School board member to challenge councilwoman
by Rachel Miller
June 23, 2013 10:57 PM | 2671 views | 2 2 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The battle over Ward 1, which runs along both sides of the southern portion of the 120 Loop, by City Councilwoman Annette Lewis and her opponent, Marietta Board of Education member Stuart Fleming, will be nothing if not polite.

Each candidate recognizes the other’s desire to serve Marietta, and will rely on their personal stories and past triumphs to gain votes.

Lewis said she spoke to Fleming about his decision to run for her seat on the council in the Nov. 5 election, and knows he is anxious to participate at the city level.

Lewis said she hopes they both want what is best for Marietta.

“As you can see, I am not a very competitive person,” Lewis said. “Although I am stubborn.”

Lewis said her biggest advantage is that over the years she has shown dedication and commitment to the government role.

“I have a history in the neighborhood that is hard to compete with,” Lewis said.

Fleming said their differences come down to life experiences “that shaped who we are, how we contribute to our community, and how we inspire others.”

The issues

Fleming said after months of consideration he decided to run for City Council because Marietta needs to be governed more effectively.

“I seek to change the perception of the Marietta City Council into one of reason, logic, transparency and leadership,” Fleming said.

Fleming said one of the first items he would discuss when taking office is term limits for city officials.

Fleming said his biggest policy push would be a responsible approach to redevelopment that would involve balancing Marietta’s historic past with the city’s need for a “progressive future for the betterment of all citizens.”

Fleming said if elected he would trust in his democratic ideals, with compassion and fairness.

“I’m passionate to make a difference, to dare mighty things, to challenge myself and others to do things that take courage, foresight and perspective,” Fleming said.

Accomplishments

Lewis said as a councilwoman she is just part of a group, “an entity that must work together.”

Lewis said she credits this view for her ability as a woman to think differently from other members.

Lewis said some people might think being an optimist or idealist makes her a dreamer, but that as a dreamer she is always searching for solutions to issues around the city.

For instance, Lewis said she was a major proponent of the Police Action League making the Lawrence Street Recreation Center the organization’s home base.

“I know the heart and soul of our police and fire department is to address crime problems,” Lewis said.

Lewis said PAL partnering with the parks department to mentor low-income children at a facility that is in need of programming might be a minor accomplishment, but it shows one positive step can make a difference.

Fleming said while serving on the school board, his greatest accomplishments included expanding to year-round classes for at-risk students at Park Street Elementary.

Fleming said he takes pride in everything the board has been able to accomplish, including developing academic partnerships with Emory University and mentoring with Life University.

Life lessons

Fleming, who attended the college-preparatory school at The Walker School, said he has “been blessed” with a good education, a successful career and a great family.

“With my good fortune comes a sense of responsibility to help others and make our world a better place,” Fleming said.

During her years serving as an elected official, Lewis was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and battled lung cancer twice in 2005 and 2008.

In 2011 Lewis found out she had early-stage lymphoma.

Her last treatment was difficult, with an extended period of pinpoint radiation to attack a tumor, Lewis said.

A final round of chemo treatment was completed in April 2013.

To her relief, Lewis said a recent test showed that her body is “perfectly clear” of any cancer cells.

Lewis said during her three terms on the Marietta School Board and two terms on the City Council she has only missed three meetings, two of which she attended by phone.

Lewis credits her dedication and fight to “Marietta not just being a place to live, but a community to be part of.”

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June 24, 2013
So what does Mr. Fleming plan to do and what areas in the city is he going to improve for his constituents? And how does he plan to do it? We need specifics. Enough "feel good" words.

Glad that Ms. Lewis is doing better with her cancer, but that has no impact on the city unless she is unable to serve. She needs to tell us what she plans to work on.
anonymous
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June 24, 2013
Mr. Fleming will do the same thing he's done on the school board- nothing! He's then most forgetable member on the BOE.
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