BACKGROUND | Roswell election over development issues showcases 'mud-slinging'
Some in Roswell feel dense residential housing like apartments congests roads and adds children into classrooms who might move away quickly. Others feel smart development is the only way to bring everyone into the growing area.
The contest got hot and personal, as seen in multiple incidents:
• Geoff Smith, the candidate who lost to Palermo on Tuesday, four years ago as a private citizen claimed that Palermo was too young and against growth, and that Zapata, fluent in four languages, "barely speaks English" and had just moved to town." Now that the newsletter has resurfaced, Smith said he regretted part of his statement but refused to answer specific questions about the situation.
• City manager Gary Palmer has threatened to bar Palermo from city offices and investigate him for allegations of demeaning employees.
READ | Election results: Metro Atlanta voters usher in new leaders
• Former Mayor Jere Wood in October filed an ethics complaint against Palermo and Zapata claiming they didn't properly set up his campaign committee; Wood supports Palermo's rival, Smith. Palermo called the complaint "baseless" and "disappointing" on Facebook.
• The runoff will determine who fills the open seat created when Councilman Sean Groer, tired of the nasty politics, resigned in August and left town.
The level of distrust in city politics is so great, city employees in May 2018 set up a page on Roswell's website to dispel false claims that run rampant on social media. It's called "Roswell Rumors Page" and can be found under the city website's "government" tab or at https://www.roswellgov.com/government/roswell-rumors.
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