Sandtown Community Association


Site Map

Letter to the Editor

Message from John Davis – President SCA:

“I am sharing this open letter sent to our steering committee by a Sandtown resident addressing those who are undecided, waiting or unsure”.


I am not a politician.  I am a Christian, I am a wife, and I am a mother and worker.  I am not a politician so I can not promise you anything with this annexation, but for communities to sit around and not make a decision really is making one.  My husband and I weighed the issues like some communities are still trying to do.  It was not easy.  Atlanta will not be a rose garden but we can no longer stay in this limbo. The cheese has been moved.

First, it’s about services.  We have been told by Commissioners Darnell and Pitts that there is no money to form a new city.  Commissioner Edwards supported a new city and now has flipped and now someone is putting literature in our mail boxes quoting Commissioner Edwards arguing to keeping things unincorporated.  How do we trust anyone?

We have read in the paper and been told by members of the Police and Fire Department that services are being drastically reduced.  Sandy Springs and the rest of North Fulton have voted for cityhood and in essence most of the monies they use to pay into the Fulton County treasuries have been drastically reduced. We “may” get a new Westlake but without adequate emergency services there will be no one to save our homes in fire, provide rescue for our children in schools, assist us with heart failures or any other emergency.  The funding for services will be exhausted very shortly.  Additionally, one more ill-functioning South Fulton City is not what we need.

Second, our schools work because WE WORK as parents.  Look at the data, the Fulton County School Board has added nothing to making our South County schools great. We ultimately believe North Fulton plans to abandon South Fulton schools in the next few years to create their own system; thus, taking their tax base with them.  Also, only a few schools do well in South Fulton, most of which are in our area.   Atlanta schools with active parent involvement work.  No, it will not be a rose garden but neither has this run with Fulton County Schools. 

The Fulton Board of Education has treated us like second class citizens.  They have taxed us through SPLOST I & II promising schools we have not seen.  They have expedited the system to build their schools but burdened our efforts with more and more paperwork.  In the last few years, they have built 19 schools in the north and perhaps 2 schools in the south.   They have cared only for those students who live near them and look like them. 

By accepting this, what are we teaching our children?  Are we teaching them that people can abuse us and when they decide to be nice we roll over and say thank you. Why did Dr. King march?  Why did Rosa Parks stay seated?  At what point do we “stay seated” and tell these people we are off the plantation and that our children can learn without the crumbs from a group of selfish, self-serving school board members.

This is a hard decision where we must consider schools and services.  If we stay put, perhaps we will get a new Westlake but for sure we will continue having an overcrowded elementary and middle school. We will also have reduced county services.    If we leave, we bring to the table in Atlanta, a productive community.  In Atlanta, we join a tax base that can continue the services we have been accustomed to having.  We join a school system that is financially viable.  Now, we have to continue to advocate for our children in APS.  It will not be easy.  It has already not been easy.  Everything we have gotten from teachers, to the new middle school facility and to a promised new high school has come through community work. 

I have a school age child too. I am willing to show her that the proud civil right advocates have not all died. I believe we can be heard and it doesn’t have come from begging.  I want her in good school facilities but I want her to have pride in who she is. That is the legacy that my husband and I give our children.

I have shared with the Atlanta city leaders the issues that are dear to us and why we want to annex: schools, services, and leadership; also, about the annexation process.  After all, Atlanta hasn't annexed an area since Buckhead was annexed and you know that process was much easier back then because it wasn't for people who looked like us. There are people around this town that don't want this to happen because of political motives, both black and white.  The political landscape of Atlanta will change if we annexed. 

We don't have good leadership in our community, we don't have good schools in our community when you compare them statewide and nationally, and we won't have any services if we stay unincorporated or create a new city because so many people in our community continue to let the powers to be move our cheese for their personal and selfish reasons.   All we are trying to do as an association is move our own cheese!  Our community must be diligent in taking charge of its own destiny.

Thanks for at least thinking about the issue.  We wish you all well in your decision, but we can't make it for you.  My family's decision is to join Atlanta and I'm going to fight to the bitter end to make that happen.  There is no other choice!

                                                                                                                    back to top