Let me start by saying that this is second hand. I was at another meeting, but I sent a friend over to give me an update on the forum hosted by the South Hall Republican Club this past Monday night. My friend said that is was a good meeting with Representative Broun’s wife kicking off the meeting as a stand in for her husband who is running for U.S. Senate.
But the real reason to send a spy was to check on my neighbors over in Flowery Branch to see what kind of choices they had for their city council. In this forum, the candidates for mayor and the candidates for post 5 talked and shared their reasons on why they should be elected. The feedback that I received indicated that 3 of the 4 read their speeches with two of them head down and plowing through.
As I understand it, the candidates were given about 10 minutes with an additional minute to rebut. None of the candidates hit the 10 minute mark and only one candidate used their whole minute rebuttal (as he was shouted down by the time keeper). Here is the direct feedback from my spy:
Mike Miller– the incumbent Mayor took the least amount of time as he blew through his speech in record time. He listed a bunch of accomplishments like buying new police cars, adding weather sirens, installing online payments for water customers, and expanding the city limits. Basically he came off as the pro business candidate. The odd thing is that he read his rebuttal and never really addressed the points brought up by his opponent. He did, however, take a shot at Mrs. Lutz for her voting record.
Shanon Lutz– the challenger for the Mayor’s position has a familiar last name because she is the wife of County Commissioner, Craig Lutz. She positioned herself as the family friendly/quality of life candidate for Flowery Branch. While she seemed to read most of her speech, she made a lot of eye contact and seemed to be the more polished candidate. Since she followed the Mayor in the speech and his rebuttal, my friend was surprised when she did not address the shot the mayor took at her, but she probably figured that most people didn’t know what he was referring to.
Chris Fetterman– Former Councilmember Fetterman started by talking about why he resigned right after being elected. His speech seemed to be free lance and he talked about his mission to lower property taxes and some of his opponent’s shortcomings. Mr. Fetterman was the only one to really try to use the rebuttal as a rebuttal, but was loudly cut off just as he was getting warmed up.
Tara Richards– My friend informed me that she had a hard time hearing Councilmember Richards. Between my friend being in the back of the room and Mrs. Richards mumbling through her speech, she was only able to pick up on a few points. Mrs. Richards did read her speech and her rebuttal was also prepared. She did pick up on the fact that she is/was in the military and did go to Afghanistan, but my friend mentioned that she just about cried a couple of times. No doubt, my friend said, she was the most nervous of the group.
Overall, friend indicated that the challengers came off more polished than the incumbents, but my friend also got the impression that the vast majority of the people there were friends of the candidates and doubts that many opinions were swayed. My friend collected the campaign literature from the candidates and there are some interesting items that we will need to discuss; as soon as I get the handouts, I will be back.