Thursday, August 5, 2010

DeKalb Strategic Plan looks at budget shortfall, service cuts and possibly a public safety crisis.

Mon Aug 9th from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Georgia Perimeter College, Dunwoody Campus
2101 Womack Road
Room NC 1100, Building C
Dunwoody, GA 30338-4497
During these difficult financial times, DeKalb County is focusing on providing the best level of service to our residents and businesses while maintaining a balanced budget and efficient government. The County's mission is to make the priorities of the citizens of DeKalb County, the priorities of County government by achieving a safer DeKalb, building stronger neighborhoods, creating a fiscally accountable and more efficient county government, and uniting the citizens of DeKalb County. With this in mind, the County will engage in a strategic planning process-FOCUSS (fiscal accountability, opportunity, community, unity, and safety and sustainability) DeKalb.
Most of you, like myself just received your property tax bill from the county therefore you know that we pay a large sum of money to DeKalb County for general operations, hospitals, previous bond referendums and fire protection; and then we pay even more to the DeKalb County School System for public schools.  If you look at the recent explanation of your tax bill, you will see that the city has just a small portion of the overall bill and that we have kept the rates the same as previous years.

DeKalb County is in a crisis this budget year with a projected deficit and a split commission whereby the CEO in January was opting for a tax increase but the Board of Commissioners would like to hold the line on taxes while removing excess positions or improving the efficiency of essential services. In January the CEO held 12 community meetings selling his tax increase and since those didn't sway the community or the BOC; it appears that this round of meetings may be related to the first.

In order to stay within budget, drastic cost savings policies appear to have been put in place by the county which in the case of the DeKalb County Police Department (and probably the DeKalb Fire Department) is drastically affecting the moral and retention of the officers. As per the DeKalb Officers site the County has implemented policies whereby officers are being forced to work holidays without pay, no sick leave pay, no merit increases, no cost of living increases, inadequate cars to drive, all while the CEO and County Commissioners employees received up to 34% pay raises. Abusing public service employees to save a few bucks seems to me like a short term financial gain and long term economic loss for all involved.

I have included a DeKalb Police video below as well as a copy of the budget presentation from January as both may play a part in Monday nights presentation since many DeKalb Officers may be in attendance on Monday night.  (If you are seeing this via e-mail please check my website for the video and budget as these electronic items can not be transmitted in that medium.)  I will not be able to attend this meeting as I have a City Council meeting at the same time but if anyone does attend please do give a recap in the comments.

2010 DeKalb County Budget Presentation

1 comment:

Dunwoody Mom said...
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