Monday, May 13, 2013
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Gwinnett Daily Post
STONE MOUNTAIN -- A couple of Gwinnett commissioners said Monday the economy should be the top priority. But another said they should concentrate on things they have more control over.
One said building a culture of leadership and financial sustainability should be a given, while others said they need to be the top focus.
During the first of two scheduled strategic planning sessions Monday, commissioners agreed overall in the needs for Gwinnett, but they had some trouble reaching a consensus on what priorities should come first.
"You build your trust. Then you do your infrastructure. Then the economy flows from it," Commissioner Tommy Hunter said.
"It needs to be the mindset of the county from the top down," John Heard said of the economy as the top priority.
The discussion showed a lot about the men and women who lead Gwinnett's government, with finance man Jace Brooks pointing to the economy, former county staffer Charlotte Nash, now the board chairman, focusing to the vulnerabilities of water resources as well as the reliability of the county staff as keys to the county's future, and Lynette Howard zeroing in on relations with both the residents and with other government agencies as a high priority.
After hashing out some thoughts and reflecting on presentations on the growing diverse and aging population as well as the county's financial situation, the commissioners will come back together Tuesday to set some priorities and goals for the coming years.
"We all agree on wanting this to be the best place to do business, to live and work and play and raise your family, and I'd like to come together with a list of things to do to get us pointed in the same direction," Hunter said.
The work Tuesday is also expected to include some decisions on a possible special purpose local option sales tax referendum for the fall. With seven sales tax programs collecting $2.5 billion over the past 30 years, the county's current sales tax program is set to expire early next year.