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Closing Comments from the 1/26/21 BOC Meeting

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

Good Afternoon Everyone: I would like to begin my comments today by offering my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Tucker City Councilman Bill Rosenfeld on the announcement of his passing this past weekend. Bill was a dedicated public servant a local businessman and a genuinely good guy. I always appreciated my interactions with him. In fact, I had just received an email from Bill on January 20th congratulating me on my first term report. Also, sometimes when I would see him, I would call him “Wild Bill.” I am not sure exactly why I called him that. But, he did seem to enjoy it. I know his presence will surely be missed. May Bill Rosenfeld rest in peace. It was an honor to join CEO Michael Thurmond and my BOC colleagues Commissioners Mereda Davis Johnson and Ted Terry for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration and food distribution event at Hallford Stadium on January 18th. The celebration was certainly different this year due to COVID restrictions, but the mission continued and was executed beautifully. Once again, I would like to commend CEO Thurmond for making the mitigation of food insecurity a priority for this government. And I am honored to continue to support him in this effort. On January 21st we held our first Mayor’s Roundtable meeting for 2021. This is an initiative that I started in my first term for the purpose of strengthening the lines of communication and building relationships with our municipal leaders. Originally, this was intended for the mayors of the cities within District 4. But, in recent meetings we have expanded the invitation list to include all DeKalb County mayors, which is appropriate as I represent all of DeKalb County as Presiding Officer of the Board. As always, we had a very open dialogue about the successes and challenges that we all encounter as we continue to discharge our duties on behalf of the citizens that we represent. I would like to thank Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson, Clarkston Mayor Beverly Burks, Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett, Doraville Mayor Joseph Geierman, Pine Lake Mayor Melanie Hammet, Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary, Stone Mountain Mayor Pat Wheeler, and Tucker Mayor Frank Auman for participating. We will continue to hold these meetings on a quarterly basis for as long as the mayors see value in doing so. It was a great privilege to participate in a panel discussion for the 4th Annual Government and Not for Profit Conference of the Institute of Internal Auditors Atlanta Chapter on January 22nd. I was joined on the panel by a distinguished group of local leaders that included: Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch, Atlanta City Council Member Jennifer Ide, and Gwinnett School Superintendent Dr. J. Alvin Wilbanks. In my remarks, I underscored my recognition of the value of the internal audit function. And I would like to thank our Director of the Office of Independent Internal Audit, John Greene for the invitation to participate. On January 23rd, we held our first Quarterly in the Fourth Community Breakfast Meeting for 2021 via Zoom, of course. As usual, we engaged in a spirited dialogue with my constituents on a number of issues. I look forward to the day when we can hold these meetings in person again. I would like to thank all the DeKalb County Departments heads who participated in the meeting. As always, I appreciate your support. I would like to extend a special word of thanks to our Health Director, Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford, for providing my constituents with accurate and timely information about the vaccination process. I would also like to thank the elected officials who took the time to join us. In particular I would like to thank my BOC colleagues Commissioner Lorraine Cochran Johnson and Commissioner Larry Johnson for attending and for sharing useful information and words of encouragement. I really appreciate it. I would also like to offer congratulations to President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Jon Ossoff, Senator Raphael Warnock, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. As a former Army Officer, it filled my heart with pride to see the first African American man assume civilian authority over all of the armed forces of the United States of America. I will close today by once again thanking the citizens of District 4 for affording me this opportunity to serve. It is indeed an honor. With that, if there is no other business to come before this Board of Commissioners today, I will entertain a motion to adjourn.

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