Mr. Chimney (see HERE for some background) made a return visit to council chambers. (also, see The Crier column HERE for more details). As the story goes, there is an old, rebuilt chimney down at Ravinia. Mr. Chimney says it's old and worth saving. The future of the chimney calls for it to be on an outdoor patio at a new Starbucks at Ravinia. Sounds good to me.
Raise your hand if you have ever seen this chimney...........okay, I saw 1 of 100 hands. I think Mr. Chimney should approach Starbucks and ask them to make a nice bronze plaque telling the story of the chimney, and keep it as a focal point of the new Starbucks patio. At least this way people will see it and learn a little local history. Mr. Chimney never said (or I missed it) what he wants done with the old chimney, but he does not want it part of a Starbucks? Why not.? It's been hidden from most of Dunwoody for 25 years. Let Starbucks incorporate it into their outdoor patio and people can then see it. What else you going to do with it? Haul it to some new obscure location?
Next up was Mr. Chair. Apparently it has been published that the city will replace the seats in the peanut gallery of city hall. These are the seats I have been sitting in the past couple of years as a spectator at city council meetings. The new seats are allegedly 3" wider and a little deeper as well. Being a slightly wider chair means the room will hold a few less chairs and Mr. Chair objects. He says the current chairs are fine. I don't really have anything to say on this topic so you are on your own.
One of the biggest issues on the docket tonight was discussion of a few budget items. A few items were in the budget, but did not have 100% support of council. First up was $150,000 for signage and monuments around the city - Way-Finding. Of course we all know where the library is located and most of us can find the Nature Center. But these signs are not for locals - they are for people who have not yet discovered the purpose of a GPS device. Overall this sign project would cost about half a million dollars. Some on council think it needs done right away, to support our logo and branding. A couple others think it is a huge waste of money. I agree with those opposing this expense. the city manager pushed through $39,000 last meeting to create the sign plan, but it will be up to the next council to decide the fate of this project. The $150,000 stays in the budget for now. Agree or disagree? Email your mayor and council members
Next up was discussion on expansion of the police department. The police chief wants about $500,000 for new police officers. The unit would be a crime prevention unit. The chief said it would be about 60% traffic and 40% crime prevention. When asked, the chief said the unit would not respond to most 911 calls (except for major incidents) and would not be suited for daily assistance at DES or any other school or traffic issue. he said the unit could spend time at a school like DES for short periods, trying to alter driver behavior. The unit, after council discussion, was pulled from the 2012 budget due to lack of support. Some council members cited the current (and increasing) costs of the current police budget, factoring in the Chatcomm expense, as being adequate.
Next up the city manager made a sales pitch for Dunwoody On Ice, a portable "ice" skating rink. The rink would be across from Ace Hardware (on the lawn at Calico Corners). The city would put up $70,000 and attempt to recoup those costs from sponsorships and ticket sales. A ticket to skate would be $10.
If this rink goes in, I am organizing a hockey game among local residents. My team has the Hanson Brothers (Slap Shot, 1977), TheOtherDunwoody, Public Comment Joe, Chip, Mr. Chimney, and General Shortal. Our opponents will be King John, Farmer Bob, GaryRayBetz, Nellie Woodson, and the StraightOuttaDunwoody rappers. See here for more details.
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