Wednesday, July 17, 2013

An OD member placed this flier on mailboxes around Dunwoody

First off, I am glad to see residents around town getting involved in city government.  Now, if we could get this same energy in local schools, that would be excellent.

1.  The mayor was elected and not part of the Spruill Donaldson Redfield Womack bloodline, therefore he is ineligible to be our King.  However, if he were the King, I do think he would have plenty of jesters to entertain him.  He would also not have a Charter Commission but would instead simply decree a new fire department and assess your wealth at a rate much higher than the $175 a year the average homeowner pays to Dunwoody.

2.  Contrary to popular belief no one has a Federal Right to Vote.  It's not in the Bill of Rights or the Constitution. But yes, the State of Georgia does have laws on voting.  And neither the mayor or king of Dunwoody can take that from you.  

3.  Council members nominate citizens for committees then the mayor uses these nominations to form committees.  This is a city rule, made long before Mayor Davis entered office.  I think only one of hundreds of people nominated by council were not selected by a mayor as suggested by council members.  And Occupy Dunwoody should know two members (including the Chair) of the city's Community Council are in fact card-holding members of Occupy Dunwoody, and one is even the Dunwoody Tea Party leader.  I will add that Norb has proven to be an excellent Chair on that committee.  If you want to be on a committee I suggest you email your local council member.  

4.  Yes, I trust the elected mayor and council to make decisions for me.  And the only crazy idea I recall was the ice skating rink for Dunwoody Village.  And the mixed-use MARTA apartment/HUD/Section 8 plan mentioned by a developer.

5.  If your right to vote is denied at the polling place I suggest you file a Federal lawsuit.  You can also email and write letters to council members.  Or, you can speak during public comment.  

6.  I suggest dining at Fleming's Steak House or Taco Mac or Cafe Intermezzo if you are in the Perimeter area.  If you are low on cash there is a fancy McDonald's.  I don't recommend the mall food court as parking is bad there since mall management hijacked all those spaces for valet parking.  At Fleming's the filet is great.  I suggest the cream-corn as your side.

7.  Ah yes, the media.  Of course the commission members, your King and His court could care less about TV cameras.  I think the Dunwoody Reporter video Dan posted was enough video evidence needed for this case.

8.  Actually the Charter Commission is the first step in this process.  The commission hands over their findings to Rep Taylor, Senator Millar, and some guy from Brookhaven for the final decision.  And again, your voting rights are not in danger.

9.  If you have a family then you are wasting your time attending a Charter commission meeting.  Even if they vote to allow the city to start a fire department and increase the tax rate, this will cost the average Dunwoody household about $5 a year.  That's right.  OD is fighting hour after hour for $5.  Meanwhile NO ONE attends DeKalb School Board meetings, very few people volunteer at the local schools, very few engage with local schools for projects, fundraising, after school programs, etc.  And DeKalb School District is confiscating $3500 (not $5) from you every year.  Please read that again.  $3500 versus $5 and 100+ people put their energy for weeks toward the charter commission?  Mind0numbing, right?  I know, it's the principal of the thing.  Yeah, right.  If OD wants a true fight, one worth fighting, start by looking at the DeKalb School System.  If you are so concerned about property values and money and rule of law, go read DeKalb School Watch blog and Stan Jester's Fact Checker blog.  It's not too complicated.

OD, please stay involved as open dialogue is a good thing.  But let's focus on things that matter.  I understand your complaints on the trail and Dunwoody Parkway, but this Charter Commission thing is being blown out of reality. 


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dunwoody Elections to be HOT Topic

The election of three city council members for Dunwoody is starting to take shape.  Every two years we elect three of the six council members and every four years we elect the mayor.  All other positions with the city are appointed.

Ad salespeople for The Crier, The Neighbor, The Patch, and the Dunwoody Reporter are licking their chops, dreaming of increased sales and commissions.  Not to be outfoxed by print media and the HuffingtonPost/AOL competing Internet sites like Patch, DunwoodyTalk has released its own rate card for advertising:

photo with staff member is extra $1

All kidding aside, we will post information sent to us by candidates, unless we don't feel like doing so.  As in the past four years we will have a Voting Guide, created using science, rumor, political insight, observations at debates, and candidate interviews.

