Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dunwoody Elections 2011 - Kerry de Vallette

Next up:  Mr. Kerry de Vallette, running for District 2 At Large.  Kerry's campaign website is at  His comments below are unedited, except for formatting.

1) What one qualification do you have for elected office that exceeds those of your opponents?  Proven executive leadership! Both in running large and small businesses, as well as a 3,000 (plus) member civic organization – The Dunwoody Homeowners Association.

 2) The City’s Economic Development Department’s stated purpose is “The City of Dunwoody Economic Development Director is responsible for leading efforts to retain, expand and attract businesses that support a broad array of employment opportunities; strategically grow its knowledge-based economy; and expand the City’s tax base.” What should be this department’s next priority task to accomplish this purpose? 
To continue to execute against the 2012 Economic Development Strategy, while determining what, if any, alterations should be considered for the plan.

3) What was the City’s best business decision to date? (Any level or department, since operations started.)  
Retaining Michael Starling as Director of Economic Development.

4) What was one business decision made by the City (at any level, since operations started) that should not have been made? If you were given the chance, what would you have recommended be done differently? 
I think providing the position of the City Manager with signator authority for any expenditure under $50,000 without Council’s consent needs to be revisited.  I want to make this clear this is not a reflection on the part of our City Manager, but of my personal belief that as a Council member I have accountability for significant tax dollar expenditures, which I consider to be non-recurring expenditures over $9,999.

5) As a member of City Council, you will be able to appoint or recommend members of various commissions. Besides an interest in the subject, and a desire to serve, what qualifications do you want to see in a potential commission member? 
Proven experience and practical knowledge in the subject area of the Commission panel that they are being appointed to.

6) Which City department or commission (besides the Police) is the most critically important in developing the future of Dunwoody? 
The Public Works Department.  We have got to address our traffic and transportation safety issues.  This includes accelerating the installation of side walks and safe bike lanes throughout our city.

7) Which City department or commission do you feel is underserved and needs more attention in terms of funding and other resources (including personnel)? 
Community Development.

8) In what ways should the City and Chamber of Commerce (or any other private entity) collaborate and in what ways should they be working separately to grow the City’s economic base? 
The Chamber and City do not and should not work in a vacuum.  However, that does not mean that both should be joined at the hip.  The City’s responsibility is to work with the Chamber, Convention Visitor’s Bureau and the PCID towards common goals shared by the various organizations.  The City also has a responsibility to provide leadership and governance on behalf of our residents when it comes to matters of Economic Development, including areas related to zoning, sign ordinances, and other governance factors related to business development items that will specifically impact homeowners and homeowner rights.

9) Elected officials are constantly contacted with requests to have specific issues addressed by local citizens. If elected, how will you prioritize what issues get on the Council agenda, what will get further private discussion, and what will be tabled? 
I would support a change to the current process related to how a Council member introduces an issue to Council without having a supporting “second” from the Mayor or another Council member.  I would support changing this process and adding a requirement that any item that a Council member would like to place on the agenda require a second in order to be presented before Council. 

10) Open Mike Question: Make any statement you like on what issue or action will be most important to you as an elected official. 
I would move to add a Commission on Aging to the City’s Boards and Commissions.  We need to have a Board or Commission that works with our various departments, including Economic Development, Parks & Recreation, and Police / Public Safety to insure the needs of our senior citizens are being considered as the departments develop their master plans, outreach programs, and facilities.

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