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Does DeKalb Still Need a CEO?

District 1 Commissioner Elaine Boyer says absolutely not.

The position of county CEO has for years been on shaky ground in DeKalb County. 

Sitting CEO Burrell Ellis has faced questions about the position's necessity in the past and successfully fended them off. 

But after the district attorney raided Ellis' home as part of an investigation into the county's watershed operations last month, local media and elected officials have questioned whether it might be worth pushing to eliminate the position once and for all.

DeKalb County District 1 Commissioner Elaine Boyer, a long-time critic of the CEO position, said she still supported its elimination Tuesday. 

"This form of government doesn't work," she said. "I'm in my 21st year [as a commissioner], it does not work. We're not the federal government. We're local." 

Among many defenses of the position, Ellis has said the CEO position is an effective part of a system of checks and balances to local governance, not unlike the federal government's executive branch. Critics of the position have said the county would be better run with a county manager answerable to the board of commissioners.

Ellis defended himself in that same AJC story: 

He cited the system for his first-term success in cutting $130 million from the county’s budget, in partnership with the commission.

“This is the hallmark of a healthy government that is acting in the best interest of the people,” Ellis said. “As this idea continues to come up, I will continue to remind our state elected officials and others that we are proud of the work we have accomplished in DeKalb County.”

Any change to the form of government would need to be handled through the legislature and voted on by residents.

What do you think about the county CEO position? Should it be eliminated? Tell us in the comments section below.

Enuff Govt Already February 07, 2013 at 01:00 AM
Fulton County's chairman was convicted( https://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=176725 ) , Gwinnett County's chairman quit and a commissioner convicted (http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2012/may/31/lasseter-resigns-boc-amid-bribery-charges/ ) and those govts have a "professional" county manager. Douglasville's former mayor plead guilty to 91 counts (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/ex-mayor-pleads-guilty-on-91-counts-gets-5-years-p/nTYc5/). Commissioner Boyer, it is not the type of govt it is the type of individuals in govt. 21 years is too long !
Jack of Kings February 07, 2013 at 03:41 AM
I do not think it is totally unrelated that Dekalb Couny is the only county in the entire State of Georgia to have a County CEO--- and is deemed by third party organizations to be inefficient, overstaffed and mismanaged--year after year. The CEO system does NOT work. Eliminating the position would be a giant step towards fixing the problems.
Fed up February 21, 2013 at 02:40 AM
The employees have not received a raise in more than six years. The cuts are taken out of Fire And Police services among other departments. The citizens safety is at risk so the CEO can look good.

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