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Atlanta City Council Members Call for Third-Party Audit on Gulch Deal

Post Date:09/18/2018 10:45 AM

NEWS RELEASE MASTHEAD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Council Communications
Atlanta City Hall
55 Trinity Avenue, SW
Suite 2551
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

CONTACT:
Talia Moffitt
Public Information Officer – Council Communications
(404) 546-1835 / (404) 326-6506
tkmoffitt@atlantaga.gov

 

September 18, 2018

Atlanta City Council Members Call for Third-Party Audit on Gulch Deal

ATLANTA— Atlanta City Council members Amir Farokhi, Michael Julian Bond, J.P. Matzigkeit, Natalyn Archibong, Jennifer Ide, Andre Dickens, Dustin Hillis and Matt Westmoreland introduced an ordinance Monday calling for a third-party audit of the Gulch deal. The proposed legislation directs the city’s Chief Financial Officer to contract an outside accounting or consulting firm to analyze documents and figures related to the project and offer an independent report of its projected outcomes.

The bill’s author, Council member Amir Farokhi, said the decision to introduce the legislation is in response to overwhelming constituent demand. 

“We heard Atlanta loud and clear,” Farokhi said. “Hundreds of constituents have called, e-mailed, or come to City Hall to weigh in on the Gulch deal. The overwhelming feeling is that while residents want to see the Gulch developed, they don’t feel fully informed and want more assurances that the framework is in the public's best interest.”

Farokhi believes that the size of the project and public fatigue from taxpayer funding of mega-projects provides a mandate for deeper scrutiny.

“We are talking about potentially $1.75 billion in taxpayer assistance,” he said. “There are many benefits to the project but we’re failing residents if we make a decision without hearing from more experts.” 

Council member Michael Julian Bond, a co-sponsor, added to this sentiment.   

“This project has the potential to change the face of Atlanta for untold decades,” Bond said. “On such an enormous proposal, we need to avail ourselves of the best minds to ensure that we are fully informed.” 

Earlier this month, the city of Atlanta announced that it had reached an agreement with CIM Spring St. to redevelop the Gulch, a 40-acre site in downtown Atlanta that sits on what some consider prime real estate in the city. The Atlanta City Council did not vote on the deal at Monday’s full council meeting.

 For more information, contact Tony Lucadamo at (404) 713-8807.

 Atlanta City Council
The Atlanta City Council is the chief policy-making body for the City of Atlanta: it acts by considering and enacting all laws that govern the City. The council also approves the operating and capital budgets for the City as recommended by the mayor, and it continually monitors revenues and expenditures for local government operations. The Atlanta City Council reviews and has final say on many land-use and zoning matters. Major economic development projects for the City also fall under the council’s consideration.

 The Atlanta City Council is comprised of 12 districts and three at-large posts:

Council President: Felicia A. Moore

District 1: Carla Smith

District 6: Jennifer N. Ide

District 11: Marci Collier Overstreet

District 2: Amir Farokhi

District 7: Howard Shook

District 12: Joyce M. Sheperd

District 3: Ivory Lee Young

District 8: J.P. Matzigkeit

Post 1 At-Large: Michael Julian Bond

District 4: Cleta Winslow

District 9: Dustin Hillis

Post 2 At-Large: Matt Westmoreland

District 5: Natalyn Mosby Archibong

District 10: Andrea L. Boone

Post 3 At-Large: Andre Dickens

 

Council information, committee agendas and more may be found on the Atlanta City Council website here. Video archives of the council’s regularly scheduled meetings, committee meetings and work sessions may be found here.

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