Monday, October 31, 2011

Bonds Fell on Alabama – Jefferson County

Jefferson County Alabama amassed a $3.2 billion Bond Debt and have been in negotiations with creditors for over a decade. Their current considerations include either doubling their water bills or defaulting on their debt.


They had failed to maintain their sewer system to prevent overflows from spilling into the Cahaba river. In 1995, the county was enjoined by the EPA, under the Clean Water Act to upgrade its sewer system. They started the sewer upgrade project in 1996 and began selling Bonds to finance it. They needed to increase revenue to pay the debt service, so they increased water rates and imposed an occupational tax. That tax was declared unconstitutional in 2011.


During the period from 2002 and 2008 interest rates went up and down twice. The county converted the fixed rate bonds to variable and the second interest rate upswing caught them. Sales taxes were already 10%, property taxes were capped, a state bail-out bill was defeated. When the county couldn’t make its payments, J.P. Morgan and other Wall Street banks offered Bond swaps and ran into trouble with the SEC. The former County Commission Chairman is in jail for taking bribes. An Investment Banker and a Lobbyist are also in jail and fines were collected.

Birmingham is the county seat and continues to function. The Jefferson County 2011 budget shows a general fund of $312 million and total spending of $709 million. County population is 650,000 and it covers 1,124 square miles. It appears the county was unwilling to effectively fund and pare back other expenses to properly handle a core responsibility. Their obligations include a county hospital and a county nursing home and the normal boat-load of courts, jails and police, but most of the money goes to interest and lawyers.

Tragedy of Errors

Jefferson County extended their financial obligations beyond their ability to pay. When core utility infrastructure spending is needed, government must have a substantial reserve fund. Without this reserve fund, Jefferson County should have managed the sewer replacement to result in a lower cost. They could have initiated emergency repairs to prevent pollution of the Cahaba River to buy time to replace the entire system. They should not have swapped fixed rate bonds for variable rate bonds. They should have reduced other expenses and locked in to a low fixed rate 50 year bond to repay the sewer building cost. Even at the $3.2 billion cost, debt service would have been $60 million a year with a 50 year Bond.

Homeowners Mad as Hell

Jefferson county homeowners are ready to dig wells and septic tanks, but are not allowed to do that. They say they can’t sell their homes and move out, because water bills are going to $200 a month and higher. Like most voters, they see most of their tax dollars going to fund inefficient, overpriced office work and interest payments with little spent on the infrastructure they formed their governments to handle in the first place. Governments are increasingly abandoning their core infrastructure maintenance responsibilities to fund operations better handled by the private sector. They overuse Bonds, which cost double, so most of our tax dollars are wasted on debt interest..

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Bond Debt - A Tale of Two Cities

Dunwoody GA & Harrisburg PA have some similarities. Both cities have a population of about 47 thousand. Both cities occupy around 13 square miles. Both cities have hysterical societies and like art, music and nature venues.

The city of Harrisburg had a budget of $60 million, a Bond debt service payment of $68 million it couldn’t pay and a total of $300 million in Bond Debt and has voted to declare bankruptcy. Dunwoody has a budget of $21 million and wants $128 million in bond debt. It also has Master Plans that suggest it wants another $340 Million in Bond Debt minus any federal bribes it can get.

Harrisburg has invested in numerous tourist venues, a Civil War Museum, An Old West Museum, Parks and a $300 Million trash incinerator. Harrisburg lists 16 Museums and Art Galleries, all nestled along the Susquehanna River. Harrisburg is the Capitol of Pennsylvania and was incorporated in 1791. Dunwoody is nestled in close to Atlanta, the Capital City of Georgia. and was incorporated in 2008.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dunwoody's $404.5 Million Master Plans

$36 Million Dunwoody Village Master Plan

Look up Dunwoody Village Master Plan on the City of Dunwoody website. Click on Community Development, click on Dunwoody Village Master Plan and click on Documents. Click on Action Plan. The Plan was developed to satisfy LCI goals to encourage more walking and less driving. This is the suburbs and driving is how we get our errands done. We also don’t use MARTA, shuttles or bikes, unless it’s to walk or bike to get a frozen custard at Village Burger with the kids. We go to get groceries or hardware or a hair cut or get our shoes fixed. The 5 Year Action Plan shows $36 million in city costs to transform Dunwoody Village into a MARTA, bike and walking friendly shopping center. Also see Georgetown's $38.6 Million Master Plan.

Carbon Tax

We think the need to reduce our “carbon footprint” is a scam perpetrated by UN Agenda 21 to promote their goal to become our “One World Government”. As crazy as that sounds, we know that George HW Bush approved the adoption of UN Agenda 21 for implementation in the US in 1992 and we’ve seen strange things happening ever since. We don’t understand how this hoax could impact our city council to allow this scam to influence them to spend our tax dollars on these plans, other than bribes in the form of federal grants. The Stakeholder input was handled using the Delphi Technique, where the facilitators “guide” the answers.


