DeKalb School Board Shrinks to 7 Seats

March 2, 2014

A month ago, the school accrediting agency SACS took the DeKalb County School System off of probation, which is the status one step away from complete accreditation loss. The system had been placed on probation approximately one year earlier for mismanagement, dysfunction and other shortcomings of the school board.

As a result of the school system being placed on probation, and pursuant to state law, Governor Deal replaced six out of the nine members of the school board with individuals who have conducted themselves in a professional, even-keeled manner. Governor Deal deserves credit for setting events in motion that are causing our school system’s accreditation status to be restored.

DeKalb County is under a state mandate, adopted in 2011 but effective for the first time in this year’s elections, to reduce the size of the school board from nine to seven members. Fewer members is more efficient and reduces the possible agendas involved.

The current school board is comprised of seven single-member districts and two “super districts” that each contain half the county. The current single-member school board districts are compact and logical, and to a significant extent follow school attendance zones.

In the very short period of 17 days, I proposed, the House and Senate passed, and Governor Deal signed into law House Bill 979 (click for more information), a bipartisan bill that will shrink the school board to seven members by peeling off the two super districts.

WABE radio (click for story) explained why quick action was necessary. If HB 979 failed to pass, the school board election process that begins this Monday could not go forward.

The DeKalb House Delegation responded by proposing a disastrous redistricting map for the school board. To view this proposed map side-by-side with the existing map, click on the graphic that is embedded in the WABE story linked above.

The abominable redistricting proposal contains a series of seven long north-to-south districts. These districts would assure that most of the current board members won’t return.

The proposed map flies in the face of the recommendations of Dr. Mark Elgart, CEO of SACS, who has noted that stability and continuity are essential to continued improvement in DeKalb’s accreditation status.

The map also was put forward with no allowance whatsoever for public input. I am certain this is not the map that citizens anywhere in the county would endorse.

Fortunately, the passage of HB 979 will trump this nonsense. With the accreditation of our schools on the line, now is not the time to redraw districts in a manner that virtually guarantees disruption of the progress the school board has made.


Schools Closed Friday But Sanitation Resumes

February 13, 2014

DeKalb County Public Schools will be closed tomorrow, Friday, February 14. Fulton County schools already had a holiday scheduled for Friday, which will not change.

DeKalb County Sanitation, however, will resume service tomorrow. Tuesday pick-ups will be Friday, Thursday will be Saturday, and Friday will be Sunday.

Much of our community has trash service on Tuesday and Friday. If this is you, tomorrow is your day.

Also, remember that sanitation service will occur on a modified schedule next week because of Presidents’ Day. Next week all collections will run one day late until Thursday, February 20, when the normal schedule will resume.


Schools Closed Thursday & Power Outage Information

February 12, 2014

DeKalb and Fulton schools will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, February 13.

If you experience a power outage or downed power line, Georgia Power’s 24/7 hotline for reporting these issues is (888) 891-0938.

Georgia Power also has a handy online map for tracking power outages. Here is the link for the outage map:

outagemap.georgiapower.com

WSB-TV has an up-to-date list of closings. Please click here to find current information regarding weather-related closings.

If you experience a prolonged power outage, the cities of Brookhaven and Chamblee have opened four emergency warming shelters throughout our community:

Brookhaven Police Department, 2665 Buford Highway, Brookhaven, GA 30324

DeKalb County Fire Station #2, 1316 Dresden Drive, Brookhaven, GA 30319

Cowart Family/Ashford Dunwoody YMCA, 3692 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven, GA 30319

Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA 30341

Please note that individuals seeking shelter at the YMCA must contact the Brookhaven Emergency Operations Center at (404) 637-0596 for access. Special thanks to DeKalb County for opening Fire Station #2 as a shelter.


Schools Closed Wednesday & Georgia Power Hotline

February 11, 2014

DeKalb County Public Schools will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, February 12. Fulton County announced yesterday that schools will be closed Wednesday, as well.

Widespread — and probably universal — closings are expected Wednesday. Tomorrow’s winter storm is anticipated to be worse than the storm two weeks ago. This storm is expected to be more of an ice event, which could cause downed trees and power lines.

If you experience a power outage or downed power line, Georgia Power’s 24/7 hotline for reporting these issues is (888) 891-0938.

