Opinion: Who best as Atlanta’s next mayor?

(AJC)

Voters in Atlanta face a problem. A good problem.

In this year’s election for mayor, they have the luxury of choosing from more than a half dozen well-qualified, competent and honest candidates. That alone is a sign of maturity for the city, an indication that it is producing quality leadership, in numbers, at a critical moment in its history.

The candidates, white and black, have all worked to build relationships across the boundaries that have long divided the city, and that in some ways still do. They — and we — haven’t “transcended race” as an issue, but each clearly intends to govern as the mayor of all of Atlanta, which goes a long way.

The field:

Vincent Fort, the longtime state senator, has been a powerful voice for the powerless in the Legislature, a place where such voices are rarely heard. However, when you vote for a mayor, you vote not for a cause but for a leader, someone who can bend a bureaucracy and council to his or her will. Those have not been Fort’s skillsets.

City Council member Mary Norwood is a great politician, in the best sense of the word. Through sincere outreach, she has built bridges to parts of Atlanta that some say should not be possible for someone of her background. And while some attack Norwood as a “closet Republican,” her years of service have earned her the right to be judged independently, on her own merits.

That said, I think Norwood has had trouble expressing a larger vision and sense of possibility that is needed if Atlanta’s next mayor is to take full advantage of the opportunity of this moment.

Council member Keisha Lance Bottoms also has a strong record of service, and the open support of Mayor Kasim Reed gives her a powerful political advantage. However, that comes with baggage in the form of a major procurement scandal now rocking City Hall. Reed has not been personally implicated, but it nonetheless occurred under his watch, with his people. Given all that we do not yet know, a fresh start with an administration less beholden to its predecessor seems wise.

When business consultant Peter Aman announced his candidacy, I was frankly dubious. He had served ably as chief operating officer for the city, but the transition from behind-the-scenes staff to politician is usually difficult, particularly for someone with zero name recognition. However, Aman’s performance during the campaign has largely resolved that concern, and he could make an excellent mayor.

Kwanza Hall has been an effective, diligent City Council member in a diverse and gentrifying district, and in many other mayoral cycles would be considered a frontrunner. But in this large field, he’s had trouble establishing an identity and agenda of his own. John Eaves, the former Fulton County commission chair, makes a strong case that the city needs an outsider and change agent, but other candidates are also equipped to play that role, with deeper knowledge of the city than Eaves demonstrates.

City Council President Ceasar Mitchell is well-prepared to be mayor, by nature and experience, and deserves credit for challenging the volatile Reed when others have balked at doing so. He speaks convincingly of his deep affection for the city, and would also do well as mayor.

My own choice, however, is former Council President Cathy Woolard. I’ve watched her for years, in a variety of leadership roles, and have always been impressed. Her combination of knowledge, integrity, dedication and vision gives her the potential be a stellar mayor of a city fully coming into its own.

Reader Comments 0

4366 comments
BPJ
BPJ

Can any of these commenters stay on topic?


Yes, Cathy Woolard is the best choice for mayor.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Christ on a pike, just read this down below:

Why do you think Bergdahl pleaded instead of a trial?

It was not due to his line about not getting a fair trail.

No, it was because of pressure to do so to avoid truths coming out in the trial.

unflattering truths to Obama and down the chain.

Right wingers. They'll believe ANYTHING.

ANY. THING.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Visual_Cortex 

I'm pretty sure space aliens prevented Bergdahl from testifying, to hide evidence of their existence! 

And, coincidently, I have the exact same amount of evidence that my theory is true!

Kamchak
Kamchak

The Koch brothers are Libertarians, not Republicans

A distinction without much difference at the ballot box on the national level.

TBS
TBS

@Kamchak


Yep.  A distinction in this case which means very little, if anything.  

I've posted the facts.  The ensuing spin will only get some folks dizzy however it wont change the facts. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@TBS

  While it is the third largest political party in the United States, it currently has no members in Congress or governorships. There are 511,277 voters registered as Libertarian in the 27 states that report Libertarian registration statistics and Washington, D.C.