The Atlanta Regional Commission, an unelected government body, whose very existence usurps city and county sovereignty, wrote the outline for this plan. It’s important to defeat the T-SPLOST in July 2012 to reject this new unaccountable layer of uninvited government. MARTA spends $750 million a year to run empty buses and trains and only takes in $120 million a year in revenue. The rest comes from tax subsidies. It is a failed business model and will be bankrupt unless the T-SPLOST passes. The Federal government is broke, but keeps spending on this “transformation’ of our society to a ‘One World Government” model. All Federal Department Mission Statements include man-made climate change mitigation as its main priority.

UN Agenda 21

This is a “One World Government” model with open borders, no private property and a global population reduction from 8 billion to 500 million. Whoever survives will live in Transit Villages around public transit. The EPA, DOT and all other federal agencies are using the extra $2 trillion we gave Obama to jam this through.

How It Works in Free Markets

When Publics replaced our old grocery store, they tore down the old store and built a bigger one. When Walgreens moved in, they did the same thing. I think that’s how it works. The anchor stores build what they want and the small shops rent whatever space is available.

Now we get in our cars and do errands that involve a trunk-load of groceries with stops to pick up other things. We don’t ride our bikes to the store, because our groceries don’t fit on our bike. We are in the suburbs and that’s how it works. We don’t think we would walk or bike to Dunwoody Village except for a family bike outing or to walk up to see the July 4th parade.

Regency, the owner of the Dunwoody Village property has no interest in the Dunwoody Village plan and I don’t blame them. Eventually, the city Land Use Plan and Zoning could remove private property rights from owners. Anchor stores would relocate and “there goes the neighborhood”.

Live, Work & Play Failures

When I attended the first Dunwoody Village public meeting, we were asked to look at pictures and vote on which ones we liked best. I saw a picture of a development I had visited in Davidson NC. It was a brand new Live Work & Play development built by the City of Davidson, with federal funds and it was empty, except for an ice cream parlor. There were empty shops with empty apartments overhead and they were empty because the rents were too high. They are still empty. There are also several failed finished projects in Atlanta.

Retired Housing

I doubt retirees will want to rent apartments above retail stores in a shopping mall that required an enormous amount of money to build. Only retail tenant owners and their employees would have any reason to live there and my guess is, they won’t. To make sure retirees do move there, I’m sure the city could find some way to revoke their driver’s licenses.

Transit Oriented Development

UN Agenda 21 describes how we must be moved to Transit Villages, into apartment units, built next to public transit. Sounds like the MARTA plans at PCID ? Yep. Sure does. We must be moved from our farmland so the UN, our “Global Government” can control our food supply. They will make a grab for our water and air and the right to tax us soon for the use of these resources. The Federal government is promoting “Regional Commissions” to replace our cities, counties and states. The EPA wants control of all water supplies, not just navigable waterways. It’s all happening now.

Bond Funds

Bonds are cited as funding sources along with federal funds. Bonds cost double. You pay off principle and interest and fees. Indebted cities are going bankrupt. It’s all happening now.

Building Construction Expense

Nowhere does it mention that the owners of the Dunwoody Village property would have to tear down and rebuild Dunwoody Village in order to conform to the city plan. The cost of demolition could be $3 million and the cost of constructing what’s in the plan could cost $100 million plus loss of revenue and the cost of new tenant recruitment. It is far cheaper for everybody to let free enterprise continue as it has. City planning of shopping centers is too totalitarian to work in a free suburban economy.

Sovereign Debt

Federal grants consist of borrowed and printed money. Our government, at all levels, is on a spending spree fueled by Obama-money and artificially low interest rates. Eventually we will have to pay the piper with inflation as the federal government debases the currency. That will cause prices to rise and our cost-of-living with it. Our city councils plans are in full agreement with this spend and default plan. Why would the US government commit financial suicide ?

The Debt Wall is the point at which there are no buyers for US debt, the federal government runs out of cash and has to cut spending. This occurred a few months ago and the Federal Reserve stepped up to buy US debt. Prior to that, the Fed bought toxic mortgage-backed securities from Fanny and Freddie. There is a point the Fed has to stop printing money and buying debt. We have implemented the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) strategy concocted during the Cold War. Instead of nuclear bombs, our government debt will destroy us.

End Game

China is already planning to move plants and offices to Idaho and Utah. They are also interested in the Great Lake states. Will this land belong to the Chinese government ? Whoever owns your debt can take your property if you can’t pay your debt. Everywhere else in the US, Immigrants who can buy houses in the US are granted visas.


The EPA is quickly becoming the owner of our water and our air. The EPA is declaring private property as wetlands and prohibiting the “owners” from building homes. It is also enforcing regulations that are closing food production operations. Dams are being demolished, so rivers can flow unencumbered because of environmentalism. California farmers had their water taken away by the EPA because a tiny, useless fish downstream needed the water. These farms are closed and worthless. The endangered species list grows every year to the point where their food sources are being depleted. These are also our food sources. Environmentalism is the excuse being used to put us in a totalitarian box.

