Robert L. Pitts

Occupation: RLP Corporation, Financial Representative and international business consultant

Robb Pitts.
Robb Pitts.

Previous experience holding elected offices: Member of the Atlanta City Council, Post 1 At-Large (1977-1996); President, Atlanta City Council (1997-2001); Member of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, District 2 At-Large (2003-2014); Chair of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners (December 2017 – Present)

Other community service experience: Arts Festival of Atlanta; Atlanta Ballet; Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau; Atlanta Economic Development Corporation; Center for puppetry Arts; Georgia municipal Association; Latin American Association; NAACP; Urban Residential Finance Authority

Both you and the other candidate were in a runoff race for this office less than five months ago. What is something you have accomplished that should convince voters to keep you in the office?

In my first 100 days as Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, I have tackled several priorities – transportation improvements, criminal justice reform, a new animal shelter, funding for seniors and youth, and property tax reform. I have also established task forces on homestead exemptions, the hospitality industry and sex trafficking

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it?

One of the biggest issues facing Fulton County is fixing the broken property tax appraisal system. Since being elected as chair, the county has allocated $3.4 million in the budget to hire more appraisers, provide better training, improve technology and enhance our communication strategy to keep our residents informed. The residents of Fulton County will see an up-to-date website and community outreach, and each property that received a 50 percent increase will be reviewed.

What should Fulton County do next on mass transit policy now that the General Assembly has passed legislation authorizing a new regional system?

HB 930 creates the ATL Authority, which is the entity that coordinates and plans the disbursement of federal and state funding for transit within 13 counties. Fulton County should continue to work with the 15 cities in Fulton County to ensure that they have a full understanding of the ATL’s regional governance structure, its regional transit plan, and its powers so that they can keep their residents educated.

What more, if anything, should the county and the state do to ensure that Fulton’s property tax appraisal and assessment system is working properly?

As I stated previously, the county should continue to provide the department with the necessary resources to hire appraisers, provide them with adequate training, and improve technology. Also, I have established a Homestead Exemption Task Force whose goal is to review the many homestead exemptions that are available. This group will make recommendations to me that can be considered by the Board of Commissioners and ultimately to the Georgia General Assembly.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.