November is usually such a timid month. Oh, football season is in full swing and there are plans to be made for where Uncle Henry will sit on Turkey Day. But in North Fulton change is in the air.
I am talking about four mayoral seats up for selection with two certain vacancies. Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle is moving on to run for secretary of state and Roswell Mayor Jere Wood has been put out of office by statute.
Johns Creek and Milton likewise have mayoral races and both Mike Bodker and Joe Lockwood, respectively, are expected to have challengers.
Competition is a wonderful thing. It keeps folks from getting comfortable. And politicians are aware of a potential sword of Damocles hanging over their heads come every election season.
Of course the incumbent’s biggest ally is incumbency, itself. Usually people have to get “uncomfortable” to change out those already in office. But then we live in uncomfortable times. There are a lot of things to get uncomfortable about.
In addition to a lot of national unease – President Trump seems bent on making folks love him or hate him – North Fulton has been experiencing a lot of change as well. There’s traffic, adjusting to still more growth, crime, drugs and, oh yes, more traffic.
We went through the 1990s and early 2000s dealing with incredible changes. I came to this post in 1993 when there were only three cities (I still count Mountain Park) in North Fulton. The first mall was just opening its doors and there were no tall Class A office buildings anywhere.
North Point Parkway was not quite complete and Westside Parkway was just barely a line on somebody’s future projects list. Avalon was just a place lodged in Arthurian myth.
Chattahoochee High School was getting its finishing touches as the third public high school north of the Chattahoochee and the first in 40 years.
Today, we have more cities and more high schools, public and private, than you can shake a stick at. And with them are a lot of new residents who now call North Fulton home. They call someone who has lived 10 years in North Fulton an “old-timer.” And someone who has lived here 20 years is a native.
The true North Fulton natives just call everyone not born here “Yankees,” whether they were born in Ann Arbor, Mumbai or Seoul.
So with a crazy quilt population like that, it is hard for us in the journalism trade to put our collective finger on the pulse of the public.
When the qualifying for office is over, don’t bother to ask me to pick the best horse in each race. An exacta like that would make any oddsmaker take up the stock market.
So don’t come to me whispering, “Hey buddy, who do you like in the third race.” I don’t have the answers. I just post the results when the races are done.