Chairman, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Public Safety is my number one priority. We need to ensure that the public feels safe and will go out and patronize the businesses within Gwinnett County. This in turn will help boost our local economy because if people don’t feel safe, they will not use our local businesses. I also want to bring in measures to help retain our law enforcement officers. Currently we have one of the best training programs for law enforcement, however, our pay scales don’t reflect that so our attrition rate is extremely high as once our officers are trained, they leave to pursue better salaries at other agencies. Right now, Gwinnett County Police Department is 100 officers short, if we were able to hire 100 people tomorrow it would take 6 months before they would be in service, on the road, on their own. This would be at a cost of approximately $600,000, and they would still be rookies.

As a businessman, I have spent my time helping other companies improve their situations. I have not attended any commission meetings, however again my priorities are Public Safety and improving depressed areas of the county.

I will continue to make Gwinnett County safer which will help attract new business and industry. We also need improvement in the transportation sector as mentioned. If we make Gwinnett safer, educate local business, help train potential employees and get the business community on board, we will be successful.

Tough decisions will have to be made regarding different areas of service. Some areas will have to be decreased while others are increased. Obviously making Gwinnett County safe is the number one priority.

I’d improve zoning requirements and anything related to improving the overall quality of living of our residents. This would start with making better financial decisions in future acquisitions to improve conditions for our citizens. Many depressed areas need to be cleaned up and county-wide educational programs for entrepreneurs. We need to develop a greater amount of pride in our county to both attract and keep new and old businesses alike.

1. The current transportation system needs to be examined to determine feasibility of expansion or changing the way we ‘move’ people. 2. Maintaining the current roads. 3. Traffic studies need to be implemented to determine if further road changes/expansions will improve the current situation. Methods need to be developed that will attract users of whatever system is implemented.

Before I can recommend any new plans, we will need to make the existing operation profitable, and before adding a further tax burden on our citizens to pay for a failing system. A budget and operational review will need to be conducted before we can implement a new plan. The existing Gwinnett Transportation System generates approximately $4M in fare revenue, at an expense of almost $16M. Although transportation is a convenience for the citizens, we need to ensure that it operates cost effectively.

It’s necessary to implement training programs for those who want to work and excel in their chosen field, here in Gwinnett County. After determining the needs of our business community, training programs need to be offered in conjunction with existing businesses. It needs to be a joint effort between the county and the private sector.

We need to concentrate on areas in Gwinnett County such as the Gwinnett Place Mall for redevelopment and to attract more businesses to the area. If we put other suggestions into place that I’ve mentioned, we should continue a steady growth of recouping and growing the economy.

Candidate did not complete the questionnaire.

Contact

Contact Paul Oh, Manager, Public Policy & Community Affairs, with questions.
770-232-8804 or pauloh@gwinnettchamber.org

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