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KHALID for South Fulton

Final 2018 Budget Hearings
Final South Fulton 2018 Budget Hearings
Tuesday, Sep 19 10AM & 6PM
South Fulton Service Center
5600 Stonewall Tell Rd, 30349

The calendar by which our city budgets & spends money is known as the Fiscal Year (FY). FY2018 will begin October 1, 2017 (much like  the 2018 School Year begins in Fall 2017).
 
The final 2 meetings Budget Hearings give South Fulton residents opportunity to respond our Proposed 2018 Budget created by our Interi City Manager, Ruth Jones.

Please review the information below and attend one of three Budget Hearings listed above to share your support, questions and concerns with our community & City Council.

 
South Fulton's Hidden High Salaries
City of South Fulton vs. Roswell Salaries
South Fulton currently pays its Department Heads more than similarly-sized cities whose revenue sources (income & property values) are more than double ours.
Below is a link to South Fulton's Proposed 2018 Budget, posted last week in the "Open Government" section of our city website: www.CityofSouthFultonGA.gov 
 
VIEW PROPOSED 2018 BUDGET
What you will not find in this 25-page document -- or anywhere else on the city's website -- is Salary Information for any individuals our city has hired or is planning to hire.

Places like California, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire and the City of Philadelphia have
laws requiring the salaries of government employees to be published. So far, the City of South Fulton has no such law. 
 
View South Fulton Government Documents
At the August 30 Budget Workshop, Councilman khalid demanded this information be revealed and displayed. Salaries for Department Heads and Assistants are listed on the chart below.

Page 12 of the Proposed 2018 Budget shows the city's revenue sources -- where the city gets money from to create the budget. Nearly two-thirds of our revenues come from Property Taxes (which are based on the value of your home) and a percentage of Local Sales Tax (or L.O.S.T., the money raised from people shopping in Fulton County).
The majority of South Fulton's revenues (monies collected for the budget) come from Sales Tax and Property Tax.
As the chart below shows, South Fulton currently pays its Department Heads and Assistants salaries often higher than similarly-sized cities like Roswell and Sandy Springs; even though our main revenue sources generate less than half the amounts of those cities.
City of South Fulton vs Roswell Salaries
South Fulton is currently paying its Department Heads more than northside cities with much higher home values and income.
Though much has been made about proposals for City Council Research Assistants, the City of South Fulton routinely pays administrative assistants tens of thousands more than entry-level Police Officers.

Some of these assistants do not have 4-year degrees. Many of these positions, including Department Heads, were filled after only one candidate interviewed for the job.

Positions on the chart above with "(est. median)" have not been filled. This numbers listed here are the middle of the salary range being budgeted for the position. The salary range for a new City Manager tops $200,000.


Anyone can request salary information, job descriptions, employement contracts and resumes of applicants for any city job by filing an Open Records Request with our City Attorney. Use the link below to make an Open Records Request.
File An Open Records Request

Councilman khalid Proposes Across the Board Salary Cuts
These revelations have lead Councilman khalid to propose across-the-board salary cuts, aimed at South Fulton Department Heads and high salary earners.

Councilman khalid's proposal is to cut salaries by 20 percent for all non-public safety personnel at Pay Grade 25 and above (those making more than $60,000/year). So department heads making annual salaries at or near $100,000 would make around $80,000.

Those below Pay Grade 25 could also be cut by 10 percent, if necessary, to avoid "compression," which is when the salary of a supervisor drops to a level at or near her/his subordinate. 
Special Exemption for Public Safety Officers
Atlanta and other major cities offer higher salaries to Public Safety Officers with college degrees.
Councilman khalid's Proposed Salary Cuts would exempt Fire & Police Officers.
Public Saftey Officers, who put their lives on the line at a current entry-level salary of $41,000 per year, would be exempt under khalid's plan.

