This update begins with the issue that is of daily paramount concern to me-the consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of personal responsibility in mitigating the effect of the virus. The above line graph tells a story of who is exposing themselves most to the virus. It is not a vignette of the reasons for that exposure. But I am convinced that if social distancing is practiced, hands are washed and face masks are worn it will begin to flatten the curve in those populations with the highest numbers.
On the economic side, the virus has pushed unemployment back into Great Recession numbers-10% and higher. The weekly federal $600 supplement to unemployment checks has helped to ease some of the personal stress. But there are still large segments of the public that need more help. Thankfully the Board under my leadership has addressed many of those sectors with grants from the CARES legislation for programs for food insecurity, rental and mortgage assistance, small and not-for-profit businesses, the six cities in the County, public health, both school districts, and creating a strategic stockpile of personal protective equipment for county employees. Moreover, we have used both general fund and CARES revenue to provide hazard pay for county employees who courageously performed their duties during the early days of the pandemic. The people of Cobb County are looking for leadership and hope during these times and I am working daily to provide both.
Finally, it’s been mentioned by some that the don’t see our campaign regularly on social media. That will improve over time as we November 3d draws nearer. But I want to remind my followers that my record as Chairman, particularly during this pandemic, is the best advertisement for my campaign for reelection. Last Tuesday the Board reaffirmed my proposed millage rate, This millage is unchanged for the 3d straight year and leaves money in the wallet of the tax payer. Moreover, the Board approved by proposed budget which provides more compensation for many of our first responders and continues to reduce the water fund transfer by another 1%. The latter is important because it leads to a potential savings for their customers. Thanks to my record of fiscal responsibility and reasonably low taxes, we have more than $100M of unassigned fund balance. We don’t know what the future will bring but the public still expects us to provide quality services. We are in great place fiscally because of my leadership. It is a record for which I have fought hard during my time in office.
In my world there are doers and there are talkers. I am a doer. My complexion in the photo below didn’t come from a tanning machine. It is the product of canvassing in neighborhoods this summer on 90 degree days like last Saturday, which will be the norm through September.
Judy is also canvassing different parts of the County. We have drivers helping. Volunteers are phone banking and distributing and putting up campaign signs. Others are making financial contributions. I can’t thank them enough for their confidence me in me. It will require continued actions like these to lead us to victory. My hope at the end of this campaign is that you also have a story to tell of your role in it.