Monday, November 28, 2011

Update From Councilman Shortal

I received the following from Dunwoody Councilman Denis Shortal last night.
Good evening my fellow citizens .... the following are some update items of interest ...

1. Thanksgiving ... I trust each of you and your Families and friends had an outstanding Thanksgiving. Indeed all of us have a lot for which to be thankful.
2. Runoff Election ... The run-off election for Mayor and City Council District One, Post 4 will be held on 6 DEC 2011. Remember, this is a city wide election and every citizens in Dunwoody gets to vote for candidates for both offices.
Regular Voting ... will be at your normal city voting polling place from 7 AM to 7 PM on 6 DEC 2011.
Remember you must have a government issued photo ID when you vote in person.
Absentee Voting ... you can still vote absentee but you must move quickly. Go to the following website for an absentee ballot application ...
Print the application, fill it out and fax it to Voter Registration at 404-298-4038 ... you can fax it in today. If you don't have a computer or fax capability you can mail the completed application (you must hurry) to Voter Registration, 4380 Memorial Dr., Suite 300, Decatur, Ga 30032 or take your application directly to the address above and vote absentee directly in person or call (Ph # at bottom of this email) or email me and I will assist you to get a ballot application.
After submitting your ballot application you will receive a ballot from the DC Voters Registration Office ... Fill it in an immediately mail it to .... "Voter Registration, 4380 Memorial Dr., Suite 300, Decatur, Ga 30032." Your completed ballot must be received at the Voter Registration Office by the close of business on 6 DEC to be counted. FYI, the phone # at the Voter Registration office is 404-298-4020.
Personal Request ... This is run off election which historically has a low voter turnout. I ask each of you to make your vote counts and your voice is heard by making the extra effort to exercise your privilege to vote .... a lot of great Americans have given their lives defending your voting privilege including my college roommate, 1/LT Robert Klages, USMC, who was Killed in Action and awarded the Silver Star for valor in combat.
Sample Ballot ... below is an example of the sample ballot ...


DECEMBER 6, 2011

To vote, blacken the Oval ( ) next to the candidate of your choice. To vote for a person whose name is not on the ballot, manually WRITE his or her name in the write-in section and blacken the Oval ( ) next to the write-in section. If you desire to vote YES or NO for a PROPOSED QUESTION, blacken the corresponding Oval ( ). Use only blue or black pen or pencil.

Do not vote for more candidates than the number allowed for each specific office. Do not cross out or erase. If you erase or make other marks on the ballot or tear the ballot, your vote may not count.

If you change your mind or make a mistake, you may return the ballot by writing “Spoiled” across the face of the ballot and return envelope. You may then mail the spoiled ballot back to your county board of registrars, and you will be issued another official absentee ballot. Alternatively, you may surrender the ballot to the poll manager of an early voting site within your county or the precinct to which you are assigned. You will then be permitted to vote a regular ballot.

"I understand that the offer or acceptance of money or any other object of value to vote for any particular candidate, list of candidates, issue, or list of issues included in this election constitutes an act of voter fraud and is a felony under Georgia law." [OCGA 21-2-285(h) and 21-2-383(a)]

For Mayor

(Vote for One)

For City Council At Large Post 4

(Vote for One)

2. Election Prospective ....The Mayor's position and District One, Post-4 City Councilman's position are up for election. ALL Dunwoody citizens that are registered to vote get to vote for candidates for BOTH positions. In my opinion, we are at a pivotable point in the history of our City and the outcome of this election is critical to our future. Again, become informed about the candidates.... ask the hard questions and demand a straight answer ... don't except double talk. Judge the candidates not just by their answers but more importantly by their actions. Note how they have voted on local issues and who they have voted for in general elections. That will give you a good idea as to where they stand. Over 70% of you voted a conservative ballot in the last general election. There are candidates running that fit the conservative philosophy of the vast majority of you and there are candidates running that are on the opposite side of that philosophy. The current buzz words now used by the candidates is "I am fiscally conservative" ... but as in all situations, past and present actions are more important than these words. Another important issue to look at is ... what is the source of a candidate's campaign funding. I keep asking myself ... what is the motive for folks who live outside Dunwoody making large campaign contributions to certain candidates? You are a very astute citizenry and I know you can determine that motive.

3. Special Called Meeting ... There will be a Special Called Meeting at City Hall on 5 DEC 2011 at 7 PM to discussed the purchase of the 5.15 acre plot west of Shallowford Rd at the Peachford RD intersection. At the time the "Letter of Intent" was signed the negotiated price was $1,436,000 ... FYI, I voted against this purchase. As you recall this was part of the "package deal" with the 19 acres at the old Shallowford Hospital site. The 19 acres was contingent on the Park Bond passage but the 5.15 acres was a straight purchase thus not contingent on the Park Bond passage. On this 5.15 acres, we are currently in a 45 day "free look period" with ends around 9 DEC. During this 45 day period we had two independent appraiser value the property ... one appraisal can in slightly above the negotiated price and the other appraisal came in at $1,300,000. On the DeKalb County Tax Record the property in appraised at $750,000. The purchase was deferred at our meeting on 14 NOV with the request that the City Manager meet with the property owners in an effort to negotiate a lower price.