WSB-TV has an up-to-date list of closings. Please click here to find current information regarding additional weather-related closings.

Some local governments are posting updated information on their websites, which are as follows:

Brookhaven brookhavenga.gov

Chamblee chambleega.com

Doraville doravillega.us

Dunwoody dunwoodyga.gov

Sandy Springs sandyspringsga.gov

DeKalb County co.dekalb.ga.us

Fulton County fultoncountyga.gov

MARTA itsmarta.com


DeKalb Sanitation & Winter Storm Update

February 10, 2014

In anticipation of the winter weather, DeKalb County sanitation will not operate tomorrow, Tuesday, February 11. There will be no trash pick-up Tuesday if it is your usual day.

Fulton County schools will be closed both Tuesday and Wednesday, February 11 and 12. DeKalb schools have only announced a closure for Tuesday. DeKalb will announce its Wednesday intentions sometime tomorrow.

MARTA, however, will be operating a normal weekday schedule on Tuesday. This is a great alternative if you must go somewhere tomorrow.

Last but not least, the City of Brookhaven has provided the following update on its winter weather preparations:

In anticipation of more icy winter weather, Brookhaven City Manager Marie Garrett held an emergency response meeting this morning to ensure that public works, public safety, facility management and city communications teams will remain in a constant state of readiness throughout this storm event.

As a result of the meeting, the Brookhaven City Council work session and regular meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Feb. 11, have been canceled.

In preparation for the storm, the city has already taken the following steps:

More officers: Additional police officers have been called in to report early for duty. Overnight accommodations have been made for these officers allowing them to remain in the city during rest periods and report early for their shifts.

Storm precincts: Brookhaven officers will be positioned at various locations throughout the city to ensure residents have easy access to an officer if need be.

Detectives stay over: The Brookhaven Criminal Investigative Department Detectives will remain in the city during the storm.

Pre-treating roads: Brookhaven Public Works crews are on standby to begin pre-treating roads and bridges as early as tomorrow afternoon.

Public works command posts: Two emergency public works command posts will be set up at Brookhaven City Hall and the Brookhaven Police Department

GDOT Coordination: The city has been coordinating with the Georgia Department of Transportation to organize treating the city’s two state-operated thoroughfares, Peachtree Road and Buford Highway.

Material supply check: Brookhaven crews have already checked on the salt/ sand mix supply to ensure that quantities exceed predicted need.

Coordination with MARTA: The city will remain in communication with MARTA regarding road safety as is relates to bus schedules.

Mayor J. Max Davis asks that residents stay off the roads if possible to allow for public works crews to treat city roadways and bridges.

With precipitation expected to contain more ice than the previous winter storm, residents should be prepared for the possibility of fallen trees and power outages. Below is a list of emergency phone numbers in case of need:

To report emergency maintenance issues, such as fallen trees, please call Brookhaven Public Works at 404-637-0540, wait for prompt, then press 1.

In the event of a power or gas outage or landline phone or cable disruption, please use the following emergency dispatch numbers for the utility companies that service the City of Brookhaven.

Georgia Power – 888-891-0938. http://www.georgiapower.com

AT&T – 404-896-3880, Option 5. http://www.att.com

Atlanta Gas Light – 770-994-1946. http://www.atlantagaslight.com

Comcast – 800-266-2278. http://www.comcast.com

Please check the city’s web site and social media channels for additional road conditions updates. Residents are also encouraged to tune in to local news channels to receive weather updates.


DeKalb & Fulton School Closures

February 10, 2014

The DeKalb County school system will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, February 11. No classes will be held. Employees have been instructed to remain home.

Also, the Fulton County school system will be closed both Tuesday and Wednesday, February 11 and 12.

WSB-TV has an up-to-date list of closings. Please click here to find current information regarding additional weather-related closings.


DeKalb Modifies Sanitation Schedule

January 30, 2014

Due to the snowstorm, DeKalb County has issued the following modified sanitation schedule for this week only:

“Wednesday recycling and yard waste routes and Thursday garbage routes will be collected on Friday. Thursday recycling and yard waste routes and Friday garbage routes will be collected on Saturday.”

Most or all of our community has Friday trash collection, which will occur on Saturday, February 1.

As a reminder, DeKalb and Fulton County schools will be closed tomorrow, Friday, January 31.


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