Monday, June 27, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dunwoody City Council Damage Control - Too Little, Too Late?

Let's call this my "public comment".  No babysitter in the morning means no attending a meeting either.  But believe me, I will be watching on video and commenting on social media.  No more Miss Nice Guy.

The last time I was this furious and actively sought justice, was over 10 years ago when a staff member at Northside Hospital entered my hospital room while I was sedated after giving birth to my first child and stole a check reorder form from my purse.  Then after ordering new checks from my bank, the crime ring they were working for stole them from the mail and went on a casino gambling spree.

You people on city council violated me and my family and our trust in a way that was just as severe, even as the methods differed.

Get this through your dense heads:  you are not trustworthy.  You are not ethical.   

I don't care how popular you think you are, or what your little favorite causes and groups are, you broke the law and you continue to wield your council seat like a personal fiefdom.  I've caught smaller instances of favortism in the past, even pointed them out so that you can  get yourselves back to the ideals you boasted of during your campaigns for office.

The first words out of each and every one of your mouths at the special called meeting should be the following and no less:

I was wrong.  I misused executive session to take out Shortal's personal vendetta.  I have no excuse and no justification.  I deserve a legal penalty for breaking the law and the trust I asked you to place in me.

Don't even think about trying to claim some kind of moral high ground for this or any other policy or legislation for the rest of your term in office.  If you honestly believe that you are justified in using executive session to single out one civic group for whatever reason, then you have been in office too long.  Pick your ass up out of that seat and walk it out the door - TODAY.

The only chance you have for redemption, either in your office or your personal lives, is to acknowledge the blatant legal betrayal and accept that responsibility in a visible, tangible, meaningful way.  Man up, gird your loins, and face the music, which is just what you would expect from any other elected official.  Maybe - MAYBE - you will be worth speaking to again.  

The fact that you have yet another "executive session" after this emergency meeting would be funny except that you seem to think all is well.


June 24, 2016
9:00 AM – Council Chambers







D.  PUBLIC COMMENT - (Public Comment allows the City Council the opportunity to listen to the public (3 minutes per speaker/30 minutes total.)


1.   Discussion of City Boards and Committees.

F.   PUBLIC COMMENT - Public Comment allows the City Council the opportunity to listen to the public (3 minutes per speaker.)




1.   For the Purposes of Legal, Real Estate, and Personnel Discussions.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

STOP DIGGING!!! (Op-Ed: Dunwoody mayor's comments offensive, harkening back to Old South, from On Common Ground News)

On June 11, a Lithonia-area paper called On Common Ground News printed an op-ed piece from Mr. Jerome Edmondson, who is running for the DeKalb District 7 seat.  

He attended the Memorial Day celebration at Brook Run park.

It's too late for the people mentioned in the post but perhaps the rest of us can learn how to speak and behave appropriately in the 21st century.

Link:  (Scroll to Page 6)

Screenshot of the op-ed:

Today, Mayor Shortal dismissed the team that has organized Memorial Day and Veterans' Day celebrations in Brook Run for years.  Less than a month after the incidents discussed in the letter.  Call me cynical, but I don't think the real problem has been solved.

Monday, June 20, 2016

99 Red Balloons - Denny Shortal and City Council Declare War on Dunwoody Homeowners Association

You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got
Set them free at the break of dawn
'Til one by one they were gone
Back at base bugs in the software
Flash the message "something's out there!"
Floating in the summer sky
Ninety-nine red balloons go by

Ninety-nine red balloons
Floating in the summer sky
Panic bells, it's red alert
There's something here from somewhere else
The war machine springs to life ....

Read more: Nena - 99 Red Balloons Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Shocker: Shortal purges DHA from city positions

Almost 5 years ago, I opined on this blog that there should be a clear separation between voting board members of any civic group and an official government board.  
My Dunwoody Christmas Wish List
When I brought it up in a meeting, I was almost booed right out of the room.  But I stand by these statements today.  I accepted the Exec nomination knowing full well I would turn down any request to serve on a city board that receives requests from the public and makes recommendation to city council.

Not everyone loves the DHA.  I sure didn't when I moved to Dunwoody in 2004.  It was an argument about DHA's positions about business that got me invited to join the board.  (Yes, really.  Remind me to tell you that story sometime.)

