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 email@example.com.