Residents to review budget presentations

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett officials will lay out their plans for 2013 in budget review hearings beginning Wednesday.

Chairwoman Charlotte Nash, who is tasked with recommending the county spending plan, has asked six residents to review the "business plans" created by department heads and constitutional officers.

"Public input is critical to local government, and we welcome it at all levels," Nash said. "With the talent and professional credentials among this group, I have every confidence they will dive into the details supplied by department directors and elected officials, ask thoughtful questions and give their honest opinions."

The citizen members are: Houston Bass, an executive at BB&T; Mark Brock, building maintenance director at Gwinnett County Public Schools; David Crews, chief executive officer of View Point Health; Lois Love, retired capital budget manager for Gwinnett County; Marian Lucia, retired executive vice president and chief information officer of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta; and Herman Pennamon, Georgia Power Company's external relations manager.

"It is an honor for us as members of the community to have a voice in this process and to provide our input," said Pennamon, who has served on the budget review team in the past, along with Crews and Love.

In recent years, the county budget process has been focused on trimming resources because government funds have dipped in the wake of dropping property values.

Nash is expected to present her spending plan in November, with adoption slated for January.

The presentations, scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday, are open to the public at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

They will be videotaped and broadcasted on the government access cable channel as well as on demand at www.gwinnettcounty.com.