Fulton manager pledges efficiency in meeting with lawmakers

Fulton County’s new top administrator laid out his plans to improve efficiency and customer service to the county’s legislative delegation Tuesday afternoon.

County Manager Dick Anderson – hired just last week – said his first step will be to solidify county government by filling numerous department head jobs that are currently held by interim directors. He said he also plans to seek "the best advice we can get" on how to better deliver services. And he plans a multi-year effort to accomplish those goals.

Anderson cited his experience with such measures as an executive at BellSouth, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and the Federal Reserve.

“I understand and know how to run customer services operations, and do it in a way that’s world class,” he told state lawmakers who attended the meeting. “I also understand how to run efficient operations.”

Anderson’s remarks had several lawmakers nodding in approval. But it’s unclear whether the Republicans who control the delegation – and who have long believed Fulton County spends too much money – are willing to cut Anderson or Fulton County any slack.

The state House of Representatives last week approved House Bill 521, which would double the size of Fulton County's regular property tax homestead exemption to $60,000, and House Bill 522, which would establish a new $30,000 homestead exemption for senior citizens. Fulton officials say the regular homestead bill would cost the county about $38 million in revenue annually.

The bills have been assigned to the Senate State and Local Government Operations Committee. A proposal to double the county homestead exemption passed the House two years ago, but died in the Senate.