2010 - March - Vol 26

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CITIZENS REVIEWNewsletter of the Mt. Paran-Northside Citizens Association, Inc. March 2010

Vol. 26

FORBES MAGAZINE NAMES ATLANTA 3RD EMPTIEST CITY IN U.S.From the State Legislature, Edward Lindsey reports that Georgia faces some of the toughest challenges of his lifetime: 10% unemployment and growing; the state ranks FIRST in the nation in bank failures; and FIFTH in mortgage foreclosures. Here in Buckhead, many of our newer buildings sit largely empty and Forbes magazine named Atlanta the THIRD emptiest city in the country due to the extreme surplus of vacant residential and commercial properties. W h a t s important is what it means to the bottom line and how that affects you. Page 6

FULTON COUNTYTAX ASSESSORS NEWSFulton County homeowners will receive a $25,000 homestead exemption that is applied to the value of their property in the calculation of property tax year 2010, and by 2011 the basic homestead exemption will increase to $30,000. Page 16

Bruce Morton

Yolanda Adrean, left, sworn in to her first term as our 8th District City Council Representative along with Felicia Moore, District 9. Page 4

EFFORT TO CHANGE ETHICS LAWS DRIVEN BY SCANDELBill Bozarth speaks for all Georgians who believe we have the right to demand the highest standards from those who serve in public office. Page 7

City of Sandy Springs: Financially StrongMayor Galambos is sworn in for another term, and the City continues in its sound financial condition, with a property tax rate of 4.731 mills, which is among the lowest in the metro area. Although reduction in some revenue sources has hit Sandy Springs as in other local governments, the City of Sandy Springs has a sufficient cushion to absorb the cuts and maintain the high level of services of the past four years. Page 6

Vandalism Nothing Petty About ItJ Rau

Two of the four nearly vacant Buckhead office buildings that have business leaders talking the most: Alliance Two and Phipps Tower.

For several months, yards throughout the neighborhood have been intentionally driven over and damaged. This fundamental lack of respect for other peoples property has got to stop. Page C2

THROUGH THE EYES OF AARON FINKMy wife and I had occasion to visit the famous elephant seal rookery, which is just north of Cambria on the California coast (near Hearsts castle). Thought to be extinct, theyve made a remarkable comeback. Page 14

FINDING A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR AFTER 63 YEARSIn 1941, Dovid and Taiba Base Konvoij lived in Kaunas, Lithuania together with their six children Zelda, Moishe, Zelman (Jerry), Jeshua, Reize, and Yehuda. The parents, along with the two youngest children Reize and Yehuda, did not survive the Kovno ghetto. Jerry, Moishe, and Jeshua ended up in Dachau and Zelda in Stuthoff. While in Dachau, Jeshua disappeared one day, was never seen again, and was assumed killed. Page 8

J Rau

Councilwoman Clair Muller and the Atlanta City Council Honored the Fire Station 27 Task Force for its Efforts in the Renovation of the Station with a City Proclamation.Page 2Aaron Fink


The Presidents CornerBy Marci Vincent Harris Trail

I am thrilled to have been elected President of the Mt. Paran-Northside Citizens Association for 2010. Our former President, Yolanda Adrean, ran a successful campaign for Atlanta City Council and was elected to serve District 8 for the next four years. We thank Yolanda for her years of service to our neighborhood and wish her success in her new position. Needless to say, I have large shoes to fill for our community. Although 2009 was a very difficult year for many, it was a year of major successes for our Neighborhood Association. We celebrated our 25th anniversary at our annual meeting on October 13th. The program featured a Candidate Forum that was informative for the nearly 200 neighbors who attended. In early October, we enjoyed our Annual Neighborhood Party at the lovely home of Brenda and Dick Smith. A great time was had by all who attended! Our Web Site (www.mpnca.org) has broken the 500-member mark and continues to offer outstanding information about our community. Our Treasurer, Cameron Adair, reports that we ended the year with a balanced budget, despite the recession. 80% of our operating budget is for the Security Patrol, which the Association contracts to provide coverage for the neighborhood within our boundaries. Our Security patrol is not a substitute for your own security system, but provides a service and acts as an additional deterrent to crime. The remaining 20% of our budget covers the Citizens Review Newsletters, the Membership Directory and Neighborhood Events. I might add that your Board Members dedicate endless hours of volunteer time to our community. This includes maintaining the membership database, website and pet registry, and facilitating neighborhood blast alerts for crime and lost pets. Our Membership Drive is in full swing and I hope that you will join both the Association and the Security Patrol. And, all dues paying members will receive the Associations invaluable Membership Directory, printed in the spring. Now that the Task Force to Renovate Fire Station #27 has wrapped up the completion of the building, task force member, Al Goodgame, is focused on the final exterior landscaping, that should be completed in the coming months. Look for a Pancake Breakfast Open House, to observe the final results of this large project. We are grateful to all of our generous donors. With their help, Fire Station #27 now provides decent housing for our first responders. Thats an accomplishment we can all be proud of! I look forward to serving you in 2010. There is no limit to getting better.

