Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dunwoody Election Season Hits the Ground Running

Qualifying for Dunwoody city office is open this week through Friday.  General Election information for qualifying as a candidate is available from the city website.  We'll know what the race looks like finally on Friday afternoon.

This is the first time since the inaugural city elections that city council seats have been contested.  The city coucil doesn't always make decisions directly, but they do impact every decision.  What isn't handled in council chambers is decided by the employees they hire and the commissions they appoint.  You can tell alot about an elected official by who they appoint to a commission.  A lot has changed since the first election and there were plenty of surprises between campaign rhetoric and actual actions when the votes were counted.  You can tell alot about an official by those differences too.

Get to know the candidates, not as your neighbors, not as your friends, not as the guy/gal you wave to while walking his/her dog as you drive past.  Get to know them as potential government agents and try to see what kind of decisions they are going to make.  Chatting over a cold beer at the pool may bring a different answer than a serious debate in executive session.  All of these decisions are going to affect how citizens and visitors make a living, from the multinational corporation all the way down to the lowly solopreneur.

A few candidates and their representatives have contacted me to inquire if I will post about them on the Working Girl.  I will and to keep it fair and impartial I'm going to come up with a list of questions that I will pose to everyone running in a contested race.  Anyone who wants to respond is welcome to and their comments will be posted in their entirety, unedited (not even a spell check!) as they come in.

Regarding a few of the other questions I've received:

No, I am not running for office.  I've said this before, I'm more effective in the private sector. 

No, I will not be creating any campaign websites for this particular season.  I've got a big batch of long-term projects on my desk and I don't have the time to commit to a seasonal site that requires frequent time-sensitive updates and interactivity.  Maybe next time, OK?

I am not sure whether I will make any endorsements on the Working Girl.  We'll see how that pans out as we get closer to November.  If I do, it will be after Halloween has passed and we all know what that event is like.

What I will do is make some suggestions to our esteemed neighbors-turned-candidates that will get repeated on election day.

Stay classy.  No matter who wins and who loses, we still have to live together.  Things to avoid include
  • Cheap shots at your opponents that don't have anything to do with managing the city
  • Creating personal controversies.  Remember how the Pankey campaign in 2008 allegedly tried to create dirt on Adrian Bonser?  Like that.  Don't do it.
  • Gratuitous negative campaigning.  I don't care what the marketing statistics say, negativity will bounce back on you.
  • Putting flyers on cars parked at a church/synagogue during worship.  Enough said.
  • Bragging about your campaign's strengths if you win.  The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner.
This is a small town.  Creating more conflict in a race than absolutely necessary can follow you around like a bad smell and can compromise any positive input you have on this city. 

This campaign will go down a lot easier if you can focus on your strengths, abilities, and spell out as much as you are able your intentions for Dunwoody.  Compare yourself with your opponent when you must and be a lady or gentleman about it.

See you on November 8!

No comments: