Who gets my vote for mayor and why

Mayor Jerry Smith stood by while other city officials threatened, without cause, the imminent eviction of residents from their homes above Lord Stanley’s.

Mayor Jerry Smith stood by as his city manager heaped insults and threats upon me and defamed me during council meetings.

Mayor Jerry Smith has just endorsed Cohen Barnes for mayor. How is that credible? Mayor Smith has rarely acted in a way that shows he understands the mayor’s role as champion of all the people. Former DeKalb Alderman David Jacobson was the one who showed up at Lord Stanley’s to talk to worried residents. Current DeKalb Alderman Carolyn Morris was the one who defended me against a smear campaign in an illegal closed session that excluded me – and then she defended DeKalb voters by voting to save the clerk’s office from malicious destruction.

Alderman Morris’ character, competence, and devotion to her constituents speak for themselves.

Cohen Barnes has blipped my radar for about 12 years, ever since our first encounter in 2008 when he told me he found my “negative” public comments at city and school meetings “unattractive.” I thought it was a heck of a thing to say to a stranger, so I always recall it when I see him. I do not believe Barnes has the right temperament for the job. Twice at city council meetings I’ve seen him react angrily from his seat in the peanut gallery. Once it was a reaction to one – I repeat, one – critical public comment (following lavish accolades) for his work on the Corn Classic Race. Another time it was triggered by a hiccup in his pursuit of a second round of city TIF money after inadequately planning his building renovation. Barnes seems thin-skinned, hair-triggered, and entitled, a bad combination for any politician and an omen of a particularly exhausting four years if we were to hand him the gavel.

But make no mistake, my endorsement is not just about voting against Cohen Barnes. Carolyn Morris is a great affirmative choice for mayor as evidenced by two years of successfully and honestly serving the public via City Hall.