4. Regular December Meeting ... There is only one regular City council meeting in December and that is on 12 DEC. On a personal note this will be the last council meeting for Mayor Ken Wright and Councilman Danny Ross. Both of these gentleman have worked endless quality hours and days to start up and continue to enhance our City and, to improve our quality of life in Dunwoody. Each of us owe these two "public servants" our gratitude for a job well done! Ken and Danny .... THANK YOU is not enough but please accept it as a small token for what you have done on behalf of every citizen of Dunwoody.

5. Convention and Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody (CVBD) .... The CVBD presented their 2012 budget and marketing plan at our 14 NOV council meeting. They presented a budget with a surplus as well as a very aggressive marketing plan to attract conventions, conferences, family reunions, etc. to our city's first class hotels, restaurants, and businesses. To date, the staff, business owners/managers and volunteer citizens that make up the CVBD leadership have done a superb job of fulfilling their mission.

6. Stage Door Players ... Dunwoody's own theatre group presents the Stage Door Players Christmas Show comedy open 2 DEC and runs thru 18 DEC. Shows are some Thursdays and all Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sunday afternoons a 2:30 PM. If you haven't been to one of the Stage Door Players productions you are in for a real treat by attending. For more information call 770-396-1726. See you at our theatre!

7. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Concert ... Again this year St. Luke's Presbyterian Church on 1978 Mt Vernon Rd will be hosting the Marine Corps Toys for Tots concert. This concert, which is not religion specific or a religious service, features all your favorite song and tunes of the Christmas and Holiday Season and is open to all the citizens of Dunwoody and surrounding communities. LtCol Mike Varicak, USMC, Inspector-Instructor, H&HS Bn, 4th MLG based in Marietta, GA and his wife Beki will be the Marine representatives at this concert. Admission is only one new unwrapped toy which the Marines will, on your behalf, use to bring a smile and joy to some child in the greater Atlanta area who might otherwise be facing a lonely Christmas. The date and time of the concert is 4 DEC 2011 at 5 PM. I hope to see you there.

9. That is about all for this evening. Please pass this on to your friends, neighbors, members of your HOA or anyone else you think maybe interested. If anyone want to be added to my email list please let me know and I will make it happen. Thanks for your continued positive support of our CIty ... you are impressive and involved citizens for which I am thankful.
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


Joe Seconder said...

For those of you who support access to your candidates and may want to hear from them first hand, please attend the Runoff Mayoral Candidates Facing The Public this Saturday, 2-4 pm at the Dunwoody Library (Williams Room). Here's the Facebook invite for details"

Bob Lundsten said...

You are never short on words
Everyone knows who you are backing. What is the issue over money from "outside Dunwoody". .?
What dark secret do you know?
Sounds as if you believe there corruption afoot.

Your double speak and innuendo is troubling at best

Bob Lundsten said...

My endorsement for City Council is… TERRY NALL
We are a city founded upon the principles of open and transparent government. The words are great and if we live up to them they set us up as a model for other municipal governments to aspire to. Unfortunately words are not enough. Sometimes with the intent of doing right, the city has gone terribly wrong. The upcoming runoff election will allow the citizens of Dunwoody to begin to set the city back on the right course. Councilman Wittenstein has been on the wrong side of these key principles far too often.
• His direct involvement with the RFP reviews for our City Service contracts was a glaring example of a good intent (trying to save the city money) but throwing away the principles of fairness and legality of the process. The process was so flawed, our new city had to rebid its first major services contract. I believe the city described it as a “technical error.” That style of governance makes us no better than the City of Atlanta or the much maligned Vernon Jones era in DeKalb County.
• One of the keys in running any government is the legal authority to meet in executive sessions to discuss legal issues with their attorneys. Every government does it. What you do not do is reveal the content of those meetings to those outside of the privileged group. That is like the Offensive Coordinator on the University of Georgia coaching staff telling LSU coaches their game plan prior to the SEC Championship game. Once violated, the damage is done. Councilman Wittenstein seems to have a special relationship with DeKalb County CEO Ellis, one that he seems to have valued more than the trust and faith of the residents of Dunwoody.
• Lastly, Councilman Wittenstein’s eagerness and full out support of the Parks Bond issues clearly demonstrated that he is NOT in touch with the wishes and sentiment of this community. His claims of being a fiscal conservative ring hollow given his willingness to put the city $128 million in debt in just our third year. His unabashed attitude of “I want it and I want it now” is not what we need while we are still in the midst of this economic crisis in our country. Do not be fooled when the council says that they were just giving the citizens the opportunity to vote. Councilman Wittenstein and the rest of the Council wanted the issue to pass and played every card in the political deck to make sure it would happen.
It is time for a change.
I met Terry Nall over a year ago over the day care issue in Dunwoody Village. He became involved, and led his neighborhood in the successful fight to stop a development that threatened his neighborhood. Terry did not stop there. He continued to stay involved, attending almost every city council meeting from then on. His conservative values caused him to question the actions and procedures of the city. Where I am a shoot from the hip kind of guy, Terry listens, studies and understand the intricacies of the issues. He acts, not because he wants his name in the paper or feels he is the expert in every field, but because he does his homework and applies his conservative, thoughtful approach to every decision
It is without hesitation I ask all of you to remember to go vote on December 6th and vote for Terry Nall for City Council

Bob Lundsten said...

