DeKalb CEO Thurmond pitches road repairs to restore public’s trust

DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond is asking residents to support a sales tax hike to pay for road repairs, saying it would be a “game-changer” for the county.

If voters approve the sales tax increase in November, from 7 percent to 8 percent, Thurmond said Wednesday the government will deliver better roads and infrastructure.

“We have to demonstrate to the voters and to the people that we’re worthy to serve,” Thurmond said. “I promise you that we will get this job done, and get it done in a way that every citizen can be proud of.”

The proposed special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) would raise about $100 million a year, dedicated mostly to fixing hundreds of miles of pothole-filled roads that have decayed over the years.

The SPLOST could also be used for police and firefighter training facilities along with other infrastructure.

The DeKalb Board of Commissioners plans to decide on a list of projects this summer before the November vote on the sales tax.

Thurmond was speaking at a press conference to talk about the proposed SPLOST but also took the opportunity to discuss other issues facing the county, including the recent arrest of Sheriff Jeff Mann.

Thurmond said Mann’s arrest for allegedly exposing himself and fleeing police is a “setback,” but Thurmond will seek to earn residents’ trust.

“Despite these setbacks, we are focused and our mission is clear: We’re going to clean the sewers, pave the roads, mail accurate water billsclean up the trash and improve quality of life,” Thurmond said.

Thurmond asked residents to withhold judgment on Mann, saying the sheriff is innocent until proven guilty. Thurmond oversees more than 6,000 county employees, but he doesn’t have authority over the sheriff’s office.

“I want to say this: The charges presently pending against the sheriff conflict with how I have known this man in terms of his professionalism,” Thurmond said.


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

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

In other DeKalb news:

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Tex McIver said he shot his wife by accident — jurors didn’t buy it
Tex McIver said he shot his wife by accident — jurors didn’t buy it

Around 2 p.m. Monday, after more than 27 hours of deliberations, jurors in the Claud “Tex” McIver murder trial told Judge Robert McBurney they were hopelessly deadlocked. But less than two hours later, the 7-woman, 5-man panel came back with a verdict few expected: Guilty of felony murder, and three of the remaining four counts. He was...
Cherokee schools name new administrators
Cherokee schools name new administrators

The Cherokee County Board of Education at its recent board meeting named new district administrators and a new principal as it continues to announce appointments and promotions for the 2018-19 school year. Boston Elementary School Principal Izell McGruder was named an administrator in the Office of Curriculum & Instruction overseeing English for speakers...
Peachtree Corners to announce new transportation initiative
Peachtree Corners to announce new transportation initiative

Peachtree Corners officials will announce plans to spend $2 million on emerging transportation technology at an event 11:30 a.m. April 25 at Peachtree Corners City Hall, 310 Technology Parkway. According to city officials, this will be the first use of this type of technology in any community or city outside of the Atlanta metro perimeter. The investment...
Norcross invites public to 2nd WestRock redevelopment meeting
Norcross invites public to 2nd WestRock redevelopment meeting

The second community meeting to discuss the WestRock redevelopment proposal will be held 6 to 8 p.m. April 25 at the Norcross Community Center, 10 College St. The public is invited to attend to hear more about a revised plan from the company proposing the redevelopment project. In March, Alliance Realty Partners LLC met with the community to propose...
Forsyth OKs repairs after wastewater plant fire
Forsyth OKs repairs after wastewater plant fire

The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners has approved work to investigate and repair the damage from a Feb. 6 fire at the James Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The costs of the investigation by outside consultants and removal and disposal of blowers, cleanup and restoration of the building, purchase of new blowers and repairs to the centrifuge panel...
More Stories