Thursday, May 28, 2020

More Balls Than A Pool Hall

Sometimes you find yourself gobstopped by the sheer nerve coming out of city halls. A pandemic not only doesn't push the mute button it turns the volume all the way to eleven. The AJC deflects and defends with a headline indicating "DeKalb cities want cut of county's federal aid" when in fact the DeKalb Municipal Association wants to give the county 25 cents and spread the rest around to cities based on population. Mighty, well, gracious of them, isn't it? No mention of the common taxation principal of "means adjustment" that always seems to apply to individual taxpayers.

Nancy Jester raised the only voice of reason suggesting that these monies are not the CEO's personal slush fund and that county money should be spent on county priorities with the input and oversight of the county commissioners. That IS why we elect them. Isn't it funny how common sense seems so obvious when stated so clearly?

The mayors on the other hand...well let's just say there is more than enough hypocrisy in that group to last until the next pandemic. These are the folks that have taken properties off the tax rolls, starving the county and our schools, taking increasingly suspect PILOT payments all so they can cozy up to wealthy developers. Now they want to dip into our tax dollars, taking the lion's share, in order to help out their colleagues and bosses in the business community. None said it better than Dunwoody's own:
"The slower we react the fewer businesses are gonna be left for us to support, because once they close their doors it's gonna be really hard for them to come back."
A clear statement of policy. The role of Dunwoody is to support businesses, no matter what they do to your quality of life, no matter that they disrespect the community you built and disregard any ordinances or norms established in this city. Because the mayor is on their side, not yours.

Monday, May 25, 2020

How To Vote

This isn't about red vs blue. Not about getting a CPA on the school board. Even when those votes count, they don't really matter. Simply review a recent council meeting where a councilman who as a candidate promised oversight and accountability now fawns over a bureaucrat, chiding, in absentia, a resident. How long did it take to go from Red Shirt Sweeper to bureaucracy loving Brown Shirt? Proof positive those kinds of votes simply do not matter.

There is one kind of vote that does matter, now more than ever. Your money.

The current pandemic is a very dark cloud hovering over health and economy. It is the latter which multiplies your voice in this community giving you the power to make a real difference. To rebuild Your Dunwoody.

There has always been bad business behavior in Dunwoody often dismissed by the city as mere signage and traffic violations to which the city has turned a blind eye. We have recently seen the city actively encouraging bad behavior at your expense. But you can "buypass" the city and make your voice heard where it matters most--in businesses' top line.

Your money is just that. Given current circumstances many purchases that had been casual are now very deliberate, discretionary spends and business are now very aware of each and every dollar that you choose to spend on them. Your spends are an existential lifeline and your choices matter now more than ever. You have their attention. Do not squander this opportunity and forgo your empowerment. When you see bad behavior, make a mental note to never, particularly not now, spend your money supporting the misbehavior. Send them the message that unless they embrace the established values of Dunwoody residents they will see no support from the community. Letting them know that you can and will take your business elsewhere tells them to take their bad behavior to some other community.

Vote with your dollars. Vote early. Vote often. This is a vote that will be counted and will create positive change. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Education Is Bankrupt

The AJC reports that Rudy Crew and 67 others applied for the job as Superintendent of DeKalb schools. And Crew was the clear winner. Really?

Let's review some key facts:
  • Crew has not been a superintendent in over 12 years
  • Crew left district leadership for a statewide public education position
  • Crew left K-12 education for a leadership role at an urban college
  • Crew has been accused of APS-calibre score manipulation
  • Crew has been accused of financial mis-appropriation
  • Crew has been accused of obstructing auditors and investigators
We are somehow to believe this is the track record best suited to lead DeKalb schools. It is now time for those who advocated for Crew to fully disclose in a quantifiable, score-able fashion, those qualities they saw in this candidate that not only overcame, in their judgment, these obvious handicaps but also made him superior to 67 other applicants. Otherwise we are left to conclude that the education system is fatally flawed, incapable of producing leaders of great capabilities and great integrity. Or perhaps it is not humanly possible to lead a system of this size and it is time break the problem, and the system, down into more manageable components.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Carcinogens And Cancer

The hallmarks of cancer include out of control growth and disease spread, metastasis, to other critical organs. Carcinogens are environmental elements causing or accelerating the development of deadly growths.

Here in Dunwoody, the cancer is out of control greed and development. The carcinogen is the Developer's Authority and it is the City, staff bureaucrats and elected officials, who support cancer-causing behaviors as if they actually prefer a death by this cancer to a life free from it.

As with biologics there may be no cure, the disease may be too advanced. Ironically it is a true, viral pandemic that may offer some relief. Developer spinmeisters are already ramping up PR around how their high density, highly profitable residential developments will not actually be SARS-CoV-2 reservoirs as they will have a few open areas, some mini-parks. That is their pandemic-slayer. Does anyone really believe it?

Even those blessed with only minimal intelligence can see right through this. Developers have been given carte blanche when it comes to growth in Your Dunwoody, fueled by bad behavior of the city and its captive corps. But now it is no longer a matter of quality of life, it is a matter of actual life and death.

How much is your life worth? Ask a developer how much they stand to make. Better yet, ask council. They should know exactly who profits and by how much as they sell out Your Dunwoody.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Rise UP!

Finally we have someone who is standing up for residents and their children. Surprisingly, it is DeKalb County. Or, perhaps, it isn't so surprising that it is NOT the City of Dunwoody as in fact, they are the problem. Jeff Rader seems put out with cities, like Dunwoody, that are ripping off our county and our schools and is trying to put a stop to this legalized theft.