In fact, khalid is proposing to raise the starting salary of fire & police officers with college or graduate degrees. This is in line with Atlanta and other major cities, who incentivize hiring degreed officers.
Atlanta has a graduated starting salary system to incentivize hiring degreed officers.
Research shows that Police Officers with four-year degrees, and their associated soft skills, are far less likely to use force as their first option when dealing with citizens, resulting in fewer citizen complaints.

Restoring a graduated pay scale for public safety officers with degrees (which existed previously in Fulton County), as well as offering tuition reimbursement for officers seeking higher education, will help preserve the stellar service records of South Fulton Police & Fire officers.
 
Other 2018 Budget Issues
Property Taxes & Unfunded Obligations
The Fulton County Commission voted last week to raise South Fulton Property Taxes (click picture or link below to view).
Fulton County's Mileage Rate (Property Tax) Increase

The Fulton Board of Commissioners voted last week to raise our property taxes, allegedly to cover expenses incurred by the County for services provided to South Fulton as we transition to cityhood.

Another excuse offered for this tax increase is Fulton County's need to cover payouts to County employees for unused sick & vacation time they are owed. The County is obligated to make these payouts to employees leaving the County to work for our City or anywhere else. 

South Fulton's Mayor & Council agree that the Mileage Rate increase is yet another example of unequal treatment of our city, compared to previous new cities; especially when payments for the cost of the transition to cityhood were already agreed upon in our InterGovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the County.

Mayor & Council also agree that South Fulton taxpayers should not have to "foot the bill" for the County's failure to budget for payouts of unused sick/vacation time (also called Uncompensated Absences).
Proposed Tax & Fire Service Cuts
However, even though Mayor & Council agree such treatment is unfair, many Councilmembers are considering cutting our City Mileage (Property Tax) Rate by one half-mil to balance this tax increase in and keep campaign promises made to not raise taxes.
Fulton County Property Tax Bil
New Property Tax Bills have separate lines for County vs. City Taxes.
The picture above shows an actual Property Tax bill. Notice there are separate lines for County and City (South Fulton) taxes. 

For a house valued at $100,000, the Assessed Value (40 percent) is $40,000. A half-mil in property taxes for such a house amounts to about $20 per year. More expensive homes could see an increase of up to $100 per year. Seniors over 70 would remain eligible for their full tax exemption.

When multiplied across South Fulton's 100,000+ residents, these individual increases of $20-100 total over $1 million.
South Fulton Fire will start 2018 with only two working Ladder Trucks (both over 20 years old) to cover 100+ square miles.
Maintaining current Tax Rates can purchase a new truck.
A half-mil reduction in city taxes would mean a $1 million reduction in city services -- the cost of a fire truck, which our city desperately needs. 

Councilman khalid believes areas like Old National are already under-serviced, and $20-50 per year is a small price to pay to maintain, and hopefully improve, delivery of services to our area.

Increases by Fulton County on their Property Tax line are the result of the Fulton County Commission, who should be held accountable for their tax hike.

 
Old National Sidewalk Improvements
Fulton County is asking or the City of South Fulton for millions in matching funds to complete for Non-TSPLOST projects such as Old National's sidewalks.
Non T-SPLOST Capital Improvement Projects
 
Last November, voters approved an additional 0.75 cents Transportation Special Projects Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) for road improvements in Fulton County. These projects include repaving roads throughout South Fulton.  

Some projects, such as widening of Old National's sidewalks and extending them to Highway 138 at the end of Fulton County, are not on the T-SPLOST project list. They are part of a second list of additional street projects called Capital Improvement Projects.

These projects were not funded by Sales Taxes; and Fulton County is now arguing that the City of South Fulton must "chip in" 20 percent of the total costs of such projects to have them completed. According to Fulton County, the City of South Fulton's 20 percent obligation to fund these projects is over $7 million dollars.

Renovation of Old National sidewalks from the Interstate to Flat Shoals Road are nearly complete. However, Phase II of the sidewalks -- from Flat Shoals to Highway 138 -- has not yet begun. Money requested from the City of South Fulton for this phase of sidewalks is over $1 million. Though according to Fulton County Public Works Director David Clark, only about $210,000 is needed in 2018 to purchase right-of-ways from Flat Shoals to Highway 138.

