Tuesday, February 26, 2013

DeKalb news roundup, via the AJC

AJC, keeping us informed!

DeKalb expects no new taxes, no new fixes
No plan for increased taxes in 2013, but it's not all happy news. Part of the concern is over no fixes for business licensing/permitting infrastructure that encourages and supports local business:
The result: Last year, the county took 42 days on average to issue a permit for a single-family home, the simplest type of construction. A permit for a new office took 99 days, or more than three months, according to county documents.
By comparison, officials in Cobb and Gwinnett say they issue permits for homes in two to four days. Nearly all commercial permits, no matter how complicated, are issued within a month.
Deal suspends six of nine DeKalb school board members
Governor Deal voted to suspend all but the newly elected members. Normally, suspension triggers a process where each member can appeal the suspension but since a federal judge has put a stay on any action until the DeKalb Board of Education's challenge is heard later this week, there's more waiting... while DeKalb County citizens absorb the costs of salaries and lawsuits:
Eugene Walker, the former school board chairman who is one of those pursuing the challenges, left little wiggle room. He vowed Monday to press on with the lawsuits, saying “We’ve done nothing wrong.” He said he might run for another term in 2014 if the courts uphold Deal’s decision, and defended using taxpayer dollars to press his legal claims.
“I’m using public money to help protect the democratic process,” he said. “What price do you put on liberty and justice?”
The "nothing wrong" refers to a SACS accreditation report so tortured that it led to the system being placed in probation and the state's Board of Education and governor getting involved.