It is one year to the day that the City of South Fulton’s first mayor and council were sworn in on the stage of Banneker High School. It is one year to the day that the citizens in the Georgia’s largest county obtained their independence from the county government. One year since Georgia’s 5th largest city opened it’s doors.
The fight to create the city began in 2006 around the time the rest of the cities throughout Fulton County incorporated. Ten years later the city became a reality by a majority vote of the citizens.
In the first year, City of South Fulton had its share of ups and downs. As usual the coverage in the media focused on any dissatisfaction and made it a major news story. At the same time, any positive activity or milestones reach barely made a blip on twitter. Nonetheless, the city progresses and is on track towards its original goal of having “local control.” Even a year later, the city boast an active and engaged citizenry. More than can be found throughout the rest of the metro area. The council meetings and online social media platforms for the new city stay buzzing with both criticism and support.
South Fulton (temporarily known as Renaissance) is on track for the complete transition of city services once provided by Fulton County. The hiring of the permanent City Manager, Odie Donald Jr., is the final peg to keep the city on track for the ultimate goal of success. City of South Fulton has a small city feel with several generations of families choosing to stay here, while benefiting from its proximity to Atlanta’s businesses and entertainment options.
As the City Council finishes the important transition phase, they will move into the identifying phase. The legislators, who worked to push this city to the Governor’s desk for several legislative sessions, and the citizens, who pounded the pavement to inform their neighbors of the referendum, all had clear and unified vision for the city. That vision included self-governance, taking economic advantage of the cities location as a transportation hub, and making smart use of the vast amount of undeveloped land not found other places in the metro area.
Now it is time for the council and mayor, under the direction of the City Manager, to take a step back and mold this baby into the urban, suburban, and rural community it has the potential to be. One thing is clear, the Mayor and Council had a very steep learning curve. There is no doubt that things they presumed when they were sworn in a year ago have changed. Those perspectives will continue to change as time continues to pass and our city continues to mature. However, with the view they have one year later, hopefully they are ready to come together for a unified vision the mirrors the vision of the citizens that helped to create this city.
Who is bringing the smash cake – our baby is one year old!