imageIn a race that briefly included three gay candidates, one more has dropped out. That leaves just one.

Anne Fauver, the two-term incumbent in the District 6 post on the Atlanta City Council, announced to constituents Monday that she won’t run for re-election. That leaves Steve Brodie, a gay man who challenged her in 2005, as the only announced candidate in the race.

The District 6 post, often regarded as the gay seat on the council for more than a decade, includes portions of Midtown and Virginia-Highland. Fauver is the council’s only openly gay member.

I have decided not to seek reelection as your Sixth District representative on the Atlanta City Council.  It was not an easy decision, but I believe that eight years is about the right amount of time for public service in the same position.  That’s enough time to try out your fresh ideas, figure out how the system works, and expend all that wonderful energy for change that motivated you to run in the first place.  After eight years you begin to be part of the system, and you find yourself with less energy to pursue better ideas and, frankly, with less faith in the ability of the system to be responsive to them.  It’s time for me to pass the baton to a successor; to someone with the energy and vision I had eight years ago.

Brodie announced his campaign April 2 and another gay candidate, Charlie Stadtlander, pulled out the same day, just weeks after stepping in.

Fauver, a lesbian, won the seat in 2001. She replaced Cathy Woolard, a lesbian whose upstart campaign in 1997 unseated a longtime incumbent and made her the first openly gay elected official in Georgia. Woolard went on to become the first woman and openly gay City Council President in 2002.

The text of Fauver’s letter, sent Monday afternoon:

I have decided not to seek reelection as your Sixth District representative on the Atlanta City Council.  It was not an easy decision, but I believe that eight years is about the right amount of time for public service in the same position.  That’s enough time to try out your fresh ideas, figure out how the system works, and expend all that wonderful energy for change that motivated you to run in the first place.  After eight years you begin to be part of the system, and you find yourself with less energy to pursue better ideas and, frankly, with less faith in the ability of the system to be responsive to them.  It’s time for me to pass the baton to a successor; to someone with the energy and vision I had eight years ago.

When I was first elected, Atlanta was in serious financial difficulty, and confidence in city government was at the lowest point I can remember.  I leave office at a time when Atlanta is again in a serious financial crisis, the dimensions of which no one foresaw.  Things seem to have come full circle in my eight years, and I wish that my tenure in office was not “bookended” by huge budget deficits.

But between those bookends we accomplished much together.  I am proud of the more than $15 million I found in overlooked revenue sources other than taxes—money that allowed the city to avoiding laying off even more of our key service providers in this financial crisis, such as police and firefighters.  These revenue sources will be a regular contribution to the general fund in the future.

I am proud of the new ethics code for city officials that I drafted and got approved.  I helped tighten the liquor license code, revised the tree ordinance to preserve our tree canopy, and contributed to passing new infill housing and anti-tethering ordinances.

I am proud, too, that I have been able to contribute significantly to making the Sixth District a safer and more pleasant environment for residents and visitors:  we have new sidewalks and streetscapes, numerous traffic calming devices, and three formerly dirt roads are now paved.  And the district now boasts hundreds of miles of new water and sewer lines.  Alas, I have not gotten rid of all the steel plates!

I am proud, too, of having provided the District with unparalleled constituent service—something that is not always easy in a bureaucratic environment but was made much easier by the extraordinary skill and commitment of my legislative aide, Shelia Parrott.

Most of all, I am proud of the support and friendship that so many of you gave me.  We have not agreed on every issue, but I could always count on you to be informed and involved.  It has been an honor to represent you:  my last, best wish is that the next person to occupy my chair in City Council will be as worthy of your support as I have tried to be.

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