Councilman khalid, along with many Old National residents have questioned the County's decision to begin the sidewalk project by renovating sidewalks from the Interstate to Flat Shoals, where existing sidewalks were torn up to be replaced with wider ones, instead of starting on the Highway 138 end, where no sidewalks currently exist. Unfortunately, when the sidewalks were planned the City of South Fulton did not "exist, and there was apparently no one from Old National "at the table" to raise this question.

Visit the link below to view the entire project list.
View Entire Project List
It is the position of South Fulton's Mayor & Council that our city should not have to pay for Capital Improvement Projects begun by the County before our city came into existence; and that our "matching funds" should be paid in escrow while the matter is debated.

With a budget 1/10th of Fulton County, the City of South Fulton may not be able to fund a 20 percent match for all the improvement projects on the list. Ranked in order priority, extending Old National's sidewalks beyond Flat Shoals is in the third tier of listed projects.

To further complicate matters, city revenues will be short by millions in 2018. Because our city was founded May 1, Fulton County is entitled to and plans to take one third of this year's Property Taxes, covering the months from January 1 to April 30. 

According to Fulton County's Chief Operating Officer (COO) Todd Long, he repeatedly warned South Fulton Interim City Manager, Ruth Jones about these issues since the beginning of the year. However, neither Long nor Jones informed South Fulton's City Council of the city's budget shortfall or the county's demand for matching funds for improvements until last month.

Now Hiring: Permanent City Manager
South Fulton's Interim City Manager is operating without an Employment Contract.
As South Fulton's Chief Administrative Officer, our Interim City Manager, Ruth Jones is responsible for overseeing our transition to cityhood -- from hiring Department Heads, to creating our city budget with our Chief Financial Officer, to creating a timeline for transitioning city departments.  

The current InterGovernmental Agreement (IGA) she negotiated with Fulton County Manager Dick Anderson prevents the City of South Fulton from transitioning the Police or Fire departments over to our City until February 2018 or later.

Jones is an Interim City Manager; and though several Councilmembers have made requests for her Employment Contract, that contract has never been produced.

Roswell's City Manager, who makes $26,000 less than Jones (despite Roswell's higher median income & property values), is also an interim position. However, Roswell issues contracts to its interim employees. Roswell's City Manager, called a City Administrator, has 2-year contract, which can be cancelled at any time by either party.


According to South Fulton Interim City Attorney Josh Belinfante, with no employment contract, and no Interim end date identified in the Resolution that created her position, our Interim City Manager is in legal limbo.
City of South Fulton - Now Hiring
In response to this issue, Councilman khalid authored a Resolution to set an Interim End Date for our City Manager, and post a Job Opening for a Permanent City Manager on the City Website, for which our current City Manager would also be allowed to apply.

After weeks of pressing this issue, the Job Listing for a Permanent City Manager. However, the posting for the $200,000 job currently requres only a Bachelor's degree.  
View City Manager Job Lisitng

Ethics Board
Ethics Board Meeting
Volunteer Ethics Boards can be extremely helpful in investigating improper hiring & contract processes.
Please Note: Some of the research for this report was conducted by Interns for Councilman khalid.

An Intern program was originally proposed over three months ago at the June 13 City Council Meeting. Yet, to date, no formal Intern Program has been established... so khalid went to local universities to recruit interns on his own. 

Having independently selected & supervised research staff is crucial to supporting our Part-Time City Council as a "check-and-balance" on our Mayor & City Manager.

However, the ultimate check and balance on all elected officials is YOU -- the voters. Council members and constituents have suggested creating an Ethics Board composed of every day citizens as the most ethical and efficient way to investigate issues of ethics & transparency.  

And, of course, every two years, South Fulton citizens will have the opportunity to vote Councilmembers or the Mayor out of office. 

