Thursday, March 30, 2023

How Is This Democratic?

As in small-d democratic? 

The Georgia General Assembly has passed a bill allowing DeKalb County to use SPLOST funds for purpose that were explicitly not part of the referendum when it was voted on and passed. How is that even legal/constitutional? 

So apparently we can be presented with a referendum, deem it worthy of support, vote, pass it and then have it changed without presenting these changes to the voters for their approval. It appears as if the original vote was either a trap, a charade or just a bait-and-switch. 

And they call this "democracy?" 

Monday, March 27, 2023

Grubb-ing For Bidness

An apartment developer (yep, that's his speciality) who had his bit to convert an office building to apartments is on the rampage. He now contends that unless he is allowed to build apartments in Dunwoody, Dunwoody is doomed. Outside of dubious cancer meds, do terroristic fear tactics really work to sell your product or service? Or is this just a last ditch effort to cash in on Dunwoody?

The argument is odd. Not that long ago an office building was so unused that he wanted to turn it into apartments but now, with all the office space around perimeter he contends there must be massive rental properties built for all the up and coming young professionals. And he is just the man to do it. But this doesn't seem to align with our new, post-pandemic reality. We learned that we can work very effectively when away from the office with some corporations (e.g., a major insurance company) finding that productivity (and hence profits) went up. Mentally ossified Boomers are already out the door and the millennials filling their places are managerial style that is less place-and-face centric. Getting work done away from the office is not going away. And this means two things: no commute; and no need for right-by-the-office living. Of course the latter never made sense for two-income households, something your average developer never addresses and it is why you haven't heard so much about live-work-play lately. 

What is also missing from this is a sense of history. Dunwoody (as in the City of) was sold to voters on a platform whose major plank was stopping the rampant development of apartments. Now one might look at High Street and conclude "promise made, made to be broken" but at least one of the current pols holding office was active in the sales pitch. Voters gave the thumbs-up because they had been convinced that as a city there would be significantly greater restriction on the imminent destruction of Dunwoody's character as a suburban edge-city. 

Let's see if our pols intend to keep the commitment. 

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Above The Law

In a normal place and time the last thing you would expect is police openly evading the law, in spirit and perhaps in fact. But this is Dunwoody where the ends justifies whatever means folks at city can think of. The logic, however, is convoluted:

“I think if we had to put the exact address, then we might as well stop trying to enforce human trafficking,” Grogan said. “If we started saying, ‘Okay, we made 15 arrests here at the Crowne Plaza today.’ Well, then, the Crowne Plaza could get bad publicity from that, and then say, ‘Hey, y'all, this is hurting our business. We're not gonna allow you to do this.’”

 Ponder that a bit...done? Okay, if you made 15 prostitution (they word-inflate to "human trafficking" but it IS prostitution) arrests at Crowne Plaza in one day, then that isn't a hotel, it is a brothel. And, maybe, just maybe, they, the pimps, the prostitutes and the hotel managers should be run out of town. Instead, Top Cop wants to molly coddle them. Why? In his own words because he fears if the Crowne gets upset they're "not gonna allow you to do this." What? Really? Top Cop says some hotel manager can keep his police force from enforcing the law. Wow. That is so incredible, so unbelievable that the only explanation for those words to ever float thru the air is that the speaker thinks anyone who hears it is an idiot.

Are we that stupid? Or, are we smart enough to vote in a mayor and council that will make the changes necessary to stop this madness?

Monday, March 20, 2023

Just Say No...

...and hope it sticks.

A recent Emory poll shows folks holding a very unfavorable view of the whole "City of Buckhead City" kerfuffle. In aggregate (Atlanta and within the Buckhead area) over 70% are against the proposed city. More telling is that with the Buckhead area well over 50%, a clear majority are against it. 

And yet it will come back again, like a cold sore. If there are any remaining investigative journalists it would be really nice to find out how this keeps happening. Who is behind this? What is driving it? How will these people benefit? How much money is at stake? Do those who will live in this city know that the city charter will place an army of bureaucrats between their vote and what happens in Buckhead? 

