OK, this is inside baseball for City Hall-o-philes, but I wanted to comment — and solicit same — on the 2012 committee appointments (PDF) recently announced by Council Prez Ceasar Mitchell, because some of them struck me as odd.
Granted, most people, and about half the chairmen, will remain in place from this year, but the result is, IMHO, something of an inverted picture of who're the most effective city elected officials. In fact, it would seem that some of the more combative, argumentative and cantankerous people have been elected to chairman status.
Exhibit A: We now have two CPAs and a Wharton MBA on the Council, yet Finance/Executive — the single most important committee, especially for a city with Atlanta's troubled accounting history — will soon be headed by Felicia Moore, whose main qualification for the job is that she sees herself as a budget watchdog. Two other important committees, Utilities and Transportation, are chaired by Natalyn Archibong and C.T. Martin, respectively.
Without getting too deep into personalities, I will simply point out that the above three folks are ones not generally known for playing well with others or building consensus through reasoned discourse. That said, there could be several strategies behind Mitchell's choices.
One could be that, while these people often act as antagonists and name-callers as mere committee members, being in the position of actually leading a meeting forces them to behave. It's been known to happen.
Another, less likely, possibility is that Mitchell is trying to neutralize potential rivals — Aaron Watson, maybe? — by denying them the higher profile afforded by a chairmanship. Or, it's a function of payback: During the pension debates, then-Finance/Exec. Chairwoman Yolanda Adrean butted heads with Mitchell over his proposal to stretch discussions out over several months. Now, she's been busted down to chair of the Committee on Council, which has little influence on public policy.
Finally, and this is not so far-fetched, is that he has made a point of appointing committee chairs who have uneven relations with Mayor Kasim Reed. Case in point: Michael Bond, who'll soon be heading Public Safety, has been top of the mayor's shit list since criticizing the city's handling of the Occupy Atlanta protests. The rougher Reed's next two years turn out to be, the better Mitchell's own chances to replace him as mayor.
"That's a coincidence," Mitchell says of his arguably anti-Kasim picks. He likewise says he didn't boot Adrean off Finance/Exec. as a punitive measure. "I have no problem with Yolanda," he says.
While he concedes that some of his choices might not be the obvious ones to outside spectators, Mitchell predicts: "You might be pleasantly surprised."
There is that chance.
Wait did did you get the Christmas gifts or not yet? Writing about gun control…
Funny and interesting. Thanks.
"Stadium Love" - Metric
Ben Palmer is a funny dude. I'm saving up to buy his book someday.
Some call it poverty - others call it a simpler life.
you're soooo edgy jr.