Brian Sims

Candidate for Dunwoody City Council, District 3 Local


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1) What are the top three issues directly affecting your district you would plan to address while serving on the council? 

First, we need to address public safety.  We must continue to deploy both passive and active technological systems to keep an eye on the community, given our limited amount of officers and financial constraints.   

Second, the lack of neighborhood interconnectivity. In District 3, we have numerous arterial roads with neighborhoods in between. I would propose constructing a sidewalk system that would allow residents from adjoining neighborhoods to safely walk, run and bike to various parks located within the district, increasing a sense of community.  

Code enforcement needs to be increased to ensure our citizens are living in safe places.  Apartments in our district are older, so ensuring better compliance and enforcement is good for renters’ safety and for the community as a whole. Compliance within our single-family neighborhoods and our business districts also provides a level of safety and beauty.

2) Other communities have created social justice commissions to deal with issues of equity and race, particularly following the events of last year. Do you think that’s something Dunwoody could benefit from?  

This past year and a half has been challenging for everyone. What we need to focus on as individuals and as a community is understanding, tolerance and empathy. I am open to creating those avenues to do so in Dunwoody to cultivate discussion and idea sharing to address issues in our city.

3) What can the council do to better public safety? 

It is threefold, and includes education, engagement and collaborative buy-in from the community. 

Education: be aware of your surroundings and take simple steps to protect your family and your property.  

Engagement: get to know your neighbors and be aware of happenings in and around your neighborhood, including community support from the police. That could be in the form of increased citizen patrols, technology enhancements, and neighborhood watch programs. 

Collaboration: Dunwoody as a city and community needs to be empowered to let everyone know that crime does not belong here and it will not be tolerated. 

4) How can the council support development in the Dunwoody Village while balancing the concerns of residents?

This council may be seated too late to have much direct impact, but I would ensure that all landowners/future development are under the same consistent zoning regulations as to decrease the appearance of unequal deals agreed to by council. I would focus on solutions that protect the rights of neighborhoods adjacent to the Village.

I firmly think we do not need to add lots of high density housing to the Village.  If high density housing comes to the Village, I would be against rental units in that area.  In my opinion a housing core of no more than three stories with low rise townhomes and commercial on the perimeter provides a better utilization of land resources and fits better with the character of the surrounding area. Dunwoody already is facing an overcrowding crisis in our public schools, so adding an excess of housing units will only exacerbate this situation.

5) With COVID-19 cases back on the rise, what more can the council do to address and promote safety from the virus? 

Clarification: COVID-19 cases were rising when The Reporter initially asked candidates this question. COVID-19 cases in Georgia can be tracked on the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website.

I would encourage our citizens to support safety measures that help prevent spread at homes, businesses and schools.  I will support our businesses, especially restaurants, by allowing further use of additional outdoor dining options to keep patrons and staff safe.  We have come a long way, but it’s no time to let up. Dunwoody has been a community that cares about the wellbeing of others and I’m sure we are all eager to put the COVID-19 experience in the past.

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.