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DECEMBER 14-31, 2018 • VOL. 12 — NO. 25

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Buckhead Reporter

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► Highway toll lanes plan draws more anxiety, and some envy PAGE 4 ► Looking into 2019’s political crystal ball PAGE 10

City funding shortfalls threaten trail, road projects

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

PHOTO BY PHIL MOSIER

Livable Buckhead staff members Scott Cantrell, left, and Kip Dunlap stroll on a future segment of the PATH400 multiuse trail along Ga. 400 during a Nov. 30 tour of the construction site led by Denise Starling, the nonprofit’s executive director. The overall PATH400 project may lose $11.7 million in funding due to city funding shortfalls, Starling said.

OUT & ABOUT Bring on the holidays with ‘Candlelight Nights’

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Q&A Joe Gransden, the jazz man around town Page 18

Page 16

I believe that when our airwaves are filled with holiday music, we are all bolstered with a little jolt of brotherhood. ROBIN’S NEST

See COMMENTARY, page 13 SIGN UP TO RECEIVE DAILY & WEEKLY EMAILS WITH LOCAL NEWS @ REPORTERNEWSPAPERS.NET/SIGNUP

The PATH400 trail and three significant road improvements are among the Buckhead projects that could be jeopardized by unexpected funding shortfalls — to the tune of roughly $410 million — in the Renew Atlanta and TSPLOST programs. The city is starting up a process to prioritize such projects, including via an online survey available through Dec. 31 at renewatlantabond.com/prioritization. Meanwhile, officials with Livable Buckhead and the Buckhead ComSee CITY on page 23

Two senior complexes plan major expansions BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Two of Buckhead’s biggest senior residential complexes aim to get even bigger along their section of Peachtree Road near the Brookhaven border. Canterbury Court and Lenbrook currently have hundreds of residents living in their respective tower complexes, which face each other across Peachtree between Club Drive and Kingsboro Road. Lenbrook’s $100 million expansion is already approved by the city and See TWO on page 22


2 | Community

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Community Briefs L I N D BER G H CEN TER MI X ED - US E R EM AK E GETS A Z ON I N G B OOST

MARTA’s desire for mixed-use, transit-oriented development around Lindbergh Center Station is close to getting a long-sought zoning designation that could make the vision easier to achieve. That’s significant as negotiations continue on a major apartment, hotel and retail project on Piedmont Road. NPU-B on Dec. 4 approved including Lindbergh Center in the Special Public Interest District 15 zoning, which currently applies to the other side of Piedmont, replacing a previous designation that allows more traditional, and often car-centric, commercial uses, among other factors. Nearly 20 years ago, Lindbergh Center was planned as MARTA’s first transit-oriented development, but ended up more mall-like. At the same time, it was left out of SPI-15, though with the understanding it would one day be included. Now MARTA is trying to do better mixed-use at Lindbergh, where the transit agency is also headquartered. The owners of a vacant Shoney’s restaurant at 2450 Piedmont earlier this year won a bid from MARTA for two neighboring parcels and are proposing the large mixed-use project. A MARTA spokesperson said that talks

about that project continue and that the transit agency has not put any other parcels out to bid yet. The SPI-15 zoning, which still needs city approval, would give “better teeth” to mixed-use zoning intent, city planner Tshaka Warren told the NPU.

BUC SHU TTLE CO U LD BEC O M E O N-D EM AND ‘MICR O TR ANSIT’

The Buc Shuttle that serves business district commuters could become on-demand “microtransit” in a kind of van-meets-Uber approach, according to a consultant studying the service’s future. Operated under the supervision of Livable Buckhead since 2003, the shuttle is currently a small bus that provides commuter service to MARTA stations on two routes: Buckhead Station to Piedmont Center, and Lenox Station to Lenox Park. Its service has been cut back in recent years and consultant Joel Mann is now reviewing options for its future. At the Nov. 28 meeting of the Buckhead Community Improvement District board, Mann previewed the status of his ongoing study. It’s leaning towards fare-free, subsidized “microtransit” serving a zone rather than a route. Riders would use some type of app to call for the service. Such vehicles

are in service in such cities as Tampa, Fla., he said, though not operating at commuter-service scale. A big question is who the future shuttle is intended to serve, he said: commuters going to transit stations; home-to-office commuters; general neighborhood connections; or any combo of the three.

B U CKHEAD CID TO GI V E $50K TO HO M ELESSN ES S PR O G R AM

The Buckhead Community Improvement District will contribute $50,000 in seed money to a major program aimed at solving chronic homelessness in the city. HomeFirst Atlanta, a joint effort of the city and the United Way’s Regional Commission on Homelessness, aims to raise $50 million and leverage even more funds for a variety of tactics to provide housing and otherwise reduce chronic homelessness. At the BCID’s Nov. 28 board meeting, member Thad Ellis of Cousins Properties said he and Executive Director Jim Durrett recently met with Jack Hardin, an Atlanta businessman well-known for his work on homeless assistance. Ellis said they learned that overall homelessness in Atlanta is decreasing, but chronic homeless is an increasing problem.

Durrett said Hardin’s pitch for HomeFirst is that homelessness cannot be eliminated, because someone will always fall on hard times, but the goal is to “make it shortterm, limited and not re-occurring.” Buckhead’s own homeless population is not known with certainty, though several people often can be seen sleeping on the sidewalks of Peachtree Road. Ellis said, “It’s in the dozens, not hundreds.” Ellis said that the lack of a reliable count of people experiencing homelessness is one problem with programs, and that HomeFirst intends to do a better census as part of providing outreach services. Durrett said the $50,000, provided over two years, is similar to funds being provided by Downtown and Midtown CIDs. Board member Robin Suggs, who manages the Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza malls, questioned the use of funds from the self-taxing business district, which generally exists to improve traffic, public safety and aesthetics. “I’m very supportive of the homeless issue, but does this fall into the purview of the CID?” she asked. BCID attorney Lynn Rainey said he believes it is, under a bylaws clause that allows spending on anything with the effect of “encouraging development of the district.” The underlying idea is that having fewer homeless people visible on the streets would be good for business.

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DECEMBER 14-31, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 3

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The Gift of Music

Positive Aging Icon Beverly “Guitar” Watkins keeps on playing for others BY JOE EARLE joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

The way Beverly “Guitar” Watkins tells it, her association with the musical instrument that’s become a part of her name goes back to the 1940s. She was a young girl then, living with her grandparents in a farming community outside Commerce, Ga. Watkins had been born in 1939 in Atlanta, a “Grady baby,” but after the death of her mother when Beverly was about 8, her grandparents took her in and “raised me down in the country.” Her grandfather, like many of his neighbors, was a sharecropper. Beverly walked to school and remembers that the family hitched the “Sunday horse” to a wagon to go to church. “Everywhere my granddad would go, I’d go with him,” she said. “He’d go rabbit hunting, I’d be right there with him. Fishing. … I was like a tomboy because I was around my granddaddy all the time.” Most of their neighbors kept some kind of musical instrument in their homes, whether a guitar or a fiddle or an old upright piano, and played for their own entertainment, she said. The community held dances. “Back then, we’d call it a ‘barn dance.’ We call it a party now,” she said. Her grandfather played banjo. When Beverly was about 9, one of her aunts gave her a guitar for Christmas. Beverly learned some songs, mostly country songs, she said. She returned to Atlanta as a teenager and lived with her aunt. Watkins enrolled in high school and learned to play trumpet and to play guitar as part of a band. Her training paid off. She’s made a long career of playing blues and rhythm-andblues in metro Atlanta, has toured internationally, recorded a CD and been honored as a “Georgia Music Legend” by the Atlanta Blues Society. And, at age 79, she’s still playing. On Nov. 18, during a ceremony at the Atlanta History Center, Watkins was named the 2018 recipient of the Positive Aging Icon Award from LeadingAge Georgia, an association of not-for-profit organizations focused on providing housing, healthcare and community-based services for seniors. She is the seventh recipient of the award. Past honorees have included former Atlanta mayors Andrew Young and Sam Massell, 1968 Olympian Dr. Mel Pender and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and retired Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz. “Ms. Watkins’ talent, longevity and spirit is a shining example of positive aging. She sets the stage for others by showing that age doesn’t have to slow you down or keep you from doing what you love … and providing joy to others,” Jacquelyn Thornton, senior vice president of LeadingAge Georgia, said in a press release announcing the award. Local honorees at the ceremony includBH

ed Bradley Currey Jr. of Canterbury Court and Michael Halpern of Lenbrook. Watkins’ electric guitar playing has made her a fixture on the Atlanta blues

no Red” Perryman in several of his bands, playing with him on records including his hit, “Right String, But the Wrong Yo-Yo.” One Perryman-led band she played in was called Dr. Feelgood and the Interns and the Nurse. Watkins says she was “The Nurse” in the group, which wore medicalthemed clothing onstage. “I didn’t wear the shoes,” she said. “I wore the nurse’s suit, and the hat, but I wouldn’t wear those ugly shoes.” Over the JOE EARLE Beverly “Guitar” Watkins plays at home. decades, Watkins has scene. She joined her first band while she played in a string of different bands. She was in high school, she said, and played in played for tips at Underground Atlanta clubs around town. In the late 1950s and during the entertainment district’s heyday the 1960s, she performed with Willie “Piaand, in 1999, recorded her first CD, titled

