CHCA news & updates
January & February 2022 |
Your Civic Association Wishes You a Very Happy New Year!
Dear Clairmont Heights Neighbors,

Happy New Year everyone! I hope y’all ate your greens and black-eyed peas. I know I did.

2021 was a pretty eventful year despite ongoing public health precautions preventing us from doing everything we hoped.

During the first CHCA Board meeting of the year, we made the decision to push back the proposed Neighborhood Spring Party. Nobody was more disappointed than me. It was during this same meeting that the street sign topper idea was proposed by Corresponding Secretary Eric Gilbert and our 2021 signature project was born! Nobody was more excited than me.

Twenty-twentyone marked the 75th anniversary of the founding of Clairmont Heights. We celebrated this milestone with a socially-distanced scavenger hunt in which we introduced Clairmont H. Gnome, the neighborhood mascot. The winners of this golden gnome statue get to display it in their yard until it’s handed off to the winners of the next qualifying event. The honor of being the first host to Clairmont H. Gnome went to the Gilbert-Givers household.  

Continuing the annual tradition, we celebrated all of our neighborhood 2021 high school graduates with custom banners on Desmond St. and N. Superior.
In May, we held our annual neighborhood meeting via Zoom. Valarie Basheda stepped down as Recording Secretary and Nancy Rosetti was voted in to take her place. 

In July, our Membership Chair, Claire Anne Gutekunst, reported that 89 households joined or renewed their membership to the CHCA! Supergood!

To me, the street sign toppers are one of the most visible and lasting contributions to the neighborhood that the CHCA made in 2021. An enduring legacy of which we are all proud.

Getting the sign toppers was a big task: Designs were created and evaluated, vendors identified, County approval was requested. In August the County approved our request for installation.  

We held our sign topper inauguration event in September with custom cupcakes, a La Croix toast, and special guest State Senator Elena Parent. A good time was had by all! To top it off, we got neighborhood sponsorship for all of the signs which covered most of the purchase and installation costs. Thanks to everyone for your support of this effort!

We were still wrestling with public health restrictions in October which put a damper on Halloween. Although we weren’t able to host our traditional and much-anticipated Halloween gathering, the CHCA sponsored a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt, a costume contest, and a jack-o-lantern contest. The Powell family took the honor of hosting Clairmont H. Gnome, where he currently resides. Stay tuned for our next scavenger hunt and the next opportunity to claim host to the golden gnome, probably in February. 

In November, the CHCA Board funded a grant request from the Friends of Ira B. Melton Park for $500 towards continued improvements and beautification projects. This money was added to a pool of funds collected towards a matching grant from the Park Pride organization. The CHCA Board also provided a letter of support for the ongoing effort of the Friends. This was our only grant request for the year. Please keep in mind that we accept grant requests for any projects that contribute to the improvement of our neighborhood experience.

And that, friends and neighbors, was our year in the neighborhood!!

Looking to the new year I see a lot of opportunities. We are watching what community spread levels and public health guidance will be, and are keeping our Spring Party plans tentative. If a Spring party doesn’t happen, we can still hope for a Halloween blowout, which is my favorite time of year.  

We will be looking for folks with fresh ideas to join the board this year. I encourage everyone to consider accepting and/or pursuing nominations for board positions. It’s a great organization where you can make a positive impact on your immediate community. You also get to hang out with really cool folks like myself at least once a month. There’s a plug-in opportunity for everyone. It’s such a blast!

Sincerely,

Bert Ackermann, President & Lord Mayor 
Clairmont Heights Civic Association
Neighborhood News
Ira B. Melton Park Workday
Saturday, January 22nd, 1:00-3:00 pm

Come assist Ranger Jonah and the Friends of Melton Park with invasive plant removal. Wear long pants and appropriate footwear, dress for the weather, and bring a refillable water bottle. Bring work gloves, loppers, hand pruners, and a snack. Shovels and mattocks will be helpful if you have them. Meet at the entrance to Ira B. Melton Park at Desmond Drive and Park Lane (GPS address: 2080 Desmond Drive).
CHCA Spring Party
We are hopeful that we might be able, public health guidelines permitting, to host an in-person get-together for the whole neighborhood on Saturday, April 30th.

