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."