Atlanta City Council Member Voting Scorecard 2010

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(APN) ATLANTA — Atlanta Progressive News has completed a Atlanta Council Member Voting Scorecard for 2010, which rates Council Members for three votes and one public disclosure issue during the first year of the 2010-2013 term.

In 2009, APN released its first Council Member scorecard, covering four votes between the years of 2003 and 2009.

The 2010 scorecard provides a score for 2010, as well as a cumulative score for 2003-2010.

First, Council Members received positive credit for 2010 if they voted yes on whether to refer Michael Julian Bond’s resolution concerning the Atlanta Eagle raid to Public Safety Committee. Council Members Felicia Moore (District 9) and Joyce Sheperd (District 12) voted to file the resolution.

Second, Council Members received positive credit if they voted yes on whether to grant direct subpoena power to the Atlanta Citizen Review Board. Council Member Carla Smith (District 1) was the only one to have voted no, with Keisha Bottoms (District 11) absent.

Third, Council Members received positive credit if they voted no at the February 2010 Council Retreat on whether to establish limiting public comment at all committees as a priority for the Committee on Council.

As previously reported by APN, the present writer has filed a lawsuit, currently in the Georgia Court of Appeals, to learn which members voted which way, under the Georgia Open Meetings Act.

Of the 15 Council Members, nine disclosed their vote prior to the lawsuit, and Alex Wan (District 6) disclosed his vote afterwards to Georgia Voice magazine. The other five Members received no positive credit, assuming they voted in support of restricting public comment, even though one of them likely voted no.

Those receiving credit for voting no are: Kwanza Hall (District 2), Cleta Winslow (District 4), Natalyn Archibong (District 5), Yolanda Adrean (District 8), Moore, CT Martin (District 10), and Bond. There was likely one additional no vote that has not yet been disclosed; based on context clues, it is likely Smith or Lamar Willis (Post 3-at-large).

Those not receiving positive credit due to a yes vote are: Wan, Bottoms, and Aaron Watson (Post 2-at-large).

Those not receiving positive credit due to a presently un-disclosed vote are: Smith, Young, Shook, Sheperd, and Willis.

Fourth, Council Members received positive credit if they disclosed their vote at the Council Retreat. In other words, they received credit for voting no, and additional credit for disclosing. Some Members, like Bottoms and Watson, received no credit because they voted yes, but did receive credit for disclosing it prior to the filing of the lawsuit.

Those not receiving positive credit due to not disclosing their vote prior to the lawsuit are: Smith, Young, Wan, Shook, Sheperd, and Willis.

The 2009 scorecard also allocated credit based on four items. Council Members received positive credit if they voted no on the panhandling ordinance of 2003; if they voted no on the bar/club hour restrictions of 2005 [with the exception of Shook who voted no because he wanted even stronger restrictions]; if they voted yes on Moore’s public housing demolition oversight resolution of 2008; and if they voted yes on Moore’s resolution regarding the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless in 2008.

SCORECARD RESULTS

Three Council Members had scores of 100 percent, although two of them joined or re-joined the Council this year.

Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong deserves special recognition because she is the only Council Member to have earned 100 percent on all votes considered between 2003 and today.

Council Members Michael Julian Bond and Yolanda Adrean also received a score of 100 this year, but do not have a cumulative score.

Councilman CT Martin scored a B+, with a cumulative score of 87.5. He did not receive credit on bar and club hours because he supported the roll-back.

Councilwoman Felicia Moore scored a C, with a cumulative score of 75. She did not receive credit on two items: when she voted to file the Eagle resolution and support the panhandling ordinance.

Councilman Aaron Watson also scored 75, but joined Council this year and has no cumulative score. He did not receive credit on one item: when he supported limiting public comment.

Councilwoman Keisha Bottoms scored 66.7, a D. Having missed the ACRB vote in May 2010, her score is only based on three votes. She did not receive credit on one item: when she supported limiting public comment.

Councilman Ivory Young scored a D-, with a cumulative scored of 62.5. His 2009 score was 75, and his score this year was 50.

Council Members Kwanza Hall and Cleta Winslow both scored F, with cumulative scores of 50. They both had 2009 scores of 0, and their scores this year were 100. Both Council Members deserve special recognition for significant improvement in their voting record this year.

Councilman Alex Wan also scored an F, or 50, but joined Council this year and has no cumulative score. He not only voted to limit public comment but failed to disclose this to the public until after a lawsuit was filed. In addition, he has voted in Committee more than any other Council Member, to limit public comment.

Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd scored an F-, with a cumulative score of 45.9. She was not on Council, though, for the 2003 vote on panhandling. Her 2009 score was 66.7, and her 2010 score was 25.

Councilmen Howard Shook and Lamar Willis both scored an F–, with cumulative scores of 37.5. They both had the same three good votes, including on public housing demolition oversight, referring the Eagle resolution, and strengthening the CRB.

Finally, Councilwoman Carla Smith had the lowest cumulative score of F—, or a 12.5. Smith’s score in 2009 was 0, and this year was 25. Smith received credit on one vote, referring the Eagle resolution.

(END/2010)

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