Recognized for leadership during pandemic and stewardship
The Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Public Administrators (ASPA) has recognized DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond as the public administrator of the year for 2022 for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and stewardship of county during its governance crisis.
“CEO Thurmond’s leadership during the pandemic and stewardship of DeKalb County resources is beyond reproach,” said Dr. Otilla Iancu, president of ASPA’s Georgia chapter.
The ASPA is a 10,000-member national organization that provides professional services to those who study the implementation of government policy, public administration and programs of civil society.
“I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the Georgia chapter of ASPA,” said CEO Thurmond. “However, this prestigious honor must be shared with the Board of Commissioners and the 6,000 dedicated county employees who answered the call to serve during one of the most challenging periods in the history of our county. Teamwork and commitment are the keys to our success.”
During Thurmond’s administration beginning in 2017, the county:
- Eliminated a multi-million-dollar structural deficit and built a $145 million “rainy day” fund.
- Provided approximately $454 million in property tax relief to DeKalb homeowners through the Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax (EHOST).
- Successfully negotiated a modified Wastewater Consent Decree with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
- Implemented a $2 billion water and sewer system improvement plan.
- Earned voter approval of a $388 million Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) capital construction program that has resurfaced more than 125 miles of the worst streets and roads in the county.
- Resolved 37,000 contested residential water bills and installed 102,000 new water meters.
- Distributed fresh food from Georgia farmers to more than 80,000 families.
- In partnership with the county Board of Health, vaccinated more than 10,000 residents.
- Provided almost $50 million in financial assistance to nearly 4,700 renters and their landlords impacted by the pandemic.