Abicht, Mullen, Noland
Experience is a key element that, in our opinion, separates three candidates for Marietta City Council's at-large seats.
The editorial board's picks for serving are current mayor Michael "Moon" Mullen, longtime councilman Harley Noland and appointed councilman Denver Abicht.
Mullen's experience - first as a member of council and then as mayor for eight years- is a most compelling reason for having him serve on council. Next year will likely be key times for a variety of projects. Mullen's knowledge on a wide variety of projects includes the armory, renovation of the wastewater treatment plant, and extending the RiverTrail, to name a few,
Mullen also points with pride to eight years of fiscal responsibility as mayor. He'll need to rely on that experience as Marietta makes the difficult adjustment to even tighter budgets in the future.
Noland, who has served two terms on council, has a proven track record as a hard worker and communicator. Noland, like Mullen, is keenly interested in getting the armory project completed and wants to see the RiverTrail completed. Noland also has worked hard as a member of council's finance committee, a role he has said he would like to continue His experience as a businessman also has been valuable on council.
Abicht, a relative newcomer, has established himself as a capable and hard working council member. Abicht has a unique background that casts him as a unifier on council. Abicht's attitude - he makes no secret of the fact that he enjoys serving - is refreshing. And his easygoing attitude and experience working as a business rep for 7 union locals representing about 1,500 people makes him easily approachable as a council member.
Abicht, who was appointed to his council seat and is seeking his first elected term, is deeply interested in city finances and plans to continue to be so. Abicht also wants to see the armory project completed. He also is interested in improvements in the conditions of the city's alleys.
Walt Brothers has the edge. Even though he has never held any previous government office, Brothers seems to have a talent for commanding respect among those he works with. Brothers wants to exercise the powerful role of council president as a deal maker. "I work with people to get the job done" is how Brothers described his style if elected council president. More than any other seat on council, the president can influence legislation by working behind the scenes with members, building respect as time goes on.
Brothers also has pinpointed three areas of interest that he wants to address: shoring up city finances, creating a better managed city administration, and being more responsive to citizens' concerns. That's an ambitious agenda, but worth going for.
While endorsing Brothers, we feel that his opponent, Josh Schlicher, has a lot of energy and new and innovative ideas and should continue in city government. We sincerely hope he continues serving in the years to come.