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22 August 2016

Republicans Leading Effort to Create New City of South Fulton

A pair of prominent Georgia Republicans are leading the campaign to create a new city called South Fulton in metro Atlanta.

Camilla Johnson Moore and Teri Sasseville, both veteran GOP activists, are advocating a “Yes” vote for cityhood this November.

State legislators authorized a referendum on creating a new city of South Fulton earlier this year. If approved by voters in the affected area, South Fulton would become Georgia’s newest municipality at the end of 2016. The first mayor and city council elections would be held in March, 2017.

Moore, a former Georgia GOP executive committee member, spent the spring organizing meetings and recruiting volunteers to help secure the cityhood referendum’s passage. Moore has also been a fixture at Fulton County Commission meetings, urging Commissioners to oppose any annexation that removes land from the proposed city’s boundaries.

Teri Sasseville, who was an alternate to the 2016 Republican National Convention, is currently peppering social media sites with posts supporting the proposed city of South Fulton. Before joining the South Fulton campaign, Sasseville was named the Georgia Social Media Director for the failed presidential bid of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R – Texas).

State Senator Vincent Fort isn’t surprised to see Republicans take an interest in South Fulton.

“The City of South Fulton is designed by Republicans to help further segregate the metropolitan Atlanta area,” Fort said in a telephone interview.

Demographics show that the proposed city of South Fulton would be different from other cities created around Atlanta in the past decade. Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, and Chattahoochee Hills all have majority white populations. South Fulton’s population is majority black.

Fort went on to accuse South Fulton cityhood advocates of using “Trumpian” tactics to scare voters into supporting the new city.

It’s been said, frequently at cityhood meetings organized and attended by Camilla Johnson Moore, that if residents do not create this new city of South Fulton, the Georgia General Assembly will divide their communities up among existing municipalities like College Park or East Point without public input.

Fort says no such proposal exists at the State Capitol.

“That’s a scare tactic without any basis in fact,” Fort said. “It’s really Trumpian. It’s as if they’re taking lessons from Donald Trump. It doesn’t have to be the least bit true, but it’s being promulgated by some people who should know better.”

18 August 2016

Commissioners Ignore Staff Recommendations, Vote to Keep South Fulton Millage Rate the Same

At their 17 August 2016 meeting, Fulton County Commissioners voted to keep south Fulton's tax rate the same for another year.

This action came after Fulton County Finance Department staff recommended increasing the millage rate for unincorporated south Fulton County from 11.579 to 12.009.

Commissioners ignored the staff recommendations.

Tax revenue from south Fulton pays for services like police, fire, zoning and planning, parks and recreation, environment and community development, and public works.

Property owners across Fulton County may see additional savings on their tax bills this fall.

Commissioners also voted to reduce the General Fund millage rate from 10.5 to 10.45.

“Today's decision to reduce the millage rate is a direct result of the good work of Fulton County's management team," said Vice Chairman Liz Hausmann. “We are moving in the right direction in offering relief for Fulton County taxpayers.”

17 August 2016

South Fulton Schools Lag Behind State on College and Career Readiness

A Georgia Unfiltered review of the 2015 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) indicates that most south Fulton County high school graduates are ill-prepared for a post-secondary education.

The CCRPI is a tool for measuring how well Georgia's schools, districts, and the state itself are preparing students for the next educational level. It provides a comprehensive roadmap to help educators, parents, and community members promote and improve college and career readiness for all students. The CCRPI is produced annually by the state Department of Education.

Fulton County had an 85.4% high school graduation rate in 2015. 71.4% of Fulton County high school graduates entering either the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) or the University System of Georgia (USG) did not require remediation or learning support courses.

Remedial and learning support courses are classes offered to help students improve upon skills they should have learned in high school, typically english and math subjects, before advancing to the college-level. Remedial and learning support courses are usually taken in conjunction with a degree or certificate program, but are not included in satisfying graduation requirements.

Georgia reported an overall high school graduation rate of 78.9% last year. 61.3% of the state's graduates entered the TCSG or the USG without requiring remediation or learning support courses.

In south Fulton, the numbers were much lower.

At Banneker High School, for example, their graduation rate was 62.4%. The percent of graduates ready for college-level courses, however, was a paltry 35.4%.

Westlake High School had a graduation rate of 84.3% in 2015. Only 42.3% of Westlake's graduates did not require remediation or learning support courses.

Graduation Rate Percent of graduates entering TCSG/USG not requiring remediation or learning support courses
Banneker62.4%35.4%
Creekside77.1%38.3%
Langston Hughes83.4%35.2%
Tri-Cities76.4%27.1%
Westlake84.3%42.3%

Based on these numbers, south Fulton high schools are not necessarily churning out those who are ready for a college or technical school in Georgia.

16 August 2016

Tickets Go On Sale, 19 August, for Flosstradamus at Atlanta's Tabernacle

Trap DJ duo Flosstradamus is celebrating a decade of music all throughout 2016.

Flosstradamus started by selling out Red Rocks on 4/20 for their second annual HDYFest. Then they headlined the Main Stage at HARD Summer. Flosstradamus' closing set at Lollapalooza featured an impressive tribute to their hometown of Chicago with guest appearances from Chance The Rapper, Dwyane Wade, Michelle Williams and others.

Now Flosstradamus is coming back to Atlanta for another highly energetic show at the historic Tabernacle.

“This is a show unlike any we’ve created before and we can’t wait to bring the bunker to our fans across the country,” Flosstradamus explains. “With everything going on in today’s world, we hope to bring our fans an experience that encourages them to forget the nuances of daily life and just be a part of the HDYNATION.”

Tickets go on sale Friday for the 10 December Flosstradamus show.

Comprised of Josh Young and Curt Cameruci, Flosstradamus have consciously evolved for the past 10 years. Their own signature style of bass reflects their roots in Chicago while also skating upon hip-hop’s boundaries.

Visit Flosstradamus.com for more details.

15 August 2016

For #MusicMonday, "Exploration of Space" by Cosmic Gate



"Exploration of Space by Cosmic Gate

South Fulton May See a Tax Increase in 2016

Property owners on the southside of metro Atlanta may feel the burn when they receive their tax bills this year.

Fulton County Commissioners are considering a tax increase for unincorporated south Fulton County. The proposed rate would move from 11.579 to 12.009, if approved by Commissioners at their 17 August 2016 meeting.

Tax revenue from south Fulton County pays for services like police, fire, zoning and planning, parks and recreation, environment and community development, and public works.

South Fulton residents have seen their taxes increase seven of the last eight years, while county spending in their communities remained largely the same.

A review of Fulton County budget documents show that, in 2008, the south Fulton tax rate was 5.659. Fulton County Commissioners approved $46,408,325 in spending that year. In 2015, south Fulton's tax rate was 11.579. The 2015 adopted south Fulton budget set spending at $50.8 million.

County budget writers say the tax increases were mainly due to lower property values in unincorporated south Fulton and the need to maintain the same level of service as in the previous year. To maintain the same level of police coverage provided in 2008, Fulton County Commissioners had to raise property taxes in 2009. In order to maintain the 2009 service levels, Commissioners had to raise south Fulton taxes again in 2010.