Thursday, February 27, 2020

It's Not A Good Trend...

...when it has already peaked. This city has a knack for latching on to declining trends. Front forward, park in back? There's an ordinance for that and it gave us the rather awkwardly situated Chase Bank. Wide sidewalks getting a lot of buzz? We'll give that a try. Once. Avalon-like faux "town centres" (as it is called in Annapolis)? We're trying to push that thru posthaste. Developer with a micro-brewery in mind shopping for locations? City staff is all ears. When they're not hating on residents they're shopping Dunwoody Village around to anyone they can find.

And why microbreweries when brewpubs are already allowed? Because clearly that wasn't enough to get a brewery in daVille, and city hall is an alcoholic government. And, since the profits are in the liquids, from a business viability point of view brewpubs will lead the decline. 

The Craft Brewery decline started in 2017, continued thru 2018 and after 2019 is undeniable. Unless you are Dunwoody city staff claiming "microbreweries and breweries have seen a sharp rise in popularity throughout metropolitan Atlanta." Given the trend of craft breweries to address the declining beer market (it IS over-saturated) with hard seltzers it seems much more plausible that someone at city hall has a link to a vested interest that would benefit from this change.

Staff has demonstrated no interest in anything that serves the needs of residents. So who do they serve?

Monday, February 24, 2020

Now We Know...

...why the city did nothing about a multiple dwelling unit (mini-apartment complex) operating in a building zoned single family residential.

Sign Of Things To Come
That's because the new yahoos at city hall expect to expand apartments in Dunwoody Village, not push them out.

So with the new regime we will no longer have a Carbon Copy Canton Street, a Partay Pavillion or Coral Reefer Cover Bands blasting beach music for folks shaggin' in the streets. No sir. Out with the old and in with the new. The current trend is "Avalon" which they'd like to clone in daVille. Avalon is neither unique nor original (ever been to Huntersville?) but these cookie-cutter trend-du-jours are making huge profits for developers. And their friends in government and associated metastatic "authorities."

And they are "inspired" by small town centers scattered throughout  the country. Go find an old city square in Georgia that has a bunch of fifty-plus year old eight story buildings, let alone any with six or seven floors of apartments. But we, at least the royal "we" at city hall, love "inspired" - small town inspired development; chef inspired restaurants. Why? Honestly you really should ask them because we all know that trends come and trends go with a half-life of hardly five years. Perhaps city hall is helping developers transform their business model from transactional to recurring. After all, why build something that lasts a hundred years or more when you can build to the current trend and come back after a few years and do it all again. At enormous profit and with a new bunch of cronies at city hall.

Remember, none of the folks involved in this are committed to Dunwoody for the long haul. Hell, some of these folks don't even live in Dunwoody. Many that do will be headed out of town after they cash out. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

CVI Working For The County

The DeKalb delegation is holding an info session to review, with the public, the implications of a CVI study on the impact (negative) of new cities on the county. This focuses on finances and if you believe that a government with more money is a better government then you might want to scoot on over here, but if you're not not sure then the report may be of interest. Though largely reading like the script for Captain Obvious, the real meat is what is missing. Isn't that always the case when government is involved? What you're NOT being told is often the most important part (think: Village Developers' Plan).

So what is missing in these City vs County CVI dust-ups? The public school system. That's what is missing. No one has the courage to whisper about the serious damage done to public schools by these new cities. The process is straightforward, clearly destructive and inevitable. A new city will be a weak city, at least from the point of view of local control. What many folks, even in this smarting city, don't realize is we have a "weak mayor" form of government. In fact, we have weak council as well. The fact is Dunwoody is run by a city manager and a bunch of bureaucrats with council and mayor provided with rubber stamps to approve what is put before them. And it gets worse.

A new city means a new development authority. Ostensibly appointed but one that will be driven by the developers, will get input exclusively from developers and in no way beholding to the residents of Dunwoody. Unless one of the developers happens to live here--want to be how many that might be? They are more likely to live in Country Club of the South where no one is going to drop a trendy clutter-development in their backyard.

It is this Developers' Authority that does the damage to the schools. First, they will push for "re-vitalization" re-development that will include a residential component, one they will downplay but one that will overload the schools while lining their pockets. And because they don't want to talk about residential they are not likely to coordinate their plans with the school system. Once they've slashed an open wound they rub in the salt. The Developers' Authority have some financial machinations to remove the property from the tax rolls, not just dodging city taxes (remember it is the city's Developers' Authority) but from all taxes. So they overload the schools with apartment kids (yes, these WILL BE rentals) and they make sure the school system's funding is undercut so they cannot remediate the damage even if they wanted.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Where Will The Good Ones Go?

