by: John Bachman Updated:
ATLANTA - Busloads of metro Atlantans are heading to the presidential inauguration this weekend, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will be close to the action.
Reed is a strong supporter of President Barack Obama. Even during inauguration weekend, the mayor will appear on network television pushing the president's agenda, work the mayor said helps the president and the city of Atlanta.
"The president, nor do I, believe in any quid pro quo, but I do believe that having a strong relationship with the president's administration allows us to make sure our voices heard and our case is made," he said.
Reed credits that close relationship for an extension on federal requirements for the city's water system, which he said lowers water rates. The mayor cites the ongoing streetcar project as funded primarily by federal money.
"This is my second inauguration with this president, and I could not be more excited. (It will be) a great day for the country," Reed said.
The mayor acknowledged that the second time will be different than the president's inauguration four years ago.
"I don't think we'll be able to recapture that 2008 magic, but I do believe that re-election is going to feel good because it was so hard," Reed said.
Atlanta Councilman Michael Bond is looking forward to experiencing the inauguration with his father, Julian, a civil rights and longtime state leader who just turned 73.
The younger Bond said, "It's really going to be a pleasure to attend festivities with him, to see it firsthand."
Both Reed and Councilman Bond are currently in Washington, DC, for a mayor's conference.