Fulton County Commission District 4 would be Joshua McNair’s first elected office. He spoke to SaportaReport via email.
Q: What’s your biggest concern for Fulton County Commission District 4?
A: The biggest concern throughout the district is affordability and equity in housing. Leaders from all levels of government must be engaged in the process so that residents of all backgrounds are able to live and thrive in the city of Atlanta.
Q: What could you, as a commissioner, do about that, what are some policy ideas?
As we see the rapid influx of gentrification in our city, it is important that we work together, at every level of government, to ensure that citizens can remain in their homes.
As Commissioner, I believe the first place we can start is addressing our property tax issues. The Board of Commissioners must hold the Board of Assessors accountable for the job taxpayers have employed them to do. We must perform an audit to make sure that values are accurate and that assessments are performed on a regular and equitable basis across neighborhoods. Additionally, we must slow the rate of property tax increases for residents so that they aren’t getting “sticker shock” when opening tax bills at the end of the year.
Q: In Fulton County, a lot of public services are handled by the cities. What do you see as the role of the county government and of the Commission?
Even though Fulton County has become the only county in Georgia, comprised almost in its entirety of municipalities, it still provides many vital and critical services for its residents. Whether it be the County Board of Health and Grady Hospital that provides access to health services and education, or the libraries in our communities, which provide much needed access to books, educational resources, and technology for residents of all ages, our county Commission and government still has a very important role to play in ensuring that these services, amongst many others, are provided in an efficient and equitable manner. As a Commissioner, I believe it is important to ensure that we adequately appropriate resources and funding to Fulton County programs, services and initiatives, and ensure that residents are aware of their availability.
Q: What’s something the Fulton County government has gotten right in the last 10 years?
A: The county’s investment of a billion dollars for infrastructure improvements throughout the county has been a positive step in the right direction. This means that over the next few years, we will see major upgrades in our facilities, roads and libraries.
Q: Now let’s talk about the other side of the coin: in the last 10 years, what’s something the Fulton County government has gotten wrong or failed to do?
A: I believe the the County needs to make sure they have a seat at the table with other government leaders when it comes to making policy that affects us all.
No one at Fulton is serious about working with the city on issues such as homelessness and transportation. Both sides need to sit down and develop a plan together to tackle these and other important issues. No longer can we allow personal politics to divert attention from the important work of ensuring that we work collaboratively to improve the lives of our constituents.
Q: Overall, bottom line, why should people vote for you, what’s your pitch to the voters?
A: As a neighborhood leader, I have done the important work of community building. To me, that is where the heart of public service and effective government begins — with the people. I have worked hand-in-hand with leaders at all levels of government to implement change in our community. I have proven myself capable of tackling tough issues head on with impactful results that improve people’s lives, and I will take that same passion, dedication, and drive to empowering our communities and people with me as a county commissioner.