2017 Third Quarter 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.


We are striving to make 2017 a great year in DeKalb. Keep reading to see some of what has been accomplished this quarter!

Pictured: Billy Malone, Commissioner Gannon, Meredith Lily

DeKalb County was the only Georgia stop on the 18-city, cross-country tour of Natural Gas Vehicles. The NGV Road Rally highlighted the benefits of using clean-burning, domestic natural gas in transportation and the variety of vehicles available today that operate on natural gas. 

DeKalb County is a leader of clean energy in the Southeast, opening the first  natural gas facility using methane from the landfill. We have  6 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations. DeKalb has the largest fleet of natural gas vehicles of any city or county in Georgia. 

During this event, Commissioner Gannon shared her insight on how the county can benefit from using alternative sources of fuel. For more information about this year’s national tour, visitwww.ngvamerica.org/2017rally

Pictured: Commissioners Gannon , Rader and fellow constituents with representatives with Peachtree Creek Greenway Association

Commissioners Gannon and Rader, along with, PATH, and the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Affairs, and dozens of members of the community came out to celebrate the grand opening of South Peachtree Creek Trail at Mason Mill Park with a community walk. 

Pictured: Commissioner Gannon and 2017 ACCG Board of Managers

Commissioner Gannon was re-elected to the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia's (ACCG) Board of Managers, a position she has held since 2009. ACCG  assists counties throughout Georgia with civic engagement, legislative advocacy, leadership development, and technical assistance. 

Mid- Year Parks Update
 If you would like to get involved with your local park, read more HERE to find out how you can volunteer or become a member of a Friends of Park group.


Pictured: Commissioner Gannon and representatives from Strategic Materials

DeKalb kicked off a NEW Glass Recycling initiative to divert more waste from Seminole Landfill and offer more convenient ways to recycle glass .

The program, in partnership with Strategic Materials, offers 16 convenient locations throughout the County, including parks and recreation centers, libraries, the Seminole Road Landfill, Fire Station 12, and the Edgewood Target location for residents to drop off their recyclable glass. Click HERE to view all locations. 

There are many benefits to the glass recycling program, which include:
  • extends the landfill's useful life
  • lowers glass product manufacturing costs
  • creates jobs within the glass container and fiberglass industries
  • supports the closed-loop recycling process
  • conserves natural resources
  • reduces the consumption of raw materials

Pictured: Commissioners Gannon and Rader, Billy Malone

Known by many as DeKalb's "green" Commissioner, I support efforts that continue to advance DeKalb's green reputation on a national level. At this year's NACo. conference, our county was awarded the Bronze designation from SolSmart, a national organization that provides recognition and no-cost technical assistance to help local governments reduce barriers to solar energy growth.

The Bronze designation recognized the work of Billy Malone, Environmental Energy Manager, the Planning & Sustainability Department, the Commissioners', Solarize Decatur-DeKalb efforts that encouraged homes and businesses to covert to solar energy use and provide an easy permitting process.

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners recognized and proclaimed August 22, 2017 as "SolSmart" DeKalb Day.


Pictured: Commissioners and Association of Georgia Counties President Allen Poole and CEO Ross King

Commission Kathie Gannon was re-elected as 2nd Vice Chairman of the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Resilient Counties Advisory Board during the 82nd annual conference in Franklin County, Ohio.

Congratulations to Commissioner Jeff Rader, who was appointed to serve on the Telecommunications and Technology Steering Committee, and Commissioner Larry Johnson, who was appointed to chair the Large Urban Counties' Caucus (LUCC)! 

Pictured: CEO Michael Thurmond, the Board of Commission and Lifeline representatives

DeKalb County, in partnership with Lifeline Animal Project, welcomed its long-awaited animal shelter . Chamblee is the new home for our 33,440 square-foot facility which can accommodate more than 400 animals.
It also features a 1,300-square-foot clinic that includes a surgery prep and surgery room, lab area, secure pharmacy storage and holding areas for animals scheduled for surgery. 

Through our partnership with Lifeline, DeKalb strives to achieve a no-kill facility. Currently, at a  90% shelter no-kill rate, we hope to increase this percentage with the addition of this new facility. 

Pictured: Commissioners Gannon and Johnson, CEO Michael Thurmond, District Attorney Sherry Boston, Superior Court Clerk Debra DeBerry,and DeKalb WorkSource Georgia Director Sheryl Chapman-Stone; 2017 Class of Youth Interns

WorkSource DeKalb successfully closed out the first summer of the CEO's DeKalb Works initiative! The summer youth employment program was funded by the Board of Commissioner in addition to federal funds, and employed 300 interns at more than 70 job sites throughout the county. 


Fixing DeKalb’s Roads, Sidewalks and Fire Stations

If you drive anywhere it’s pretty obvious the conditions of many roads are poor. If you want to walk anyplace, you quickly realize there are significant gaps in our sidewalk and trails network. Unlike Atlanta, Cobb and Gwinnett, DeKalb County does not have a dedicated revenue source for repairing roads and public facilities. The Board of Commissioners, the CEO and the DeKalb cities have been working together for a fix. I have been working since July on the vision, policy and projects for our first SPLOST with a list of projects due by the end of August. 

We are proposing a SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax). This would impose a penny sales tax on purchases made in DeKalb County. The funds would be dedicated to a specific set of projects – primarily roads. By state law 85% of the funds must be spent on transportation and public safety projects. Up to 15% can be spent for capital improvements to facilities such as  HVAC systems, roofs, and major maintenance. Funds will be allocated between DeKalb cities and the County based upon population.

To implement SPLOST state law requires we replace HOST, with EHOST (equalized homestead option sales tax). DeKalb residents will have the final say on its approval in a November voter referendum. There will be 3 referendums on the ballot:
  • Replace HOST with EHOST to put all homeowners in cities and unincorporated DeKalb on equal footing .
  • The SPLOST penny sales tax. 
Both of these have to pass in order to implement the SPLOST and, 
  • a referendum to correct the technical glitch from last year to ensure the property tax freeze stays in place during the SPLOST. 
The deadline for Board of Commission approval is September 26th for a referendum that would be on November 7th. Watch for more information. 

Peachtree-DeKalb Airport Advisory Board

DeKalb is losing one of our longest serving members on the Airport Advisory Board David Fowler.  After living, working and serving, he is moving out of District 6, so is resigning from the Board. I appreciate his 19 years of dedicated service to help me keep up with the airport businesses. 

The Airport Advisory Board's mission is to recommend and consult with the CEO and the Board of Commission in the management, operations, and establishment of public policy for the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport. 

I am accepting applicants for this position. Monthly meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 PM. Contact my office by email or phone if you are interested in serving on the Airport Advisory Board. 

Click HERE for more information about the board, its operating procedures and to apply. 

Staying Safe from West Nile and Zika Virus

Mosquito bites are annoying, but they can also lead to serious illnesses. Protect yourself and your family when traveling. Click HERE to learn more about Zika, West Nile viruses and how to stay safe. 

Tip: Remember to eliminate ALL standing water anywhere. 

CODE RED: Community Alerts

DeKalb County uses the Code Red system to issue warnings regarding severe weather or other emergency situations. Sign up HERE to stay informed on emergency news.
 Thank you to DeKalb's Emergency Management Agency for their efforts to keep us safe and informed!