City of South Fulton admits to rocky start
SOUTH FULTON, Ga. - The city of South Fulton has only been operational for 110 days, but already citizens and even the Mayor admits there are problems.
Mandisha Thomas had high hopes for the city, but after sitting through nine contentious council meetings, even she admits things have gotten off to a rocky start.
"I was there helping to fight for this city and it is disheartening sometimes when I am sitting in the meetings and looking at a train that may be derailing," the 12-year resident said.
The allegations are endless and include a four council member voting block that is in a constant riff with the mayor, cronyism in hiring practices, budget overspending before taxes are collected, and even talk of the city's new seal being exclusionary and potentially cutting off economic development.
Veteran politician Bill Edwards is the mayor of Georgia's fifth largest city and has regrets surrounding the rough start.
"Let me apologize because I think it has been contentious. I don't think that we are showing we are a group that can work together and get things done," Edwards said.
Mayor Edwards vetoed the city's new seal Friday because the county attorney told him there may be up to two religious symbols included in the rendering which could lead to lawsuits or cut off economic development.
"If it is something I feel is going to hurt our image, our reputation and takes us in the wrong direction, I am going to veto it," Mayor Edwards said with certainty.
The South Fulton legislative delegation, headed by Rep. Roger Bruce and others, plans to amend the city charter and correct some fundamental issues when the legislative session starts in January.
All city departments, including police and fire, must be in place by November of 2018, resident Thomas remains hopeful.
"So now that our South Fulton legislative delegation is in place, I think that they can be a bridge in working with the city and getting it back on track the way that we need to go," the South Resident said.