Brookhaven: Thumbs Down to New DeKalb Public Affairs Position
DeKalb County recently created a chief of public affairs position out of the parks budget.
Brookhaven residents have reacted with disappointment - but not surprise - to last week's news that DeKalb has created a new public affairs position out of the county's parks budget.
Jill Strickland Luse was named last week as DeKalb County's chief of public affairs, charged with developing and directing the implementation of the county's communications program.
But the AJC reported on Sunday that the six-figure-salary position came out of the county's parks budget, prompting a strong reaction from several Brookhaven residents.
Brookhaven resident Chad Boles - who has organized and formed the Friends of Briarwood Park organization, was quoted as saying, “That money could pay for a playground, or fund a girls’ softball league for an entire season for underprivileged kids. I wish I could say I was shocked, but it’s just one more thing in a long history of irresponsible decisions that are made by DeKalb County.”
Friends of Briarwood Park has held several work days and activities at the facility, which will soon become the property of the new city of Brookhaven.
Another Brookhaven resident, Sue Binkert, was quoted as saying, “I am just disappointed they’re using money earmarked for parks for other purposes.”
Binkert is leading a group of volunteers who are planning improvements to the city's eight parks, once Brookhaven assumes ownership of them.
“One of my top priorities is better customer service delivery for DeKalb County,” said DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, when he made the announcement. "Jill will support this priority by improving the way the county communicates with more than 700,000 DeKalb County residents."
Strickland Luse will direct the external and internal communications for the county including oversight of DeKalb County Television. She will also be responsible for a communications team that will provide public relations assistance to the board of commissioners and departments that communicate with county businesses, employees and residents.