2015 Douglasville State of the City Transcript

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With Mayor Harvey Persons



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January 29, 2015


Tonight it is my pleasure to deliver my third annual State of the City address. In addition to
the members of the City Council, several City government staff members, and the citizens who
are attending this meeting of the Douglasville City Council, I am delighted my report will be
presented on CITI TV, the internet, and mycititv.com , as well as being posted on the City’s
website with an embedded video link. We had a busy, productive, positive year in Douglasville;
and through our Communications Department and the local news media, we want our message
to reach as many people as possible.
Last year’s State of the City address followed a different format than what I shall use
tonight. Last year I organized my report under seven topics: economic development, community
life, public safety, community services and facilities, infrastructure, education, and fiscal stability.
As I make my annual report tonight, I shall touch in some way on each of these topics; however,
my approach and the organization of my presentation will be different.
The central theme, though, remains unchanged: We are working together to help make
Douglasville one of the premier places in America to live, work, play, raise a family and “Be ALL
we can BE.” In my opinion, Douglasville is already a great and remarkable place to live, and we
are continuing our work to make it even better. As I move into the final year of my first four-year
term as Mayor of this great city, I am more determined than ever to maintain a clear vision for
quality growth and development and to have a safe community. I believe this “State of the City”
address will help you see how we are moving forward in that direction.
I shall focus on six subjects which I believe set the tone in 2014 for our community’s current
condition and future prospects. Let us begin:
18 months of discussion, negotiation, and Court-ordered mediation, the governments of Douglas
County and Douglasville over Christmas holidays agreed to and signed a new ten-year Service
Delivery Strategy agreement. Each local government in Georgia is required by the State to have a

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current Service Delivery Strategy agreement, and this plan is to identify which local government
will provide a specific service in a specific geographic area and how the cost of delivering that
service will be paid. We now have a new Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) agreement and plan for
Douglasville, Douglas County, and those parts of Villa Rica and Austell located within Douglas
County; and this new agreement will extend through calendar 2024, unless amended at some
future point.
Developing an acceptable Service Delivery Strategy for more than 50 different government
services is not a simple, unemotional task. Your elected officials are trying to do what they
believe is best for the communities they have been elected to serve…in this case, primarily being
Douglasville or Douglas County, and to a lesser degree both Villa Rica or Austell. I can testify that
this is a difficult, complicated, and very time-consuming process which sometimes can produce
serious disagreements. Keep in mind, though, that the decisions can have a multi-million dollar
impact on a community’s taxpayers over the next decade.
Each of your local elected municipal and county officials could probably point with
displeasure to a few specific parts of the new SDS agreement; however, I believe all of us would
conclude that the new ten-year Service Delivery Strategy agreement is fair and should provide
firm groundwork for the effective and efficient funding and delivery of services in this community
over the next decade.
Final approval of the new Service Delivery Strategy plan came through action by the
Douglasville City Council on December 23 and by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners on
December 26. Let me point out that perhaps the two documents which are the most important
in guiding the future quality growth and development of our community are the SDS plan and the
Comprehensive Plan. We now have both of these plans in place to assist the City of Douglasville
in maintaining a clear vision for quality growth and development, while maintaining a safe
As mentioned previously, the SDS agreement encompasses more than 50 specific services
which are delivered by our local governments. Douglasville and Douglas County officials rather
quickly reached agreement on most of these, including in the areas of law enforcement, prisoner
housing, and economic development. The major areas of disagreement were in fire protection
services, animal control services, and road services. In fact, because our governments did not
have a new SDS agreement in place before the old one expired on June 30, 2014, and because the
County Board of Commissioners decided not to seek an extension of the old agreement, the State
of Georgia imposed sanctions on both governments so no new grants, permits, or other State-aid
could be authorized until a new SDS plan and agreement had been approved by the Georgia

