Friday, July 18, 2008

Dunwoody firsts

Who will be the first mayor?
First City Council?
First police officers?
First to answer the phone, "Hello, Dunwoody City Hall"?
First to get a speeding ticket issued by a Dunwoody officer?
First office staff?
First zoning inspector?
First city manager?

It's fun to speculate.

T and I were having our weekly Friday morning breakfast at Olde Hickory House and joined the buzz about the election, the coming campaign, who we think will run for mayor, council, etc., etc., etc. It was a tasty conversation, reminiscent of our early married days when we were regularly engaged in campaigning and civic roles in T's home town. I like the feeling of anticipation, framed by a very pragmatic understanding of just how challenging the next few years will be. Great choices will be made. So will great mistakes. Ultimately, it's up to us, the new citizens of Dunwoody, Georgia, to play an active role in shaping our new city.

Everyone is playing "what if" . . .

  • What if Dunwoody could become a truly walkable city, with sidewalks on every major road, adequate pedestrian crosswalks, and bike lanes?
  • What if Dunwoody became one of the first truly wireless communities, with every residence and business connected with City Hall, public services, schools, and each other?
  • What if Dunwoody created our own school district? Maybe then we could have a Labor Day to June schedule (okay, that's my pet peeve).
  • What if our recycling and regular garbage was picked up by an automated truck? We had this in Greensboro and it was fabulous. We paid a fee for two gigantic garbage bins, one for recycling and one for regular stuff. You rolled them out to the curb, recyling one day and regular stuff another, one guy in a garbage truck drove by, a robot arm swung out and picked up the can, dumped it, and returned it. Awesome.
  • What if we had a streetcleaning truck and crew that drove regularly through the city, keeping curbs and drains clear of debris? Maybe then our sewers wouldn't back up so regularly. On snow days, it would turn into our own snow mover.
  • What if our town meetings had the lively air of those in New England, where every speaks up on every issue?
  • What if the city office maintained a website and blog that functioned as an EFFECTIVE, interactive communications tool? (That means someone is maintaining it and the council is actually consulting it.)
There's more. So much more. Because wishes can become policy. It'll be fun to see our city grow over the next decade.

What if Dunwoody became so desirable a place to live that "for sale" signs never stayed up more than a few days?

Oh, yeah.

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