Candidate for Dunwoody City Council, District 1 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?
The common thread is the downturn in city finances due to the pandemic. The financial downturn continues into 2022, based on the budget recently sent to the City Council.
During my eight years on the City Council, I successfully found solutions to financial constraints. My financial and business expertise is again needed on the City Council to rebuild a solid financial foundation for today and the future.
The city’s top three issues and my plan to address all three issues include:
Dunwoody Village: Establish the long-awaited “Town Green” in Dunwoody Village to make the Village a memory-making destination to enjoy food, drinks, and music from quality restaurants while the kids play in a greenspace. It is time to make this a reality.
Parks Improvements: Establish a sustainable funding plan to support parks programs, parks maintenance, capital improvements at our community gems including Dunwoody Nature Center and Dunwoody Cultural Arts Center, plus complete the build-out of four park sites, including District 1’s old Austin Elementary School and Perimeter Center East Park.
Public Safety: Increase public safety by stepping up the retention and recruitment efforts for Dunwoody Police with funding and support to overcome the new challenges experienced by law enforcement and restore the Dunwoody Police Department as the “police agency of choice.”
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?
Dunwoody was well-ahead of other local cities on this issue. I supported and voted for the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which passed unanimously in 2019. This ordinance also created a process for any affected person to pursue discrimination charges against another in Dunwoody. It was enacted well ahead of events of last year and the social justice commissions used by other communities.
3) What can the council do to better public safety?
Every resident wants a safe community. We worked hard to establish the Dunwoody Police department as “the agency of choice,” but recently, our retention is not as strong. To improve public safety, we need to be persistent in having the best, most highly trained, tenured police professionals. That means right-sizing our budget and continuing to set the bar high for hiring and retention.
4) How can the council support development in the Dunwoody Village while balancing the concerns of residents?
Council members must connect with residents on development proposals. It is a key reason we voted to become a city in 2008. I am an adjacent neighbor of Dunwoody Village and fully understand and hear the concerns of nearby residents. Just as I did with my own neighborhood, I will have a direct link to adjacent neighbors to hear concerns for any development proposals and seek mutual solutions. During my prior City Council service, I regularly initiated conversations with affected neighbors of proposed rezoning and development.
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.
We should continue monitoring the changing pandemic impact and advocating for vaccinations.