Big changes are ahead for Dunwoody. In 2012, the city will have a new mayor and City Council members elected from redrawn districts.
Changes in Dunwoody’s population have made it necessary for the city to alter City Council district lines.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 census showed District 1 grew dramatically, from 12,786 people to 19,008, City Attorney Brian Anderson said. District 2 showed modest growth, from 12,712 residents to 14,439, and District 3 decreased slightly, from 13,242 people to 12,789.
Cities usually must redistrict every 10 years to reflect the population changes outlined by the most recent census, he said.
Dunwoody city officials posted proposed new districts on the city website. The city will hold a public input session during the May 23 council meeting and a public hearing on June 13. The new districts are to be considered during a council meeting in June. Once the new lines are approved, the plans will be sent to the federal Department of Justice for review.
On Nov. 8, Dunwoody will hold an election to choose a mayor and three at-large city council members.
“I would be surprised if it has an impact on candidates running (for City Council). I’m not anticipating that,” Anderson said. “Of course you never know for certain.”
The qualifying period is from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2.
Mayor Ken Wright, who became the city’s first mayor in 2008, said he will not be running for reelection in November.
“All along, when I decided I was going to run for mayor, it wasn’t a long-term thing. It was, ‘I’ll get it started and get it going in the right direction,’” Wright said.
Post 4 City Councilman Robert Wittenstein said he has not yet decided if he will run for another term. “It is too early to make a decision but I am leaning towards running for reelection,” Wittenstein said in an email.
Post 6 City Councilman John Heneghan said he will be running for another term.
“I am going to be running for reelection for my current Dunwoody city council seat,” Heneghan said.
Danny Ross, who holds the Post 5 seat, could not be reached at press time.
The District 1 population grew dramatically because of several apartment buildings that have been built since Dunwoody incorporated, Anderson said.
“We were expecting a big growth,” Anderson said.
Redistricting will be taking place statewide this summer as well.
In August, Gov. Nathan Deal will call a special session of the Legislature to redistrict the state based on census information. Population growth means Georgia will gain a seat in Congress.
Though redistricting will be a heated issue statewide, Wright does not expect it to be a contentious process in Dunwoody.
“The lines moving a little here and a little there amongst council and myself is a non-issue,” Wright said. “It’s not like congressional redistricting, which is a major battle on every line … For us it doesn’t matter. We’re small. We’re a tight community. The moving of lines in this type of atmosphere is really nothing.”