Monday, January 19, 2009

State of County Airs on TV, Web

Gwinnett Commission Chairman Charles Bannister presented his annual State of the County speech to a gathering of community and business leaders on Thursday at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth. The County has now put a video recording of the speech on both the County’s website and on its cable TV channel.

At www.gwinnettcounty.com, computer users can view the entire speech on demand at any time. It will also be shown frequently on television over the County’s government-access channel, TVgwinnett, which is channel 23 on all cable systems in Gwinnett.

“All over the world, this has been one of the toughest economic years most of us have ever lived through. But as I stand here today and say with the utmost confidence that¾considering the times¾the state of Gwinnett County is not only strong¾it’s remarkably strong,” he said.

He acknowledged that Gwinnett is feeling the effects of the current economic downturn. The interim budget adopted by commissioners earlier this month cut $26 million in spending, eliminated more than 100 full-time positions, postponed adding 88 new court and public safety positions and extended a hiring freeze. “While these decisions give us some real breathing room on our fund balance, more difficult decisions lie ahead,” said Bannister.

Not all was gloom and doom, however. Bannister also pointed out many of the County’s accomplishments from the past year, such as a reduction in violent and property crimes. Additionally, the National Association of Counties awarded Gwinnett County the National Gold Medal Award for the park system and two large corporations moved to Gwinnett creating several hundred new jobs.
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