Thursday, October 14, 2021

Publius Identifies Dunwoody Failure

In explaining the underlying design of the new republic, the United Stated, Publius touches on topics and offers thoughts that are no less relevant today than when pen was first put to paper. One point brought by those opposed to a republican form of national government was the power vested in the chief executive, the President. On the contrary Publius argued that a strong executive, answerable only to the people, was necessary to a properly functioning government.

The administration of government, in its largest sense, comprehends all the operations of the body politic, whether legislative, executive, or judiciary; but in its most usual, and perhaps its most precise signification it is limited to executive details, and falls peculiarly within the province of the executive department. The actual conduct of foreign negotiations, the preparatory plans of finance, the application and disbursement of the public moneys in conformity to the general appropriations of the legislature, the arrangement of the army and navy, the directions of the operations of war, these, and other matters of a like nature, constitute what seems to be most properly understood by the administration of government. The persons, therefore, to whose immediate management these different matters are committed, ought to be considered as the assistants or deputies of the chief magistrate, and on this account, they ought to derive their offices from his appointment, at least from his nomination, and ought to be subject to his superintendence

And therein lies the problem with Dunwoody and all the other poisoned-mushroom cities springing up around us. Rather than follow Publius' sound advice, Dunwoody founding fathers chose to deny a representative form of government, operated by those elected to do so, and in such a manner that it serves the needs of the citizenry but instead to empower un-elected bureaucrats more beholden to others than to the citizenry. In effect, they sold the elected offices before the first election was ever held and in so doing installed corruption as a structural, foundational cornerstone of that government.

Dunwoody has proven, by eviscerating the offices held by our elected representatives, that Publius was indeed correct. There is no need to continue proving it.

Monday, October 11, 2021

City vs Developer

An interesting turn in the Buckhead breakaway movement are the naysayers highlighting the financial damage done to the city, Atlanta, left behind. To amp up the rhetoric they point out the millions of tax dollars this will siphon away from the Atlanta Public Schools.

Somehow none of these folks were very concerned when their developers' authorities did exactly the same thing.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Dissin' On The ATDC

A former dwarf is pushing the idea of creating a high-tech incubator somewhere in Dunwoody as a way, to well, do something. Not clear what that is and allusions to how Peachtree Corners and Alpharetta have done with their efforts is a bit like saying "London's ferris wheel is such a success we should get one too." A case of "monkey see, monkey doo-doo." 

As some in TOD have actual experience with high-tech startups, including some germinated at ATDC, a few insights are on offer. Early stage startups, zygotes if you will, need ready access to technical talent on flexible and inexpensive terms. As it so happens GaTech grad students are ideal and if your startup is actually on campus, as is the ATDC, you'll not get greater access. As the startup matures, regular full time staff is required to attract funding as the dirty little not so secret is that you're actually building a company to sell, not a product or service. Consequently you're selling your talent, your employees and anything that detracts from building that talent base is wasted resources. Think: high-rent, Class A offices. That's why the startups reaching this stage move out of the city, towards the 'burbs and this is exactly what has fueled the success of Technology Park-appropriate rents; a developed high-tech community; and access to housing and amenities demanded by those with a Master's degree in EE or CS...and a couple of kids. 

Yet we have a bureaucrat who squizzed out these prizes:

"Dunwoody already has the infrastructure, including plenty of banks and office space, low personal tax rates and high quality of life;"

and;

“Why go all the way to ATDC when you can get the same resources in Dunwoody?”

You have to wonder what, in that little mind, constitutes "infrastructure." And the bit about banks leaves you wondering if this is really being reported by The Onion, because that is NOT a legit gating factor. Office space? Really? When you're a hop, skip and a jump away from appropriate, affordable space in Technology Park? Do you really want to pay Class A prices for the obligatory wanna-be-like-Spotify ping pong table? Quality of life? Clearly this bureaucrat hasn't had to deal with high-speed, illegal truck traffic in HIS neighborhood (probably NOT in Dunwoody) and hasn't a clue about crime in the perimeter area where all that office space sits. Probably hasn't looked at the public schools either. And what does this city know about Venture Capital? NADA. Also, it's not as if they're offering generous tax handouts to startups, are they? Given the hate-hate relationship between our only university and the city, and the fact that this campus isn't known for high-tech, then yeah, go all the way to ATDC, because that is where the talent is. Startups are risky enough without taking on the burdens Dunwoody has on offer.

