Atlanta firefighters take much longer than they should to respond to emergencies, measured against national standards, and the delays are getting worse. Training, more dispatchers and a 911 audit to ferret out the cause of extraordinary delays — not necessarily more firefighters — may be the best solution, city auditor Leslie Ward says.
Atlanta City Council member Cleta Winslow just paid an ethics fine for spending $5,420 of taxpayers’ money to boost her 2009 re-election campaign. But taxpayers also picked up the tab for nearly $29,000 more in spending that promoted Winslow’s name in the final weeks before last year’s voting. The payments blurred the line drawn by the city’s Ethics Code to separate city-sponsored events and campaign activities. Winslow collected reimbursements from her city expense account for jazz musicians, a disc jockey, an inflatable bouncer, a popcorn machine and other equipment, plus $8,000 worth of barbecue and side dishes. Click here for my full story on ajc.com. Click here for supporting documents for this story.
Atlanta’s Office of Code Compliance manipulated inspection data to inflate the agency’s caseload and vastly overstate its performance, city auditors say. Its files were such a mess that workers often couldn’t even find paperwork for a particular case. Auditors said the office staff was told to record inspection dates even if no inspection had occurred. For one month, the faulty data made it appear the average inspection was conducted 14 days after the complaint came in; auditors calculated it really took nearly six months.
Hundreds of customers had their water service cut off earlier this year because the city of Atlanta mishandled retroactive billing for a rate hike, according to a new city audit. Moreover, an estimated one in five customers were not told before their water was turned off, as required by city code, the audit found. Water commissioner Robert Hunter disputed the findings.