STOCKBRIDGE — June Wood, chairwoman of the Henry County Board of Commissioners, called for a unified voice among those in Henry County at her annual State of the County address on Tuesday.
Wood also provided something of a status update on the county for the past year, which included 2 percent growth in population, added jobs, and projects in the works to address the county’s infrastructure issues.
“Henry County, together, let’s get through our growing pains and shape the future rather than complain about change,” Wood said. “There’s much work to be done. Henry County and our cities, we must leverage our leadership working together. So I say, to our citizens, elected officials and government leaders, let’s work together to catch up and get ahead.”
Wood called for those in the county to move past any kind of cultural differences or partisan politics to find common ground in an effort to work for “one vision” as a leader in the area.
In addition, she said the county and its cities should work to develop a joint economic strategy as well as the joint transportation improvement plan that has already been developed so “our children 20 years from now don’t complain about what we should have.”
“It’s critical that we together make our way through this change in a positive way for our citizens, businesses to build a prosperous county together,” she said.
Some of the successes cited at Tuesday’s address included the Board of Commissioners and the city of Stockbridge voting together to ask the Georgia Department of Transportation to start work on the Western Parallel Connector, a new four-lane road west of Interstate 75 that would serve to ease traffic congestion.
In addition, Wood said that the county’s crime index is lower than surrounding counties, and that the median household income, which she said is around $67,000, is higher than the metro Atlanta region’s average of $65,000, and the poverty rate is lower than the metro area.
The SPLOST was also referenced, with Wood stating that SPLOST IV helped the county invest millions into public safety, including a new radio system, 30 fully equipped police vehicles, fire equipmentand more.
The fifth iteration of SPLOST is on the ballot in November, and Wood called it an “opportunity for those who shop and visit to pay for transportation and family entertainment needs.”
“It helps us move forward and keeps our taxes lower,” Wood said.
The address was given in front of a large crowd at the Merle Manders Conference Center in Stockbridge. The crowd included a cross-section of some of the business and government leaders in the county, including a wide variety of elected officials.