DeKalb CEO: 'We've Got a Good Story to Tell"
Burrell Ellis spoke of the county's successes and challenges to about 150 people at the town hall meeting at St. TImothy United Methodist Church.
During the 90-minute meeting, Ellis mentioned a number of initiatives and goals: transportation, streetscape improvements on Memorial Drive, the potential for the GM plant in Doraville, and fielded questions ranging from library funding to erosion issues to privitization.
Here are a few of topics he covered in his remarks and answers:
- Spending has been cut by $130 million
- 2011 ended in the black.
- "We're beginning to build a healthier reserve," Ellis said. "We've got a good story to tell in terms of fiscal management in this county."
- Created 7,000 new jobs as the economy tanked in 2009.
- Water and sewer upgrades will create 4,700 jobs between now and 2015
- Decline in violent crime by 37 percent over last three years.
Soapbox derby (on land adjacent to the Bransby YMCA).
- Design work and land use has been approved
- "We need the board of commissioners to vote on it."
- "DeKalb County Georgia used to be a hotbed of soapbox derby racing."
The proposal to fund employees' holidays:
- "I'm not talking about Groundhog Day," Ellis said. 'We need to treat people with value and dignity."
Proposed new cities:
- "We embrace all cities. I'm not anti-cityhood. We need fair laws. We need laws that don't pit cities against the county."
- To that end, he objects to efforts to "cherry-pick" certain areas when incorporating cities which "harm the rest of the county."