Unlike some Marietta elections of the past three decades, this one fortunately revolves around issues of substance rather than style. And to the city’s benefit, both candidates for mayor have taken the race seriously. That might not sound like much, but remember that past elections have featured a candidate who campaigned (and even took part in debates) while wearing a chicken suit and another candidate who was a professional clown and declared that his main issue was to make Marietta known as “The City of Courage.” Voters, to their credit, chose to let him pursue that goal on his own time rather than theirs.
LOCAL POLITICOS and others are virtually unanimous that today’s vote on the bond will be very close. Few foresee Mayor Steve Tumlin having much difficulty withstanding the challenge mounted by previously unknown Charles Levinson.
For the record, Tumlin supports the bond and Levinson opposes it.
But bond supporters remain wary that some voters might split their vote — pull the lever for the mayor but against his bond proposal.
MARIETTA SCHOOL BOARD Chairman Randy Weiner, who supports the bond, is trying to snuff out the suggestion raised in an MDJ guest column by John Pierson on Sunday that passage of the bond could mean staff cuts for the city system as the city buys and demolishes many of the apartments along Franklin.
“Some out there are trying to drum up fear about losing teacher jobs if the redevelopment bond passes as a reason to vote no,” he said “They are wrong. Not only are we increasing enrollment in other areas of the city, teacher attrition will take care of any loss in employees.
“In the short term, we may not need to hire additional teachers like we’ve had for the past five years. But in the long term, our enrollment is likely to increase like we’ve never seen before.
“In fact, increased stability has many benefits to the district and our students. One benefit is attracting more young families who wish to make Marietta their home, not just a place to park for a short while.”
ELECTION NOTES: Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler told us she was unable to make a forecast about turnout, but said advance voting had been slow. …
Ward 3 Councilman Johnny Sinclair said the pro-bond forces have run a very effective campaign.
“And I imagine they will run an effective campaign to get the vote out,” he added.
TUMLIN will have a family-friendly Election Night “Watch” at the Marietta Museum of History with snacks provided from multiple Marietta Square restaurants. The public is invited.
Levinson will have his “Election Night Victory Party” at the Kryptonite Club on Franklin Road. Ward 3 Council candidate Johnny Walker, who has no opponent, will play host to a celebration from 6-9 p.m. at Schillings. Up in Kennesaw, council candidates Debra Williams, Bruce Jenkins and Jim Sebastian will be holding a joint party at The Cork & Tap, 2500 North Cobb Parkway next to Old Town Restaurant.
POLITICS: Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens will conduct the campaign kickoff a week from today for the re-election campaign of Cobb Solicitor General Barry Morgan. The event will be from 5-7:30 p.m. at the law offices of Moore Ingram Johnson & Steele. Hosts include Jimmy Berry, Tom Cauthorn, Linda Coker, Hylton Dupree, Matt Flournoy, Kim Gresh, John Moore, Justin O’Dell, John Salter, state Sen. Lindsey Tippins and Sheriff Neil Warren. …
Friends and supporters of former Congressman and current 11th District congressional candidate Bob Barr (R-Smyrna) will host a 65th birthday celebration from 5:30 to 7 p.m. this evening at the Red Hare Brewing Company in Marietta.
THIS YEAR’S Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour will be Dec. 7-8. Among the homes featured will be the Malone-Harrison-Hines House, c. 1880; The Cross-Land-Hewitt House, c. 1907; The Bramlett-Hicks-Ferreira House, c. 1922; The Cox-Brown-Parker, c. 1900; The Hayes-Baird House, c. 1923; and Kay Dou Lakay Cottage, c. 1942. The Malone-Harrison-Hines House, seen here, was built as a large Victorian-style house with circular porches. A fire destroyed the second story in the early 1930s and the house was redesigned to give it a Williamsburg or cottage-style look. Owners have included prominent physician Dr. J.D. Malone and Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harris Hines and his wife, Helen.
For tour info, call (770) 429-1115 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE FIFTH ANNUAL Cherokee Heights Arts Festival comes around again from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday on Etowah Drive between Seminole and Freyer Drive, featuring home-grown arts, books, music and food. Last year’s event drew 8,000 people, thankfully not all at the same time.
Among the artists featured this year will be Carolyn and David Johnston, Cecelia and Aubrey Desportes, Claire Dunaway, Elizabeth and Kurt Seidle-Peterson, Jim and Jo-Evelyn Morris, Jon and Jen Burklow, Kevin Sullivan, Kristen Haynie, Lars Finderup, Martina Goscha, Mary Iannone, Jim Morris, Michael and Lucena Ross, Mollie Hayes, Nicolaus Ard, Rachel Bowen, Toni Phillips, Trapp Tischner, Will and Michelle Goodman. Also on hand will be authors Bruce Gillette, Doug Frey, David King and Joe Kirby, plus music from the Emerson Drummers, the Guess Again Band and Wayne Felix and Friends. Rain day for the event is Sunday.
FORMER Cobb District Attorney Pat Head will host “The Original Pat Head Amateur Hour” at 8 p.m. Thursday, featuring Head at the keyboard on the stage of the Earl Smith Strand Theatre. The event is a fundraiser for the Strand. Tickets are $25 each. Call (770) 293-0080 or go to earlsmithstrand.org.
MERGER TALK: The weekend uproar that followed Thursday’s unexpected announcement that Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University are expected to merge as a cost-saving measure prompted one well-known Cobb banker to crack to Around Town that, “If the Board of Regents is wanting to look at economies of scale and saving money by merging a liberal arts college with an engineering school, and do it on a big scale involving two schools that are even closer together than KSU and SPSU, they should merge Georgia State University and Georgia Tech.”
Something tells us that might create an even bigger uproar.
FALL BACK: Retired DJ Spiff Carner of west Cobb had an unusual take on the outcome of Sunday’s Atlanta Falcon’s dismemberment by the Carolina Panthers, which took place on the day we rolled back our clocks an hour for fall.
“There was a misunderstanding on the part of the Atlanta Falcons,” he said. “Instead of falling back one hour today, they fell back 13 years to become the team they were in 2000.”