Sept. 22 marked the official start of Fall, although we could already feel the change all around us. The days are cooler, the nights are longer and we are all settling in to our normal end of year routines.
One routine we hope everyone in the county will incorporate this year is recycling, which is now free to residents in DeKalb. Simply submit your request online and Sanitation Services will deliver the bin and bags to your home. Then just sort recyclables and set the bin and bag at curbside on Wednesdays.
In addition to this change to our recycling program, which will keep recyclable materials out of our Seminole Landfill, we are celebrating a project this month that uses garbage in more environmentally-friendly ways.
On Oct. 10 at 11 a.m., we will cut the ribbon on our new CNG pumping station that fills cars with fuel produced at Seminole. In April, we cut the ribbon on the plant that turns trash from our landfill into gas, and now we are making that gas available for use in our own and other vehicles that run on green fuel. Join us as we celebrate the completion of another innovative project in our county. The ceremony takes place at Seminole Landfill, 4203 Clevemont Road, Ellenwood, GA 30294.
We look forward to seeing you in the community. Remember, recycling is easy in DeKalb, just sort, set and save.
- CEO Burrell Ellis
DeKalb Honors 2012 Olympians
Olympic excitement took center stage at the Square in Decatur when the county honored DeKalb's Olympic Medalists Dee Dee Trotter and Angelo Taylor. A special Olympic Tribute & Celebration, which also included Olympians from previous Games, recognized the accomplishments of Trotter and Taylor, who won medals during this year's Olympic Games in London, England.
To stand on the podium during the medal ceremony is an extraordinary feat and one that we honored at the tribute. A feat that each of our honorees achieved during the 2012 Olympic Games and seven times collectively over their careers. Trotter and Taylor joined a long legacy of athletes from our county who continue to makes us proud on the world stage and right here at home.
Trotter, a Cedar Grove High School graduate, won both gold and bronze medals in the 4x400m and 400m respectively in London. Taylor, a Southwest DeKalb High School alum, won a silver medal in the 4x400m during the 2012 Games.
Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd, DeKalb School Board Chair Dr. Eugene Walker, Cedar Grove High School Principal Pamela Benford, Southwest DeKalb High School Principal Carolyn Williams, University of Tennessee Director of Track & Field/Cross Country J.J. Clark, Georgia Tech Director of Community Relations Chris Burke, USA Track & Field Georgia Association President Ian Dube, and State Rep. Howard Mosby presented proclamations and gifts to the honorees and shared their pride and admiration for the Olympians. Gov. Nathan Deal, Congressman John Lewis and the DeKalb Senate Delegation also issued recognitions to Trotter and Taylor, which were presented at the event.
Recycling Now Free in DeKalb County
Request bins and bag online
Recycling in DeKalb County is easier because now it's free for residents. Recycling bins, stocked with bags and instructions, are available online at www.DeKalbRecycles.com.
The DeKalb Sanitation Division has a comprehensive waste reduction plan and an aggressive goal to reduce landfill disposal of solid waste, increase recycling and divert tonnage from the Seminole Road Landfill. Through increased education about recycling, the goal is to increase residential recycling from 21 percent today to 40 percent by 2016, or approximately 64,000 residential homes.
By recycling, residents save energy and natural resources. For example, recycling one soda can will save enough energy to run a computer for three hours.
For more information on free registration and how to get a free bin, visit www.DeKalbRecycles.com or the DeKalb Recycles Facebook page.
DeKalb County Remembers 9/11 Victims
DeKalb County held a silent wreath-laying ceremony in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 Americans, including 343 firefighters and 60 law enforcement officers, who lost their lives during the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 and the brave soldiers who have given their lives in the war against terror.
The ceremony was held at DeKalb Public Safety Headquarters in Tucker, where last year county officials dedicated the 9/11 Memorial, which includes a piece of steel from the World Trade Center Towers.
Permit Program may Reduce Fees to Complete Home Construction
A pilot program that will expedite the permitting process for partially-constructed homes abandoned as a result of bankruptcies in the building industry is underway. The program, which runs through Dec. 28, allows for a builder who proposes to complete construction of previously permitted, but incomplete, homes on which work has been suspended for more than 90 days to apply for a new Building Permit for a Previously Permitted Residential Structure.
