City of South Fulton Bill Fails to Pass State Senate
(APN) ATLANTA — The City of South Fulton legislation, HB 704, failed to pass the State Senate this year, despite having previously passed the House and a State Senate Committee.
This was surprising to some. Being backed by State Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta), it seemed like HB 704 would sail through considering the kind of support Lindsey has under the Dome.
Maybe it wasn’t Lindsey’s turn this year; his Parent Trigger bill never made it out of committee either. The rub was far worse when Lindsey proposed the name of the new South Fulton City, as King City, for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Opponents scratched their heads at this attempt to honor Dr. King, which thankfully to some, never gained traction.
While there is a community effort, South Fulton United, Inc., that supports cityhood efforts in south Fulton, there are many activists and elected officials who do not.
South Fulton United and a few state legislators accused Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta of preventing the South Fulton bill from passing the State Senate.
“We must work hard to get the Lt. Governor to let the Bill be voted on next time by the full Senate and not let one person suppress the vote on a Bill who does not serve in the Senate anymore.” That person was then Senator Kaseem [sic] Reed who sponsored the Bill to create the City of South Fulton upon the approval of a referendum back in 2006,” State Rep. LaDawn Blackett Jones (D-Atlanta) said.
“As we waited patiently for the Lt. Governor to call it for a vote, we were notified that Mayor Reed had contacted him requesting that HB 704 be held to give Atlanta time to annex portions of the proposed area. This is unfortunate considering that all cities had the past seven years to annex and that HB 704 was amended to change the date giving them until August 2014 to continue to annex,” State Rep. Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta) said.
Some expressed concerns about exclusion of South Fulton United on a “Proposed City of South Fulton, Ga.” page on Facebook.
“We are also very concerned that South Fulton United, Inc. has not been invited to many meetings where cityhood is being discussed. Since they were the ones who were organizing the effort, they should at least be invited to present and explain the quest for cityhood… If you plan on discussing this issue, South Fulton United needs to be at the table,” the moderators of the page–who appear to be a collaboration between Georgia Unfiltered blog and Home Rule News–wrote.
“Ditto can be said even when it comes to annexation, again the city officials from that city need to be in the room giving the information and presenting facts. Too many people are around here [sic] acting like they speak for various entities. Lets [sic] have legitimate discussions that inform the people,” the moderators wrote.
In another post, the moderators wrote: “We [sic] been getting many questions about legislative annexation. We have placed calls to both Democrats and Republicans. At this time, everything is up in the air and rumors are abound [sic]. No one has said on the record that legislative annexation is taking place of any community or parts of unincorporated South Fulton. The legislators that we have talked to stated that the issue is up in the air for now and most likely any talks of resubmitting a cityhood bill or legislative annexation wouldn’t take place until the fall… Don’t let the rumor mill fool you. Having been co-sponsored by State Reps. Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta) and State Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta), HB 704 seems to have had bipartisan support down the line.”
90,000 people live in unincorporated south Fulton.