Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

To all the veterans among us, I wish you a Happy Memorial Day!  I especially wish a Happy Memorial Day to those who served in times of combat (including, of course, you Dad)!  If you have never heard Trace Adkins tribute to our veterans, click on the Arlington link - it's well worth the time.

James Sibold Considers Run for Mayor

The following was issued by Dunwoody resident Jamie Sibold, who previously ran for state representative and state senate, falling both times to Fran Miller.

Former Dekalb County Republican Party Chairman James Sibold has formed an exploratory committee to seek the office of Mayor for the City of Dunwoody.

Sibold is a nineteen year resident of Brooke Farm subdivision and has practiced law in the city for the past twenty-five years. In 1999 he brought the action, along with the Southeastern Legal Foundation that forced an end to Dekalb County school systems illegal M to M busing program.
Sibold also played a key role in the recovery from the 1998 Dunwoody tornado, hosting a series of forums for the storms victims and helping them resolve disputes with their insurance companies and county officials. Most recently Sibold has served as the Chairman of the Dekalb Republican Party and worked closely in helping Republicans win elected office. In 2008 he traveled with Senator John McCain’s campaign for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. “In a city with 10,000 Republicans and 5,000 Democrats, I am very proud of my conservative beliefs and philosophy on the role of government. I look forward to discussing with the voters my vision for the future of the City of Dunwoody.”

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dunwoody Families Called On For Help

I received the email below from a Dunwoody resident simply looking to help those in need. My thoughts are certainly with the families that are asking for help.

Hello Dunwoody bloggers:
I am writing on behalf of Jan Jordan, a first grade teacher (par excellence) at Chesnut Charter Elem. She has asked for my help to get the word out for her effort to organize relief for families in Joplin, where such a large portion of the town, including hospital and schools, was leveled.
Please take a look at the information below and decide if you can help Jan’s message to spread. We may have a subsequent post request for information on additional drop-off points… this part of the plan is still a work-in-progress.
Many thanks in advance for your help!
Melissa Marion-Landais (and Jan Jordan)

Dunwoody Families can help Families in Joplin, Missouri!

While watching the evening news last night, I saw the devastation caused by the tornadoes in Joplin, MO, as I'm sure many of you did. Seeing the devastation after just completing the school year at Chesnut… thinking of how blessed our community is to be intact, healthy, and have wonderful schools for our kids….I knew I must do my part to help put that city back together.
Although it’s not clear right now whether I will be doing this on behalf of Chesnut, all Dunwoody, or just as a private citizen, I am writing to ask for your help. I will drive out to Joplin in a U-haul on Tuesday or Wednesday, 5/31 or 6/1. I will be taking with me ANYTHING that could be useful to the families there.
New or lightly used items from the following list would be MOST appreciated: water, clothing, furniture, blankets, books (children and adult), board games, playing cards, toys – whatever your family would need to survive in a shelter for a period of time, or to help rebuild later. In addition, there is ALWAYS urgent need for diapers and formula in any catastrophe like this.
You can also donate financially directly to the Red Cross via their website’s Missouri update page:
We will be waiting for the state of Missouri to post information about the search and rescue, as well as the sorts of donated items they would welcome. In the meantime, we can get started with a collection of our own to be ready for Monday. (Anything that I cannot deliver once I arrive will go to the nearest Salvation Army or other donation center.)
Dunwoody police department
Check for new information on this effort on
If you have any questions, feel free to reach me at:
Thank you for ANYTHING that you can do to help!
Jan Jordan

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Update From Councilman Wittenstein

Last week Mayor Ken Wright announced that he would not seek a second term as mayor. Ken has been the perfect first mayor for Dunwoody. Ken has been a voice of reason and a force for consensus. We will all miss his calm and understated leadership.

Over the last week a number of people have asked me if I plan to run for mayor. I do not. I will, however, go ahead and announce that I plan to run for reelection for my current city council post in November. It has been a privilege to represent the residents of Dunwoody and I would be honored to be able to continue to do so. It is too early to start the campaign season but I thought I would go ahead and put the speculation to rest.

We are engaged in three major activities at the moment.

The first is repaving. We have approved the repaving plan for 2011 and are in the bidding process. We have budgeted $2 million for repaving this year and plan to address the following city streets in 2011:
Second, when the city started up two and a half years ago we entered into a series of three-year contracts with private companies to provide city services. We are now in a selection process for a new series of contracts. The deadline for submissions was Monday and we got a strong response with multiple bidders for each of the seven service areas. That response promises a competitive process. All three of our current contractors have submitted proposals. We will be scoring all the proposals and meeting with the finalists over the summer.

Finally, we continue to work on a long range Parks Master Plan. This has been tough. We have had a very open process with a lot of community input. The hard part is that while everyone loves parks, there are a lot of different views on how the parks we have should be developed. We have been seeking common ground but we may have trouble finding it. The main sticking points revolve around the Dunwoody Nature Center/Ball Fields at Dunwoody Park on Roberts Drive and Brook Run. Everyone will find things to love in the plan and I’m sure everyone will be disappointed in some other elements as well. We will wrap-up work on the Parks Master Plan in June.

In June I will attend the annual Georgia Municipal Association conference in Savannah and take a one-day course in Municipal Law taught by UGA. With this course I will complete 42 hours of training and qualify for a Certificate of Recognition from the Georgia Municipal Association.



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mayor to Step Down, Who Steps Up?

If you haven't read the exclusive in The Crier yet, Dunwoody Mayor Ken Wright has decided not to seek re-election in November.  Ken intimated to The Crier that it's time to spend more time with his family, saying “I’ve been hyper-involved in this community for nearly a decade.  When I began, I had a daughter (Cassidy) who was crawling and my son (Clayton) was just a twinkle in my eye. In lighting speed, my daughter is on the precipice of her ‘tween’ years and my son is nine.”