TBS
TBS

@Philo_Farnsworth


Look it up Trollcephus.  Let us know what you find or not.  

Now troll along

YouLibs
YouLibs

Is this why they're trying so hard to tie Bergdhal to Obama?


"Delilia O’Malley tweeted to Trump: “‘When my brother was killed, Pres Bush listened while I screamed at him & then held me as I sobbed, you fat f***ing liar.”"

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

So Obama has no tie to Bergdahl???

He made the stoopid trade, Rose Garden, etc.

Duh.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Difficult to believe the Koch brothers wanted Pence, when Libertarians were asking him to pull his name from the ballot and join Gary Johnson on his ticket.

The Koch brothers are Libertarians, not Republicans.

According to Trump and progressives, Pence is a religious extremist. 

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@FIGMO2


Pence is a religious extremist by any objective measure, felicia.

TBS
TBS

@FIGMO2



Most Koch money goes to Republicans, yes even social conservatives.

They might call themselves Libertarians and I have no reason to believe they are not telling the truth but their money mostly goes to Republicans.  They seem to overlook those Libertarian leanings as long as they think the Republican(s) will push their economic agenda and narrative. 

So not difficult to believe at all. Even Stevie Wonder can see it.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@TBS @FIGMO2

That's because we're committed to a two-party system. Third-party candidates are destined to lose.

Therein lies the shame of it all.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@FIGMO2 

Perhaps the Kochs give money to socially conservative Republicans because "half a loaf is better that none."

TBS
TBS

@FIGMO2 @TBS


Spin it all you like.  Koch's give their money mostly to Rs.  You can call them what you want and they can call themselves what they want but their money goes to Rs.

And Pence has been a huge recipient of their donations.

Those are the facts.  It is no surprise they would and do back a Pence and other social conservatives / extremists. 

I could see where you might be surprised but not most others using common sense

rimsky2
rimsky2

@Kamchak Those balls are awfully tiny and hard to find.  LOLOL

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Just so it's clear.

No "fake news" (WaPo, CBS), and Marino is our Drug Czar.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Guess I won't hold my breath waiting for DJT to thank the "fake news."

TBS
TBS

@Visual_Cortex


Well if Marino was vetted then the "fake news" story comes as no surprise to Trump and his advisers.  It's the backlash of the story that lead to Marino backing out. (Translation -being told to withdrawal)

No story and he is still the nominee at this very moment. 

Peachs
Peachs

Judge shopping is a bit like gerrymandering! You stop extreme gerrymandering and judge shopping by definition will stop too since it mainly is done to escape extreme politics.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Just a note in case some may not be aware - SirusXM.

My truck is to renew on Sirus in December and the rate was $68 more for the same service that renewed in Mrs Reb's vehicle last month.

I called Sirus complaining, they gave me a one year deal of $88 for the same service.

Don't just pay, call them.

TBS
TBS

@JohnnyReb


They don't want to lose you as a customer but they are betting most people will just renew and be done with it.  Might not be a great deal but phone, internet, cable companies will also usually do something better than just the stated renewal rate. 

gadem
gadem

@JohnnyReb they gave me a special of $52 until February....but for 6 months. Do they pull numbers out of their @$$?

TBS
TBS

@gadem @JohnnyReb


I'm guessing that promos change all the time plus they might take into account how long you have been a customer and how many users you have on that account.  And throw in some leeway they most likely give the person on the phone to pull a rate out of their backside and the prices are all over the place. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Yes, we've tussled with DirecTV to good effect several times over the years.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@JohnnyReb


Don't forget, Lil J - Howard Stern is doing "C(o)cktober" all month long.  I think you'll enjoy it immensely.

Peachs
Peachs

Pence got written up in an article this weekend. Apparently even Trump makes fun of his religious stances.

Pence was broke and crashing as a governor chasing business out of the state, but the Kochs wanted him as VP. Trump didn’t.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Peachs

Gullible is your middle name, has to be.

The prerequisite for a Trump VP was someone that agreed with his views and could handle Trump's personality.

Not the Koch money.