It’s a full 16+ minute video, but if you don’t care to watch it all, start at the 11 minute mark. That’s when Mayor Reed starts talking about dropping crime rates (84 murders last year – 2nd lowest number in last 30 years). Then he moves the conversation to repeat offenders, noting that his 2,000 member police force is arresting people, but openly and directly questions what Fulton County does with those people next.
The money quote comes in at the 14:24 mark:
“Fulton County collects just as much tax from you as the City of Atlanta does. And I’d ask you, ‘what does it do for you?’ I know that my employees pick up your trash, they pick up your recyclables. They provide water and sewer service for you. They provide police officers for you. If you have a fire at your home, we send firetrucks to you and we now have 4 firefighters on a truck. I know we do that for you. What do they do for you?”
Mayor Reed clearly wants something done with Fulton County’s court system and it’s inadequate jails. But there’s also a bigger picture here.
Mayor Reed is entering his final term as Mayor, and will finish his term a relatively young man. As such, much is made about what job he will aspire to next. Some say Governor (quite possible), others say Congress. But, if ambition and stature were removed from the conversation, it sounds like Reed has also staked out a position for a Fulton County Chairman’s race.
As I doubt that is within the realm of his considerations, the question at hand is who may want to pick up this mantle and bring with it a bloc of votes from within the City of Atlanta and quite possibly a large chunk of North Fulton residents who want to see major changes with Fulton county and would like to see a “tough on crime” candidate.