APN Releases Fulton County Commission Scorecard for 2014
(APN) ATLANTA — With big changes in store for the Fulton County Commission pending the outcome of the 2014 elections, Atlanta Progressive News reviewed nearly nine years of coverage of the Commission from the APN archives to develop a Fulton County Commission Scorecard for 2014, based on nine controversial votes.
As previously reported by APN, the Republican-led Georgia Legislature has redrawn the Commission map to include six districts, instead of five. This has created a new Republican district in north Fulton.
The Legislature, in their apparent contempt for the progressive leadership of Emma Darnell (District 5) and Bill Edwards (District 7), have drawn them into the same district.
In adding a new district, the Legislature eliminated one of the Commission’s two at-large seats, Robb Pitts’s (District 2) seat. Pitts is running against at-large Chairman John Eaves (District 1).
Therefore, four of the current seven Commissioners are running against another Commissioner. This Scorecard is intended to empower our readers with transparent and substantive information about the Commissioners’ voting records.
The Fulton County Commission Scorecard, which is contained in a Google Spreadsheet, is available online here: bit.ly/1gsUVpZ
[APN’s Atlanta City Council Scorecard is available here: bit.ly/1jwEHB8 ]
[APN’s Georgia Legislature Scorecard is available here: bit.ly/1jQG79d ]
The nine votes on the Scorecard are described below. The scores are as follows:
EMMA DARNELL (DISTRICT 5), BILL EDWARDS (DISTRICT 7) [BOTH: NEW DISTRICT 6]- 100% A
Darnell and Edwards have been forced to run against each other, but they both have perfect voting records, in terms of taking principled, progressive positions. They have supported ethics reform, opposed animal abuse [by banning the use of the bullhook on elephants in circuses], supported revenue for the County, opposed the privatization of Grady Hospital, and opposed the Legislature’s efforts to limit the County’s taxing authority.
ROBB PITTS (DISTRICT 2) [SEEKING TO SERVE AS CHAIRMAN/AT-LARGE SEAT] – 62.5% D
Pitts opposed animal abuse, initially opposed the privatization of Grady Hospital, and opposed the Legislature’s efforts to limit the County’s taxing authority. He did not vote on the ethics reform bill.
Pitts, however, opposed revenue for the County, and eventually supported the privatization of Grady Hospital.
JOAN GARNER (DISTRICT 6) [NEW DISTRICT 4] – 60% – D
Garner, who started serving in 2011, participated in five votes on the Scorecard. She supported the bullhook ban to prevent elephant abuse, she supported revenue for the County, and she opposed the Legislature’s efforts to limit the County’s taxing authority.
Garner opposed ethics reform, and supported an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Atlanta for animal control that did not include a bullhook ban.
JOHN EAVES (DISTRICT 1) [AT-LARGE CHAIRMAN SEAT] – 33.3% – F
Eaves supported revenue for the County and opposed the Legislature’s efforts to limit the County’s taxing authority.
However, Eaves opposed ethics reform, supported and even co-sponsored the privatization of Grady Hospital, and supported animal abuse.
There are a couple other noteworthy items that deserve mention here about Mr. Eaves. When Atlanta Councilwoman Mary Norwood (Post 2-at-large) sought to get on the ballot in 2010 as an independent, Eaves launched a petty challenge of Norwood’s petitions because they pre-printed the word “Fulton” on them [a challenge rejected by the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections].
Also, in May 2012, Eaves had the Clerk cut off the microphone on Commissioner Darnell while she was speaking, then spent some 700 dollars in taxpayer resources to rewire the microphone so he could control it from his desk.
TOM LOWE (DISTRICT 4) [RETIRING, NEW DISTRICT 3] – 28.57% – F
Lowe supported revenue for the County, and opposed the Legislature’s efforts to limit the County’s taxing authority.
Lowe opposed ethics reform, supported animal abuse, and supported the privatization of Grady Hospital.
LIZ HAUSMANN (DISTRICT 3) [NEW DISTRICT 1] – 0% – F
Hausmann, who began serving in 2011, participated in five votes on the Scorecard.
Hausmann opposed revenue for the County, supported the Legislature’s efforts to limit the County’s taxing authority, opposed ethics reform, and supported animal abuse.
The nine votes on the Scorecard are as follows:
Proposal to limit campaign contributions from County vendors: 11-0703.
YEA: Darnell, Edwards
NAY: Eaves, Hausmann, Lowe, Garner
NOT VOTING: Pitts
(2) BULLHOOK #1
Banning use of bullhook to torture elephants in circuses in unincorporated Fulton County: 10-1091.
YEA: Edwards, Pitts, Darnell
NAY: Riley, Lowe, Boxill, Eaves
(3) BULLHOOK #2
Banning use of bullhook to torture elephants in circuses in unincorporated Fulton County: 11-0491.
YEA: Darnell, Edwards, Garner, Pitts.
NOT VOTING: Eaves, Lowe.
(4) BULLHOOK #3
Intergovernmental Agreement with City of Atlanta to provide animal control services, despite City’s permission of use of bullhooks: 12-0636.
YEA: Eaves, Hausmann, Garner
NAY: Pitts, Darnell, Edwards
NOT VOTING: Lowe.
(5) GRADY PRIVATIZATION 1
Eaves/Riley Proposal to Require Privatization of Grady: 07-0732.
YEA: Eaves, Riley, Lowe
NAY: Edwards, Pitts, Darnell, Boxill
(6) GRADY PRIVATIZATION 2
Boxill Proposal to Create Exploratory Committee on Privatization of Grady: Boxill amendment to 07-0732.
YEA: Eaves, Pitts, Lowe, Boxill.
NAY: Edwards, Riley, Darnell.
(7) GRADY PRIVATIZATION 3
Proposal to Transfer Control of Grady to the Grady Corporation: 08-0212.
YEA: Pitts, Eaves, Lowe, Boxill, Riley.
NAY: Darnell, Edwards.
(8) RESPONSE TO HB 604
Rebuke of Legislative Limit on Fulton County Property Tax Rate: 13-0456.
YEA: Eaves, Pitts, Lowe, Darnell, Garner, Edwards.
(9) MILLAGE INCREASE 2014
Proposal to Increase Property Tax Millage Rate, in Defiance of State Legislature: 14-0064.
YEA: Eaves, Lowe, Darnell, Garner, Edwards.
NAY: Pitts, Hausmann.