DeKalb Commissioners to elect board’s presiding officer

January 6, 20173min650
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The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners will elect its presiding officer on Jan. 10. The presiding officer, elected by the seven county commissioners themselves, sets the agendas, runs the board meetings and makes appointments to the board’s committees.

Kathie Gannon and Larry Johnson have announced they will seek the year-long position. Gannon held the seat in 2008. Johnson has held the seat since January 2014.

The board also will elect a deputy presiding officer.

The elections may be the first look at how the new board will conduct business going forward. For several years, the board has been racially-divided on issues, including its leadership.

Voters recently elected Gregory Adams, Steve Bradshaw and Mereda Davis Johnson to the board and either could change the dynamics of the board.

“I think it is time for a change in leadership and vision of the Board, so I have decided to run for Presiding Officer. In recent elections, DeKalb voters have indicated they want to see changes in the way DeKalb governs and a change in Presiding Officer will be in keeping with that desire,” Gannon wrote in a newsletter emailed to constituents on Jan. 3 morning.

Gannon said she is running because she believes change is needed.

“I think it is time for a change in leadership and vision of the Board, so I have decided to run for Presiding Officer. In recent elections, DeKalb voters have indicated they want to see changes in the way DeKalb governs and a change in Presiding Officer will be in keeping with that desire,” Gannon wrote in a newsletter emailed to constituents on Jan. 3 morning.

Johnson is touting his experience as a proven leader who has brought stability and continuity to the board during tumultuous times. He said he plans to push to get roads paved—not patched; increase pay for police; get rail transportation for DeKalb; build a better rapport with the cities in DeKalb and clean up dilapidated housing in the county.

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