Editor's note: Due to technical problems, Patch was unable to provide a live blog of the Tuesday night candidate forum.
At Tuesday's candidate forum in , a citizen asked incumbent and his challenger, , how they differed from one another.
"I think the difference is one of leadership style and experience," said Rieker, who pointed out that he has started up four companies. "That requires the ability to build and lead teams."
Milliron said he worked 20 years as a journalist and has developed the crucial skill of listening. "I'm vice president of a technology company," he said. "I have a vast amount of leadership skills."
The question was crucial, because Rieker and Milliron didn't directly disagree on many things during the forum that packed about 250 people into the city hall meeting room. The election is Nov. 8.
The mayoral candidates, as well as the four city commission candidates, gushed in admiration of City Manager Clai Brown, agreed downtown Avondale must be redeveloped and said the city should annex the unincorporated strip of land separating Avondale and Decatur.
Milliron and Rieker were asked how they'd go about annexing that land, since the city has tried and failed to do so three times by going through the state legislature.
Milliron said the city was not proactive enough and seemed to wait for property owners to approach the city. "We had mixed message coming from city hall," he said. "I'm of the opinion we need to go out and find envoys."
Rieker said the city succeeded in annexing 12 acres of the by negotiating with the property owner. "We've got a model that works and it's working with the property owner," he said.
A barbed question went to Milliron, who was asked if he would have resigned the Avondale commission had he gotten the Chamblee city manager's job he applied for in 2010. Milliron said no, because there was no residency requirement for the Chamblee job and no reason to quit the Avondale board.
Rieker was asked how he'd cooperated with other local governments. He took that moment to read a letter of endorsement from Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd.
The four commission candidates are running for two seats. The top two vote-getters will take office. Here are some comments from the four candidates.
: "I'm looking for slow, organic growth that fits the needs of the community."
, on her vision for the Fenner-Dunlop property: "It has to be mixed use because we have to get the numbers to support the eateries and shops we want."
: "I'm the guy who wears the kilt and plays the bagpipes."
, who grew up in Avondale: "I want Avondale Estates to be the same spot of green in a gray world it was for me."
Sherry Boston, the solicitor for DeKalb County State Court, moderated the forum.