Although the Report made findings about whether the amounts awarded comported with City Code, the City’s Charter, and other Georgia law, those conclusions are debatable, a matter of opinion, and represent but a singular viewpoint. Even then, the Report’s determinations are not definitive or conclusive, which is clear from its continuous use of probabilities, likelihoods, and other non-committal phrasing to characterize its conclusions. It is critical to note that, under the Report’s reasoning and within its explicit findings, similar awards made by members of the Atlanta City Council are also viewed as violating the State’s Gratuities Clause. Although I cannot agree with the Report in its entirety, I do support revisions to the City Code to resolve the “ambiguities” and “vague…language” that led to the reasonable differences in opinion on which I relied.
At the end of my term, the City of Atlanta was on its best financial footing in 40 years. Atlantans benefited from eight consecutive balanced budgets, zero property tax increases, zero water rate increases, nine consecutive credit-rating increases, more than $200 million in cash reserves and a 37 percent reduction in crime. As a result, I awarded performance bonuses to members of my executive team - who all played a significant role in contributing to this record of achievement.