Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mayoral update - I am not a fan of Mary Norwood

Mary Norwood has a poll out showing a massive lead in the mayor's race:
The poll shows Norwood is favored by 39 percent of city voters, state Sen. Kasim Reed (D-Atlanta) finished second with 9 percent, city Councilman Ceasar Mitchell was third with 7 percent of the vote and attorney Jesse Spikes was fourth with 1 percent.
Huge caveat - this really just measures name ID. For example:
[Reed] Campaign officials noted Franklin trailed then-City Council President Robb Pitts by a 38-16 margin in one poll eights months before she won the 2001 mayoral election.
I'm still hoping that some more candidates jump into the race. Honestly, the thought of Mary Norwood as mayor is kind of scary. I don't think she would be a bad mayor, per se. But her time as a council member seems to be me to have been mostly about getting attention with whatever the cause du jour is. I'm not really sure what her actual vision for the city is, what her driving principles are.

Among the ideas she has proposed that seemed to display a bit of a tin ear and opportunistic streak:
  • A moratorium on infill houses in only well to do east and north side neighborhoods. Predictably, west side councilmembers pitched a fit and the moratorium was lifted.
  • Making it illegal to build high rises which blocked views of resident in neighboring buildings. Never mind that it would essentially stop new development...
  • Blaming an increase in crime on the mayor's furloughs. Seriously, the causes of crime go way beyond how many police officers are on the street, and started years before the furloughs. But hey, it makes good news copy.
I'm not saying she hasn't accomplished anything, but her bio has lots of phrases like worked with, recognized, advocated, surveyed, and realized. Words that are rather vague and ill defined, and rely entirely too much on things other people have done.

I also don't thinks she could be a mayor for the entire city. She has focused her City Council career on the concerns of east and north side neighborhoods and high-rise Midtown residents. While she sees herself as Atlanta's post-racial Obama figure, I'm not sure that the rest of Atlanta will agree with her. I don't think she comes across as genuine when it comes to issues outside the natural constituencies mentioned.

I'm probably being quite unfair to Mary Norwood, and I'm going to try and keep an open mind. Ha, obviously I have a lot of work to do! She just rubs me the wrong way, I guess.


  1. Mary has expressed a lot of concern for neighborhoods on the westside. As a resident of Vine City I barely saw Ivory Young doing anything for the people. But I saw Mary norwood actually helping with the cleanup. Mary is a regular at several westside establishments and holds town hall style meetings all across our great city. The one thing Mary does not support is the big developers. Kasim represents the big developers as an attorney. Lisa Borders works for the big developers......they both sound like Shirley and Campbell to me. Furthermore, Kasim just moved into the City of Atlanta less than 2 years ago. Lisa has dropped out of the race once before, what makes you think she won't drop out of the mayoral position as mayor. Unfortunately the big developers have left nothing but GHETTOS IN THE SKY for midtown and Buckhead. The condo market is so saturated that prices have dropped to less than 50k in some buildings (1280 west peachtree) in the midtown area. We do not need anymore condos. We need to fill what we have.

  2. Clearly you don't read this blog regularly - we LOVE big developers!

    Ok, that was a bit of hyperbole, but I have no problem with big developers in general, although I am quite critical of various projects.

    I'm trying to keep an open mind on Mary Norwood, but Atlanta needs to grow in smart ways, and I'm not sure how you can do that without a certain amount of 'big developers' doing big projects in town.


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