“Back in Business.” And, as she likes to say, “things rock on” with her music. She still appears in clubs and now performs at senior centers, too. She said she also regularly performs gospel music in churches on Sunday mornings. One rainy afternoon in November, Watkins showed a group at Clairmont Oaks, a senior residence in Decatur, that at 79, she’s still rolling along. Accompanied by drummer Arthur Johnson, she sang and played a string of familiar blues and rhythm-andblues tunes during a luncheon marking the center director’s retirement. “We’re going to party, y’all,” Watkins told the crowd as she kicked off a set of songs that ranged from “Summertime” to “You Send Me” to “Rock Me, Baby.” As Watkins played, Clairmont Oaks resident Gloria Monroe-Drummond clapped along and danced in her seat. “I think she’s great. I love it,” Monroe-Drummond said. “I love the music and she’s a senior. That’s making it even better.” Watkins says she has no plans to slow down any time soon. Playing guitar is her gift, she said. “It’s a gift from God,” she said. “This is my gift and I’m giving it back to the community. And I enjoy what I do. It’s hard, but God, he’s always there. I want to keep doing it until he says, ‘Well done, my child.’ It keeps me going. It’s something to look forward to. Maybe I’ll be playing in the heavenly band someday.”

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MAKE THE HOLIDAYS

BRIGHT

Highway toll lanes plan draws more anxiety, and some envy BY JOHN RUCH AND EVELYN ANDREWS The state’s plan to build massive toll lanes along I-285 and Ga. 400 continues to raise anxiety about local impacts, most recently from Fulton County Schools over possible land-taking. But in the world of transportation advocacy, the plan is drawing some envy, too – especially for using toll prices that vary with driver demand and for including a bus rapid transit line on Ga. 400. “Honestly, if you had BRT running on dynamically priced roads with real stations … Atlanta will be a national model,” says Chris Dempsey, the director of the Bostonbased advocacy coalition Transportation for Massachusetts. “People from Boston will be coming to Atlanta to say, ‘Teach us about transit,’ which is probably not what people from Atlanta are used to.” But before that happens over the next decade or so, the state must figure out how the “express lanes” will fit into neighborhoods. The early concepts have already rattled some officials in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs for possible land-taking and the idea of putting the lanes on ramps towering CHRIS DEMPSEY 30 feet or higher over neighborhoods and DIRECTOR plugging into new interchanges onto such TRANSPORTATION FOR local streets as Mount Vernon Highway. MASSACHUSETTS Fulton County Schools is the latest institution to voice concerns following a private Oct. 22 presentation from the Georgia Department of Transportation that showed possible toll-lane land-taking at Sandy Springs facilities, including a playground at Woodland Elementary and parking spaces at the district’s own headquarters on Powers Ferry Road. “It’s … concerning information that we want our schools and community to be aware of,” Superintendent Jeff Rose said at a Nov. 6 Board of Education work session. GDOT says that its toll lane plans are in the early concept stage and will change over time. In the case of the Fulton schools, GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale said, the property-takings were rough estimates done to fulfill a federal environmental study requirement. “The info we showed to them is all subject to change,” Dale said. “Based on the conversations, we are already looking at changes that may avoid some of the schools altogether.” So far, GDOT has held no general public meetings about the toll lanes, saying the concepts are not ready enough. However, GDOT has met off-and-on privately with “stakeholders,” such as the school system and the city of Sandy Springs, for over a year to get feedback on some details. GDOT also says it will meet with any local organization, such as a homeowners association, but it does not proactively notify residents who might be affected. The public meetings are finally coming in 2019. The Ga. 400 toll lane meetings will begin in the “first quarter” of the year, Dale said, and the I-285 toll lane meetings later in the year. The presentations will include concepts and alternatives, including a “no-build” option, Dale said. The public will not be presented with a done deal, she said. “There is still the flexibility,” Dale said. “We are not going to go to the public with a concrete, [set] in stone” version of the plan.

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The toll lanes are part of a metro-wide network GDOT is gradually building. One section, called the Northwest Corridor Express Lanes, opened earlier this year along I-75 and I-575. The intent is to allow drivers to speed through congested highways on entirely separate lanes in exchange for paying a toll whose rate varies based on demand — a system called “dynamic pricing” or “variable tolling.” GDOT is currently rebuilding the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange to improve traffic flow and safety. The toll lanes are a separate project that would add even more lanes — four


DECEMBER 14-31, 2018

Community | 5

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on each highway — in construction that could take a decade. The Ga. 400 toll lanes are tentatively slated to come first, with a construction start in 2021 and opening in 2024. They would run between I-285 — or possibly a bit farther south at the Medical Center area — and Alpharetta’s McFarland Parkway. The lanes are also intended to carry a new bus rapid transit route operated by MARTA, which would work similar to a streetcar line, with large buses at platform-like stops. That involves building bus stations and interchanges at sites to be determined. On I-285, the toll lanes would run between I-75 in Cobb County and I-85’s Spaghetti Junction, with other segments to the east and west extending near I-20. Construction could start in 2022 and opening could come in 2028. The Northwest Corridor lanes are getting good reviews from drivers, according to media reports. That has caught the attention of Dempsey, the transportation advocate in Massachusetts, which doesn’t have the dynamic tolling system. He’s been sharing the Georgia stories on social media. As a former assistant secretary of transportation in his state’s government, and now director of a 70-plus-member transportation coalition, Dempsey has spent a lot of time thinking about how to deal with ever-growing traffic congestion. Dynamic tolling fits right in, he says, with the modern road-planning mantra that “we shouldn’t be building more lanes. Let’s manage the lanes we have better.” The idea is that letting some drivers pay to avoid congestion will reduce that congestion for everyone, and brings in revenue from a highway system that is currently heavily subsidized by everyone’s taxes. While toll lanes have some unfairness — they’re more affordable to wealthier drivers — Dempsey says some states use the money to subsidize tolls for lower-income drivers and to pay for public transit. And putting BRT on the Ga. 400 toll lanes would make commuting life better for everyone, he says, noting similar models have worked in such cities as Los Angeles. “You should be rooting for it,” he said. At the same time, Dempsey said, it’s important for communities to ask questions about local impacts like traffic and pollution. And he had his own question about GDOT’s specific model, going back to that mantra about managing lanes rather than expanding them. The current trend, Dempsey said, is to first place tolls on existing lanes, then see whether there is truly a demand-related need to add more lanes and “eminent domain and take people’s back yards — and that’s the right approach.”

Reporter Newspapers to change format, delivery in January Starting in January 2019, the print edition of the Reporter will move from biweekly to monthly, transforming into a bigger, two-section newspaper. At the same time, the four Reporter community editions will arrive by mail direct to local homes, while still being available for pick-up at many local businesses. “We think the larger, direct-mailed Reporter will better serve our readers in both convenience and content,” said publisher Steve Levene, who is also the founder of parent company Springs Publishing LLC. “These changes are also designed to better position the printed publications in a digital media environment.” In the past year, the Reporter group has accelerated efforts to turn the ReporterNewspapers.net website into a daily news source for Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. The new frequency and format are intended to complement the digital platform. “The new print edition will aim to help readers understand the big picture of those daily stories, and give some more breathing room to stories about the people and culture that make our communities great,” said Managing Editor John Ruch. “However, one thing won’t change: Our writers will still be at government meetings, community celebrations and the scene of breaking news, which are still at the core of our award-winning coverage of our communities.” Reporter Newspapers, a 60,000-circulation community newspaper group, was started in 2007 by Springs Publishing LLC. The parent company also publishes Atlanta INtown and Atlanta Senior Life.

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Time flies when you’re having fun.

And the past decade has been a blast. Happy 10th Anniversary, Dunwoody.

