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Residents question checks and balances in county government
by Sarah Anne Voylessvoyles@neighbornewspapers.com
September 11, 2013 03:05 PM | 2081 views | 1 1 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With his sleeves rolled up, interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May addressed more than 30 residents at a town hall meeting last week in Dunwoody.

May stood in the front of the room as he gave a few remarks and then took questions from the residents. He said he wants to build a stronger relationship between the county and its cities.

“We are one county and still family,” May said. “We just have different ways of providing services to our citizens. I understand that a strong DeKalb equals a strong Dunwoody, so we need to raise and support each other.”

Several residents asked May about the possibility of the reorganization in DeKalb County government.

“We need checks and balances within the county government,” Brookhaven resident Carol Sims said. “With everything that has gone on it looks like we have a dictatorship here.”

Resident Bob Dallas asked the CEO where he saw the procedure for a new government in the county and what May’s ideas on the new government were.

“Personally, I believe that moving to a chairperson and manager is the most appropriate government for our county,” May said.

“I have been very public with this opinion for about three years now, but here is the thing, we have not heard much of what a new structure would look like.”

Members of the Dunwoody City Council were present at the meeting and Mayor Mike Davis asked if the commission seat May holds will be filled by someone else. May said there are no plans to fill the seat at this time.

Residents also expressed concern for the police and fire services. Paige Olson, a resident, said her concern mainly dealt with the reliability of the equipment for the safety of police and firefighters.

She brought up a recent police car accident as one of her areas of concern.

May said he sat down with the police and fire chiefs to learn what they needed, but did not want to hear that there was a lack of money.

“There is a scripture that says your heart is where your treasure is,” May said.

“I would submit to you that we do not have a money issue but a heart issue in the county. Our priorities should reflect where we put the money.”

The CEO also addressed the large decrease in county jobs especially with police and firefighters this year.

He said the county is making strides with the academy to bring people in, but the county needs to become more aggressive with these efforts.

May said he believes the issue the county has faced in the last year has overshadowed the hard working employees. He said he still believes the county is great but because of these issues it is not running great.

This town hall meeting was one of 10 May has planned throughout the county.
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anonymous
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September 12, 2013
I was at a similar meeting at the Presbyterian Church on Memorial Drive.

DeKalb county does not have an effective program to bring businesses to DeKalb. If the county streamlined the Licensing and actively sought business to the county that would employee people and increase the tax base. That in turn would provide the county with $ for Code Enforcement Officers and Police and Fire services.
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