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Friday, October 09, 2009

Breaking News: Fulton commission says 'no' to Milton County

By Rachel Kellogg
Neighbor Newspapers

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted to adopt a resolution creating the “One Fulton County” Advisory Committee to develop strategies to maintain the existing boundaries of Fulton County.

Introduced by District 1 Fulton County Commissioner and Chairman John Eaves, the resolution is a response to legislative initiatives to recreate Milton County.
Eaves said the committee is one step in an effort to unify and protect Fulton County.

“We want to remain unified,” he said. “I think it is in the best interest of everyone in the county, in north Fulton, south Fulton and Atlanta.”

The resolution says the recreation of Milton County will add to the cost and duplication of government services.

It also says services such as jail systems, health and human services and library services can be provided more efficiently and effectively by the existing county structure.

“We as a county provide services in a very exemplary manner,” Eaves said. “Why disrupt that?”

Eaves also said reinstating Milton County will have an adverse effect on the funding of MARTA and Grady Hospital.

But District 46 State Rep. and Majority Whip Jan Jones, R-Milton, who authored the House bill to recreate Milton County, said she is not concerned about the new committee.

“It’s of no consequence,” she said. “The Fulton County Board of Commissioners will not have a vote when we recreate Milton County. They aren’t the legislature any more than I’m a county commissioner.”

Ms. Jones, a member of the Milton County Legislative Advisory Committee, said recreating the county will have no negative affect on Fulton County.

“[The Board of Commissioners] vigorously fought the incorporation of the three new cities and cried wolf that it was going to hurt the county,” she said. “The Fulton County revenues have continued to go up every year. There has been no adverse effect.”

The resolution passed 5-0 at the Board of Commissioners Oct. 7 meeting. Commissioner Robb Pitts and Commissioner Lynne Riley did not vote.

According to Fulton County spokeswoman Jessica A. Corbitt-Dominguez, Riley was at the meeting but left before the vote and did not return.
Pitts said he did not vote against the resolution out of respect for Eaves, and instead chose to abstain.

“It doesn’t make any sense. There was no need for this resolution,” he said. “The chairman can put together a group to advise him anytime. He can do that on his own without a resolution.”

Ms. Riley was unable to comment on this article due to a conference she is attending, a spokeswoman for the commissioner said.

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