Even with an incumbent and former mayor running, it is unlikely any candidate has a more thorough understanding of city government than mayoral candidate Gail Busbey.
Busbey worked for the city of Decatur for 42 years, including 25 as city clerk. She also served as chief financial officer. She understands city finances and its management structure.
Knowledge of the inner workings of city government, of course, is only part of the task of a mayor. To be effective, a mayor must have a vision for the city’s future. He or she must be able to move seamlessly from being a decision-maker to being a mediator.
The city’s best mayors have created friendships with both council members and employees, fostering a bond of trust that helps overcome personality disputes.
The open question on Busbey is whether she has the vision and interpersonal skills necessary to be an effective mayor.
Unfortunately, Busbey is best known by many residents for a bitter clash with Mayor Don Stanford. She ultimately sued the city for Stanford’s alleged misconduct.
The clash may suggest a deficiency in Busbey’s ability to work with others, or it could suggest the same about Stanford. It may reflect on both.
The message from Busbey’s campaign that resonates most is her belief the city is underutilizing its 500 employees. If given the proper encouragement, Busbey believes they are a rich repository of ideas for improving efficiency at City Hall.
Busbey also said the city needs to prepare a long-range plan to replace one that expired in 2010. She said the patchwork zoning ordinance needs an overhaul, which she believes will help attract developers and improve housing options.
Like other candidates, Busbey praises Wally Terry, Decatur’s director of economic and community development. She said she would look for ways to release him from other responsibilities so he has more time to pursue what she sees as his main strength, economic development.
The most obvious benefit the city would derive from a Mayor Busbey would be her extensive knowledge of the workings of city government. The greatest concern is whether her personality would create conflict or help to heal existing conflicts, especially among council members.
Busbey brings many good ideas and unmatched experience to the mayoral race.
Not registered? Click here
|High School Sports||@DecaturPreps|