In Milton, swipes are common.
By DOUG NURSE , MARY MACDONALD The Atlantna Journal-ConstitutionPublished on: 11/01/07
Tuesday's municipal elections on the Northside could serve as a case study of contrasts.
In Johns Creek, the campaigning for two contested City Council posts is so low-key that people might be wondering if an election is being held.
In Milton, the campaigns for three seats have been vitriolic and bare-knuckled.
Alpharetta's sole contested race is somewhere in between. And Sandy Springs' one race has been gentle and polite.
Johns Creek has Post 2 up for grabs with incumbent Dan McCabe facing challenger Michael Barker, and Post 4 incumbent Ivan Figueroa taking on Stephen Becker.
"There are a few campaign signs out, but that's about it," said Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker. "There hasn't been any real campaigning to speak of. I'm not sure people even know there's an election."
Milton voters have been inundated with attack mail pieces and swirling e-mails filled with innuendo. Virtually all of the six candidates are claiming their opponents are misrepresenting their positions, and each campaign is clamoring to be heard over the din. Three candidates – Post 2 incumbent Julie Zahner Bailey, Post 4 challenger Burt Hewitt and Post 6 challenger Alan Tart – are aligned on one side, while Post 2 challenger Roger Santi, Post 4 incumbent Neal O'Brien and Post 6 incumbent Rick Mohrig are on the other.
"My mother taught me that if I can't say anything nice not to say anything at all," said Councilwoman Karen Thurman. "I'll be glad when it's over and we can concentrate on the business of the city."
In Alpharetta, the two candidates for Post 4 – incumbent Debbie Gibson and challenger Cheryl Oakes – have been jostling each other in mailings, Web sites and e-mails, but it hasn't been quite as harsh as Milton's races. "Between the candidates, it's been fairly civil," said City Councilman John Monson. "We've seen lots worse."
For the most part, the campaigns have been civil, and the races seem low-key.
Roswell, Sandy Springs and the tiny city of Mountain Park also have competitive municipal elections this year.
In Sandy Springs, four candidates are running for an unexpected opening on the City Council. At a candidate forum Sunday, sponsored by the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods, candidates tackled questions on subjects ranging from the ongoing drought to a location for a dog park.
Development, and redevelopment, in and around existing neighborhoods seems to be the hot topic.
"The developers should take direction from the city; not the other way around," said one Sandy Springs candidate, Elizabeth Huffner.
The polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.