Friday, October 26, 2012

Dog Park YES, Sports Fields NO

It seems as of the $200,000 set aside of taxpayer funds for DeKalb's largest outdoor doggie bathroom does include more than a canine watering hole and chain link fence to contain the dogs and their off-leash handlers.  The bulk of the $200,000 is for restrooms for humans.  I'm 100% okay with putting in restrooms for Brook Run.  In fact, I'd like to see additional bathrooms over by the big pavilion somewhere also.  And maybe a two-holer outhouse down at the garden. For the park to get more use it does need restrooms.  I thought we have restrooms over by the playground area (fairly close to the area proposed for the new restrooms) but maybe there is an issue with the old restrooms.

But my stance on putting one penny toward a new dog park remains the same.  City staff always wants to compare our city to Sandy Springs and other areas.  Why not do that comparison for parks and recreation?

And I understand we are building two new parks at Georgetown and budgeting money for parks.  But there is a HUGE difference between an active park and green space  Green space is a relatively new term (perhaps coined by Norb's friends connected to the UN 21 Agenda).

Green Space = Land where no structures are built, where no children play, where no taxes are collected, where no commerce takes place, where no organized activities are permitted, where cities and counties set aside land and call it a park to inflate park space figures for the CVB promotional literature (source: Webster's Dictionary)

Set aside green space does not attract people in the suburbs.  Most of Dunwoody's homeowners have green space out their front door and out their back door.  Green space may be okay for some urban setting where people choose to live in concrete high rise buildings, but that it is not where the majority of active adults and children live in Dunwoody.  We don't need green space, we need active parks.  I ask for council to go to Murphy Candler today, then drive over to Morgan Falls.  Then one day next week in the evening go look at Hammond Park.


Looks like city council will proceed with funding a new dog park to the tune of $200,000 while taxpayer funds set aside for soccer, football, softball, and lacrosse fields equal $0.  The 2013 budget also includes $0 for new basketball and tennis courts

New dog park = $200,000
New sports fields = $0

Regardless of the fact that Vernon Jones rammed a dog park down our throats before we became a city, the city should not be making financial decisions now based on what Vernon Jones did years ago.  That's not smart business.  2013 expenditures should be based on the needs and wants of the community going forward, not based on political pressure and a fear of retaliation from the dog posse.

The city council and city staff has been under the microscope of late (ethics issue, Dunwoody Parkway) and I understand not wanting more negative press.  But I believe it is a shame to spend $70,000 for a new dog park when our park system is horrible. The bigger negative public relations issue is actually spending money for a new dog park, not removing it from Brook Run.

Pick any of the seven days of the week and drive to Hammond Park in Sandy Springs.  Seven days a week their synthetic turf field is booked solid.  Seven days a week.  The gymnasium at Hammond Park?  Filled with kids, with kids turned away due to full classes.  Take a drive to the City of Brookhaven and look at Murphy Candler - packed with adults and children being active outdoors.  Take a drive to Morgan Falls Park in Sandy Springs and see a park packed full.  Now go to Brook Run Park Wasteland.  You find some skateboarders and a dog park.  Pitiful!

The city is always showing us statistics comparing us to neighboring cities for justifying more police officers or more spending on other things.  I've seen at least half a dozen studies from city staff showing why we should spend more money for police cars or police officers.  Hey Warren, how about a study on how many people use Morgan Falls park from Dunwoody, how many Dunwoody residents use Murphy Candler, how many use Hammond Park? How about a study on traffic reduction if Dunwoody had facilities of its own?

There is still time to pull the $70,000 for a new dog park.  Let's not let the dog urine and dog feces of metro Atlanta's dog owners ruin yet another section of Brook Run.

Please share this info with neighbors and ask them to email their council members.

See email addresses HERE for council members

Metro Atlanta dogs more deserving than active adults and children of Dunwoody for park space and funding?
Maybe we could build a park feature like this using trees from the Chamblee Dunwoody Rd Lumber Yard

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dunwoody High School Homecoming Parade 2012

A sparse but excited crowd set up along Vermack Road Thursday afternoon to cheer on the Dunwoody High School homecoming court and various clubs. Not much publicity for this event. No DHA, no Chamber of Commerce, no Preservation Trust, no Rotary, and no representatives from City of Dunwoody government. No Dunwoody Police ATV and no DeKalb garbage truck bringing up the rear.

Perhaps the school likes it that way (less hassle, not much class time lost), but it was odd that the event appeared more like a private affair more than a rallying call for the city's lone high school. And having an event at 4 PM on a Thursday is not exactly inviting for working parents and kids in middle school.

The parade was comprised of a few convertibles, a couple of floats and pickup trucks, the band, ROTC, Cross Country, and some other groups. The band played and the cheerleaders cheered. The crowd was a mix of parents of parade participants, home-schooled kids living nearby curious of the activities, and some high school kids looking to take a rare walk up and down Vermack.

The kids in the parade will have the memories of being part of Homecoming, and were probably not concerned if anyone came out to see them. The students were all well behaved and seemed to be enjoying the event.

Maybe next year the principal and civic leaders can work together to put on a bigger event. Maybe the city's first annual Halloween Parade (directed by Heyward) could be combined with a homecoming parade.