$404.5 Million City Spending Plans So Far

So far, the city has planned to spend $66 million for parks. $100 for multi-modal roads, bike lanes and sidewalks. $100 million for street milling and resurfacing and $36 million for Dunwoody Village Plan. The Georgetown Plan costs $38.6 million. That’s $340.5 million with an additional $64 million in Park Bond interest and fees. That’s $404.5 million in spending and debt expense so far. Annual city revenue is $21 million a year. The city would need to spend $20 million a year for the next 20 years, just on the projects I found on their website. They will probably want to pass Bond Issues for $340.5 million, so we can have an actual debt of $681 million. Debt Service on that puppy would be $34.1 million a year.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Dunwoody’s $100 million Transportation Plans

Look It Up

If you look up the City of Dunwoody Comprehensive Transportation Plan and page down to Table 10 page 69 you will see the project lists and estimated costs. You can copy and paste these sheets to an excel file, you will then be able read the small print. Cut and paste the categories, dates, priority and costs to other columns on the worksheet and you can sort these projects by category. The project lists on pages 69 to 75, show over $100 million in projects, plus some projects with costs to be determined (TBD).

$100 Million Plan

Half of the $100 million goes to Bike lanes, sidewalks, bike and walking trails and multi-modal streets additionally accommodating buses and shuttles along with walking and biking. Only 5% use buses, shuttles and bikes at this point. More than that walk for exercise, but much of that amounts to walking around the subdivision.

The other $50 million goes to $1 million traffic light controls, widening streets to allow for left turn center lanes and intersections. The only T-SPLOST project included in the July 2012 vote is the re-do of Mt Vernon from the Sandy Springs line to Dunwoody Club.

Road Replacement Plan

Totally separate from this list of projects is our road milling, resurfacing and replacement, quoted as having a replacement value of $216 million. The city has 185 centerline miles of roadway with a replacement cost value of $216 million. Per mile cost to replace is $216 million divided by 185 centerline miles = $1.167,568 million per centerline mile. That’s if the roads needed to be totally replaced or added. This program is a “worst first” program stretched out over 30 years. It is paid for within the city budget. So far, milling and resurfacing has worked on Dunwoody Club and Roberts Road. I thought milling and resurfacing would cost $100 thousand per mile, but it seems to be higher.

The cost estimates on these project sheets are higher than I thought they might be, but some include expensive solutions for intersections, like roundabouts, bike lanes and 6 foot wide sidewalks. We are about to learn about easements and Eminent Domain. We will also learn how much more expensive multi-modal redesign would be vs. milling, widening and resurfacing.

Eminent Domain

It’s clear that widening main roads will involve taking some property from folks whose properties touch these main roads. When the GDOT is doing the project, you will receive a letter about the time when their surveyors are putting stakes into your yard. This is happening now on N. Peachtree Rd. in connection with the Safe School biking and walking program for Kingsley Elementary.

Integrated with Master Plans

These road changes are integrated in with the Dunwoody Village and Georgetown Master Plans and are tied in to the Land Use Plan. The owners of the Dunwoody Village property are not interested in the city’s Master Plan. In fact, building size and configuration have always been dictated by the anchor stores. Publics built a new larger building and so did Walgreens.

Live, Work & Play

This may work in an urban setting like PCID’s Transit Village, if you can actually walk or bike to work, but it doesn’t work in the suburbs. We want to be close to grocery stores, hardware stores, doctor’s offices, shoe repair, hair salons and exercise class. These don’t necessarily fit in the Dunwoody Village Master Plan. We drive to the store, because our groceries won’t fit on our bike.

No Interim Plans

There don’t seem to be any interim solutions to these projects. These plans appear to have been done by consultants to comply with ARC and LCI standards, riddled with expensive multi-modal upgrades. That could all go away after November 2012 along with whatever promised federal funding is factored in to these plans. The impetus for these programs include the global warming / man-made climate change hoax, UN Agenda 21 implementation and overreaching EPA air and water quality standards. These are all under attack because our economy can’t sustain the costs for these scams and private property rights are being trampled by these policies.

Main Roads Not A Priority

The main roads and intersections do not appear to be high priorities in this plan, nor do they appear to be planned in the near-term. On priority list 1 through 21, bike lanes, sidewalks and multi-modal changes take up $22.6 million of the $33.7 million total. Fixing Mt Vernon and the intersection at Chamblee Dunwoody Road is scheduled for 2021-2030.

Establish New Priorities

If our big problem is automobile traffic, you would think that the main roads and intersections would be fixes first, but instead, they are woven in with improvements that benefit 5% of our citizens and don’t solve the gridlock. They are also woven into the strip mall re-dos whose owners rejected the city Master Plan for their properties.

