DeKalb County, Georgia
Evaluation of website
- Main article: Evaluation of Georgia county websites
- Budget information is posted.
- Meeting information is available.
- Information on the County Commissioners is posted.
- Some of the Administrators are listed.
- Building and zoning information is provided.
- The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report contains an auditor's report.
- Property taxes can be searched and paid online.
- Some bids are posted, but there are no contracts.
- There is no information on requesting public records.
- The county does not disclose whether it belongs to government sector lobbying associations
- There is no information on county audits.
According to a budget presentation for 2011 provided on the DeKalb County website, recommended increases in the budget focused on the sheriff's department and court system, the parks and recreation department, and the county library system. Transportation and road works would take a significant hit in those budget recommendations. Total, spending would decrease by 0.8% for 2011.
On May 18, 2011, WSB-TV in Atlanta reported that DeKalb County could slash as much as an additional $20 million to $25 million from the 2011 budget because of falling property values and a depressed tax base. County Commissioner Lee May told WSB-TV that taxpayers could anticipate a possible tax rate hike as a result. The county commissioners court has 60 days to approve changes to the budget and tax rate, and three public hearings must be held in that time period.
DeKalb County received and distributed $240,770,553 in federal stimulus dollars through the Federal Reinvestment and Recovery Act in 2009. Information on distribution of these funds was published in a county newsletter from County Commissioner Lee May in October 2009.
In June 2010, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that DeKalb County commissioners approved the use of $36 million in federal stimulus bonds to aid the transformation of a former General Motors plant into a mixed-use urban center..
DeKalb County is administered by a full-time Chief Executive Officer. Additionally, legislative policy is set by a seven member Board of Commissioners. The Chief Executive Officer is elected county-wide and the Commissioners are each elected by district. The Chief Executive and the Commissioners serve four-year staggered terms. The Chief Executive Officer has the exclusive power to supervise, direct, and control the administration of County Government. The Board of Commissioners' primary responsibilities are to adopt an annual budget and to levy a tax rate and service charge structure sufficient to balance the budget; to rule on requests to rezone property; and to adopt and amend the County Code.
In January 2010, DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton came under scrutiny when it was discovered that several warrants had been issued for her arrest, following a series of bad checks. Commissioner Sutton is serving a four-year term, having first been elected in 2008.
|Title||Name||Salary||Time with County||Party Affiliation||Other|
|Chief Executive Officer||Burrell Ellis||unknown||First elected 2008||Democrat||http://www.burrellellis.com/|
|District 1||Elaine Boyer||unknown||First elected 1996||Republican||http://commissionerelaineboyer.com/|
|District 2||Jeff Rader||unknown||First elected 2006||Democrat||http://www.commissionerrader.com/|
|District 3||Larry Johnson||unknown||First elected 2002||Democrat||http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/boc/ljhonson/index.html|
|District 4||Sharon Barnes Sutton||unknown||First elected 2008||Democrat||http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/barnes_sutton/index.asp|
|District 5||Lee May||unknown||First elected 2008||Democrat||http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/lmay/index.asp|
|Super District 6||Kathie Gannon||unknown||First elected 2004||Democrat||http://www.kathiegannon.com/|
|Super District 7||Stan Watson||unknown||First elected 2010||Democrat||http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/boc/district7.html|
|BOC Chief of Staff||Morris Williams||unknown|
|Clerk to the CEO & BOC||Barbara Sanders||unknown|
|BOC Office Coordinator||Terry Sanders||unknown|
|BOC Receptionist||Melanie Gresham-Smith||unknown|
|Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Staff||Vacant||unknown|
|Director of Policy Research||Jay Vinicki||unknown|
|Policy Analyst||T.J. Sigler||unknown|
See also: Georgia government salaries
DeKalb County officials came under fire in 2010 for administrative staff pay raises, specifically in the CEO Office. The highest reported salary hike was for CEO Burrell Ellis' receptionist, who received a 34% pay raise.
See also: Georgia public pensions
The DeKalb County Finance Department administers the pension plan for all county employees. All permanent officers, employees and deputies who perform any service for the benefit of DeKalb County for which they are paid a salary, including part-time employees and elected officials are required to participate in the DeKalb County Pension Plan. Pension Board members include current employees, commissioners and pensioners. The board is comprised of nine members, arranged thus:
Voting Members: Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County, two members elected by the Board of Commissioners, two members elected to a four-year term by the active participants in the plan, one member elected to a four-year term by the retired participants of the plan, and one member, appointed by the above six members
Non-Voting Members: Director of Finance, DeKalb County and Director of Merit System, DeKalb County
In 2010, several employees aged 50 and older were offered retirement buyouts, funded by the pension fund. 844 employees reportedly took the buyout.
The DeKalb County Police Department was enacted by the General Assembly on August 17, 1914. Since the department's inception, there have been a total of 19 Police Chiefs that have paved the way for its success. The DeKalb County Police Department currently operates out of five area precincts. Within those six precincts are approximately 1,112 sworn police officers and 498 support staff employees.
|Chief of Police||Chief W. O'Brien||unknown|
|Support Services Bureau||Assistant Chief D. Holmes||unknown|
|Field Operations Bureau||Assistant Chief M. Yarbrough||unknown|
|Special Operations Division||Assistant Chief L. Gassner||unknown|
|Criminal Investigations Division||Assistant Chief A. Lane-Woodard||unknown|
See also: Georgia government sector lobbying
DeKalb County participates in the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG). The ACCG engages in lobbying the Georgia state legislature.. The ACCG is a member of the National Association of Counties, a national government sector lobbying organization.
According to OpenSecrets.org, DeKalb County spent $20,000 on a lobbying contract with mCapitol Management in 2011. OpenSecrets.org reports that DeKalb County lobbied the federal government on the following issues in 2011: federal appropriations, grants and municipality projects.
Transparency & public records
DeKalb County does not provide information about public records requests on their website. Sunshine Review rates DeKalb County's website at "C-" for transparency.
Total millage rates for 2010 by city in DeKalb County:
|Entity||General Opns||Hospitals||County Bonds||Fire||Special Svcs||Unic Bonds||County Total||School Opns||State||City Millage||CID Millage||TOTAL|
|Perim CID S2 Dunwoody||8.00||0.96||0.57||2.46||0.00||1.37||13.36||22.98||0.25||2.74||4.00||43.33|
|Perim CID S3 UNINC||8.00||0.96||0.57||2.46||3.50||1.37||16.86||22.98||0.25||0.00||4.00||44.09|
- DeKalb County website
- DeKalb County Tax Commissioner
- Dekalb Public Schools
- Scan DeKalb
- DeKalb County Public Library
- DeKalb County History
- DeKalb County on E-Reference
- DeKalb County on Georgia.gov
- Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
- Property taxes
- Executive Budget Presentation 2011
- WSB-TV, May 18, 2011 - DeKalb May Cut Another $25 Million From Budget
- Commissioner May Newsletter, Oct. 2009
- AJC, June 22, 2010 - DeKalb County approves stimulus money to remake GM plant
- Governmental Structure
- AJC, Jan 23, 2010 - Bad checks, foreclosure, unpaid bills plague commissioner
- CBS Atlanta, July 30, 2010 - Tough Questions About DeKalb County Salaries, Raises
- DeKalb Loses Hundreds of Experienced Employees
- ACCG Legislative Advocacy Information