There have been some comments on the Patch about
mediation between the city groups which may or may not have occurred; and may or may
not have been supported by the different groups. In most cases the comments
have been made by people who were not involved.
I thought I’d give my recollection of the events to try to clarify the “he said/she said” aspect of the comments.
The context is that there had been a general expectation that without some agreement among the three city proposals, it would be difficult to get anything through the House. That’s of course not absolutely true, since the House is Republican, and there is a Republican bill out there.
Representative Mary Margaret Oliver sent emails to the leaders of the three groups, with a proposal to select a professional mediator to meet with the three groups. She was hoping to come to a set of proposals that would make the issue clear to the groups; and would result in a legislative proposal that would satisfy most of the desires.
In her email she requested a response by a specific date, including a list of proposed mediators.
The COBI group immediately met and came up with a list, including anyone in the Atlanta Bar Association’s recommended list, or anyone from the Carter Center.
The Tucker 2014 group responded that they were willing to have mediation, and offered a suggested mediator; but were unwilling to pay for it. Rep. Oliver, who is an experienced attorney and legislator, immediately interpreted that as a “no”. (I’ll take you out to dinner; but only if the restaurant will give the food for free.)
The Lakeside group responded by saying that Rep Oliver had used the wrong email address, and they didn't get the email until after the requested date. They didn't say they wanted mediation, and didn't offer any proposed mediators.
So Rep. Oliver reported that mediation was not going to happen because no one but us said "yes".
Because of inaccurate public comments about the proposal, the COBI group decided to issue a press release. The release stated that we were willing to negotiate; but the other groups were not. That is an absolutely accurate statement.
After that, supporters of the Tucker 2014 group (although as far as I know, not the group members themselves) have posted comments that their group had agreed to mediation. But the fact is that they only agreed in a hypothetical sense, and refused the actual process.
A person can say “I’ll
clear the snow off the driveway, but only if you buy a snow blower”. That’s not an agreement to clear the snow. That’s