If we need to spend over $200 million on roads over the next 30 years, that would be about $7 million a year. Bonds are not the way to go because of interest costs. The Federal government is broke, so we shouldn’t count on federal grants after 2012. We need to manage very carefully.

PCID Gridlock

The gridlock at Perimeter CID is not addressed in the Dunwoody Transportation Plan, but will be described between now and July 2012 in preparation for the Regional Transportation Plan T-SPLOST vote. If the T-SPLOST (MARTA bail-out) fails to pass, PCID will need a Plan B for traffic abatement..

The T-SPLOST includes $12 million for improvements on Mount Vernon Road from the Fulton County line to Dunwoody Club Drive. Improvements include center turn lanes, sidewalks and bike lanes, along with intersections improvements at Vermack Road and Tilly Mill Road. Construction is expected between 2016 and 2019.

GDOT is in the process of changing the Ashford Dunwoody exit from I-285 into a “Diverging Diamond or double cross-over diamond”. When you exit from I-285 to Ashford Dunwoody Road, you will find yourself in the left lane. Imagine that at night, in the rain, after you’ve been terrorized by 18 wheelers, confusing exit sighs and lanes disappearing for 12 hours..

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tea Party Endorses Candidates

The Dunwoody GA Tea Party is proud to endorse Mike Davis for Mayor, Kerry de Vallette for District 2 at large Rep and Terry Nall and Rick Callihan for District 1 at large Rep.

We met with each of these candidate early on and have heard their concerns and responses to questions. We believe they will add their good judgment to the Council They will help the city council discern what is expected, appropriate, prudent, affordable, wise and possible.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Unsustainably Green

The Sustainability and Green movements came from the 1992 UN Earth Summit. This group created UN Agenda 21, Project 60 and ICLEI. these are programs designed to protect the earth at your expense. George H W Bush, the hapless, agreed to these plans and grant money flowed. The man-made global warming myth was developed by “political scientists” to use junk science to support the notion that “global warming” needed to be reversed at all cost.

“Green” folks are a unique phylum of Liberal. They are right-brain nature lovers and they drank the kool-aide. They have been political activists ever since Three Mile Island and the Hudson river caught on fire. They have been successful in getting the federal and state governments to spend trillions on wildlife preserves, uninhabited national parks and they run the EPA. Because they also own the federal government, grant money has flowed to biology departments for the first time in human history. The current task is to do studies that support man-made climate change. Using junk science. They have given “political science” a whole new meaning.

The problem with “green” is cost. We get electricity from coal and nuclear powered plants.for 2 cents per kwh. Wind and solar still cost over 10 cents per kwh. If “greens” had their way, we would be spending 5 times more for our electricity. The second problem is that they hate cars and want us to live in urban transit villages, so we can walk and bike everywhere. Our current infrastructure supports living in suburbs and driving our cars everywhere. Scrapping this lifestyle and its infrastructure just isn’t in the cards. They like public transit with heavy tax subsidies; they like trains and they love light rail. The problem with these is that they don’t go where we need to go. They are, therefore, low use, heavily subsidized, very expensive failed business plans, buried in impenetrable government bureaucracies.

UN Agenda 21 allowed “green” to be written into our planning and zoning ordinances. The George Soros funded ICLEI trains our city council reps in the ways of “green” and UN Agenda 21 implementation.

Tea Party Thoughts

We want to quit the UN, close it and send it to Somalia. We want to repeal all overreach in environmental regulations. We want to drill oil and natural gas everywhere. We want to sell all state and federal lands to the private U.S. citizens and U.S. corporations. We want to close the Department of Education and voucher students into non-public schools. We want all transit to be private, unsubsidized businesses. We want to keep our coal and nuclear electric power plants. We want to keep our cars.

We don’t like appointed government commissions or unelected officials or taxing entities. We want state, citiy and county government to stick to the basics and the federal government to drop half of what it’s doing and comply with the U.S. Constitution and 10th Amendment as written.

Are We Barbarians ?

Yes. But we want to end ocean dumping, adult-proof packaging and plastic disposable water and soda bottles. We want garbage recycling to cost less than mixed garbage dumping. We want to end disposable electronics and disposable everything. We want to end ethanol. We want a non-union phone company. We want to pay for cable by the channel and we pick the channels . We want to keep our incandescent light bulbs. We are mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it any more !

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dunwoody Ballot Issues

We oppose the Parks Bonds. $66 million in Bonds would create a $128 million debt with a $62 million interest cost over 30 years. Our annual city revenue is $21 million. Parks can be improved over time and within budget for half the cost.. Half the money we use to pay off bonds is wasted on interest and fees. We would be spending this on low use, expensive public parks and venues. Not smart.

