Happy 2020! As we shepherd in the new year, there are many reasons for excitement and optimism in our community. The first decade of cityhood afforded Dunwoody the opportunity to complete impactful infrastructure projects, create the beginnings of a terrific parks and trail system and develop the best police force in Georgia.
Now, at the beginning of our second decade, our city has the opportunity to shape our identity — who are we, what do we want to be and how do we get there?
Based on what I learned both as a council member and as a candidate, our next decade should include an emphasis on connectivity, community, parks, recreation, arts and culture, Dunwoody Village and, of course, maintaining our top-notch police force.
At the end of 2019, the City of Dunwoody, with county funding secured by our DeKalb Commissioner Nancy Jester, purchased more than 7 acres of new parkland. This addition to our parks will allow not only the development of an additional play area in the city, but also create a trail system that will allow nearby neighborhoods to connect to the park and each other.
Speaking of new parks, Dunwoody will take possession of the old Austin Elementary School property in early 2020. We will have multiple opportunities for public participation in the planning process to develop the park.
The improvements at Brook Run Park are set to open this spring with new fields and an amphitheater. In the next few months, the Top End Mayors are preparing to develop a plan to connect our multi-purpose trails. As we continue to develop our park and trail system, I will work with City Council to make maintaining our facilities a top priority.
Dunwoody residents, in record numbers, have attended meetings and participated in surveys concerning the Dunwoody Village Master Plan Update. Overwhelmingly, you have supported changes to the zoning code that will foster improvements to the area. I am excited to see the completion of the update to the Village plan and begin to implement the recommendations. By partnering with the property owners, I am confident that, in 2020, we will see the beginnings of the transformation of the area into a more walkable, vibrant place.
Dunwoody’s biggest challenges remain those that are outside our direct control. I have already begun discussions with leaders across DeKalb to address the challenges that the school system faces and look forward to working with them towards a solution that improves education across the county. While the I-285 managed lanes project has been slightly delayed, I continue to work with the Top End Mayors to mitigate the impacts of the project on our community and to ensure that there is a transit component included.
On a personal note, I want to thank you all for your support. So many of you graciously took time to speak with me in 2019. I look forward to working with you to make Dunwoody the best place to live, work and play. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. I am here to serve you and our community. Again, best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.