Nash salutes two centuries of pioneers in State of the County address

Almost 200 years of Gwinnett County history provided the backdrop for Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash’s 2018 State of the County speech (read the text or watch the video)  to a crowd of about 800 at the Infinite Energy Center on February 14, 2018.

“We’re not a bedroom community anymore,” she told her listeners, “We’re an employment center and a destination. Two hundred years after our founding, we remain a community of pioneers, with many of our residents having come from across the U.S. and from around the globe, seeking opportunity and prosperity.”

She pointed to a pioneering spirit as “the true source of Gwinnett’s strength” that is “not satisfied to simply accept what is, but rather strives to create what should be.”

“SPLOST continues to help us address capital needs, with such projects as the expansion of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center for much-needed courts space, a new Fire Station 15 in Lawrenceville now under construction, a new Police Precinct adjacent to Bay Creek Park, parks and libraries, and almost $500 million in transportation improvements funded by the current six-year SPLOST.”

Nash said that a robust economy is fundamental to a healthy community and that fostering job creation and economic opportunity is a primary focus for Gwinnett government. “Eight years ago, private sector jobs in Gwinnett had dropped to about 256,000 as a result of the Great Recession. Today the number stands near 320,000. Adding public sector jobs brings the figure closer to 345,000.”

Noting that Gwinnett had only 4,000 residents when it was formed in 1818, she said, “Gwinnett’s population is projected to exceed 1.5 million in 2040 and there must be expanded options for travel. My goal is to present a viable transit approach to voters and give them a chance to decide.”

She praised several bills now in the state legislature and said, “Striking the right balance between regional oversight and local control is difficult and there are obviously hurdles to overcome. However, I believe we have a window of opportunity that should not be squandered.”

Progress in the areas of public safety, water, education, economic development and community outreach provided other highlights of the speech. She urged listeners to get involved in bicentennial events throughout this year and attend a 200th birthday party for the county on December 15 at the Infinite Energy Center.

“We honor our past and those who built today’s Gwinnett through 200 years of opportunities and decisions. And as we approach the next 100 years, we still need a pioneering, can-do spirit to face our challenges together and develop new solutions,” Nash concluded.

Video of the speech is available on demand and will air frequently on the county’s government access cable channels of Charter, Comcast, and AT&T- U-verse. A text version of the speech and a handout highlighting the previous year’s accomplishments can be found at

Images from the event may be viewed on Flickr.

View a list of Gwinnett County’s 2017 awards and accolades.