It looks as though congratulations are in order for Kasim Reed, who will seemingly eke out a win over Mary Norwood in the contest to be the next mayor of Atlanta. They both waged decent campaigns, and they both deserve congratulations for sticking to the issues instead of sinking into the mud.
That said, Reed has his work cut out for him. The city of Atlanta has serious financial problem which pre-date the recession: Its pension obligations are super-costly and will haunt the city for decades to come if its lawyers can’t find a way to claw back some of those provisions. Indeed, the entire financial/accounting infrastructure needs an overhaul — a step that Mayor Franklin was unable or unwilling to make.
In addition, crime is rising — and nothing will stop the city’s rejuvenation faster than a soaring rate of violent crime. Reed has already named finding a new police chief as his top priority. He should look for someone who can communicate more effectively with the public than Pennington has.
Then, there’s finishing the sewer overhaul ably (and courageously) started by Mayor Franklin. It’s costly but absolutely necessary.
So Reed may have time for a short vacation to recover from a tough campaign, but he shouldn’t take too long.