Learn more at discoverdunwoody.com


DECEMBER 14-31, 2018

Community | 7

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Dunwoody marks a decade of cityhood BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

At midnight on April 1, 2009, dozens of people gathered in the parking lot at 41 Perimeter Center East to witness officers with the Dunwoody Police Department drive out on their first patrols of the newly formed city. Blue lights flashed and sirens wailed as the local residents cheered. “I’ll never forget it,” Ken Wright said of that night. “The sights and sounds and excitement were incredible.” Wright stood with the crowd that night as Dunwoody’s founding mayor. Just four months prior, on Dec. 1, 2008, nearly 82 percent of voters went to the polls and voted “yes” to create their own city. Wright and a team of volunteers and other council members quickly took on the job of forming a city from scratch, from hiring a police chief and police officers to awarding bids for management services to signing the lease for City Hall. “I’m proud of the foundation we poured for Dunwoody and future leaders,” Wright said. “There were a lot of tough decisions, tough conversations, as we tried to make the right decisions on behalf of our community.” Dunwoody’s path to cityhood and creating a new government was not an easy one. State lawmakers and DeKalb County officials at the time, led by the controversial and colorful CEO Vernon Jones, successfully fought off the cityhood efforts by Citizens for Dunwoody and Yes Dunwoody organizations for three years. Opponents to Dunwoody argued the majority black DeKalb County would lose a sizable chunk of its tax base if the wealthy, mostly white community of some 35,000 people in north DeKalb broke off to form its own city and government. The loss in tax dollars would result in reduced services for the more than 700,000 county residents, they argued. Cityhood proponents claimed their tax dollars were being wasted by a county government mired in controversy and scandal, including the CEO being accused of illegally using campaign funds in 2005 to promote passage of a $95 million parks bond referendum. Desire for more local control of zoning, better police service and more infrastructure improvements, such as paving, were among the driving forces to create Dunwoody, said state Sen. Fran Millar. “The number one thing was to get the services we were not getting,” Millar said. “It was not about race.” Millar was in the state House at the time and assisted former state Sen. Dan Weber in getting the legislation to incorporate Dunwoody approved in the General Assembly. “Dan Weber was the guiding force. It was his vision,” Millar said. “Vernon [Jones] made it easy, but Dan deserves the credit.” Wright said he was also inspired by

Eva Galambos, the founding mayor of Sandy Springs, to take up the fight to create Dunwoody. When he was president of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association and “she was trying to get pigs to fly” in neighboring Sandy Springs, Wright said Galambos would often attend DHA’s annual meeting to give updates about the lengthy legislative battle to put the city of Sandy Springs to a vote. The “when pigs fly” reference is popular in Sandy Springs lore as a comment former state Sen. Vincent Fort supposedly said about the chances of Sandy Springs becoming its own city. Sandy Springs was finally approved in 2005, becoming the first city to split from Fulton County control. Their success spurred Dunwoody to follow suit and after three years of tough battles, Dunwoody became the first city to separate from DeKalb County in 2008. “We were the first to break the mold,” Wright said. “It was a firefight for two to three years.”

The next 10 years

It was apparent Millar was still stinging from his loss to Democrat Sally Harrell in the November election as he talked about the city’s changes over the past 10 years. A Dunwoody resident for nearly 40 years who represented the city at the General Assembly for 20 years, he only won the city by a few points. People living in single-family dwellings were the backbone of the cityhood movement starting in 2005, Millar said. But single-family homeowners no longer dominate the city’s population of 50,000, and more and more residents are living in multifamily housing, he said. “And you see changing demographics, obviously,” Millar said. “It’s a different Dunwoody going forward. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing,” he added. Current Mayor Denis Shortal was on Dunwoody’s inaugural City Council and said the mission of the city today is the same as it was 10 years ago. “To continue the enhancements of quality of life for our citizens,” he said. “The emphasis is to make sure all citizens know they are important. And the whole key is

Above right, Mayor Denis Shortal and Bev Wingate, who both worked to create Dunwoody 10 years ago, cut a birthday cake at a small ceremony Dec. 10 at City Hall. (City of Dunwoody) Top left, state Sen. Fran Millar. Bottom left, Ken Wright, Dunwoody’s first mayor. (Special)

to keep in perspective the finances we have. “The spirit of citizens that live here … they feel things are better, that’s my feeling,” Shortal added. Major developments on the horizon in Perimeter Center will shape Dunwoody into the next decade, Wright said. The massive High Street mixed-use development, approved by DeKalb County a year before Dunwoody incorporated, is set to break ground next year. The development is expected to have 1,500 apartments and 1,500 condominiums as well as a hotel, a new office tower and retail space spanning 10 city blocks and 8 million square feet. Grubb Properties’ planned redevelopment of Perimeter Center East, where the former City Hall is located and where the Dunwoody Police Department’s officers rolled out on their first patrols on April 1, 2009, includes 900 condominiums and a new office tower. “The evolution of our business center brings with it a lot of new expenses, a lot of new potential police, strains on our infrastructure … things that go along with growth that the council will have to deal with,” Wright said. Millar said that Perimeter Center will always be the city’s, and the region’s, economic engine. But the residential neighborhoods and communities surrounding the business center will remain the heart and soul of the city for years to come, he

said. “The bulk of our residents continue to see Dunwoody as a bedroom community,” he said. “We don’t consider ourselves an urban nexus. “But much of Dunwoody is new and fresh and young people new and fresh,” he added. “That’s fine. You go with the flow and see what people want. That’s the world we live in.” The bitter battle between Dunwoody and DeKalb County that raged a decade ago has mostly subsided, Millar said. He noted his work with DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond to get a special local option sales tax and a freeze on property taxes approved. “The relationships are pretty good, much better than the previous regimes,” Millar said. Wright, who lost a bruising battle with Democrat Mike Wilensky for the state House seat once held by Tom Taylor, said he believes it is important for current local leaders to make sure national political attitudes don’t impact local policy and elections. “The political divide 10 years ago was not as harsh as it is today,” Wright said. “Keeping that divide away from our local governments — I hope that can be maintained. It’s nothing but harmful.”


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10 | Commentary

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Commentary / Looking into 2019’s political crystal ball As 2018 wraps up and a new year looms, we asked a dozen local newsmakers to peek into their crystal balls and see what’s ahead. Here’s are their thoughts on 2018 and their ideas for what’s to come in 2019.

ularly having to do with traffic and transportation … think MARTA! We will also benefit from the coalition’s relationship with City Hall to be selected for the futuristic Smart Cities Program, bringing “Buck Rogers”-type innovations into play.

Sandy Springs City Councilmember Chris Burnett

Dunwoody City Councilmember Pam Tallmadge

In 2018, our city, state and nation continued to enjoy the benefits of a strong economy and while I expect some slowdown in 2019, I remain optimistic that Sandy Springs and metro Atlanta will continue to thrive, given the significant desirability of our region. Locally, through top-quality performances and culturally intriguing programs, we will position City Springs and the Byers Theatre as the premier destination for our citizens to gather as a cohesive community. Transportation needs are always a crucial initiative and transportation-sales-taxfunded road projects will continue in earnest in 2019. Next year, we also expect to formalize a strategic plan to economically stimulate the northern end of Sandy Springs with a focus on affordable housing for empty nesters and for the first responders, teachers, medical and service personnel that are crucial to our community. Finally, we will continue work on infrastructure improvements, such as road paving, sidewalk installation and park and greenspace projects, to further enhance our quality of life and we are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the city of Atlanta to improve the reliability and cost of our water system. 2019 will be another busy year for Sandy Springs and I am personally excited about what the future holds for our great city.

Brookhaven City Councilmember Linley Jones

2018 was a banner year for the city of Brookhaven! Years of public input and effort paid off as voters went to the polls and approved a park bond that will fund top-notch parks throughout our city. 2019 promises to be equally exciting as Brookhaven undertakes these major park improvements along with significant projects from the Ashford-Dunwoody Corridor study, including a constantlyflowing right turn lane from Ashford-Dunwoody Road southbound onto Peachtree Road. These projects will, of course, incorporate the sidewalks and paths that are assured to provide us all with great connectivity and mobility in the years ahead. The city is also preparing to break ground and start construction on the Peachtree Creek Greenway, the beltline path that will one day connect our city to paths throughout the metro area. These projects and many more promise to make 2019 yet another banner year for the city of Brookhaven!

Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell

As the Buckhead Coalition celebrates its 30th anniversary, we must confess use of the wellknown adage, ‘build it and they will come,’ for that’s exactly what we urged when organizing in 1988 … and it happened. Described back then as a sleepy bedroom community, Buckhead caught the attention of some of the country’s leading developers satisfying the hunger for such an address. We went through the need for office space that provided millions of square feet, a phenomenon that scared the inexperienced, and economically dampened some of the plans. But, following the downtimes described by some as recessions, we came out of it with even those at the end of the cycle renting up to 90 percent capacity. More recently, we experienced the boom in rental apartment construction, which has increased our inventory some 150 percent in the last seven years. This expansion has been satisfied, so we’ve moved on to the next phase, that of hotel and specialty space (such as assisted living, self-storage, medical). What’s next for Buckhead? Probably more of the same. The community is so successful, our attention is turned to governmental partnerships. This is coming into being with all levels -- city, county, state, federal – finally showing interest in infrastructure, partic-

Parks: I look forward to the new amphitheater at Brook Run Park. This facility will be an outdoor venue to revitalize music, drama and dance programming; it is an outdoor focal point for all our citizens’ activities. I stand by the Dunwoody Nature Center and Donaldson Bannister House building projects, educational programs and events. I will continue to support Spruill and Stage Door Players in talks of expansion and design. I cannot wait to see the new Perimeter East Park designed, developed and finished. Trail Connectivity: There is a grand plan to have all the city connected by multi-modal trails. The key deliverables are: the Peachtree-Dunwoody Road Pathway provides interconnection from the Hammond Drive area northward to major employers such as Cox Communications. The Ashford-Dunwoody Road Pathway, along the Perimeter Mall frontage, connects the Dunwoody MARTA station with numerous office developments on the east side of Ashford-Dunwoody Road to restaurants and shops to the north of Perimeter Center West. In the pipeline is connectivity from Georgetown to Perimeter Center East. Village Overlay: I believe it is crucial that the village has a makeover. My dream is added greenspace, less asphalt and walkable entrances. My wish for 2019 is for everyone to get involved somewhere, somehow. Join a committee or club … the list is endless.

