Dunwoody Mayor Denny Shortal held his first town hall meeting Thursday. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

Dunwoody Mayor Denny Shortal said he and council members would be lobbying their legislators to support a resolution to amend the Georgia Constitution to allow cities form their own school districts.

Shortal, speaking Thursday at his first town hall of the year to a standing room crowd at All Saints Catholic Church, said schools were a top priority for his administration.

“I’m going to be at the legislature shaking hands,” he said. “We want better schools for our children. If we’re going to talk about it, let’s do something about it.”

State Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) first introduced House Resolution 4 in 2014 but has failed to garner the 120 votes needed in the House to pass a constitutional amendment.

Last year, HR 4 was just 12 votes shy of being passed out of the House, Shortal said. A proposed amendment to the state constitution must be approved by 2/3 of the House and Senate before going to the state’s voters; if successful in getting out of both chambers, the proposed amendments are to be voted on during general elections of even-numbered years.

Residents of Dunwoody, and Shortal, have long supported schools independent of DeKalb County.

“Taking over public schools to me is a big thing,” he said.

Traffic concerns were raised and Shortal promised city officials were looking into ways to alleviate congestion, including working with Brookhaven and Sandy Springs on traffic light timing.

Anyone solving the city’s traffic problems will earn a seat on the back of a convertible and riding at the front of Fourth of July parade, Shortal said to laughs.

Brook Run was also discussed, albeit briefly. Shortal said he supports putting ball fields in the park, but also understands the concerns for those who want more green space.

“I think we can have trails and fields. It doesn’t have to be either-or, it can be both,” he said.

“As long as I’m around here, everything will be above the table,” Shortal told her.

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