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Hand-in-hand or hand-to-hand?


The dozen or so voters expected to turn out for the run-off election were still mulling over their choices Tuesday when CL went to press.

But it wasn't too soon for us to look ahead at what city government will look like whether Cathy Woolard or Michael Bond wins the City Council president's seat.

Woolard has joked that if she wins, the mayor (Shirley Franklin) and the City Council president finally will be able to see eye-to-eye. (Both women aren't much over 5 feet tall.)

But don't expect relations between the two to be all too cozy. A number of Franklin supporters have privately groused about Woolard's failure to ask for Franklin's support, or at the very least, to ask her to keep quiet about the City Council president's race. Those supporters say a call between Woolard and the mayor-elect was set up so that Woolard could do just that. In a conversation, which lasted more than 30 minutes, a few days after the primary, Woolard never brought up the issue, and many in the Franklin camp saw that as an insult to the mayor-elect. A number of people connected to the city's black political establishment are suspicious of Woolard, and her votes against a number of southside projects -- which Bond has tried to exploit during the campaign -- reinforces those feelings.

It was no secret that Franklin would have liked to see Julia Emmons as council president, but she'd certainly settle for Bond, who many see as a malleable presence on the council, someone who is ideologically compatible with Franklin and unlikely to take a public stand against her. If he wants to run for higher office, it will be important for Bond to stay in the good graces of the city's political establishment, the same forces who have backed him and Franklin.

If Woolard is elected, expect her to play much the same role current City Council President Robb Pitts plays against Mayor Bill Campbell, that of a frequent antagonist.

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