To the editor:
The state legislators from North Fulton have proposed breaking away from Fulton County to form their own Milton County under House Resolution 21, claiming that Fulton County is mismanaged and overtaxed.
I recently devoted two weeks toward researching the services offered by Fulton County.
I interviewed Zachary Williams, Fulton County manager; Superior Court Chief Judge Doris Downs; Burt Manning, chief appraiser of the Board of Assessors; John Szabo, director of libraries; Dr. Steve Katkowsky (since relocated), director of health and wellness; and Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand.
I found each of those managers and heads of departments to be highly professional with a vision of constantly improving services while at the same time reducing their costs of operations.
Williams was proud to inform me that the county is adopting performance-based metrics to weed out the underperforming employees and reward the overperforming employees.
Downs was equally proud of her Drug Court, which counsels first-time, minor offenders instead of sending them off to jail.
Szabo was justifiably proud of his state-of-the-art, 22,000-square-foot branch libraries, replacing the small, outmoded branches.
Manning informed me that last year more than 100,000 homeowners were reassessed at lower assessments, while this year there will be significantly more. Ferdinand was beaming when he informed me of a 98 percent tax collection rate.
Taxwise, Fulton County — with 98 percent incorporated — could significantly reduce its millage by outsourcing county services and cutting the 6,287 employees by 30 percent to 40 percent.
The Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation feels that the North Fulton taxpayers could achieve their objectives without the need to break up Fulton County. Maintaining the unity of Fulton County’s 77-year tradition could be far more productive than divisiveness.
John S. Sherman, president
Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation