2017 Second Quarterly Newsletter

We will publish press releases and news stories that are important to our communities. If you have a suggestion for a news item, please contact us.

DeKalb County publishes press releases related to all county government news. Our office will make an effort to publish these releases to the Web site when they are important to District 6. If you would like to see all the current County press releases go to http://www.co.dekalb.ga.us/news.html.
Dear friends,
We're focused on making 2017 a great year in DeKalb. Keep reading to see how much we've accomplished this quarter!


DeKalb Works Summer Internship Program 
Thank you Super District 6 for your recommendations of interested youth who would like to participate in the DeKalb County Youth Summer Employment Program.

Applications are still available
 for DeKalb residents ages 14-24 by going directly through the link at DeKalb WorksBut hurry, spaces are filling up quickly!


District 6 Code Enforcement Sweeps 
Commissioner Gannon attended the Code Enforcement sweep recently that was conducted as part of efforts to clean up DeKalb and eliminate blight by ensuring property standards are maintained. 
As a result of the sweep: 
More than 16 tons of debris was collected.  114 properties visited, 158 citations written, 40 Final Notices of Violation placards posted on properties where no one responded , and 29 properties were in compliance.  To date, in DeKalb County, this project has removed more than 160 tons of debris from county roads!

tl_files/images/2017 Slideshow Pics/WomenHistoryM.jpg

Women's History Month
In recognition of Women's History Month we honored "her-story" legacies in DeKalb.                 

Super District 6 honored the Honorable Lianne Levetan, the first female CEO of DeKalb County.

In Districts 1 through 5, Beverly Wingate, founding Mother of Dunwoody, Sally Yates, former Acting US Attorney General and US Deputy Attorney General, Ann Brown, President of the Greater Historic Belvedere Community, public servant and advocate, Melissa Melvin, Veteran and Owner of Open Heart Home Service, and Carleen Cumberbatch, Senior Citizen and Community Activist were acknowledged. Super District 7 recognized public servant and community pillar Carrie Briscoe.

Canned Food Drive - Numbers Are In!
In February, we “Out Fox-ed" hunger! Your generous efforts provided a total of 5,855 meals to those in need! Food collection increased by over 2 tons from last year. Thank you again to District Attorney Sherry Boston, Solicitor Donna Coleman-Stribling, Superior Court Clerk Debra DeBerry, Tax Commissioner Irvin Johnson, State Court Clerk Melanie Wilson, as well as, our libraries and senior center partners for their support.

Board of Commissioners Adopts CEO Budget for 2017
In February, the Board of Commissioners approved the county’s 2017 operating budget of $1.3 billion, which funds CEO Michael Thurmond’s top priorities: water billing, residential and commercial blight and employment.

To address the high water bill crisis, commissioners approved CEO Thurmond’s request for $1.5 million to implement strategies that will reduce errors associated with water billing. The budget also includes $2.6 million for the CEO’s Operation Clean Sweep, an initiative that will focus on litter removal, cutting grass in county rights-of-way, and removing debris, trash and grass from roadway drains. Another initiative is the DeKalb Works Summer Internship Program. In this $250,000 program, 155 eligible youth between the ages of 14 and 24 will have the opportunity to earn wages and develop valuable employment skills.

The Board of Commissioners also included a provision that the CEO conduct a deliberative process with the Board of Commissioners and the public that examines the current county service delivery priorities in light of the fact that current spending is exceeding County revenues and is not finacially sustainable.


Board of Commission 2nd Retreat 

The Board of Commission worked on the mid-term budget adjustment for a Police/Fire retention plan, and began discussions about SPLOST. 

