This post was supposed to be an event announcement. Unfortunately I get to write about what’s not going to happen. Alpharetta likely will not see a debate in its only contested Council race.
The debate club at Alpharetta High School invited Donald Mitchell and challenger Doug DeRito to debate on Wednesday October 30th. The club has experience running these sorts of things, most recently hosting mayoral candidates in 2011. I’m told that DeRito accepted but Mitchell did not.
Other groups have also attempted to organize a debate to no avail. It’s disappointing the candidates couldn’t come together.
The result is that candidates will not be put on record for their views on key issues. And there are some biggies facing Alpharetta in the coming years. For example, the proposed convention center, residential density in downtown, and adherence to the comprehensive land use plan and its limits on apartments.
It also means that Mitchell won’t have to answer questions on his Big Rich Atlanta appearance in a public forum.
DeRito’s campaign hasn’t mentioned the reality TV controversy until very recently in an endorsement letter. A former Mitchell supporter wrote the letter and called out the Councilmen for his antics on the show. It was mailed out by the campaign and appeared in the Alpharetta Patch.
I believe it was a mistake on DeRito’s part to wait this long on the reality show issue. Nevertheless Mitchell was ready, blasting the tactic as negative campaigning on his Facebook page.
I disagree. Many have not seen the full episode where Mitchell appears drunk and belligerent. He calls women bitches and whores (excuse the language, it’s not mine).
Is it appropriate for a sitting Councilman to appear on television like this? Does it reflect poorly upon the city? These are questions Donald Mitchell should answer in a public forum during this campaign. And it’s not gonna happen.