Here’s who might be knocking, and what they’ll be dressed as:
• Marietta Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin, who’s taken the lead in trying to pass a $68 million redevelopment bond for Franklin Road on Nov. 5 — cartoon character Bob the Builder. (“Can We Build It? Yes We Can!!!”)
• Previously unknown mayoral candidate Charles Levinson, who’s hoping to unseat Tumlin on Nov. 5 — David (as in David and Goliath).
• Ward 7 Marietta Councilman and downtown property czar Philip Goldstein, who has been a thorn in Mayor Tumlin’s side and has sued the city even though he serves on the council — late Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, who was a thorn in the side of NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle and sued the league.
• Ward 5 Marietta Councilman Anthony Coleman — boxer Mike Tyson.
• Cobb Commission Chairman and TSPLOST/BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) advocate Tim Lee — bus driver Ralph Kramden.
• East Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott — Charles Lindbergh.
• Libertarian-minded state Rep. Charles Gregory (R-Marietta) — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
• 11th District Republican congressional hopefuls Bob Barr, Ed Lindsey, Barry Loudermilk and Tricia Pridemore — they’ll all be dressed as U.S. Senator/Tea Party hero Ted Cruz of Texas.
• U.S. Senate Republican hopefuls Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey — Ted Cruz.
• Ted Cruz — Ronald Reagan.
• U.S. Senate Democratic hopeful Michelle Nunn — Barack Obama.
• U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-east Cobb) — House Speaker John Boehner.
• Former state Sen. Chip Rogers of Woodstock, who’s now working for GPTV — Big Bird.
• Attorney and former Gov. Roy Barnes of Marietta — TV’s “Matlock.”
• Sheriff Neil Warren — Hoss Cartwright of TV Western “Bonanza.”
• Retired east Cobb FBI agent Oliver Halle — Joe Friday of “Dragnet.”
• Political brawler former Cobb Commission Chairman Bill Byrne — Evander Holyfield.
• MDJ columnist Dick Yarbrough — depending on his mood that night, either humor columnist Dave Barry or right-wing commentator Bill O’Reilly.
• MDJ editor emeritus Bill Kinney — as retired Watergate-era Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee.
• Earl Smith Strand Theater impresario Earl Reece — Ed Sullivan.
• This year’s Atlanta Falcons’ team is coming as the 1987 Falcons, who went 3-12.
• Mega-developer and former Post Properties czar John Williams — Napoleon.
• Prolific author and Kennesaw State University professor of Civil War history Dr. Brian Wills — Shelby Foote.
• Marietta attorney and bandleader Bert Reeves — Neil Diamond.
• Former Marietta Councilman Van Pearlberg, noted for his girth and trademark walrus mustache — William Howard Taft.
• Artist Steve Penley of Georgia — Norman Rockwell.
• Dapper dresser and lawyer Tom Browning of the Downtown Marietta Development Authority — dapper author Tom Wolfe.
COUNTY CHAIRMAN LEE spoke to Around Town on Monday about his support for Marietta’s $68 million redevelopment bond.
“I think it will pass without any problems,” Lee said. “I’d say north to 60 percent. The people who are going to come out in November are the ones that are engaged, No. 1. No. 2, the contested races … are the more affluent, more engaged, so those people are going to show up and they get it, so they’re going to vote for it, so you got these races. In the end, I think you’ll find it will pass, and 60 percent of the people that show up, I think, will say yes at a minimum.”
LEE WAS ASKED if passage of the city bond would help the county as well.
“Oh gosh, yes,” Lee answered. “That’s right smack middle of the county. The trickle down and wildfire burns horizontally, not vertically. Basically, as they do whatever needs to be done there it will trickle out into the county, support businesses and travel and retail to support whatever they do. It won’t be like a little bubble. They won’t take these apartments down and the benefit will only be for there. It will have a tiered effect.”
LEE ALSO had harsh words for the city of Kennesaw’s failure to have a policy regulating the use of city credit cards it issues the mayor and council members. Kennesaw’s lax policy was the subject of a front-page expose in Sunday’s MDJ.
“I can’t believe they’ve been getting away with that for so many years,” Lee said. “If you have a credit card you need to have a policy in place. Checks and balances. Good stewardship.
“First of all, I wouldn’t give out county credit cards, No. 1, No. 2, if I did there would be tight policies attached to them. I mean, we have tight policies for what constitutes expenses that we can pay for when you use your own credit card. Like, for instance, when I go to a hotel, if I tip the guy five bucks, it’s out of my pocket. That’s how tight it gets.”
As for Mayor Mark Mathews’ comment that he doesn’t bother to keep track of every single cent he spends while out on city business because, “It would be a waste of time to document reimbursements, although it might look bad to ‘the idiots that like to look at the nickels and dimes stuff,’” Lee could only shake his head.
“Has he got anybody running against him? That’s fodder you don’t want to leave.”
For the record, Mathews is not on the ballot next week.
MAYOR TUMLIN still plans to introduce his term limits proposal at Wednesday’s Marietta Council meeting, but admits to Around Town that he doesn’t have the votes lined up at this point to pass it. Tumlin would establish a limit of three consecutive terms for mayors and council members, starting with the 2017 city election cycle.
Tumlin’s effort seems to have found a well of popularity with the public, based on comments AT has seen and heard, but not with those whose votes count the most — his fellow council members. The mayor also notes that Georgia is not “a term limits state” and that such local-level laws are few and far between here.
He also said he has been getting calls from politician friends all over the state in the past week who’ve been critical.
“It’s not very popular with them,” he said.
ALSO FROWNING on Tumlin’s proposal is retired Marietta Councilwoman Betty Hunter, who spent 24 years representing Ward 1 between 1982 and 2005.
“I feel it takes at least one term to really know what you’re doing after you’re elected,” she told Around Town. “It takes a full four years to understand the operations of the city, so for that reason a two-term limit wouldn’t be good. I feel like I learned more about my responsibilities in office every year I served.”
Hunter said her main goal was seeing code enforcement increased in her ward and seeing substandard apartments and duplexes removed.
“It took me that long (24 years) to accomplish that, and after I did, I stepped down,” she said. “Then it was time for someone else to do their thing.
“If people want somebody in office, they ought to have the right to leave them in there. If you take them out and a majority wanted them in, that doesn’t seem fair to the voters to me.”
She also noted that a term-limits law would have deprived the city of the service of two of her contemporaries on the council, Ward 2’s Paul Fields (four terms) and Ward 6’s Scott Craddock (five terms).
HISTORIC St. James Cemetery in Marietta (across from Marietta Middle School), which dates to 1849, will have self-guided tours from 12:30 -3:30 p.m. Sunday. There will be info about those buried there and markers to help visitors find the graves. Parking is available on Winn Street. Among the graves that will not be publicized is that of JonBenet Ramsey, reports Cemetery Trust Board spokesman Chris Brown.