To the editor:

The Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation is well aware that the formation of a city of Buckhead will not pass the Fulton delegation now.

However, with more than 10,000 signed petitions, we have already achieved one of our three goals: On Friday, June 27, the City Council unanimously overruled the mayor’s deficit budget for 2009, therefore avoiding any increase in city taxes, other than the 27 percent increase in water rates.

What do the Buckhead taxpayers really want?

• Significantly lower property taxes. On pages 52 and 53 of the City’s Turnaround Plan (published in 2002), marketization and outsourcing of city services are priorities. Yet not a single service has been marketized or outsourced under Mayor Shirley Franklin. The services indicated in the Turnaround Plan include “garbage pickup, fleet management & operations, airport management and operations, fire services, non-sworn police, parks and recreation management & operations, road maintenance, wastewater treatment and water.” The City Council could well pass such a priority and save the city 20 percent to 30 percent of its $600 million budget.

• Improved city services. On pages 26 and 27 of the Turnaround Plan, Bain & Co. (the author) indicates that the city’s current evaluation of employees is “outstanding” and “highly efficient.” Too many of the city employees would never pass performance-based standards. The Fulton Taxpayers Foundation proposes following the Turnaround Plan by adopting performance-based standards prepared by an independent professional firm.

With more than 10,000 signed petitions, the Taxpayers Foundation has become the voice of the taxpayers.

John S. Sherman, president

Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation