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The Need To Reform Fulton Now

Fulton County's recent decision on Grady bonds asks more of taxpayers (again).

 

One of north Fulton County’s biggest and fairest gripes is over Fulton County’s continual decisions to avoid hard choices and kick the can down the road.  Never was that more evident than in the new plan to refinance the bonds issued to support Grady Memorial Hospital.  As described in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fulton delayed a $17 million dollar payment in exchange for an additional $32 million in interest.  To be clear, the $17 million is not going away, and the total bond debt jumps from $153 million to $186 million.  And, debt service payments that would have ended in 2023 are now extended another five years. 

Chairman John Eaves explained his rationale by saying he was focused on the “here and now.”  That type of thinking has led to a $16 trillion federal debt, and collapsing economies throughout western Europe.  Commissioners Liz Hausmann and Robb Pitts voted “no,” and we should thank them for it.  Hausmann has been a leader on this issue for years, and it is time to provide her the structure she needs to make more permanent reform.  It is time to make hard, structural changes to Fulton County, and the debate must begin NOW. 

In 2013, the General Assembly will have opportunities to reform Fulton County.  Based on the newly-drawn districts, Republicans will represent a majority of the Fulton County caucus in the House and Senate.  This means that the State
can force the type of structural changes that are long overdue in our county.
Just a decade ago, most of north Fulton was unincorporated, and much of south
Fulton was too.  That is no longer the case, and 95% of our citizens live in a city and are receiving services from their municipality.  Because a majority
of Fulton commissioners have failed to recognize and respect our communities’
decisions to vote with our feet, we must take it upon ourselves to enact
serious, long-standing reforms. 

You can start by checking out the Reform Fulton NOW Facebook page for updates. 
More information will be forthcoming, as it will take a concerted neighborhood and legislative solution to bring the type of County our citizens deserve and the facts on the ground require.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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