Fulton County Commissioner Lee Morris

Property taxes will continue to be a major issue in 2019. While many appealed sharp increases in 2018 and will therefore not see increases in 2019, property values will continue to increase in many neighborhoods. New voter-approved homestead exemptions will apply in 2019, providing relief to many: the so-called “floating homestead exemptions” for the city portion of our bills within Atlanta and for Fulton County Schools’ portion within Sandy Springs; the increase in basic homestead exemption for Atlanta Public Schools’ portion within Atlanta; and the new $50,000 senior exemption for the county portion. The General Assembly may look for other ways to provide relief, especially for seniors struggling to stay in their homes. We will continue in 2019 to shine transparency on issues that tend to shift burdens from commercial owners to homeowners, including Tax Allocation Districts, possible commercial property undervaluation, and tax abatements provided by development authorities.

DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader

DeKalb will be focused on delivering on the promise of Special Local Option Sales Tax-financed infrastructure improvements, now that the program is at last underway. The negotiation of a new EMS transport contract will test our ability to integrate the DeKalb Fire Department’s first-responder role with the full spectrum of medical transport responsibilities of a third party contractor, to deliver consistent high coverage and affordability Countywide. The unknown prospects for more municipalization will challenge the sustainability of service delivery strategies, as the uneven distribution of tax base and service demand across DeKalb complicates maintenance of uniform service levels. Continued investment in the water/sewer system will increase pressure for a rate increase, so DeKalb must meet the demand of new customers to offset our system rehab costs. Finally, our growing reserves must be maintained, but a property tax cut should soon become a priority. BH


DECEMBER 14-31, 2018

Commentary | 11

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State Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs)

As we begin a new legislative session in January, I believe one of the most important decisions we will make is to help choose and appropriate the funds for a new election system. We must have integrity in our elections. Transit will also be an important topic as we begin implementing House Bill 930 from last session that creates the new Atlanta Region Transit Link Authority or “ATL” for the 13-county metropolitan region. The recommendations of the Senate School Safety Study Committee will also be a significant topic this session, and I hope will result in significant safety improvements for all students in Georgia.

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State Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell)

I am confident 2019 will be another great year for Georgia. My communities of North Fulton and Cherokee County are consistently ranked as the best places to live, work, raise a family, enjoy public safety, etc. This is a testament to the hard work by our first responders, educators, elected officials, business owners and citizens. Continuing to build upon our strong conservative foundation will allow our communities and state to thrive. My prediction for 2019 is a renewed kindness and professionalism to rise from the ashes of rhetoric. As the No. 1 place to do business for the past six years, Georgia will continue this trend by allowing people to fulfill the American Dream. We are truly blessed and should all recognize the abundance by serving others joyfully and more often.

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This is going to be an interesting session under the Gold Dome. With so many new faces and perspectives, not to mention a new governor, 18-TR-0041-1030-1 Bakery #: 41 there will be a lot of uncertainty about which issues the leadership will Trim: 4.75” X 3.875” Sandy Springs choose to tackle this year. Clearly, we need to focus on what we all promBleed: n/a Print ised we would do and strengthen our public schools. 18-TR-0041-1030-1 Bakery #: 41 Governor-elect Kemp promised to raise teacher pay and I am all on Trim: 4.75” X 3.875” Sandy Springs board, but it will take a coalition of both Republicans and Democrats to Bleed: n/a Print get it done. There is, of course, plenty more work to be done to determine (at the corner of Ashford-Dunwoody Rd. in Brookhaven) how the state can better equip our teachers and students with the resources they need to succeed. I am also hopeful we will truly expand access to healthcare and continue the good work Hours: 11am to 10:30pm of late on transit. These are all priorities for which I will be advocating, and I am ready to get to work.

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State Rep.-elect Mike Wilensky (D-Dunwoody)

This session will be unique. For the first time in 20 years we have a new governor and lieutenant governor starting in the same year. We have over 30 new state representatives and about six new state senators. Also, because of the Super Bowl, this session will finish later than normal, likely ending sometime in April. With all these changes, we must prioritize Georgia businesses and stay away from legislation that discriminates. We must make sure our local public schools retain their current funding and work to increase funding through adjusting outdated legislation. Creating sensible gun laws that prioritize the safety of our children and families is crucial. Advancing our voting system technology must also be a top priority. Last, with the creation of the ATL board, we must continue what has been started and prioritize transit both financially and through proper planning and construction.

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State Rep.-elect Josh McLaurin (D-Sandy Springs)

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We’re a nation suffering from division. Many of us have felt firsthand how painful this division can be in our families and communities. But we’ve also woken up to the reality that we must engage with our neighbors more and in better ways if we want to have a healthy democracy. We can’t hide behind our computer screens and nurse anger at each other and expect to see change. Thankfully, so many people have begun to participate in civic life these last few years by voting, meeting their neighbors, and joining civic organizations. In my view, this renewed engagement is our only hope for a brighter future for our children.

Kevin Abel, former Congressional candidate and Sandy Springs resident

The Sandy Springs North End Revitalization Task Force has spent the last year struggling with how to revitalize the northern stretch of our city, including the question of affordable housing. As they approach the end of their study period and make their recommendations to the Sandy Springs City Council, no consensus has been reached. Developers and some wealthier citizens would like to see low-rent apartments give way to higher-end housing and retail. Advocates for affordable housing would like to see improvements to existing developments and a recognition that the city must accommodate all of its citizens and workers, not just the upper end of the economic spectrum. In order to be the progressive city of the future that we citizens of Sandy Springs aspire to be, we must ensure housing options exist for the full economic spectrum. Those who work in our hospitals, restaurants, schools and other local businesses deserve no less. BH

WRITTEN BY COLIN ESCOTT &

FLOYD MUTRUX

DECEMBER 14, 2018 - JANUARY 12, 2019 At the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University

4484 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30319

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12 | Commentary

Being a Santa for everyone is more than a job

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Around Town

Joe Earle is editor-at-large at Reporter Newspapers and has lived in metro Atlanta for over 30 years. He can be reached at joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

As Santa Rick sees it, putting on the red suit “It’s not about anything other than the and the white beard and ho-ho-ho-ing your children, and innocence, and believing in way through the holidays isn’t just a job. It’s the best the world has to offer. That’s really much more than that. what Santa is about to me.” “It’s the most amazing thing you’ll ever exRosenthal, who held various kinds of jobs perience,” Santa Rick said, “And it makes you through his life, decided to embody Santa as a better person. ... It changes you, and it’s the a career after his dad died in 2011. He was biggest responsibility you’ll ever have because close to his father (“I had the best dad in the it touches everybody. It’s not a job.” world,” he says.) and, following tradition, Santa Rick — the name Rick Rosenthal puts didn’t shave after his dad died, he said. His on his business cards and website (SantaRick. beard grew in white. He kept it for months. com) and the name people called him as the One day when he was shopping in a north DeKalb resident chatted over lunch of Home Depot store, he realized a young boy matzo ball soup at a Toco Hills deli one recent was watching him from another aisle. The afternoon — has been the living embodiment boy appeared awestruck. Rosenthal suddenof Santa for years. ly realized the boy thought the man with the He’s Santa all the time. At age 66, he apbushy white beard must be Santa. pears as the holiday spirit at parties and events “He was staring right at me like a deer in year-round at such places as Children’s Healththe headlights,” Santa Rick said. “I walked care of Atlanta;, spreads holiday cheer on TV, over to him … and said, ‘Don’t tell anybody at baseball games and photo shoots; and even you saw Santa in Home Depot buying tools operates his own school to teach others how to for the elves.’ The kid just froze. I knew what properly portray Santa. he was thinking. I said, ‘That’s it. I’m Santa.’ “It’s important people realize what a big reI knew it was a sign.” sponsibility being Santa is,” Santa Rick said. Through the years, Santa Rick has devel“He’s different from anybody in the world. He oped rules for portraying Santa. He’s welldoesn’t live forever, but your grandparents dressed and well-kempt. “Santa is very regal knew him and sat on his knee, too.” and pristine,” Santa Rick said. And he has plenty to say about Santa. For And, of course, he’s a good listener. “Peoone thing, Rosenthal, an Orthodox Jew himple will tell you things they won’t tell your self, argues Santa isn’t just a Christian symbol. spouses, good and bad stuff,” he said. “PeoSanta Rick obviously has thought this through. ple are very open and raw, actually, and they When he starts talking about Santa, his words trust you 100 percent because you’re Sanrush out in a tumble. ta. I can’t tell you how it feels to have peo“Santa is different from Saint Nicholas,” ple unconditionally love you because you’re PHIL MOSIER he said. “There are two camps in Santa World. Santa. You’re that guy.” Santa Rick in his holiday best. One camp thinks Santa is a religious figure There are only a few things, Santa Rick and he should tell everybody the reason for the said, that he absolutely would refuse to do season. Another camp, that I happen to belong to, says that Santa is a toymaker and as Santa — serve divorce papers, for instance, or hand out dismissal notices when that he should provide hope, love and inspiration … employers are firing people. But the people who would ask Santa to do those kind of “Santa is a toymaker. That’s who he is. He loves you and he wants the best for evthings surely belong on his “naughty list” anyway. “I wouldn’t do that because I’m erybody. He wants the best for you. … It doesn’t have anything to do with a specific Santa and Santa wouldn’t do that. religion. ... Santa, he gets around. He’ll visit people of all religions. … “Santa is very real,” Santa Rick said. “Give him a chance, you’ll know it.”

