Georgia Unfiltered has learned that a leader in the nascent movement to create the city of South Fulton does not live or vote in the municipality he wishes to create.
Kevin Grimes, who identifies himself publicly as head of a coalition of concerned communities calling themselves GO South Fulton, is registered to vote in the City of Atlanta. Grimes also claims Atlanta homestead exemption, and has done so since 2009.
This revelation is important because Grimes accused elected officials opposed to the proposed city of South Fulton of not residing there. Grimes made the accusation in a widely-disseminated email sent from the Cliftondale Community Club.
"There has been opposition and 'pushback' on HB 704 from various elected officials," Grimes wrote. "I would like to encourage the Senate to be mindful and observant to the 'actual residency' of the elected officials that are opposing the bill. The people who oppose HB 704 are individuals that have the luxury of a City-government, yet want to deny us the opportunity to at least vote for cityhood.
"They will say things like: 'I live in South Fulton too.' Sure, they absolutely do! What they do not tell you is that they also live in the City of Atlanta/East Point/College Park/Union City/Fairburn," Grimes continued.
Fulton County tax records show that Go South Fulton leader Kevin Grimes purchased his Atlanta home in 2008. He has claimed homestead exemption on the property every year since then, including 2014.
Grimes also claimed to have voted in the first south Fulton referendum on cityhood.
"I am a very informed citizen and I voted NO in the past, however, South Fulton is a very different place than it was 8 years ago and I am expressing to you that I support HB 704 along with many other South Fulton residents," Grimes wrote.
According to the Secretary of State's office, Grimes registered to vote in the City of Atlanta in 2006, and his polling precinct is Saint Luke's Episcopal Church on Peachtree Street. He never cast a ballot in the 2007 south Fulton cityhood referendum, but he did vote in the 2009 Atlanta municipal elections.
Grimes had this to say when questioned about his Atlanta residency and voting history.
"I do not vote in South Fulton, but I am probably more invested in South Fulton than most. I am a business owner in South Fulton/East Point and will soon be moving our headquarters into unincorporated South Fulton. I also own a home in unincorporated South Fulton that I have paid taxes on for 10 years."