In addition to Clayton’s high unemployment and foreclosure rate, he saw Clayton residents as not trusting most of their elected officials because of a lack of transparency and county leaders not working well in partnership with its own municipalities.
“I knew the county would have to change its direction because, after all, perception is reality,” Turner said. “Changing that perspective, not only to those in surrounding counties but to our own residents, became my vision.”
Turner used these words to give a review of his first 90 days in office as he addressed last Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Association of Christian Ministers of Clayton County as its keynote speaker.
Turner said he knew if people throughout the metro Atlanta area, including many of Clayton’s own residents, saw the county as a poor, crime-ridden, corrupt county, “there is little wonder why Clayton was in the predicament it was in,” he added.
“My vision for Clayton is to be progressive and a model county for other counties, not only in Georgia but throughout the United States,” he said. “I want those from other counties to not only be envious of Clayton County but send their government leaders to our county to discover how we became great.”
Turner added Clayton residents and the Atlanta news media, especially Atlanta’s local television stations, have to stop “bad-mouthing our county.”
He then outlined what he viewed as some of the accomplishments, with the support of the commission and department heads, of his administration.
Turner said he collaborated with Clayton County Police Chief Gregory Porter to put on an active shooter demonstration and training class for county employees, which he views as Clayton’s most valued asset.
In addition, he said, the board of commissioners has begun to restructure Turner’s administration by abolishing the county manager’s position and creating a chief operating officer and chief financial officer position in Clayton.
“The chief operating officer will oversee project and directives set forward by the chairman and the board of commissioners,” he said. “The chief financial officer will oversee the finance and internal audit departments.”
Turner added that under his administration, Clayton has reformed its government after a model recommended by the Carl Vinson Institute of Governmental Affairs.
“The creation of both these positions will streamline county operations and afford us better accountability,” he said.