Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chesnut Elementary Students Teach Adults a Lesson at Dunwoody Council

At Tuesday night's city council meeting the usual fireworks were ignited for all to see.  Any time the Red Shirts show up you know they'll be some action.  The council room was packed, the 3rd largest recorded crowd ever.  The biggest crowd ever was the botched launch of the Greenway Trail/Powerline Walkway Through Backyards project.  The 2nd biggest crowd ever was the Great Chicken Run (don't place a shiny object near a chicken's beak).  The Greenway trail was kicked to the curb and chickens were outlawed.  No votes tonight on the dog park move but residents of Atlanta, Brookhaven, Atlanta, Roswell,and even Dunwoody showed up tonight to protest the moving of the dog park. Our DunwoodyTalk reporter arrived at 7 PM and the parking lot at city hall resembled Black Friday at Wal-Mart.  A quick glance of car tags showed about 1 of 3 cars were wearing Fulton tags.

Things got off to a rocky start when a rude Red Shirter shouted to keep the dog park and get rid of the mayor.  Not a good representative for the group.  The people near him were truly embarrassed and the man left the meeting, most likely regretting his shout-out.

Thirty minutes of public comment, nearly all speakers saying they wanted to keep the dog park and criticizing city council and staff decisions.  Not a lot of respect shown in the room.  The dog posse is passionate about their dogs.  I think the city should either get rid of the dog park or keep it where it is now, temporarily.  Let's push DeKalb CEO on settling the $$$ lawsuit, redo the Parks Master Plan (the current Brook Run Master Plan is mostly garbage) and work on some active recreation at Brook Run.   

The best speakers of the night were students from Chesnut Elementary School, 5th graders I think.  These kids were polite, on point, made an excellent case, then went home.  Perfect.  The kids spoke in favor of tornado/storm sirens.  They cited the five synagogues and mentioned that visitors to these building turn off electronic appliances and would not receive Code Red alerts but would hear sirens (if located nearby).  They then mentioned that many seniors reside in senior living facilities in Dunwoody and these seniors most likely would not have phones that would receive a Code Red alert.  Mr. Shortal smiled widely as these young residents spoke about the sirens.  Maybe we can put these Chesnut kids in charge of the dog park issue.

Council comment was quite interesting as well.  Go watch the video.  Hey council, let's try to keep council comments positive or eliminate the entire section.  Is council comment a requirement set forth in our charter?  Most of us are not interested in the personal issues/travel plans/ and favorite places to eat of our council members.  Council members have all night to talk about city business.  The personal issues of city council members is not really stuff most of us want to hear.  The people tuned in to city happenings already know what you support and don't support.  Let's not waste time on council comment.  Can I get a 2nd?

Council discussed another park, this time the 5 acre park across the road from the PVC park.  Side Note:  Eventually we'll need a name for this park so people like me quit calling it the PVC Farm Park.  Naming the park will be an awesome event.  I nominate the following:

1.  Sweetheart Deal Park
2.  Sweet-Tart Park
3.  Unclean Sweep Park
4.  Not the Dog Park Park
5.  Smart City Park (but open to people not so smart as well)
6.  Vandy Runs on Dunkin' Park
7.  No Sports Fields Allowed Park, and You Kids Keep The Noise Down Park
8.  Spruill Chesnut Donaldson Bannister Park
9.  Red Shirt Park
10. Dunwoody Village Parkway Trees Mulched Here Park

The problem with this park is, like the other park, there is nothing really to attract a lot of people, except the amphitheater.  How many picnic tables do we need in Georgetown?  Sorry, this design is five acres of nothing.  Where are the soccer fields, the lacrosse fields?  I hope people with kids show up and lobby to stop this plan.  This is barely an improvement.  If we are wanting to build a park, let's build a park, not a picnic center.

The meeting also had a segment on spending more money on the city web site.  In short, the city has spent a lot of money already on a web site.  The scrolling menu atop the page is not user-friendly, and it is too hard to get to live video of the meetings.  Silverlight by Microsoft is a total joke in the IT world.  I think the folks who built our city's web site also built the healthcare.gov web site. 


GaryRayBetz said...

I love my dogs and within a lifetime have had perhaps 25 or so. Never sat down and recollected them all till now - there was Red, Missy, Hennessy, Hennessy II, Zhivago, Scooter, Skeeter, Spot, Theobald, Trotsky, Barney, Fred, Ruff, Jessie, Julie, July, Jameson, Albany, Milky Way, Ulysses, Gettysburg, George Armstrong Custer, Buck, a one-eyed street mutt that ran away before I could name him, and now three rescue dogs named - Chester, Buddy, and Mac. Loved every one of them to death, but I would never ever have taken them to a dog park!

Come on folks, dog parks are disease-riddled with dogs exposed to everything from canine distemper to Dutch Elm disease (I've heard that this rather grotesque arboresque malady can render the poor pooches "bark-less"). Additionally, dog parks are definitely no substitute for a daily walk for either the dog or the dog's owner.

I request that the City of Dunwoody not spend another tax dollar on a fenced dog park, as dog parks are well-documented as being very deleterious to canine health, and I suspect that the folks that congregate at this dog park aren't so worried about their dogs' health and happiness, but utilize it for their own socialization purposes, which is great, but they shouldn't expect the taxpayers to foot the chit for their daily conviviality. Folks can make arrangements to walk their dogs together or go grab a beer with each other at a local tavern. Walk a dog - don't fence it in - save its life!

Tear down the dog park fences, Mister Mayor, and let nature eventually rejuvenate that area for the children. Yes, tear down the dog park fences, Mister Mayor! Heute bin ich ein hund.

Brent M said...

Thanks for the good read! I look forward to watching the video.

SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions said...

"Let's not waste time on council comment. Can I get a 2nd?"

Motion seconded.

Kerry said...

I love Council comments! It helps me gauge the mental health of our sitting Council members and provides the only real source of entertainment at these meetings.

I suspect if Council Comments was placed as the last item on the agenda, just before Adjournment, there would be substantially less comment and shorter commentary! Just sayin'....

dpgroupie said...

C'mon guys - no one would be complaining about Council comments if it weren't for Bonser's insane diatribes. It is BONSER who has used and abused that segment to whine about what a victim she is, and what meanies everyone else is. As for everyone else, they often declare no comment, or they keep it short and RESPECTFUL. I kind of like hearing about events, new businesses, and what is important to them. So I don't vote for throwing about the baby with the bath water. Well...keep the bath water, the baby is going going gone.