Metro elected official owes thousands in unpaid utility bills

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Metro elected official owes thousands in unpaid utility bills

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East Point Councilwoman Sharon Shropshire, seen here in a 2012 file photo, has long been a vocal critic of the city’s high utility rates. Records unearthed by a political opponent show the account linked to her home address is thousands of dollars in arrears, but the city has not cut off service. FILE PHOTO

An East Point councilwoman is thousands of dollars behind in her utility bills to the city, but city officials have kept her power on even while hundreds of residents are threatened with losing theirs.

Sharon Shropshire, who lives with her parents in the south Fulton city of 35,000, did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but she’s been a vocal critic of East Point’s utility rates for years.

In 2011, when the council proposed increasing the rate by $28 per month for water and $7 per month for electricity, then-citizen Shropshire made her opinions clear.

“Who do you think is going to pay all this? You will not be sitting in these seats in November,” she told the council.

Shropshire ran and was elected to the council in 2013. Since that time the amount owed at her address has skyrocketed and months often pass without even a minimal payment, records show.

An Open Records Act request with the city turned up a list of more than 1,000 city residences scheduled to have their utilities disconnected for not paying their water or electric power bills. But the councilwoman’s address doesn’t appear on that list, despite a past-due balance of nearly $9,000 in December.

“It needs to be brought to the public’s attention, not just because I’m running against her,” said resident Christopher Weed, who is running against Shropshire for her council seat.

Weed obtained city utility billing records for Shropshire’s home address through an open records request and found the account had a running past-due balance in the thousands.

What happened when Weed put this information up on his campaign website? Read this week’s AJC Watchdog column here to find out.

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