Big changes in store for Atlanta City Council - CBS46 News

Big changes in store for Atlanta City Council

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

With the beginning of the new year, some big changes are in store for the Atlanta City Council as nearly half the members are going to be brand new. And of the veteran incumbents who are returning, several just barely held onto their seats.

The voters were clear in their mandate for change, except for candidate Andre Dickens. Voters like him, but that's really hard to do citywide because in almost all the races, nobody liked anybody.

One thing the new Atlanta City Council is going to need right away is a whole lot more pictures on the wall. Half the old council will be gone, but one of the returning faces belongs to Dickens.

"Lots of new council members are coming to me because I was the newest and the youngest just four years ago, and now they want to know how to learn all these things, what are the community issues of concern, and how to setup your office," says Dickens. "It's been interesting just learning the basics of how to set up your office, and your regular day job, how to manage things."

In the most contentious municipal election Atlanta has seen in a generation, where a dozen people ran for mayor and more than 50 ran for the council, only Dickens ran unopposed.

"It's too soon to tell how fast things are going to change, but we do know that things are going to change," says Dickens. "I've been talking to community leaders, business leaders, and just residents, and they want even better service delivery across the city, and they want to be involved more. The community wants more engagement."

In many ways, Dickens' re-election to his citywide council seat was its own mandate. He got 60,000 votes, the most of all candidates, and a clear message that Atlanta residents like what he's saying.

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