Today, Tuesday December 3, a runoff election will be held for two important school board races. All Candler Park residents will vote at Epworth Church (1561 McLendon) and polls are open from 7 am - 8 pm.
On the ballot for Candler Park voters:
School board at large seat 8: candidates are Reuben McDaniel and Cynthia Briscoe Brown
School board at large seat 9: candidates are Jason Esteves and Lori James
Run-off elections tend to have a low turn-out, so your vote counts more than ever. Any registered voter can vote today, whether or not you voted in the general election. Go get that peach sticker!
Don't expect Mary Lin adminstrators to back off their decision to end student dropoffs next Monday from the northbound lane of Candler Park Drive or to reverse the elimination of voluntary crossing guards in front of the school.
That was the message of Principal Brian Mitchell during a special meeting of the Mary Lin Building Committee in the Lin auditorium Monday. Approximately 25 parents attended the midday meeting, as did Mitchell, Assistant Principal Ashley Adamo, the architect of the school's ongoing renovation and addition project, and our neighborhood's recently elected, soon-to-be School Board District Member Leslie Grant.
Of perhaps a dozen commenters, all but one or two were critical of Mitchell's decision, how it was decided or how it was communicated. As CPNO president, I read a statement requesting that the school delay the changes and strive to be more inclusive in future decisions that might affect the neighborhood. Read it here.
But Mitchell was firm. He told parent activists that they should advise other parents to change their behavior by using buses or by dropping their kids off around 7:30 am, before the traffic's backed up for southbound dropoff ... and to be patient. One father, a crossing guard, supported Mitchell by saying parents need to adjust their behavior even if it's inconvenient, because dropping off children across the street from their school is inherently unsafe.
While Mitchell initially announced last week that northbound dropoff needed to be eliminated to make room for teacher's parking spaces, he argued today that it's a non-negotiable move to enhance safety. The crosswalk in front of the school is striped and marked by city school xing signs. It's been operated for around a decade. But it apparently isn't an official city crosswalk. Asked why it was necessary to make the change so quickly, he said the administration is "leveraging" construction to close the crossing.
Mitchell did thank me for the statement and came up to me afterward to apologize for not engaging the neighborhood.
What will this mean for neighborhood traffic? My guess is that it'll clog up Oakdale Road and North Avenue as more parents funnel through those two streets to drop off their kids by heading south on Candler Park Drive. We'll see if that creates a bit of gridlock on the North Avenue stop signs. The northbound lane on Candler Park Drive may become less congested, but freer flowing traffic isn't likely to enhance the experience of parents and kids who are walking across the street to get to the school.
To me, the whole controversy also underscores how crucial it is that we work to implement priority projects on our Candler Park Master Plan. Among other improvements, the plan calls for two new crosswalks across Candler Park Drive and a sidewalk running the entire length of the eastern edge of Candler Park Drive. Prescient? Certainly. But it's too bad we can't get all those changes installed by next week.
Updated: The 374 Clifton Road Application was withdrawn; therefore, no pending applications remain to be reviewed at the December meeting. The December Zoning Committee Meeting is cancelled. The next scheduled meeting is January 1, 2014.
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Mary Lin Elementary’s construction project has run into another delay — this time because the City of Atlanta allegedly lost drawings that were part of the project's building permit application.
A memo to Mary Lin Principal Brian Mitchell from an Atanta Public Schools construction management official put it this way:
The City is requiring a total resubmission for the building permit. According to Hogan Construction, the drawings submitted previously are lost in the permitting office. The City will not accept the second application without these documents.
It’s unclear how far back the permit problem will move completion of the addition portion of the project, which already had slid to July 2014. And it’s unclear how further schedule changes might affect classroom space for the 2014-15 school year. A separate stage of the overall project — renovation and reconfiguration of the existing building — is slated to get underway after the addition is complete.
According to that APS construction management memo:
Hogan is still meeting with their subcontractors to revise the phasing plan and more importantly, we still do not have a building permit in hand. The team is contacting the City Building Department daily.
The original phasing plan indicated phase 1 to start October 21st and phase 2 to start on November 4th. These date slipped because the permit took longer than anticipated. Hogan is revising the schedule based on receiving the [Land Disturbance Permit] on November 13th. The Land Disturbance Permit only allow[s] site work which is the phase 1 work. Based on the date the construction team received the LDP, the July 2014 date probably slipped also. The construction team is working on a worse case phasing plan scenario.
Most Mary Lin parents probably know about it from a zillion or so comments on the Lin PTA Facebook page, but other commuters should be aware of a potential big change in CP's morning traffic patterns: Lin Principal Brian Mitchell has announced a new policy, starting in December, to end parent dropoffs from the northbound lane of Candler Park Drive. Please be aware that the change could ripple onto Oakdale Road and the nearby cross streets.
From Mitchell's announcement in the Mary Lin PTA Rocket:
Candler Park may lack vineyards and centuries-old villas, but it does have one thing in common with Tuscany, according to Jon Effron of the A is for Atlanta real estate blog: Lots of demand for housing and a limited supply.
Effron points out that, as of Nov. 5, there were no three-bedroom homes available for sale in our neighborhood. Those that have made it onto the market, have been sucked up right quick:
There have been 28 that have sold thus far this year- an absorption rate of 2.8 homes per month. With a standing inventory of zero, it doesn’t take a housing economist to determine that there are zero months of supply available.
The Tuscany connection? See this Seinfeld episode:
Oakdale Avenue's been pretty badly jammed up for the last couple of days during rush hour, Kate Sandhaus reports. It does look as if this will be the last day of the mess, however.
The apparent reason: workers are resurfacing the Oak Pointe Apartments parking lot (between Benning and Miller) so residents are parking their cars along Oakdale. A worker told Kate that they'll be done with the resurfacing today, but he wasn't sure that the lot would be dry and open before evening rush hour.
We expect to have more information soon, so come back to candlerpark.org in the afternoon for an update.
Check out this "Keep It INtown" promotion that our soon-to-be City Councilman Kwanza Hall's office and Atlanta INtown organized at several Candler Park businesses.
Due to redistricting, we become Hall's constituents when the new City Council's sworn in in January. But he's already the go-to guy for Candler Parkers on legislation, constituent service and — in this case — community support. Thanks, Kwanza!