Jim Riticher


Occupation: Mostly retired. Career in engineering and IT management and consulting.

Jim Riticher.

Previous experience holding elected offices: Incumbent; approaching four years on Dunwoody City Council.

Other community service experience: Past President, DeKalb Highlands Club (now Dunwoody Highlands); past Board Member, Kingsley Racquet & Swim Club; multiple years volunteering for Tom Glavine’s Spring Training for the Georgia Transplant Foundation; member of Dunwoody Rotary, a charitable organization.

What is motivating you to run for City Council?

I ran four years ago because I saw a need for more emphasis on basic infrastructure, and believe my efforts in this area and others should continue with the experience I’ve gained. There is a learning curve, and I believe Dunwoody would be best served by a candidate who knows the ropes and knows our citizens and has lived in the community for a significant amount of time, and that is me.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it?

Most of the problems we have stem from many years of county neglect. We are catching up on those years of deferred repaving and improving our parks. It only takes time and money, and we are working on this things in a fiscally responsible way (no debt). Our current paving rate yields about a 20-year repaving cycle.  We were paving less, such that our paving cycle was more like 24 years, so a significant improvement.

Do you support creating more bicycle paths or multi-use trails in the city? What parts of the city should they cover?

In general yes, where and when they make sense, without encroaching unreasonably on residential properties, and within the overall budget framework. Neither the bicycle advocates nor the no-bike-lanes folks are likely to be happy with that answer. Our current bicycle and parks master plans highlight the locations.

What type of development would you support in the Perimeter Center area?

Not apartments. Dunwoody was not well served by the county zoning process in the late 1990s and 2000s, and too many apartments were allowed in rezonings. Today we have one of the highest percentages of apartments vs. total dwellings in the region, if not the highest. Beyond that, it depends on the merits of individual cases. Ultimately, under Georgia law, BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody) is not a rational long-term zoning approach, though many would like it to be and advocate for that.

What policy or program would you support to preserve trees as redevelopment happens?

City Council just improved protections for large trees on existing commercial property via an improved tree ordinance, and we have a good program in place for redevelopment projects. I am open to further improvements.

What city service or program needs improvement? How would you improve it?

For me, there is significant overlap with Question 2, so largely the same answer. We have been underserved with parks, and there is quite a bit of new park infrastructure coming in the next couple years, with engineering for new fields and a band shell under consideration in the 2018 budget. Looking a few years down the road, the old Austin Elementary will become the city’s from the land swap with DCSS, and that will become incremental park land. We will need a city conversation on how to best use that property, and we have time to do that properly.