Preparing my annual State of County speech is always a chance to reflect on what’s great about Gwinnett County. Here are some of this year’s thoughts.
Keeping our coveted Triple AAA credit rating through the Great Recession was a significant accomplishment and shows that our financial strength is intact.
Gwinnett's schools are amazing – two Broad prizes, the top high school in Georgia, and multiple schools packing the top of the 2015 Niche rankings.
Many institutions of higher education call Gwinnett home – including the fastest-growing college in the state university system, Georgia Gwinnett College. These convenient options for expanding knowledge or learning a new trade translate into strong workforce development for our business community.
Our water comes from Lake Lanier via one of the most advanced and sustainable water systems in the world. It delivers high-quality drinking water to our homes and businesses, then collects, treats and returns much of it to the lake and the Chattahoochee River cleaner than when we found it. That's good for Gwinnett and for all of our neighbors downstream.
Thanks to voter-approved SPLOST programs, Gwinnett taxpayers have invested more than $2.7 billion in capital projects on a cash basis, saving themselves more than $1.0 billion in financing costs while meeting current and future needs.
Our public safety professionals protect and serve with the highest professionalism. The County's police department, correctional facility, and paramedic education program have all achieved national accreditation. Gwinnett PD, one of the largest full-service departments in the state, is among the few nationwide to achieve CALEA's accreditation with excellence – the highest level possible.
We have top-quality health care here, too. For example, Gwinnett Medical Center has recently named the top large hospital in the state by Georgia Trend Magazine.
We have a thriving arts community – including the award-winning Aurora Theatre – and beautiful venues for local entertainers, cultural festivals, and big-time stars.
We have national award-winning parks and libraries – plus two professional sports teams and the annual PGA Champions Tour.
Many Gwinnett cities have been nationally recognized with top honors in different quality of life categories, which helps give residents hometown pride.
We have more people and more businesses than ever, with jobs spread across many companies.
And our population has become more diverse. Over the past 25 years, we’ve drawn an abundance of talent and a new perspective from all over this planet. People from many backgrounds, races, ethnic groups, languages, and cultures live in Gwinnett County.
I see a future for Gwinnett County that is every bit as exciting as the past. But it’s a future we have to create. I am ready to start building our future now – and the district commissioners are ready as well – but we need your help. Can you see Gwinnett’s future? Do you want to be a part of it? Are you ready to work hard to build it?