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April 21, 2017 | News

County Commission Looks Ahead to 2018 at Annual Retreat

Writer: Staff Reports

Published April 18, 2017
Gwinnett Citizen

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners mapped out priorities and strategies for the coming year on some of the County’s most pressing issues at a retreat in Athens March 30-31. 

“This was a very productive couple of days,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash. “These retreats allow commissioners and senior staff to sit down in an informal setting, share their concerns, think about what’s working and what’s not, and determine what our challenges and opportunities are. Then, the Board of Commissioners comes together to hammer out what our priorities should be and sets common goals.” 

Top priorities for 2018 are:

• developing a transit and integrated land-use plan in conjunction with the County’s comprehensive transit development plan and the required comprehensive plan update;
• improving public communication that encourages more diverse citizen engagement and conveys the County’s vision;
• creating a water resource and innovation center to develop cutting-edge water solutions;
• bolstering the County’s workforce recruitment and retention efforts to ensure Gwinnett County remains competitive;
• continuing to focus on economic development through the establishment of a Small Business Resource Center to help incubate entrepreneurship and retain new, successful businesses;
• engaging diverse populations so they are represented in County government as well as in all County business, programs and initiatives;
• building relationships, trust and communication among County Commissioners.

County Administrator Glenn Stephens reviewed the County’s 2016 achievements, including maintaining its coveted Triple-AAA bond rating, voter approval of the 2017 SPLOST sales tax and the innovative 16-month firefighter/paramedic training program. He also pointed out that Gwinnett County continues to provide award-winning services to a growing population with minimal increase in the number of county employees.

Although no official votes are taken, the County Commission consensus on priorities guides staff in preparing for the next year’s budget.

The retreat was facilitated by Mara O. Shaw and Langford D. Holbrook of the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Mathew Hauer of CVIOG presented an analysis of Gwinnett County demographics.