Monday, December 28, 2015

Atlanta annexations and why should anyone care...

I've decided to dust off my blog and post again for the first time in a while.  This brief discussion is on the merits and idiocy of detractors of the Atlanta annexation of Sandtown and Loch Lomond areas of unincorporated Fulton County.

Well, some may not know but the City of Atlanta of only makes up approximately 134 square miles of the sprawling metropolitan area known as "Metro Atlanta".  Since the recent and ongoing antics of (aversively racist) white Republicans of the Georgia General Assembly has been to essentially sever the artery of Fulton County, as a governmental entity providing service delivery to unincorporated areas within its boundaries, the City of Atlanta has been offering the possibility to close a historic unincorporated "donut hole/peninsula" in along Cascade Road along with the Sandtown and Loch Lomond areas in unincorporated southwestern Fulton County.

About this time last year, some city officials coordinated with members of the General Assembly about drafting legislation to provide an avenue for a public referendum to be held to annexing most of unincorporated Fulton north of Georgia State Route 6 (locally known as "Camp Creek Parkway" and the actual waterway known as Camp Creek into Atlanta.

While as a result the some longtime so-called "pro-black" detractors revived the idea of municipalizing all unincorporated Fulton in a proposed municipality named the "City of South Fulton", which failed at the referendum ballot 2-1 in 2007.  This proposed municipality would be majority black and capture those very communities of Sandtown, Loch Lomond, and the aforementioned areas along Cascade Road all of the unincorporated areas in Fulton County.  He along with a number of state legislators, whom of which oddly represented parts of the city of Atlanta in their respective districts as well, drafted a bill to revive this City of South Fulton idea.  The supporters of this proposed municipality is Roger Bruce, a state legislator I know of whom spends more time gallivanting with ignorant whites like the Good Ol' Boys of Douglasville in Douglas County, an area that is apart of his oddly shaped House District 53.  Bruce did everything in his power to stall and prevent the passage of the legislation that allow the Atlanta annexation of southwest Fulton to passage and go to the ballot for public vote.  That in fact did occur, but so did bill to revive the South Fulton municipality.  But it gets better...

In April 2015, citizens in those communities of Sandtown, Loch Lomond, and a subdivision named South Oaks at Cascade submitted petitions to the Atlanta Municipal Clerk's office requesting annexation into the city.  To date, the South Oaks at Cascade petition was vetted and approved by Atlanta City Council in November, but the Loch Lomond, and Sandtown petitions are still pending.  The most controversial one is the Sandtown petition which covered a vast territory including the properties of the Fulton County-operated Sandtown Park and two Fulton County Schools, Sandtown Middle and Asa Philip Randolph Elementary schools.  However, this has cause an uproar because many parents outside of the Sandtown community send their children to this aformentioned schools.  They have organized against the annexation on the grounds of preventing these schools from being absorbed into the Atlanta Independent School District, colloquially known as Atlanta Public Schools.  This is where the lawsuits galore begins.

The City of Atlanta filed a lawsuit against the Atlanta Public School (APS), the municipal school district and the State of Georgia, repealing the state law requiring any annexed areas the option of sending their children to APS schools or remain in their county school district.  Which in my personal opinion is STUPID and should be a no.  However, Mayor Kasim Reed thinks this is a way to assuage the interests of the detractors in the Sandtown annexation and allowing this to progress forward.  In November, a Georgia Circuit Court, i.e., the Fulton County Circuit Court, ruled that the lawsuit was frivolous and ruled against the plaintiff, the City of Atlanta.  However, Atlanta has appealed this ruling all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court to be decided in 2016.

Here's my summary...yes it makes logical sense for the City of Atlanta to annex these areas into the city limits because they already use the Atlanta zipcode and postal designation, these areas already serviced by the City of Atlanta Watershed Management (the local water & sewer system), property values range around $500,000 to $1 million+, upgrade in law enforcement protection (because Fulton County Police is underfunded due mass municipalization in the county over the past decade), also upgrade in fire protection (same reasons for underfunding for law enforcement with the county government), and finally the logistics would clean up discrepancies with service delivery because of municipality limits of Atlanta are jagged depending on the neighborhoods in southwestern Fulton County.

I just written a lot but the conclusion provides the logic behind why this should happen.

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