It wasn't too long ago that they walked nearly arm-in-arm in the Pride parade, joined each other on the steps of City Hall to talk gay stuff, and swapped compliments over cocktails. But there's a chill in the air for Alex Wan and Kasim Reed.
What happened to break up the bromance between Reed, the Atlanta mayor, and Wan, the gay City Council member? An eight-hour City Council meeting and the budget. During the June 16 meeting, Wan the financial wonk introduced a measure to rein in city spending on vacant positions.
Creative Loafing breaks down the proposal and how it rubbed Reed the wrong way.
Near the end of an eight-hour June 16 meeting, Councilman Alex Wan introduced an unexpected measure that he claimed would help make City Hall spending more efficient by escrowing funding for vacant city positions. The proposal would have forced department heads, typically at the midpoint of a fiscal year, to explain why they needed allocated cash for empty posts.
Fellow penny-pinching reps Yolanda Adrean, Howard Shook, and Felicia Moore praised the proposal. But it caught Reed off guard, motivating him to pay Council a surprise visit. The mayor told Wan he was "shocked" at his attempt to place the city "in handcuffs" with hiring practices. Then he lashed out at the councilman for circumventing him altogether on the plan.
Lashed out is right, as a grumpy Reed accused Wan of having aspirations for the mayor's office.
"If you want to run for mayor, Mr. Wan, run for mayor," he snapped before the proposal ultimately failed in a 4-11 vote.
So much for that bromance. Maybe they can still be friends.