As you probably well know DeKalb government is in a continuous state of financial crises.
Much of the crises was created by the DeKalb CEO and commissioners with three big bond issues, Greenspace I & II, and the library bond issue.
The bond issues were passed by "special elections", as a legislator you have to be familiar with the concept of a "special election". Special elections were created for a specific purpose. Extraordinary events like a political leader dying while in office. The DeKalb CEO and commissioners deliberately abused the "special election" to ensure the passage of the bond issues and effectively "disenfranchised" 95 percent of the DeKalb citizens who would not turn out or vote for a single issue as the bonds. When DeKalb's political leadership understood the bonds had to be paid, instead of raising taxes on the citizens, they looked to DeKalb employees to pay for it. CEO Vernon Jones initiated the infamous no "pay for performance" program.
This was a bad joke on the employees to pay for the bonds, since then the county has curtailed retirement and health benefits for the employees to pay for the bonds. It is more than interesting to note that political staffers were exempt from the "pay for performance" plan and received five percent yearly salary increases while the rest of the employees at best could only receive a 3 percent increase.
DeKalb employees received their last "across the board" pay increase in 1997. Then the BOC chose to give the raises only to the lowest paid employees and not the professionals and supervisors that actually make the county work. In 2013 the next "across the board" raise has been proposed. The commissioners are again proposing the same formula as 1997. Only the lowest paid will receive a raise.
The problem is that it is near impossible to hire quality and qualified professional and supervisory employees because their salaries are 10-15 percent below local government market wages.
I worked 25 years in the DeKalb IT department. I was a network engineer. We could not attract and hold qualified network engineers because of the low salary. When I left my replacement was much less qualified than myself, and had to be hired as a high priced "temporary consultant" due to the low salaries.
That is the employee salary situation.
Let's move on to the real problem with DeKalb government.The CEO form of government does not work, never has and never will. DeKalb is the only county in the state of Georgia that uses the CEO form of government.
What the rank 'n file employees have discovered, is that they are underpaid, for the political staffers and politicians, the salaries are high for the work produced. Example the low-stress easy position of Economic Development director position recently hired in at 186 grand. While my boss, IT director, an important and high stress position receives only about 125 grand. Basically DeKalb government has two tiers of employees. Highly paid political staffers and low salaried rank 'n file employees that are totally demoralized by the lack of pay and political leadership that will not listen to their concerns.
The cities of Brookhaven and Dunwoody did not just magically appear. The citizens of both finally got fed-up with DeKalb government political leaders refusing to listen or represent them. They realized they were the citizens paying for most of the three big bond issues and receiving virtually zero for their taxes.
Do not trust me on this issue. Have your staff do the research on the bond issues and where the projects are located. Talk to HR director Benita Ransom on the salary issue. Look at the cost and staff of the CEO's office.