Councilman Terry Nall Can Be a Man of Few Words

But those words are becoming more frequent and are broaching some big ideas on the Dunwoody City Council.

Councilman Terry Nall was a quiet freshman council member at the beginning of his term.

He rarely touted off; but when he did it seemed to help frame the conversation. That's important on a council, even as he took his place mostly on the bench - the reserve squad, if you will.

By way of background, he's the vice president of Reliance Trust Company, a financial company, according to his online profile. So it would seem he know his numbers.

He's also a Wake Forest graduate, and they are not known for slackers. (They're basketball team could use a boost ever since Chris Paul, though.)

Nall, the man who stood back and soaked it in for much part of his freshman year, has started to come out swinging.

He called to stand up a Dunwoody Fire Department. The financials were called for in September. It's November. (Not to mention the political push that's inevitable from Dekalb Fire which could be losing service (tax base) left and right possibly to Dunwoody and Brookhaven.

But Nall's calculated approach would suggest he's playing chess, not checkers. He had at least tentative support from Councilman Doug Thompson and Mayor Mike Davis on the proposal. That's three of seven there.

Public safety appears to be a major issue for him. A portion of a recent newsletter penned by Nall:

"A right-sized police department for public safety is a priority. Right-size ensures our organization remains lean and flat, while reducing crime and keeping up with 911 calls for service.

This year, the data through September shows we've fallen behind. Though violent crimes are down, property crimes are up 21.6% over 2011, police service calls are up 77%, and 25.5% of 911 police calls received are held for a period of time and are not able to be immediately dispatched as all officers are already busy on existing service call.

Our officers are increasingly responding from one service call to another with little time for "proactive policing" activities, such as school zones and neighborhood traffic enforcement, as well as patrolling targeted areas for burglaries and other crimes.  We must reduce this high percentage of 911 calls that cannot be immediately dispatched due to the lack of an available officer. The current percentage noted above (25.5%) is too high and is a risk to our public safety."

This letter came as the council "compromised" in their new spending plan on adding four new officers, and generally talked about what a fine force was serving Dunwoody.

Now, maybe this sounds like small potatoes compared to the two above, but he was reported to asking members of the Dunwoody Homeowners' Association for renewed support of a roundabout at Vermack and Womack roads. The intersection is close to Dunwoody High and Dunwoody Elementary.

Outcry from parents on the roundabout was vehemenet and predictable. Four councilmembers bucked the engineer's recommendation for a roundabout that allows cars to flow around the intersection without stopping.

The default decision of the council was to leave the intersection as is - which traffic studies show is a four-way stop that will become busier, and allocate the $250,000 for the intersection to other places in the city.

Nall, a quiet man at first, didn't mince words at Monday's council meeting as other councilmembers walked away from the city's own recommendation.

“These have been proven to be effective and are not unsafe,” he said at the meeting about the roundabouts. “To do nothing at this intersection is wrong.”

You can e-mail him at terry.nall@dunwoodyga.gov.
