Politics is a tough business. Small town politics is even tougher.
Small town politics pits friends against friends. It can spawn ill will, anger and distrust between neighbors. It is why I, who has never been accused as being a wall flower, have tried to lay low during the first round of elections in Dunwoody. If people asked me, I would tell them who I supported. I often feel that an endorsement from me may hurt more than help my candidate’s chances of winning.
This round it is different. We are at a time in our city’s brief existence where there will be a changing of direction. We are over the enthusiasm of setting up a city. We are done with the time that we can govern ourselves as if we were a Dunwoody Homeowner’s Association on steroids. We are done with the idea that an elected official’s only credential is that he or she served on Dunwoody Yes or the Citizens for Dunwoody boards.
As hard as it for some to understand, we are not an island or a castle surrounded by a moat. We cannot close our eyes and wish it were 1975, that we still had dirt roads and a working farm at Perimeter. Wish as we may, those days are long gone.
As Dunwoody moves towards a bright future, it needs a Mayor who has the experience in leading and working with all levels of governments, committees and organizations. Running a tennis club is no longer enough. We need a Mayor who understands that no matter what we think we can do to stop it, Dunwoody will continue to grow. We need a Mayor who has a vision that is greater than “moving the apartments to Sandy Springs” or if you do not share his vision of Dunwoody “just move”. We need a Mayor who is willing and capable of LEADING Dunwoody. We need a Mayor who has a VISION for Dunwoody. We need a Mayor who understands the real meaning of smart growth. We need a Mayor who has the EXPERIENCE to lead Dunwoody into the next chapter of our young history.
I urge all the citizens of Dunwoody to vote for BOB DALLAS for Mayor of the City of Dunwoody. He is that Mayor.

Erika said...

Councilman Shortal,
Thank you for the overall informative letter. I would like to address a concern that I have though in your second point, the Election Prospective. You appear unnecessarily evasive in your discussion over the candidates and which one you support. It is clear that you support one over the other, however you mention no name and give no direct reason as to why that candidate is more qualified to act as mayor.
Furthermore, you encourage us to look at their voting record as our sole measure of qualification for mayor? Because showing up to the polls once (or in this case twice a year) and voting a certain political line qualifies one for a public position? How incredibly obtuse. What about looking at their community involvement, positions held within our new city's committees, their ability to openly and wholly communicate their platform and goals for our city.
In the future I would suggest masking your support less, as it will appear less suspect and divisive. Just say what you mean and back it up with facts and you'll do just fine :-)

Erika said...

Bob Lundsten,
Extremely well said. Thanks for your well detailed thoughts. Above all, I strongly agree with the need to be able to move forward with experience securely guiding our way, rather than being dragged forward on our knees, kicking and screaming in a tantrum like way.
Thanks again for your thoughts!

Lindsay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay said...

When Denny says "what is the source of a candidate's campaign funding. I keep asking myself ... what is the motive for folks who live outside Dunwoody making large campaign contributions to certain candidates?"

I took him up on that and reviewed the candidates and noticed that one had accepted a lot of money from a real estate broker, attorneys, insurance folks and other types from out of town. Who is that candidate? Mike Davis. Well, that's just in the reports and contributions he has filed so far. It's been reported that Mike has raised over $12,000 at this point, but has not even come close to including that amount in his official ethics reports. His expenditures are grossly understated as well. Only $457 to the Crier? We've all seen the weekly ads, this does not pass the smell test.

It's OK to have standards but not double standards.

The Ethics Commission has fined Mike for repeatedly filing his reports late. He has yet to pay that fine. Not paying your obligations on time is an action that needs review.

Deliberately misleading the voters regarding a candidate's background is an 'action' that should also be held accountable. Don't listen to their 'double talk' when they claim they just sent out the wrong copy, but yet they continued to make the same false claim for 4 months.

So I agree with the General, don't accept double talk or double standards either.

Joe Seconder said...

The Dunwoody Sustainability forum showed the greatest differentiation among the candidates. Between a) those who have participated and understand what the citizens of Dunwoody have voiced as documented in our Land Use Plan, Transportation Plan, Parks Plan and Character Area Plans; and b) those who choose to ignore those voices. Please take some time to watch the videos as posted at the below link