SOUTH FULTON, GA -- The mayor of the new city of South Fulton has vetoed a proposal to spend nearly $300,000 to hire new city council staff. The veto came just as the new city is starting to take shape – and highlights some very public growing pains.
As youthful cities go, South Fulton is at an awkward age. It uses a government center recycled from the county with the same name. In fact, its government center isn’t even in the new city limits. But it does have a new city council. And when the council voted to hire staff for each member, some residents howled.
"We’re spending the money before we even get the right services over," said Corro’ll Driskell, who found the measure unseemly for a city that's been in existence barely a hundred days. "Right now we have a lot of noise," Driskell said.
It’s commonplace for city council members in cities with some size to them to hire their own staff. But in South Fulton, it seemed a little too soon.
"Whatever we do, it’s the first time anybody has done it," said Bill Edwards, the mayor who vetoed the measure to hire the city council staff. "I’m supposed to be a part time mayor. I haven’t seen 'part time' yet. But I’m not asking for anything more that will help me, at this time, to make this job easy."
The city of South Fulton has a lot on its plate in these formative weeks. It has created planning and code enforcement departments. Next month it creates a park and recreation department. After that will be police, sanitation and eventually, a new name for the city.
At this young age – if this city were a baby, it might be seen as a little needy as it sorts through its abilities and manages constituencies with high expectations.