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.

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