Homeless Task Force Ordinance Was Amended in Committee, but Issues Remain
(APN) ATLANTA — An ordinance calling for a feasibility study regarding the possibility of the City of Atlanta obtaining the property at 475 Peachtree Street, which is currently occupied by the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, for purported fire and safety purposes, was amended last week in Finance/Executive Committee, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
The legislation was introduced by Councilman Kwanza Hall (District 2).
Last week, APN broke the news that the Finance/Executive Committee passed the ordinance, in a vote of six yeas to one nay, with Councilwoman Felicia Moore (District 9) voting nay.
The Task Force said they received no notice of the legislation, hearing of it first from APN.
The study would also look at obtaining 473 Peachtree Street next door, but not look at any other possible locations in the area.
This flaw in the legislation–honing in on only two contiguous properties despite the availability of alternatives–appears to reveal the legislation’s true purpose, of carrying out the longstanding conspiracy of the City, Central Atlanta Progress, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, and others, in removing the homeless shelter from Peachtree Street.
To be sure, the City of Atlanta was dismissed as a defendant from ongoing litigation regarding said tortious conspiracy–a conspiracy which is about to be examined by a jury–because of the City’s sovereign immunity.
However, this dismissal from the tort case does not affect the truth nor the relevance of the City’s participation in said conspiracy, when a court examines the motivations of the City in pursuing condemnation of the Task Force in the first place.
Inexplicably, there has been little other coverage in the Atlanta media market of this legislation; it is surprising given the usual salivation over anything that might spell doom for the Task Force.
Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong (District 5), who voted in favor of the ordinance, told APN the ordinance was amended by the Committee following a motion by Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean (District 8).
Those voting for the amended paper were Archibong, Adrean, Alex Wan (District 6), CT Martin (District 10), Howard Shook (District 7), and Carla Smith (District 1).
The amendment that passed in Committee cut several paragraphs from the ordinance’s “Whereas clauses” as well as its operative section related to the possibility of condemnation proceedings against the Task Force.
For example, the amendment removed language stating that, if the negotiations fail, that “further authorization will be obtained from the Atlanta City Council to take the necessary steps to condemn the Properties pursuant to the Special Master Method, O.C.G.A. § 22-2-100 et seq. or other condemnation method, as may be appropriate, pursuant to O.C.G.A. §22-2-1, et seq.”
However, the amended legislation still lays the groundwork for attempting to legally obtain the property.
And removing the language stating that the City would come back to the Council for permission to pursue condemnation proceedings, does not make it any more or less necessary for the City to come to the Council for permission when that stage is reached. Omitting a truism does not make it less true.
The legislation still states: “WHEREAS the City desires to consider acquisition of the Properties… WHEREAS, proper due diligence requires the City to acquire an appraisal, title report, and survey, if needed, of the Properties as preliminary steps to acquiring the Properties; and WHEREAS, to acquire the Properties, it is necessary for the City to negotiate with Property owners and any party having legal claim to ownership of the Properties…”
There are several other issues with the legislation, the first and foremost of which is the fact that Councilman Hall and the six Finance/Executive Committee members who have supported this ordinance do not seem to care that this whole exercise is premised upon the permanent loss of several hundred emergency overflow beds that are used every night by homeless men in the City of Atlanta.
If the City of Atlanta is successful in carrying out its longstanding conspiratorial aims, there is no plan to replace the Task Force with an equivalent amount of permanent beds.
In fact, as the Task Force’s attorney, Steve Hall, has pointed out, if the City really wanted the Task Force to close, it would have opened a nicer shelter a long time ago, and the Task Force’s residents would surely have gone there instead.
So, at least seven Councilmembers have shown their willingness to put more homeless people onto the street and into the elements.
Moreover, as previously reported by Atlanta Progressive News, the title to 475 Peachtree Street is still in question, as the Supreme Court of Georgia recently ruled that the Task Force has viable wrongful foreclosure claims against PFS Solutions, the purported owner of the building.
PFS appears to have participated in the conspiracy to deprive the Task Force of funding and force it into foreclosure.
Numerous advocates are mobilizing to attend the Full Council Meeting on Monday, December 07 2015, where the item will appear on the agenda for debate, under the Finance/Executive Committee report.