Ben, not "Benji" or anything else that makes him sound like a dog, graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism and many long nights at The Independent Florida Alligator newspaper office. He then chronicled chaos and calm in his beloved homestate — including at the Miami Herald, The Ledger in Lakeland and The News-Press in Fort Myers — before joining The AJC in 2016. Ben is interested in how governments work and the people/structures that make governments fail. Covering Fulton County government means Ben is a watchdog for one out of every 10 Georgians' local tax dollars. Drop a line because Ben could use your help making sense of this confusing world, but without your help will default to seeking context and eating too many boiled peanuts. Ben's strongest opinions revolve around food, comedy and music — so it makes sense he feels most at home in the American South.