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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mayoral candidate Al Bartell: Reed 'hijacked' City Council for budget process

  • Courtesy Al Bartell
Mayoral candidate Al Bartell seems to have ramped up his tiny campaign months after quietly announcing he'll challenge Kasim Reed in this November's city elections.

In a press release, the public policy activist announced a last-minute press conference at City Hall yesterday. He also lashed out at Mayor "King Kasim" Reed for "hijacking" the Atlanta City Council. According to his press statement:

Bartell will also call for the Atlanta Mayor to cease political blackmail tactics, he says, Reed has been brazenly using on Atlanta City Council members. According to Bartell, Mayor Reed has been "hi-jacking" the Council to sway their votes on passage of critical legislation in the City of Atlanta, now to include the 2014 Atlanta City Budget.

"King Kasim's" imperialism tactics have barred true engagement from happening, particularly with the city's employees, throughout the City's 2014 budget processes," asserts the seasoned Bartell, a frequent visitor to City Council Finance Committee and Full Council meetings. "Our first responders deserve a raise, not disrespect for their critical services, and the money is available to pay all employees more!"

We didn't make it to his presser, unfortunately. But during public comment at yesterday's Council meeting, Bartell continued blasting the budget process:

The budget has been hijacked and is now being used as a political marketing strategy for the mayor of this city. The budget process being hijacked has put small business leaders against corporations; has put city first responders against rank-and-file-employees; has put faith, community, and neighborhood leaders against lobbyists and special interest groups. This council has the process management ability to neutral the mayor's political marketing strategy and approve a reliable city budget that we can be proud of.

At the moment, Bartell and Paul Luna lead a cast of underdog candidates against well-funded and ├╝ber-connected Reed for the 2013 mayoral election. Reed, who has a war chest of nearly $1.5 million, remains the clear frontrunner in the race. But anything can happen, right?

CL has sent a line to Bartell, and we'll post an update if we hear back. One Fresh Loaf commenter, however, has confirmed that "Bartell for Mayor" signs are now a thing that exists.

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