Good Afternoon Everyone: Earlier today, DeKalb County’s 2021 Budget was approved by a unanimous vote of the Board of Commissioners. Just to review, as directed by the County Organizational Act, the CEO is required to submit a budget proposal to the Board of Commissioners by December 15th of every year. At that point, the Board of Commissioners has until March 1st to either approve, reject, or amend the CEO’s proposal. Traditionally, we take action during that last business meeting in February, which is what we did this morning. DeKalb County’s budget is about $1.3 billion and funds governmental operations from Animal Services to the Tax Commissioner’s Office and virtually everything in between. The headline for this cycle is that our budget is basically flat. Currently, no furloughs or layoffs of county employees is anticipated. The projected fund balance is $116 million, which equals about two months of the county’s operating expenses. The COVID-19 pandemic still presents us with uncertainties. We will continue to monitor the situation and adapt as necessary. Fortunately, we entered this crisis in pretty good shape due to previous budget decisions going back to February of 2017. And we will continue to manage the taxpayer’s money in a conservative and responsible manner. It was great to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for Fire Station number 7 on February 10th. This new facility is being funded with SPLOST proceeds and it is long overdue. This is just one of several such facilities that will be constructed over the next few years. I commend CEO Thurmond for his leadership on this front. I also commend Commissioner Larry Johnson for being a persistent champion for this project dating back to long before I took office. I also want to thank and commend the citizens of DeKalb County for having the foresight and wisdom to overwhelmingly approve the SPLOST back in 2017. Without that vote of confidence, none of this would be possible. On February 20th, I was an honored to visit the Ethiopian Community Association and see the excellent work that they are doing there. These great people are assets to District 4 and DeKalb County, and I will continue to be supportive of their efforts in the community. I would like to thank my friend Theodros Hailegiorgis and Community Liaison Zene Berhanu for the invitation. 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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