Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dunwoody Elections 2015

First, some caveats before we get down to the endorsements.

1)  Every penny spent during a Dunwoody mayor's administration is a result of at least 4 votes cast together by the entire city council.  Those 4 votes don't even have to include the mayor to carry the day.  The mayor has no veto.   So if you hold any Dunwoody mayor solely responsible for money not being spent to your liking, you are way off the mark.

2)  Dunwoody is far more diverse in lifestyle and thought and ideology than many want to admit.  There is far more to making decisions and planning a future and establishing rules and regs than your preferences in your living room.  That kind of thinking is not "preservation"; it is stagnation.  Expecting all legislation to match your lifestyle without allowing for consideration from other sectors is not how you strengthen a city - it's how you kill it off slowly and painfully.

3)  You're not going to get your way in every vote.  I speak to this from experience.  Voting the bums out is one option.    If you're serious about your perspective you continue to advocate your perspective on another day.  Don't get confused between "S/he's not listening to me." and "S/he isn't doing exactly what I said, the way I said."  They're not interchangeable.

Now for the endorsements:

Mayor - Mike Davis

Mike was elected in 2011.  I supported Bob Dallas in that election.  There wasn't much to do except watch and see what happened.

But after Mike was elected I learned a few more things about him that didn't come out in the election.  No, he isn't a saint,  But he is patient if you're half-way civilized.  I had some time to talk with Mike about decisions being made.  I learned more about the factors and people beyond his control that had to be dealt with and negotiated over to get his vision across.  I was involved in some business and political ventures that ran contrary to Mike's ideals, but he never held them against me.  After some heart-to-heart chats and a few beers, Mike won me over to his side.  We never sat around agreeing on every idea or priority   But I am convinced that he advocated for the best position he could take given a range of circumstances, most of which did not originate with Dunwoody city council.

And as always, any decision made required four votes.  Sometimes the vote went the way he recommended.  Sometimes not.  Once the vote was taken, he had to roll with it, just like the rest of us.  Mike is always aware that present circumstances will not last forever and for Dunwoody to thrive in the future, current signs of evolution in future generations has to be considered.

If Chipka and Grivakis were even somewhat serious about effecting change on city council, they would have run in one of the 3 uncontested seats.  As I said previously, "Save Dunwoody" or any other organized group have a better chance of consolidating their voting power when at-large seats are up for grabs than individual districts.  Those two would have had a better shot at actually winning.

It has been no secret for some time that I think Denny Shortal's days of effectiveness in government are behind him.   His outbursts in city council are documented on video.  He has trouble keeping some basic facts straight:  for example I've heard from several sources that he believes the Chamber of Commerce is a department of the government when it is a completely independent entity.  But it has been extremely disappointing to watch the deliberate misinformation in his campaign.  Either Denny is trying to pander to his demographic's fears, or he really doesn't understand what's happening in city council.

Don't take my word for it if you don't want to.  The following passage was posted to Facebook by Bev Wingate (the person who joined with Denny to form DunwoodyYes as a once and for all campaign for cityhood) in response to a video clip where Denny claims that Mike did not want to spend the finally-won parks bond funds on parks: (emphases added)

This is why I hate small meet and greet gatherings in homes. A candidate can say anything and there is no rebuttal where one is needed. The Mayor Davis comment is taken out of text (and intent). The Mayor was quoting the legalities of the receipt of the bond money - not his personal intent. He had stated so previously and again, quite clearly, at the candidate forum. There is no one, I repeat, no one on council that would consider using that money any other way. They have told me so. This video is disingenuous at best and dirty politics at worst. You guys are my friends, but I don't take kindly to campaigns run on hyperbole and innuendo. Play nice in the sandbox!
And with this, Bev ended her neutral stance and supported Mike's campaign.  That action speaks volumes to anyone who has watched Dunwoody's evolution and the roles of the people involved. 

 District 1:  Terry Nall

Like anyone else on city council, he is one vote of seven and he has always voted and advocated the same way on council that he does in his own living room.  Terry splits his vote with Mike often on some issues (the Dunwoody Village Parkway, for example) but he never lets a disagreement over a policy matter change his relationships with people.  Just this past weekend I looked him square in the eye and pointed out a number of his votes that I disagreed with.  I don't have to worry about getting knifed in the back for it later.  I can't say that with the same certainty about anyone else on city council.  

I don't know Ms Springer personally but she made two grave mistakes in her campaign.  One was accusing city council of bribery over the John Wieland development.  (Dunwoody Green in Georgetown)  I take issue with council members frequently and have even raised questions about some members contradicting themselves numerous times in this blog.  She could have just said "The Dunwoody Green deal was supernaturally mornic" with legal impunity, and maybe even some evidence.  But she didn't stop there - she made an accusation against city council as a whole of a major crime.  If you're going to accuse someone of a crime, have the facts or shut your face.  It's not hard to understand.  

Second was the famous "85% increase in crime and crime is out of control" claim.  Anyone who has ever taken high school statistics and passed knows that when analyzing small numbers (like single digits) percentages are misleading.  Worse, she used manipulation of statistics in an argument with a banker, whose entire job is about analyzing numbers.  I just don't see how that could end well.  


But seriously folks:  vote tomorrow November 3 because every vote is going to count.  Just like my neighbors I argue for positions I think are right, but these days I'm wondering if I'm going to wake up to a burning bag of poo on my front porch or some other backlash down the line.  I hope not.  This is what we signed on for when we voted to incorporate Dunwoody:  not the elimination of all of our conflicts but the ability to settle them amongst ourselves with others who have to live with the consequences together.  

4 comments:

Max said...

SDOC:

"If an opinion is uttered on a blog and nobody hears it," come to mind. You write passionately and honestly about matters that every Dunwoody citizen should care about, yet few ever comment.

Well, don't stop writing.

It's cathartic and every once in awhile, you could be that person who made a difference. Maybe this article helped make a difference.

Good stuff and to hell with red lizards.

Max

Bob Lundsten said...

Great piece

Evan Wetstone said...

Well done!

Dunwoody Mom said...

Late to the party here...but totally agree Adrienne. We're all in this together.