Dunwoody City Councilman-elect Jim Riticher hosted a public meeting Dec. 3 to hear what his constituents think of City Hall.

He heard plenty.

More than 50 people attended the two-hour-long meeting at All Saints Catholic Church. Many questioned or objected to the city’s direction or to an array of current city plans or projects.

Residents criticized city projects ranging from the 12-foot-wide multi-purpose trail being built in Brook Run Park to Project Renaissance, the public-private redevelopment project under way in the Georgetown community, to consideration for a roundabout at the intersection of Vermack and Womack roads.

“I encourage you to fight the forces that want to turn Dunwoody into Decatur or the Highlands,” Steve Gebhardt said. “Let’s keep Dunwoody what made Dunwoody great – a small community.”

Some residents also complained that city officials ignore their critics. “If they want us to be involved, they need to be listening and they’re not,” Adelina Alberghini said.

Riticher ran as one of three candidates proposing a “clean sweep” of the three Dunwoody City Council seats on the ballot in the November election. Riticher, the only one of the three running in a district without an incumbent, was the only one of the three to win election. Incumbent Councilmen Denny Shortal and Doug Thompson won re-election in their districts.

On Dec. 2, Riticher told members of his audience that they should remain involved in city politics. “This is not a one-man thing,” he said.

After the meeting, he said he would consider hosting similar gatherings in the future. “I learned some things I didn’t know when I walked in,” he said.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.