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Henry County BOS Chairwoman Carlotta Harrell Delivers Annual State of the County Address

HENRY COUNTY, GA- April 10, 2024— Sponsors and partners of Henry County Government filled Grace Baptist Church in Stockbridge this morning as Commission Chair Carlotta Harrell delivered the annual State of the County address.

Hosted by Council for Quality Growth, Harrell began her address by thanking County leadership, public safety officials and all county employees for their diligent, hard work over the course of this past year.Harrell framed her speech around the County’s rapid growth, posing the question as to whether it is an “obstacle or opportunity”, before emphatically sounding a positive note owing to her faith in the community and its local government.“I am full of optimism,” said Harrell. Of confidence. I’m certain of a present and future which all boats rise. And my reason is this, I believe in you. In Team Henry. Those who answer the call daily to serve this place we call home.”Harrell touched on economic development, and the County’s ability to provide jobs and workforce training to keep up with its growth. She noted that the County added 1,600 new jobs in 2023 and over $1 billion in commercial investment.“To say that Henry is open for business is an understatement. That implies that we’ve simply hung a sign in the door and are hoping customers show up. Not us. Not here. We are proactive in our pursuit of greater opportunity.”She next discussed housing affordability. The Chair referenced her participation in state and national boards, covering the topic. She also made mention of the County’s development moratorium and subsequent re-write of the land use code in the name of promoting affordability.“Growth is only a good thing if everyone can afford to be a part of it,” Harrell said. “We want our first responders, our teachers, our young professionals, our local workforce, our longtime residents, our seniors to have somewhere they can live at prices that fit their budget.”She went on to commend and honor the County’s Public Safety agencies, along with Southern Belle Farm, Southern Grace Hospice and Mt. Olive Baptist Church with Henry Hero awards.Harrell recognized Corporal Daniel Podsiadly of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department as the recipient of the Officer Paramhans Desai Award for his dedicated service. Its namesake is Paramhans Desai, a Henry County Police Officer who tragically lost his life on November 8, 2021, in the line of duty.   She also recognized Emergency Management Director Kevin Johnson as the recipient of the Commissioner Gary Barham Leadership Award. Harrell introduced the award at her 2022 State of the County address in honor of the late District III Commissioner Gary Barham.Harrell then moved on to transportation and the large scale infrastructure investment happening across the County. She underscored the importance of SPLOST V and TSPLOST, before outlining all of the major capital improvements currently being funded by these initiatives.The Chairwoman made note of quality of life improvements happening across the community, with a particular emphasis on seniors, kids, and families.“When you take a step back, you can see our schools and senior centers. Our parks and places of prayer. Our healthcare workers and all our government employees focused on your quality of life. The team is at work. And I promise that we are all in good hands.”Finally, the topic of public safety was covered. A topic near and dear to the Chairwoman, who was a police detective prior to her career in elected office. She mentioned the opening of the Police Department’s new North Precinct, a three year grant from the state to install gunshot detection devices, and progress towards a new E911/EMA building among other facts and figures.“As someone who spent nearly two decades in law enforcement, you can believe me when I say that we are in safe hands,” Harrell said. “That the team of men and women keeping us safe in Henry County are the best there is.” At the conclusion of the speech, Harrell said Henry County Government is dedicated to the service of its residents and each department is stepping up to deliver quality service in its own unique way. The Dutchtown High School Marching Drumline also put on a great show as they were brought out.“From Planning to Parks; Capital Improvement to Code Enforcement; Finance to Facilities; you name the Department and I’ll show you the people stepping up. I’ll show you someone from Team Henry, making us proud,” said Harrell.For more information on Council for Quality Growth, please visit www.councilforqualitygrowth.org/.