Thursday, January 7, 2010
Press Release from the Brandon for Athens Committee: Brandon Shinholser, Candidate for Mayor of Athens, Ga
The following information is the latest press release from the Brandon for
In his platform, Charlie Maddox says that he “seeks to be the Mayor of
Athens, not the manager,” and he goes on to say that “the
administration of this City’s core activities cannot ebb and flow with
the fad politics of the week.” We can all agree that elected officials
need to set the policies, and then let the departments carry them out, but
Charlie completely ignores a key part of governance. The city charter
requires Athens-Clarke County to have a manager and lays out what the
manager does, but charters can be changed and ours needs to be changed.
Charlie acts as if the manager simply carries out policy without having any
political interest of his own. This is patently false. The manager plays
politics on a daily basis, and this must stop. It is time that the mayor
and especially the commission reassert their authority as the elected
representatives of the people. Why should we turn even more power over to
an unelected bureaucrat with his own political motives, as Charlie suggests
we do? He talks about politicians micro-managing the activities of the
departments, but isn’t that what the manager (with his unaccountable
political motives) does on a daily basis? Why do we need that extra layer
of bureaucracy between the people’s elected representatives and the heads
of the departments? Is it to protect the departments from politics, or is
it to protect the power of a single, unelected individual to govern the
county as he sees fit? Under the current charter, the mayor and commission
are forbidden from giving any orders to the department heads. Charlie tells
us that this is a good thing, but I say that it is anything but.
If elected, I will work to restore the leadership of the mayor and
commission in the government of Athens-Clarke County. Strong leadership,
from strong leaders who represent the views of the citizens is needed now,
in these difficult times, more than ever. It’s time that the commission
had real oversight authority, the authority to remove department heads who
are mismanaging their resources, to the detriment of our citizens, and the
authority to directly question and challenge them, as well as issue them
binding orders. Charlie might say that this puts too much power in the
hands of one individual, but I say that that’s how it is now, and the
power should be dispersed to all, through their elected representatives.
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address spoke of government of the people, by the
people, and for the people. Charlie would instead support government of the
elite, by a single unelected bureaucrat, and for himself and special
interests. The choice, therefore, is clear this November. As mayor, I will
lead the way to a more democratic and transparent government, a true
government of the people, elected by the people, and serving as advocates
for the people.
Brandon Shinholser, Candidate
Andrew Watts, Campaign Manager
Brandon Shinholser is a candidate in the race for Mayor of Athens-Clarke
County. His website can be found at http://www.brandon2010.com/.
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