But for a moment, let's take a look at this process and its implications.

1)   It's not just voting board members or executive members that are affected here.  ALL DUES-PAYING members are banned from serving in this capacity, whether you have a voting role or not.  So even if you don't have a conflict of interest, the fact that you are a MEMBER makes you ineligible to participate in government.

Councilmembers John Heneghan and Jim Riticher and Terry Nall are DHA members, by the way.

2)  Only the DHA is targeted.  Even though every homeowners association in Dunwoody has an interest in the real estate development and evolution of the city, only DHA members are banned.  So if you're in one of the following associations, you're good to go.

Ashford Chase Homeowners Association
Ashworth Homeowners Association
Bellewood HOA
Briers North
Brooke Farm
Devinger Homeowners Association
Dunwoody Club Forest Neighbors
Dunwoody Club Forest West
Dunwoody Highlands
Dunwoody North Civic Association
Fairfield Homeowners Association
Lockridge Forest Civic Association (part in Dunwoody; part in Peachtree Corners)
Madison Community Homeowners Association
Madison Square at Dunwoody
Mayfair Park Homeowners Association
Meadowlake at Dunwoody
North Springs Homeowners Association
Oxford Chase Homeowners Association
St. Andrews Circle
Wellesley Place Homeowners Association
Wellington Place Condos
Winter Rose Homeowners Association
Wintercrest Homeowners Association
The Woodlands
Wyntercreek Subdivision

Or are you?  Maybe the DHA member banning is only the first strike and other homeowner associations will be added.  If one HOA can be systematically banned from government participation, then no one is safe.

3)  What about other civic groups?  The Chamber of Commerce has a vested interest in business and real estate development.  Are their members banned?  Especially since the current chair was Mike Davis' campaign manager.  No love lost there.  How about the Nature Center?  Or the Dunwoody Womens' Club?  Are they banned too?  

How about the Dunwoody Preservation Trust or the Brook Run Conservancy?  Are their members banned?  Or did they earn themselves some protection since they supported Denny's campaign for mayor?**

4)  Does this extend to spouses?  For example, I serve on the DHA exec board.  Would Pat Sr be eligible for appointment to a city board or commission?  How about adult children of DHA board members?  Siblings?  In Laws?  How far does this go?

5)  Don't miss the part where any and all officials are banned from visiting DHA meetings.  Even if they sit and keep their mouths shut.  They can't even *hear* what people say in a presentation that is the only place in Dunwoody where any citizen can show up and meet the developers and other parties in person.  Remember the Dunwoody Village townhomes?  The DHA played an integral part in negotiating standards of features for seniors and layout of that to-be-built development that were acceptable to the Vernon North neighborhood right behind it.  City Council just blew hot air after the hard work had been done and had nothing to add but ridiculous demands for the type of models to be presented and other minutiae that are beyond a government's scope.

For all of the talk of "transparency" and "involvement", city council is now diminishing the one venue where citizens can meet the major players and develop an informed opinion about development plans before they go to city government for official review.  That's not building a community.  That's not building trust.  That's not promoting citizen involvement.  That's cutting off communication at the knees.

6)  Speaking of cutting off communication, how about that gag order, threatening legal and ethics violations against those who talked to others about this process?  So city council can illegally change city policy in executive session, but those impacted are threatened?  This has to be a script for a bad sitcom.

7)  If DHA membership was so unethical for board or commission members, why did it take this long to discover it?

Finally, this is a city policy.  City policies, by law, must be voted on in public.  Denny Shortal insisted that this vote be taken in executive session.  That's called abuse of privilege, kiddos, and it's a violation of state law.

Not bad enough news for you?  

The majority of city council went along with him.  Including some who are exuberant about how "ethical" and "transparent" they are.  (Do I really need to name the names here?)  Denny has now blown up each and every campaign promise he made in his little video-recorded house visits where he promised more transparency and integrity.  To add irony to insult, this move is the pinnacle or arrogance - an insult leveled at Mike during the election season.

I regret to say this is only the beginning.  Dick's article above indicates that he's lawyered up and the open records requests will be flying hot and heavy.  There should be more revelations made - assuming someone isn't going to try to weasel out of responding.

