All DeKalb County employees will get an across-the-board 3 percent raise come July as part of a $584 million operating budget approved by the DeKalb Board of Commissioners on Feb. 27.
The news is welcome relief to workers. County workers haven't had a raise in 7 years.
"We appreciate the 3 percent. After seven years we really do need it," said D. Gaither, one of several sanitation workers who urged commissioners to approve the increase.
Sanitation worker Sharlene Daniels echoed Gaither's sentiments.
"We've worked real hard for it," said Daniels.
DeKalb County unanimously approved the 2014 operating budget, which reflects no millage rate increase and restored thebudgetary reserve to $47 million. The operating budget emphasizes enhancements in public safety, economic development, community improvement and government efficiency.
“I am proud that we have been able to work collaboratively with the Board of Commissioners to effectively address all of the key areas of need for DeKalb County residents without a tax increase, this year or next,” said Interim CEO Lee May.
Presiding Officer Larry Johnson said the board worked closely with Lee and his staff to make adjustments that were beneficial.
“In partnership with the Interim CEO, we have made several adjustments which benefit the taxpayers of DeKalb County,” said Presiding Officer Larry Johnson. “We reached our goal of a prudent reserve; we reduced headcount and we cut an additional $16 million in spending.”
Deputy Presiding Officer Stan Watson said the budget reflects not only prudent cuts but a continuation of services without a tax increase to citizens.
“We observed an awesome collaboration between the legislative and executive branches of government. The 2014 budget addresses continued delivery of services to DeKalb citizens without a tax increase,” said Deputy Presiding Officer Stan Watson.
Since 2008, due to declining revenues from the collapse of