Chattahoochee Chatter: Rep. Calvin Smyre's quick mingle with Washington bigwigs

February 27, 2013 

Let's start this edition of Chatter with a little politics. We'll call it Mr. Smyre goes to Washington.

About midday Wednesday, state Rep. Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus, sent out the following Facebook post. "When the Legislative Day ends I'll be headed to Washington for an African American program at the White House with President Obama in conjunction with Black History Month," Smyre wrote. "After the program I'll be headed to an evening Reception @ the Naval Observatory, the residency of Vice Pres Joe Biden. VP Biden hosting a reception for elected officials as well."

Smyre, through his leadership positions in the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, has a number of close relationships inside the Beltway.

But he made it clear the quick trip to the nation's capital would not interfere with his work back home.

"Back home early Thursday a.m. for 26th Legislative Day," Smyre closed.


Now, let's get a little closer to home.

Among the dignitaries who attended Wednesday's retirement reception for city property inspector Rebecca Wiggins was former Mayor Bob Poydasheff. After numerous people came forward to speak, a last call was issued for commentary.

"Bob Poydasheff is passing up a chance to speak?" some said. After the laughter died down, Poydasheff said, "I was afraid she'd come inspect my house."


Glenn Brock, the consultant leading the Muscogee County School Board's search for its next superintendent, has left the law firm that was called Brock, Clay, Calhoun & Rogers LLC, with offices in Marietta and Atlanta.

It's now called Gregory, Doyle, Calhoun & Rogers. Brock left to become a partner in the Atlanta office of Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough LLP, but his departure won't hinder the superintendent search, said board chairman Rob Varner.

First of all, the board's contract with Brock, whose fee can't exceed $25,000, is with Brock himself, not his firm. Secondly, his new firm might increase his ability to find candidates, Varner said.

"It's apparently a huge firm with 470 lawyers, up and down Eastern Seaboard," Varner said. "They have a specialty in education law. He was able to take a team of folks with him to the new firm that all had some degree of specialty in education law. … So I suspect, net-net, it will be a positive for us."


Let's close with a rather weighty issue.

One Soundoff reader --

yes, we read Soundoff here in Chatterland -- noted that poor attendance at Columbus Civic Center is due to 90-pound capacity seats for 300-pound patrons. Until 1996 seats are replaced with 2013 seats, attendance will be a problem, the reader noted.

That drew an email response from Civic Center Director Ross Horner, who has been in Columbus almost two years.

"I thought the same thing when I started -- so about a year ago we purchased 'larger than average' seats that can take up to 500 lbs. for our handicap accessible areas," Horner wrote.

So, next time a person of girth attends an event in the Civic Center, they should ask the folks at the ticket window to super size the seat.

Thanks for the info, Ross.

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