This situation is NOT what we signed on for when Dunwoody voted for incorporation.

**Reports came across my desk that some citizens were alarmed at the amount of campaigning DPT board members engaged in for Denny Shortal.  So  much so that complaints were filed with the IRS over their tax-exempt status.

The opinion expressed in this and every post on this blog is my own and does not necessarily reflect that of any other organization with which I am affiliated, or its members.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

So much for Black Walnut Cafe - SunTrust wants to make it a bank.

Remember the sign outside the now-closed and decaying-by-the-day Old Hickory House that said "Anything But a Bank"?

SunTrust took that as a challenge.

SunTrust has purchased the property from Black Walnut Cafe and guess what they want to build there?

But they are submitting a SLUP to request more parking spaces.

The required community meeting is June 22 at 5486 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Suite 8, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  That's inside the Shops of Dunwoody shopping center but can anyone clarify exactly what "Suite 8" is?

Want to tell SunTrust what you think?  Show up and tell them.  This community meeting is a required step in the SLUP process.  They have to look you in the eye and hear what you say.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

...and Let it Begin With Me

From the 2016 Continental Congress at DAR Constitution Hall, the All-American DAR Chorus.
CC is always an uplifting and moving experience.  Every woman there has a direct, familial connection with the founding of this country.  The facts of our history, the country's well-being:  it's personal..  I paged at this conference once in 2004.  (Then I had the kiddos....)  The Chorus chair got everyone back to basics tonight.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Vendors Wanted to Manage Atlanta's Streetcars

I received this notice from a resource that distributes RFPs to municipal vendors:
Pre-RFP release event is tomorrow afternoon.
Who feels lucky???

Greetings Prospective Contractor:

This is an invitation for the event date below. The City of Atlanta is seeking a mid to long-term solution to provide stable and flexible management for the operation and maintenance of the Atlanta Streetcar system. Prior to the release of a Request for Proposal, the City will host an event to discuss a basic overview of the project and the general contracting process.

This event is designed to attract specific members of the contracting and subcontracting community to share programmatic information about the upcoming project. At this meeting, interested parties with specialties and DBE certifications in the following areas and NAICS codes are invited to attend:

Primary Trades

Urban Mass Transit Maintenance




Electrical Maintenance


Faculty Security


Body Panel/Track Maintenance


Vehicle Maintenance


Rail Engineer


Secondary Trades

Emploment Placement Agencies


Facilities Support Services


Regulation & Admin of Transport Services


The event will take place at City Hall in City Council Chambers on Wednesday June 8, 2016 from 1pm to 3pm. The address is 55 Trinity Ave. 2nd Floor Atlanta, GA 30303. Hope to see you then.


Richard D. Case

Senior Manager

Office of Contract Compliance

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Dunwoody Homeowners Association meeting Sunday, June 5

North DeKalb Cultural Center
Room 4
7:30 PM

The DHA monthly meeting is the place to learn about proposed projects in Dunwoody, meet the involved parties in person, ask your questions, and develop an informed opinion before these requests go to City Council.

Discussion – Review of updated PCID Zoning Code rewrite— Steve Foote

Presentation – Transwestern development proposal for office tower at Perimeter Mall –Jessica Hill, Morris, Manning & Martin and Trent Germano, Transwestern Development Company

This last one will generate the most discussion, IMHO.
This is the group that wants to put up an office tower (with no tenants announced yet) in place of the MARTA parking structure across the street from State Farm and on the same corner as the new High Street development.

They also want a 95% tax abatement from Dunwoody.
I look forward to an explanation as to why they and their project deserve it.

Here's some info on the proposed project from the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Dunwoody Food Truck Thursdays on June 2

Assuming we don't get the much-needed rain around 5-ish, Food Truck Thursday is back at Brook Run.  5 PM til Dark

Brought to you by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association.  Who is having a public meeting this Sunday to learn more about two proposed developments in the Perimeter.  Learn more in the next post coming soon....

DWG recommends:
Tasting Maine
Mix'd UP Burgers
Nana G's Chicken and Waffles
King of Pops

Any other reviews/critiques of the offerings?  Comments are open.