We oppose the Redevelopment Referendum. This would allow the city council to appoint unelected, unaccountable Tax Authorizing Districts (TADs), with unrestricted Eminent Domain powers over private property and authority to issue bonds without voter approval. We don’t have long-term blighted areas and should let property owners sell their own property without tax-payer bail-outs. TAD projects create boondoggles

We oppose the E-SPLOST, This is a 1 cent, five year sales tax extension for DeKalb schools. The passage of the tax triggers Bonds and bonds cost double. Debt service payments of principle and interest on these bonds is $91.63 million for 2012. These borrowed funds pay for building maintenance, renovation, construction and equipment. The tax will generate $475 million. Their annual budget is $774.6 million for 2012. These folks build magnificent buildings, but the student performance continues to be poor in most of the county. Less political indoctrination and more reading, writing and math would be nice. It’s time to stop wasting money on bond interest and fees.

Norb Leahy Dunwoody GA Tea Party

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Park Bonds - Follow the Money

The $66 million for Park Bonds doesn’t just put the $62 million in interest costs in the paper shredder, the fees paid to the bond broker and real estate agent would total $3.3 million. The total debt for both bonds would be $128 million in principle and interest paid over 30 years. The $62 million in interest assumes that bond interest would cost 5% of the unpaid balance. We think the bonds will be front-loaded in 2012, before interest rates rise.

Bond Supporters

Obviously the majority of the current sitting City Council members and city staff support the Park Bonds. A yes vote raises our property taxes by .75 Mils for each Bond. The 1.5 Mil hike in our property tax would cover the $4.3 million debt service, so instead of having $21 million in revenue, we would have $25 million in revenue. So, lets see where the money goes:

The bond broker, I’m told, gets 2% of the bond value or $1.32 million. The land sellers support the Park Bonds and the real estate agents get 6% commissions. If we buy $33 million in land and pay a 6% real estate fee, this would be $1.98 million. Transaction costs to by the hospital site for $6.1 million could be $366 thousand. Contractors support the Park Bonds because they need the work now and of the bonds pass, most of the work would go on the front end. Future Bond holders will want their $62 million in interest. The total amount going into the paper shredder is $65.32 million.

The Preservation Trust gets $5.8 million; $2.9 million to renovate Donaldson Farm $2.9 million for the Cultural Arts Center and The Stage Door Players. The Nature Center gets $3.3 million to build a new building, dismantle the ball fields and add other upgrades. That leaves the Senior Baseball League 3 ball fields. Without the baseball fields that’s $9.1 million.

The boards of these non-profit 501C3 Trusts are unanimously in favor of the Park Bonds, because they believe new facilities will attract more patrons to these venues. The PCID wants Perimeter Park and more parks later. Many Dunwoody leaders support the Park Bonds and few have voiced any objections. Dan Weber and his co-presenters defend the Park Bonds when questioned.

Brook Run gets $15 million to move the dog park (we don’t know where) and upgrade facilities. Windwood Hollow gets $1.9 million for upgrades. Perimeter Park gets 1.5 million to be established. Georgetown Park gets $4 million to be established. That’s $22.4 million.

The Plan

Bond interest and fees will eat up $65.32 million. We pay double for the privilege of doing this fast and when government spends in big lumps they overpay for everything. Of the other $66 million, low use non-profit venues get $9.1 million to move, rebuild and renovate. Add the $9.1 million for the non-profits to the 22.4 million for parks, you get $31.5 million for park and venue improvements, then you need to add the new senior league ball field location . The ball fields could to go to the PVC Farm and we’re over budget. On the land side $6.1 million goes to buy the hospital, but there are no funds left to do anything with it. It sounds like the other $27 million for land would probably be used to purchase blighted areas with no funds to fix them up. Now that’s a really expensive seat-of-your-pants kind of plan I can vote NO for !

Economic Development

The PCID, Chamber of Commerce and City Council are busy trying to keep our businesses here and are working to being new business to occupy our commercial and office empty space. The PCID and City Council believe having more, well outfitted parks will help. We appreciate their work, but we think businesses will come and go for different reasons. We think fixing our main roads and intersections would impress prospective companies looking to relocate.

Redevelopment Referendum

Beware the Redevelopment Referendum. It transfers your authority to the City Council to establish Tax Authorizing Distracts (TADs) like Atlanta has for the Beltline and other projects. These TADs are unelected and can authorize Bond sales without a citizen vote. They also have Eminent Domain powers way beyond widening roads. This was added to the ballot, but reading it on the ballot doesn’t tell you what it means. We think the current city council would use Parks Bond funds to buy distressed properties and use TADs to develop more parks tied to commercial property. We urge a No vote on this one.

The Vote No folks

We think we need to replace the roads that won’t hold a patch, because the beds for these roads are rotten. We believe the main roads and intersections need to be fixed up and expanded to 3 lanes in some sections to expedite left turns. We are on these roads all the time. We want our sewers maintained and repaired as necessary.
We think the double cost of Bonds makes them a really bad deal for taxpayers. We think parks are not important enough to go into that much debt; they are a want, not a need. We believe land prices will likely stay the same or decline. We don’t think the City should buy more land for parks now. We believe our economy will not improve for several years. We don’t want the City to go into debt…ever. We want the City to improve the parks with simple maintenance, grass seed and modest incremental improvements.

