DeKalb Commissioners have requested that state lawmakers eliminate the current CEO style of county government and replace it with a traditional, professional system of County Manager, with a Manager hired by the entire Commission.
DeKalb stands alone with a CEO style of government. With the current CEO system, the impact that a County Commission can have is, in many ways, merely unwieldy veto power. The Commission does not even have the power to eliminate specific jobs.
The CEO has a great degree of control over DeKalb’s half Billion dollar budget. Revenue to the County is down $100 million over the last three years, and the County is facing further credit downgrades. The CEO style of government was theorectically supposed to be strong enough to prevent such problems. It wasn’t.
Only one Commissioner, Kathie Gannon, voted against requesting the study. Commissioner Gannon claimed her opposition was based on “more pressing needs” like fighting redistricting. Uh huh.
The AJC claimed in a story today that Gannon’s solitary “No” vote constitutes a “divided Commission.” Someone might want to tell the AJC reporter, April Hunt, that one single “No” vote is … not … a “divided Commission.”
No system of government works great. It’s just a question of what system is the least-bad.
If a voter referendum for this change is not placed on the ballot November, perhaps the DeKalb Democratic Party and the DeKalb Republican Party could independently consider putting a non-binding question on their Primary ballots next year.