Year in review: Highs and lows of 2013 for Atlanta’s mayor | www.myajc.com

30
Dec

Year in review: Highs and lows of 2013 for Atlanta’s mayor | www.myajc.com

HIGHS

Elections: After barely winning his first term against challenger Mary Norwood in 2009, Reed had few serious challengers in his second bid for mayor and sailed to victory this fall with 86 percent of the vote. He also backed a number of candidates who were re-elected to the City Council and Atlanta school board. The elections weren’t entirely rosy for Reed, who also saw a few of his picks lose key races, but more on that later.

Atlanta Falcons stadium: Reed took on the controversial Falcons stadium issue, pushing legislation to approve $200 million in bonds backed by hotel-motel taxes for the construction of the $1.2 billion arena. In the deal, Reed also negotiated a commitment from Falcons owner Arthur Blank to finance up to $70 million in infrastructure improvements. He then successfully secured the stadium on his preferred site, located near Northside and Martin Luther King drives, despite the team indicating a preference for a northern location.

LOWS

 

Elections: Reed pumped thousands of dollars into the toughest races on the City Council and school board with little return.

 

The mayor was a strong advocate of Councilman Aaron Watson and embattled Councilman H. Lamar Willis, an attorney who was disbarred this year after depositing funds intended for a client into his own banking account. Both lost their seats in the election — Watson to Reed’s former challenger, Norwood, and Willis to newcomer Andre Dickens, a Shirley Franklin ally. Reed also spent thousands in a failed attempt to oust District 9 Councilwoman Felicia Moore with political unknown Ricardo Mosby.

 

Reed, who donated at least $75,000 to a Super PAC also backed by local CEOs to shape election outcomes, saw a couple of preferred candidates for the school board lose election bids this fall — Brenda Muhammad and board Chairman Reuben McDaniel. It’s too early to tell how well the new board — on which six of nine members will be new — will work with the mayor.

 

The Atlanta Braves: Reed has said the team’s departure for Cobb County isn’t a loss for Atlanta, but it surely isn’t a win. The Braves were in talks with city officials for a year and a half over Turner Field lease renewal and redevelopment efforts when the team announced a $672 million deal with Cobb. Reed said the city couldn’t afford more than $150 million to $250 million the Braves wanted in improvements. A review of hundreds of emails, and interviews with city and Braves officials, makes two points clear: The team wanted more attention from City Hall, especially as the Falcons stadium deal progressed, and the Braves and city officials clashed over how much control the baseball club could have in redeveloping land around Turner Field because of conflict of interest laws.

 

via Year in review: Highs and lows of 2013 for Atlanta’s mayor | www.myajc.com.

Comments ( 0 )