Monday, November 12, 2007

Election 2007: MILTON.

Payback pays off for Joe Lockwood; Mayor, irked by 2 on City Council, drives their defeat.

By Doug NurseThe Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionPublished on: 11/11/07

A thoroughly ticked-off Mayor Joe Lockwood cranked out a blistering memo in January to City Council members, warning them not to trifle with him or there would be a reckoning.

"I have no problem harnessing my public support, and the people that voted me in, in order to do what is best for our city," Lockwood wrote after confusion over an agenda for a meeting."So anyone with their own personal agendas, lack of respect for me, lack of respect for any City Council person, or failure to work as a united team, please be aware that there will be a time in the future that all of us will be in the position of running for re-election. ..."It seems he meant it.

For the rest of the year, Lockwood remained on the losing end of a 4-3 split on the Milton City Council.But when election time came, he went to work to defeat two members of the majority who had nettled him time and again.After the ballots were counted Tuesday, council members Neal O'Brien and Rick Mohrig went down by roughly a 2-1 margin.

Milton and Johns Creek became cities on Dec. 1 after holding elections a few weeks prior. Half of the six City Council members served initial terms of one year. The other three will serve for three years, standing for re-election in 2009. All subsequent elections will be for 4-year terms. The mayor's first term is three years, too.

The three candidates Lockwood supported, incumbent Julie Zahner Bailey, and challengers Burt Hewitt and Alan Tart, were dubbed Team Lockwood by the opposition."He had an impact," said defeated Councilman Rick Mohrig. "He's prominent and well-known in the community. People listen to what the mayor has to say. It was a deciding factor."

Lockwood, a building contractor, made appearances on behalf of Tart, Hewitt and Zahner Bailey. He helped raise money, put up signs, sent e-mails and published political advertisements.Lockwood polled about 4,100 votes in his race for mayor last year, more than the number of people who voted for cityhood.

"I had a number of people tell me they supported me because of Joe," Hewitt said. "But I had just as many say they supported me because I wasn't the other guy. The mayor's support certainly didn't hurt. A lot of people like Joe. But I can't say how it would have turned out if he hadn't been involved. I'd like to think I got a vote or two myself."

Lockwood said he just wanted to be able to work with a City Council that wasn't set against him.It was a calculated risk. If Lockwood won, he would send a signal that his popularity could help shape the council's agenda. If he lost, he was toast. The reigning majority would steamroll him for the rest of his term."It's very unusual for a mayor to get that involved in City Council races, especially against incumbents," said Councilwoman Karen Thurman, who supported the losing slate. "He rolled the dice and he won."


Anonymous said...

Ironic how Thurman says its "very unusual for a mayor to get involved in a race". Well it's unusual that a mayor "has" to get involved in a race because of people like her, as she is the ring leader of the fab four, er' I meAN "FAB 2"!

Anonymous said...

Thurman & Lusk should not run again - (at least if they know what's good for them)
Just a suggestion - you have two years to think about it.

Anonymous said...

The very idea that our Mayor took a stand to fight for those very people he stands to protect and serve in Milton, is a reflection of who he is - an honorable man who deserves every bit of praise he receives. We are a unique community and he is truly a unique mayor.

Karen and Bill, don't forget that "politics" and dishonesty will not work here in Milton. We are educated, faithful and passionate about our community and we desire and deserve the best representatives. We've sent you a message - loud and clear - that your attitude must change. We will no longer tolerate your disrespect towards others on our City Council - or us!

We are not "Julie-ettes" or "activists" as you, or those who support you, call us - we are independent thinkers that care deeply about all the best things for the place we love to live.

Thank you to all the voters!! Keep being engaged.
Milton R-O-C-K-S!!!

-Patti Silva

Anonymous said...

Dynamic Duo will suffice.

Anonymous said...

Along with the hardest crossword puzzle in history [because some clues were missing] Yesterdays paper had a letter from Mr. Fantozzi stating [in part] the adds and the things said about him were completely false.

At the risk of starting a fist fight, could someone shed some light on the subject.

Please folks, let's not get into sophomoric rock throwing.

I am just curious and searching for some facts.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if you disagree, but a
true leader would never support half their team as Joe did. He helped campaign by fighting against building contractors. What is his true profession or is that on the back burner until he runs out of money?

Rhonda Newell said...

In regards to the last person slamming Joe Lockwood for only supporting half his team--if you paid attention he only had 2 council members who helped him fight for what many of us who live in Milton wanted them fighting for. My father who was a corporate executive of a major company and one person who I truly consider a real leader always told me--if my employees were not on the same mission with me, then they needed to find another place to work---and thats exactly what Joe did as well. Sometimes you just have to clean house to get the real work done!! Kudos to Mayor Lockwood for stepping up and making things happen!!

Anonymous said...


Your dad cannot support you forever. Once YOU actually get into the work force you will then understand the true meaning of teamwork.

Anonymous said...

The council are not EMPLOYEES of Joe's. They are elected to work together. Good try though Rhonda.

Anonymous said...

"To go to far is as bad as to fall short"-Confucius

Anonymous said...

What? Did Anonymous cross some Milton ethical policial blog line?!? HA

Rhonda Newell said...

Wow, I didn't mean to get personally attacked just by giving my opinion. But for the person who came back at me negatively, I just need to clarify. I did have a great job at Fed Ex for many years in sales and then management and had 21 employees who directly reported to me. So I do know about the workforce and team work. And you are right, the council people do not work for Joe they work for us. They obviously learned during this election what the community thought of their performance this past year

All I can say is that the Milton community got behind Joe Lockwood during both elections. Personally, I hope all of the negativity will go away when the new city council take office in January!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your bio. Now your opinions really DO make sense.

Anonymous said...

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves-Confucius

Anonymous said...

What the hell did Rhonda do to you a$$hole...

What personal issues do you have in someone expressing their opinion? I hardly find work experience a necessary criteria for being able to post on this blog...

Pull your head our of your rear before you post anything else.

-Travis Allen