You have to wonder if there is some "build back better" grant funds behind this or if it is just the flatulent lip-flapping you get when a mouth-breath has the hiccups.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Is The Phoeix Rising?

You know about the first town homes in the Dunwoody Village area, don't you? The ones across Chamblee-Dunwoody from the Spruill Center for the Arts? With the adjacent cluster homes off Ashford Center Parkway, a real parkway with medians hosting trees. 

Do you remember how that happened?

Well, back in the day that property lay empty and was owned by Emory University who wanted to cash in, so they found a developer. As you do. Remember what Greedy Developer wanted to do? Build a shopping center anchored by a super-sized Publix. When the Village already had THREE grocery stores. Not because it was what this community needed but simply because it would rake in the most money. 

So why didn't that happen?

Dunwoody Home Owners Association. They stepped up to the plate and made it clear this community would not be steam-rolled without putting up a fight. An expensive fight. A long, drawn-out legal battle. And guess what happened? We got some damn nice looking town homes instead of a yet another ticky-tacky strip center with all that traffic that really belongs on Highway 41, not in the heart of Dunwoody. 

There is some indication that the DHA put some effort into protecting our neighborhoods and our suburban character in the developer (and city) assault on Dunwoody Village. Are they back? Perhaps. Perhaps they're coming back as they lost their way in the early years of city-hood, weakening their capabilities to fight the good fight. After all, wasn't city-hood supposed to be the ultimate victory and not a toxic bait and switch? 

Let's all hope the DHA is revitalized and only getting stronger. It may be the only hope we have.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Workin' hard for profiteering businesses. Yep, we have a seemingly unlimited number of tax-payer funded bureaucrats knocking down insider-awards for doing the business of CoC for businesses. Aren't you happy to be paying your taxes?

Monday, September 27, 2021

Are You Ready For Some Football!??!

Watching the boob toob has become more confusing than ever. Scientists are cautioning against going normal with the head scientist over at the CDC over-riding her own scientists because her science is more potent. And yet...football, high school, college, pro-s, it doesn't matter are in full-bore, packed stadium, maskless, screaming hordes. Obviously football has a the Iron Dome of CoVid running at full power.

So what's up with that?

It IS odd. A year ago games were being cancelled. #COVID. Those that weren't played to cardboard cutouts. Restaurants were going away, or going curbside. All queues, indoors or out, were at six foot spacing. Masks for all. And that was just with CoVid which hit our shores in early 2020.

Fast forward. The Delta variant, more transmissible than the original and impacting younger cohorts more severely. Yes, there is a vaccine, but death rates are rising. Hospitals are filling again though the truth leaks out that it isn't ALL, or even a majority, CoVid. But by all measures, including the usual pockets of hysteria, all things CoVid are as bad as a year ago. But not for football. Stadia are packed. Popping the Mercedes Benz eyeball constitutes "ourdoor" and no one is mentioning the crowds at the restrooms or the concessionaires. 

So what's the REAL difference? Well, if you look to who is still screaming about the gloom and doom, of inadequate vaccination rates, or necessity of booster shots, that would be the same folks who last year were positioned on one side of the great political divide and well, inertia. Football, and football fans in particular, could care less about political posturing. THEY are ready for some football. And that is exactly what they're going to get. #RATINGS.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Earnest Leaves Dunwoody

"I came! I saw! I got blowed up!"
-- Earnest P. Worrell

Arrive Perimeter has, with gas and a spark, been transformed to Depart Perimeter. Who could have smelled that coming?

Arrive intends to demolish the site ASAP and if yelpers are to be trusted it should not have taken an explosion to get that [wrecking] ball rolling. But this is the kind of "quality" development the city encourages in Dunwoody, so rest assured, apartments will be rebuilt on that site. It is an odds-on favorite that these will be bigger and the beneficiary of tax handouts from the city.