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Department of Community Affairs. Now, with both governments’ December approvals and with
the subsequent filing of the new SDS plan with the State, we expect these sanctions will be
lifted….effective February 1.
Concerning the three service areas where City and County officials had the most difficulty
in reaching an agreement, let me briefly report:
Fire Protection Services. Within the city limits of Douglasville, these services have been
provided by the Douglas County Fire Department for some 27 years under an intergovernmental
agreement. Over the years an increasing level of funding has come from Insurance Premium Tax
revenues being collected only in unincorporated Douglas County; and, as a result, City residents
and businesses have been paying a decreasing proportion of the cost of fire protection services.
Having received this explanation, we told our County colleagues that the City of Douglasville had
no problem paying more for fire protection services in the future, as long as it was no more than
our “fair share” or a proportionate share of the County’s population based on the City’s % of the
total county population.
Accordingly, the new ten-year agreement put into effect on January 1, 2015, calls for the
City of Douglasville to pay $1,600,000 annually to the County Board of Commissioners for fire
protection services inside the city limits. In return, no property tax revenues collected by the
County government on properties located within our city limits are to be used to pay for fire
protection services; thus, there will be no double taxation. We were working to achieve tax
equity for both the incorporated and unincorporated areas of our county and we believe we have
moved closer to achieving that objective.
To conclude this part of my report, let me note: (1) The City Council in June 2014
increased the property tax by 0.931 mill to generate the City’s share of funding for fire protection
services and animal control services for the six-month period starting January 1, 2015. As part of
the budget process this Spring, we will decide how to fund these services for the second half of
calendar 2015. (2) Within the next four years we expect a countywide Special Purpose Local
Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) referendum. Up to $20 million could be sought to fund the purchase
of needed Fire Department equipment and fire stations. If approved, the City would assume
responsibility for its proportionate share of the SPLOST indebtedness based on population
percentage. (3) Emergency medical services are paid for through a separate budget, with the
revenue sources being user fees and a countywide property tax levy. (4) The City of Douglasville
receives Insurance Premium Tax revenues collected just within the city limits, and these funds are
placed in the City’s General Fund and are subsequently budgeted for various purposes as allowed
by State stature.

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Animal Control Services. The new agreement calls for the City to pay the County Board of
Commissioners $250,000 annually for ten years of animal control services (enforcement and
shelter). To prevent any double taxation, no taxes paid to the County Board of Commissioners on
properties located within the City of Douglasville are to be used to pay for animal control
services. Also, all funding for the new shelter facilities will come from revenue sources in
unincorporated Douglas County; and, as a result, the City will have no ownership share in those
Road Services. Douglas County government has assumed the responsibility for the cost of
maintenance, operations and construction activities on six roads within the corporate city limits
of Douglasville. The City will continue to have police and law enforcement powers on these six
roads which are: Hospital Drive, Chicago Avenue, Riverside Parkway, Chapel Hill Road, Prestley
Mill Road, and Cedar Mountain Road.
For 13 other streets that are located totally or partially within the city limits, Douglas
County agreed under the new Service Delivery Strategy agreement to provide assistance to the
City’s street system in the areas of traffic signal maintenance, traffic studies, traffic sign
maintenance and traffic control thru the use of the County’s traffic control center services in the
manner that it provides such services for the County road system. The 13 streets are: Douglas
Boulevard, Rose Avenue, Slater Mill Road, Malone Road, Cave Springs Road, Central Church Road,
John West Road, Blairs Bridge Road, Bright Star Road, South Flat Rock Road, Stewart Mill Road,
Timberidge Drive, and West Stewart Mill Road. One overall impact, I believe, will be a closer
working relationship between the two governments on all aspects of transportation. This new
agreement will also provide greater tax equity for our citizens.
This final part of my Service Delivery Strategy report to you – Roads -- provides an easy
transition to my next topic.
TRANSPORTATION. Basically, in this State of the City address I want to focus on one
specific project; namely, Georgia Highway 92. But before I do, let me point to two other very
important transportation projects which are now underway and which are part of the City’s
overall Transportation Plan.
The most congested interchange in Douglasville is I-20 and Georgia Highway 5. The City’s
persistence at the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), of which I am a member, finally got the
ball rolling on a major upgrade of this interchange. At the end of calendar 2014, consultants
funded through the Georgia Department of Transportation – with a required local match being
paid by this City government -- were getting close to completing work on a comprehensive

