Friday, December 6, 2013

Dunwoody Crier celebrates a local home-based business

Wife and mom launches jewelry business with a twist 

(link was to online Crier article that was removed some time on Thursday)

Scan of print article from this week's Crier.
Why did the online article disappear?
I learned about Origami Owl from some sorority sisters who are customers and from other members of home business networking groups.

At its start, Origami Owl began like many Dunwoody home-based businesses:  people looking for some way to make a living from home without getting trapped by a scam and having the flexibility of time to be a full-time parent as well.  Origami Owl is a bit more unique in that it was started by a teenager (at home) rather than an adult.

This enterprise is typical of the hundreds of home businesses in Dunwoody where a parent works from home, sees customers and makes sales in residential neighborhoods, and maintains stock in trade, without a single complaint.  Because of four of our seven city council members, and their blind commitment to excessive permitting processes, these home business owners have decided it is more beneficial to ignore the SLUP process than to obey it.  So we all just go about our business of earning a living and being the good neighbors we always were - without begging the city government for their approval.  

Home business owners have no protection from harassment.  They can be vilified in any public meeting due to the bad behaviour of other residents who are not so conscientious.  Complaints can be filed anonymously, even without cause.  By contrast, the extensively rewritten animal ordinance, (Number 3, under the consent agenda) going to a vote on Monday, requires that complaints against an animal owner require three signatures of residents in three different homes.  Or, some kind of evidence that obtaining three signatures is not possible.

Would someone please demonstrate, using legal precedent, why different code enforcement complaints about different alleged nuisances require such vastly different standards of proof?  This new variation of the animal ordinance offers animal owners additional protections against complaints that any other resident or entity is not entitled to.  Specifically, this is the only "nuisance" that does not allow for anonymous complaints.   You can complain all you want, anonymously, on SeeClickFix about someone's yard not being cut, or the fact that they store their personal belongings in their carport, or they have a large family with many cars legally parked on the property, or accuse them of having a home business, whether they do or not.  Proof is a bonus, but not necessarily required.  But if you want to complain about a nuisance animal, you have to give your name and get other signatures from the neighbors.  In what universe is this fair?

But back to the beginning of the story:  Dunwoody moms and dads are currently working from home by the hundreds.  The overwhelming majority of them are good neighbors providing good services to their community.   No extraneous paperwork required.  The Crier recognized that this week, even if city hall is still foggy on the subject.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The 120 Minute Hate

 Jim Riticher's town hall meeting was captured on video and posted to YouTube last night.

I would have made this event last night in person except my other half got home from work late.

Today is the first day since 2008 that my faith in the future of Dunwoody has wavered.  Ironically, only a few days after we celebrated Dunwoody's 5th anniversary as an incorporated city.

Watch the videos.  Take a good look at the faces and catch the names of the people talking.

If you think or live differently than they do, in the slightest way.  They hate you.

Read that one more time.


They are "The People".  If your opinion is different, you are not "the people".  You are an unperson.  Your voice does not deserve to be heard or acted upon by city government.  Your priorities are either unimportant or harmful to THEIR community.

I invited Jim Riticher to respond to a couple of questions I posed to all candidates during the election.  He blew it off.  I must be an unperson too.

There is to be no compromise and no coexistence between residents of different lifestyles.  The zoning rewrite attempted that compromise to maximize differing rights while protecting everyone's lifestyles.  It was unceremoniously thrown back in the faces of all who worked to compose and ratify it.

In the past, I've heard stories of some Dunwoody residents who moved away because their POV was dismissed.  Until this morning I thought that reaction was childish, even selfish.  "Just be a good example right where you are."  That's a lot harder to do than to say and I learned not to judge those who decided to leave.  Group hate is a hard thing to overcome by emulating the examples of Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, King, etc.

I'm going to continue to be a good neighbor, a good homeowner, and a good business owner, without asking permission to do so from this crowd.

Many prayers for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Update:  for the members in this audience who are concerned about the public release of the charter commission's report, the link to the document is the top button of the green vertical menu on almost ever page of the city website.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Dunwoody

In five years

We've had fights in the council chamber

Saw weird/distasteful/dirty campaigns

Seen enough red shirts to last us a lifetime

Built sidewalks

Argued about where to put the sidewalks

Paved roads

Argued about which roads were getting paved and when

Argued about who used the roads.

Learned more about our neighbors in both elected and appointed positions than we ever wanted to know.

Learned some things about the same that we wish we still didn't know

Found out the law of the state and fed and strings attached to "free" money is more complex than we imagined.  Some times the money just isn't worth the hassle.

Discovered how diverse our community truly is - that there is no "voice" of Dunwoody.  There's a chorus of many voices, some of which don't believe they are heard or taken seriously.

And I thank God every day we incorporated to work out our city's future for ourselves, rather than remain at the mercy of a County that doesn't give a damn what happens to us, as long as our wallets our open.