By John Schaffner

Mayor Shirley Franklin, responding to a question at the Buckhead Business Association’s quarterly luncheon meeting July 23, called the candidates for mayor this November “a great slate.”

“I have worked with and know four of the 13 candidates,” she said. “Each of them brings a level of expertise and interest and experience that can be valuable to this city.”

Franklin, who leaves office at the end of this year and cannot seek re-election, said that when she votes — whether for mayor or Congress or president — “I vote for someone who has integrity. I vote for someone who is honest, who will do what they say and say what they mean. I vote for a level of transparency, not trying to hide something from me.”

She recalled that when she was a little girl, her mother said to her, “You know telling a half-truth is lying.”

She added, “Obviously, I hope we want a mayor who loves this city and is running for the job, not running for another reason.”

She said that among the candidates, some have experience in business, some in government and some in both.

“I think we have some choices,” Franklin told the nearly 200 business leaders who heard her last official address to the BBA as mayor of Atlanta at the luncheon at 103 West in Buckhead.

Adding one more qualifier, Franklin said: “I typically don’t like people who give excuses. That is kind of a waste of time. I can do the excuses myself. I have more excuses than anybody. I can come up with some excuses.”

She said anyone in public life can give excuses.

“I want somebody who is going to stand up and just be themselves, tell us who they are, what they think and not use a lot of excuses,” she said.

She said she is not necessarily looking for a platform.