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“alternative analysis” to determine the best approach to dealing with this bottleneck. We
eagerly await the outcome.
As the transportation consultants look at the I-20/Georgia Highway 5/Bright Star Road
situation noted above, they also are taking a preliminary look at what can be done to improve
the Interstate 20 interchange with Chapel Hill Road. I expect us to hear more about this as we go
through 2015.
But the focus for a long time has been on the relocation and improvement project for
Georgia Highway 92 near the downtown area, including the railroad crossing. After almost three
decades of disappointments, State and Federal directives to redraw engineering plans over and
over, funding difficulties, environmental and air quality issues, and “red tape” in general, the City
of Douglasville received the “green light” for construction of the Georgia Highway 92 relocation
and improvement project. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on August 29 in Jessie Davis
Park; and by the end of calendar 2014, a drive through the City’s Northside and Mill Village
communities clearly confirmed that this major road construction project is underway.
In addition to being an extremely important transportation project in Douglasville, the start
of the Georgia Highway 92 relocation and improvement project represents yet another milestone
public construction project in recent years for our community, taking its place with such projects
as the Public Safety and Municipal Court complex, the Conference Center in the heart of our
downtown area, and the Douglas County Courthouse and Jail.
The Highway 92 relocation is a 3.106-mile six-lane road project with an overall price tag
exceeding $111 million. It includes the first railroad grade separation crossing within the City,
which for the first time will mean trains passing through Douglasville or just stopped on the
tracks will not cause lengthy and possibly even life-threatening delays for north-south motorists.
The new highway will have its southern terminus on Fairburn Road near Duralee Lane and Chickfil-a and its northern terminus on Dallas Highway near Malone Road, and the relocation moves
the road away from downtown and moves it to the east side of the Mill Village community.
Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2018.
Participating in the groundbreaking with City of Douglasville officials were representatives
of GDOT and ARC, as well as Congressman David Scott who championed this project in
Washington to obtain the needed Federal funding. GDOT, ARC, Congressman Scott, community
leaders, and local officials worked closely together over the past four years to complete the
planning process. Verification of the positive working relationship on this project clearly is
evident by the fact that the Highway 92 project in 2014 won the Grand Prize Award for the

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Georgia Partnership for Transportation Quality. (As you know, tonight immediately before I
started this State of the City address, GDOT officials presented this award to the City of
Douglasville.) I applaud ALL who worked together to move this project to the construction phase.
During the past three years, some $43 million was spent on right of way acquisition for this
project. Utility relocation costs and construction costs are expected to total some $65.5 million.
The City spent some $3 million during the past decade on the required preliminary engineering
and environmental assessments. Once completed, north-south travel through Douglasville will
be much quicker, much safer, and without the current headaches of dealing with trains and train
Furthermore, I believe construction of this new road will open new economic development
opportunities for Douglasville, especially on the Northside. Now let me report to you on the
quality new jobs which are coming to our community.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. 2014 was a very successful year for the City of Douglasville
and its Development Authority, both in terms of new investment in our community by industries
and businesses and in terms of jobs creation. In a report I made last March, I noted that
announcements made in recent months by the City Development Authority stated that in 2014 a
total capital investment of some $210 million and ultimately approximately 900 new well-paying
jobs would be located within the city limits of Douglasville. These include the catalog sales and
distribution facility of McMaster-Carr, expansion of the current facilities for health and medical
care products manufacturer Med-Line, construction of the facilities for food distributor Gordon
Foods, and construction of Bio-Life for the collection of high quality plasma for life-saving
therapies. Bio-Life opened late in 2014, and the other three projects are scheduled to be
completed this year.
Also, the City worked with the State of Georgia and the Development Authority of Douglas
County on bringing an additional 500 jobs into the City of Douglasville. Governor Deal made this
exciting announcement on June 19, and we are looking forward to Keruig moving into an existing
During 2014 the City and County Development Authorities worked on a number of
economic development projects which have the potential of bringing many more quality jobs to
our community. The City continues to pursue economic development opportunities in the
entertainment industry, and several television shows and movie productions occurred here in

