Dunwoody Mayor Ken Wright

Dunwoody Mayor Ken Wright lauded the success of Georgia’s youngest city and politicked for a few upcoming items at a recent “State of the City” address.

Wright told hundreds in the audience Feb. 10 that the Dunwoody City Council would likely back a multi-million dollar parks bond on the November ballot.

Wright said he thinks of taxes as “investments” and assured residents that they would have their say on what would be a 1.5 mill tax increase.

“This would be a voter referendum. It’s the only way we would think about new taxes,” he said.

Dunwoody is growing and could “pop” to 50,000 people from around 38,000 when the 2010 census figures come out, he said.

The city will spend $2 million on repaving roads and creating sidewalks in 2011, which Wright said would be triple the amount spent in 2010. Also, an upcoming proposal for a regional tax could pump $800,000 into local road projects.

Wright’s address was delivered at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia hotel to more than 100 residents, as well as 100-plus people and city officials who sat at tables of organizations that sponsored the upscale affair.

Appetizers and drinks were served at an event that began with a reception at 6 p.m. and ended at the conclusion of Wright’s address, which lasted more than an hour.

The beginning of Wright’s address covered what Dunwoody officials like to call the “year of plans.” The city started major planning initiatives that are scheduled to be completed in 2011.

The city completed a citywide land use plan, and is finishing master plans for Dunwoody Village and Georgetown.

The redevelopment plans are important to attract developers to the city and allow them to work within the framework of what city officials want to see built there, Wright said.

He also said Dunwoody’s budget of $18 million makes the city operate lean and efficiently. The nearby city of Sandy Springs has roughly double Dunwoody’s population and operates on a $90 million annual budget.

“We do a ton with a relative little amount,” he said.