President Stacey Harris presided, all executive board members present except Bill Grossman and Jim Redovian.
President Harris welcomed elected officials and distinguished visitors. Candidates LaSalle Smith (Dekalb Sheriff) and Stan Jester (DeKalb School Board) offered brief remarks on behalf of their respective candidacies.
Board unanimously approved minutes for December 2014 and the January 2014 annual meeting.
- Snowstorm Retrospective – Chief Billy Grogan and Warren Hutmacher: Warren conceded there was ample warning for the January storm but a “perfect storm” led to metro-wide gridlock. For the pending ice storm “normal” preparations were underway. City is considering cost/benefits of pre-treating roads for future storms and is attending a winter storm preparedness conference in May to learn more about advanced chemical solutions. Chief Grogan reported the city responded to 220 911 calls, but no serious injuries. He also cited several rescue efforts and support from volunteers. Heyward recognized Rick Callihan for his extraordinary contributions.
- HR 486 Update – GLASS Co-President Erika Harris thanked the DHA for their support and provided an update on the group’s priorities and progress. She also relayed research done by Glass on school system size. Tom Taylor updated the board and public on the status of HR 486, informing that it had passed committee but cautioned that the 120 votes required to take it to the floor were not there. Fran Millar said 110 votes would be an achievement this year.
- New Hope Church Re-zoning – Rick Callihan: Board discussed the request for rezoning from R-100 to O-I so the property could continue to be used as a church and preschool.
Board Only Session
- New Hope: Board voted to support the church’s continued use of the property as a church and preschool under current zoning but opposed the rezoning to O-I.
- Budget: Robert Wittenstein presented the final 2013 expenses and detailed a balanced budget for 2014. Among the major changes was effectively “closing” the DHA offices, maintaining only necessary expenses fulfilling lease requirements. Also, Charlene was given notice as DHA admin. Additionally, the board will seek the City’s partnership and shared costs for Light Up as well as explore additional sponsorship revenue sources. Only funding for the Dunwoody Cluster elementary fund-raiding events were maintained for 2014; all other organizational support was suspended.