By John Schaffner
Will Buckhead be facing an identity crisis on the Atlanta City Council following next years’ election?
Dist. 8 Atlanta Councilwoman Clair Muller, who represents the half of Buckhead west of Peachtree and Roswell roads, has told more than one source that she will not be seeking re-election in 2009.
Although she has not directly told the Buckhead Reporter that news, she did “confirm” in the past two weeks to Michael Koblentz, chairman of the Northwest Community Alliance of neighborhoods and businesses, that she will not be running.
Muller has served her neighborhood and the western portion of Buckhead since 1990.
Dist. 7 City Councilman Howard Shook, who represents the other half of Buckhead, would not commit during an interview with the Buckhead Reporter in April, whether or not he intends to run for re-election.
The chair of the city’s Finance Committee, which presently is analyzing the city’s 2008-2009 proposed budget, was asked by the Buckhead Reporter if he is considering running for mayor Shook simply replied, “Of what?” He said he believed anyone thinking of getting into politics would have to seriously think twice about running for office in Atlanta.
There is some speculation around city hall that he may not even seek re-election to his Dist. 7 council seat next year.
Add to that the fact that At-Large Council Member Mary Norwood is seriously planning a run for the mayor’s office, Buckhead could be faced with a totally new slate of faces and voting agendas in the Atlanta City Council in 2010.
Muller presently chairs the city’s Transportation Committee and serves on the Utility Committee, which she previously has chaired. For the past 15 years, she has served on local, state and regional committees that focus on environmental issues. Muller and her husband, Thomas have two children, Catherine and Anne.
As for Shook, he was president of the Ridgedale Park Neighborhood Association before turning his efforts to being a member of city council. He also was the former chair of the Buckhead Neighborhood Alliance, and a co-founder of the Partnership for Better Government. He won the Dist. 7 council seat in 2001, succeeding Lee Morris and ran unopposed for re-election in 2005.
He has served on all seven committees of council and presently chairs the city’s Finance-Executive Committee.
Shook moved to Atlanta 18 years ago from his hometown of Dayton OH, and lives in the Ridgedale Park neighborhood with his wife, Alise, and daughters Catherine and Mary Martin.
Councilwoman Mary Norwood, Post 2 At-Large, brings a broad and deep record of civic improvement, strong business credentials, energy and integrity to City Council.
Through more than a decade of community activism, Norwood has developed expertise in environmental, preservation, zoning, traffic, public safety, housing and homeless issues.
In her years as an activist prior to her election to Atlanta City Council, citywide, she lobbied for over 60 issues and had a 98 percent track record of success.
Her broadcasting background and experience in community organizing provided the idea for OneCall Systems, the computer telephony business she founded in 1992. Her business was the first computer telephony company to be launched via the Internet: OneCallWeb.com. Today OneCallWeb.com is owned by Norwood Communications, LLC.
Mary is married to Dr. Felton Norwood, a retired Atlanta pediatrician. She is the stepmother of Palmer Norwood Adams and Dorsey Norwood, M.D.