News Briefs: Capitol fence; school board approves tax break resolution; city COO resigns

An 8-foot tall fence will be erected around the Georgia State Capitol building in Downtown, according to WSB. The fence is being erected after months of protests against racial injustice and is part of a $5 million package to beef up security at the Capitol, the Governor’s Mansion and the Department of Public Safety headquarters. Officials said the fence will allow the withdrawal some of the two dozen National Guard Troops who have been patrolling the Capitol grounds overnight.

The Atlanta Board of Education has joined the call for the Development Authority of Fulton County to stop granting tax breaks to developers within city limits, citing the impacts on the Atlanta Public Schools budget. With its Oct. 5 resolution, the school board echoed a similar resolution issued last month by the Atlanta City Council. The resolutions are part of an ongoing controversy about where tax abatements are appropriate and what authority should cut bond-issuance deals that enable them. The school board resolution calls for such deals to be made only by Invest Atlanta, the city’s own development authority, and in accordance with a recently adopted city plan focused on policies to create middle-income jobs and affordable housing and to support small businesses. Read more at Reporter Newspapers.

Joshua Williams will step down as the city of Atlanta’s chief operating officer effective Dec. 1, making for a tenure of 17 months. His “transition” out of government was announced in an Oct. 5 press release that did not name a successor. Williams became the chief operating officer in July 2019. He previously served as the city’s deputy COO and served as COO for the DeKalb County School District.

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