CITYHOOD TRANSITION NEWS
Updated Transition Schedule
February 26, 2018: Fire
March 26, 2018: Police
June 4, 2018: Parks & Recreation
October 2018: Public Works
Citywide Garbage Collection: Unknown
(the city has no jurisdiction over Fulton County Schools)
The City of South Fulton enters its fourth month without a City Manager as it prepares to create its Fire & Police Departments. Interim City Manager Ruth Jones resigned in October 2017 in the wake of concerns from several councilmembers regarding her handling of the cityhood transition, including losing track of $1 million during the creation of the city's FY 2018 budget.
Though some city leaders allege her resignation was a surprise, Ms. Jones publicly stated on multiple occasions she had no desire to be South Fulton's Permanent City Manager. At the time of her resignation, over 100 applications had been received for the Permanent City Manager position. The city has announced no timeline or process for naming a new City Manager.
Some see the delay in naming a City Manager as a power-grab by the Mayor. Just days after her departure, South Fulton Mayor William "Bill" Edwards notified City Council and City Administration in a written communication that, "The duties handled by Ms. Jones will be assumed by me, as Mayor, until an Interim City Manager is appointed."
Both the City's Charter and its InterGovernment Agreement (IGA) with Fulton County call for South Fulton to have a City Manager, whose duties would include overseeing the transition of departments & employees from Fulton County; and naming the city's new Police Chief. The role of a City Manager is explained in South Fulton 101 TV videos (in the green section on the right). With no City Manager, the Mayor has assumed authority for these tasks.
Josh Belinfante of the Robbins Firm, the South Fulton's Interim City Attorney, has advised city council that South Fulton's Charter does not compel the Mayor to nominate a new City Manager within a specific time frame; and that in the absence of a City Manager, the Mayor may assume the powers & duties of the City Manager.
But some citizens have expressed concerns about transition items like setting up South Fulton's citywide trash collection. A Request for Proposal (RFP) — the method by which sanitation companies would bid for the lucrative contract(s) for citywide trash service — was released last year, then withdrawn. No timelines have been offered by city officials for when a new Sanitation RFP will be released, or when Sanitation Service might begin.
Citywide Sanitation Service is one the city services required by the Georgia Department of Revenue for the City of South Fulton to collect its share of Local Option Sales Tax (L.O.S.T.) – a portion of all the Sales Taxes collected in Fulton County, which is divided among eligible cities according to their population size. South Fulton's share of L.O.S.T. funds totals over $12 million dollars per year.
Next Regular Council Meeting
SOUTH FULTON 101