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DECEMBER 14-31, 2018

Canned or classic, Christmas tunes give a jolt of brotherhood For one season a year, whether we like it or not, we’re all living to the same soundtrack. There might be a million and one different versions of “Deck the Halls” and every conceivable malefemale duo trying a hand at “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” but we’re all hearing essentially the same 20 tunes, played over and over again. Stores evRobin Conte lives with erywhere been her husband in an emp- have hammerty nest in Dunwoody. To ing us with contact her or to buy her canned new column collection, carols for “The Best of the Nest,” months in see robinconte.com. an attempt to ramp us all up into the holiday gift-buying spirit. But after a few weeks of the pounding, it backfires. After all, there are only so many times you can hear Andy Williams belting out “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” without going full-on bah-humbug. And it’s a shame, really, because there are, in fact, wonderful images and recollections wrapped up in the holiday tunes. Songs evoke memories. And the songs of December might evoke the clearest memories of any. I grew up on the Kingston Trio’s “Last Month of the Year” album, and I truly became weepy-eyed when I recently found that album again on Spotify. When I was young, my siblings and I used to bounce around the living room of our split-level house while the Trio sang a rollicking rendition of the title track: “You got July, August, Sep-tember, October anda November. Was the twenty-fifth day of December, was the last month of the year!” Hearing that song again allowed me to reach out and touch those memories as if I were dusting off a yellow-edged photograph. Even though the tinned tunes of commerce are grating, our personal collections are soothing. Our own melodies conjure images of firesides and sleigh rides, of comfort and joy, of family gatherings and holiday feasts. Once I escape the blaring of the malls, I slip into my own Christmas music like a comfy robe. That’s because my home is a risk-free music zone. In my house, no grandma of mine or anyone else has ever got run over by a reindeer, and Wham will never sing about Last Christmas. Jingle Bells will not be barked, meowed or quacked, and the only Madonna allowed in is not singing to “Santa, Baby.” Instead, I cozy up to the warmth of Rosemary Clooney crooning “White Christmas” and de-stress to the strains

Robin’s Nest

BH

Commentary | 13

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of the Vince Guaraldi Trio playing the soundtrack from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I have some collections that are unique enough to escape constant replays at the malls and thus remain untainted: the hammer dulcimer album discovered at a grocery store in north Georgia, the Christmas with Reindeer jazz duo that sounds like a classy cocktail hour, the German albums our family obtained while living overseas. As I push “play” each December, it’s like hearing the voice of a dear friend who visits for a few months each year. These tunes ground me and keep me centered. I’ll be rushing to buy or wrap, decorate or bake, when my playlist rolls to “Some children see Him almond-eyed.” So, I stop and smile. The music transforms my bustling about into a kind of prayer. The “Still, Still, Stills,” the “Silent Nights,” the “O Come, Emmanuels” transport me to a place where Christmas is truly still, where Christmas Eve is sacred, where Advent is spent in reverent anticipation. And though I think that we can agree that they start it way too early (and in spite of the fact that while we’re pushing a cart through Target, Jimmy Boyd is bound to see mama kissing Santa Claus), I believe that when our airwaves are filled with holiday music, we are all bolstered with a little jolt of brotherhood.

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14 | Community

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BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

2018 began and ended with political change in Buckhead, from new Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ call for unity to the re-emergence of her former rival, local resident Mary Norwood. Big changes to such local institutions as the Bobby Jones Golf Course and Phipps Plaza mall were stories of the year, as were crime and a host of neighborhood issues that may linger into the new year.

ATL A N TA U NI TY

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms made “One Atlanta” the theme of her new administration’s first year after a bruising, razor-thin victory over Buckhead-based rival Mary Norwood in campaigns that raised tensions about race and class. Bottoms kicked off the messaging in January with her first major post-win speech, given to the Buckhead Coalition at a luncheon themed “Atlanta Together,” where guests received a glass sculpture of a handshake. The coalition and Buckhead Christian Ministry also got 15 houses of worship to join in a common prayer for city unity. But in Buckhead, rumblings about a pos-

sible secession movement continued as a similar effort in Stockbridge went to the ballot and failed.

N ORWO O D IS O U T AND BACK IN

Mary Norwood also made her first postelection speech in Buckhead, with remarks about unequal distribution of city services and south Atlanta taxpayers that Bottoms’ administration blasted as divisive. After that, Norwood spent most of the year off the public stage. Late in the year, she re-emerged, calling for a new Buckhead subway line and accepting a possible nomination for chair of the Fulton County Board of Elections. Expect 2019 to be the year of her political comeback effort.

BO B B Y J O NES GOL F CO U R SE D EB U TS

The historic Bobby Jones Golf Course debuted a $23 million makeover in November after years of planning and debate. The course, which dates to 1932, now has an unusual reversible nine-hole configuration, and features a new driving range and

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youth golf area. A large clubhouse with a golf hall of fame and a bar and grill is coming in 2019. Before the opening, the foundation operating the course agreed to save and plant trees to fend off a conservation group’s legal action, and still faces a lawsuit from neighbors unhappy with tree loss, traffic and other impacts.

CR IM E R AISES FEA R S

Crime unsettled the neighborhood in forms ranging from gas station pursesnatchings to at least six shooting homicides. Especially jarring was July’s fatal shooting of a wedding guest at the Capital City Club, with four teens facing murder charges. That case drew a large crowd to attend a Buckhead meeting with prosecutors and led to talk of reforming a system of private probation. Prosecutors blamed much of the crime on drug gangs.

B ELTLINE AND CLIFTO N CO R R ID O R CO NNECT IO NS INCH CLO SER

The main Atlanta BeltLine began heading to Buckhead with early planning meetings for the “Northeast Trail,” which would run between Monroe Drive and Lindbergh Center. And MARTA approved a sales-tax spending plan that would help to bring public transit trains along the BeltLine and on the new Clifton Corridor line between Lindbergh and Emory University — though other funding has to be found first.

B IG CHANG ES FOR PHIPPS PLAZA

At Phipps Plaza mall, a Belk department store is out and a massive new expansion is going up, including a Nobu hotel and restaurant and a 12-story office building. Legendary actor Robert De Niro, a partner in Nobu, attended an October groundbreaking. A new fire station within the mall’s parking structure is part of the deal.

PAR TY M ANSIO N R AISES D ISPU TE

Nightclub-style parties at a palatial mansion on Garmon Road — once home to music star Kenny Rogers — sparked neighborhood controversy, as the city struggled

to find ways to crack down on the onlinebased rentals. The surprise appearance at a community meeting of a woman claiming to be a new owner and pledging an end to events only added to the confusion.

WHIT E NAT I O NA L I S T DR AWS G O O D- NEI G HB O R DEBAT E

A white nationalist’s ownership of a house in Buckhead’s Peachtree Hills was criticized by the far-left group Atlanta Antifascists, leaving the local neighborhood association divided on how to respond. One of its board members, Donna Lorenz, said she was asked to resign after unsuccessfully pushing for the association to issue a pro-diversity statement. Sam Dickson, the homeowner and white nationalist advocate, joined the association and criticized the Antifa group as “dangerous.”

DA R L I NG T O N TENA NTS A R E EV I C TED

Residents of the historic Darlington apartment building at 2025 Peachtree Road faced mass eviction in August following the building’s purchase by a controversial developer. The mass displacement led to concerns about the loss of affordably priced housing for Buckhead’s working class and was an example of issues raised in an affordable housing study underway by Livable Buckhead and the Buckhead Community Improvement District.

P O L I TI C A L WI NDS S HI FT HO US E S EAT S

Shifting political winds that turned some suburban districts Democratic blue in the midterm election flipped a couple of Buckhead state House seats as well. Beth Beskin, the two-term Republican incumbent in House District 54, was knocked out of office by Democrat Betsy Holland. And Democrat Erick Allen will replace retiring Republican incumbent Rich Golick in House District 40. Incumbent Jen Jordan, a Democrat, held onto her Senate District 6 seat, and Rep. Deb Silcox, a Republican, won the right to stay in her House District 52 seat.

