The progressive group Athens for Everyone gave mayoral candidate Harry Sims a D- on its commission report card last month, and Sims is not happy about it.
The former commissioner has started a change.org petition taking issue with his grade. “[W]e believe Commissioner Sims’ words and actions were deliberately omitted or incorrectly characterized in a way manner [sic] to create a false impression of the commissioner’s positions,” the petition says. “We believe that the A4E report card fails to disclose relevant information, lacks important disclosures of what criteria were used and does not disclose any conflicts of interests that might exist between the group and the candidates/officials that were evaluated.”
The report card states that Sims opposes making Athens Transit free, although he voted to let children under 17 ride fare-free in 2015. It also says he opposes the local anti-discrimination ordinance, although he voted for that, too. In addition, Sims took issue with A4E stating that he is against early childhood education (he’s a retired fifth-grade teacher), affordable housing and transit expansion. According to A4E’s own website, Sims voted with that group’s position nine out of 14 times in the past three years.
In releasing the report card, A4E explained that grades were subjective and based not just on commissioners' votes, but on public statements and how hard commissioners pushed to pass progressive legislation.