December 2015
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Winter Newsletter

President's Message
Fall Fling Kicks Off New Year
BWCA Needs You
Pendergrast Park Updates
Cityhood Defeated
Operation Clean Street

School News

Like BWCA on Facebook
Like BWCA on Facebook
BWCA website & calendar
BWCA website & calendar
NextDoor for more neighborhood news
NextDoor for more neighborhood news

President's Message

I hope this newsletter finds each of you and your families doing well this holiday season.  As we wrap up this year, I want to thank you for supporting your civic association.  This year has been a busy one for our community with the cityhood referendum and other DeKalb County political issues.  I hope that no matter which side you supported that all of us can pull together to make our community and DeKalb County stronger!
As one year ends, a new one begins.  Please mark your calendars for our Annual Membership Meeting on January 24, 2016 at 4 pm at Sagamore Hills Elementary.  We hope to have updates on security issues, school system news, Pendergrast Park, and more!  In addition, we will be voting on new Board members, who will serve a 2-year term.  Please attend!    

Jonathan Wells

Fall Fling Kicks Off a New Membership Year 

We celebrated the start of the new membership year with our Annual Fall Fling. The rain would not let up but BWCA did not let the weather ruin the fun.  The party was moved inside the Clubhouse (thank you to our friends at the Beach Club)!  The kids played in the bounce house and "fished" for treats while the adults mingled with new neighbors and learned more about the current happenings in Briarcliff Woods.  The menu included delicious hot dogs, hamburgers, and veggie burgers grilled by the BWCA Board and fabulous pot luck sides and desserts provided by the neighborhood!  The event was an overall success and the Board is looking forward to hosting more social events in 2016. Here are some pictures from the event.  The fall photo booth was a big hit!  Thank you to Kim Pollard and all the volunteers who made it a success!

If you received this newsletter then you are already a BWCA member this year -- Thank you for your support!  Each year we have increased our membership, but currently only about 30% of households are BWCA members.  You can help build our community support by talking with your neighbors about BWCA and encouraging them to join.  This is especially helpful for new residents to the neighborhood who may not know about us yet. You can simply refer neighbors to our website where they can learn more about the association and to find membership information.  You can also invite a neighbor to join you at the annual membership meeting on January 24th, 4pm, at Sagamore Hills Elementary School.  Membership can be obtained at the door.

Here are two reasons why increasing BWCA membership is important:
  • Strength in numbers - Civic associations represent members, thus BWCA is best able to advocate and represent our neighborhood's interests in local affairs when membership is over 50%.
  • Many hands make light work - Civic associations improve neighborhoods by working together.  BWCA can organize more improvement projects, neighborhood watch captains, and social activities as our base of volunteers grows.

Pendergrast Park Updates

Pendergrast is making clear progress as we move to implement the plan outlined by Dekalb County last summer.  The Friends of Pendergrast Park group, led by Randy Roosa, have applied for a grant from Park Pride with matching funds from Dekalb County and donations from the community.  If we receive the grant, funds will go towards building the first phase of the trail system and site furnishings such as picnic tables and a bench swing.  We will find out in January if the grant has been awarded and it will be announced at the annual BWCA meeting (another great reason to attend, January 24, Sagamore Hills Elementary, 4pm)!
You may have noticed a full dumpster at the park site.  It took many long hours and several workdays from dedicated volunteers to fill it up.  We have had 3 workdays this year.  Among the accomplishments:
  • Removed invasives such as ivy from trees and sections of the property
  • Cut down dead trees and brush and trimmed overgrown bushes
  • Marked the initial trail system
  • Removed wire fencing that blocked the trail system
  • Planted native plants such as woodland ferns, red buckeye and American Beautyberry bushes
Workdays will resume in the spring.  Much help will be needed to build the trail system! Contact Randy Roosa if interested in volunteer work.  We will also post announcements on Facebook and NextDoor.
Help Fund Pendergrast Park
 Donate now for a 2015 tax deduction.

