Campaign for a City of South Fulton Heats Up
Diverse Group of Local Residents Leading the Way
The Cityhood bug hit Fulton County pretty hard ten years ago. First, Sandy Springs then Milton, Johns Creek and Chattahoochee Hills. South Fulton first attempt failed. This time The People’s Campaign is making sure that doesn’t happen.
In the Committee Chair and Co-Chair meetings you will find folks from all over Unincorporated South Fulton. Blacks, whites, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, seniors, millennials, not-so-seniors, men, women, gay and straight. The Campaign has reached out to everyone who is willing to give some time as a volunteer. It’s been reported that there are more than 500 volunteers on the rolls who are being asked to work in their own communities and subdivisions.
The Campaign is taking this effort very seriously as it is hosting a series of 20 Town Hall Meetings at the various Elementary, Middle and High Schools across South Fulton up until Election Day. The Town Halls are taking on Cityhood, the Opportunity School Districts proposal, Annexations, and T-SPLOST. Published it’s own “The Messenger” newspaper, hosted a Visioning Session at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park. The session was design for local residents to talk about what the residents would like to see in the new proposed city. Thus far, their efforts are garnering good local media attention from Neighbor Newspapers, WSB-TV, WXIA and CBS Atlanta.
Citizens are picking up the new signs to place at their homes and the signs are being placed throughout the Unincorporated area along the right-of-ways. The white signs feature the logo of the Campaign.
It’s evident by the reactions of residents leaving the Visioning Session and Town Halls. Once they are given the facts about their choices they are choosing to support the proposed city. During the various sessions a number of residents came away with a clear understanding of what they paying for and what they could have once the city is chartered. Residents were encouraged to talk with their neighbors and verify the information by reviewing the 2016 Fulton County Budget Book (page 69 of the PDF).
Fulton County discussed the cost for additional Police, Fire & Rescue and Park & Recreation during the 2016 Budget Session. Click here for the link to the video from December 7, 2015 Special Called Board of Commissioners Meeting.
With The People’s Campaign underway, there are opponents of the city hood referendum. The lead opponent is the City of Atlanta, State Rep. Vincent Fort and their companion group South Fulton Citizens for Truth lead by the Sandtown Community Association president Deborah Davis. The Sandtown group failed in their efforts to be annexed by Atlanta once residents understood they would lose schools and pay more for services such as Sanitation, therefore they are pulling out all the stops.
Atlanta wants nothing more than to annex nearly all of Unincorporated South Fulton as described in HB 587 proposed by State Rep. Pat Gardner and Tyrone Brooks. The bill was tabled during the 2016 Legislative Session. By annexing large parts of South Fulton, Atlanta can almost guarantee black elected officials will remain in charge. Click here for Atlanta Magazine piece on this issue.
The opponents approach is to tell residents that can vote “no” if they want to remain unincorporated. That is true but, what they are not saying is if the city hood referendum fails HB 587 will be taken off the table and large portions of South Fulton will be annexed by Atlanta and Atlanta Public Schools.
The options as described during the Visioning Sessions and Town Halls are clear. Residents of South Fulton are already paying for their services and have done so for the last ten years. Simply put South Fulton residents already own it, now it’s time to take possession. Becoming a chartered City of South Fulton is by far the best option for the residents of South Fulton.
Let’s be clear I am NOT unbiased in my assessment. I am all for a City of South Fulton and have been an advocate for some time. I encourage you to follow up on the sourced links to verify what I’m saying. Read for yourself, if you don’t understand the numbers call Fulton County Finance Department or attend one of the remaining Town Hall Meetings to get your questions answered.
What is the plan???
Submitted by jamesr57 on Mon, 08/27/2007 – 4:07pm.
This is an open request for the South Fulton Concerned Citizens to lay their cards on the table. I have stated all along that I prefer to be left alone. There are many folks like myself who are not interested in forming a city at this time.
There are a lot of unanswered questions. First and foremost in my mind is — What is the plan? Everyone talks about local control. Milton has local control and it’s out of control with personality conflicts and the like.
I have no doubt that if necessary there are people who can and will come forth to fill any need for leadership. There will be 49 days or so of campaigning before a mayor and council is elected. That’s not nearly enough time to select the folks to run a new city. Some will say you should automatically anoint those who have championed the city from the start. I say not only no, but hell no! Why?!?
There is a lack of transparency with SFCC. No meeting minutes, rumors of a power struggle, private meetings, etc. As an individual with a lot at stake with my family living in the middle of the proposed city. I want to know what is the plan? If ya’ll can’t lay the cards on the table for all to view and comment on I suggest you abandon your efforts.
What are you planning to do with the fire fighters and police officers? I’m sure you’ve had that discussion but, within your group only. How about the zoning, planning and development piece? I certainly hope ya’ll aren’t considering privatizing the administration of the proposed city. I for one will fight such a weak proposal.
Have you considered city hall? How about adding park space? I for one is willing to pay more for such an amenity.
Lay your cards on the table. Don’t hide behind your organization. We the people need to know.
South Fulton Living