Atlanta Councilwoman Bottoms “Praying For” Annexation Opponents


KLB(APN) ATLANTA — On Tuesday, May 18, 2015, at the City Council of Atlanta’s Full Council Meeting, concerned citizens from unincorporated south Fulton County turned out to express their concerns regarding the annexation petition process for the Loch Lomond, Sandtown, and Southoak communities.


Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms (District 11) addressed the commenters, including by discussing their concerns and denying that she had a hidden agenda in supporting annexation.


“What is your hidden agenda, Ms. Bottoms?!  Stop using our kids for a hidden agenda!” Damita Chatman stated at the podium.


Chatman and other speakers are opposed to the annexation attempts, as the educational fate of 1,850 school children hang in the balance of this decision.


“You have been misled about the school issue.  There is no desire to kick children out of anybody’s school.  What I do know about my community during the last annexation was the school issue was a huge issue.  The City of Atlanta has filed a lawsuit on the school issue, to answer questions related to the schools.  You have been misled,” Bottoms said to the audience.


Parents of children who currently attend Fulton County Schools are concerned that their children will have to transfer to Atlanta Public Schools.  A local constitutional amendment still on the books would require those students to transfer to APS.


However, as reported on by Atlanta Progressive News on April 15, 2015, according to State Rep. Pat Gardner (D-Atlanta), Robbie Ashe has filed a lawsuit to rule the local constitutional amendment as unconstitutional.


Local constitutional amendments are unconstitutional anyway, and they are being repealed one by one, Rep. Gardner told APN.


Legislation to repeal the local constitutional amendment, HB 638 and SB 227, was filed during this year’s 2015 legislative session, and could come up next year if the lawsuit is not decided by then.


After numerous allegations that parents and residents of south Fulton had their names added to the annexation petition list without their consent, as well as deceased persons showing up on the lists, community members and elected officials alike have been questioning the lack of transparency of this process.


“I’ve never needed a sinister agenda to achieve anything.  I’ve been quite capable of doing that through hard work.  And I certainly don’t need a sinister agenda to achieve anything now.  And certainly wouldn’t create one at the expense of my community,” Bottoms said.


“And so I think it’s really unfortunate that you all have been misled.  There is no desire to close Sandtown Park, nobody has said that Sandtown Park would be closed.  It will be part of the consideration if this annexation goes through.  As to whether or not we would purchase the park… remain with Fulton County… it will not be closed,” Bottoms said.


“We do need your prayers, but when you pray please also pray for those who are manipulating the facts, please also pray for those who are playing on the emotions of this community, by misleading them and lying to them,” Bottoms said.


“And then the other thing you really should pray for, I pray for people who throw rocks and hide their hands.  I pray for those who wallow in conspiracy theory, who wallow in malicious gossip, who make personal attacks. For what?” Bottoms said.


“I don’t know what their agendas are, but I do know, that there are people in your community, more than 60 percent who signed petitions saying we want to go into the City of Atlanta.  And they signed those petitions because of they were afraid for the creation of the City of South Fulton.  It’s what prompted the last annexation effort and is what is prompting this annexation effort,” Bottoms said.


As of this publication, there is no contingency plan in place for the parks in question.  Neither the County Commission, nor Atlanta City Council, knows who will manage those parks or who will be financially responsible for a County-owned property that may be annexed into Atlanta.


Bottoms ended her comments with prayers for all.


“So, thank you for your prayers and will continue to pray for my community.  Because there are people who claim to have your best interests at heart and who are seeking to divide this community… so we’re going to pray for one another,” Bottoms said, looking away disgusted.


The proposed annexation could have a major impact on upcoming 2017 elections, particularly for the three at-large Council seats, the Council President seat, and the Mayor’s race.


“Everybody is saying, I’m not sure if it’s factual, but I heard it from everybody, that the [Atlanta] Mayor’s office has been Black for forty years,” activist Debra Bazemore told APN for a story published April 15, 2015.


“Those [Black] votes were moved out with revitalization.  They are trying to capture the Black vote by annexing Black areas in.  He [Reed] almost lost the election to Mary Norwood [in 2009], because of the Black votes moving out.  When you move people out and build out the area and they can’t afford to come back in, you lose those votes.  Those people were faithful voters and now they all live in unincorporated South Fulton,” she said.




  • Stop religion and state interaction Bottoms. No one needs prayers from the biggest sinner in the world. Adults who travel with other married spouses can make their own beds.

    Funny how Atlanta politicians are against their own APS school system. If you want to be in Atlanta you get what you deserve. The schools, the police, the fire, the politicians. Buckhead and Midtown could care less about Sandtwin and SF.

    How can you pick to remain in a SF school but in the City of Atlanta. Are you against APS. And if so Why?

    Atlanta watershed corrupt. Try to get a building permit from Atlanta. Good luck. Enjoy the Large city dysfunction and raised taxes. And corrupt politicians.

    Open records on Bottoms and Reeds relationship, emails etc. Pay to play? Lots of questions here, we need some investigations and not some sock puppets blaming past politicians who have no political future.

  • Bottoms and Reed weren’t the only one’s on those trips. Traveling on city business doesn’t make one a sinner.

  • Bottom Feeder,

    Reed flew to Brazil in first class, not Bottoms. So what? Many others were on that flight, including Mitchell, Hall, and Martin. Is she sleeping with them too?

    Why are you trying to create an affair between Bottoms and Reed?

    • A mayor of a small city 500K does not need to fly first class. Sorry. Only certain close friends of Reed were on that trip. Were their any white members of City council. Buckhead or Midtown Members, which is the true economic engine of the City, minus the airport, which is corrpt in itself pay to play. What a waste of money. Davos, et al. Atlanta is not even 500K weak small city. Bam. Reed does not represent the region, as much as he thinks he does. Put him on the ballot. Epic loser. Anyway I do not have to create anything when people create their own things themselves!

