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I am voting yes on the 2017 budget, but questions need to be addressed

2/27/2017, 1:28 p.m.

For me, the bottom line is sooner or later we, the Governing Authority of DeKalb County (CEO and BOC), need to answer some threshold questions: What kind of county will we be going forward? What services will we continue to provide and at what levels? What is the proper level of taxation to adequately fund our service delivery? What services will we disengage from? How will we be fiscally responsible? What will be the nature of our relationships and agreements with the various municipalities?

All of these questions should be addressed in a systematic and deliberative way that recognizes various points of view. The citizens of DeKalb County should be fully engaged in this process. Simply stated this will not occur before we vote tomorrow. This is why I have taken the position that I articulated in the first sentence of this memo.

However, it must be stated that this reckoning has been postponed for far too long. The tough choices that we need to make as a Governing Authority and as citizens have been put off for years. I believe that we should fully engage this state of affairs this year and act accordingly.

My priorities remain the same as the priorities that I ran on: Public Safety, Code Enforcement, and Business Development.

Stephen R. Bradshaw is the DeKalb County District 4 Commissioner