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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Candidates Who Stuck Together Appear To Win In Milton

By DOUG NURSE The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionPublished on: 11/07/07


Milton voters on Tuesday appeared to elect a de facto three-candidate ticket by an overwhelming margin.
Unofficial returns showed Post 2 incumbent Councilwoman Julie Zahner Bailey, Post 4 challenger Burt Hewitt, and Post 6 challenger Alan Tart winning in Milton's first full-term election.
RELATED LINK:• Fulton County results
With partial results counted, Zahner Bailey was crushing challenger Roger Santi 62 to 38 percent; Hewitt was similarly hammering incumbent Post 4 Neal O'Brien 60 to 40 percent; and Tart appeared to have steamrolled Post 6 incumbent Rick Mohrig 55 to 45 percent.
"I'm riding a cloud right now," Tart said Tuesday night. "I can't say I was worried, but there were specific times when I was stressed. I don't deny that Julie, Bert and I ran on an equal platform, but I don't know that all the credit goes to Julie, Bert or me. We each had a good following."
As the campaigns progressed two unofficial tickets emerged. Where you saw campaign signs for one, you were likely to see signs for the other two. Santi, O'Brien and Mohrig are all using the same consultant, Rusty Paul of Sandy Springs.
On the surface, there didn't seem to be much difference between the candidates. They were all against sewer. They didn't favor density. They all wanted more parks and recreation. They all pledged to be fiscally conservative. Nobody supported tax increases. All promised to let the comprehensive plan guide their rezoning decisions.
The central issue was more about a lack of trust about who would best protect the city from overdevelopment.
On one side, the Bailey-Hewitt-Tart campaigns and partisans said the Santi-O'Brien-Mohrig ticket couldn't be trusted not to allow sewer and its accompanying density, pointing to developer contributions. The Santi-O'Brien-Mohrig faction protested it didn't support sewer and density. The three attacked their opponents on a wide range of topics.
Each side repeatedly accused the other of lies, personal attacks, and misrepresenting each other's positions.
"I think people were tired of the negativity on the City Council and in the campaigns," Hewitt said. "And I think they were ready for capable leadership."
Tart agreed, saying, "I think the negative campaigning by my opponent paid off for me."
Each each side claimed the future of the newly incorporated city was at stake. Thus far, the minority, led by Zahner Bailey, has managed to tie up the four-member majority through sheer determination and will, but the majority, including O'Brien and Mohrig, seemed prepared to exercise their strength.
Mayor Joe Lockwood and Councilwoman Tina D'Aversa, who have been on the losing side, actively campaigned against fellow council members, Mohrig and O'Brien, and Santi. Incumbents Bill Lusk and Karen Thurman campaigned for them and against the other three.
"I think the citizens spoke and said we want change and to move forward in a positive way," Lockwood said.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank God we have our city back!

Anonymous said...

One thing Doug Nurse might have mentioned.

The key reason for lack of trust was right there in the campaign contributions report, readily available at City Hall. It was THE critical issue. Everything else was just smoke. To get coverage JZB, Tart and Hewitt had to take out full page ads to show voters where Santi and O'Brien were getting all that money.

Rather than fritter away space on pumpkin festivals and arguments over horse droppings, why didn't the AJC Northside write one word about it?

Thank you to Milton Access for giving concerned citizens a way around the filter of mainstream media.

And they wonder why newspapers are dying?

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful for the election of Julie, Burt and Alan. This upcoming year will be much better with these council members.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Rusty Paul should have advised his clients on how to be honest with our community. Quite simple and really very inexpensive. Way to go Milton! Thanks for sending a LOUD clear message!

George P. Burdell said...

Incumbents Council members Lusk and Thurman take notice ... Milton voters may have been born at night, but not last night.

More times than not, a gutter campaign strategy helps undecided voters identify the good guys.

Council take notice: We'll all be watching to see who really "Doesn't play well with others."

GPB

Anonymous said...

Should Milton voters let the residents of Sandy Springs in on the dirty diaper caper led by their very own city council member, Rusty Paul? Does anybody else find it disgraceful for a former state senator and seated elected official to be paid for such dirty campaigning?

Anonymous said...

Might as well...this appears to be a case of a con man coning a con man.

Only RJ Gumshoe has the expertise to untangle this case.

Anonymous said...

Is RJ Gumshoe really Neal O'Brien?

Anonymous said...

YES.. RJ Gomshoe is Neal O'Brien, however he was also coned by Paul so this might be over his head.

Anonymous said...

O'Brien, you messed up when you attached yourself to Santi, you too Mohrig. There would have been a better chance if you hadn't associated yourself with him and stood out on your own. The voters like the Tart/Hewitt/Bailey package over the Santi/O'Brien/Mohrig package, should have thought that one out before you clustered your signs next to his! Know who you are walking with before you put on your shoes!

Anonymous said...

Amen sister! How dare Santi run against Julie...How will she ever rule Milton and get rid of Joe if people dare run against her.

Anonymous said...

Hee Hee Hee Soon, with Zinger Zahner...we'll rule the world!!

Anonymous said...

Who let that person in? Where did our "psycho Milton housewives only" sign go?

Anonymous said...

"Know who you are walking with before you put on your shoes" sure takes herself too seriously...luckily none of us take her that seriously.

Anonymous said...

"Know who you are walking with" always spouts likes this. I think she has a leak...