Sunday, July 10, 2016 | 7:30 pm
North DeKalb Cultural Center, Room 4
Update was distributed July 7 at 9:15 pm
1. Announcements and introduction of distinguished visitors
2. Approval of minutes for June 5, 2016 meeting—Lindsay Ballow
3. Overview of city actions related to DHA membership – Mayor Shortal
4. Brief report on 4th of July parade –Robert Wittenstein
5. Request for Sponsorship – Dunwoody Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization – Laurie Nichols
6. Presentation – SunTrust Bank development proposal for bank relocation in Dunwoody Village—Den Webb (Smith, Gambrell & Russell), Terri Lasoff (SunTrust), Bart Sargent (Architect), Davis Blumenthal (Engineer/Project Manager)
7. Discussion – City actions related to DHA members on city boards and city board members attending DHA meetings; DHA response.
Board only session: Votes as needed on any motions including:
- DHA action related to city policy changes re: DHA
- Dunwoody Elementary School Request for funds
- Potential removal of inactive board members
The word of the day is:
subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something;responsible; answerable.
Last month, the Dunwoody City Council met secretly to change city policy and ban DHA members (not just voting members but ALL members) from serving on certain city boards. The fact that this conversation regarding dual board membership (public vs private) has been regularly reviewed and questioned over the years is irrelevant. The action of creating policy outside of a public forum represents the greatest ethical failing of our city government to date.
Realizing this, the council called an emergency public meeting and suspended implementation of this illegally-created policy.
The DHA is now going to discuss how best to hold our government accountable for their actions and how best to legally advocate for that position. We were supposed to have as a guest speaker an attorney specializing in City Planning and Zoning to discuss a legal perspective on the question; a scheduling conflict came up but Rob will be presenting his thoughts for the board to cosider.
Denny Shortal accepted Rob's invitation to attend the DHA meeting. He will give a speech but will not stay for the later discussion. Just like the special called meeting.
SunTrust is in the process of purchasing the Old Hickory House property. Their legally-required "public meeting" was held a couple of weeks ago. They are holding a second public meeting with the DHA voluntarily to further reach out to the public.
A couple of points from that first presentation:
1) This is not an issue of "adding" another bank. No banks are being added. SunTrust is merely relocating from a rented space to a new custom built space. They know the competition is tough here; their goal is to serve their customers.
2) At the time of the first public meeting, a rumor was circulating on Facebook that the landlords of Shops of Dunwoody refused to share their parking lot with SunTrust (or anyone else) and threatened to "boot" the cars of employees or customers of SunTrust. I showed the Facebook posts to the team presenting and the categorically denied the rumor. They pointed out that the storefront where they met was rented from Shops of Dunwoody and there have been no threats of penalizing SunTrust customers or employees in any way.
3) Even with the requested drive through customer service area and 2 additional parking spaces, they intend to design and landscape the property so it is in greater compliance with the spirit and letter of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and the Overlay District than it is now.
4) The presentation team consisted of the property architect, engineer, a corporate real estate executive from Suntrust, the Atlanta area bank manager and the branch manager. I expect this same team on Sunday.
DHA board meetings are open to the public; come visit and develop an informed opinion on these and other issues affecting our city.