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County to try again on auditor, budget advertising, zoning, executive protection
by Noreen Cochran
June 17, 2014 01:28 PM | 1920 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Fulton County Board of Commissioners at its meeting today may vote on creating a county auditor position, advertising budget hearings, rezoning a controversial property and deleting the requirement for a paper trail before granting executive protection.

A resolution sponsored by Commissioner Robb Pitts states police officers and their vehicles are not to be used to transport commissioners “except in instances of specific, defined and substantiated threats or risk of bodily harm.”

But the policy in place requires the commissioner or commissioners to submit a written report to Fulton County Police Chief Cassandra Jones, which could be leaked, the resolution states.

“Certain reporting requirements within the current policy can reveal information regarding the nature and source of specific, defined and substantial threats, which could in turn compromise the safety of members of the board of commissioners,” it states.

If the item – held from the June 4 meeting – is approved, commissioners can request protection through “spoken or written words,” such as a phone call or text, “or physical gestures,” according to the resolution

Also on the agenda is the June 4 meeting’s unapproved item to advertise budget hearings and a potential 17 percent tax hike, which was tabled two weeks ago when only three out of seven commissioners – three of whom were absent – voted approval.

Pitts, the lone dissenter, sponsored another item held till today, that of creating a county auditor position at a salary yet to be determined.

According to the accompanying resolution, the county is entitled under state law to “an expert accountant to examine and report on the books, vouchers and account of any county officer whose duty it is under the law to handle county funds.”

The auditor, to be appointed by the board, will assist County Manager Dwight Ferrell, to whom he or she will report, in preparing the annual budget.

If approved, the resolution will also create an independent audit committee, appointed by the board, of five members who will each earn a maximum of $1,000 per year for attending meetings.

Michael Hightower of The Collaborative Firm’s zoning application on behalf of The Estates at West Cascade will get a second look today, as it was held over from June 4 at his request to allow more time to discuss it with the neighborhood.

The Community Zoning Board recommended denial of the application, which, if approved, will change a single-family residential tract of 25 acres on Cascade Road at Old Cascade Road and Fulton Industrial Boulevard into a 480-unit apartment complex.

During the application’s June 4 public hearing, four residents spoke in opposition to the plan.

Deborah Kennedy cited traffic, public services and environmental concerns.

“There is no way that this should be rezoned until all that can be determined,” she said.

Commissioner William “Bill” Edwards said he was concerned the development would be considered an environmentally stressed community, as Kennedy said.

Planning and Community Services Director Randy Beck said the application has letters of approval from the Sandtown Community Association and the Cascade Business and Merchants Association.

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