In the lead-up to the Nov. 7 election of Atlanta’s next mayor, “Closer Look with Rose Scott” will feature 20-minute conversations with the candidates in the race. Scott interviewed former Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves on Sept. 28.
John Eaves knows first-hand what it’s like to work with city hall from the outside. It’s a relationship he said can be improved.
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Eaves, previously a three-term Fulton County Commission chairman, said the relationship between the city and the county needs to be better.
“The two major governments do coexist within a relatively small footprint, but there can certainly be a much better relationship,” he said in an interview with “Closer Look with Rose Scott.” “I certainly as mayor of this city will make sure we have the relationships and the respect and the understanding of what each entity brings to the table.”
Eaves said bringing other metro Atlanta municipalities to the table can help address larger issues facing the region: like transportation.
Eaves said he’s an advocate for the outward expansion of MARTA.
“The mayor of Atlanta must work in concert with others,” Eaves said. “You can do all you can in the city of Atlanta in terms of a strong transportation system, but if it does not connect to Sandy Springs or Union City or East Point or South Fulton or Cobb County or Dekalb County it’s not as effective and as seamless as it should be.”
Eaves said he believes better collaboration between Fulton County leadership and city hall would have kept the Braves at Turner Field.
“It was attention that was needed,” he said. “It was a missed opportunity. The opportunity to bring them back is not there, so the best thing you can do is make the best out of a bad situation.”
Like other candidates in a race, Eaves said there needs to be more attention put on the neighborhoods that have been left behind.
“There is tremendous imbalance and disparity across neighborhoods in the city of Atlanta,” he said. “There are some neighborhoods that are doing incredibly poorly — that are third-world-like.”
Eaves said he’s proud of his time at the helm of Fulton County, but feels like he’s “closed that chapter,” which is why he left the job recently to focus on running for mayor. Eaves says his real-world experience sets him apart from the rest of the field.
“I have a track record of leadership of a diverse county that includes the city of Atlanta,” he said. “I’ve demonstrated results but I come in with a different perspective. I see that Atlanta is a part of a whole and you have to look at Atlanta now from a regional perspective looking from within to without.”