Battle Underway in Annexations of Unincorporated South Fulton County
The west side of Atlanta is seeing it’s first all out skirmish for land since the Battle of Utoy Creek in August 1864 as part of the Atlanta Campaign during the Civil War. This modern day struggle is not being fought with weapons, but with lies and half truths coming from the City of Atlanta Administration. Atlanta has designs on rustling the senior citizens of the Loch Lomond Subdivision into their grasp. There are tales of seniors being told they have no choice and have to sign the petition for annexation into Atlanta. Phone banks commanded by city enthusiasts are making calls raising questions about the viability of the Proposed City of South Fulton that is on the ballot in November.
Meanwhile the Sandtown Community Association is floating survey results that can’t be verified as well as boasting that 25% of the respondents want to be left unincorporated. Being left unincorporated is not an option if the city hood vote fails and the SCA knows that, but chose to give respondents that false impression. What the annexation proponents are not saying is if they are annexed the home values in the area will drop in the very near future. The drop in housing values will be precipitated by the two empty schools Randolph ES and Sandtown MS. Atlanta Public Schools has made it known that they do not want those facilities because they have no use for them. Thus they will be closed sitting idle like a vacant shopping center that kills the surrounding community.
Further Atlanta does not have the Public Safety infrastructure to pick up the additional communities. Currently, Atlanta pays Fulton County to provide fire services to the homes in the “West Cascade” community and that includes Mayor Kasim Reeds home. The addition of Loch Lomond and Sandtown will only exacerbate that issue.
Back to Sandtown Community Association survey which appears to read more like push polling. Push polling is most commonly used during political campaigning, in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of voters under the guise of conducting a poll.
The “poll” asked about concerns of joining an existing city or creating a new one. The options were limited to three outcomes, all which were slanted for example – 63.7% responded they didn’t know who to trust about the pro’s and con’s of a new city; 28.57% responded they didn’t have enough facts to make an objective decision; 36.73% responded they didn’t have enough time to make a decision. What about including an option for those who know what they want to do? That’s not the point here, Sandtown wanted this to sound as though a new city of South Fulton was a bad idea and being annexed into Atlanta would be the answered – Not.
The concerns were even more remarkable. Respondents were given choices and they selected them. Again all the choices were designed to raise questions and throw shade on a City of South Fulton. 80.39% wondered about the economic viability; 72.55% concerned about budget shortfalls; 70.59% wondering who will run the city and the start up costs; 52.94% concerned about loss of services; 50.98% worried about the marketability of their home; 47.06% concerned about influence with the County and other cities; and finally 25.49% concerned about where would be City Hall and who would decide.
All the respondents have to do is follow these instructions 1) Read the Fulton County 2016 Budget regarding the South Fulton Special Services District and add $20 million to the bottom line and they would see the viability. 2) Budget shortfalls not a chance – See 1. 3) A resident of South Fulton will be the Mayor and because of the sweet heart deals that were given to Sandy Springs and others we get everything for the low, low price of a few hundred dollars per parks and a very cheap price for the equipment we’ve paid for over the last few years. 4) Marketability of your home – really. 5) Influence the City of South Fulton would be the third largest city in the county and sixth or seventh largest in the state. 6) Location of City Hall where ever the Mayor and City Council chooses.
The fight for annexations is real Atlanta is pulling out all stops. They are not precluded from lying and presenting false information to have their way. The millage rate in South Fulton is 11.579. On Atlanta’s annexation website, yes website they are using a comparison chart showing the rate at 12.469. Fulton County’s is 10.5 but is shown as 11.781 on the same site. It is up to us to beat back Atlanta’s lies with the facts and truth.