The Doraville City Council will have a work session on Monday, April 20th, to get a first look at the budget. This will be my first budget review as an elected official, but I’ve followed it for several years. The City Manager is tasked in our charter with preparing a budget and any changes from the council have to be done through an amendment process. In the past the city has been relatively loose with this process and it can be a free-for-all with everyone trying to do different things.

The Interim City Manager has prepared his budget for our review, and we will hear the presentation tonight. At this point, we do not have the tax digest from Dekalb County so I suspect the budget will change considerably before we are required to pass it by July 1st. I suspect our tax digest will again increase substantially for next year, but who knows what is ahead for the 2022 budget we will pass next July.

Reviewing the proposed budget, I am disappointed in what our city continues to invest in core service delivery. Do we want to be a city with high standards, or maintain the lowest standard required?

I am still excited about where we are as a city. I still believe we are at a perfect turning point. In the next couple of months we will get to hire a new city manager, one that I hope will have very high standards for facilities, services, and our employees. Our public works director position is also open, and our new manager will get to hire someone with very high standards. These two hires will set our trajectory for the next 10 years. We have to get it right.

Should our standard be a faded arena and public works building with tires stacked in front of it? Should our standard for traffic islands on Oakcliff Road and Homeland have run over trees, plants, and tire ruts, or should we invest in a couple ton of rock (I’d be fine with boulders!). Our standard should not be to leave these as they look today.

Should the steps to our beloved library be covered in algae or should our standard be much higher?

When a tree dies in front of the city hall should we plant a new one or leave the pile of stones sitting there as a monument to which error in judgment is tolerated?

I am committed to harnessing the attributes of bigger thinking, higher standards, and purposeful action to bring our city to its full potential. I hope we can set our new City Manager up for great success by adopting a budget for the city we want to be, not what we have to maintain. I’d like to hear about what ideas you have. Please reach out to me

You can view the proposed budget here 2020-04-20 City Council – Full Agenda-1442-pages-4-55