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DECEMBER 14-31, 2018

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Brookhaven breaks ground on Greenway; to help pay for local bridge

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Construction of the “model mile” of the Peachtree Creek Greenway in Brookhaven is now underway with plans to complete the first link of the planned 12-mile regional trail within nine months. Brookhaven officials are also set to invest $200,000 in a future bridge in Buckhead to ensure the Greenway connects to the Atlanta BeltLine. A ceremonial groundbreaking of the first 1.2-mile section of the Greenway between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road was held Dec. 12. Officials from Atlanta, Chamblee, Doraville, DeKalb County as well as state lawmakers and federal officials were on hand for the ceremony held on a portion of the 19-acre Briarwood Road property the city purchased for a future trailhead. The dream of the Peachtree Creek Greenway has been around for nearly 20 years when it was included in a DeKalb County multiuse trail master plan. But work to make the trail a reality ramped up after Brookhaven was incorporated in 2012. Once considered a linear park, the Greenway has evolved over the years to become part of a regional trail plan for all of metro Atlanta. The Greenway master plan includes a 12-mile multiuse trail connecting Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville, Mercer University in unincorporated DeKalb County and eventually the Atlanta BeltLine. Those are the “A, B, C, D’s” of the Greenway, Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst said at the Dec. 12 groundbreaking event. To ensure the Greenway connects to the BeltLine, the Brookhaven City Council last month approved a resolution to invest $200,000 on a “confluence bridge” that would be at least 10-feet wide designed by the South Fork Conservancy. The bridge is planned to be constructed north of I-85 and between Piedmont Road and Lindbergh Drive, where PATH400, the BeltLine and Greenway meet, at an expected cost of $2.38 million. The Buckhead Community Improvement District earlier this year approved $200,000 to fund widening the bridge that was originally expected to be 8-feet wide. But as more trails connect to the bridge to get to the BeltLine, the BCID, Brookhaven

and the South Fork Conservancy want the bridge to be at least 10-feet wide to handle the expected foot and bike traffic. Brookhaven’s funding of the bridge is dependent on the city of Atlanta’s support of the completion of the Peachtree Creek Greenway from the Brookhaven city line to the planned Buford Spring Connector to the bridge, said Greenway Project Manager Patty Hansen. “This is a trail of regional significance and this is a critical gap [between Brookhaven and Buford Spring Connector],” she said. “We feel positive with the cooperation of groups working on this that we can move forward.” But if Atlanta does not step in to help fund that link to the bridge, the city would not invest $200,000 in the bridge, she added. “There’s no reason to help with the bridge if we can’t get there,” she said.

ATLANTA INTOWN 6065 ROSWELL ROAD, SUITE SANDY SPRINGS, 225 GA 30328

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

outdoors P.20

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All you want. More than you expect. Join us at our next Kingsboro at Lenbrook Preview Event Call 404-476-7526 kingsboroatlenbrook.org


16 | Art & Entertainment

H IGH

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HIGH MUSEUM OF ART ATLANTA | HIGH.ORG

Enjoy free admission and special programs on the second Sunday of each month.

BROOKHAVEN

BUCKHEAD

DUNWOODY

SANDY SPRINGS

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS MOUNT VERNON CHRISTMAS ARTS SHOWCASE

Monday, Dec. 17, 6:30 p.m. Mount Vernon Presbyterian School presents a family friendly celebration of Christmas featuring choirs, bands, dance troupes, string ensembles and actors aged 8 to 19. $9$19. Byers Theatre, Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City

Springs, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: citysprings.com.

Designed for little kids, big kids, and the whole family, Second Sundays are for everyone. Visit us each month and experience new interactive, innovative family activities inspired by our collections and ever-changing exhibitions. Second Sundays are sponsored by the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.

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Schedule an appointment or complimentary cosmetic consultation today!

CANDLELIGHT NIGHTS AT THE ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER

Friday, Dec. 21, 5:30-9:30 p.m. The gardens and grounds of the Atlanta History Center will be decorated and illuminated by candlelight, with a holiday market filled with local crafts and exhibits of holiday traditions from the pioneer days, the Civil War era and the 1930s in three historic houses. Santa visit, improv comedy show, storytelling and musical performances. $20 adults; $15 members; $10 children. Food available for purchase; cash bars. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.

NEW YEAR CELEBRATION

Saturday, Jan. 5, 1-2 p.m. The Dunwoody Nature Center holds a bowl burning ceremony, where written statements are burned as a way to move on. Enjoy s’mores around the fireplace. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

PERFORMANCES “MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET”

drbrentmurphy.com | 404-480-4008 | 755 Mount Vernon Highway NE

Ongoing through Saturday, Jan. 12 Georgia Ensemble Theatre remounts its 2017 show, the Tony Award-winning musical, “Million Dollar Quartet,” at Oglethorpe University. Based on true events, the show was inspired by the recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. Tickets start at $40. Senior/student discounts available. Conant Performing Arts Center, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Schedule and more info: get.org or 770-641-1260.


DECEMBER 14-31, 2018

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

GET ACTIVE FLASHLIGHT FRIDAY NIGHT URBAN HIKE & MOVIE

Ongoing Fridays through Dec. 28, 8:30-9:30 p.m. Bring your flashlight and join the Heritage Sandy Springs Outdoors Club for a 3-mile hike through scenic areas of Sandy Springs. The walk starts and ends at the Sandy Springs Cinema & Taphouse, where an optional movie begins at 9:30 p.m. The walk is free. Movie admission is $11.50 for adults and payable at the cinema. Advance registration is highly recommended. 5920 Roswell Road, Suite C-103, Sandy Springs. Info: facebook.com/groups/hssoutdoorsclub.

KIDS AND FAMILIES FRIENDS OF BROOKHAVEN LIBRARY BOOK SALE

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Shop at the monthly book sale held downstairs in the Brookhaven Library. All proceeds benefit the Friends of Brookhaven Library. 1242 North Druid Hills Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: dekalblibrary.org.

FAMILY FUN DAY

Tuesday, Dec. 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta offers a day of inflatables, movies, sports, swimming, crafts and JCC Maccabi Games. Community service projects will also be offered, in partnership with The Packaged Good. Free. MJCCA-Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Registration: atlantajcc.org.

LEARN SOMETHING ATLANTA WORLD WAR II ROUNDTABLE

Thursday, Dec 20, 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Atlanta World War II Roundtable will hold a luncheon meeting featuring the topic “The Athletes in WW2.” Future meetings are held monthly on third Thursdays. Military speakers are featured at each meeting. $20 individual; $35 couple. Dunwoody United Methodist Church, 1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. RSVP requested: atlantawwiiroundtable.com or 770-457-4409.

SCANDINAVIAN WEAVING

Saturday, Dec. 22, 2-3 p.m. Weaving instructor Elaine Bradley teaches the traditional Scandinavian craft of weaving a snowflake or star which can be displayed as a table favor, hung from a ribbon, filled with mistletoe or attached to a gift package. Supplies will be provided. For adults. Free. Funded by Friends of the Dunwoody Library. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: dekalblibrary.org.

I GOT A NEW DEVICE, HELP!

Thursday, Dec. 27, 11 a.m. to noon Take your new phone, tablet or laptop and your questions about them to the Brookhaven Library which says it can help you get them up and running. For adults. 1242 North Druid Hills Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: dekalblibrary.org.

MARIST EVENING SERIES

Mondays, Jan. 14, Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, 7-9 p.m. Marist School presents three evenings of courses for adults taught by the school’s faculty and staff. Course topics include religion and spirituality, art history, ceramics, photography, college planning, history and culture, poetry, self-discovery, and more. $95 (by Jan. 5); $110 (after Jan. 5) Marist School, 3790 Ashford-Dunwoody Road N.E., Brookhaven. Register: marist.com/eveningseries. Onsite registration will be available Jan. 14 from 6-7 p.m. in Marist’s Whitehead Cafeteria.

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Art & Entertainment | 17


18 | Art & Entertainment

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CHASTAIN-SANDY SPRINGS OFFICE Q&A L I S T I N G S A C R O S S AT L A N TA

YOU COULD BE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Joe Gransden, the jazz man around town

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On any given night, Joe Gransden draws a crowd. The musician figures he plays more than 340 gigs a year throughout metro Atlanta, the Southeast and in New York and California. On Nov. 29, Gransden played at the White House tree-lighting in D.C. The trumpet virtuoso, singer and bandleader is a name in jazz and big-band music, and he has a passion to make the music and to share it with established and up-andcoming musicians, including through a jazz camp. At 46, Gransden has made a name for himself and his 16-piece band. He also has a trio, quartet and even a sextet. He has released 14 albums, the latest in April. Called “Go Getta,” it features award-winning saxophonist Kenny G. Gransden counts among his fans Clint Eastwood, the legendary filmmaker, musician and jazz aficionado. “Joe is a young man with an old soul and a classic voice,” reads a quote attributed to Eastwood on Gransden’s website. “He is a great new talent with a wonderful sense of humor to boot. And don’t forget, he plays a hell of a trumpet!” The Joe Gransden Big Band plays twice a month at Café 290 in Sandy Springs, where the band has played for nine years for a fervent following, and Wednesdays at the restaurant Valenza in Brookhaven. Gransden’s packed holiday schedule includes New Year’s Eve performances at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and with singer Francine Reed. For more information, visit joegransden.com. The Reporter recently caught up with Gransden on his busy touring schedule and

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DECEMBER 14-31, 2018

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Art & Entertainment | 19

asked him about his life in music.

Q: You were known as a trumpet player and did not sing in the earlier days of your career. What led you to become a vocalist?

