Over 100 residents have made their opinions known about the Fulton County Board of Commissioners’ recent decision to end its status as an entitlement community as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“I speak to each of you personally on behalf of the law enforcement community. When you take away funding which would help rehabilitate inmates, you make our job much more difficult,” said retired Fulton Senior Deputy Sheriff Charles Rambo.
Rambo is one of 117 individuals who addressed the board at its Jan. 8 meeting at Assembly Hall in downtown Atlanta, with the vast majority of them concerned about the county not being eligible for that type of federal funding.
At its Dec. 18 recess meeting, the commission voted 4-3 to approve relinquishing Fulton’s status as an entitlement community, meaning the county would no longer have access to those monies, such as Community Development Block Grant funds.
Introduced by District 2 Commissioner Bob Ellis, the resolution was also supported by Commissioners Liz Hausmann, Lee Morris and Robb Pitts (chair). Those opposed were Commissioners Natalie Hall, Joe Carn and Marvin Arrington Jr.
Although most of the speakers addressing the commission on this issue asked its members vote to bring the entitlement community resolution back to the board and then vote to deny it, Morris said it’s unlikely.
“To bring the resolution back before the commission, one of those who voted in favor of it would have to bring it back before the board,” Morris said. “I don’t think that will happen. I have not heard anything from the commissioners who supported the resolution that they had thoughts of doing that.”
Another item on the agenda, approval of the county’s $700 million budget, will be brought back before the board at its Jan. 22 recess meeting after it voted 7-0 to table it until that meeting. It must approve the budget sometime this month.
However, the commission voted 7-0 to approve selecting Arrington as its 2020 vice chair.