You Should Be For It Also
We’ve faced the last hurdle to a long fight to vote on whether or not we the citizens of South Fulton want to form a city. I’m shouting to the heavens – YES!
South Fulton is a unique place we straddle urban, suburban and rural characteristics. A very unique mix for a city one would say. Each brings with it some challenges and promises. All of it has people who should be the sole arbiters of who and how it should be governed.
For the last ten years we have functioned as a de facto municipality. We pay for our own services. Our taxes have been raised numerous times to ensure that we can continue to afford those services. Now it’s time we take the hand off from Fulton County and take this thing to the finish line.
The answer for me is YES because of the following:
1) As the third or fourth largest city in Fulton County we can take in an additional $20 – $25 million dollars that we have been paying in local option sales tax (LOST). That money currently goes to Fulton County here’s what we can do with it as a city – hire an additional 45+ Police Officers, additional 36+ Firefighters, and all the necessary equipment that goes with them. We already have the municipal structure in place we just need to transition it to the new city. Also other needs say a few sidewalks along Butner, Stonewall Tell, Fairburn, Flat Shoals just to name a few. Better still that money could also be used to lower our taxes. Don’t worry too much about the commercial part cause no matter where LOST is collected Fulton County shares it based on population. So any new business in Alpharetta means more tax dollars for us and vice versa.
2) For my family members and friends children that attend the following Fulton County Schools – Randolph, Stonewall Tell, Cliftondale, Sandtown, and Westlake I want a city to stave off annexation from Atlanta and it’s school system which is facing some incredible challenges. Under a plan that was floated recently large areas of those communities would be placed in Atlanta as part of that annexation plan.
3) For my family members and friends in and around Old National Hwy I want them to understand most of all paraphrasing Woopie Goldberg in the movie “Ghost” – “ya’ll in real danger”. The floated annexation plan would put you in the City of College Park which has on two occasions opted NOT TO ANNEX YOUR COMMUNITY. Why? The tax base would cost them more than they could take in thus causing tax increases that would certainly hurt the area. As it sit, as part of unincorporated South Fulton and thus a City of South Fulton. WE GOT YOU!
4) I want all of us to be part of a pioneering effort to show Fulton County, the State of Georgia and the nation we can govern ourselves. No matter what the naysayers among us scream about how the walls of Jericho gonna fall on us or the boogey man is out there. We’ve got to move forward. We have some very intelligent people in our communities; much more intelligent than some of our own neighbors give us credit for.
5) If we don’t choose to be a city we’ll be gobbled up by the surrounding cities and ain’t none of it going to be pretty. Ask the folks living along Stonewall Tell Road and in Stonewall Tell Manor. Union City is putting a Walmart warehouse across the street from them hurting their home values. When a place like Union City doesn’t have money they have to get it where they can for them it’s in warehouses and annexing all of the SF Parkway to fill the coffers because the aging population is not paying the requisite property taxes needed to keep that city afloat.
6) For those who just ain’t sure and/or afraid of change don’t be, think of it this way your mayor and city council will be someone you know or someone right round the corner or down the street – your neighbor. Better still if this passes throw your hat in the ring after all we all will finally get to have our say.
Take the time to find the facts for yourself. Access the County’s South Fulton District Budget to see how $55M is currently being spent. Keep in mind as a city that number could become more than $80M cause we get our share of the sales tax we spend day in and out.