Thursday, April 25, 2013

Somebody's Gettin' "A Curb Job"

In the middle of late of late last night I was sittin' on a curb
I didn't know what about but I was feelin' quite disturbed...
This whole curb cutting thing is silly. And that is just what makes it disturbing.

Is this part of a greater sleight of hand performed by the developer where all the Dunwoody watchdogs are being distracted by a useless curb cut while something much more nefarious is being slipped through? Perhaps. It is absolutely incredible that this developer really believes this traffic hazard is key to his property value.

Perhaps this is just another example of boys being boys with some nearby City Managers claiming New Hotel Bragging Rights. A kind of permanent prepubescent penis envy on the part of Dunwoody's City Manager where he feels he's come up short on the hospitality front.

Or it could be related to the song that seems to play incessantly at local City Halls with raucous sing-a-longs emphasizing a few key lines:
My Yvonne sweetest one me oh my oh
Son of a gun, we'll make big fun when they Buy-OH!
Thibodeaux, Fontainbleau, the place is buzzin'
Kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen
Dress in style, go hog wild, me oh my oh
Son of a gun, we'll make big fun with the Buy-OH!
Given the PCID's ability to turn one dollar into twenty by shaking hard on the grant tree it is easy to see why they all want to curry favor with the Queen of Somethin' Hot. Could it be that a City Manager is hoping for a slow dance with Yvonne and the chance to show off a pro-developer eight story priapism? Given the overshadowing Ravinia it is hardly impressive but desperation drives strange behaviors.

While it may be one or all of these, there is still something missing. Some dark undercurrent  hidden from public view.

The developer let the cat meow while keeping the bag closed when he referenced the many meetings he has had with the City. In reality he has not met with "The City" because there is no "The City". There are living, breathing humanoids with whom he has met. They have names. They draw salaries. And...they are responsible. They are supposed to be responsible to the citizens.

Fact is they aren't.

This will become exposed due to an inconvenient juxtaposition. The City Manager will advance the developer's cause based on improving the tax digest--money, money, money. Yet this is the very same City Manager who successfully advocated removing a five million dollar property from our tax digest and has since let that property decay as if it were Dunwoody's "picture of Dorian Gray" sitting at our southern gateway instead of locked in the attic. Unless he thinks everything outside PCID IS Dunwoody's attic.

How does one make sense of these polar opposites in position? By understanding the common thread. In both cases the actions of the City, the actions of the City Manager, were in the best interests of developers and consequently the best interests of a management and staff who never stand for a meaningful review let alone a public vote. The rotting building was a deal sweetener leveraging City funds to make the taxpayers a white knight saving a local development firm. A simple curb cut curries favor with another developer and the PCID.

This speaks to a serious problem which like all problems is only a problem because it has a solution. The City Charter is coming up for review. Soon. The problem we have is a too powerful City Manager and weak, limpid Council and Mayor resulting in a horribly squelched vox populi. It is time to fix this by ensuring that the real power in this City rests with elected officials beholding to the ballot box and not a hired gun who uses a divide and conquer strategy to bend the City Council to his will thereby subverting the democratic process.