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Activities to facilitate expansion of current industries and businesses -- both small and
large – continue to be an important part of the City Development Authority’s agenda.
Through the City’s Downtown Development Authority and Main Street Program, we are
working with local businesses to continue growth and development in and near the central
business district. Even during the economic downturn of the past few years, the occupancy rate
downtown has remained strong. Late in 2014 construction started on a new restaurant on
Church adjacent to the parking deck and Conference Center. Let me note the Conference Center
had its best year and is being recognized more and more as the new anchor for the central
business district.
A local business owner and entrepreneur received special recognition in November: Barry
Oliver was honored by the Atlanta Regional Commission during its annual State of the Region
breakfast at the World Congress Center in Atlanta. Along with the City of Douglasville, Mr. Oliver
received ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative Achievement Award for his Station Loft Works
development in what had been a vacant downtown building where a car dealership once was
located. Now, that building houses co-working facilities for small start-up and established
businesses. Certainly, this ARC recognition was a significant honor for all of us, and Station Loft
Works is a model for adaptive reuse.
As an aid to economic development in eligible areas near downtown Douglasville –
including on the Northside and along a section of Hospital Drive – the City was able to secure
State approval of an Enterprise Zone where tax credits could be granted to qualifying businesses
for creation of new jobs. Thus far, we have had six businesses receive these tax credits, with the
created new jobs benefitting our community.
Concerning new housing starts in Douglasville, we issued only 44 single-family permits last
year. While this was a small number when compared to the 506 such permits issued in the peak
year of 2006, I think we will continue to see a slow recovery in the areas of new homes from the
damaging recession of a few years ago.
Due to the City of Douglasville’s interest in and concern for the availability of housing for
citizens of ALL income levels, we sought selection to be part of the Georgia Initiative for
Community Housing (GICH) program under the guidance of the State Department of Community
Affairs (DCA). We were successful, and are now participating in this program. Currently, the City
of Douglasville is working on and implementing goals to address the housing needs in our
community; and this includes a partnership with the University of West Georgia and the Atlanta

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Regional Commission. We are currently doing an assessment of our housing stock and future
The City of Douglasville wants to be one of the premier places in America to live, work,
play, raise a family, and “Be ALL we can BE” regardless of the family’s income level. We want
people to feel safe and comfortable, and we want to encourage them to be good neighbors.
After all, it is people working together and being mutually supportive that makes a community
strong and a desirable place to live, work, play, and raise a family.
Down through the years, I have observed that nothing brings out the best in a community
more than a widespread disaster; and we certainly had one of those in 2014.
THE ICE AND SNOW STORM LAST JANUARY. As we all recall, the major ice and snow storm
which hit Douglasville, Douglas County, Metro Atlanta, and much of North Georgia last January
28 caught everyone by surprise. Within minutes, streets and roads became dangerous and then
virtually impassable. People left work to go home, schools loaded students onto buses to run
their routes, and we initially thought “the frozen precip” was a nice novelty. That changed in a
matter of a few minutes; and with virtually no warning and certainly no advance preparations,
we had a serious emergency situation on our hands.
Thankfully, there were no fatalities or serious injuries. You might say “we dodged a lot of
bullets” on that Tuesday afternoon and evening and through the night as thousands of people
were stranded in their vehicles on impassable highways, as hundreds of school children were
stuck on buses, as people of all ages walked in frigid temperatures and along dangerous roads
trying to reach home or some temporary shelter, and as first responders and wrecker companies
sought to clear the roads of abandoned vehicles and to deal with emergency situations.
What we heard and witnessed direct or via the news media were heartwarming, breathtaking examples of people helping other people. Many people already out in the cold gave a
helping hand to other people in similar circumstances. The City of Douglasville Police
Department did a fantastic job, as did our Maintenance and Sanitation Department and various
individuals from our Parks and Recreation Department, City Administration, and other
departments of this local government. The Douglas County government likewise responded in a
very positive way; and I want to especially thank the County E-911 staff and the Emergency
Management Office for their coordinated efforts with this City government. Another great
example of our community working together to “Be ALL we can be.”
A quick analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the response by the State and various
local governments resulted in some immediate changes. A far more effective response occurred