Ever vigilant.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Dead Cat Bounce

Since the days of the TRS-80 governments, especially public schools, have had a troubling relationship incorporating technology into anything they try to do. It isn't clear why, but to the outside, objective observer it appears they don't know what they're doing, they don't even know what they want to do. And they clearly do not know how to do it

And this is odd. Out in the real world technology has been used for over three decades to improve operational efficacy and offer stakeholders new features and improvements to existing services. Over that time systems have been installed, maintained, upgraded and replaced without the disastrous results we see in the DeKalb public school system. It is almost as if they are trying to fail. 

But all is not lost. One board member, leveraging the favorite technique of politicians, relativism, has hope:

“I’m looking forward to an even better report next year.”

Perhaps this member is sure it cannot get worse. Smart money would not underestimate this school system's ability to fail.

Monday, March 13, 2023


Another group is telling the PATH Foundation to pack up and leave taking their "paths" with them. Part of their argument is the obvious: a 12 foot wide interstate lane is an eyesore in a natural area. It is also an ecological disaster due to unavoidable runoff without even considering that concrete is one of the most carbon intensive construction materials available. If you were trying to harm the local ecology all the while contributing to climate change what would you do differently? Put in even more paths, that's what. And what happened to the war against impervious surfaces that was all the rage just a few years back? Was that resolved when they also saved Darfur? 

The Group Against Senseless Paths (GASP) may have an edge others lack: protected flora and fauna. Those things generally resonate strongly with the do-good community, but the forces behind paving all of paradise are far from do-gooders. And while it is very difficult to protect species on private property, protected, private wetlands suggest a precedent. 

The do-good community is extensive as in this case, perhaps to the surprise of some, it includes the cycling community. Their opposition is based firmly in experience and logic. Roads get you where you need to be and what cyclists need are bike lanes (in the right places) and road surfaces in good repair. Imagine hitting that pothole not in your SUV but with only a skinny tire, some stiff metal and a patch of leather between that hole and, well, yours. Roads are where they are to get folks where they need to be. Bike or car, it doesn't matter. 

The PATH Foundation seems to want impervious surfaces wherever they find a spot and whenever an opportunity arises. Certainly the immediate need in the community is to stop this sanctum bellum before the remaining nature and surrounding ecosystem is further destroyed. A stretch goal would be investigating the true power and motives behind this crusade. Since government is in cahoots this must be taken up by the Fourth Estate, if there are any journalists left. 

Thursday, March 9, 2023

We Are NOT Alone

Apparently we are not alone in not wanting to have our neighborhoods invaded by the Path Foundation. They are spreading their brand of stupid throughout the area and as it turns out there are quite a few folks who do NOT want an interstate freeway lane paved through their neighborhood. 

Who knew? 

Better question: who cares? We, in Dunwoody, can start with the easier question of "who doesn't care?" since we know the answer: everyone at city hall, that's who. We can only change a few of those and then the replacements will have to chip away at the rot starting at the head. 

Change cannot come soon enough.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Safe? For Now...

The Georgia Senate voted overwhelmingly against Senate Bill 114 which would have authorized a vote on City of Buckhead City (yes, they call it that) putting a stop to the city-hoods. For now. But they will be back as there is a lot of money behind this effort and a lot of money to be made by powerful interests should Buckhead split and form yet-another bureaucrat owned and operated sprawling government. If you read the bill, pay close attention pages 22-25 where it is clearly laid out that the elected officials have little to no influence over or impact upon what goes on in the City of Buckhead City. All power resides in the city manager, all employees report to the city manager and all interactions with business and developers are by way of the city manager and his minions. All these new established-in-a-hurry cities are cast from the same mold. 

If (more likely when) this comes around again and is placed before the voters as a referendum and should the voters approve, that will be the last meaningful vote they will be allowed to cast. 

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Drumming Up His Own Business


Joseph can start by removing HIS junk