What has been happening is the spread of cities, which are by design hobbled by extremely weak public representation, are offering corporate welfare to developers by taking the property off the tax rolls using their Developer Authorities. This effectively starves your children's schools of much needed funding and exacerbates the problem by bringing high-density housing that crowds their classrooms, often with transient students. Making the odor of corruption even more repulsive these organizations are often paid by the developers (PILOT), with no money going to your schools. Instead the dollars are going to line the pockets of appointees, well connected, highly paid individuals who often show little or no concern for the residents of the city they exploit.

If they were trying to harm you and your children what would they do differently?

Monday, May 11, 2020

Failed State

A failed state is something we most commonly associate with a banana republic, some third world country over-run by crime and drug cartels. But a state can also be taken over by "legitimate" business, to the detriment of life and property of citizenry.

Such is the case in Dunwoody, but unlike third world countries where the state openly denies failure Dunwoody has done quite the opposite. In our case, the city has passed ordinances which in the past they simply neglected to enforce, easily explained away as "selective enforcement" as if the cause were insufficient resources. But now, a city employee using a city email account has officially declared that they are not and have no intention of enforcing ordinances affecting resident's quality of life.

Why? Damn. Good. Question. The email indicates it is "to show compassion and empathy during a time of uncertainty."

Parse that little nugget. Empathy? And how is it the city can "empathize?" Sympathize perhaps. And with whom, exactly, do they empathize? Well it sure is hell isn't you or Your Dunwoody. Turns out it is...wait for it...that's right...BUSINESSES! The folks this city really serves. Of course they have yet to receive an end date for this state of failure, nor have they indicated from whence this notification originates, no more than they've revealed by what extra-legal process this was instituted in the first place. Since they are blindly loyal to their business colleagues you can expect this failure to persist. Forever.

Now you may be thinking this is time for some open records requests. Sunshine to sanitize. But this is far too rotten for that. We have a government bureaucracy openly flaunting the law, refusing to fulfill mandated duties and ignoring duly and properly instituted ordinances. Drastic action is called for and it is now time to contact our state representative and senator. This failure emanated from under the gold dome and that is where it can be fixed. It is time to send the Dan & Fran Freak Show packing. It is time to demand that the state step up, take action and revoke the Dunwoody City Charter.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Coke Runner

Speeding In No-Truck Zone
While the top dogs in the Dunwoody PD have everyone patrolling social media there is no one addressing violations where YOU live. In Your Dunwoody. 

Monday, May 4, 2020

Magic Carpet

Try as they might there is no rug large enough to sweep some things under. They are going to need a magic carpet. The "they" in this case are the folks at the city and their captive corporations who got up to their eyeballs in the EWBOK kerfuffle they'd like to now see disappear. Sort of.

As they wound down the PR campaign waged thru local "news" outlets they pivoted to recovery mode with a YouTube video and a local podcast covering the Spruill Center and his twisted sister, Create Dunwoody, children of the Father City. These are excruciating and even those with a cast iron stomach should not attempt to get through them in one sitting lest they throw up in their mouth, just a little. Nonetheless there are nuggets to be mined here.

The video offers a level of uncomfortable juxtaposition and interplay not seen since Nixon and Kennedy. But we have a Six-Figure-Suit getting man-splained about how arts work and the intersection of the real world and the art world. Come to find out, Six-Figure-Suit had never seen past the immediate monetization of someone else's art to actually realize that the artist of that work had been promulgating it globally and has direct experience with over-saturation of his own work right here in Georgia. But that is what arts center leadership looks like in captive corporations.

The podcast is the typical pollyannish PR outlet pablum sporting the newly installed president of the [re]Create Dunwoody cap-corp. Sounding a bit like Carol Kane in Scrooged minus the moxie we find that the architect of the New Dunwoody, to replace Your Dunwoody, is a five year resident who is so in touch with the community that she had no idea that a nearby neighbor was a capable vocalist. Probably didn't know that Curtis Mayfield lived in Dunwoody and may never have even heard of Curtis Mayfield. But given a novice perspective armed with detachment and profound myopia is it any surprise she looks around Your Dunwoody and only sees blanks and empty spaces to be filled with her tchotchke-s?

These two ship dits collide in a Dunwoody-worthy fuster cluck with no skidmarks and only money as evidence of the impact. Towards the end of the podcast (do yourself a favour and skip the first two thirds) you'll hear Create Dunwoody brag of getting five grand to about seven "starving artists"--about $600-$700 per. Given they monetized someone's work without remuneration it would appear the policy is to create impoverished artists so they can "serve" impoverished artists. As if the starving artists community needs enlargement. And artists certainly don't need someone taking an enormous cut to move their own money around.

So what happened to the other tens of thousands of dollars bragged about in previous PR releases? For that you must go the the 8:15 to 9:00 mark in the YouTube video where Six-Figure-Suit defends his cap-corp with the assertion that they never took a dime from sales and everything went to support artists except direct costs. It would appear that "direct costs" are an overwhelming part of the operation and yet these have never been detailed nor made public. Perhaps this went to a sign maker. Perhaps a sign maker whose business it has been to litter Your Dunwoody with all manner of signage. Given these are the captive corporations of the city it would be most interesting to know if any recipients of sign contracts made any donations to city elected officials, before or after contract award, or to any of these cap-corps.

There is a name for this circuitous movement of money. It ain't "magic."