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when another snow and ice storm hit two weeks later. In follow-up, the City of Douglasville and
other local governments in the metro area took steps to be better prepared for such emergencies
in the future. The State Emergency Management Agency made major changes in its organization
and operations, including personnel changes. The Atlanta Regional Commission placed a greater
emphasis on emergency preparedness. We did so in this City government, with the Police
Department in the lead role. Our local Emergency Management Plan was fine-tuned as a result
of our analysis of the January 2014 snow and ice storm. Continued planning and looking to the
future helps us improve our Unusual Occurrence plans.
Let me note that we recognize one of the most important foundations for having a premier
place to live, work, play, and raise a family is being “ a safe community”…whether in dealing with
natural disasters or in dealing with individuals who threaten a community’s piece of mind
through criminal acts. With that having been said, let me turn now to the area of Public Safety
and the Douglasville Police Department.
PUBLIC SAFETY. I believe we have an excellent Police Department, staffed by men and
women who are dedicated to serving the public, maintaining the peace, protecting people and
businesses from harm and danger, and apprehending those who refuse to obey our laws. For
myself or any of you who read the messages sent out from the E-911 Center or who listen to
some of the radio traffic between this dispatch center and our officers, you know our personnel
are committed, diligent, and usually successful in catching those who have committed crimes
against persons or properties. On those occasions when our officers are not able to make an
arrest shortly after the crime has been committed, you also know our detectives and other
personnel “stay on the case.” Overall, we have an excellent Police Department; and I believe
2014 was a very good year in Douglasville in the area of public safety. We have some of the finest
law enforcement professionals in the country. I was the victim of a property crime 31 years ago
and 2 weeks ago was contacted by one of our detectives who returned a portion of my stolen
property. Now that is staying on the case.
In 2014 the Douglasville Police Department continued to receive accolades from around the
State for its innovative, successful Youth Against Violence program. Certainly, this was one of the
most highly praised programs presented in June in Savannah at the annual meeting of the
Georgia Municipal Association. Under the leadership of Deputy Chief Gary Sparks, and the
support of Chief Chris Womack, the Youth Against Violence program meets almost every
Saturday to provide very straight-forward, “non-watered down” information on the how young
people can get themselves in trouble – including with law enforcement – and what they need to
do to avoid and guard against violence and the negative influences our youth face constantly.

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The Douglasville Police Department frequently welcomes visitors from other law enforcement
agencies who want to see how our Youth Against Violence program is organized and operates.
This program allows us to be “Pro-active” in reaching the troubled youth in our community and
building positive relationships with our law enforcement community.
A new community-oriented policing initiative was started in 2014, identified as the D-COP
program. Through flyers and social media the department lets residents in a community know,
that in the late afternoon of a particular day, police officers will be going door-to-door to
introduce themselves. They talk with the residents about ways the community and its residents
can have a safer environment in which to live, as well as ways in which the Police Department
can relate to and serve the community more effectively. These are some of the many ways in
which we take a proactive “Community First” approach to law enforcement and stressing that
“working together to build a better community and “Be ALL we can BE.”
Chief Chris Womack and the department’s command staff recognize that Douglasville’s
location on an interstate highway at the edge of the very large metropolitan City of Atlanta – as
well as being a regional retail trade center and being only a short distance from the world’s
busiest airport – brings a special series of challenges for law enforcement agencies. Working
closely with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, we have several joint law enforcement units
which focus on drug trafficking and other serious crime along the Interstate 20 corridor. We are
fortunate to have the high level of professionalism and commitment being provided by our public
safety providers.
I think 2014 was one of the best years in my memory for close, effective, cooperative law
enforcement by our Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Phil Miller. I believe
we should be the model for Georgia on how municipal and county law enforcement agencies can
work together effectively, including through joint manpower units.
It is hard to realize that it was four years ago when the Douglasville Police Department
moved into its current state-of-the-art Public Safety and Municipal Court complex on Fairburn
Road, where all personnel are housed under one roof. Leaving behind the several inadequate
buildings downtown and moving into a new well-equipped facility impacted our Police Force’s
mindset and performance in a positive way. It is with pleasure that we can look back to the move
into our new facilities in 2011, but it also is with pleasure that we can consider what occurred in
In response to comments from the department’s Command Staff and the rank-and-file
officers, the City Council changed a long-standing policy so each police officer could have his or

