Fulton County’s new District 2 Commissioner Bob Ellis says Fulton County has a management problem.
“We’ve got a lot of folks in a lot of interim roles,” said Ellis, who was speaking at a Rotary Club of Sandy Springs lunch on Jan. 12. “I don’t know of any NFL team that’s won a Super Bowl with an interim coach. We have an interim county manager, we have an interim director of facilities, an interim director of IT, an interim director of libraries, an interim director of arts and culture.”
Ellis said they have a “lot of good folks” in these positions that need to be empowered to do their jobs, later adding that a good county manager would run Fulton more efficiently.
He said a lot of Fulton County’s problems have manifested themselves because the county is “complex,” with needs varying in the northern, southern and central portions.
Some immediate challenges for Fulton, Ellis said, include finalizing the budget by the end of the month, and restoring libraries’ operating hours back to historical hours of operations after last year’s funding cuts.
“We’ve had a hard time balancing our budget without dipping into our fund balance,” he said, “or during this past year raising taxes. We’ve not been the most functional governmental body.”
Ellis said that one positive change was the county redistricting that happened in time for the 2014 election. That move created his seat and provided for more representation in North Fulton.
“I think that’s going to bring a more balanced perspective,” he said.
Addressing a question from the audience over last year’s millage rate increase that resulted in a lawsuit saying the increase violates a state bill that was passed in 2013, Ellis responded, “At this stage the case has progressed in favor of the county, but it’s not fully resolved.”