I. Welcome & Introductions
Tom Tidwell called the meeting to order at about 6:45 PM.
II. Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the October meetings were approved.
III. Admit New Member Neighborhoods
No neighborhoods asked to be admitted to membership in BCN.
IV. Committee and Liaison Updates
- No report.
- No report.
- Did not meet. No report.
- No report.
- No report.
- No report.
Transportation, Development and Infrastructure
- No report.
V. Community Concerns/New Business
Garth Peters addressed the absence of first aid kits available to APD patrol officers – they don’t carry anything. The Buckhead Coalition is promoting and partially funding a program to provide $50 emergency medical kits to APD officers. They have contributed $18,000 so far and are asking others to support the program. They have arranged with the Atlanta Police Foundation for tax deductible donations to be made for the kits. He passed out information about the program.
VI. Annual Election of Officers
The BCN Board elected the following officers for 2014/15:
Tom Tidwell – West Paces Northside
Ron Grunwald – Loring Heights
Gordon Certain – North Buckhead
Debra Wathen – Paces
Tom Tidwell commented that while we have had a slate of good speakers including Meria Carstarphen, Arthur Ferdinand, Ed Lindsey, Atlanta Board of Education candidates, and other candidates, attendance seems to be slipping. If anyone has suggestions about future speakers or topics, please let Tom know.
John Schaffner suggested inviting Michael Moore of the Buckhead 50 Club to speak. He said Buckhead 50 is the area’s oldest civic association in Buckhead. It was very influential in the past, even with the paving of Roswell Road. He said it is an important organization, and most people aren’t aware it even exists. John also suggested that the BCN committees should be more active in advocacy, especially involving transportation issues. Tom also explored the idea of having a legislative luncheon or breakfast in January or perhaps after cross-over day. He also explored Ron Grunwald’s suggestion that we have a legislative agenda – a list of things that are important to the various neighborhoods. A long discussion followed with board members griping about various policies and failures of execution of existing policies.
Kenneth DeSimone, Commander, Post 140 The American Legion
Kenneth DeSimone has a unique background: an Iraq/Afghanistan War veteran who is having a significant impact on both Buckhead and Sandy Springs. Kenneth is the Commander of Post 140 of The American Legion. The post is located on a three-acre parcel on Powers Ferry Road at the southern end
of Chastain Park. He is also the Chief of Police in Sandy Springs. He came to BCN to talk about his American Legion role. The American Legion organization is made up of veterans who served in the armed forces in a time of war. With the Iraq and Afghanistan wars there has been a recent influx of younger members who have joined members going back to World War II. The post building is historic and was built as a work camp for the CCC workers who built the Chastain
Park Amphitheatre and related facilities in the 1930s. They are working with Home Depot and HD Supply in hopes of renovating the site. The site itself is available for rent and is regularly used by organizations such as Buckhead 50. The site is open to support neighborhood events and is rated at about 150 attendees. For more information, see www.post140buckhead.com.
Among the service activities the post supports are those benefitting youth and combat-injured veterans. They are currently working to create a t-ball practice field and are working with a Boy Scout Troop which is seeking to relocate to Post 140. They also host a 911 Memorial foot race which raises about $50,000
a year for the Share Program at the Shepherd Center for the benefit of combat-injured veterans. They also hope to set aside part of the Post 140 site for a Share Program garden to help rehabilitate combat injured veterans.
As Sandy Springs Police Chief, DeSimone added they work closely with APD Zone 2.
Erica Danylchak, Buckhead Heritage
Erica Danylchak is the Executive Director of Buckhead Heritage. She presented an outline of a Buckhead Heritage project called the Interpretative Master Plan for Buckhead, an effort to make the history of Buckhead more relevant to those who are here today. Prior efforts to portray history involved brass plaques which are scattered throughout Buckhead – people whiz by in their cars with little realization of the message. The project Erica described will put history in the context of present day Buckhead. The project came about as a result of efforts with Council Member Howard Shook’s Buckhead Collection initiative. The Buckhead Collection is an imaginative effort to increase greenspace in Council District 7 while concurrently making Buckhead more interesting by including art and improving historical awareness. Beginning in October 2013, Buckhead Heritage hired a firm to help determine innovative methods of interpreting Buckhead history, in both Council Districts 7 and 8.
The plan was to capture people’s attention and imagination as they visited Buckhead parks and streets. The hope is that once interest is piqued, there will be an effort made to learn about the history behind the interpretative display. The image below left is an example showing how Civil Warriors might have appeared in what is now a Buckhead park. Visitors would become aware that the part of Buckhead they are standing in was once a tragic war zone. Another example was a historic photograph mounted in front of the Buckhead Theater in such a way that the visitor standing in Charlie Loudermilk Park would see the photograph hovering in tempered glass in front of the present-day profile of the buildings surrounding the photo. The result of these efforts will make Buckhead’s historically-rich past more accessible to newcomers and visitors as well as long-time citizens.
VIII. New Business/Announcements
IX. Next Meetings December 11, 2014
IX. Adjourn – The meeting adjourned at about 8:45 PM.
Note: The opinions expressed by the speakers and individual neighborhood representatives in these minutes do not necessarily represent those of BCN or its member neighborhoods.