Many partially-constructed homes have been bought recently "as is" by homebuilders who wish to complete the construction, receive a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) and place them on the market for sale.
Currently, a residential building permit fee of $1,500 - $2,000 is assessed for the completion of partially-constructed homes where previously-issued building permits have expired and/or the scope of necessary work to complete the homes is unclear. The Building Permit for a Previously Permitted Residential Structure provides for special building permit procedures and fees tailored to the current condition of each home, and sets the fees at amounts proportionate to the remaining work needed to complete each home.
If upon initial inspection it is determined that the existing structure is incomplete or deteriorated to the point it would fail an initial structural inspection, the builder would then be required to submit for a full building permit for a new residential structure, starting with an initial structural inspection.
For more information, call David Moss, Senior Inspector, at 770-572-4830.
'PHLOTES to the Top' Gets Underway at Clarkston High School
The first phase of the PHLOTES to the Top initiative kicked off last month at Clarkston High School. Attendees participated in a community resource fair comprising of government, education, and non-profit partners who provided information on the services being offered under the initiative.
The rollout represented a substantial milestone in our PHLOTES to the Top program, as our historic collaboration between DeKalb County Government, the DeKalb County School System and all of our world-renown colleges and universities began delivering the services that our large refugee and immigrant student population need.
PHLOTES to the Top, a collaborative initiative of the DeKalb County Higher Education Advisory Council, a consortium of institutions of higher learning, serves PHLOTES, or Primary Home Language Other Than English Students. Home to one of the state's most diverse school districts, DeKalb County has nearly 17,000 students that meet this description.
The PHLOTES to the Top community resource fair coincided with September being recognized as Workforce Development Month and the week of Sept. 10 being known as National Literacy Week.
Hilliard named Chief of Staff
Hakim Hilliard has been named the new Chief of Staff for the Ellis Administration.
With his depth of knowledge of the complexities of governmental affairs and his keen insight and experience with key stakeholder groups, I am excited that Hilliard has accepted this position.
Prior to his appointment, Hilliard was an attorney with McKenna
Long & Aldridge LLP, serving as a member of the Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs Practice Group. His practice has concentrated on state and local government law, particularly in the areas of land use and zoning, licensing and permitting, economic development incentives, public-private partnerships, and procurement. In government and politics, he has worked as a key advisor to elected officials from state government to the local level.
Before joining McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Hilliard served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Atlanta, providing counsel to the Mayor, City Council and various city departments, including the Bureau of Planning Development and Neighborhood Conservation. He also staffed the Atlanta Board of Zoning Adjustment and Zoning Review Board on issues related to land use and zoning.
In addition, Hilliard is a member of the Atlanta Business League and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta. He attended high school and college locally, at the Lovett School and Morehouse College, respectively, and attended law school at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.
Matelski Named DeKalb Chief Information Officer
John Matelski has been named DeKalb County's new Chief Information Officer and Director of Information Technology (IT).
Matelski brings more than 25 years of professional information and technology experience to DeKalb County. Previously, Matelski served as the Chief Information Officer and Director of IT Services for Gwinnett County. Prior to joining Gwinnett County, he spent 11 years as the City of Orlando's Deputy Chief Information Officer and Chief Security Officer, and prior to that he served as MIS Operation Director and Senior Network Engineer for Coleman Research Corporation, which contracted with the Department of Energy, NASA, Mobil Oil and others.
Matelski is known for managing a service-oriented team that delivers exemplary customer service, education, troubleshooting, and issue resolution with expertise and consideration.
Matelski graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science and M.B.A. degrees.
Rawls Named Animal Services Director
Betty Xan Rawls has been appointed to serve as Director of Animal Services and Enforcement. Rawls served at the Young-Williams Animal Center in Knoxville, Tennessee as the Shelter Operations Director and Human Resources and Compliance Coordinator. Previously, Rawls served as the Director of Animal Services for Citrus County (FL) Government and Brevard County (FL) Government, as well as Vice President for Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida.
She brings more than 25 years of progressively-responsible animal welfare experience with her to DeKalb County. With her proven track record of successful programs based on external audits and satisfaction surveys as well as her commitment to the health and well-being of animals, I am excited that she is joining us in this critical capacity.
In addition, Rawls served as President for the Florida Animal Control Association and remains involved in the Society of Animal Welfare Administration, the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.