DeKalb commissioners’ 2018 budget includes employee raises, more police


DeKalb commissioners approved a 2018 budget that includes a minimum wage increase for hourly employees, raises for hundreds of other county employees and a plan to hire 155 police officers.

The Board of Commissioners approved the budget 6-1 with most commissioners praising the first spending plan fully crafted by CEO Mike Thurmond. Commissioner Larry Johnson praised Thurmond for presenting a balanced budget that includes $75 million in reserves despite the widespread salary increases and law enforcement outreach.

“This is not an easy process,” Johnson said. “And this is something I want to commend him on on what he’s done.”

VIDEO: In other DeKalb news

The plan includes over $600 million in general fund spending, down slightly from the year prior, the county expects to end the year with $78 million in reserves.

The budget includes increased funding for recreation centers, libraries and job programs that could help with preventing juvenile delinquency. The board approved amendment to the plan initially proposed by Thurmond that increased the number of employees that would receive raises, created new positions at the juvenile court and increased programming at senior centers.

Eight new positions were created in the troubled water and sewer department, and millions are being spent to update equipment.

Thurmond said he is happy that the budget — as well as the proceeds of one-percent SPLOST tax that will go to roads, bridges and transportation — will provide a benefit for DeKalb residents. That money will

“The best days are in front of us,” he said.

Commissioner Nancy Jester was the one “no” on the budget. She said the county needs to do more to make sure it can follow through on its plan to increase the ranks of police officers and fire fighters. Beyond any across-the-board raises, she is advocating for special pay and benefits for law enforcement.

“I think we need to look drastically at why we’re having problems recruiting the folks to fill the public safety positions,” she said.

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

The AJC's Tia Mitchell keeps you updated on the latest happenings in DeKalb County government and politics. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in DeKalb politics. Subscribe to myAJC.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

MONDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: A brief relief from this heat is on the way
MONDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: A brief relief from this heat is on the way

Monday: High: 81 Monday night: Low: 70 Tuesday: High: 83 It might finally feel a bit more like fall in Georgia this week.  The region is expected to see a brief reprieve from the unseasonably high temperatures as a cold front moves in Sunday night, meteorologists said.  The high on Monday is expected to be 81 degrees, which...
Tiger Woods: Some fun facts to know
Tiger Woods: Some fun facts to know

Tiger Woods ended a five-year victory drought when he won the Tour Championship on Sunday. >> Read more trending news  By finishing two shots ahead of Billy Horschel with a 1-over-par 71 and an 11-under-par 269 for the tournament, Woods earned his 80th career win on the PGA Tour, second only behind Sam Snead’s 82. It was Woods&rsquo...
Large development planned in Milton; residents win Ga. 9 reprieve
Large development planned in Milton; residents win Ga. 9 reprieve

For a group of Milton residents, there’s good news, then there’s more news. First, the good: Residents in several subdivisions were victorious in their efforts to save landscaped barriers between their homes and Ga. 9 that were threatened by a Georgia Department of Transportation plan to widen the road. They said the barriers protected...
1 killed, 3 injured in North Georgia ‘gunfight’
1 killed, 3 injured in North Georgia ‘gunfight’

One man was killed in a shooting that injured three other people in two locations, Rome police said Sunday. "It appears they got in an argument and a gunfight broke out," police Capt. Roy Willingham told the Rome News-Tribune. Officers responding about 4:20 a.m. found 35-year-old Tamaine Deshaun McKnight of Rome dead in a parking lot ...
Tennessee man arrested for setting fire to daughter's wheelchair while she was in it
Tennessee man arrested for setting fire to daughter's wheelchair while she was in it

A Tennessee man was arrested Thursday and charged with setting fire to his daughter’s wheelchair while she was in it, WCYB reported. >> Read more trending news  Timothy Shane Medley, 41, was indicted by a Giles County grand jury for aggravated assault, abuse of an adult, felony reckless endangerment, reckless aggravated assault...
More Stories