The Atlanta City Council during Tuesday’s meeting approved the City’s budget for Fiscal Year 2023, which begins July 1, 2022. The general fund budget totals approximately $734 million.

“It’s time to invest in the people who deliver for the residents of Atlanta,” said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. Thank you to the City Council, the Chief Financial Officer, my full Cabinet, staff members and all involved in the process for producing a thoughtful, deliberate budget we can all be proud of a budget that moves Atlanta forward!”

The Fiscal Year 2023 budget includes:

• Pay increases for Atlanta firefighters

• Additional funding to hire police officers

• Wage increases for frontline staff members, including corrections officers, 311 agents, AIM critical hires, Atlanta Department of Transportation, and Department of Parks and Recreation frontline employees

• A cost-of-living adjustment for all other City employees

• Investments to expand operations for At-Promise Youth Centers

• Investments in parks and greenspace

• Increased funding for HouseProud Atlanta for senior home repairs

• Allocate funding for the Human Relations Committee

• Increased funding for the Streets Alive Program

• Allocate funding for Small Business Associations for each Council district, At-Large Districts, and the Council President

• Increased funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Finance and Executive Committee Chair Alex Wan commended his City Council colleagues and the mayor following Tuesday’s vote.

“This is a budget that allows our city to boost investment in critical areas and works to address urgent needs, including providing reliable City services across all neighborhoods,” Wan said. “It also charts a brighter course for Atlanta’s future by adding additional dollars for our aging infrastructure and building a greener and environmentally focused city. The budget also reaffirms our commitment to retaining our workforce with more competitive pay and a cost-of-living adjustment for employees. After this robust process, I’m grateful to my Council colleagues, our Research and Policy staff, our City’s Finance Department, and the mayor and his team for their collaboration and their thoughtful work in meeting the needs of our city.”

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens delivers his inaugural speech at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Georgia Tech on Monday, January 3, 2021. (Photo by: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

Other items approved Tuesday include:

• An ordinance to amend Chapter 130 of the City of Atlanta Code of Ordinances to fund street-based sanitary services and common good sanitary services through the City of Atlanta’s general fund (Legislative Reference No. 22-O-1281).

• An ordinance amending the City’s Charter to amend the authority of the City to charge and collect taxes and assessments for sanitary and solid waste disposal services, to establish and collect rates, fees, and charges for the same, and to authorize the adoption of an administrative procedure for the resolution of disputes regarding the basis of a sanitary and solid waste tax or assessment against a property (Legislative Reference No. 22-O-1280). This legislation requires three readings as a Charter amendment.

• An ordinance to amend Chapter 94 of the City’s Code of Ordinances related to discrimination in public accommodations, private employment, and housing located within Atlanta to insert language about gender expression, including providing for a definition of gender expression, providing for gender expression to be a reflected characteristic in the membership of the Human Relations Commission, and adding allegations of LGBTQ+ profiling to the list of functions for the Human Relations Commission to investigate (Legislative Reference No. 22-O-1459).

• A resolution requesting that no City funds are used to record and/or investigate reports of abortion care and to request that the Atlanta Police Department place reports of abortion-related care at the lowest possible priority (Legislative Reference No. 22-R-3711).

• A resolution expressing support for the development of a “Tenant’s Bill of Rights” and to encourage the Georgia General Assembly to repeal any state-level prohibition on the ability of the City of Atlanta to develop and implement a “Tenant’s Bill of Rights” that would promote housing equity and affordability to those residing within Atlanta (Legislative Reference No. 22-R-3708).

The Council also presented proclamations in recognition of Immigrant Heritage Month, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Commissioner Gregory Moore, and the Atlanta Culinary Charities and Family Food Fest.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens delivers a speech at 3060 Peachtree on Thursday, January 13, 2022. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

Items were also introduced to be considered in committee next week, including:

• A resolution authorizing the City of Atlanta to donate a total amount not to exceed $500,000 to the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation to support the Foundation’s “access to legal counsel” pilot program that will provide eviction defense services to eligible Atlanta residents.

• A resolution urging the mayor or his designee to hire a chief sustainability officer to lead the mayor’s Office of Resilience who will also serve as the chairperson for the Clean Energy Advisory Board.

• A resolution requesting MARTA require developers to provide bus shelters that are along the bus routes of all new commercial and multi-family residential development within Atlanta.

• A resolution requesting the Office of the Fulton County District Attorney investigate opportunities to criminally charge property owners/landlords who are in violation of the City’s housing code and grossly negligent in providing the minimum standards related to maintenance and security for leased/rented residential housing and to urge the Atlanta Police Department and the Office of the City Solicitor to diligently pursue all complaints against neglectful property owners/landlords.

• A resolution urging the Georgia General Assembly to amend Article 2 Chapter 1 of Title 42 of the official code of Georgia annotated regarding the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board, to adopt “Mariam’s Law,” which expands the requirements for individuals currently on the sex offender registry to better protect the citizens of Georgia.