City Councilman Aaron Watson
City Councilman Aaron Watson

Candidates running for Atlanta City Council spoke to representatives from Buckhead’s largest neighborhood groups on Oct. 10.

The Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods invited candidates from the at-large races. The race with the biggest connection to Buckhead is for Atlanta City Council is the At-Large Post 2 seat, currently held by City Councilman Aaron Watson. The former councilwoman for that seat, Buckhead resident Mary Norwood, is running for it this year.

BCN members also heard from candidates in City Council Post 3: incumbent Lamar Willis and challenger Andre Dickens.

Election Day is Nov. 5.

Watson spoke first and used the opportunity clear the air about a story that appeared recently on the Atlanta Progressive News website. According to APN, during a Nov. 2012 Finance/Executive Committee Meeting of the Atlanta City Council, Councilman Aaron Watson accused Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean of racism because she asked a city staffer to produce a “white paper.”

A “white paper” is a type of report that provides information about a particular topic.

Watson took offense to the use of the term, APN reported.

At the BCN meeting, Watson said the incident was old news and that he’s resolved any differences he had with Adrean.

“We had an exchange she and I talked about it afterwards and resolved the matter and have continued to work as friends and colleagues ever since,” Watson said. “I didn’t want her to appear to be disrespectful and dismissive of an executive. I know she doesn’t intend to be like that and I didn’t think she’d want to be perceived that way.”

Watson said during his time on the council, he tackled some tough decisions. He noted his work on the City Council’s transportation, utilities and the finance committee.

He said he’s prepared to continue that work if he is reelected.

“I’ve worked very hard in those responsibilities,” Watson said.

Mary Norwood

Norwood spoke later during the meeting. She said she’s “missed the work” of being a council member and said if she’s elected, addressing crime will be one of her top priorities.

She said she also wants to focus on the neighborhoods if she is elected.

“So much of the city has been devastated by lack of code enforcement, abandoned houses, mortgage fraud debris and dishevelment across the city,” Norwood said. “It has been appalling. I would like to get all neighborhoods in the city up to the right quality of life.”