If this was a football game you’d call this a “Hail Mary” – a long pass down the field hoping for a catch in the end zone for a touchdown. State Representative Pat Gardner, 57th who represents an obvious gerrymandered district that snakes from Morningside through Midtown, Downtown, West End and parts of Cascade Heights decided to carry water for Atlanta and it’s mayor Kasim Reed. Rep. Gardner following instructions dropped House Bill 587, one of the three bills that she’s authored this session. HB 587 would extend the Atlanta City Limits through legislative referendum (see map below) throughout South Fulton County from the tip of Fulton Industrial Blvd south to Butner Road taking in Walden Park. Going east along Butner Road to Old Fairburn jogging in and out ultimately intersecting with the East Point and Union City city Limits. What it does at that point is to create an unincorporated island which is illegal.
What makes this amazing is the citizens of unincorporated South Fulton have House Bill 514 and House Bill 476 heading to the State Senate. If approved by the State Senate HB 514 would provide for a referendum on November 3, 2015 for unincorporated South Fulton residents to vote on a measure to start a new city or not. If approved by the Georgia House and Senate HB 587 would provide for a referendum for citizens in the proposed areas to vote whether Atlanta should extend it’s borders to annex their communities on the same ballot. If nothing else Atlanta seeks to cause massive confusion for the residents of South Fulton.
The one thing those under assault by Atlanta needs to know – if you and your neighbors agree to be annexed into Atlanta means your school age children, grandchildren, and family members will be under the guidance of Atlanta Public Schools. This is not a good time to be in such a predicament. Atlanta Schools and City Government are divided. The city owes the school district money related to the Beltline. The mayor refuses to pay up. In addition, the schools want to sell some of it’s old school assets and the city holds the deeds and the city refuses to release them.
Why would anyone join a divided city squabbling over money that should go to benefits it’s students? This says alot about the leadership in Atlanta. Atlanta is divided beyond just the schools she’s divided among the have and have nots. Fortunately for the haves the mayor works on their behalf. See the recently completed streetscape project on Danforth Road off Cascade (the mayors drive home) which joined the city in the last decade and glance at Campbellton Road, Martin L King Boulevard, Boulevard and other areas of the city that have been neglected for decades. One thing’s for sure, Cascade Road inside the city continues its makeover at the corner of B E Mays and Cascade under the fifth consecutive City administration.
Gardner stated the cityhood referendum failed by a large margin last time. She’s right it did fail in 2007, I voted against it myself. Then came 2008 and the “Great Recession” like most my biggest asset – my home value suffered greatly. It may have very well been a blessing that we chose not to be a city in 2007. Today everything is moving in the right direction and unincorporated South Fulton as a city is financially viable to the tune of more than $20 million in surplus.
We want an opportunity to vote for a city of South Fulton NOT to be in the city limits of Atlanta.
Atlanta Rep. Gardner’s Map Seeking to Split South Fulton