Stonecrest budget to support in-house staffing, police department study

Stonecrest City Council passed its fiscal year 2022 budget (FY22) in November; city officials said the 2022 budget marks a milestone as the city pivots from contracted services to in-house staff.

Stonecrest officials said the change to using in-house staff will help the city better meet the needs of the community.

“The $13.7 million FY22 budget represents more than a spreadsheet balancing revenue and expenses. It puts actions behind elected leadership’s desire to be a ‘world class city,’ a press release from city officials states.

“This budget focuses on residents and the priorities identified and ranked by mayor and council to best serve them,” said Acting City Manager Janice Allen Jackson. “We went through an extensive list of wants and needs, such as drafting an economic development master plan, creating more opportunities for community engagement through town halls and other activities, filling our calendar with city-wide special events to build community pride, and adding specialized studies to continue Stonecrest’s forward momentum. By emphasizing best management practices to help us balance these priorities, we are on the path to achieving world class city status.”

The press release states that one of the challenges of changing to in-house services was estimating staffing needs while building standards for delivery of service. To accomplish this, city officials said some departments will be reorganized.

  • Parks and Recreation activities and programming will be under the umbrella of a new “Leisure Services Department.” City officials said the new department will also oversee special events.
  • Management of the city’s IT contract will now roll into the Communications Department. New positions will also be added to help residents connect with city officials, and longer-term goals will be studied or planned.

“We’re adding staff [specifically] to community engagement to create more robust opportunities for our residents to get involved, from planning and zoning open houses to district town halls to offering feedback in master planning efforts,” said Finance Director Gia Scruggs.

According to Scruggs, a city managed police department is also being discussed by city officials.

“We’ve also set aside funding for a public safety study to further examine the pros and cons of establishing a city police department, and within our engineering allocation, we’re planning a study to help determine the feasibility of our own public works department,” Scruggs added.

The press release states that during the first half of the year, staff will monitor service delivery, resources, and organizational issues to gauge any need for changes that could shift resources through mid-year budget adjustments.

The budget was originally posted for public review on Oct. 25 and approved by councilmembers Nov. 10.

The city’s budget is available for review on Stonecrest’s website at:https://stonecrestga.sophicity.com/Assets/Files/Departments/Finance/2021/FY22-proposed-budget-10252021.pdf

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