Residents furious after council members, former mayor spent taxpayer money on ‘ridiculous’ flyer

SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — Some neighbors in the city of South Fulton are upset with their former mayor and several of their current city council members after they spent thousands of dollars in taxpayer money on a mailout flyer. Many are calling the move “ridiculous.”

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes learned that the former mayor of South Fulton didn’t do anything illegal by spending a total of about $22,000 in taxpayer dollars on a flyer, but many think the money could have been better spent.

“If my tax dollars are paying for them, I want my money back,” one resident said.

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Former Mayor Bill Edwards sent out the booklet about a month after being voted out of office.

Inside, former Mayor Edwards congratulated the new Mayor khalid kamau and promised this was not a goodbye for him. He spent the next three pages listing everything he said he has done for the city during his time in office.

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Through an open records request, Fernandes learned that former Mayor Edwards spent about $8,000 in taxpayer funds to pay for the flyers. Council members Catherine Foster-Rowell, Carmalitha Gumbs, Helen Z. Willis, and Corey Reeves each spent about $3,300 each. Altogether, that reaches a grand total nearing $22,000.

The four council members sent Channel 2 Action News a joint statement that reads, in part, “We as council members supported the mayor over his four years in office. We also supported him with this farewell gesture.”

Former Mayor Edwards told Fernandes that he sent out a similar flyer at the beginning, middle and end of his time as mayor, and he feels it was the best way to spend taxpayer money.

“That’s because he’s so vain. Everything is about him and his cronies,” neighbor Jewel Johnson said.

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The council members involved also say this is “common practice,” but Fernandes found that former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms passed all of her remaining budget on to current Mayor Andre Dickens and did not send out a flyer after she left office.

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