      Thanks Bri-job.


      Tired of self-serving lame excuse pay to play same as Shirley Fix the roads. Stay home and actually do some work. If APS is so bad that South Fulton people don’t want it that speaks VOLUMES! End of story. BI BI BRI.

      • Reed reimbursed the city for the first class travel after he got busted.

        You forgot:


        I’m no fan of the mayor, far from it, but tossing baseless allegations of an affair around isn’t cool.
        If the affair is real, it raises serious ethical issues. I just want evidence.

  • Bottom Feeder is an IDIOT!!!

    Appearently you are not intouch with the South Fulton Community, you attempt to bash the public safety of the City of Atlanta as well as their Watershed Department, so here’s a tid bit of information for you: Fulton County Police Chief resigns because she was “double dipping” meaning getting paid from the county while conducting her other affairs. Fulton County police are the most incompotent in the metro area cannot provide a decent service. Fulton County Fire arrive to fires without any hoses to put out the fires because their fleet is beyond repair and none of the so called leaders of this community felt the need to address the situation, oh but they are building a new fire station with no trucks to put in them..

    Also if you live in these areas you are most likely on COA water and that’s not going to change.

    People don’t be blinded being annexed is the best thing that could happen to us.

    You are truly a bottom feeder.

    • Anyway. City of Atlanta cannot even serve SF. They use FC Fire. And pay them. APS schools take them. That is what you deserve. FC fire and police are very dedicated people. chief is gone. Next. How many corrupt Atlanta officials are there? Term limits anyone. Good luck. Plus Annexation petitions are not even certified by they are tainted with major problems. News Nugget. I don’t see people holding a parade to go into a small city of Atlanta less than 500k. Poor Lisa and Mayor.

  • Ike,

    So you’re saying that South Fulton should join Atlanta because Atlanta is less screwed up? Please.
    Atlanta is a deep, deep cesspool.

    There’s not enough space here to tell you everything that’s wrong with Atlanta.

    The only reason they want South Fulton is for upcoming mayoral election. The powers that be scraped in in 2009 and know that the shenanigans they used last time won’t work again.

    They really couldn’t care less about the residents of South Fulton.

    I just wonder why Bottom Feeder insists on dragging Bottoms through the mud with this baseless rumor. Taking vacations on the city’s dime, while pathetic, is not evidence of an affair. The mayor’s chief of staff, Candace Byrd, went on those trips too. Were they having a threesome?

  • Just want to see the emails. I think it’s odd the mayor stopped city of SF last year and this year. I think it’s odd Bottoms gets a cushy almost 200k job, with no experience.

    Also tylerperrygate

  • Do a Freedom of Information request for the emails. Creative Loafing did one, but the chairman of the board for AFCRA claimed that the requested info was protected by attorney client privilege. But this snippet from a comment in Creative Loafing is telling:

    By no means is this some blanket exemption for all records related to the appointment and hiring of Bottoms, especially since the Georgia Open Records Act is to be construed liberally in favor of public disclosure. Most certainly, simple emails among Board members about what was going on and who was pulling the strings and why (Kasim Reed for political purposes) would not be exempt under the above, narrowly crafted statutory language.

    Whitner is subject to criminal sanction and a $1000 fine for violating the Georgia Open Records Act. CL should at least request the involvement of the Georgia Attorney General’s office on this fairly blatant violation of the law. By the way, Stefan Ritter who just accepted the job as Executive Director of the Ethics Commission used to handle these matters at the AG. I would try to get him on it before he departs the AG’s office.

    Bottoms’ total lack of qualification is almost a side issue, as she is intended to be a mere puppet for Reed during her two-year tenure. However, the AFCRA Board, Whitner in particular, should be ashamed of this crap, but Whitner is buddies with Reed. They both used to work together at the same law firm – Atlanta office of LA based Paul Hastings – where Whitner still works.

    They’re depending on the fact that no one is pressing the issue.

  • Brian, that’s not at all what I’m saying. Most things political in Atlanta and the surrounding areas are questionable, however, joining the City of Atlanta is our best option from what’s been brought forward. Creating a new city in the area that is now known as South Fulton would be a disaster for us. The median income the area is currently between 35k and 40k annually. With approximately 100k residents. If we go for a City of South Fulton our property values will decrease even further than they already have. We have nothing to sustain a city in our current state. Furthermore, the other cities (CP, EP, Fairburn, Union City, etc.) will be chomping at the bit. I would much rather be part of the COA than any of the others named.

    Atlanta is a thriving city with cash reserves that Fulton County will never have.

    A City of South Fulton does not pass the smell test. It will not come to fruition.

  • Zack, the police and fire can be as dedicated as they want, but if they lack training and equipment that does nothing for you, me, and any of the others that pay taxes for these services to be there when we need them. These are second rate agencies.

    Fulton Co. PD patrols an area of approximately 100k people, with about 20 officers on a shift that are mostly dedicated to the Old National and FIB areas. You do the math. Are you safe? Of course, just as long as a crime is not occurring to you or near you.

    Fulton Co. FD, can’t service South Fulton. They send personnel to structural fires in vehicles other than Fire Trucks, that cant be what you call “dedicated”, or maybe for you it is.

    Atlanta is the best way to go at this point.

  • Ike,

    Don’t fall into the “we need more police to be safe” argument. Ten cops ten doors down from you can’t stop a person in the next bedroom from killing you. Twenty cops two streets over cannot keep your car from being stolen from your driveway. Hiring more cops is a money trick that governments play to increase municipal budgets. What’s the magic number? Go for lower taxes over more cops anytime.

    I agree that fire protection should be better.