Thursday, March 29, 2012

DeKalb County - let's have our cake and eat it too.

 The tail of two AJC articles, you figure out the math.

DeKalb not ready for possibility of Brookhaven

The threat of a new city being carved out of a swath of north-central DeKalb County later this year could mean higher taxes for county residents come 2013.

If voters in the area between Buckhead and Chamblee vote to become Brookhaven this summer, DeKalb stands to lose between $25 and $27 million in revenue, some of it as early as December. Tuesday, the county administration said it had yet to plan exactly how it would deal with that blow.

“Our only options are to raise revenues, reduce expenses or draw down our reserves,” said chief operating officer Richard Stogner, adding a mix of those options will be the most likely outcome.

DeKalb exploring employee raises, perks for 2013

After years of holding worker salaries steady, DeKalb County is starting to look at ways to offer raises or other perks to boost morale.

The County Commission’s budget committee has asked the human resources department to come up with ways to conduct a salary study for DeKalb workers.

The commission could review that information to offer department- or job-specific raises or may develop other benefits.

Any change would likely come during 2013 budget talks, which begin next summer.

Police Perspective - Chief of Staff for DeKalb County Commission District 1 perspective - Fran Millar


Joe Hirsch said...

Wow, sounds as dumb as a city buying an office area off Peachford Road with no plans, giving a bonus to an overpaid city manager, then having to raise taxes to pay for storm drains.

Steve Barton said...

Hey Joe: Aren't the storm drains part of a separate fund? And the raised fees are specific to storm drain maintenance not previously done and also not funded through general revenues? Please correct me if I have it wrong, but I think that #3 of your 3 chucked spears is easily-proved-not-dumb. My silence on your other 2 spears does not indicate agreement...or disagreement!

Bob Lundsten said...

Man I love that picture.

Joe Hirsch said...

Yes Steve, the taxes raised for storm drains will go to storm drains, but there was nothing preventing the city from using general funds to pay for them. So, they chose to raise taxes, and apologize for the supposed requirement in it [Councilman Nall]. And since there is no sunset clause in the tax increase, I doubt our leaders will ever roll it back. Since they chose not to take money from their “shopping” account, as Councilman Thompson thinks of it, they created the false necessity that taxes had to be increased to pay for storm drain repairs.

Anonymous said...

@Joe RE: Sunset Clause. I would like to see "Sunset" language along with any fee or tax increase. In this case, repairing the sewer system will 'sunset' approximately 50 years after I have.

I do not for a minute believe that the City will misuse the fee, whereas DeKalb MAY see Watershed Management indictments.

Joe Hirsch said...

Ah, Max: In Public Works Director Michael Smith’s memo to council, he stated, “The cost of this backlog is estimated at about $3,300,000 and would take about 6 years to complete at current funding levels.” --but with the tax increase he asked for and got approved, it should only take about 3-4 years to repair the pipes. So why didn’t the city include a sunset in the tax increase? You know the answer.

Anonymous said...

That's only the backlog, Joe.

The other 70% or so of the sewer system is 40 years old and will need replacement, but is not critical. Thus, the over-arching issue of aged and potentially failing sewer pipe infrastructure eclipses.

At first I was pretty upset that City Council decided to 'own' the network of metal and concrete pipes that carry off rainwater under our streets. However, upon further review, I see the Council's prevailing logic may make sense.

I am more confident that the City will actually address backlog and FUTURE maintenance issues in a more timely and efficient than the previous owners.

Not happy about it, but working infrastructure is critical. And yeah, "Sunset clauses," should be de rigour.