Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Proudly Not Endorsed by the Atlanta Board of Realtors II

Yes, this is not an original title of a Dunwoody blog post.  Before continuing, go read a post from three years ago by our very own King John - HERE.

John spoke on how he had some fun interviewing with the Atlanta Board of Developers Realtors.  I like to have some fun as well, but the Atlanta Board of Realtors never even contacted me or Terry Nall (Terry is the other candidate working to unseat the District 1 incumbent Robert Wittenstein) regarding a possible endorsement of our campaigns for the Dunwoody City Council.

The Atlanta Board of Realtors sent out an email to all the mayor and District 2 candidates in Dunwoody, inviting them to interview for the 'endorsement' and possibly to receive funds from their PAC (Political Action Committee).  But they completely ignored the two candidates running against Robert Wittenstein (Rick Callihan and Terry Nall). When questioned about why Terry and I were not contacted (but everyone else running for Dunwoody City Council and mayor was contacted), here is the response received:
Thanks for writing. We are aware of the other contested seat. ABR and ACBR are supporting the incumbent, Robert Wittenstein. 
Robert Broome
Governmental Affairs Director
Atlanta Board of REALTORS
Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS

Well, at least the guy is honest and not beating around the bush. So it is official; I have not received the endorsement of the Atlanta Board of Realtors, and they won't be contributing money to my campaign.  That's fine by me.  I choose wisely from whom I accept endorsements. Not sure I'd want an endorsement from a Board that is so closed-minded that they rule out two people without even speaking to them.  Perhaps they ruled me out ahead of time due to my suggestion that Dunwoody needs to be wary of approving more apartments ahead of adding more Class A office space and jobs.  Or maybe they did not contact me because I am the only candidate opposing high-density MARTA cities for Dunwoody

From the Atlanta Board of Realtors web site:
Impact Fees
POSITION: REALTORS® oppose any changes to current law regarding the collection and use of funds. REALTORS® also oppose any increase in existing fee structures that would negatively impact development.
During the two debates I have suggested the use of impact fees for building a large park in the Perimeter area.  The impact fee could be assessed on new developments.  Would the impact fee "negatively impact development" of apartments?  Here's another question on that topic: Would the construction of 10,000 apartments negatively impact our schools, our traffic, our police department, and our quality of life?

Does the political endorsement by the Realtor group of my opponent (Robert Wittenstein) and the fact that impact fees have twice been pulled from discussions at city council have anything in common?
I'm sure there are good things that come out of the Atlanta Board of Realtors, but the way they handled this issue is not one of them.  Sour grapes on my part?  No.  Some endorsements carry too much baggage.  My received endorsements and campaign contributions do not bind me to any political action committee (PAC) and I owe no group any favors.  As a side note, I have not been out asking people or businesses for money for my campaign.  I have received unsolicited funds from friends and I appreciate those donations.  The Atlanta Board of Realtors has supported many good causes for real estate agents and for homeowners, but endorsing candidates and contributing money to people whom will have a vote when it comes time saying 'yes' to the urbanization of Dunwoody is not one of them.

Please forward this blog post to other voters in Dunwoody.  Thanks for your support.

Rick Callihan
Not Endorsed by the Atlanta Board of Realtors


Jack Fiscella said...

As a member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors, I'm embarrassed they would not, at the very least, interview you and Terry. It is part of the reason that I stopped paying the voluntary PAC fees every year.
You are right - the board does a lot of good things, but this is shameful!

RealHouseWifeofDunwoody said...

I was told this Board endorsed Wittenstein, Dallas, and Deutsch. What do these three have in common?

Brent M said...

Rick - Thank you for remaining an independent candidate. The endorsement of the people for Dunwoody is more pertinent than any PAC.