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Chairman to deliver midyear address on county

LAWRENCEVILLE - Chairman Charles Bannister usually has good news to report during his annual state of the county address.

But with a floundering economy and a budget crisis, this year, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce wanted to hear from Bannister again to find out how the county is dealing with those issues.

For the first time today, the chairman will present a mid-year state of the county address.

"Together we will weather this recession. I'm confident that life in Gwinnett will return to normal, but it will take some time and effort," Bannister said in a press release issued by the Chamber. "I look forward to coming together as a community to tackle these tough issues head-on and looking at the best ways to collectively accomplish our long-term goals."

The event, which is a luncheon that costs $55 to attend, is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the Gwinnett Center.

Among the topics expected to be discussed is Engage Gwinnett, a committee asked to investigate the county finances, after commissioners have had to cut 250 jobs.

"The challenges facing Gwinnett County are not unique. Communities across the nation are facing the same historic problems. But it's how we deal with these problems that makes Gwinnett unique," said Chamber President Jim Maran. "Gwinnett has a celebrated history of coming together as a community to tackle tough issues head-on. That's the secret to our success. Joining with our citizens and public and private sector partners through this committee is the best way to collectively accomplish our long-term goals."

People can reserve seats at www.gwinnettstateofthecounty.com.

Updated information on Engage Gwinnett can be found at www.engagegwinnett.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

The speech is expected to be aired on the county government cable channel Friday. A time for the program has not been set.