Prior to becoming mayor (Wright was unopposed when he ran in 2008 becoming the city's first mayor), Wright was president of the Dunwoody Homeowners' Association and one of the leaders of Citizens for Dunwoody. 
I give Ken a "big thumbs up" in his role as mayor.  He and council did a great job in putting together a city from scratch.  Perhaps his best decision was deciding not to contract with CH2M Hill as a single provider for city services.  The decision not to use CH2M Hill not only gave Dunwoody more control of its destiny, but saved the city millions of dollars.
Ken also gets credit for hiring city manager Warren Hutmacher, who held a similar position for the Ctiy of Norcross, as well as the hiring of police chief Billy Grogan.  Both has been major assets for Dunwoody.

So, who will follow in Wright's footsteps?  Through the grapevine, I hear that councilmen Denis Shortal and Robert Wittenstein have an interest in running for mayor.  I have not spoken to either, but Denis and Robert - expect an email.  I also hear that longtime Dunwoody activist Bob Dallas is interested.  Yes, I did run for city council three years ago, but I have no interest in becoming mayor.  As far as another run for council?  That's yet to be determined.

I'm fairly certain I'll talk to the mayor before he leaves office, but if not, Ken thanks for all the hard work, foresight and time spent to make Dunwoody a city we can be proud of it.  I don't think most of our citizens realize how much work and how many hours went into the job.  I watched, either in person or online - thank you John Henghan - numerous council meetings that lasted 3, 4 and even 5 hours!  I'll not only miss your wisdom, but your wit.  Thank you, Ken.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Not only is this Mother's Day, but it is also the final day of the Dunwoody Arts Festival.  It should be another spectacular day to walk the Festival.  For more information, click on Dunwoody Arts Festival.  Hope to see you there.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Update From Councilman Shortal

Good evening my fellow citizens. Just a short update with more to follow next week.

1. First and foremost a Happy Mother's Day wish to all of our Mothers! You are indeed a very special and giving group. I think we can all say the same thing ... "My Mother was definitely the best."
2. A reminder of some up coming events:
.. This weekend - May 7th and 8th - is the second annual Dunwoody Art Festival. This is back after a very well received event of last year. The location is on Chamblee Dunwoody Rd from Dunwoody Village Parkway to Mt Vernon Rd. Chamblee Dunwoody Rd will be closed, on this location, all Saturday and Sunday but there will be access to Mt Vernon Rd and into Dunwoody Village via Dunwoody Village Parkway. I recommend anyone living in the area should walk or bike to the festival.
.. On May 13th from 6:30 PM - 10:30 PM the Dunwoody Nature Center (DNC) is having it annual "Monarchs & Margaritas Gala" event. This year's event is being held at beautiful Glenridge Hall. You can get your tickets on line at or by contacting any DNC Board member. This is the major fund raising event for the DNC. Tickets are $100 each but for this you get heavy appetizers, two drink tickets as well as an opportunity to purchase items in the silent and live auction ... all while supporting our own DNC. The live auction will be conducted by our own Sen Fran Millar. The ever popular "Margarita Man" is back by demand. Watching Fran and the Margarita Man by itself is worth $100 and because DNC is a 501.3c you get to deduct a portion of the $100. Meredy and I hope to see you all there.
.. On May 14th from 9 AM - 12 PM there will be a free "Bike Safety Rodeo" at Brook Run Park.... This is open to kids of all ages which includes folks like me and the Mayor that still think we are kids. This will be an outstanding event and I highly recommend you put it on your calendar. This is an all volunteer project under the leadership of our own bike expert ... Joe Seconder.
.. On May 21st we are having a first ... to celebrate the start of the "school" summer season (school gets out on May 20th) we are encouraging everyone to leave your car in the garage and "Walk or Ride Your Bike" to whatever Village or other venue in our City that you need to go to shop, eat, etc. This is great timing as gas is approaching $4/gallon. You will not only save money but will also enhance your health at the same. See you on the walk and bike ways!
3. Paving ... Make your calendars ... our city's 2011 $2 million paving project will start in August .... in addition to some neighbor streets, Roberts Dr, Shallowford Rd and N. Peachtree Rd are on the paving list this year. As you know we are allocating about 75% of our annual paving budget for major roads/streets with remainder for neighbor streets. After living here for 20 years and watching our street deteriorate I am fully aware of the condition of our streets. You can see our street evaluation (this was done electronically to keep the politics out) on our website ... ... under Departments click on "Public Works", on the left side of the page click on "City-Wide Pavement Evaluation."
4. My thanks to Mel Browning for doing the "grunt work" in replacing two DC Police Watch signs with Dunwoody Police Watch signs on Dunwoody Knoll Dr. If you see any of the old DC Police Watch signs in your neighbor just let me or your council representative know and we will get you new Dunwoody Police Watch signs ... you will just need to provide the necessary "grunt work" to put the signs up (pls use stainless steel bolts, nuts and washers). While on the subject of signs I notice a lot of our street signs that we cleaned during "Clean, Fix & Shine Up Dunwoody Day" in 2009 are in need of a little cleaning. If there are street signs near your home that needs cleaning please grab a bucket and ladder and clean the dirty signs. You will have a personal pride factor in clean sign/s by your house and knowing that you did the cleaning ... as well as being a great enhancement to the appearance of out City. My thanks to everyone.
5. That is all for tonight. Please pass this on to your friends, neighbors, members of you HOA and/or anyone who maybe interested. Thanks for your continued support and involvement in our City.
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