DeKalb News: Vote on county budget scheduled for Tuesday

Members of the DeKalb County commission are expected to take a vote on the 2019 budget, including millions in new spending, during a meeting this morning.

The plan on the table includes about a dozen new line items added since CEO Michael Thurmond first proposed a budget in December. A majority of commissioners expressed support for the budget during preliminary discussions on Monday.

For example, Thurmond recently proposed a 2-percent cost-of-living increase for retirees in the pension during the second half of the year. But after receiving feedback from commissioners, he is now proposing to make the boost retroactive to Jan. 1.

Other changes since Thurmond’s December presentation include:

  • $100,000 to fund the Charter Review Commission that will study DeKalb's unique CEO form of government;
  • $84,000 to fund a Carl Vinson Institute study of the impact of new cities and annexations on the county's finances and services;
  • $103,000 for a study of bus rapid transit along Interstate 285. The county has not said which portions of the interstate will be analyzed and whether that ties into an effort by north Metro Atlanta mayors to create a new east-west transit line;
  • Roughly $1.5 million to find new positions in DeKalb county courtrooms;
  • $105,458 to fund two contract compliance officers as recommended in a recent audit of the county's purchasing and procurement practices.

The Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive. Before a vote on the budget is taken, members of the public will be allowed to provide feedback during a public hearing that will begin at 10 a.m.