So let's take an early look at each District.

District 1:  Denis Shortal has announced he is running for re-election.  See story HERE. You can catch up on Denis Shortal's activities HERE at King John's blog.    No one opposed Mr. Shortal in 2009 and he won easily in the city's first election in September 2008.  DunwoodyTalk is aware at least one person will challenge Mr. Shortal later this year, and since District 1 is full of politically active folks don't be surprised to see four people in this race.  I will not be one of those four people.  A local Tea Party leader and blogger Norb resides in District 1, as does former councilman Rob W.  Rumor has it that TOD lives in District 1 somewhere between Spalding and Mt. Vernon, but he is away on assignment, writing a thesis on hard cast bullets versus lead and lead-free.

Denis Shortal

Disregard the Rate Card joke above for a moment as I tell you that Mr. Shortal has done an excellent job on Council.  I do not always agree with him but he is honest and dedicated.  It will be an uphill battle for anyone running against him, regardless of Shortal's positions on some hot-button issues.

Occupy Dunwoody (OD)
Hot-button issues?  Do we really have those in Dunwoody?  We do.  In fact, one could argue there is a new political party forming here in Dunwoody (although the city elections are not Republican/Democrat, regardless of what you hear or read).  This new party is a group that is opposed to many things here in Dunwoody, and includes people opposed to maybe one thing but want to work with a group for change of the current council.  Issues include the Brook Run Trail, rework of Dunwoody Parkway, and changes to a couple of intersections (WOVER folks mainly).  This group is a mix of the Red Shirts, Tea Party, and Save Dunwoody.  Until the group comes forth with a unified name we'll refer to them as Occupy Dunwoody.  What links people from these three groups is dissatisfaction with one or more projects in Dunwoody. 

This group has already selected at least one candidate for each of the three districts, although none have announced their intent to run for office.  The format of these three candidates will be the same, running against previous actions by current council members.  If these candidates are to have a chance, they will most likely need to be people who have been active (in a positive manner) politically and socially in Dunwoody.  To be successful the candidates will need to show what they have done to work to improve Dunwoody (attending a meeting wearing a red shirt and protesting votes and disrupting order is not what most consider a way to get results).  The latest target of Occupy Dunwoody is the Charter Commission.  In fact, Wednesday night  Occupy Dunwoody is trying to fill the house with residents.  Of course this commission has no real power.  This commission makes suggestions, suggestions that are passed on to Rep Taylor, Sen. Millar, and some other guy from Brookhaven.  That's where the power is held, not on this commission.  But OD will be there in force.  I urge everyone to attend this non-binding, non-enforcing Wednesday night (no disrespect to the commission members) to take a first hand look at politics today in Dunwoody.

7:00 PM July 17, 2013

an unnamed volunteer posting fliers on mailboxes near Kingsley on North Peachtree Rd.

District 2
Heyward Wescott has announced he wants to be the next Council member for District 2.  I first met Heyward a few years ago.  Our kids went to preschool together for a year or so and I see him at various social and political events around Dunwoody.  Heyward is very active in Dunwoody and has the early support of many people here in Dunwoody.  No word yet if Councilwoman Bonser is running for re-election, but we do know OD will have a candidate.  Being the only person in the race and gaining early support from so many people puts him as the person to beat in District 2, regardless of Dr. Bonser's decision.  From what I can tell so far, Heyward would make a great council member.  TV Bob is not going to run as he is busy smiling on TV talking football.  I heard he is doing a special soon on CSS on my Pitt Panthers joining the ACC. 

Heyward Family
Heyward Wescott & Family

District 3
Doug Thompson announced today he is seeking re-election.  A DT staff member spoke to a member of OD earlier today and confirmed that a man not named Doug Thompson is also running for District 3.  Doug is well liked in his area, yet he is not often quoted in media.  We will expand more on District 3 in a future post.

Doug Thompson

After a few brief calls, we have confirmed the following people are NOT running for office:
Farmer Bob, Sustainable Pattie, Arts Festival Lady, Me, and Jerome from Costco. All others are still considered potential candidates.