Leon Stafford

Local government reporter

Local government reporter Leon Stafford, a Tennessee grad, has been at the AJC since 1997. He covers Atlanta city government.

Latest from Leon Stafford

Stockbridge City Council rejects plan to divide members by district
 Those hoping Stockbridge might divide its City Council into districts will have to wait until at least 2020 to have that dream realized. The Council earlier this week voted 4-1 to continue using an at-large system for  its members until at least the 2020 Census. City Attorney Mike Williams argued it’s better to wait and draw up-to-date...

Posted: 2 days ago

Those hoping Stockbridge might divide its City Council into districts will have to wait until at least 2020 to have that dream realized. The Council earlier this week voted 4-1 to continue using an at-large system for its members until at least the 2020 Census. City Attorney Mike Williams argued it’s better to wait and draw up-to-date...
Atlanta State Farmers Market renovating to keep pace
 Georgia’s biggest farmer’s market is getting a multi-million dollar makeover that local officials hope will multiply foot traffic for the facility and bring jobs to Clayton County. The Atlanta State Farmers Market in Forest Park, which is just a stone’s throw away from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, is getting...

Posted: 5 days ago

Georgia’s biggest farmer’s market is getting a multi-million dollar makeover that local officials hope will multiply foot traffic for the facility and bring jobs to Clayton County. The Atlanta State Farmers Market in Forest Park, which is just a stone’s throw away from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, is getting...
Henry dedicates McDonough fire station for former commissioner
 Henry County dedicated a fire station in McDonough’s Kelleytown community for a former county commissioner who died earlier this year.  A bronze marker was placed on a wall at Fire Station No. 16 on Wednesday for Reid Bowman, who was District 4 Commissioner from 2007 to 2014. Bowman, who died in June, was instrumental in the construction...

Posted: 9 days ago

Henry County dedicated a fire station in McDonough’s Kelleytown community for a former county commissioner who died earlier this year.  A bronze marker was placed on a wall at Fire Station No. 16 on Wednesday for Reid Bowman, who was District 4 Commissioner from 2007 to 2014. Bowman, who died in June, was instrumental in the construction...
Clayton ethics task force to address accountability of officeholders
 UPDATE: Clayton County Schools Superintendent  Morcease Beasley, in an email Thursday, said, “The state Constitution outlines that the local Board of Education is responsible to adhering to rules and policies of the state Board of Education. There is currently no legal basis for a local Board of Education to yield its...

Posted: 9 days ago

UPDATE: Clayton County Schools Superintendent  Morcease Beasley, in an email Thursday, said, “The state Constitution outlines that the local Board of Education is responsible to adhering to rules and policies of the state Board of Education. There is currently no legal basis for a local Board of Education to yield its...
Stockbridge drops lawsuits in Eagle’s Landing cityhood fight
 Stockbridge on Friday dropped two pending lawsuits that were part of its fight over Eagle’s Landing cityhood. Voters on Nov. 6 overwhelming rejected a referendum sought by residents of Eagle’s Landing, a well-heeled community on the southern end of Stockbridge, to create their own city by de-annexing half of Stockbridge and pairing...

Posted: 15 days ago

Stockbridge on Friday dropped two pending lawsuits that were part of its fight over Eagle’s Landing cityhood. Voters on Nov. 6 overwhelming rejected a referendum sought by residents of Eagle’s Landing, a well-heeled community on the southern end of Stockbridge, to create their own city by de-annexing half of Stockbridge and pairing...
Henry commissioners approve $4 million expense to boost worker pay
 In an effort to retain police, firefighters and other government employees, Henry County commissioners approved pay raises this week for most of its 1,700 government workers. The decision comes as the southside county tries to keep pace with other municipalities across metro Atlanta — including Cobb, DeKalb and Clayton —...

Posted: 15 days ago

In an effort to retain police, firefighters and other government employees, Henry County commissioners approved pay raises this week for most of its 1,700 government workers. The decision comes as the southside county tries to keep pace with other municipalities across metro Atlanta — including Cobb, DeKalb and Clayton —...
Peachtree City considering growth options as it faces land crunch
 As Peachtree City gets set to turn 60 next year, the planned community in Fayette County faces a dilemma that even the best smart growth strategy may not be able to avoid. Forged from a patch of wilderness that the General Assembly chartered as a city in March 1959, the community over the decades created its own carefully crafted version...

Posted: 15 days ago

As Peachtree City gets set to turn 60 next year, the planned community in Fayette County faces a dilemma that even the best smart growth strategy may not be able to avoid. Forged from a patch of wilderness that the General Assembly chartered as a city in March 1959, the community over the decades created its own carefully crafted version...
Stockbridge spent more than $600,000 to defeat Eagle’s Landing cityhood
 Stockbridge officials spent more than $660,000 of taxpayer funds to beat back an attempt by the Eagle’s Landing community to break away and become its own city, financial records show. The majority of the money — almost $481,000 — was paid to law firms that represented Stockbridge in unsuccessful suits to keep the cityhood...

Posted: 17 days ago

Stockbridge officials spent more than $660,000 of taxpayer funds to beat back an attempt by the Eagle’s Landing community to break away and become its own city, financial records show. The majority of the money — almost $481,000 — was paid to law firms that represented Stockbridge in unsuccessful suits to keep the cityhood...
Former Hampton City Manager to appeal termination 
 Hampton’s former city manager Charles Coney, who was ousted from the post two weeks ago, will soon get a chance to challenge his termination. A special-called meeting set for Dec. 11 includes an appeal by Coney for the city manager position, which he lost Nov. 13 in a 4-3 vote by the Hampton City Council.  Mayor Steve Hutchison cast...

Posted: 18 days ago

Hampton’s former city manager Charles Coney, who was ousted from the post two weeks ago, will soon get a chance to challenge his termination. A special-called meeting set for Dec. 11 includes an appeal by Coney for the city manager position, which he lost Nov. 13 in a 4-3 vote by the Hampton City Council. Mayor Steve Hutchison cast...
Hampton City Council ousts city manager over budget 
 The city of Hampton on Tuesday ousted its city manager, Charles Coney, because of issues surrounding the Henry County community’s 2019 budget, according to Coney, whose rocky seven-month service to the city had become so toxic that his attorney had accompanied him to recent council meetings. After meeting in a closed-door session to...

1:27 PM Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

The city of Hampton on Tuesday ousted its city manager, Charles Coney, because of issues surrounding the Henry County community’s 2019 budget, according to Coney, whose rocky seven-month service to the city had become so toxic that his attorney had accompanied him to recent council meetings. After meeting in a closed-door session to...
Fulton midterm election turnout close to presidential levels
 Fulton County, Georgia’s largest, certified its election results on Tuesday. The county said  424,991 Fulton residents  voted in the mid-term, the largest midterm participation this century. That equaled a turnout of 60.4 percent of the voting-age population.  The numbers were led by early voting, which totaled 224,998, said Rick...

6:16 PM Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018

Fulton County, Georgia’s largest, certified its election results on Tuesday. The county said 424,991 Fulton residents voted in the mid-term, the largest midterm participation this century. That equaled a turnout of 60.4 percent of the voting-age population.  The numbers were led by early voting, which totaled 224,998, said Rick...