Moore to Chair Finance Committee, Bond to Chair Public Safety
(APN) ATLANTA — Two years into the four-year Council term which began in 2010 and will end in 2013, Council President Ceasar Mitchell has announced a few significant changes to the membership and leadership of Atlanta’s seven Council committees.
By contrast, last year at this time, Mitchell only made slight changes to the Committee’s memberships; none to their chairmanships.
Most notably, this year, Mitchell has replaced Yolanda Adrean (District 8) with Felicia Moore (District 9) as Chairperson of the Finance/Executive Committee.
Adrean’s original appointment at the beginning of 2010 was seen as unusual, given that Adrean was a brand new member of Council at that point; however, Adrean was likely selected due to her previous experience as an accountant. Adrean’s appointment also brought more political and racial diversity to Mitchell’s set of chairpersons.
Based on Atlanta Progressive News’s conversations with City Hall insiders over the last couple years, Mitchell’s recent announcement is likely motivated by his displeasure with Adrean’s role in the recent effort to drastically change the city’s pension plan.
During the recent pension reform debate, Councilwoman Moore had introduced her own plan as an alternative to Adrean’s plan, and a compromise version between the two ended up passing.
Moore is a bit of a fiscal hawk; she has continuously opposed recent budgets that she said were not balanced.
In addition, Robert Schreiber, a Buckhead activist, noted in a recent email to APN that Moore typically opposes walk-in papers. This means that, with Moore as Chair of Finance, the Mayor’s office will have to introduce legislation with sufficient advance notice to give the Council Members and the public some time to review it prior to the meeting; and that the executive branch’s strategy of undermining democracy with walk-in papers, will be likely stifled.
Meanwhile, Adrean will replace Moore as Chairperson of the Committee on Council, meaning that Adrean will inherit a host of unresolved issues concerning the transparency, accessibility, and participatory inclusiveness of Council meetings and procedures.
This may also work out better for Moore seeing as how her role the last two years as chief defender of secret votes, closed meetings, and limiting public comment in various ways, had not painted her in the best of lights.
Mitchell also announced that Councilman Michael Julian Bond (Post 1-at-large) will replace Ivory Young (District 3) as Chairman of the Public Safety/Legal Administration Committee.
This action would also be consistent with a theory of Mitchell rewarding those who opposed the Adrean pension reform effort. Indeed, Bond opposed the Adrean proposal, while Young supported it.
A third major change has been to replace Councilman Aaron Watson (Post 2-at-large) with Alex Wan (District 6) as Chairman of the Zoning Committee.
This change, on the other hand, is not consistent with the other two, in that Wan supported Adrean’s proposal, as did Watson.
Mitchell also made a number of changes to the membership of the various committees.
As for Community Development/Human Resources committee, Mitchell has created one of the least progressive possible committees in terms of affordable housing policy.
Not only did he remove Archibong [who had only been added last year] and Bond from CD/HR; he added Howard Shook (District 7).
This means that CD/HR now includes Chairwoman Joyce Sheperd (District 12), who did not support the Adrean plan and remains Chair; Kwanza Hall (District 2); Shook; Wan; Winslow (District 4); and Young.
Perhaps Mitchell concluded it didn’t matter seeing as how the policies of CD/HR could not be any more anti-working family than they already are.