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Letters to the editor 

Phooey on CL's endorsements

While I take no exception with your endorsement in the [Atlanta City Council] Post 1 race (News & Views, "Vote this way," Oct. 27), I do protest the statements you made about me as a candidate and I find it interesting you never mention the fact that the 150-plus citizens who attended [CL's Political Party] clearly did NOT identify Ceasar Mitchell as a candidate they strongly support, as evidenced by the majority who hissed and booed him several times. Clearly the incumbent (and possibly your paper) is out of touch with the community and the will of the people.

Had you been paying closer attention to my campaign, you would know that I have offered workable solutions to many problems facing Atlanta, particularly surrounding public safety, affordable housing and economic development. Additionally, my education and experience makes me a much stronger resource for citizens than the incumbent.

My vision for Atlanta is clear: "Lower the tax burden for Atlanta citizens, deliver services with excellence, even the playing field for all business to have equal access and opportunity to participate in government contracting (ending the long history of cronyism and backroom dealing), eliminate wasteful spending, promote smart growth development in our communities, and allow citizens meaningful opportunities to participate in government."

Lastly, as to my position on "privatization": "Basic economics gives evidence that no business entity should be able to provide a government service for less money since government has no need to build in a profit margin." Therefore, it is imperative to re-engineer government practices to deliver services with excellence and efficiency.

-- Dwanda Farmer, Atlanta

I recently read CL's endorsements for Atlanta City Council and am disappointed in a few of them. But one in particular upsets me the most. The District 4 race, which has drawn the most challengers for an incumbent than any other race, was given the least coverage and was misrepresented.

I am not only a resident of District 4, but I am also managing the campaign of Kevin Edwards. Edwards has raised just as much campaign money as Cleta Winslow or any other challenger in this race (more than $40,000). He has the endorsement of several neighborhood and community activists. He has been campaigning for seven months, sent two district-wide mailings, knocked on hundreds of doors, and made thousands of phone calls.

The idea that there will be a split vote is ridiculous at best and naive at worst. No Cleta Winslow challenger, for the past eight years, has been able to mount a serious campaign against her. That has resulted in the "anti-Cleta" vote being split. No such split will occur this year. This year, Cleta Winslow is campaigning harder than she ever has. And that is a direct result of the challenge Kevin Edwards is posing.

I would have hoped to at least have gotten a courtesy call about the story so that we could have told you the great things that are going on in our race. I'm not sure what information you received that led you to believe that the District 4 race is tilting in Cleta's favor. The information you received was inaccurate.

-- Rashad Taylor

Shame, shame, shame! I am so disappointed in your endorsement of Kwanza Hall in the District 2 City Council race.

First you say both candidates "are superbly qualified." Then you go on to say you'd "hoped to see a little more independent vision" from candidate Hall and add that you'd "like more assurance that he'd be an independent voice" with regard to his "strong rapport with Mayor Franklin."

Yet, with all of these reservations, do you dare to think outside the box and endorse both "superbly qualified" candidates? No.

Instead you are duped by Hall's cunning ways. Although he states on his website that he "attended" MIT, you somehow conclude he is an MIT graduate, which he is not. Perhaps it really is just the mistake of two fine journalists, but I'd venture to say Hall has done everything within his power to imply that he actually graduated from MIT.

Seems to me Hall's "skills of persuasion" are so brilliant that they completely blinded your endorsement committee. In the end, you try to have it both ways.

Regarding the District 6 race, you write "there's a difference between ally and lackey." One of your many reasons for rightly endorsing Steve Brodie over Anne Fauver. You also wisely acknowledge that "a Council member's best leverage actually comes from knowing how to use power, not from kowtowing to city officials." Yet in the District 2 race you totally go against your gut feeling of Al Caproni being the candidate "more likely to challenge the mayor with alternative points of view" and instead endorse Hall, the candidate most likely to lead the mayor's "nod squad" for the next four years.

You got it right when you wrote "a Council member's most important relationships should be with the people he or she represents." Unfortunately, all indications are Hall's most important relationship thus far is with the mayor and her vast group of wealthy supporters. I guess if he manages to get elected, we'll just have to wait and see if he remembers the people he represents.

-- Elaine Widner, Atlanta

You had in the article [about the race for Mayor Franklin's seat] that "she faces three 'token' opponents."

I am not a token opponent. I paid the qualifying fee -- approximately $4,300 out of my own pocket -- and I am a candidate for mayor. Not a token opponent.

I have some very good ideas for the city: Put GPS in police cars and have the 911 give "estimated wait times"; have the city become a natural gas provider, take out the profit margin and reduce citizens' gas bills; synchronize traffic lights; rework the city's work order system to increase efficiency of city deliverables; engage the young, unemployed work force with recycling projects and start-up businesses; institute a city business code of conduct; do smart things; "Practical solutions for the Common Good" is my slogan; and put borrow-and-spend projects on the back burner for two or three years to get the city "tuned up" and positioned for growth.

-- Glenn Wrightson, candidate for mayor

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