In Their Own Words: Meet District 4’s Stacey Collier
City of South Fulton residents are set to vote for their first mayor and city council, with early voting starting on Feb. 21. We reached out to the candidates with 10 questions to learn more about them and let residents hear from them “in their own words.” (All responses were sent to us electronically and have not been edited or altered in any way.)
Q1: Please provide your name and confirm if you have you ever run for office in the past (if so, for what seat) OR held public office in the past.
A1: My name is Stacey Collier, and I am running for City Councilmember District 4 in the newly elected City of South Fulton. I have not run or held any public office position in the past.
Q2: In what ways have you contributed to the City of South Fulton through community involvement or other initiatives/efforts prior to announcing your candidacy?
A2: I feel my contributions to the city of South Fulton are that of what I like to call the “everyday citizen”. The everyday citizen remains consistently active in the community by paying their taxes, patronizing their local businesses, attending church, going to community meetings and events, supporting their school system, and being conscientious neighbors.
Q3: What is the most pressing issue you believe the City of South Fulton is facing and what will you do to address it?
A3: South Fulton County has seen an influx of criminal activity recently, creating a need for more police presence in our community. To tackle this issue, we must execute a plan for achieving effective law enforcement in our city by allocating resources to our Police Department. If given the opportunity to serve, I will support the hiring of additional officers and the acquisition of more precincts, all under the guise of positive policing.
Q4: What experience and training do you have that makes you uniquely qualified to hold office in the new city?
A4: I have direct experience with fund management, budget development, and account reconciliation. During my tenure at Georgia Tech, I was the Program Coordinator for the Federal Work Study fund. Some of my tasks were to perform monthly reconciliations and be accountable for annual spending of the fund through the completion of the Fiscal Operations Report and Application (FISAP) submitted to the Department of Education. As such, I am familiar with balancing a budget under government guidelines.
Q5: In your opinion, how can the City of South Fulton spur economic development?
A5: To spur economic development, it is imperative that our new city encourages the recruitment, expansion, and retention of commercial enterprise. To help initiate this effort, I would collaborate with local entities such as Select Fulton and South Fulton Chamber of Commerce to help facilitate conduits for growth in our community such as tax incentives, grant opportunities, and commercial redevelopment initiatives.
Q6: What measures would you champion in order to combat crime and keep residents safe?
A6: Again, I am in full support of hiring more police officers and the purchase of additional precincts for the city. More police presence in our community will deter criminals from committing crimes and the addition of precincts will hopefully increase police response times to reported incidents.
Q7: Do you think there’s a likelihood that the city will need additional tax increases in the future?
A7: Our Transition Committee has predicted that our anticipated tax revenue will prevent the need to raise our property taxes. Furthermore, House Bill 514 states that any millage rate proposed by Mayor and City Council that exceeds 13.469 must be approved by majority vote of the citizens of South Fulton. Based on the information presented to me thus far, I do not anticipate a need for an increase in our city’s property taxes in the near future. Moreover, if elected, residents can rest assured that any proposed increase in taxes would not garner my support without sound financial reasoning, transparency to the public, and the elimination of tenable alternatives.
Q8: What is the greatest challenge that you think the new city will face and what would you do if elected to combat it?
A8: I think the greatest challenge the city of South Fulton faces is the transition into cityhood itself. The Transition Committee has made it very clear that upon day one of service, the elected Mayor and City Council will be required to enact various pieces of legislation necessary to incorporate and authorize administration of our new city. Mayor, City Council, and the Transition Committee will have to work diligently and collaboratively over the next 2 years to prepare the City of South Fulton for functionality as an independent entity.
Q9: 59% of voters cast their ballots in support of cityhood, 41% opposed and there are a number of residents who did not vote at all. A. Do you think as an elected official you have a responsibility to cultivate a sense of unity and create bridges among communities that are still at odds following the election? If so, how would you propose doing that?
A9: If elected, I believe that I have a duty to promote and encourage a message of unity amongst all South Fulton citizens. I am opposed to the disunifying classification of our residents as either “for” or “against” cityhood. Categorizing our residents as such promotes disharmony and creates a communal barrier. It is my hope that the elected officials of our new government are a reflection of the diverse population of our new city and as such will implement policies that will address the needs and concerns of the entire community.
Q10: Have you been endorsed by any elected officials (past or present), political or faith leaders, associations or organizations?
A10: I do not have any endorsements from political figures, faith leaders, or organizations.
For more information about Stacey Collier, visit www.facebook.com/Collier4Council.
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