State of the County
Nash expresses optimism, highlights challenges ahead in final State of the County address
Gwinnett Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash voiced optimism that the county’s future leaders will continue to meet Gwinnett’s challenges at her 10th and final State of the County Address (read the text or watch the video) Wednesday, February 12 at the Infinite Energy Center. She called on the audience of about 920 business, civic, and political leaders to be bold and thoughtful to ensure Gwinnett continues to “bend the trend.” She frequently referred to the Gwinnett Standard, a high measure of professionalism and service that the County strives to meet.
“I encourage each of you to roll up your sleeves, and rally your colleagues, your civic clubs, your congregations, and your neighborhood groups to turn ideas into actions for the sake of Gwinnett’s future,” Nash said. “If all of you expect greatness and Gwinnett leaders continue to lead with vision and courage, then our most extraordinary days are still to come.”
The first area of focus, Nash said, is ensuring adequate water supply for Gwinnett’s booming population. She touts the County’s current water system, stating that it operates with the highest treatment standards in the world. She said the Water Tower at Gwinnett, a planned advanced research facility, will assure that Gwinnett’s water and wastewater technologies are state of the art.
“We'll break ground for this facility later this year, but I challenge Gwinnett's leaders to ensure that it reaches its full potential,” she said. “By this, I mean that it should bend the trend for excellence in managing and conserving water resources here in Gwinnett and beyond – even while the County grapples with growing water and wastewater needs.”
She said the second challenge is mobility. “A gridlocked Gwinnett without a range of mobility options won't attract those seeking a high quality of life and a productive work environment,” Nash said. “So, my second challenge to Gwinnett leaders is to deliver a transit system that meets the Gwinnett Standard and serves its needs across time while taking full advantage of technology and targeted road improvements.”
Nash said a third issue will be maintaining Gwinnett’s excellence in public safety. She said the County continues to prioritize these services, but added it must recruit and retaingood people and hire personnel that reflect its diversity.
Gwinnett also must preserve and expand its parks and recreation system, including a County trails plan to add hundreds of additional miles of walking, biking, and jogging paths that connect with each other and the County’s parks, Nash said.
The fifth priority for future leaders will be responsible management of the County budget, including keeping the County’s Triple-AAA bond rating, Nash said.
Nash concluded her list of challenges with a call to support early childhood literacy. As Gwinnett County Public Schools implements its Early Learning Strategy, the County will promote early learning through programs at County parks and summer camps. She announced that the County is providing seed money in its 2020 budget to fund a literacy-focused initiative with the Gwinnett County Public Library. The initiative will be named in honor of Shirley Carver Miller, former first lady of Georgia and a Norcross businesswoman.
A video of the speech will air frequently on the County's government access cable channels of Charter, Comcast, and AT&T- U-verse beginning at 6:00pm Wednesday, February 12.