Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Misguided lawsuit, Naiveté on the Council and 15-25 Million Dollar Sports Complex

In an attempt to get everyone ticked off at me (it has been a while) here are some quick observations on this first Monday of February 2013.
Let me first start with a comment that Councilman Shortal said last week at a city council meeting. I am way too tired to find the exact quote but if I can paraphrase it was something like

“You do not get an ethical city by having a strong ethics code, but by electing ethical people to office”
Noble thought and one that we all wish were true. Unfortunately the world is filled with “ethical people” who turn out to be the scum of the earth once elected. How many political leaders from both sides who had stellar reputations were later exposed be living a life that most people would find abhorrent.

Right here on our council we have a council person who everyone once believed was honest, truthful and level headed. We now know that that is not true in the least. The old adage is true; “you cannot tell a book by its cover”. Elect those people to office and the truth rears its ugly head (my goodness enough clichés).
The second observation from that city council meeting was to devise an ethics code that could not be used for political purposes. The statement came from the person who single handedly abused the current code for every political advantage they could.

The reality is that EVERYTHING you do as a councilmen, every decision your reach and every dollar you spend is political. Whether or not you vote a certain way to get re-elected or vote to prove you are a populist and vote following the public sentiment of the day, your actions are all political. You may not like the term, but you are now politicians and there is no makeup to cover that scarlet P and no cologne to cover the scent. It is not bad, but tough to hide. Even if you do not think your decisions are political, those who disagree with you will say they are.
Now we come to this weeks Court decision to lift the Temporary Restraining Order that was place against the City’s plans to construct a new pathway through Brook Run.

TROs are a way a group who is in opposition to a project can get a court to hear a case, before any construction takes place. Those filing will argue that they will suffer irreparable damage to their properties if the project moves forward. At that hearing they then have to convince the court that they  will suffer irreparable damages in order to completely stop the project.
Well that did not turn out very well for the neighbors.

While their engineer did not like the city’s hydro studies, they offered no proof that there would be damages. The city witness did a great job in clearly explaining what the minimal increase in water flow would be. When crossed by the neighborhood attorney, it was clear to me that that young lady was trying the wrong case. Not once did I hear damages mentioned and that was specifically what the judge said she wanted to hear.
I have been involved in about 10 of these cases and this by far was the worst presentation I have ever seen. Get your money back folks.

Now the city can build the Path. (There will be another useless lawsuit I am sure.)
And that brings me to the Red Shirt Petitioners demanding that the city revert to the original plans of an 8 foot path and spending less money.

WE are cutting down 280 trees or so, maybe less, so the cry is we are destroying the canopy. In a park with over 10,000 trees it is a miniscule number. The City is replanting so over the life of the trail, for the citizens of Dunwoody in the future, the canopy will be back. (But we seem to be all about the NOW)
"The path is too wide and should remain mulch paths 8 feet wide so we not disturb anything. "

The City is building them out of concrete so they will last past the first rain storm. If they are maintained, they should last generations; for our kids and grandkids. But the opponents of this trail are about now, not our future.

Finally, the opponents do not seem to care that the 8 foot mulch path is not ADA compliant. By NOT going to concrete, citizens with disabilities will not be able to use the path the City builds, Kids in wheelchairs, elders in the motorized scooters, my 87 year old mother who has difficulty walking on uneven surfaces and uses a cane will not be able to use the path. A new mother with a couple kids and strollers will be unable to use the path
It must be a nice sense of power to know that a terribly written one sided petition could EXCLUDE the Disabled and physically Challenged Citizens of Dunwoody from using the nature trails in Brook Run.

Dunwoody Denies the Disabled and ignores ADA requirements in city’s largest park.

This is not a headline I would be proud of in our new city. I guess some folks just came up with a new definition for “those people”
For me it is simple. If open access means we cut down 250 trees and replant and by doing so we open the path to ALL citizens of Dunwoody and our surrounding communities, it is a no brainer. Open the trail to everyone

You are on the wrong side of this one Danny.

I am hoping that the recent reports of a tennis center or even councilman John's suggestion of a convention center is a bit premature.

Hopefully both of these will be fully vetted before anything is even considered.

Lots of money  needs lots of planning and community buy in.

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