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Residents speak out at recent DeKalb commission meeting
by Sarah Anne Voyles
svoyles@neighbornewspapers.com
September 04, 2013 10:44 AM | 2044 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Upset about a recently released special grand jury report, residents controlled the public comment section at the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners meeting Aug. 27.

On Aug. 21, the released report said more corruption exists in the county government and suggested its reorganization.

“I was appalled by what I read in the paper about the county commissioners wanting to make their job full-time,” county resident Joel Edwards said. “I think we need to prioritize. We have a county where we are divided with cities becoming cities — pretty soon who are you going to govern? If you cannot do your job part-time how can I trust you can do it full-time?”

Citizens questioned the authority of the board and the importance of them becoming full-time. Many residents, including Viola Davis, said they did not think it was responsible for the commissioners to take a higher pay when other county employees have not received pay increases in five years.

Residents thanked the police for protecting the children at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy and told the commissioners if anyone deserves a raise it should go to those in public safety.

District 6 Commissioner Kathie Gannon was the only commissioner to say anything about the report during the meeting.

“I want to say how sorry I am that the government has let the down the people of the county,” Gannon said. “One thing I think we all can agree on is that reforms are necessary, I do not think that there is going to be any silver bullet to fix the problems in the county identified in the report.”

Gannon said she thought the county could use an internal auditor and said this position has been available since 2010. She also said several of the problems in the report do not just occur in county governments with a CEO and many of the most successful county governments in the nation have a CEO.



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During the public hearing portion of the meeting, the commission unanimously approved new speed bumps – one on Rehoboth, Derrill, Old Lake and Southvale drives and Berdon Lane.

Area residents spoke to the commission about the importance of adding or not adding the speed bumps. DeKalb resident Krista Alborg said she has tried many tactics from waving people down to placing cones on the street and she said she believes the only option is to add speed bumps to keep the children safe.

“My job as a father is to protect my family,” DeKalb resident Kevin Graham said. “People feel like since it is a straight shot for a quarter of a mile it is OK to drive 40 miles an hour down the street.”

DeKalb resident Janel Green said Rehoboth Drive is only one small section of her neighborhood and other streets would be negatively affected by the addition of speed bumps.

Besides a traffic light, the commissioners did not make any motion on any other agenda item during the public hearing.

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