Photos: Bruce Morton

From Left: Cleta Winslow, Carla Smith, Anne Fauver, John Feeley, Clair Muller, Ann Warsham, Yolanda Adrean, Marci Vincent, Howard Shook, Lynne Moscow, Ivory Young, Ceasar Mitchell, President Lisa Borders, Felicia Moore, Jim Maddox, Joyce Sheperd, Mary Norwood

Presented November 16, 2009, The Proclamation Reads:Whereas, The Fire Station 27 Task Force (The Task Force) was organized in 2008 by concerned and dedicated volunteer members of the Mt. Paran-Northside Citizens Association whose mission is to improve the living and working conditions for the men and women who serve Atlanta Fire Rescue at Fire Station 27, located at 4260 Northside Dr.; and Whereas, After discovering unacceptable living conditions at the 55-year old fire station, The Task Force estimated it would need $250,000 to renovate, furnish and improve the fire stations interior and exterior; and Whereas, The Task Force volunteers worked tirelessly to obtain permits and agreements Photo Detail with the city, draw up architectural plans and hire contractors. After raising the necessary funds, plus in-kind donations from surrounding neighbors, the fire station has been completely renovated and refurnished, including the addition of a second fully equipped handicap accessible bathroom; and Whereas, The Fire Station 27 Task Force is further commended for their humanitarian example to inspire other communities to pay it forward; and Whereas, The Atlanta City Council wishes to thank the Fire Station 27 Task Force members Yolanda Adrean, London Andes, John Feeley, Albert Goodgame, Lynne Moscow, Paul Muldawer, Marci Vincent, and Ann Warsham for their dedication and commitment to enhance the work environment for the citys brave men and women who protect our families, our homes and businesses. Now Therefore Be It Resolved that, We, the members of the Atlanta City Council and on behalf of the citizens of Atlanta, hereby extend the Citys heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the members of the Fire Station 27 Task Force for taking time to care so that our firefighters and our city will benefit for generations to come! 2

25TH ANNUAL MEETING ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND CANDIDATE FORUM ...as held on October 13, 2009. After electing new officers and board members for 2010, a candidate forum was held, sponsored by our civic association and four others: Paces Civic Association, Peachtree Battle Alliance, South Tuxedo Park, Tuxedo Park Civic Association and Wildwood Civic Association. The assembly hall at Northwest Presbyterian Church was filled to standing room only with over 200 attendees. Thirteen candidates for Atlanta City Council, including Council President, District 8, three At-Large Posts and the Atlanta Board of Education answered questions from neighborhood association representatives, like Elizabeth Pritchard and Henry Wyche in photo at left, and the audience. After taking questions about taxes, ethics, fiscal responsibility, public safety and getting the services we pay for, the candidates complimented the civic association on a well run forum, moderated by past president, Brenda Smith. Many attendees expressed the belief that they were better prepared to vote as a result of the opportunity to meet and listen to so many candidates. The civic association provided a sample copy of the November 3 ballot along with other helpful information.Candidate Photos: John Schaffner, Reporter Newspapers


GREETINGS FROM DISTRICT 8!By YOLANDA ADREAN Atlanta City Council Member, District 8

In an effort to keep you abreast of happenings here at City Hall, I will be sending you periodic emails with information and calendar items that may be of interest to you. I will also be attending your meetings at least quarterly. I am serving on three Committees: Finance/Executive (Chair), Public Safety and City Utilities. Each committee meets bi-monthly and these meetings are open to the public. You are more than welcome to come to City Hall to observe the proceedings at committee meetings and Council meetings. Full Council meetin