We need your help to make this park a reality!  Community funding will be a large part of the overall funding mix.  A sincere thanks to those that have already donated!

There are two ways to donate – via check or credit card using the Park Pride Website.   Donating by check is preferred, as credit card donations do have a fee.
To donate by check, make your check payable to Park Pride with "Pendergrast Park" in the check memo and mail to:

Karen Torghele
Treasurer, Friends of Pendergrast Park
2076 Continental Drive
Atlanta, GA 30345

To donate on line, go to the Park Pride website (  Click on the link to donate to a specific park. Select Pendergrast Park, provide the required payment information and you will have an opportunity to print a receipt for your tax deduction. 

Cityhood Defeated

The LaVista Hills cityhood initiative failed by a narrow margin of about 1%.  Provisional ballots were added to the initial results, and the margin against increased from 136 to 139.  This apparently is the first-ever defeat of a proposed city in Georgia.  The legislature has appointed committees to evaluate the current process of forming new cities and annexing areas into existing cities, with a focus on determining impacts not just on the proposed study areas, but also existing cities and unincorporated areas.
A number of election irregularities were claimed by the LaVista Hills Alliance, including an unsecured data card for one of the precincts.  The group has turned over reports of voting irregularities to the Secretary of State’s office and will cease campaign activities until the investigation into the Nov. 3 referendum is completed.  Supporters of the proposed city of LaVista Hills indicated in a press release that a legal challenge to the election result is unlikely.  The legal fees for such a challenge can be high, and the loser in such a lawsuit must pay the legal fees for both parties. 
One observer's viewpoint about the outcome noted several late-breaking factors in the campaign: 
  • The claims made for lower property taxes were hotly disputed in metro area papers and on blogs. 
  • The e-mail exchange among city supporters regarding the disputed millage rates, consisting of more than 50 pages,  published in
  • The list of pro-city donors publicized just days before the election, which revealed many donors from outside the study area and some from companies that provide city services. 

Operation Street Clean


Even though the weather is deceiving, winter is here.  This means that many of our street curbs are full of leaves and over-grown grass and ivy.  We are promoting Operation Street Clean as a friendly reminder to clean the street curbs in front of your house. Please also consider lending a hand to any elderly neighbors who may need help with this.  Here are some reasons why it is important to keep street curbs clean and free of debris and overgrown folliage:

  • Debris and overgrowth narrows the road. This means less room for cars, and for pedestrians to safely walk on the side of the road.  
  • Debris can become slippery increasing risk of slip and fall injuries among pedestrians including children walking to school.
  • Removing debris and overgrowth improves water runoff during rain storms and prevents clogs in our stormwater drainage system.

School News

Community Event to Support Lakeside High School
The LHS Dugout Club invites you to attend its 12th Annual Auction on Saturday, January 23 from 7 to 11 pm.  This is an evening all about fun and community, not baseball. In addition to the live and silent auctions on items and events ranging from beach timeshare weekends to meals at popular restaurants to spa sessions, the event offers a sit-down dinner and live music enjoyed with your friends and neighbors.

Tickets for the auction (which cover dinner and a drink ticket) cost $25 for individuals and $40 for couples. To reserve tickets, please contact Jon McKenna at or Heather Duncan at hld0@bellsouth.netThe event will be held at the Briarcliff Woods Beach Club clubhouse, 1830 Morris Landers Drive NE, Atlanta 30345.

DCSD Superintendent Statement - 2015-16 Central Office Reorganization Phase 1
"I am pleased that the Board has approved the first phase of a bold plan to streamline, strengthen and make our executive team more effective, efficient and responsive. As with every strategic move this administration takes, we have one goal in mind - to improve student learning."
  Read more
Please visit our website or email us at with any compliments, concerns or questions.

Copyright © 2015 Briarcliff Woods Civic Association, All rights reserved.

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