Power Breakfast: Recession causes county tax chief to quit, Atlanta schools, Chick-fil-A, Delta, union fights

This economy has been tough to deal with for many people on many levels.

Now comes AJC reporter Jeffry Scott, who writes the following beginning to a compelling story:

Acid reflux gnawed at David Fields’ gut. Sleep came in fits. The waking hours were worse, as he battled depression with medications.

Inevitably, the antidepressants failed to temper the toll taken by a job he once loved and now feared would kill him: Cherokee County tax commissioner.

“My doctor told me, ‘If you don’t quit, you’re going to have a stroke or heart attack,’ ” Fields said Monday, explaining why, after 28 years, he resigned from his post with two years left on his term.

Fields, 62, became a poignant reminder of the housing bust’s impact on thousands of lives across metro Atlanta, where almost 100,000 properties were foreclosed on in 2010. Property owners are not the only ones hurt; so are people, such as Fields, at the end of a ruinous process set in motion by recession.

“I was foreclosing on the homes of people I have known my entire life,” Fields said Monday, two weeks after he walked away from his job but still carrying its burden. “I tried to do all I could to help them. But there’s only so much you can do. Your job is to collect taxes.”

Also in the AJC:

In other media:

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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February 22nd, 2011
10:03 am

A tax collector with a conscience. Great! I’m sure he is set for life after 28 years though. More power to him. Good luck and best wishes.

Bush and Obama should have collaborated when this crisis first hit to alter the foreclosure process. It hurts us all.

mo for sho

February 22nd, 2011
10:04 pm

he’ll retire, collect on some obscene government pension and get some consulting gig in the mortgage industry, ripping off more people–mark it down.


February 24th, 2011
8:00 am

when working people get tired of letting big-brains run their lives – stress will take a second seat to justice.

we are remiss by not making wall street and the other money mongers pay for the predicament we are all in. they got richer while they raped this country of its dignity, its resources – both natural and human and now the burden is on the backs of american people…those that broke their back to make this country now have the responsibility to fix it.

i don’t blame the obama administration…i blame the voters who allow the politicians who are for big business and not you to be elected because you don’t see the value in your vote…yes people – it boils down to one simple thing…your right to vote…because that determines whose in office, how much can be charged by public service commissions on utilities, etc. your voice is for more than hollering at your wife, girlfriend, kids and husbands…holler at the politician and work to change the policies that keep you hostage to a job that may not be there tomorrow!