Stay tuned to CHCA news and hold that date in your calendar for some great neighborhoodiness!
Schools Updates
Out of an abundance of caution and following DCSD’s lead, the Druid Hills High School Auction Committee has made the decision to delay our Paint the Town RED! benefit fundraiser until March 26, 2022. We believe that planning a springtime event will give us a better chance to gather in person safely and celebrate our wonderful DHHS community. We look forward to seeing you then!
 
Please plan to join us then at the Lake House in Avondale to raise funds to support DHHS and DHMS academics and athletics. Support your local public schools!

 
In the meantime, keep those donations and sponsorships coming in! We need your individual and business donations — and ask your favorite business to make a donation or purchase a sponsorship! Directly enter your donations HERE
Community Updates
Change of Representation at the Gold Dome
During its 2021 Special Session, the Georgia legislature adopted new districts for state House and Senate offices. Governor Kemp signed this legislation into law on 12/30/2021, effective on the same date. 

For the Clairmont Heights and Medlock neighborhoods, this will bring a change in our House representation, and we will vote as part of District 82 in the next election for this office. Currently, our State House representative is Renitta Shannon. District 82 has long been represented by Druid Hills resident Mary Margaret Oliver, and it is likely that she will be on the ballot again in 2022. She has represented our neighborhood in previous decades and has spoken to our CHCA membership at its annual meetings on several occasions. 

You can see a representation of the draft map (since adopted) in Mary Margaret Oliver's recent post "Maps Maps Maps" on her website.


The formal legislation does NOT include maps, and state websites have not yet been revised to reflect this information. Nevertheless, you can verify that our voting district (Scott precinct) will be part of House District 82 in the next election by consulting pages 118-119 of the adopted law, H.B. 1EX, on the GA General Assembly's website  (Click on Current Version to see the PDF of the adopted law).

Please note that Ms. Shannon remains our representative until the next legislative session in 2023.
Traffic Updates
Did you know there is a Facebook Group dedicated to tracking incidents and advocating for a safer intersection of North Decatur Road and North Superior Avenue??

Check out Fix the Intersection if you're interested in joining.
GDOT PROPOSES CHANGES FOR PONCE
via our friends at the Druid Hills Civic Association

The DHCA has been lobbying for reductions in vehicular speed on Ponce de Leon to improve overall safety. The Public Safety Committee has been following conceptual changes being considered for Ponce de Leon at key intersections as it meanders through Druid Hills.

At a recent meeting, GDOT shared several options which include potential changes to the intersections at East Lake Rd, Ponce de Leon Manor, and at the Ponce/Scott Blvd split.

There are also shared improvements under consideration at Ponce and Ridgecrest.
Visit the DHCA's Public Safety Page to see the presentation and learn more about these potential safety solutions for this dangerous corridor.

Residents are encouraged to email their input to the public safety committee via publicsafety@druidhills.org.
Parks Updates
Mason Mill Educational Programs
with Ranger Jonah
Is Your Membership in Our Neighborhood Association Current?
Membership in Clairmont Heights Civic Association (CHCA) is open to anyone 18 years of age or older who own or reside within the CHCA boundaries. Membership is on a household basis and dues are $25. Our membership year runs from June 1 - May 31.

How we use your Membership dues:

  • Neighborhood Improvements: We buy plants for neighborhood entrances and help fund additions to Melton Park. We provide grants for things like our annual Graduation Banners. We mow common areas when necessary.

  • Social gatherings: CHCA sponsors our neighborhood’s annual Halloween potluck and occasionally other cookouts and Family Movie Nights. We try to provide opportunities to meet your neighbors and have a good time.

  • Communications: The Association website, this monthly eNewsletter, and the neighborhood Facebook group are all mechanisms that we employ to share information about the community. With separate committees addressing traffic issues, zoning and development concerns, and schools, our Board learns about a wide variety of things that we share throughout the year.
Do You Know Who Represents Our Neighborhood?
Dekalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader
Dekalb County District 2
Dekalb Co. Commissioner Ted Terry
Dekalb County District 6
Dekalb County CEO Michael Thurmond
Georgia Representative Rennitta Shannon
Georgia State House District 82
Georgia Senator Elena Parent
Georgia State Senate District 42
United States Congressman Hank Johnson
Georgia 4th Congressional District
United States Senator Jon Ossoff
United States Senator Raphael Warnock