Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis updates the community Feb. 12 during the annual State of the City address at the Crowne Ravinia hotel in Dunwoody.
Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis updates the community Feb. 12 during the annual State of the City address at the Crowne Ravinia hotel in Dunwoody.

Certain cities have a distinct charm and panache, Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis says. They’re places where a turn off the highway brings drivers through a gateway that lets them know they’re “home.”

“These things don’t happen naturally,” Davis said during his 2015 “State of the City” address for Dunwoody on Feb. 12. It takes a vision, a plan, a budget and elected leaders with a bit of salesmanship skill to make cities attractive, he said.

Though 2014 was not an easy year, it wasn’t as difficult as some earlier years. The mayor reminded the community the city’s millage rate has stayed constant and taxes haven’t gone up.

“We did it again,” Davis said. “We did a great job.”

Three years ago, at his first State of the City address, he asked residents, “Who is going to buy your house?”

Now, members of the Millennial generation want to move to Dunwoody, he said, because of its location, with easy access to highways and other transportation, like MARTA and a regional executive airport.

He said Millennials, who will make up the workforce of the future, want stability. They don’t want to shift around from city to city to move up in a corporation such as State Farm, which came to Dunwoody in 2014. Other attractive features of Dunwoody include its executive housing, Class A office space, shopping, restaurants and top quality hospitals, he said.

Davis said City Councilman Terry Nall may have been the first one to start using the phrase “A better Dunwoody,” but that’s the kind of vision that Davis said he wants to build on.

In thinking about the kind of quality features Davis said he wants to bring to Dunwoody to give the city “a sense of place,” he mentioned the construction going on in Brook Run Park with the Treetop Quest adventure park.

Davis said what he and other elected officials need now is input from the residents of Dunwoody.

To make Dunwoody a place where community members feel their blood pressure lower as they cross that “gateway,” and “breathe a sigh of relief to be home,” Davis said he needs feedback.

“It’s all about your input,” Davis said as he encouraged people to come out and voice their opinions about the direction the city’s taking over the next six months. “Now’s your chance.”

Davis invited the Dunwoody community to attend two “Shape Dunwoody” workshops, the first set to focus on the east side of the city, which includes Districts 2 and 3, and the second set to focus more on the west side of the city, including Districts 1 and 2. The first workshop is set for Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 212 at Kingswood United Methodist Church. The second workshop is set for Mar. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Dunwoody Library.