A: Singing was not on my performance radar. I considered myself a trumpet player, but survival came into play. About 20 years ago, I had a trio — piano, bass and trumpet — and we played twice a week at a now-closed Italian restaurant in Midtown. We earned $50 and a plate of the house special per night. One night the manager told me that he really liked our music, but wanted a singer, so he was thinking of looking for another band. My on-the-spot response was that I could sing. And I found out I could. The next show, I sang, and everyone seemed to like it. Tips got better, too. Q: Where did you get your inspiration to sing? A: I guess I always sang, but never thought of performing as a vocalist. I fell in love

with the trumpet listening to my grandfather play when I was a kid. He gave me my first horn. Music is in my DNA, so I guess it was inevitable. My grandfather, William Gransden, was a freelance top trumpeter and played with many of the big bands of the 1930s and ’40s. My dad, Bob Gransden, is a piano man and a singer. He is still going strong and plays four or five gigs a week.

Q: Since your dad is a vocalist, did he help you when you added singing to your performances? A: My dad gave me a lot of pointers. Among the most important, he said, “Be true to the song. In other words, don’t mess with it.” And, “Let the song tell the story.”

Q: You formed your big band in 2009. What prompted you to take that plunge? A: When I was 20, I was in my second year studying trumpet at State University of

New York in Fredonia, New York and I got a call to audition for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. I got the job and left school to join the orchestra. It was life-changing. I was the youngest guy in the band, and for a year we traveled all over the U.S., Europe and South America. I remember sitting on a stage in Europe with that band. I loved the sound, the music and the bond with the musicians. I thought, “Someday, I am going to have a band like this.” The popularity of big bands comes and goes over the years. I had been going back and forth between New York City and Atlanta. I had ties to Atlanta having gone to Georgia State and my parents had moved to Roswell. I moved to Atlanta after 9/11. In 2009, it seemed the time was right. I had been playing with all the top guys over the years and I called them to ask them to join my band. They are an incredible group. Big band is enjoying another run of popularity. People are dancing more and the club scene is strong in Atlanta and New York. While we play mostly in Atlanta, we are likely going back this summer to the popular Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City.

Q: You became friends with Clint Eastwood after a friend suggested sending your CDs to him and other celebrities. What created a bond between you?

A: We hit it off right away over golf, jazz and music. He loves music and plays both the trumpet and piano. And he has lots of great tales to tell about my heroes, like Miles Davis, Chet Baker, [Frank] Sinatra and others. We enjoy hanging out together over a couple beers. He has invited me many times over the years to play at parties, and we get together when he is filming in Atlanta. I visit his set sometimes and he pops into Café 290 when my band and I are playing. It has helped my career a lot. I’ve met his friends and they have hired me. He is a real fan of mine. He introduced me to Kenny G and suggested we play together. Our first duet was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” We wrote and recorded an album together, “Close to My Heart,” and he is featured on my latest album, “Go Getta.”

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Our assisted living is accredited for two reasons. You. And your family. Because having the confidence and peace of mind of accreditation is important. That’s why The Piedmont at Buckhead is accredited by CARF International, an independent organization that sets exceedingly high standards for care and service. It’s a lot like an accreditation for a hospital or college. Or a five-star rating for a hotel. So if you’re looking for assisted living services, take a good look at The Piedmont. We think you’ll find that our CARF accreditation is only one of the many reasons you’ll like what you see. Please join us for a complimentary lunch and tour. Call 404.381.1743 to schedule.

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20 | Education

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DeKalb Schools’ redistricting plan gains residents’ support BY EVELYN ANDREWS

gether, residents said. “One of the previous options carved out a portion of the neighborhood. I appreciate that this plan is keeping Ashford Park together,” Residents largely approved of the revised another said. Brookhaven school redistricting plan presented The changes would allow the district to remove at a recent public meeting, saying it better keeps 17 “portable classrooms,” or trailers, which one together key neighborhoods and would successresident said is a “huge pro.” fully address overcrowding at some schools. Others said the district seems to have worked “They listened from the last meeting,” one resout a better way to address traffic patterns. ident said. “I’m really pleasantly surprised.” “It seems to be more efficient with how far peoThe Nov. 27 meeting was the final public input ple have to travel up and down Clairmont Road session for the DeKalb County School District’s and Buford Highway,” a resident said. “It seems to redistricting process to fill the new John Robert minimize that as much as possible.” Lewis Elementary and relieve overcrowding at Under this plan, Lewis Elementary would be at Brookhaven schools. The plan presented would 94 percent capacity, which one resident said may move 607 students to different schools. mean the redistricting “doesn’t go far enough.” Lewis Elementary has over 500 open seats, vaDan Drake, the district’s interim chief operating cancies that the school district hopes to use to officer, said that the district needs that buffer to curb overcrowding at nearby schools in the Cross ensure it doesn’t go over capacity and need portaKeys cluster. Named for the congressman and ble classrooms. civil rights leader, the school is currently operatNearby middle and high schools are also mildly ing in a temporary location on North Druid Hills affected. Eight students would move from ChamRoad and will open in a new building on Skyland blee Middle to Sequoyah Middle. Fourteen would Drive in August 2019. move from Chamblee High to Cross Keys High. Most redistricting changes in the staff-recomThese moves would keep each student moving mended plan would move students to Lewis Elefrom elementary to high school in the set feeder mentary, except for 62 students that would move patterns, Drake said. from Briar Vista to Woodward and three from These changes would slightly increase the Fernbank to Montclair. Moving to Lewis Elemenutilization of Sequoyah Middle and Cross Keys tary would be 22 students from Ashford Park, 93 High, which are both over capacity. However, new from Montclair, 210 from Fernbank and 195 from schools are in the pipeline to address their overWoodward. crowding. DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT The school district has held two prior meetStudents who would move and are rising into A map shows the DeKalb County School District’s redistricting plan. ings, gathering input and presenting two options the final grade at each school would be able to stay residents generally liked. But some questioned with no transportation provided, the district said. the methodology behind some choices and expressed concern about longer travel disSince the middle school and high school changes would increase the overcrowding, tances and splitting up neighborhoods. one resident said that keeping every student on the exact feeder pattern may not be necThe single staff-recommended plan came out of that feedback and was presented at essary and the district should take a second look at that practice. the final public meeting. The superintendent will now adjust the plan based on further inHe said the district should be better at communicating how new schools would alleviput and submit it to the school board for approval, scheduled for February 2019. ate that problem. New schools in the pipeline include a new Cross Keys High and convertThe public can still provide input through an online survey and at future school board ing the current high school to a middle school. meetings. Nothing is in the pipeline for Ashford Park Elementary, which would still be over caThe redistricting changes would go into effect when the school year begins and Lewis pacity by more than 100 students, but Drake said it is likely to become part of the Cross Elementary opens in the fall of 2019. Keys cluster once the new middle and high schools open. The school is currently part of The main points of the plan were presented by Hans Williams, the district’s director of the Chamblee cluster. planning, before the residents split off into breakout sessions to provide feedback, which Addressing overcrowding at Dresden Elementary, which is also part of the Cross Keys was generally positive. cluster, will come in 2019, ahead of the opening of Cross Keys North Elementary, a workThe plan would completely relieve Montclair and Woodward overcrowding, and parting name. ly alleviate Ashford Park Elementary. Dresden Elementary is not addressed in this plan. For more information, visit dekalbschools.org/redistricting. “I think they achieved the number one goal, which is addressing the overcrowding,” one resident said in a breakout session. Residents were supportive of the revised plan keeping more neighborhoods together. Chunks of neighborhoods that would move seem to be more unified instead of pieced toevelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Education Briefs

‘ B LACK PANTHER ’ ARTI S T V I S I TS S A NDY S P R I NG S S C HO O L

Marist Evening Series Captivating courses taught by Marist School faculty and staff. Classes in religion and spirituality; art history; ceramics; photography; college planning; history and culture; poetry; self-discovery; and more.

Mondays: Jan 14, Jan 28, & Feb 4, 2019

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Classes Filling Quickly!

An artist who did illustrations for major works such as a spin-off comic for Marvel’s “Black Panther” series visited Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Sandy Springs to mentor students. During a three-day visit in December, Afua Richardson, who has done illustrations for other Marvel comics and for U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ upcoming graphic novel, provided advice to middle school art students on their graphic novel projects, a school press release said.

ST. M AR TI N’S HEA D R EC O G NI ZED FO R INC R EA S I NG DIV ER S I TY

St. Martin’s Episcopal School’s Head of School Dr. Luis Ottley was recognized by the diocese for increasing diversity at the school. Ottley was awarded the Bishop’s Cross at the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta’s annual council meeting in November for his work advancing the diocesan mission to “draw the circle wider,” according to a press release from the Brookhaven school. In his two years at the school, Ottley has hired a director of diversity and inclusion and more people of color as faculty and staff, enhanced the multicultural education committee, diversified the board and increased the diversity of the student body, the release said.


DECEMBER 14-31, 2018

Classifieds | 21

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Home Services Directory

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

HELP WANTED

Winter Clean-up Special

Curriculum Director for Chinese Studies - Chinese Cultural School, Inc. seeks Curriculum Director for Chinese Studies to plan and evaluate Chinese studies curriculums and programs for adults and children Chinese education; format policies and educational goals; direct and develop curriculum materials for Chinese classes and associated activities; implement and direct educational planning, teaching methods and coordinating the activities; direct and couch teachers on class preparations, teaching materials, methods and other cultural activities. Min. Bachelor degree or its foreign equivalent degree in Foreign Language plus 2 years of exp. in teaching Chinese language. Send resume to 3737 Brock Road, Bldg. 100, Duluth, GA 30096. Attn: Chinese Cultural School

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Arlington Memorial Park – Three lots for sale in the Calvary Section located in lot 276D, spaces 2, 3 & 4. Asking $5,900 each or $17,000 for all. Beautiful views and the most desirable section. Cemetery will assist in showing. Email: mrmccabe@hotmail.com Two beautiful plots - Discounted, Overlooks the Lake and beneath Oak tree. Arlington Memorial Park – 770-596-1093.

