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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Atlanta Mayor Hopefuls Face Unfinished Vote, Deficit

The Mayoral runoff in ATL was held on Dec. 1st. It appears that the race still hasn't been decided:
Atlanta counted the last ballots today in a tight mayoral election while the leader, former state lawmaker Kasim Reed, sought ways to pay for promised services in a city facing budget deficits.

Reed got 50.4 percent of the votes cast in a Dec. 1 runoff to lead Councilwoman Mary Norwood by 620 of the 84,076 ballots, the Fulton County, Georgia, elections office said. The outcome won’t be final until provisional ballots are counted today and results are certified Dec. 5. Norwood wants a recount.

Both Reed, 40, and Norwood, 57, promised to restore police, fire and other services cut by the current mayor to close a $140 million gap in this year’s budget. Atlanta’s revenue has grown by half the pace of spending in the last five years as the U.S. entered the worst recession since the Great Depression.

“Whoever is elected isn’t going to do a whole lot because they won’t have the money,” said Michael Owens, a political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta. “It’s going to require a high degree of savvy and policy skill to address the core problems.”
So why do I care? I don't call ATL home.

Well I spent a lot of time there as a student at Morehouse College. Not only that in the lead up to this race it was a real concerned among the black community there about having a non-Black as mayor. There has been a Black as Mayor of the city since Maynard Jackson in the early 1970s.

The chatter I have seen down there in media stories almost resemble how the black community was regarding either the Mayor's office in Chicago or currently the County Board Presidency. I have my doubts that the current Pres. Todd Stroger is either going to be re-elected or is the best person to continue in that position. When he ran the first time (after being appointed by Cook County Demorats upon the incapacitation of his father who also was Cook County Board President) I never thought he was the best person. Unfortunately race and family ties prevailed.

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