Decatur Commission to Vote In New Mayor/Mayor Pro-Tem This Evening

It’s a light serving of Decatur City Commission-ness to start the year this evening, as the four remaining members of the commission will vote one of their own into the mayor’s seat while another will receive the mouthful title “Mayor Pro-Tem”.   There can be only one!

Other than that, they’ll be giving an alcoholic beverage license to Chai Pani and appoint the city attorney, municipal judges and commission/board seats.  Annnd, that’s about it.  Don’t forget, you can always watch the drama unfold over on the city’s website.

Wait, does Decatur technically have a mayor right now??   (Decatur Metro, asking the questions you don’t care about – and ending sentences with prepositions.  Since 2007!)

23 thoughts on “Decatur Commission to Vote In New Mayor/Mayor Pro-Tem This Evening”


    1. You have to marvel at DeKalb at this point. Former CEO about to go on trial, and now a search warrant is served on the current CEO’s home while he’s out testifying before a grand jury. It’s as if they are trying to make the notoriously corrupt Chicago pols look honest by comparison.

          1. You weren’t far off. Vernon has been investigated for varoius crimes, but has managed to avoid indictment.

  1. There will also be a short presentation at tonight’s Commission meeting about the Decatur Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project taking place Jan. 19-21. This is the 11th year that volunteers will do home repairs and yard work for Decatur’s senior citizens. Visit http://www.decaturga.com/mlk for more information.

  2. We all want to encourage the commissioners to carefully consider who’ll best represent us as mayor, right? So, in the short time left, why not offer up how we see things and maybe suggest who we think would be the best fit for the job? I’ll go first:

    To me, Decatur over the past year and a half or so has slowly but surely become a less enjoyable place to live. While our physical surroundings and amenities are steadily improving, our sense of community seems to be rapidly diminishing. Not only are we struggling with the widening Two Decaturs divide, but we’re practically shoving our nearby Dekalb neighbors away with the snooty “30030 is all that matters” vibe that’s quickly becoming the norm. Unless a majority of Decatur folks like the direction we’re headed in, we need to act to turn things around before most of our wonderful Mayberry like qualities slip away for good. The next mayor will set the tone for how we’re perceived. We also need someone who’ll commit to building alliances with Dekalb and who can quickly earn respect within the metro government arena. I’d like for the next mayor to be a person who’s actively participated within their commission district, conveyed a genuine interest in all parts of Decatur, and clearly demonstrated he or she treats everyone who comes before the City Commission with respect.

    My choice would be Fred Boykin or Patti Garrett. They’re the best fit for what I believe we need right now. I also greatly appreciate the interest and concern they’ve shown for the Decatur Heights neighborhood. Fred’s been on solo duty for years in looking after us, and Patti’s tucked us under her wing as far as monitoring our street improvement projects. (And AHID, they both regularly bike over here too!)

    Our commissioners all do a commendable job and have earned the right to step into the job of mayor, free of comparisons. It’ll be interesting to see what unique qualities our next mayor will bring to the position. We also need to keep in mind that our commissioners serve out of love for Decatur while balancing busy lives. Big thanks to all of them for taking on such big responsibilities and for doing their best to make the right decisions.

    1. Sorry Deanne, but its going to go purely based on seniority. It’s the way it’s always been done and the way it will go tonight.

  3. Informal poll..What do you view as the mayor’s top 3 challenges? I’ll give my simple 3.

    1. Balancing goals of tax base growth plans with city services and partnerships. While this is longer term, do we want to annex to Stone Mountain…if so, why and how does it define us?

    2. Working with school board on growth and planning for enrollment. I live where there are a ton of toddlers around. It seems like overflow might be an issue soon.

    3. Setting the vision. Keep it simple, crisp, and something that carries on the legacy and spirit of the city. We need look closely at future plans and if those visions are the right ones. There is over a century of roots in all kinds of directions. What do we want our path to be through 2015 and, dare I say, 2020! Wow.

    1. Adding my congrats to Jim Baskett and Kecia Cunningham. They’ll do a fine job.

      (And if they can keep all meetings to 23 minutes, they’ll really be rockin’ it! :0)

  4. Perhaps its time for Decatur to have an elected mayor? Discuss amongst yourselves. Although, I certainly think Jim will do a fine job.

    1. Bill Floyd tried to advance that idea but, now that he’s gone, it’s likely dead-on-the-vine for the foreseeable future. Such a change needs a champion to build the necessary will and I just don’t see one materializing any time soon.

      1. I don’t know why any citizens would be opposed to this idea, and considering polls upon polls, and requests for input on everything else, why not this matter?

        Do you want to elect the mayor? Y/N

        Not that difficult 🙂

        1. I’m surprised to be on this side of the issue… but I think our current model of representation contributes to the effectiveness of our city’s government and I would prefer we not go to popular vote for mayor.

          Our mayor’s role is not a traditional executive, operational role like Atlanta or Dekalb. Rather the role is more akin to a chairman of the board. He is the leader of the city council, not the head of an executive/operational branch. (This role is played very well by our professional city manager, whose contract is managed by the council.)

          Having the mayor selected by the council from among their own yields a selection that the council is more likely to align behind. A direct mayoral election is likely to be more of a popularity contest than an informed selection of the most capable leader for the council. This is more likely to yield unproductive conflict as individuals wrestle for power instead of coalescing as a team.

          Now… If I could only think of some local examples of this dynamic where the council and the executive branches bicker and fight without addressing constituents’ needs… 😉

  5. I think the analysis by Pierce of why it makes sense for the Mayor to be selected each year by the elected commissioners has lot of merit, and it has worked well for Decatur. Also, Mary’s comment that is has always been based on seniority is not accurate. Several of the most recent Mayors did not have seniority on the commission when selected.

    1. Several of the most recent mayors? I guess I just don’t go that far back Walt. Just out of curiosity can you give us some examples? I can probably speak for 75% of Decatur in saying we have not experienced any mayors other than Bill Floyd and Elizabeth Wilson.

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