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22 | Community

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Two senior complexes plan major expansions

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may start construction in mid-2020. Canterbury Court is still in talks with Historic Brookhaven neighbors concerned about local impacts. The two facilities are independently operated, but have a similar model as not-for-profit “Life Plan Communities.” That’s an industry term for complexes that offer regular homes for active seniors as well as assisted living, medical care and other resources that they may need as they age. “The reason why we’re both doing this is, the Atlanta market is far underserved for this type of Life Plan Community,” says James Wells, the CEO at Canterbury Court, adding that the expansions are about meeting needs, not keeping up with competition. “It isn’t like one’s going to be a winner and one’s going to be a loser,” he said. Wells said he and Lenbrook CEO Christopher Keysor once worked together and are aware of each other’s plans. Depending on timelines and approvals, it’s possible that the two facilities could coordinate some construction and street improvements, such as a mutual traffic light on Peachtree.

Meanwhile, Lenbrook is already preparing its expansion onto a 4-acre site along Kingsboro Road in Ridgedale Park, where the facility bought a small apartment and five single-family houses. For Lenbrook, which opened in 1983, it means adding 53 residences for a total of 480, as well as 119 more parking spaces. The project is big enough to have its own name, Kingsboro at Lenbrook. It will include “The Flats,” a five-story building with 39 residential units, and “The Villas,” three buildings containing the rest of the units. An opening is expected in early 2022. “We already offer beautiful, vibrant design and outdoor areas on our existing Lenbrook campus, and Kingsboro at Lenbrook will further enhance that look and add even more usable green space,” said Keysor, Lenbrook’s CEO, in a press release. “In addition, this project will positively impact the residents and community by providing safe access to Peachtree Road, preserving the look and feel of the surrounding neighborhood, and protecting the views of our residents.”

Canterbury Court dates to 1965 and opened its current nine-to-10-story towers in 1991 and 2005. Wells said it needs to modernize medical uses, such as a clinic, and wants to add about 136 residential units to the current 188. But before that can happen, Canterbury Court has more talking to do with neighbors. On Dec. 6, it sought a 30-day deferral from the city Zoning Review Board for more discussion. “It’s a nightmare for privacy, our home values, safety of our children, air quality [and] the fact that we will no longer have sun in our yards,” said Maggie Patton, one of the neighbors on Club Drive, about the plans, which would add new towers of roughly sev-

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en and 10 stories. She said the plan could be “likened to the pulling of a loose thread that can unravel and set a precedent for any forthcoming developments seeking to change zoning regulations around Historic Brookhaven.” “Some things we’re in agreement on, and some things we’re still debating,” Wells said of the neighbors, adding that Canterbury Court officials are listening and likely will reach an agreement. Wells said he understands that building heights and setbacks are big concerns, as well as improvements to water runoff, landscaping and traffic. Such improvements as a new traffic light could help residents of both complexes and the neighborhood at large, he said. “Peachtree is like running across a freeway,” he said.

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DECEMBER 14-31, 2018

Community | 23

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City funding shortfalls threaten trail, road projects

Continued from page 1

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munity Improvement District say they’ll push for the city to stick to its local commitments. Without the money, the local projects and others citywide could be ended or delayed while other funding sources are sought. “Obviously, a lot of my time in the next few months is going to be spent trying to secure the funding!” said Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling, who oversees the PATH400 multiuse trail project and led tours of a segment under construction on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. She says PATH400 has $5 million in TSPLOST funding “completely at risk,” and another $6.7 million in federal funds that would be lost without the city’s share. At the BCID’s Nov. 28 board meeting, officials said they want to negotiate ways to keep three projects going that currently have a combined $12.8 million in funding in jeopardy. Those projects include: widening Piedmont Road between Peachtree and Lenox roads; turning the Phipps Boulevard/Wieuca Road intersection into a roundabout; and studying improvements for the intersection of Roswell, Piedmont and Habersham roads. “We actually want to talk to the city and negotiate and do some horse-trading” on ways to preserve at least some state funding in the projects, said Darion Dunn, the BCID’s planning director. BCID Executive Director Jim Durrett quickly added, “But listen, we’re not going in there offering stuff. … I don’t want us to come in and talk about how we’re going to plug holes in the dam.” The Mayor’s Office did not respond to questions about the BCID’s concerns. The $12.8 million cited by BCID staff includes state money that is channeled through the city and dependent on its funding commitments. Dunn said it is possible that the BCID could retain some of the state money by leveraging the BCID’s own money as well. David Allman, the BCID board chairman and president of the real estate firm Regent Partners, was not daunted by the $12.8 million figure, saying it “sounds like it’s pretty modest for this district … in the grand scheme of things.” But BCID officials indicated they are determined to keep the projects and their funding set in place if at all possible.

PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

Inset, Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling, center, leads staff members and residents on the Nov. 30 PATH400 construction site tour. Above, The PATH400 construction site tour group walks through a wooded area. The segment under construction will run between Sidney Marcus Boulevard and the Gordon Bynum pedestrian bridge.

The financial bind

The city is in a bind as it tries to fulfill a promise to construct various transportation and infrastructure projects now estimated to cost more than $940 million with funding sources now estimated to total only $530 million — maybe even less. Two main programs are involved. Renew Atlanta is a bond approved by voters in 2015 that raised $250 million to go towards an estimated $1 billion backlog in repairs and upgrades to streets, public buildings and other infrastructure. TSPLOST is a 0.4 percent special local option sales tax dedicated to transportation and transit projects. Approved by voters in 2016, the TSPLOST was projected to raise $380 million over five years. In a recent presentation to the City Council’s Transportation Committee, the city says there are a number of problems, including higher budgets and construction costs; projects that grew larger in what Durrett calls “scope creep”; and additional projects added to the programs after “stakeholder” input. Another big problem is that TSPLOST revenues so far are lower than expected, for reasons that remain not fully explained, and now estimated to total only $260 million. The city has admitted that it failed to create a priority list of projects in either program, which is especially important in the current situation, when some of them must get the ax. Now the city has begun a process to prioritize the projects, with public meetings to be held in December through February, and a new list finalized by March. The city is accepting public comments on the process through the Renew Atlanta website. Some projects are already complete,

such as the TSPLOST-funded Northwest BeltLine Connector Trail, which officially opened earlier this month along Bobby Jones Golf Course. Dunn said that any projects already in the pipeline can continue with their current funding, but only at the current stage — for example, a project in the design phase could not move into construction. What counts as a phase may be part of the prioritization issue. PATH400 already has several segments open; another one under construction; and an additional branch all the way up to Sandy Springs in the conceptual design stage. “The city is indicating that PATH400 is not considered ‘safe’ and is, therefore, on the chopping block,” said Livable Buckhead’s Starling in an email. “… A lot of the City’s determination of what is considered ‘safe’ is based upon progress on the project. They clearly do not have all of the information about the progress — we have 50 percent built and with this new segment that is under construction, [it] will take us to 75 percent completion!” That segment, running along Ga. 400 between Sidney Marcus Boulevard and the Gordon Bynum pedestrian bridge, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.

Political effects

Durrett said the BCID’s position on the locally affected projects is that the city should follow through on its prior commitments. Lynn Rainey, the BCID’s attorney, added that he believes the language of their legal agreements on the projects essentially prevents the city from unilaterally pulling out. The city’s presentation to the council committee talks about working with oth-

er “funding partners,” with the BCID specifically included along with such others as MARTA, the PATH Foundation and the Georgia Department of Transportation. Several “factors” in setting the new priorities are laid out in the presentation. They include mobility improvements; “equity and access”; the current status of the project; a project’s ability to get funding from other sources; and “stakeholder” input. District 7 City Councilmember Howard Shook, who is also a BCID board member, said at the Nov. 28 meeting that the original programs were developed in a political way under former Mayor Kasim Reed, and he believes the priority-setting could be that way, too. He expressed concern that Buckhead might get lower priority due to the neighborhood’s wealth and the CID’s self-generated tax revenue. Joking about the lack of an initial priority-setting process, Shook said, “There was [one]. It was called the mayor.” He said he has heard from some council colleagues that “some districts with CIDs can just go to the end of the line” because they are viewed as already having funding of their own. And Shook viewed the city presentation’s references to “stakeholders” as meaning insiders getting special advantage. “That’s just raw politics,” he said. “That’s people getting projects put on the list for services rendered.” He alluded to the notion of Buckhead seceding from Atlanta, an idea raised again by the recent unsuccessful attempt by a wealthy enclave in Stockbridge to break off into a separate city called Eagle’s Landing. “It would have been nice if the Eagle’s Landing referendum turned out a little differently,” Shook said. “We’d have more leverage.”


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