Author: Joe Earle

Sandy Springs approves bonds to replenish police fleet

By John Schaffner johnschaffner@reporternewspapers.net For the first time since the Sandy Springs Police Department was formed in January 2006, the city has approved a lease to replenish the fleet of police cars and to provide money for the purchase of 25 additional video units for the cars and for the purchase of E-Ticket software. Of the $1.5 million dollars in the lease package, which had been negotiated with Wells Fargo Bank at a 1.4 percent interest rate, approximately $800,000 is for the purchase of new police vehicles. The lease provides $128,000 for the purchase of the E-Ticket software to help police officers in electronically transmitting tickets on violations of all types to headquarters. The remaining will be used for the 35 additional video units for placement in the additional vehicles. Sandy Springs City Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny asked about the average life expectancy of a police vehicle, whether it is three or five years. City Manager John McDonough said that because council approved early on that police officers would be able to take the vehicles home with them, the city’s vehicles last longer than those in a program where they are in service 24 hours a day. He said the city expects a four-year lifespan for the vehicles. So, those vehicles purchased when the department was formed are at the end of that life expectancy. “This is our first...

Read More

No bike lanes in Dunwoody Club Drive repave plan

By Maggie Lee Dunwoody City Council has voted to repave its side of Dunwoody Club Drive ahead of schedule and abandon the fight for a bike lane. It’s not ideal, some council members said, but $70,000 of take-it-or-leave-it state money is too good to pass up. “With competitive bidding and LARP [Local Assistance Road Program] funding, it’s 60 percent of what we had budgeted,” Public Works Director Michael Smith told Dunwoody City Council. That means a city bill of $123,000 instead of $205,000. Those savings spurred the council to act to repave the road that forms a portion of the border between Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. “It may not be the road that most needs paving,” acknowledged Councilman Doug Thompson ahead of the 6-1 vote, “but I think the bargain’s out there, we should vote to approve this one.” In fact, the road isn’t on Dunwoody’s to-do list until 2011.  But then Sandy Springs appeared with $141,000 in LARP funding for the road. The LARP money must be spent in the 2010 calendar year. So, Dunwoody decided to go ahead and repave its side of the thoroughfare. But Councilman Robert Wittenstein left unconvinced because Dunwoody Club Drive is not the worst street in the city and shouldn’t have precedence for the city’s money. “I’m not convinced saving $70,000 on something we didn’t need is a savings.” But the group...

Read More

Flooding discussion draws 50 in Sandy Springs

By Jason Massad jasonmassad@reporternewspapers.net The rains may have subsided, but concerns of damaging floods and unchecked storm water runoff in several areas of Sandy Springs are at the forefront of the minds of many city residents. A “town hall” meeting at Epstein School drew more than 50 people Monday evening to hear what the city plans to do to alleviate what many consider to be a growing problem that damages homes and lowers property values. The meeting was called by Sandy Springs Councilman Chip Collins, who was flanked by the city’s lawyer, public works director and engineers. The city contingent attempted to quell an ongoing fear in the community that not enough is being accomplished to stem flooding problems in neighborhoods adjacent to Colewood Creek, Marsh Creek and Nancy Creek basins. Sandy Springs is approaching a legal standoff with Fulton County over responsibility for some of the worst storm water problems. Residents who attended the meeting were less concerned about the legal ins-and-outs of the intergovernmental conflict than they were about what to do about ongoing flooding problems in their back yards. Bill Cleveland, a resident of Whispering Pines, near Johnson Ferry and Abernathy roads, said that of the 160 homes around his area, about 50 are affected by flooding during heavy rains. In his yard, rains can create flooding that spreads for 30 feet before eventually filtering into...

Read More

Business panel to discuss ‘green’ trends, initiatives

By John Schaffner johnschaffner@reporternewspapers.net The Buckhead Business Association will host a panel of business experts discussing “Trends and Initiatives in Corporate Sustainability” during its quarterly luncheon on Oct. 21. The luncheon will be held at the 103 West special events facility. Jovita Moore, anchor at WSB-TV, will moderate the event, which is open to BBA members and guests.  Limited tickets are still available at www.buckheadbusiness.org. Panelists at the luncheon will be Todd Jarvis, president of Servidyne; Eric Taub, CEO of Verus Carbon Neutral, and Rachael Belew, public relations and communications manager of GREENGUARD Environmental Institute. “Corporate sustainability is of vital importance to businesses in today’s marketplace,” BBA president Heather Wright said. Those attending, Wright said, will hear “from business leaders who successfully implemented green initiatives without sacrificing their companies’ growth and profits.” The quarterly luncheon, sponsored by 103 West (www.103West.com) and Fifth-Third Bank (www.53.com) also features the BBA Public Safety Awards, honoring individuals with the Atlanta Police Zone 2 in Buckhead, Atlanta Fire Rescue and Fulton County Sheriff’s Department who have been recommended by their superiors. Limited seats to the event are available by calling the BBA at...

Read More

State attorney general says APS changes violate the board’s charter

By John Schaffner johnschaffner@reporternewspapers.net Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker has issued a non-binding opinion stating the election of new a board chair and vice chair of the Atlanta Board of Education and the policy change that made it happen violate the board’s charter. New board Chairman Khaatim Sherrer El said the board must discuss as a whole how it will respond to the opinion by the attorney general. The board could reverse the appointment of Sherrer El or do nothing at all. The board is scheduled to meet Oct. 18. If the majority of the board of education ignores the Oct. 7 opinion of the attorney general, the dispute may end up in a courtroom. “In the end, state law either supports the concept of majority rule or it doesn’t,” Sherrer El said in an e-mail. Five members of the nine-member board of education voted to change board procedures and elect a new chair and vice chair in September. In addition to Sherrer El, the five members included Yolanda Johnson, Buckhead representative Nancy Meister, Courtney English and Brenda Muhammad. But the attorney general said the actions by the five board members in electing a new chair, Sherrer El, and vice chair, Johnson, to replace  LaChandra Butler Burks and Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, leaves the current leadership and entire board presently in limbo. The five-person majority relied on an opinion from the...

Read More
Subscribe to our daily & weekly emails with community news

Subscribe to our daily & weekly emails with community news

You have Successfully Subscribed!