2010-01-14 / Letters

How Much Was Really Spent By County?

To The Editor:

I have serious issues with the costs provided by the county commissioners to The Fulton County News in reference to the union contract.

I worked as a juvenile probation officer during the initial forming of the union. Fulton County Probation officers have been one of the lowest paid departments in the entire state. It should be noted that only one commissioner is currently still in office that was involved in this from the beginning, and three officers have left the initial group that formed the union. Additionally, I am not attacking anyone personally nor do I wish to get into a “he said, she said” argument. I am just confused as to why, in Fulton County, we can’t simply state the correct costs incurred in an incident like this.

First, I do not understand why Mr. Butts was initially denied his request for this information and had to resort to a Freedom of Information Act (as reported by the “News”) to get the county to release this cost information. Secondly, when the figures were released they were at best incomplete and quickly followed by a second statement where the commissioners admitted to spending money on legal fees in addition to staff time that was required to resolve these issues. So what was the real cost?

Moreover, the claim that the union contract as originally proposed would have cost the county more than eight times the incurred legal fees ($103,342.62) is simply not creditable.This would have meant a total of over $824,000 increase for a five-year period for seven people?

I am at a loss for what is going on. The citizens of Fulton County need to know what it really cost them, the taxpayers, for the county to fight seven of its employees, especially in light of budget cuts to various agencies.
George C. Cutchall

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