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07 June 2017

South Fulton Official Causes Row After Claiming County Commissioners Were Ripping Off New City

An official in South Fulton was recently forced to backtrack and admit he was misinformed, following claims that Fulton County Commissioners were ripping off the new city.

(South Fulton City Council Member khalid kamau was recently accused of spreading misinformation to his constitutents. Image courtesy khalid kamau.)
District 6 City Council Member khalid kamau wrote in a constituent email, "Fulton County will not simply give the new City of South Fulton its FCPD police cars, county fire trucks, over [sic] even the fire stations that house those trucks."

"At issue is the depreciated value of these assets (how much should we pay for a 10 year-old police car?), and how much of the $322 million in tax dollars that Fulton County collected from our area in the past 10 years was used by the county to pay for and maintain them," kamau's email reads.

"Fulton County Commissioners considered such factors in previous transitions with the cities of Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and others. The County Commission offered buildings, cars, land & equipment to new cities at deeply discounted prices. However, the City of South Fulton has not been offered the same deals."

Kamau's communication raised the eyebrows of Fulton County Commissioner Marvin Arrington, who moved quickly to correct the record.

"The county has committed to treating the cities the same," Arrington wrote in response to citizens' comments made on social media. "The problem is the commissioners at the time of Sandy Springs didn't treat those cities well, so they went to state legislature and got laws changed."

Following particularly acrimonious negotiations between Sandy Springs and Fulton County concerning the sale of parks and fire stations to newly formed cities, state lawmakers passed House Bill 203 mandating that parks and fire stations be sold to new municipalities at $100 per acre and $5,000 per fire station.

Additionally, the Gratuities Clause of the Georgia Constitution prohibits local and county governments from giving away public property. The gratuities clause requires that government entities receive substantial benefit for the sale of its assets.

"I spoke with Council Member Khalid," Arrington stated. "He said someone misinformed him, [and] that he will review and issue a retraction if appropriate after his review."

Kamau sent out a second email omitting his claim that "the City of South Fulton has not been offered the same deals," while leaving the rest of the message largely intact.