June 2015, Vol.9 , No.6 Past issues | Subscribe | Printer Friendly | Advertise | eMagazine Archives

In 2014, the ACCG Board of Managers approved the relocation of the downtown Fulton County office and the GEBCorp Cobb County office to the One Ninety-One Peachtree Tower at 191 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Ga., 30303. The office move will allow ACCG, as a whole, to consolidate its operations, improve office efficiency, and, ultimately provide better service to its membership – reducing the organization’s footprint by more than 6,000-square-feet with the close of one office location.

ACCG asks that all counties and partners in local government make note of the association’s new address to ensure that ACCG is in receipt of all correspondence from them. All ACCG staff telephone numbers and email addresses will remain the same.

From left to right: Kelly Parry, Sam Johnson and Elijah Anderson.

Kelly Parry is a Georgia native and a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. After completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology, Parry taught as an elementary school English language instructor in Istanbul, Turkey. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University (GSU) with a concentration in management and finance. Kelly also works as a Graduate Research Assistant with GSU’s Center for State and Local Finance. A resident of Reynoldstown, Parry enjoys keeping up with Atlanta’s art and music communities and taking spontaneous road trips. Through her internship this summer, Parry is excited to enhance her understanding of county finance and administration and learn as much as she can from ACCG staff. Over the course of her internship, Parry will compile statistics for and assist in updating the ACCG SPLOST Guide, research veto powers for county chairmen, assist in the update of statewide revenue and expenditure data through survey and research methods, write reports and prepare statics for the Georgia County Internship Program, attend meetings and provide additional research assistance as needed.  

Sam Johnson is an Atlanta native, has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia (UGA) and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration from UGA, as well. During his tenure as an undergrad, Johnson worked in both the legislative and executive branches of Georgia’s government, gaining a well-rounded knowledge of the law-making process and how it affects the state’s small governments. In addition to his experience in both the public and private sector, he has also worked on a statewide campaign for the U.S. Senate, gaining firsthand experience of Georgia’s vast array of counties. In his spare time, Johnson enjoys kayaking, playing drums, reading science fiction books and touring local college campuses. During his internship, Johnson will assist the research and policy staff by updating and verifying information for new ACCG publications, updating county data through research and survey methods on timber tax collections and county airport data, attend policy meetings and provide general research assistance. 

Elijah Anderson is a Master of Public Administration candidate attending Georgia State University. Born and raised in Metro Atlanta, Anderson obtained his undergraduate degree in political science at Georgia Southern University. During his time at Georgia Southern, he was awarded scholarships to participate in study abroad trips to the countries of Egypt, Albania, Greece, Montenegro and Kosovo. Now working toward his Master’s degree, Anderson is living in downtown Atlanta and working as a Graduate Research Assistant at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. When not studying, he enjoys traveling, reading and exploring north Georgia’s hiking trails. As an intern for ACCG, Anderson’s goal is to understand the intricacies involved with local government and learning what it takes to become an effective public manager. During his internship, Anderson will prepare a research paper exploring the differences between cities and counties, assist in the update of statewide county data through survey and research methods, update the Georgia State Firefighters Association (GSFA) Statistical Directory and provide assistance with the GSFA awards program, update county notice and reporting requirements, attend meetings and provide additional research assistance as assigned.  
Need to verify your labor force is comparable to a similarly situated county? Want to ensure your hiring ranges are competitive within your region?  Well thanks to the yearly Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Wage and Salary Survey, this information is available online at http://www.dca.state.ga.us/dcawss/reports.asp

Each year, DCA surveys counties and cities in order to provide detailed wage and salary information including job descriptions, number of employees, scheduled work hours per week and the starting and maximum salaries for more than 150 positions. This information can be used to compare employment levels, salary ranges, and jobs provided by your county to other counties and cities across the state.

The survey results are divided into four reports: Public Safety, Public Works, General and Administrative, and Elected Officials. Individual reports are issued as a PDF file for each of these four areas and contain wage and salary information for all participating counties and cities. A separate report is available that provides the total full-time, part-time and volunteer employees for each participating county and city. 

In addition to the prepared survey reports, the user can generate a customized report by selecting the "Search" option on the main page of the Wage and Salary Survey website then by using the query options on the following web page. The query options allow the user to select the type of government entity (county or city), date range, population range, salary range and the types of jobs needed for the comparison. 

Comparisons can be made in a variety of ways. A query can be made for a single county, multiple counties or an entire population range. Information also can be generated for a particular job or for all jobs within the search range. Likewise, if the data is available for the particular job(s) within the scope of the search, comparisons can be made for a single year or for any time period through 2009. The query function can further narrow the scope of the search by restricting it to a particular starting or maximum salary range. Once the factors have been selected, click the "Get Results" button to access the report for your query.  
DCA is currently collecting surveys from counties to include in their 2015 report series. To submit the 2015 Wage and Salary Survey, click on the following link at https://www.dca.ga.gov/secured/dcasurveys/WageSalary/login.aspx. The deadline to submit this year’s survey is June 30, 2015. 

If you have any questions about the information contained in this article, please contact Michele NeSmith at mnesmith@accg.org or at 404-522-5022.

University of West Georgia GIS Student Melissa McClain Lasebikan, spring 2015 GCIP intern with Bartow County.

Melissa McClain-Lasebikan, a GIS major at the University of West Georgia, interned with Bartow County Information Services as part of the Spring Georgia County Internship Program (GCIP). Over the course of her internship, McClain-Lasebikan helped the department prepare for the implementation of a new 911 system. 

The main focus of McClain-Lasebikan’s internship was geocoding EMS and Fire incidents from 2014 and creating Python scripts in ArcMap that export and format various GIS data layers into the new 911 geodatabase. This geodatabase will be implemented as part of the New World 911 system. She also assisted the GIS coordinator in creating maps as needed.

McClain-Lasebikan noted that creating Python script tools was both the greatest success and the favorite part of her internship. Prior to the internship, she had very little knowledge of Python coding. In that this type of coding is a very important skill in the GIS field, she relished having an opportunity to learn how to use it. She now has a solid knowledge base of Python coding and its utilization in GIS operations. From here, she can build upon the skills learned during her internship to become a proficient coder, which will boost her career potential. Based on her experience working with Information Services, McClain-Lasebikan is now aware of the many GIS tasks and skills needed in government operations and is considering a career in county government. 

When asked what tips she would give other students participating in a county internship, McClain-Lasebikan recommended taking advantage of any training offered, observing what your supervisor(s) are doing and volunteering for tasks even if they seem challenging at the time. As a result, you will be surprised at the amount of experience to be gained by seeing your skills used in a real-world environment.

For more information on the GCIP, please visit the ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation website at http://www.civicaffairs.org.
Ameris Bank
B & B Oil Company, Inc.
ACCG, Georgia's County Association
191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 700
Atlanta, GA 30303
phone: 404-522-5022 | fax: 404-525-2477 | ACCG.org

We would appreciate your comments or suggestions. Your email will be kept private and confidential.