The question of partisan politics has come up in the race for Sandy Springs City Council, said Clark Otten, who moderated a District 6 forum, Monday night, at Northwest Presbyterian Church.
Does it matter if the candidate is Republican or Democrat?
“No I think it’s pretty evident that we don’t need to affiliate one way or another,” said candidate Jennifer Steele. "I don’t think it’s appropriate because these are city issues. We are going to be your representative. There are different points of view, and you just need to figure out who on this dais fits your point of view.”
John Stoj, [pronounced Stoy] has received endorsements from Georgia Republican leaders such as State Senators Hunter Hill, Judson Hill, and State Rep. Mike Jacobs, and figured the question was directed at him.
“I’ve been lucky enough to get some endorsements from some of our local officials and I’m proud of them, and I’d like to let our constituents know about that,” he said.
Andy Bauman calls himself a fiscally conservative independent who has voted for candidates in both parties. He complained that Stoj has made the City Council race partisan.
“He only just signed up for the Republican party,” Bauman said. “He is sending a message to lesser informed voters about what that means; presumable on certain social and economic views. He should be judged on his record of accomplishments in the community and not some peripheral partisan suggestion of what he believes in.”
Stoj did not elaborate on his initial comments.
Patty Berkovitz said that outside of partisan politics the City Council race has gone smoothly. "Partisan politics, in this election have no place,” she said. “I’m disturbed they’ve come into this election…Everybody has been civil and stuck to the issues, and that’s how it should stay. And that’s how local elections in my opinion should be.”
Sonja Tonpea said city leadership should reflect more of Sandy Springs’ diverse population, particularly people of color. “I think and I know that once people of color who live in this neighborhood - and like all of us, pay taxes – if they see someone who looks like them, they are bound to come and participate,” She said. “When we just see a select view of people who say, ‘This is our city,’ then we are not inclusive.”