We think our parks and venues are underutilized and will continue to be underutilized even after they’re fixed up. We don’t want a patchwork of parks; all we really need is one and Brook Run is the only one big enough.

We’ve never been to the Spruill Center and we don’t go much to the Nature center. We would probably go to the Donaldson Farm, once. We like to pass the Dunwoody Farmhouse, but not much goes on there. We don’t go to see the Stage Door Players or to the Library or to pottery or basket weaving classes.

We are content going to our subdivision swim and tennis clubs, Murphy Candler and Dunwoody Baptist for sports and our cul de sacs to play ball and ride bikes. We go to Azalea Drive and Morgan Falls for the river. We go to Roswell Park, Sandy Springs or Norcross for concerts. We go to the play area at North Point Mall and the Fun Place in Roswell when it rains.

Dunwoody Village

We wonder how Dunwoody Village got on the Parks Plan with no cost estimate. We doubt that the real owners are in a position to “re-do” Dunwoody Village in the middle of a recession. Tearing it out and rebuilding it would cost a fortune, yet it’s in the plan of a city that is doing everything it can to raise cash with bond debt.

Economic Assumptions

Not good. The federal government needs to cut spending at least $1 trillion a year. We have a lot of government employees in the Atlanta area. We expect another round of layoffs, foreclosures and lower property values…again….within the next 2 years. It’s not a good time for any city to go into debt. When global government debt hits the Debt Wall (no bond buyers, no more loans), the global economy will shrink by 40%. They longer they prop it up, the worse it will be. We are not far from the Debt Wall. That bubble burst will cause another round of layoffs, foreclosures and declining property tax.

Other Ballot Issues

We urge a NO vote on Parks Bonds and a NO vote on the Redevelopment Referendum and a NO vote the E-SPLOST, 1 cent sales tax renewal for DeKalb schools.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dunwoody Ballot Initiatives

The City of Dunwoody will elect a new Mayor and fill three City Council (at large) positions on November 8.

In addition, Dunwoody voters will decide whether or not to approve two $33 million, 30 year bonds, one to purchase land for parks and the other to fund park improvements.

Many voters will oppose these bonds, because passage of both bonds would result in a $128 million debt for a $20 million revenue city. Assuming interest is 5% on the unpaid balance, we opponents say the $62 million in debt interest would go into the paper shredder. We prefer improving existing parks over time and in budget. Others object to the Parks Plans current content or lack of specifics.

In a third ballot item, voters will decide whether or not to give the city council Redevelopment Powers. The language on the ballot is as follows:

City of Dunwoody Redevelopment Referendum
Should the act be approved authorizing the City of Dunwoody to exercise redevelopment powers authorized by the Redevelopment Powers Act, as it may be amended from time to time. (Vote Yes or No).

Unless voters do some homework on line, they will not know what this means. Normally, a city putting initiatives on a ballot will publish a detailed explanation, but in this case it has not.

Voters first need to look up the Georgia Redevelopment Powers Act on line to learn what these powers are. Then, it’s helpful to look up City of Atlanta Redevelopment agencies.

They will find that voting yes on this question authorizes the city council to establish Tax Authorizing Districts (TADs) to redevelop any property to raise that property’s taxable value.

These TADs will have expanded eminent Domain power beyond widening streets and the power to issue bonds to fund the development of these properties. Currently, the City of Dunwoody does not have this power and must go to the voters to authorize bond sales. Voters who wish to limit city debt expense would vote No.

The voters who will vote No on the Park Bonds would likely vote No on the Redevelopment Powers initiative.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody Tea Party Leader

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Redevelopment Referendum Vote No

In addition to the Park Bonds, our November Ballot will include a Redevelopment Referendum vote. This allows City Council to authorize the creation of Tax Authorization Districts (TADs) without a citizen vote. The fact that this was put on the ballot prior to any explanation of what it is, is slimy. We urge you to vote NO.
Look up Georgia’s Redevelopment Powers Law Research Atlanta, GSU. and Atlanta Tax Allocation Districts and Beltline Tax Allocation District and Campbellton Road Tax Allocation District.

These TADs are created to form and fund projects. TADs can issue Bonds and have Eminent Domain powers. They act independently. They are not elected or accountable. Their sole purpose is to find distressed properties, buy them, forcibly if necessary, and develop them into properties with higher tax value. They provide a city with perpetual redevelopment activities

The fact that TADs can issue Bonds, means they can create city debt without a vote. Bonds cost double because of interest cost and half the debt goes into the paper shredder. TADs have expensive staff working with developers and Bond lawyers and market makers to plan, borrow and implement these projects without a citizen vote.
Rather than trust development to free enterprise, where the investors and developers risk their own money, TADs allow for the City to hold the bag if the TAD plan fails. TADs set up a permanent bailout for developers. TADs allow the City to control all development through its TADs and Land Use Master Plan and Zoning.

