Denis Shortal was honored with a proclamation thanking him for his service to Dunwoody, which spanned from its incorporation more than a decade ago to his term as mayor that ends this year.
The proclamation was presented to Shortal at the city’s annual volunteer dinner held Nov. 14 that recognizes residents who service on local boards and commissions as well as other nonprofit organizations.
“Denny stuck to his principles … and played such an important role in the formation of the city,” said Mayor-elect Lynn Deutsch in an interview. “He stuck to his principles and values and he will be a tough act to follow.”
At the Nov. 14 dinner, Deutsch presented Shortal with a proclamation declaring Nov. 14, 2019, as “Denny Shortal Day.”
The proclamation said, in part, that Shortal is “known for staying true to his principles, working through critical issues by careful consideration of all angles and relevant information, he is also known for his quick wit and astuteness when the occasion warrants, an ‘Oorah!’ for his beloved U.S. Marine Corps.”
The proclamation further said that Shortal’s influence “will continue to be to the betterment of his community.”
Shortal said it has been a “labor of love” to serve Dunwoody over the past 11 years.
“I love this community; I love the citizens. And I think we’ve made some very substantial progress,” he said. “Our number-one goal is to enhance the lives of our citizens.”
Shortal said he wished the best for the new mayor and council members.
“My wish for them is to continue to listen to the citizens and to continue to provide them with the service that we have provided to our citizens over the last 11 years,” he said.
Shortal said he may not be completely done with public service and said he would be willing to assist in any future projects if city leadership asks him. But his plans for right now are to take time off to spend time with his children and grandchildren.
Councilmember Terry Nall praised Shortal for his “passion for making our Dunwoody community a better place to live, work and play.”
“The first decade of Dunwoody as a city definitely is filled with his imprints on accomplished results and with promises made that remain to be fulfilled as an ongoing work-in-progress,” Nall said.
“We offer our gratitude for Denny being involved in our city’s earliest years, as he leaves a solid foundation for our bright future.”
Councilmember Pam Tallmadge said Shortal’s love for his country was instilled in him at a young age while growing up on a farm. That love for country transferred easily to his service in Dunwoody, she said.
“He went into the Marines, climbing to the honorable rank of brigadier general … and his flying passion into another career, commercial airlines pilot, where he had the talent to use his people skills,” Tallmadge said.
“His love of country has become the cornerstone for building his devotion to Dunwoody,” she said. “We thank you for your service to God, country, family and serving our city of Dunwoody well.”
Shortal announced in April at the city’s 10th annual State of the City that he was not seeking re-election and was stepping down from public life to spend more time with his family.
Shortal was treasurer of the Dunwoody Yes group that organized and lobbied the General Assembly to give residents the opportunity to vote to establish the city. Residents got the vote in 2008 and overwhelmingly approved the measure. Shortal was then elected to the inaugural City Council in December 2008.
He represented District 1 until 2015 when he decided to step down from his post and challenge incumbent Mike Davis for the mayor’s seat. Shortal defeated Davis and was sworn in as mayor in January 2016.