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SEPT. 19 — OCT. 2, 2014 • VOL. 8 — NO. 19

A green flash on the field

PAGES 13-28

History Center renovates to make the past ‘not boring’ BY JOE EARLE

joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

PHIL MOSIER

Copeland Stukes, right, a member of the Green Rockets soccer team, maintains control down the field as Hammie Shiver, left, a member of the Cheetahs, defends, during the first league game at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church on Sept. 13. The Cheetahs won 4-0.

Fulton tax commissioner says he’s just doing his job, offers no apology for his salary

They want more company. To show it, they’re getting a new front door. And a lot more. The Atlanta History Center has begun a dramatic renovation of its West Paces Ferry Road facilities that will create a new entrance for its museum building, a new display of Atlanta history, add an historic log cabin to its collection, and, if the city of Atlanta signs off, could provide a new home for the historic Cyclorama painting. The center plans to bring more than $50 million worth of construction projects and new programs to its Buckhead campus over the next few years. “It’s definitely an exciting time,” History Center Vice President Hillary Hardwick said. “It’s a great time for Atlanta and it’s a great time for the Atlanta History Center. We used to say we were one of Atlanta’s best kept secrets -- and we didn’t say that proudly. We want to open up.” The $21 million construction project now under way will provide a new entry drive off West Paces Ferry, move the front of building closer to the street, create a new entry façade for the museum, double the size of the building’s atrium, add a central hallway connectSEE BEST, PAGE 8

BY COLLIN KELLEY Fulton County Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand has faced – in his estimation – 1,000 lawsuits since he took the job in 1997. Those lawsuits have come from disgruntled residents, the county and the municipalities he serves, while lawmakers have tried unsuccessfully to curb Ferdinand’s unorthodox – but completely legal – pocketing of money from selling off liens on delinquent properties. That process has made him the highest paid elected official in the state. Ferdinand, a native of Trinidad and former executive

at IBM, is unapologetic. “If I do more work, I should be compensated,” he said, noting that he also handles tax collection for the city of Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek and Chattahoochee Hills. “I don’t apologize for it one bit.” Ferdinand gave a wide-reaching talk and answered questions at the Sept. 11 Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting. The tax commissioner’s name has come up numerous times during recent BCN meetings, mainly stemming from his salary. SEE FULTON, PAGE 4

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Atlanta History Center President and CEO Sheffield Hale tours the construction.

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09-19-2014 Buckhead Reporter  
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