TADs use hand picked panels of citizens (see useful idiots) to respond to leaded questions, using the Delphi Technique, so they can say the citizens wanted these changes. TAD projects can include boondoggles like the Beltline and commercial business districts like Campbellton Road.


TADs usurp property rights. When investors risk their own money to develop properties and locate businesses, we have free enterprise. Investors are much more careful with their businesses if they take the losses if it fails. Cities can now obtain the legal right to end free enterprise.

TAD projects turn into disasters. When TADs risk your money to develop properties, they tend to become expensive, low use properties, because those small groups involved make impractical decisions and consumers don’t support it. The HOV and Toll Lanes are good examples of small groups making government decisions that voters don’t support.

Eminent Domain should not be expanded beyond making room for roads and highways. Expanding it to let an unelected group take your property for commercial purposes, to increase the tax value of your property is not where we need to go. TADs violate private property rights to build something else on what was your land, so they can get higher tax revenue. Most citizens cannot afford the legal bills to defend themselves from this abuse. TADs form to attack specific projects using “public private partnerships”. This is a scam..

All decisions to assume debt should be reserved to citizens, voting at the ballot box. Nor an unelected group authorized by a City Council. TADs can borrow money on their own and when a project fails the city is left holding the bag. It is a sleazy, wrong-headed, back door path to city debt and citizen abuse It involves private developers and the city’s economic development group picking projects and borrowing money with full authority and no transparency. The Dunwoody City Council may have slipped the TAD vote on the Ballot in case the Park Bonds fail to pass.

We urge a NO vote on this sleazy, risky “Economic Development” scam. If developers want to develop something, they can go see their banker. Developers now can contact property owners to ask if they would sell their property. Owners are free to say yes or no and that’s the way it should be.

This is how we ended up with $16 billion Toll Lanes that are too confusing and dangerous to use. This was approved by ARC without our approval. A private company “partnered” with ARC, a nonelected tax authorizing appointed commission. TADs create boondoggles. Toll Lanes are a scam.

Tax Authorizing Districts in Atlanta

Atlanta has established several TADs. They are: Atlantic Station, BeltLine, Campbellton Road, Eastside, Hollowell/ML King, Metropolitan Parkway,Perry-Bolton, Princeton Lakes, Stadium Area, Westside

Redevelopment Powers Act passed by the Georgia Legislature allows cities to ask the voters if they can create these TADs. TADs are a bad idea whose job is to look for and spend your money on other bad ideas.

To quote a wise friend: “We are too young a city and do not have enough badly decayed areas to warrant a TAD. The ones we have are small and the free market should be able to handle them.”

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Friday, October 7, 2011


Jobs are created when the demand for a company’s product or services is exceeding the company’s ability to supply the product or service.

Where jobs land depends on where companies wants to operate. When a company is open to location, where it finally decides to go can be influenced by lots of factors. One is the location of its vendors and customers. Another is taxes and the cost of land or rent and other factors affecting the cost of doing business. The availability of the kind of employees it wants to hire is another factor.
Manufacturers need to transport parts from vendors and products to customers. Companies tend to locate to low tax, right-to-work states.

All of these are usually either there are they’re not. If they exist in several locations, it is typical for the company to send representatives to get their own impressions. Savvy companies call on other companies already operating in that location to get answers to their questions . Over the years I got plenty of calls from these companies and I was happy to help them.

Did I mention government ? No I don’t think I did.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Park Bonds II - Interest Cost


Voting yes for Park Bonds is like putting $62 million in a paper shredder.

Bonds are the dumbest way to finance non-emergency government projects. The debt service or interest on these bonds will be $4.3 million a year. 5% of the unpaid balance goes into the shredder. On a $62 million balance the first year interest charge is $3.1 million. The other $1.2 million is principle. Bonds are like a home mortgage, we take out a home mortgage because the entire cost of the house is paid at closing, when we buy it. Houses are a high cost, high use necessity, parks are a high cost, low use venue. Bond interest is a big part of government waste.


Parks require maintenance and police time. More parks, require more maintenance and police time. Parks are open for public use and are more vulnerable than subdivision swim and tennis clubs.

Parks Plan

Voting for the Bonds indicates that you approve the Parks Plan as it currently exists. If you still disagree with parts of the Parks Plan, you should vote no. In the current plan, the ball fields have been removed from Dunwoody Park, a $2 million unnecessary cost.

No Bond, Incremental Improvement

The advantage to incremental improvement of parks over time is that citizens would be able to continue to influence park modifications and the city can avoid making costly mistakes. Incremental projects are managed more closely, confirmed by users and implemented more carefully. The biggest advantage of paying for park improvements from general revenue over time is that with no Bonds to pay off, we will not be putting our $62 million interest in the paper shredder.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody Ga Tea Party Leader

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Turnip Plan

If you read The Chess Game and UN Agenda 21 – Roots, you are probably curious to know just how you could lose your benefits, assets and property. You can lose your house if you lose your job… that one’s easy. You can lose your Social Security and Medicare if the government runs out of cash. You can lose your retirement account if it’s confiscated by the government.

