This week, on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015, the Council co-hosted the annual Cherokee State of the County Address. The keynote address was given by Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens. Misti Martin, the President of the Cherokee Office of Economic Development, also imparted insight on the future of economic development in the county.
Ms. Martin informed the audience of current and past development initiatives that are shaping Cherokee County. In the past year alone, 19 businesses have expanded, and more intend to expand and create jobs in the upcoming year. Economic diversification of the tax base has also been beneficial to the county, and is one of multiple reasons that the county was able to weather through the Great Recession. She hopes to see continued diversification in the economy, as well as an increase in resources aimed towards growing the healthcare industry. The aim is to make Cherokee County “self-sustaining”, by recruiting talented people to work in the county, and retain them so that the county will continue to prosper in the future.
Chairman Ahrens began his address by reinforcing the county’s commitment to their four goals: economic development, quality growth, fiscal integrity, & environmental stewardship. He claimed that “customer satisfaction” for local services is one of the many reasons that Cherokee County is considered to be great. Chairmen Ahrens emphasized that Cherokee County is constantly working to improve its services to residents, which are already considered superior compared to other counties in Georgia.
Chairmen Ahrens also urged the community to look to the future, with a focus on investment in marketing the county as a brand to attract more people and businesses to facilitate further growth in the region. Millennials in particular are a potential market for these businesses; the Chairman has plans in place to attract businesses that cater to millennials’ needs, which will also increase employment and add to the tax base from which the county can improve infrastructure. Chairmen Ahrens stressed that the county have “predictability” for its citizens, or rather that the county continues to be a safe, wonderful place to live. Only through predictability will Cherokee County continue to flourish and be an example to other counties in Georgia.
Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens has served on the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners since 2007. January 01, 2007. He sits on several community boards as well as organizations within Cherokee County and in Metro Atlanta.
Click HERE to view the Cherokee Tribune’s coverage of the event.