By Maria Saporta
The Committee for a Better Atlanta has weighed in on the candidates running for the Fulton County Commission, and most of the ones interviewed received scores of either well qualified or excellent.
Four of the 12 candidates running for the Fulton County Commission, however, did not participate in the questionnaires or interviews done by the Committee for a Better Atlanta, which includes executives from local companies and business organizations.
The CBA Voter Guide actually gives each candidate a score based on their understanding of the issues and their qualifications.
One of the big issues facing Fulton County is the “municipalization” of much of the unincorporated area of the county. In the past four years, the cities of Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Milton and Chattahoochee Hills have all become incorporated, which has meant a significant shift in Fulton County’s revenues and operations.
Several candidates also talked about the possibility that North Fulton would break off from Fulton County and become Milton County. Other issues for this election include county’s ability to meet infrastructure needs, especially transit.
Jeff Wansley, vice president of government affairs for Equifax and the 2010 chair of CBA, said that Fulton County citizens “should be pleased that we have a strong slate of candidates this year vying for posts in county government.”
According to CBA’s scoring, a grad of 88 or higher is considered to be “excellent;” a grade of 79 to 87 is considered to be well qualified; a grade of 70 to 78 is thought to be “average;” while a grade of less than 70 is defined as “not qualified.”
Following are the scores for each candidate:
For District 1 (the chair of the commission), Republican Steve Broadbent received a score of 86 (well qualified) and Democrat incumbent John Eaves had a score of 93 (excellent).
Former Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood, who is seeking to run as an independent in this race, was not included in the interview process.
For District 2, both candidates were ranked as excellent — Republican Lori Henry, 88, and Democrat Robb Pitts, 90.
In District 3, Republican Liz Huasmann got a grad of 85 (well qualified).
Neither incumbents in Districts 4, 5 or 7 participated in the CBA process, so none of them received any score.
But in District 6 — an open seat — four people, all Democrats, are running: Joan Garner with a score of 85, which is considered well qualified; Sally Smith got an average score of 70 and Keisha Waites also received an average score of 78.
The entire voter guide, including candidates’ scores and questionnaires, is available on CBA’s web site: www.betteratlanta.org. CBA encourages local companies to distribute its results to its employees and various constituencies.
The CBA includes the following members:
100 Black Men of Atlanta
AGL Resources, Inc.
Atlanta & Georgia Apartment Association
Atlanta Board of Realtors
Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors
Atlanta Business League
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau
Atlanta Hotel Council
Atlanta Restaurant Council
Atlanta Licensed Beverage Council
Atlanta Urban League
Bank of America
Buckhead Business Association
Building Owners & Managers Association
Business Wise Incorporated
Central Atlanta Progress
Council for Quality Growth
Georgia Beverage Association
Delta Air Lines
Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association
Metro Atlanta Chamber
Turner Broadcasting System