And what will we do when they're gone?

You may be wondering why they are leaving. Well, it is because they, the really good ones, are being driven away. Soon we'll see the best doctors, lawyer, engineers and other professionals will no longer be the best we could have. Instead many of those that would be best will be displaced, sacrificed to the gods of diversity.

The epicenter of this of impending disaster lies at the intersection of two fault lines: STEM and diversity. It plays out within the education industry, at schools, colleges and universities across the country. And the tool of choice is grade inflation, long viewed with disdain it has become the best, the easiest way to guarantee desired demographic profiles in programs where the preferred among us are under-represented.

Brand management and other foundational practices in the business of education prevent merely expanding programs to allow the inferior a seat beside their betters. Instead, the betters must go, vacating slots to be filled by the less capable. But where do the betters go? If we are not there already we will soon be at a place where the best and brightest must flee the United States. Shortly, the impact of systemic suppression of excellence will be felt and we will no longer be cultivating the best minds in the world. They won't leave the United States because they will not be here in the first place. And we will have abandoned first place forever.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Lies And Damn Liars

They say that nothing lies like a statistic. Well, actually...the most profound liars are to be found among government bureaucrats. The AJC dutifully reports that the Brookhaven Bozos have bowed up at the prospect of 5G for the people with the mayor PO-ed that the FCC told him "how much our dirt is worth" with the city manager walking that back with the claim it "is more about the prospect of multiple ugly poles in a single block of a residential neighborhood."


When a city bureaucrat, a hired gun in this case, claims "it isn't about the money" you can bet your life that is exactly what it is about. And so it is. This is all because the FCC has set an upper limit on taxation and federal law says that lokel yokels cannot charge a higher toll for folks to use their own property. Though you'd never know it if you lend your ear to these fools, local governments do not actually own these poles, what sits on them or the dirt they stand on. How can you tell? Because if they did own it, these services would cost ten times what they do and most of the time it wouldn't even work. The truth is they simply do not own it. They just tax it. And guess who really pays those taxes. Not the utility companies, they just pass the cost along. To you. That's right. These governments are pissed they cannot gouge you for services they know you are going to demand.

And the funny part? For cities like Brookhaven (and Dunwoody) the vast majority of these infrastructure investments were made well before they came in and stole it from the prior bunch of parasites.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Another DCSD "Surprise"

Here's a shocker: a DCSD IT project has gone pear shaped. IT projects for government, especially government schools, are notorious minefields of graft and incompetence. After all, computer technology is one of the few things you can do right out of prison. Sometimes just before.

Not trusting that their selected IT firm would overcharge and blow up the schedule they insisted on NOT using that firm's management methodology, instead relying upon their own. What could possibly go wrong? Apparently pretty much everything.

Keep in mind that after pouring eSPLOST money down this and other rat holes, these same incompetents are asking you to approve a General Obligation bond. Sadly, having approved so many eSPLOSTs it is difficult to believe you won't approve this as well. 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Bring The Mountain...

...To Austin.

So the Tiger Moms and Dragon Dads at DES are still fuming at their own impotence when it comes to inflicting upon a neighboring school, AES, that which they feel is being inflicted upon them: apartment kids. Evil, wicked, often darker apartment kids.

In desperation they fired up the bat-signal and it is City Hall to the rescue. If you cannot send DES apartment kids to Austin they'll bring apartments to the Village and all those new apartment kids to Austin. Take that you snooty, uptight AES parents! And if you think your representative at Council is there to help you better think again-she is in on it.

You're screwed and if you voted for this [mis]representation then you pretty much got what you deserve. And if you're like some other folks in Dunwoody you really don't care that someone else gets screwed in the process. You may even enjoy the notion.

Monday, February 3, 2020

On Review With Direction Uncertain

So says "Captain Obvious" (AKA Moody's Investor Service) regarding the financial train wreck that is DeKalb County Schools. After all this is an organization yet to adopt 20th century accounting practices (like accrual) and it IS the 21st century. On the upside this may be just what it takes to 86 the notion of a general obligation bond since DeKalb simply cannot comply and Moody's will drop the hammer. And the credit rating.

Though some will feign shock it should come as no surprise to anyone as those who've been "reviewing the situation" know all too well this system is foundering with direction towards most certain collapse. For decades DCSD has been a cesspool of incompetence and corruption with the only remaining question not why it still exists but why anyone makes any child swim in it.