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her own vehicle – not having that vehicle be used by another shift when the individual officer was
off duty – and for that car to be his/her “take home” vehicle. This gave us a new, important
employee benefit to help attract and retain officers. The City Council also adopted a new
retirement plan for certified police officers, enabling them to retire with full benefits upon
achieving 25 years of service with the department at age 50.
Responding to concerns about the starting pay for entry-level police officers and the
salaries of the department’s other certified officers, the City Council decided to contract with
Evergreen Solutions to prepare a new Compensation and Classification Plan which would
encompass all City of Douglasville employees. Certainly, we wanted to be sure the City of
Douglasville was offering a competitive compensation plan for our law enforcement personnel as
compared to other local governments on the south side of the metro area; and we wanted to be
sure we were doing the same with the City employees in our other departments.
on the City of Douglasville’s initiative in 2014 to develop a plan that would enable the City to
fairly compensate all of our employees for their services. I have said on many occasions during
the past three years that our City employees are our most valuable asset. We cannot achieve the
goal of Douglasville becoming one of the premier places in America to live, work, play, and raise a
family unless we maintain a team of dedicated, qualified employees to deliver services to local
residents and businesses. In order to develop and retain that high quality work force, we must
have a fair and equitable plan for placing our employees within an organizational framework, as
well as letting them know clearly their respective responsibilities and then sufficiently
compensating them for their services. In 2014, we took a giant step to do this.
Basically, the plan had been completed by the end of calendar 2014, with our City
government working with the personnel consulting firm of Evergreen Solutions. Implementation
is underway, and full implementation could take 2-to-3 years giving us a system which will allow
us to attract and continue employing employees that will allow us to give “world class” service to
our citizens.
Most public opinion polls locally and in the metro area list “transportation” and “public
safety” as the top priority concerns of our citizens, when people are talking about their local
government. “Education” also ranks at the top of this list, and I am pleased we have a local
School Superintendent and Board of Education who are committed to building and maintaining a
quality school system for our children. We will continue to support their efforts to provide an
outstanding educational system.

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CLOSING COMMENTS. Obviously, I have not talked about all components of City
government during this annual State of the City address. However, without reporting on details,
let me close with what I would call “snapshot reports” on some other City government activities
in 2014:
The City Parks and Recreation Department had a very busy year: youth baseball at Hunter
Park, with several tournaments bringing out-of-town visitors to Douglasville; youth football at
Davis Park, with another championship season for the Tiger Cubs; youth soccer at Fowler Field
Park; a record-setting year at the West Pines Golf Club; and many other recreational activities
involving all age groups. A “Frisbee golf course” was constructed and opened in Hunter Park.
Long-awaited improvements were started in the Willing Workers Community Park (formerly
Keith Park) on the Northside, with re-naming ceremonies held on November 12. Outdoor
basketball court and other improvements were completed in the Mill Village Park. We continue
to upgrade our computer lab at Jessie Davis Park, thus allowing us to provide computer training
to the youth and adults using this park.
The City Maintenance and Sanitation Department had another outstanding year. Director
Greg Roberts and his staff go about their business in a low-key way and have a record of solid
public service; however, you let one of that department’s employees miss one house during the
course of a full day’s work when residential garbage and trash are picked up at some 3,000
locations, and we will hear about before the sun sets. No group of City employees is more in the
spotlight or does better work than our sanitation service workers. The same is true with our
maintenance workers, whether keeping a street right of way looking good or making sure the City
Cemetery remains attractive or filling pot holes in an expeditious manner.
The excellent performance of our Finance Department, under the leadership of Ms. Karin
Callan, was verified by the fact that once again the City of Douglasville received recognition from
the national Government Finance Officers Association for excellence in financial reporting, as
announced by GFOA after reviewing the City’s annual audit.
Our Communications Department, under the direction of Ms. Kellie Hunter, did a great job
in 2014 in providing our residents and businesses with information on what is happening with
this community and its local government. CITI TV continued to be one of Georgia’s top
government access stations. To show you the diversified reach of Douglasville’s Communications
Department, let me first note that this department has expanded its operations to include
administration of the City’s website, and serves our community with an average of over 17,000
website visits a month. In December this department launched an Intranet communication tool
as part one of a comprehensive internal communication plans for the City. And by year’s end

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2014, CITI TV’s YouTube channel had received over 162,000 views on the program content
produced by our Communications department. The world-wide-web outreach of this department
is providing media deliverables to not only our local community, but to a global audience as well.
This City Council worked effectively throughout the year. Councilman Larry Yockey
completed three years of very good service as the Mayor Pro Tem. The City Council elected a
new Mayor Pro Tem at the start of 2015 – Councilman Carl Pope – with Councilman Yockey
making that nomination. I would be remiss if I did not include in this annual report that longtime City Clerk Joyce Stone retired, and that she was succeeded by staff member Vicki Acker.
I am humbled and thank you for the opportunity of presenting Douglasville’s State of the
City report. We have plans in place for moving Douglasville forward so it can achieve our vision
and goal of being one of the premier places in America to live, work, play, and raise a family while
working TOGETHER “as a Community” to “Be ALL we can BE.” We invite each of you, our citizens,
to join us in making this happen. May God bless you, your family, and our great City.


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