If a debtor has no money and nobody will lend him any, he can not pay anything to anybody (no blood in a turnip). So, what’s the plan ? Our Federal government is acting like it will never reduce spending or attempt to pay down its debt….ever. Buried in the Obama-care legislation is authorization for the Federal Government to seize your retirement accounts.

Democrats have loaded up the 10 year Whitehouse “budget” with an extra $1 trillion a year more than they’ve ever spent. They ignore questions about why we need to spend $1.6 trillion more than we take in. Democrats want their big expensive government. Republicans want to balance the budget to prevent The Turnip Plan.

Our largest banks are insolvent. Their balance sheets have as many liabilities (toxic mortgage-backed securities, etc.) as assets. Large defaults on loans will push them over the edge. Some hold investments in Greece, Spain, Ireland, Italy and the US.

Greek Default

If Greece defaults, the Greeks, banks and bond holders all take hits. The bond holders (banks) have agreed to take a 21% haircut on the value of their Greek bonds.
They may see to it that the creditors bail out the Greeks this one last time, but they will step in at that point and take over the Greek government. They will slash the expenses the elected officials were incapable of cutting and set up a shadow government. These will be Greeks, who report to the EU (or Germany). Greek sovereignty will be toast

They may trim pensions and benefits to citizens instead of eliminating them. What they do may be the prototype the rest of us can expect when our country goes into receivership.

EU Cascade

This could happen one country at a time, but might cascade faster. If it does, then a chain-reaction occurs. The same banks may hold loans and bonds from all of those countries. In a bankruptcy, all creditors are liable and a default in Greece would ignite liquidity crises in banks in other countries. The money these governments owe to the banks will come due as each of these countries default. They will do a “work-out” if they can, but if the amount of money required to do this with these 4 European countries is too much, the banks will stop lending new money. That’s their Debt Wall. The government can’t pay its employees or pensioners and their paychecks will stop. If they have any debts and can’t make the payments, their cars will be repossessed and their homes will be foreclosed.

US Debt Bubble Bursts

The US government will absolutely hold interest rates down as long as they can because of the impact higher borrowing costs would have on the debt service payments.
When the US hits its “Debt Wall” the same events would likely occur. But the US bond holders include the government of China, India, Japan and others. When other countries own the bonds, they might want a land deal. Imagine these countries owning that much US land. We could expect this work-out agreement would be made in secret and may have already been negotiated. It may involve the appointment of Trustees who would oversee the transition. its The Trustees would collect tax revenue and pay creditors. Tax revenues would fall with our economy. Heavy tax increases could be imposed.on what’s left of the economy.

A provisional government would run whatever functions the Trustees approved as necessary. These would probably include a large national police force tasked with keeping us under control, and moving us to relocation camps. The US dollar would be abandoned and become totally worthless (think Weimar Republic). Obviously you will lose your job, your Social Security, your Medicare, food stamps, housing subsidies and your bank account. Now…wasn’t that fast ?

The “Evil Empire Spooky Dudes” I mentioned in The Chess Game are selling their gold market and are raising cash to place their bets on defaults. They set this up and they will look to buy contracts betting on sovereign debt defaults they are certain will happen. Obama is doing his part by spending us into oblivion. You should stock up on drinking water and can goods now.

The Spooky Evil Dudes who caused all this would be the only ones with any money. They will collect their winnings from their sovereign default bets. They will buy gold when it bottoms..

The US Federal Reserve will keep these banks and foreign governments “liquid” with printed money from us. That works, because inflation is part of the volatility plan they have in store for us in the US to experience,.. serves us right…can we own Greece ?...No, Greece will belong to the (Spooky Dude EU guys).

We would hit our “Debt Wall”, if US bond holders sold their US Treasury Bonds and no one else would buy them. Ben Bernanke could buy Treasuries for the Fed balance sheet until somebody breaks his printing press.

Some committee of politicians we know, like Obama, could be appointed by the Trustees as the “provisional government”. They will not report to you. They will report to the Chinese, the Indians and The Bond Holders or to the “Spooky Evil Dudes” They might dictate the same reductions and cancellations and raise taxes to something like 50%.. There will be a shadow government (Spooky Dudes) the “provisional governments” reports to, They will be the only folks with any money. They will slash expenses and deport all Republicans. We will no longer be a Christian nation.

In the 1979 John Ritter movie “Americathon”, volunteers offered to hold a telethon to raise money for the government. That won’t happen here. We are on the path to “mutually assured destruction”.

We would rather cut $1.6 trillion from the Federal Budget by closing all but the four Cabinet Level Departments authorized by the Constitution..

We will wake up one morning to a special TV announcement that our government has been dissolved by its creditors and a “new” provisional government has taken its place – it’s the plan. Our economic demise will follow quickly.

Have a nice day !