Rob November 07, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Although I have a lot of respect for Mr. Nall, I must disagree with his idea on this subject. I am very suspicious that for some in the city government realm and the DHA which is NOT in the government realm, this is just another wild idea to bring something that is "fancy and different" to the city. The diamond interchange on Ashford-Dunwoody which is fancy and different, but offers no real practical purpose is a good example of this. In conclusion, I do not live around the intersection in question, but agree that we should not take any property from the residents there. Also remember, a modification of the intersection is suppose to make it safer for the kids to cross, but a traffic circle would do nothing to aide in their safety. As I see it, the kids would be in more danger. For this reason, the idea of moving forward is very disturbing!
Heyward November 07, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Council never had all the data to make an educated decision. All they did was remove the funding from the 2013 budget. Mr. Nall is just asking that the study of the intersection improvements be completed at which point council can decide of the plans merits. There are many more details to be completed. The main objective of this intersection design should be the safety of the pedestrians hands down.
Emily November 07, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I think Councilman Nall is to be commended for his calm and reasonable approach to issues such as this. He certainly does his homework and expresses his views based on what the data or science reveals. I also like that he does not succumb to the emotion of audience members, or the emotions of others on Council who too often react first without reflection.
Rob November 07, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Now if Mr. Nall could just do something about the spammer Emily. Make mine a Double / DunwoodyWorkingMan, that everybody is looking for!
Jason Massad November 08, 2012 at 10:10 AM
A clarification. I believe a spammer is usually robo type emails that are usually based on commerce and are sent indiscriminately and often have nothing to do with the subject matter at hand. A troll is a fake internet persona usually used to stir up people and who generally comment on just about everything. Not sure it matters, but there you have it.
Rob November 08, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Troll sounds so much harsher, but considering the "Troll" here is infesting your site, it seems appropriate :)
Joe H November 08, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Heyward, the council already SPENT 100 grand on a study for the roundabout. But then, Public Works came back to council and said the consulting firm needed another 29 thousand to do a good job. So, council approved and SPENT that too. Then, the firm presented its drawings and suggestions at an open house meeting. Then, they came in front of council to show the results of all their studies, taking into account comments from the open house, and they displayed a full animation they created of the proposed intersection, showing every inch of their plans. But the firm also told our city council the price tag for the project, now up to 900-grand is a good deal, because, get a load of this: they claim building a roundabout will NET the city $626,957 in time, fuel and accident savings in the very first year – and within 5 years the roundabout will pay for itself 3 times!!! <- These supposed statements of fact from this firm are so bogus, it’s embarrassing that the city would even consider giving them any more money to fund their “research”. Yeah, this is one of their proud reasons to ask the city to spend more money. They've done all the calculations, down to the exact dollar, now they just want more money - and Terry appears to have been a sucker.
Joe H November 08, 2012 at 02:39 PM
I must also strongly point out that city data used in this study are absolutely wrong, a point no one has disputed. Please stop trying to base a huge decision on faulty information. According to Public Works, there have only been 2 accidents in the past 3 years from people exiting Dunwoody High – which is categorically wrong. Thus, it is not even a mention in the plans for how to deal with this area, 100 feet from the intersection. What other data is incorrect? No telling. The planners and Public Works say the roundabout only has an effective benefit until 2037, that's 24 years... not very long term. Meantime, according to Public Works, and I quote, “Delays on Vermack are expected to be reduced [with a roundabout] on average by up to 2 minutes in the AM and by up to 1 minute in the PM.” Whoa, how much money is it worth to save 1 minute of commute? They have already done the research, and now want to get the money, so residents can save 1 minute of commute. That's an expensive project for one minute!
Joe H November 08, 2012 at 02:40 PM
The city has done a bad job providing information to residents and to the firm it hired. Thus, the firm did a bad job. Garbage in, garbage out. So, Terry Nall doesn't want to give the impression the city created a junk report. To save face and ego, he is wanting to throw more good money on a bad study. He's just putting lipstick on a pig. The costs will surely exceed 1 million dollars. I've asked him how much money is he willing to spend on this intersection, and he has yet to answer. I'd like to see his answer in writing. What is too much to spend on this? Is there a limit? And how much land is too much to seize from homeowners by the powers of eminent domain? How much is the city willing to spend in court to fight eminent domain against homeowners - because EVERY neighbor says they will unanimously fight the city. We should find out from the city how much legal money they think they want to spend, before they proceed... it's part of the price tag that needs to be considered. And, "fixing" this intersection does not even address the fact that it will only speed people to the next intersection, that is likely just as clogged. Terry does indeed take time to read up on issues, but it doesn't make him wiser. He should also use his ears - as residents are very angry with him and are not impressed with his latest actions. Someone (not me) has already purchased the website, www.RecallNall.com - and may start posting on it soon.
What goes around comes around November 08, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Joe Hirsch - your constant hostility toward everything council and city staff says and does is exhausting and embarrassing. Your threatening behavior does not add to your credibility. Please calm down and try to find a less angry and disrespectful way to get your point across.
Joe H November 08, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Hmmm, Terry Nall has personally suggested/threatened that the city will seize parts of 8 homeowners' properties, including mine. The government is allowed to use police force to take what it wants, but you (who is too afraid to use a name) is hurt by my words. Isn't it your naptime now? Sorry for using words that make you sad.
Rob November 09, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Nall was recently quoted as having concerns about the Dunwoody police departments ability to field calls. Looks like the AJC was listening: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/dunwoody-grapples-with-police-shortage/nS2YN/
HamBurger November 10, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Mr. Joe, I was wondering about the cost of a round-a-bout at that intersection. Not to mention its practicality. It is not the cost of construction, but the cost to area property owners and the effects on the neighborhood. I guess a traffic officer is out of the question? Oh, but that is not in the budget? I appreciate your input. Additionally, I want to thank you folks in Dunwoody for being so compliant in allowing your elected officials and paid employees to help Reps. Mike Jacobs and Tom Taylor and Sen. Fran Millar sell us their new city of Brookhaven. You folks get reimbursed? Special hamburger and a Cheerwine for everyone, but believe me, you folks are going to pay for it!
Vivian Hudson Goldman January 31, 2013 at 03:04 PM
The roundabout is more complicated than it first appears. Many of us, homeowners, want traffic slower in our neighborhood. This stops crime from coming in and out and decreases cut through traffic. The frustration of traffic jams on Mt Vernon and near the schools is more for commuters than those of us who live here I feel.


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