Updated:FULTON COUNTY, Ga. —
A Georgia lawmaker is making a push to turn south Fulton County into the city of South Fulton.
“What you have is people who don't live in this area, people in the north side of the county that are still making decisions about what happens on the south side,” Rep. Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta) told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.
Bruce said the bill he's sponsoring will create equity for the roughly 100,000 residents living in unincorporated Fulton County. The 46-page bill he submitted this week would allow voters to decide on the creation of the city of South Fulton.
"You have vacant land, you have opportunities for development, opportunities to create jobs,” Bruce said.
Bruce said the newly formed city would have its own police and fire departments, and control things like zoning while Fulton county would continue to offer services like the courts, libraries and sheriff's department.
Voters overwhelmingly rejected a similar bill seven years ago. Many then were concerned South Fulton the city wasn't financially sustainable.
"Seven years ago we didn't have the economic status that we have in South Fulton. We've come a long way,” said Fulton County Commissioner Bill Edwards.
But Edwards said, today economics isn’t his only concern.
"I don't like the transparency,” Edwards said. "I just received the bill yesterday.”
Edwards said residents need to be part of this process every step of the way. He plans to schedule a town hall meeting to make sure their concerns are heard.
Bruce said he plans to educate residents on what will it mean to take decisions out of the hands of those that don't live in the community.
"They are making decisions that they don't have to live with,” Bruce said.