Recently I wrote to my three representatives on the Dunwoody City Council, giving my input on the upcoming comprehensive plan and where I felt the priorities should be. 

The initial concern I voiced was a comparison of the priorities of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Both cities came to be because of a lack of infrastructure maintenance from the county. Sandy Springs made a concerted effort to focus on repairing the long-neglected streets before branching out to other areas. My subdivision is split by Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, and you can tell a difference between Dunwoody and Sandy Springs sections. Dunwoody still hasn’t caught up and is probably beginning to fall behind.

In the replies I received, one of our elected city officials only replied that it was state law to review our plan, but at least took the time to let me know my subdivision was on tap for some repaving in 2021. The second took a little more time to empathize and explain that money is limited. The last one, she only replied with a link to the city web page and said go look up how much paving has been done.

Did I expect them to know the answer? No. Did I expect any of them to agree with me? Not necessarily. How did I hope they would reply? Well, certainly not with a link to go look up myself how much paving has been done. 

Yes, paving is in every budget, how much is enough? It’s been 12 years since inception of the city, did we catch up with deferred maintenance or are we falling behind? 

I did look up how many street miles Dunwoody is supposed to have, 310. That actually sounds a little low. If we are repaving 10 miles for 2020 that would be 31 years before we are caught up.

I’m no expert, but my experience in commercial property management tells me the pavement is failing and going to cause more significant problems if not addressed soon. Visiting friends tells me this is a problem throughout the city. Most of Dunwoody was built in the ‘70s and ‘80s and the roads are past due. DeKalb wasn’t taking care of them, and unless we refocus our priorities on deferred maintenance, we will be falling behind.

The real point is, when someone takes the time and effort to write one of our elected city officials, they need to educate themselves on the issue and reply. They don’t have to agree, but show their evaluation, not just say here is a website, go look it up.

- Phil Stovall


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