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Operations Task Force: Keep DeKalb’s CEO form of government

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The DeKalb County Operations Task Force (OTF) this week reached a landmark decision regarding the governance of DeKalb County during its fifth meeting since its inception on June 5.  

 

The OTF decided not to deliberate the form of government, citing the lack of support from state lawmakers to advance such a measure through the 2015 legislative session.  

 

The group will instead focus its efforts on improving the existing government framework.

 

“There seems that there is insufficient political momentum to make a wholesale change to our county government structure.  It is the consensus of this task force that the best use of our time should be focusing on the balance of power in the existing form of government,” said Vaughn Irons, co-chair of the OTF.

 

DeKalb is the only county in Georgia with an elected CEO who runs the government’s daily operations. Discussions about changing the form of government to one that is run by a county manager, a hired professional administrator, has long been a topic for discussion. Gwinnett, Fulton and Cobb counties all have county managers.

 

DeKalb’s District 2 Commissioner Jeff Rader agreed with Irons that the county’s focus should be on making sure the county is accountable to taxpayers and voters, rather than overhauling the system with lack of support.

 

“It is imperative to look at all of the mechanics of the Organizational Act of DeKalb County, identifying deficiencies and options for improvement.  No form of government is immune from defects, so the important thing is ensuring the charter informs the public on operations and makes DeKalb accountable to the voters and taxpayers” said Rader.

In June, DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May convened the 17-member panel to explore and study (1) the financial, business, zoning and quality of life impact on residents and government operations caused by the creation of new cities and annexations; (2) the effectiveness of the current governance structure of DeKalb County and ethics and transparency in County operations; (3) the equitable distribution of Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST) proceeds and legacy pension costs between the DeKalb County and it’s cities; and (4) other related matters.  

 

The Operations Task Force will convene several more meetings before making recommendations that will be forwarded to the Georgia General Assembly in December 2014.

 

“I’m all for changing the form of government, but this task force must operate within certain political realities if we expect to deliver a tangible work product by December,” said State Rep. Mike Jacobs.

The meeting was broadcast live on DCTV, Comcast Channel 23, and will be rebroadcast regularly. To view the Operations Task Force meeting, visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov/dctv/.
 

 Operations Task Force releases meeting schedule

DeKalb County’s Operations Task Force has released its meeting schedule. All meetings will be held in the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur.

The meeting schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, Aug. 20, 6 p.m., Subcommittee on Incorporation and Annexation

Wednesday, Aug. 27, 6 p.m., Subcommittee on Governance

Thursday, Sept. 4, 6 p.m., working meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 10, 6 p.m., Full Operations Task Force meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m., Subcommittee on Incorporation and Annexation; Wednesday, Sept. 24, 6 p.m. for a Subcommittee on Governance

Wednesday, Oct. 1, 6 p.m., working meeting

Wednesday, Oct. 8, 6 p.m., Full Operations Task Force meeting

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 6 p.m., Subcommittee on Incorporation and Annexation  Wednesday, Oct. 22, 6 p.m., Subcommittee on Governance

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 6 p.m., working meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 6 p.m., Full Operations Task Force meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 6 p.m., Subcommittee on Incorporation and Annexation Wednesday, Nov. 19, 6 p.m., Subcommittee on Governance

Monday, Dec. 1, 6 p.m., Final Task Force Meeting.

The Operations Task Force, created by DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May through an Executive Order in March, was empanelled to explore and study (1) the financial, business, zoning and quality of life impact on residents and government operations caused by the creation of new cities and annexations; (2) the effectiveness of the current governance structure of DeKalb County and ethics and transparency in County operations; (3) the equitable distribution of Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST) proceeds and legacy pension costs between the DeKalb County and it’s cities; and (4) other related matters. 

 

The Operations Task Force is charged with making recommendations that can be forwarded to the Georgia General Assembly in December 2014.

 

The schedule is subject to change. For more information or to confirm the meeting schedule, call 404-371-2000 or visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov.

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