You gotta wonder how Dunwoody's "urban renewal" team is engaged.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Dunwoody Chamber Of Commerce

Dunwoody doesn't have one. Perimeter does, because Perimeter has footprints in three cities and developers and profiteers need an umbrella organization to coordinate efforts across all three. Dunwoody doesn't have a Chamber of Commerce because our tax dollars (residents, because developers don't pay taxes) are covering the paychecks of city bureaucrats who do everything a chamber would do. Everything a chamber should do. And more.

Don't believe it?

Look here. That's right, a city bureaucrat picked up an award for resident-funded CoC activities. And city bureaucrats are so proud they've issued a press release on receiving an award for going above and beyond doing CoC PR. A press release on how well they do press releases.

This is an outstanding example of a city bureaucracy that should be shut down and anyone surplus to needs should be made available to the greater PR community. Perhaps even a re-constituted Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce. Think the dwarfs can or would make that happen?

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Ever Heard Of Google?

Or Yelp? Zomato? Open Table? 

Like, you know, when you're looking for a place to eat or shop? For the fun of it, just Giggle "Dentist near me" or "Best hamburger." It worked in the later years of the 20th century and it works even better now. 

And yet...

We have profiteers with their bureaucratic minions at city hall who are hell bent on promulgating visual pollution thru rampant, devil-may-care signage throughout the city. Why? Because they can. And just why can they? Well, first they have greater pull at city hall than anyone actually living in this city. Then there is the brutal fact that they do not have to justify anything. All they have to do is say "this works, we want it, so get those ordinances in compliance and do it NOW!" Do illegally located sandwich board signs really work? Who knows. The profiteers have no data, no idea. Who cares. They don't care and they don't need to even consider joining us in the 21st century. As long as the profiteers want it, the city bureaucrats will take a knee. No skin off their collective nose since most don't live here and may not even drive by the garish eyesore they've created. 

And the dwarfs? Well...who knows what they're doing and who they're doing it for.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Whose We?

Escaping containment, that blivet of paternalistic condescension, President Biden,  squizzed out some priceless arrogance:

"We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us."

regarding the reticence of some to get their Fauci Ouchy. Condemnation heaped on the deplorable "you-s" who refuse to be directed by this greater, smarter, self-appointed and now controlling "we." 

We, the little we, have seen this before. Hell, we see it all the time. Like when some corporate SVP or C-level shows up to speak to the little people, littering the talk with "we" even when really just congratulating themselves. In their case it is political, an attempt to portray a large team, and themselves a part, when everyone, even the bobble-head toadies in the first row, know it is really all about them, the speaker, not you and certainly now "we."  And it would be easy to pummel out-of-touch politicians and executives but we, the little we, know this rhetorical device for what it is: manipulation. 

And it isn't just coming from those far above us. In many cases, including our own little burg, it is coming from bureaucrats who see themselves as positioned far above us. 

This is coming from our own little potentates of their Direktorates at city hall, including the Direktorate of community development and the Direktorate of economic development. From the latter we get:

 "We sort of have two Dunwoody's right now. We have single-family, suburban residential neighborhoods, and then we have Perimeter Center (largely made up of office and retail space [AND apartments!]), and they don't always work with one another. Sometimes they work against one another."

Let's unpack that "we." To be very clear when this bureaucrat is using "we" he is NOT including the little we, that very same we that came out in droves to vote Dunwoody Yes! His "we" are the crony developers and profiteering businesses and if there is any consideration for the little we it is only to acknowledge the annoyance they might inflict--like complaining about the gnats during a Tybee Island getaway. Wouldn't it be great if you could just get rid of them?

That needs a bit of unpacking as well. When factions "work against one another" what role does he play and what side does he take? Well, again, that would be whatever side is in opposition to "single family suburban residential neighborhoods" as he and his supporters in the development and business community can no longer satisfy their greeds without displacing the little we. And make no mistake he will throw the little we under the bus in a heartbeat because it is no skin off his nose. He doesn't even live here.

And that is the real problem. This city has been taken over by outsiders. It is run by outsiders, for the benefit of outsiders to the detriment of the little we. It is time for the little we to rise up just as they did when breaking bonds with DeKalb County. It is time to shut down these Direktorates, time to ensure every operation within the city benefits those living in the city and that those operations even remotely for the benefit of developers and profiteers be operated by those groups outside of city hall.

And maybe it's time to require that folks running this city have some skin in the game. Just like the little we.