeKalb County School Board, District One is headed to a runoff, which means four more weeks of campaigning.  The runoff is November 30.  This race was as close as it gets.  According to the DeKalb County election website, Jester got 45.8 percent to Redovian's 44.5.  Bobbe Gillis picked up the remaining 9.4 percent - it will be interesting to see where she throws her support (although I'm not one to put a whole lot of stock in endorsements from 3rd-place candidates). 
Interesting to note that of the other 4 incumbents running for DeKalb school board positions, three won outright with the 4th leading in her race.  The latter being the temperamental, some say might say incompetent, Zapora Roberts, who is headed to a runoff.  Roberts got 37 percent of the vote, her closest opponent 30 percent.  Usually when an incumbent can't get 40 percent, their chances of winning the runoff diminish greatly.  This is fabulous news.

The two other local races of interest saw Fran Miller handily defeat Eric Christ for the state senate seat being vacated by Dan Weber.  Former Dunwoody councilman Tom Taylor easily beat Keith Kaylor to win Miller's seat in the state house.  One other race of note, State Representative Jill Chambers, a longtime thorn in the side of Dunwoody, lost her reelection campaign.  Jill - don't let the door hit you on the way out!

I was happy to see the amendment to add a $10 tag fee for trauma care expansion fail (52-47).  While I'm not against trauma care, I'm not a big fan of a disguised tax increase.  Great to see the DeKalb County Homestead freeze pass by a 3-1 margin; ditto for the Dunwoody homestead freeze (with all due respect to councilman Wittenstein).  Again, less taxes are good!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

With the city of Dunwoody's new branding taken into consideration - "Smart people - Smart city" - I thought the above "vote" pin would be most appropriate!  Today is election day - don't forget to get out and vote.  The only way to have any say in how your hard earned money - tax dollars - are spend, is by voting! 

The most hotly contested local race is that for DeKalb County School Board, District 1.  Incumbent Jim Redovian appears to be in a neck-and-neck race with Nancy Jester.   Jim sent me the email below yesterday as he tires to hold onto the seat he has held for the past 4 years.


Jim Redovian
I find it interesting that my opponent is so set on a comprehensive and direct approach to redistrict questions except when it might cost her some votes. She calls for competent and experienced board members, and her only experience is to work inside one schoolhouse. She has never had children higher than elementary school and has only began to attend any meetings at the district level in the last five months - that does not spell experience. When asked a yes or no answer on supporting a possible move of the magnets after both Ms. Gillis and myself answered yes, her (answer) was maybe, and now that it would be popular to say no for the Chamblee, Kitridge parents she has changed to no. I have never pushed for such a move, however if within the redistricting plan it is proven that such a move would be the best and most fiscally responsible solution I would have to leave the door open even if it would cost me the election. This is a large System with many problems, nothing should be off the table.
My job as expressed by Georgia law is to serve the whole system.

I am not endorsing either candidate, as I believe each has a passion to do what is best for our children.  I'm not concerned with the winner of this race having a positive impact on the board.  I do have concerns with many of the other board members, 4 of whom are up for re-election today.  It's too bad we only get to vote for one of the board positions!   

Monday, November 1, 2010

DeKalb Schools Have Tuesday Off

My Halloween costume:   a grumpy old man answering the door!
Hope you had a happy Halloween.  As we move into November, a reminder that Tuesday is not only election day, but DeKalb County Schools have the day off, as many voting precincts are in the schools.  I'm not sure how it worked when I was in school, but I know I didn't get the day off, and I remember elections taking place in the school building while we were attending classes.  I don't recall it being much of a distraction.