Friday, April 3, 2009

Mayoral race starts getting serious

Man, the mayoral race is a lot to keep with. Lisa Borders is in. Ceasar Mitchell is likely out. Kasim Reed is pulling double duty at the senate and on the campaign trail, negotiating transportation funds by day and dissing casinos by night. For me, the real interest in that last story is that Mary Norwood says that Police Chief Richard Pennington must go:
City Councilwoman Mary Norwood and Glenn Thomas, a former budget manager for the police department, said “no” when asked about keeping Pennington at a candidates’ forum, organized by Newsmakers Live at the Uptown Restaurant and Lounge in downtown Atlanta.

The two other candidates at the forum, state Sen. Kasim Reed (D-Atlanta) and attorney Jesse Spikes, said they would have an open process to determine who they would hire as chief.
I can't believe I agree with Mary Norwood, but I think step one for the APD is getting rid of Pennington. No need for a rant - just read up on my previous posts here.

On a slightly related note, I'll surprise myself further and say something nice about Kasim Reed. I said I was trying to keep an open mind.

I was talking with el hermano tonight about the constant abuse many Atlanta residents feel they take from the state government and from various counties. It does get old. Folks have been running against "those Atlanta libruls" for as long as I can remember, and I don't think it'll change any time soon. However, the city has at times had a much better relationship with the actual decision makers at the Capitol. Kasim Reed might be a chance to improve our relations with the GOP.

From what I remember, Kasim Reed has a very good working relationship with Sen. Eric Johnson and GOP leadership. He has successfully worked to pass a number bills important to the city, and has done so with the hystrionics typical of some legislators eyeing a city council position. Perhaps you noticed above that he was included in the Senate conference committee on the competing transportation tax bills?

If nothing else, I think Kasim Reed has been an excellent senator. I kind of wish he'd stay in the senate for this reason, but who would want to constantly be in the minority party getting kicked around all day? Hard to begrudge a man wanting to take his shot at a better gig.

So, if a better working relationship with the state is something you are interested in for the next mayor, Reed might be able to deliver. He's certainly in a better position to deliver on that than any of the other candidates, seeing as he's worked with a few of the major GOP candidates for Gov. and Lt. Gov.

1 comment:

  1. In my former home of Cincinnati, a state senator (albeit one with a long political heritage in the city) became mayor in 2005. He's not been perfect, but on balance I do believe he's done more good than bad. Perhaps this is the key for Sen. Reed - contact Mayor Mark Mallory of Cincinnati and pick his brain.



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