Wow - it's been almost two months since my last blog post, which is the longest period between posts since I started blogging in 2008. A few things have surfaced since my last post.
Dunwoody Village Parkway
The Dunwoody Village Parkway Project has hit a crescendo - Save Dunwoody signs are everywhere and "redshirts" on a mission flock to city council.
I keep hearing the argument that the project will increase traffic flow, as four lanes are narrowed down to two. You know what - it will increase traffic flow - but on a street that DOESN'T get much traffic! Hey, if decreasing traffic flow is our number one goal, let's turn Mt. Vernon and Chamblee Dunwoody into four-lane roads. I don't hear much support for that. And rightfully so.
I also hear the argument that we're cutting down trees. Oh my gosh, wouldn't that be tragic. Com'on - if trees weren't cut down, my house wouldn't be standing, and a strong possibility yours wouldn't, either. Besides, Dunwoody has a No Net Loss of Trees policy. Every tree that is cut down will be replaced. And don't look now, but most of those trees on the parkway are short lifespan fruit trees that will grow back very quickly.
Look, I have no idea if this project will spur redevelopment of Dunwoody Village. But I do know the chances of redevelopment are much greater if the project takes place. I'd love to see a park in the Village one day. But maybe that's just me.
I have a little different view on the roundabout at Womack/Vermack. Long-term, a roundabout may very well be the best solution. But short term, I believe the best, most cost-effective solution (one suggested by some of the neighbors) is hire a part-time, safety-trained citizen or official to act as a traffic officer at the intersection. One of the neighbors told me finding retired or off-duty personnel to handle the job would not be a problem (I have no idea). He said the going rate is $35 per hour. At a maximum of three hours per day (1.5 hours in the morning, 1.5 in the evening), the cost would be less than $20,000 a year. It's a no brainer! By the way, I can't help but laugh everytime I see those "Save Womack Vermack Intersection" signs. Are you kidding me? Save babies, save whales, save our second amendment rights. But save an intersection? Really.
DHA vs City of Dunwoody
Finally, recently I read a letter to the editor in The Crier by a gentleman who wrote, in part, "It is important to realize that today there is a very close and cozy relationship between the Dunwoody Homeowners Association and the Dunwoody City Council ... Many DHA Board members actively and publically promoted the $60 million bond issues advocated by the Dunwoody City Council that were defeated 2 to 1 in the city election ... Every member of the Dunwoody City Council is also an ex-officio member of the Dunwoody Homeowners’ Association board of directors and at least four of seven members of the Design Review Advisory Committee of the city of Dunwoody are also on the DHA board of directors. These are interlocking directorates that would probably be illegal under the Clayton Act if in private industry. These interlocking directorates clearly establish the very close and cozy relationship between the Dunwoody Homeowners’ Association and the Dunwoody City Council."
As a member of the DHA board and a past vice president, I can tell you the gentleman is correct, there is a very friendly relationship between the DHA and the city. And every member of city council is an ex-officio member of the DHA. However, no member of the city council is a voting member of the DHA. They are not part of board-only discussions. And while Terry Nall, John Heneghan and Doug Thompson are regular members at the DHA's monthly meetings, Denis Shortal, Lynn Deutsch and mayor Mike Davis are only there on occasion, and I don't recall ever seeing Adrian Bonser at one of our meetings.
I will also tell you that the DHA was very mixed on the park's bonds. Personally, I was vehemently against it and made no secret of my feelings (read any of my posts leading up to the vote and you will clearly see that).
By the way, why shouldn't the DHA and city have a great relationship. After all, and despite what some might think, the two entities, for the part, have the same objective - the betterment of Dunwoody!