Next City Council Meeting
Special Budget Hearing
South Fulton's Inaugural Mayor & Council
South Fulton City Council
Seated (l to r): Catherine Rowell (District 1) ● Carmalitha Gumbs (District 2) ● Helen Z. Willis (District 3) ● Naeema Gilyard (District 4) ● Rosie Jackson (District 5)
Standing (l to r): khalid (District 6) ● Mayor Bill Edwards ● Mark Baker(District 7)
Tuesday, Sep 19 10AM & 6PM
South Fulton Service Center
5600 Stonewall Tell Rd, 30349
Come out this Tuesday, September 19 and let your voice be heard on the issues discussed in this report
Meet Fulton Schools Superintendent
& Head of Academics
Fulton Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Rose
Fulton Schools Head of Academics Dr. Robert Anderson
Monday, Sep 18  6PM
Asa Hilliard (Mt. Olive) Elementary
3353 Mount Olive Rd, 30344
Are you concerned about South Fulton's failing schools?

​Join this critical community discussion as Superintendent Dr. Jeff Rose and Deputy Superintendent of Academics Dr. Robert Anderson provide an update on South Fulton schools. 
Good Things Happening
In South Fulton
Join #TeamKHALID
for the ONMA 5K Run/Walk
Old National Merchants Association (ONMA) 5K Run/Walk
Saturday, Sep 23 8AM
Grown Folks Plaza

5495 Old National Hwy, 30349
Join #TeamKHALID in this fun 5K for community unity sponsored by the Old National Merchants Association (ONMA). For $25, you will be registered for the walk & receive a KHALID shirt.  

Register using the form at the link below by Wednesday, September 20 to secure a shirt for Saturday.
#TeamKHALID for South Fulton
Click the link below to join #TeamKHALID & receive a KHALID shirt for the ONMA 5K.
Join #TeamKhalid
Sanitation Survey
South Fulton Sanitation Survey (khalidCares.com)

The City of South Fulton is moving to citywide trash (sanitation) service, which will cut down on illegal dumping and help preserve our newly paved streets, in addition to qualifying our city to receive millions in additional Local Option Sales Tax (L.O.S.T.) funds each year.

In the sanitation industry, the "commercial side" (pickup from businesses) yields far greater profits than residential pickup. Having one or two large companies handle commercial & residential pickup will likely yield the lowest prices for our citizens, because profits made on the commercial side can be used to discount residential pickup. 

However, some citizens prefer their current, smaller companies; while others have concerns about putting these "mom-and-pop shops" out of business. 

Please take the Sanitation Survey at the bottom of my website, 
khalidCares.com, to share your thoughts on possible service providers. 

Take the Sanitation Survey
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Councilman khalid Office Hours
New Day  Thursdays 10am-4pm
khalid's South Office at 5600 Stonewall Tell Rd, 30349
Councilman khalid's South Office
5600 Stonewall Tell, 30349
Councilman khalid hosts office hours for citizens of District 6 (Central Old National) every Thursday from 10am-4pm at the South Fulton Service Center, 5600 Stonewall Tell Road, 30349 (off Roosevelt Hwy).

​Though drop-ins are welcome, District 6 residents & business owners are strongly encouraged to make an appointment. Elderly & Disabled Citizens can request a home visit.

Schedule an appointment with Councilman khalid at the link below.
Schedule An Appointment
Internships Available
khalid Explains Municipal Elections to local youth
Get hands on experience in local government from constituent services to public policy. Learn how state, county & municipal governments are structured and interact with each other. Research, analyze & write municipal ordinances, resolutions and policy papers. Earn school credits and enhance your resume. 

Click the link below to apply for an internship with Councilman khalid and find other ways to GET INVOLVED with your community!
Intern with KHALID
City of South Fulton Now Hiring
City of South Fulton Now Hiring
View Job Listings
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Get even more news on Old National & South Fulton at khalidCares.com/News.
View khalidCares News
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