Earth Day 2017 was April 22nd 
However we can "be green" every day! Visit www.kathiegannon.com and on the "Sustainability" tab, several tips and resources are listed.  
Make the most of spring by joining a Community Garden in DeKalb! Community gardens are a great way to promote healthy food choice, increase local food supplies and provides the following benefits in the community : 
  • Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
  • Reduces Family Food Budgets
  • Conserves Resources
  • Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, socializing, and education
  • Encourages healthy eating habits
Below are a few important informational documents about starting or joining a community gardening: 

View a current list of approved new park locations HERE
View a list of current active gardens HERE
Learn about how to obtain a plot and view other community park guidelines  HERE
Apply for a community garden HERE

More questions? View the Community Gardens FAQ HERE
Take a look below  at some great photos of community gardens around DeKalb! 


Help Conserve One Of Our Greatest
and Most Precious Resource!

Water - It’s expensive - Save it
There are several steps each homeowner can take to reduce their water bill. You’ll save money and it’s good for the region.

The single biggest indoor use of water are toilets. To permanently reduce your water use, replace your older toilets with new, efficient ones. Go HERE to save $100 on your replacement toilet. 

Across the metropolitan region, toilet rebate programs have helped replace more than 110,000 inefficient toilets and have saved over 1 billion gallons of water each year. DeKalb County residents have led the way with over 30,000 replaced toilets! I sponsored this rebate program for DeKalb in 2008.
Here’s what else you can do to save water and money:
  • Repair leaks and drips. They add up to a lot of wasted money.
  • Always use hose-end sprayers on your outdoor hoses.
  • Buy high efficient washers and dishwashers when you replace appliances.
  • Run your washer and dishwasher only when they have full loads.
  • Turn off running water while brushing your teeth and shaving. Shorten your showers.
  • Only plant landscape materials that are drought tolerant. Replace grass with drought resistant plantings.
  • Plant trees (next fall or winter).
We’re in a Drought – Another Reason to Save Water
All of DeKalb’s water comes from the Chattahoochee River and the reservoir at Lake Lanier, which is 10 feet below its full pool. Despite recent rains, the drought we’ve been experiencing since last summer and fall is forecasted to continue this summer. It is important for everyone to conserve water. We are currently under Level 2 Drought Restrictions. Here are the rules:
  • Watering personal vegetable gardens is permitted with drip soakers, hose-end sprayers and watering cans.
  • Outdoor watering of lawns and gardens is limited to before 10 AM and after 4 PM, twice per week. Even addresses may water on Wednesdays and Saturdays; odd addresses may water on Thursday’s and Sundays.
  • Ornamental fountains must be shut down. Using water to wash cars and boats, clean driveways and gutters is not permitted.
2017 General Assembly Wrap-up for DeKalb County Issues

SPLOST for infrastructure: SB 156 passed both houses and requires two referendums be passed by DeKalb voters. The first would create a one-penny SPLOST that can fund: transportation improvements, public safety facilities and repairs to public facilities. The second referendum that must be passed would replace HOST with EHOST to provide tax relief to both city & county homeowners. The legal glitch that prevented the SPLOST from advancing in 2016 has been removed. Also if both referendums pass, the property assessment freeze for homestead properties will remain in effect during the EHOST/ SPLOST years. 
  1. Charter Review Commission: The Senate passed a bill mandating a Charter Review Commission as the Board of Commissioners had requested, but the House changed the bill so much that the Senate could not agree with it. If a Charter review Commission is to be formed, it will be up to CEO and/or the Board of Commissioners.
  2. Ethics Reform: The senate passed an ethics bill as requested by your Ethics Board but the House once again changed and weakened the bill so much that the Senate could not agree to the House version. Nothing was passed.
  3. Additional MARTA Funding: A bill permitting DeKalb to hold a future referendum to increase MARTA sales tax for DeKalb projects was introduced in the Senate, but failed to get out of committee. However, there will be several state study commissions that will examine funding and governance of mass transit in metro regions. They could lead to additional funding for MARTA.
  4. Other local bills: an attempt to require recently created cities in DeKalb to pay for pension legacy costs was introduced, but will be held over until next year. Bills requiring additional requirements for new cities and annexations failed, but Committee rules were strengthened. A bill creating the City of Greenhaven was introduced on the last day of the session, and can be taken up next session.