Dunwoody City Council has adopted a 2013 budget that funds additional police officers, gives 3 percent raises to city employees and pays to the move the dog park at Brook Run Park.
In addition to a four-member crime response unit, the Dunwoody Police Department requested funds to hire a civilian to transport prisoners and a detective to work with a Drug Enforcement Agency task force to combat the abuse of prescription drugs.
Several members of council didn’t feel the DEA detective was necessary and voted to strike money for the position. They voted to keep the funding for an employee to transport prisoners, which council members say will free up more time for sworn officers to be on the streets in Dunwoody.
Councilwoman Adrian Bonser proposed reducing merit increases for employees from 4 percent to 3 percent, and a majority of the council supported her idea.
“I know of no other city that’s had the raises we’ve had in the last four years,” Denis Shortal said. “Three percent is above the norm.”
But Councilman John Heneghan said it’s important to give employees, most of whom are police officers, incentive to stay when the new city of Brookhaven may soon try to lure them away.
“It’s think it’s a wise decision to go with 4 percent this year. We hire the best and brightest and I would prefer to retain the best and brightest. Let’s allow Brookhaven to find their own,” Heneghan said.
The council voted to provide 3 percent raises for city staff.
Some council members also took issue with spending $70,000 to move the dog park to a new location in Brook Run Park. The move was planned to help preserve trees and soil in the area where the dog park is located.
Councilman Terry Nall said he thinks the dog park is detrimental to Brook Run and doesn’t think it should be reopened in a new section of the park. But other council members said the city needs to keep the dog park because so many people use it.
“It was named one of the best dog parks in Atlanta. I think it sets us apart,” Heneghan said.